All posts by simonkayar

The forbidden Apple

Back in 2015, when I purchased my yet another Dell Inspiron, I had written that the MacBook Air was in contention. I had always been very sure that I needed a Windows laptop. Other than the obvious factors like the exhorbitent cost of MacBooks, what made me stay away from considering them were my pet projects. I always end up doing non-regular computing like say, hacking a switch gaming console, downloading MP3s of Ilayaraja and clipping off the unnecssary loud music between the lyrics, having a geneology program in the laptop that maps our entire extended family over several generations, downloading vistaprint’s album maker to get the photos of every into a huge printed collection to name a few. There was also the occasional help that required installing some bizzare python libraries and stuff for my wife.

Fast forward to 2020 and Corona ensured that everyone at home needed a PC. Mine went to my daughter and though it was usable it was showing some signs of getting old after 5.5 years of service. Then random tech browsing saw reviewers raving about a new M1 chip from Apple which was smoking all benchmarks and putting even 3000$ laptops to shame, that too in the body of an Air. My tech antennae picked up these signals and on I went reading anything and everything that I could find about this marvel. The YouTubers were left to find weird emotions to show their surprise and shock and even the most modest ones could not hide their disbelief in what Apple has achieved. How can someone possibly achieve 3.5x more performance than their own Intel based laptops released merely months back, that too without a fan and what’s more with over 50% increase in battery life. Insanity. Apple had after a long time well and truly innovated. I am not sure how long it is going to take the Intels and AMDs of the world to play the catch up game.

Coming specifically to MacBook Air M1, this cheeky fellow sits on a old chassis and gives no indication of the ghost of a laptop that it has become. Mind blowing performance. Can you believe that this thing can run x86 software over a translator (Rosetta 2) and still blow away the Intel version of 2020 or the fact that Windows 10 (Arm version) runs faster on this than on Microsoft’s own Surface Pros.

And so the golden shiny apple lay there tempting me to commit the sin of owning a MacBook which I never thought I would do. Once the decision was made to jump ship, it was easy to choose the model. Between the Air and Pro it was an easy decision to choose Air since they both had identical configurations and I wasn’t going to buy a fan for 300$. Since the base model of MacBook Air at 8B RAM was smoking everything, I didn’t feel the need to upgrade to 16GB for additional sum of 20,000. The SSD upgrade was also costly at 20,000 for 512 GB and so I stuck with 256GB SSD. The price was coming to 92.6k in India and with the education store it was down to 83k (My wife is an academician). I feel it is a steal at this price even the Dell XPS (which is not even a fair comparison) was retailing at 1.4L in India (and 1.15L in US, if someone was willing to bring it from there).

Extending WiFi Range using Slave Routers

I think everyone these days ends up with a good broadband provider (like ACT in Bangalore) and have a decent high speed router too (> 100 Mbps support). But the range is always an issue. We have amazing coverage in our hall but as you move towards the bedrooms the signal drops to 1 point and sometimes none (this is the case with 2.4 GHz, the 5 GHz is short range and does not cross the hall). For a long time I was thinking of getting a wireless repeater but technically it can slow down the overall speed as it uses the same band for communicating between your actual router to the machine that is connected to the repeater.

The power network adapters have not taken the market yet by storm, so for now the best option that I could think of was using some old routers to extend the network. I managed to run ethernet cables from the LAN ports of my main router to 2 of my 3 bedrooms that are the farthest. What was remaining was to setup the routers.

I have provided the steps as 2 options. First option is for the advanced users. Second option is in detail and is meant for someone like me who did struggle a bit before gettings things to work.

OPTION 1: Simple Steps (for Advanced users 🙂 )

  • Note down the MAIN router’s IP address, its subnet mask, WiFi SSID, security mode, channel and WiFi password
  • Configure the SLAVE router’s IP address in the same subnet as main router’s, disable its DHCP and NAT, mimic the WiFi SSID, security, channel and password to match the MAIN router’s and you are done

OPTION 2: In Details Steps for Novice users

  • NOTING DETAILS FROM MAIN ROUTER:
    • My main router was a tp-link and behind it there is the IP address printed on it along with username and password. The IP address was 192.168.0.1 and username and password were both admin
    • I was connected to this router by ethernet cable and opened chrome and gave http://192.168.0.1 and provided the username and password and logged in. If there is any tab that says “Advanced” click it
    • There was a section called “Internet” which had details of my ACT username and passsword. Ignore this. We should not disturb this. It could be called as WAN in some routers.
    • Look for section called LAN. Confirm that the IP address is same as above. In my case it was 192.168.0.1. Note the subnet mask. It was 255.255.255.0
    • Next move to section called “Wireless”. Note down the following
      • WiFi SSID – this is the WiFi name that you use to connect
      • WiFi Security – For me it was WPA/WPA2
      • Channel – It it says auto you choose a number, say 4
      • WiFi Password – Same that you use during connect
  • SETTING UP SLAVE ROUTER – PART 1 <LAN>
    • Power it on and Reset the Slave router. For my Dlink, there was a small reset button that I had to keep pushing for some time. It is always a good idea to start from this resetting as we don’t know what it was used for earlier and the old settings might create problems
    • For this operation, disable WiFi on your laptop and use an ethernet cable to attach your laptop to the slave router.
    • Behind the slave router you will find default IP address and username/password details. For me it was 192.168.0.1 and Admin was username and password was empty.
    • Go to browser again and type http://<slave-router-ip. For me it was http://192.168.0.1. I logged in with the credentials.
    • We are not bothered about setting up Internet details on the slave router (only Main router will be used to connect to Internet service provider like ACT). So we will not enter anything in section like “Internet” or “WAN”. Just leave them to whatever details they have. If the router is forcing you to select something, just choose anything here it does not matter
    • Go to section called “LAN”. It could be also called as “Local Network” in some routers. Do the following
      • In IP address enter the next number after your MAIN router’s IP address. For me I entered 192.168.0.2 (My Main router’s IP address was 192.168.0.1.Actually the last number can be anything but what I am trying to do is name them in order like if 192.168.0.1 is MAIN then 2nd is 192.168.0.2 and I setup a third router also at my home where I set the IP Address of the router as 192.168.0.3. Your default IP address of Slave router does not matter.
      • Enter subnet mask same as what you saw in Main router subnet mask. For me it was 255.255.255.0
      • The moment you hit ‘Save’ or ‘Apply Changes’, it will seem to have stopped working. This is because now, your Slave router has moved to the new IP address that you gave (for me it was 192.168.0.2) and so you have to enter that in browser like http://192.168.0.2 and use the same credentials as before. Sometimes you might have to restart your PC (basically remove any cache in browser) for this to work.
      • Find for the DHCP and disable it. It will be mostly under LAN or ‘Local Network’. You have to select ‘Disable DHCP server’ or if there is a dropdown select “None” for DHCP
      • Find NAT and ensure that there are no entries. If it is not there, don’t worry about it. If there is a ‘Gateway’ instead, disable that. If not, fine
  • PHYSICAL CONNECTION
    • Now run an ethernet cable from one of the main router’s LAN port to a LAN port in slave router (LAN not WAN). I got a long bluerigger high quality ethernet cable and ran it through my data only pipe at home (try not to run it along with power cables). You can run it outside on the walls too. Refer the image below courtesy Amit Agarwal from labnol.org
    • At this point, you can test if the interet is working on your laptop connected to the slave router. It should work. Not only that both your routers should be accessible now using their IP addresses (my case 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.0.2)
  • SETTING UP SLAVE ROUTER – PART 2 <WiFi>
    • Login to your slave router using its IP address (that you gave. I gave 192.168.0.2).
    • Go to ‘Wireless’ section. If there is advanced option click it
    • You can decide to use this as a separate SSID (separate WiFi name) compared to your main router’s WiFi name
    • In my case I wanted them to give the same name. Advantage is that your devices will switch automatically from one router to another as you move around your house, like in a hotel or office. Disadvantage is that you won’t know which router you are connected to (Why do you want to know anyway?)
    • If you want to use same name like me that you have to do the following
      • In SSID give identical SSID that you noted down from Main router
      • In Security, select the same type of security as the main router setting. I put this as WPA/WPA2
      • Select the same channel as main router. For me I put it as 4
      • Select the same password also
      • Click ‘Save’ or ‘Apply Changes’ and you are done.
  • SETTING UP A THIRD ROUTER
    • In fact I setup a third router also (a good way to use the old routers as you move from service providers or upgrade to better ones)
    • For the third router, I used a tenda. I reset it and used its IP address written on back 192.168.1.1 and admin/admin as login. I changed its LAN to 192.168.0.3. For some reason it ran into issues when I did this and I had to reset and use it default WiFi to connect instead of LAN ethernet. I used an iPad this time (laptop was being used) and it went through this time. No idea why
    • After subnet and WiFi details it worked flawlessly.
    • My challenge was in running another ethernet from my main router to this bedroom too.

Overall this was good fun. Sometimes frustrating but as good computer engineers, you stick to it till the end, bear the snide comments from family members and their sarcastic looks when things don’t work, knowing that they still love you a lot and you should be through 🙂

My Slave, My Master

In our feudal society there is no dearth of examples for Master Slave relationships. We see people opening car doors for their masters, holding umbrellas for the chief, constables doing menial jobs for inspectors and their wives and maids made to work all day without holidays for paltry sums of money. We even have the time tested slave, a housewife, who does everything for her husband and kids, but does not even receive the respect she deserves.

Now, Imagine for a moment, that suddenly the roles get swapped- the master becomes the slave and the slave becomes the master. How would it be if the CEO opens the doors for the peon, or god forbid, if your mother washes dishes while your maid eats at the dining table, complaining about your mother. Funny isn’t it. “Can’t even happen in dreams”, you say. But it is happening everyday. We have a slave amidst us, whose job was to obey our orders and do what we say, but who, in turn, is commanding us around all day, at his will.

Who is this talented slave. Our mobile phone, of course! The device that was meant to give us more time by reducing our work has turned a traitor and is consuming all our time. It was meant to happen perhaps, given that most smart phones are smarter than their dumb masters. What is wrong in entertaining ourselves with some whatsapp, facebook, instagram or <Fill your favorite app here>. Aren’t we just changing with time and being cool. Well, yes, but it is a lot more than that. With the new ‘Screen Time’ analysis of iPhones and Android phones, we see baffling numbers – several hours of screen time per day. What more, we spend those hours mostly staring at the screen not even aware that we are using them, sub-consciously.

Even when we try to ignore this slave, it calls us with its mesmerizing notifications. We are bound to pick the phone immediately or end up with some nervous breakdown. The anxiety that we feel when we don’t have the phone nearby can only be better explained by regular users of drugs. Eventually, we have made a deal with the devil and are connected full time. In this strange world that we have built for ourselves, we can’t have a moment’s rest without the gadgets. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with, be it in the restroom, our hall with family, having food at the dining table, even with friends out in dinner, in a cinema hall, traveling somewhere, playing with kids. Aren’t we diluting the essense of some of these experiences by allowing our slave, sorry our master, to command us around.

May be we are like King Theoden who has let his servant Grima rule over him and his kingdom (Sorry non LOTR-fans). May be, like him, we also need a Gandalf, who can break the curse and save us from our own slave.

Expiry Date

Everything comes with an expiry date, including us. We all know that taking a medicine past its expiry date will do more harm than good. But, without giving it any thought, we are not only consuming but administering so many ‘medicines’, well past their expiry dates. These ‘medicines’ or rather ideas, notions, beliefs and practices, were once meant to cure a problem during a different age, in a different context. Those problems may not exist anymore or might need different solutions, but we are just stuck to the same old ideas.

They could be in different forms in different fields – Religion, Culture, Politics, Economics. Take Communism for example. What was once considered a perfect solution has long since proved ineffective and outdated, but so many among us still cling on to it and expect it to work today. What befell Communism could happen to Capitalism someday when it ceases to be relevant. Consider the economy. Debt, which was at some point in our history, considered a taboo and even a few decades back was not even an opttion, is everyone’s cup of tea today – though as bad as tea perhaps. These examples are staightforward to accept maybe. How about love, sex or compassion. Aren’t these supposed to be the reason the world is functioning. These have stood the test of time and will continue to be relevant in future too. Right?

Wrong! Though hard to believe they may have their expiry date as well. Imagine, Universe as a person and think of how long it had known love, sex, compassion or any other human emotion. The 13 billion years old universe, has known humans for a mere few lakh years, or roughly .0023% of its lifetime – not even a blink of an eye. To believe that these ‘man-made’ concepts would exist forever is heights of optimism – yes they would probably exist till you and I die, but forever – No.

When even our core values and notions are not indefinite, we have to scrutinize what has been drilled into our head by systematic upbringing, media and society. Clinging on to outdated idealogies inherited from our parents and dumped on to us by other, is not only dangerous for us but for others as well. Let’s open up our mind, the more we learn, the more we read and travel, the better we would be in understanding and accepting new and exciting aspects, concepts and ideas.

The Pressure to be Happy

Of late, I am seeing this funny thing where people are so stressed and pressurized to be happy or make others happy on an important day – say Birthday. If it were not for them being my close friends, I could almost enjoy it like a stand up comedy.

Often times the monotonocity and drama that surrounds the special day is in itself worth exploring. We have the Birthday Man or Woman (all grown up you see), who gets wished through all modes of communication possible (phones, whatsapp, in-person and even SMSes from Finance companies). Those who call on the phones are the most vulnerable. After wishing the usual “Many more happy returns of the day” or just plain “Happy Birthday” or even the newer “<Substitute regional translation of Happy Birthday>”, they end up in this awkward state where they have to speak something but don’t know what to say. They usually end with “So, what’s the plan?”

What would be the plan Bro? You tell me. What do you expect? Of course, it would be the mandatory cake cutting, which people go to lengths to keep a secret while you know what they are upto but have to act as if you don’t. It would also be the gift giving ceremony where the only happy person is one who bought shares in Amazon or Flipkart. There has never been a case of a surprise gift landing well. Mostly, the struggle is between hiding the disappointment creeping on the right side of your face after seeing the gift and the mental maths that your left side of the brain does to guess the price they paid to get you this damn thing.

There have been cases where the expectation of a surprise was so high that the person was dissappointed with the actual surprise they eventually got. Now, this whole businesss of surprises confuse the shit out of me. I don’t understand how it can be a surprise when the person is expecting it. I can imagine the person opening the wardrobe almost expecting some shining package, opening the car door and feeling sad that there is nothing in the driver’s seat, so on and so forth. So, by the end of the day I can assure you that they end up with more disappointing moments on the ‘special’ day compared to happy moments on any other ‘ordinary’ day.

Now, spare some thought for the planners. They want to make the day special for this overgrown birthday baby. They stress themselves out for days, if not weeks thinking of what to do, how best to surprise the already ‘surprise-greedy’ person and also keeping everything under wraps, lest this ‘amazing’ surprise be known before hand. I have seen friends fight it out just because someone spoiled the surprise. Really guys! Can’t we let go off this ‘surprise-planning-gifts’ headache and just have fun that day. Eat, drink and make merry – stop trying to be happy and for once, just be.

An Old Irrelevant Fool

As people age, there one thing that they fear the most. No, it is not health, not even wealth or that they will be missing their charming youth – It is becoming irrelevant. It is the thought that they would brushed aside and no one would even try to explain stuff to them as it would be deemed too much of an effort or worse unnecessary and useless. So, as people age, they try and do stuff that is like “See, I too know it”. That is why you see the posts of “Radiation tonight, switch off your moblies or you will be blown to oblivion” kind of posts from parents and grand parents. Well, this post is not intended to make fun of them. They still mean good but yes they are becoming irrelevant faster than their ancestors.

That brings us to today’s post. What is happening to our elders is also happening to our religion but as usual we choose not to accept it. Religion, which enjoyed so much respect and relevance in the past is fast loosing it. In really old times, religion did several important functionality. It was a “Completed Encyclopaedia of Science” – anything that required explanation from rainbows to thunder storms were documented in full detail. It had definite, beyond doubt convictions about birth, death and even after death. It had clear description of the process of creation and the eventuall end of universe too. It was also the one point “Legal Reference Section”. If you had any doubt how much needed to be paid to the owner of a slave girl, who you had mistreated, you can readily find the answer. List of Punishments (sometime laugable by today’s moral standards) were provided with clear conditions. It also helped the ones in power, including Kings to keep the masses in check and to provide them with a common purpose and meaning to their life. Above all, it brought in love and hope to the poor, suffering downtrodden masses as it promised something out of thin air – a hunger-free, melodious, peaceful retired after life.

Let us see where these stand now. Science has completely taken over and no one in their right minds believe we have a hell lurking beneath our feet now. We also know that we are not the centre of universe or creation but just another species which evolved from monkeys, living in just one of many planets in one of many star systems in one of many galaxies in our immensely large universe. Nothing revolves around us except just one pathetic moon. We know how rainbows and thunder storms happen. The Governments and Courtrooms have their own reference manuals now and religion has been stripped of all legal status except to take oath, now.

However, there is still one major role that religion plays, though it is clinging for dear life there. That is, giving hope of a better afterlife to millions of people who’s earth life is still miserable as they endure suffering, discrimination and oppression at the hands of the powerful. Even, for well off people, during times of personal grief and stress, religion offers a powerful alternate that can surpass all challenges and go beyond what mere mortals can hope to achieve. It also offers solace (It is definitely a pleasing thought to picture your departed loved ones, beaming with pride near your God as it is to think that those who wronged you on this earth will be brought to justice later, even after death). But time is running out for religion. The day when we overcome all health hazards including death, it will become extremely challenging for religion to stay relevant in its current form. However, if there is one big plus for religions, I think it is the ‘love’ that all religions invariably speak about and propogate and personally, I think if they stick to only that and be a religion without ‘laws’ but with lots of ‘love’, then they could be relevant for a long long time.

Manipulated Ignorance

They say “Ignorance is bliss”. If you have seen MIB, where agents work with extra terrerstrial life forms, at the end, when his memory is being wiped off, the senior agent says “I will be able to appreciate the beauty of the stars now” as he would be ignorant of aliens. Or, take “Matrix”, a movie where before revealing the truth that his mind is in a virtual reality while his body is in a heat producing farm, Neo is given a choice of “Being in happy ignorance” or “Entering the hard truth”. Actually there is a character in the same movie that wants to go back to this convoluted lie rather than suffer the bitter truth. Another movie “Truman Show” where an entire city is a set full of actors to keep one person ignorant of the fact and sell it as a reality show to the world. These are examples of alternate reality being setup on unsuspecting victims.

That brings us to today, where we are not victims anymore but architects of our own Matrix or Truman city. We carefully pick what we want to hear, see and perceive. We pick family, friends and associates that match our liking, we setup our home, car, office as we want them. But not everything is in our control, for that matter even the US president can’t control everything. So what do we do, we choose to ignore facts that contradict our views by setting up filters in our mind. Even when the naked truth is in front with eyes that bore into us, we manage to see through it and keep acting our part in this well orchestrated drama.

The funny thing is since everybody does this as a society, it becomes easier for a group play as we can collectively form a Matrix from which there is no escape. That not only makes us hypocrites of the first order, but also dangerous since for someone to escape from this well woven web is extremely difficult. Heck, it takes a lot of effort to know that the web exists in the first place. This has resulted in general, group indifference to news, people, occurrences and sufferings around us as our mind carefully chops it off. So we end up with no guilt and free of all moral bindings, to go on living our happy mundane life. We can get to the specifics but then, even when we read it, we would still be able to justify our case, giving an ‘innocent’ verdict to ourselves, better than even the lawyer who took the school plumber off the hook from the rape of a 7 year old.

The purpose of Life

So, as physicists always look for a single equation that can explain everything from relativity to quantum mechanics, we also look for a single meaning or purpose that can explain all of life itself.

On the outset, it feels very complicated to understand the purpose of life. What if life had NO purpose at all – what if, like the dog on the street we are all meant to live and die without any reason for living or dying. Not an encouraging start I know, but, what if. You might argue saying that there are people who have lived a meaningful life. But who knows if that was indeed a meaningful life. How can we compare the various different meaningfulness?

Let’s take an example. For Abdul Kalam, the purpose of his life was probably inventing Misslies and conducting nuclear tests. Almost every Indian would bet his entire inheritance that Kalam’s life had been meaningful and filled with purpose. Why so? What if a buddist in Malaysia thinks that it is meaningless to pursue warfare and anything that remotely supports it. By his interpretations, Kalam’s life not only lacks any meaning but was detriemental to others as well. So, purpose or meaning is derived from something which a person believes in.

In our family and friends we have some ardent followers of Christianity, if we set aside the fact that their family were pious hindus not too long ago. Even though they have a flawed theory of religion and sprituality, within their own fabric of reality, they experience life’s purpose like no one else can. Imagine this – you absolutely believe that you are doing good by converting people to your religion and you are 100% sure that you are doing it as part of a divine plan drafted by a God who is the creator of the universe. Now, can you compete with the depth of meaning that this setup would provide.

Finding your own meaning or purpose is very tricky, but there is at least one that is not going out of business any time soon – reducing the net suffering in the world by whatever means feasible to you.

Am ‘I’ doing What ‘I am’ doing

The title might remind you of the “Me talking to me” meme of Nithyananda. But really, when I look around people and myself sometimes, I see that we are a nothing but a bunch of zombies or for the elite among us – under Imperius Curse. No, no – I am not against technology or social media and am not propagating the idea that we should all go back and live in caves. But, next time you do something – anything, just stop a moment and think “Did I decide to do ‘this whatever’ I am doing”. Why and how did I happen to end up doing this.

Take a simple case of unlocking your phone. In a day, backed with statistical proof, I can safely assume that we unlock over 100 times, easily, even for a conservative user like me. It is probably double or more for others. So, I pick up the phone 100 times and do something with it. Now, of these 100 times, about 95+ times I have no idea why I picked up the phone till it is already unlocked and am staring at some stupid app.

So I decided to slow-mo or unwind this process and try and act with full intent and under complete consiousness. Like, if I have to do something, I need to first analyze and decide to do it. That is when I realized the immense difficulty of this seemingly benign process. For the first few days, I didn’t even last few minutes. As a random example, I would be in some Chrome Tab, browsing some website before it hit me that I never deliberately wanted to do it in the first place. Slowly I was making progess and now I last a few hours with full control over my actions. I did it purely out of self interest and as a fun activity (am I being Holt as Smith would say), but it did throw up interesting results.

It helped me observe similar and stronger patterns in people around me. It also led me to think of the ‘Head Office’ inside us that was directing us to do things which consiously we were not aware. We can just term it as our subconsious self but the more I think about it the more interesting it seems to me that something can control us from within without our explicit approval. For a lack of a better analogy, this seems almost like a Computer Virus, an intelligent program that is capable of silently taking over the entire system, with or without malicious intent.

But then, Think about it for a moment. This same inner intelligence also does 100s of other important activities like pumping blood, heart beat, digestion and so on. So, we can’t term it as malicious but does it have its own agenda or goals that it is trying to fulfill through us – like the classic ghosts of Indian movies. Will ponder more on this. (Updated later: Didn’t have to ponder for long as most were answered by genetics – benefit of reading on a broad range of topics I guess)

Time to ‘Switch’

Wii Time

I got the Wii in 2008 on a US/Korea trip. We had a blast with it. I vividly remember the countless hours spent on ‘Resident Evil 4’, a title that I had bought along with the Wii itself, 2 zeldas – ‘Twilight Princess’ and ‘Skyword Sword’, 2 mario galaxies and the best of all – ‘Super Mario bros’ (I guess we completed this 3+ times and even opened most of world 9). Even the occasional ‘Just Dance 4’ was enjoyable. I had fun hacking it and moving to hard disk based backups, some emulations that enabled me to play some old gems like Airplane game (River Raid), Tank Game (Battle City) etc. For a complete review of Wii read this

Wii U – Not for Mii

When Wii U came along, I thought it was going to be more of Wii – I genenuienly wanted to buy it but kept postponing it to the point where it was barely selling anymore. It was such a failure that I decided to wait for the next product knowing very well that I would be missing some of the best games. I tried an emulation software called cemu but it was not a happy story inspite of all the efforts

Along came the ‘Switch’

When Nintendo launched ‘Switch’ I had a feeling that it was probably not for me. I was never a fan of handheld gaming and never took a fancy to PSP or 3DS. However slowly I realized that it was getting some awesome games and all the brilliant games of Wii U are finding their home here. One of the best implementations of Zelda ever – “Breath of the Wild” was available on it – reason enough to buy it. But as usual I took my time (similar to Wii – an year). Then ‘fusee gelee’ also happened and I had to rush to get a unit before Nintendo started patching their units – a real boon – a hardware unfixable hack for homebrew. So I booked a ‘Switch’ from US and as usual it was shipping in about a month and costing upwards of 33k. Thankfully I found a local vendor in Amazon India who was selling the same for 27k. Unlike Wii, switch was ready for 220V right out of the box. So I cancelled the US order and booked one with this ‘Mobhystore’ prime shipped. Got it in a couple of days. For a more indepth happening around the time of purchase and accessories bought – read this

New Zelda fan

My daughter was always a decent gamer – starting when she was 4 with Dora on Wii and playing super mario bros with our energy. However the true gamer in her came out with Zelda. She too like us has spent 100+ hours exploring the hyrule terrain, fighting off moblins and lizafols with much greater ease, roaming every nook and corner of hyrule castle, finding all memories, cooking differrent meals each time. Our oldest zelda fan, Kanni, finished the game after the usual scoldings from family members for staring at the screen all day – he must have clocked 200+ hours. I am behind them, more because of the recent happenings than anything to do with interest. In fact I intend to finish all the 120 shrines 🙂

Handheld mode

It surprised me when I understood that I will probably end up playing Zelda in handheld mode most of the time. It feels natural and immersive – not to mention the added advantage of avoiding prying eyes looking for solutions to difficult shrines 🙂 But the comradire is there between the 3 gamers – we do exchange the odd tip – lend a helping hand when someone is overly stuck etc. We also had a blast with Mario Kart 8, but it seems like a long time ago as all of us are now deep in Zelda. I am eagerly waiting to buy ‘Mario odyssey’, Resident evil reveations, overcooked, Rayman legends to name a few. I am also sincerely hoping for the port of ‘New Super Mario bros Wii U’.  All in all Switch is one brilliant system and worth every rupee spent on it.