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Anker USB-C Charger

Bought an Anker USB-C charger because I finally got tired of forgetting my one and only USB-C charger at home.

Apple 80 watt charger now stays at home with my Anker powerline USB-C cable, which is actually capable of deliverying the full 80 watts (technically, 100 watts) from the charger, unlike the included Apple cable.

I always kept the 2 Amp iPad charger in my bag but with the new Anker, I don't need to. One charger to rule them all. The USB-A port on the Anker can do 15 watts, which ends up being about 3 amps at 5 volts. Not bad!

The Anker stays in my bag now. It can only do 45 watts to the laptop which is a little low but all that means is that I'll be charging a little slower. If I ever have to travel, I'll probably take the 80 watt with me. Maybe. I really like the size of the Anker charger.

Other than the lower power rating, the only other downside is that I can't swap out the plug with an extension. Not a deal breaker but some people use that a lot, I think.

Charger Ports

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Online Web Apps for private journaling.

I've started up my personal journal again.  (Yes, I am writing a diary...)  Only this time, I thought I'd try a virtual journal in the hopes that I would continue writing in it longer than a few months.  I enjoy writing and chronicling my thoughts, but writing in a book never worked out for me.  I would jot down my thoughts and ideas more often if I could write from anywhere and anytime.  What better way to write on the go than with my iPhone?

The first thought I had was to search for some sort of iPhone app that was password protected.  I found a few, some free and some at a small premium.  Writing from the iPhone is convenient when there isn't a full size keyboard around, but I would rather use a computer when it is available.  So if I was going to buy an app, it would need to sync with some online service or at least sync with my PC.  I couldn't find any apps that had this functionality so I thought of just using a webapp instead.

Immediately, I found this cool service called Penzu.  It's a very well thought out service and really simple to use.  It's completely private and, unlike a public blog, the individual entries don't have a URL for robots to scan.  Let's say someone figured out your password, each entrycan be individually locked and would therefore require a second password to view.

It's also well designed.  When you visit the site you can start writing right away by clicking on the "try it out" link. After you're done writing, just log in and it will save the entry automatically.  As you're writing, the text appears on what looks like a sheet of lined paper.  Like I said, really cool site.

Unfortunately, writing on it in Safari on the iPhone is really cumbersome.  I was typing pretty fast and after a while, I had to stop so it would catch up with me.  The site is really good, and adding an iPhone app would make it the best private journaling application I could find.  I ended up not using it because of how the iPhone interacted with it.

This search turned out to be a little more drawn out then I thought it would be.  I thought of  using Evernote or the Notes app, but I thought I would look at Blogger and WordPress first to see if there was a "private" setting.  I created a blog at WordPress.com first and set it to private.  Using the WordPress iPhone app, I was able to log-in to the blog and start writing.  I checked to make sure I couldn't access the site if I wasn't logged in and that the RSS feed was not displaying either.  So far, this seems like a pretty good solution.

Evernote could work as well since I have the desktop application and the iPhone application.  It wouldn't be as  efficient since it's designed for quick note taking, plus I'm a huge WordPress fan so using the WordPress.com blogs is ideal for me.  Blogger allows for private settings too, but I couldn't find an iPhone app for it.

I honestly hope that Penzu releases an iPhone app to go with their web application - I'll switch over if they do. Penzu is designed to be private unlike WordPress which is designed to be public.  Either way, WordPress is a good solution for now and hopefully I'll keep up with this journal-keeping quest for once.

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WeeWar Online – Little dudes duking it out.

Weewar.com
Weewar.com

I was reading a post by The Morning Toast about his renewed interest in Turn Based Strategy games and it got my hankering for some TBS as well.   I love puzzle/strategy games, so it got me thinking about online games.

I was curious to see what was available so I ran a quick search on Google.   I started scanning the results, but stopped at the second item on the list. It read, "Award winning turn based multi-player strategy game on Weewar.com."   Well... that deserves a click!

The first thing I notice is how neat and clean the site is - very easy to use and I love easy to use!   So, I signed up for an account - they had me at "free" - and started poking around the site.   I thought the site would have all types of options and pages and links, but it is actually very simple.

So, I clicked over to Games and signed up for the first game on the list, which happened to be a beginner game.   It seems that the game can be set with a time limit on player turns - each player gets no more than anywhere from 5 minutes to three days to complete their turn.   The game I am in right now is set to one day.

My latest game
My latest game

Game play is simple, but deep.   You have bases that can create units.   Units vary in strength, armor, and movement.   Terrain ranges from mountains to forests to swamps.   There's a lot of room for strategy making.

The final reward for victory is an increase in points to the player's "rating."   The rating system awards winners by transferring points from the loser to the winner.   You start off with 1500 points.   The game I am in is a 3 player map and the third player just gave up, which rewarded me with 10 points.   Woo hoo!

There's a neat social aspect to the game as well.   There is a chat client as you are playing so you can taunt your opponent or, if you're like me, discuss strategies.   There's a forum, blog, and API as well.   A special tournament site exists where you can take part in a tournament of WeeWar.   Good stuff.

The free account lets you play the game with basic units, terrain, buildings and playable maps.   It also only allows you to play up to four games at a time.   A pro account can be purchased for a small fee and will grant access to all units, base types, terrains, and maps.   A pro account holder can also play up to ten games at a time.   There is a difference in map creation as well - a pro account holder can create and store more maps than a free account.

I found out that the game has been around since March of 2007, but it gained a lot of notoriety in early Summer of 2007 after being mentioned on big blogs like Kotaku and Tech Crunch.   It's been mentioned in magazines as well.   The funny thing is that I never heard of it until I ran my Google search.

The game is fun, the people are actually very friendly, and the site is easy to use.   Players offer a very hard challenge, which I enjoy after decades of playing the "computer".   If some players don't want to play another human, some users have created their own AI and allow anyone to invite them into a game.   Although, it doesn't sound like many of these AIs offer a good challenge.

The game is fun and addicting, it will be my crack for the foreseeable future.