The Nintendo Switch Is Great But There’s A Flaw

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Nintendo Switch

When it comes to gaming systems one of the hottest on the market right now is the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch may not yet be the highest sold Nintendo portable console, however, it’s well on its way towards those figures. It’s crystal clear that people love the Switch, however, there is a huge flaw IMO when it comes to the games offered.

Nintendo’s Weak Link For Switch Gaming

When it comes to finding games for the Nintendo Switch you can choose to either buy the physical game or choose to download it. Some games don’t even offer a physical version and you must download them if you want to play them. However, most games have both options and the Switch has a large selection of physical games available for those who prefer dealing with tiny cartridges.

For everyone else, the Nintendo eShop is your one-stop-shop for all your gaming needs. Visiting the eShop, you’ll see there is an even larger amount of games for all ages and in all genres available. After selecting a game, you can find out the memory space required as well as other info. While all the information given is great and fairly useful, there’s still a very important aspect that’s missing.

User Reviews and Ratings

There are a number of ways for gamers to communicate with each other in the community about games. Forums, videos, and chatrooms are highly popular, however, user reviews and ratings are the best gauges of a game’s playability. And yes, there are literally hundreds of online channels and websites specifically offering game reviews.

The disconnect however comes when you’re browsing through the eShop and find something that looks interesting. Rarely do folks ever stop and think, hey I should look up all the reviews on all the games that I’m interested in. Let me get off this thing and do some research.

While game review researching is easy enough to do, it certainly does not make for a seamless shopping experience. Usually what happens is that folks just fork over the money and hope the game is worth it. Instead of making interested players do online research, Nintendo should allow buyers to leave reviews or star ratings at the least. Some may argue that some games might suffer and not sell because of a poor or low rating. I would argue that the game maker then needs to make a better game.

In a way, it’s almost censorship by not having reviews or ratings for the eShop games. With reviews available, users can warn other potential buyers of game issues as well as offering praise about the game. As free-speech faces more and more restriction, criticisms are often now frowned upon. As for the gaming community, things are not different. I can understand why Nintendo may have opted out of game reviews. However, in the end, it does nobody any good and serves as a disservice to the community.

Conclusion

For some folks having the Nintendo Switch is literally a game-changer with its ability to game at home or on-the-go on the same platform. As a top gaming console, there are a lot of things Nintendo did right with the Switch. However, the eShop’s lack of reviews is not one of them. The lack of game ratings can make it difficult to judge how good a game really is. However, even though the eshop may lack game ratings, fun is definitely something the Nintendo Switch doesn’t lack.

How do you feel about the lack of ratings or reviews on Nintendo’s eShop? Leave your comments down below.

Use Raspberry Pi To Learn Python Programming

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Close-up shot of a raspberry pi board

There’re plenty of ways to learn Python programming, however, one of the best ways is by using a Raspberry Pi. Python is one of the most popular and easy to learn programming languages used in today’s industry. The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost single-board computer that’s about the size of a credit card. When you bring these two together, it’s almost impossible to not have fun as you learn about using Python with your Raspberry Pi.

Nearly every industry uses Python in some way. Data science, gaming, biology, astronomy, image processing, medicine, and many other industries rely on Python. Both A.I. and machine learning are areas experiencing explosive growth, especially in our current post-pandemic world. The demand for Python has only grown and shows no signs of slowing, which adds the ability to get a decent job to the incentives list.

The Ease Of Learning Python with Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi (close-up shot)
Raspberry Pi (close-up shot)

Of course, you can use any computer to learn Python. Some might even argue they already have a perfectly good computer. While this may be true, there are some reasons why the Raspberry Pi is the perfect computer for learning Python.

Why Raspberry Pi

Cost

For anyone not familiar with the tiny computer, its purpose is to help give people affordable access to computers. The current model Raspberry Pi 4 starts at $30 and goes up from there depending on the configuration. Granted you don’t need a Raspberry Pi, any computer with internet access will work fine to learn Python. However, having a Raspberry Pi does make the whole learning experience a bit easier and more fun.

Python Written OS

One big plus about the Raspberry Pi is that it uses Python as the main language for the operating system. That means as you learn Python you’ll be able to incorporate the Pi into just about anything you can think of. Everything from retro gaming to home security can be handled by the mighty little computer with a little bit of Python.

Computer Customization

There are a number of benefits to learning Python when you have an OS that’s written in Python. Once you’re comfortable with the Python language you can create your own modules or customize your computer. You can even go as far as to tweak programs or even monetize your created modules.

Programming Environment

Typically on you have to download Python and configure your computer in order to start programming with the language. For seasoned programmers, this might seem like a trivial task. For beginners, however, it can be intimidating when having to configure a program to work on your computer. The Raspberry Pi however already has everything installed and configured for you. You can start Python coding right out of the box. No downloading programs or worrying about how to set things up.

Conclusion

True, you don’t need a Raspberry Pi to learn Python. However, knowing how fun and easy it is to use, why wouldn’t you want to use one?

If you’re looking to learn Python or just become a better Python programmer, using the Raspberry Pi is the perfect way to accomplish that. Raspberry Pi provides a solid foundation for learning, and you may find that learning Python with it is just as rewarding as it is fun.

Making Music With The Artiphon Orba

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image of artiphon orba

Embrace the future of making music by adding the Orba by Artiphon to your music production arsenal. As technology evolves so do the ideas and the innovation that goes into creating music. One such mention-worthy musical innovation is the Artiphon Orba.

21st Century Music Using The Artiphon Orba

There are thousands of MIDI instruments available to use, however, few are as cool as the ones offered by Artiphon. For those of you not familiar with the brand Artiphon, they design smart and innovative electronic instruments.

Artiphon previously released the award-winning INSTRUMENT 1 with huge success a few years ago on Kickstarter. Following up on that success, they’ve released Orba, described as an instrument for your hands.

What Is Orba

The Orba is a small hand-held synth, looper, and MIDI controller. Some have even described its size and shape as resembling a halved grapefruit. The face of the Orba has eight touchpads that produce sounds and a menu button located in the center. Designed as a hand instrument, there are a few different ways to interact with the Orba when making music. The Orba incorporates simple yet intuitive gestures like tapping, waving, shaking, as well as other actions to create songs.

In addition, the Orba also has a couple of built-in speakers. It also features an onboard synthesizer so you can enjoy immediate playback of your loops and songs. Not to mention with the Orba, you have the capability to control MIDI devices via Bluetooth or by using a USB cable.

One of the keys to the success behind the Orba is its ability for anyone to easily make music. The Orba can produce a wide range of bass, drums, lead, and chord sounds. By using different gestures and over-dubbing, your imagination is the only limit to the music you’re able to create.

How To Make Music With Orba

When it comes to creating a loop or song using Orba, it’s pretty straight-forward. Each of the eight pads makes a sound corresponding to the selected sound categories drums, bass, chords, or lead. Depending on the selected category and the way you interact with Orba you’ll hear different effects on the sound.

There are 10 different gestures that you can do to produce a different effect on a sound. These gestures are tapping, pressing, spinning, moving, tilting, shaking, sliding, vibrating, bumping, and radiating. By combining different gestures you’re able to create an unlimited number of sounds for loops or songs.

With Orba, you play all the notes of a single instrument and have the ability to change octaves and BPM. You can also easily switch between the four instrument categories to create hundreds of melodies and effects.

It’s definitely worth noting that Orba also has a mobile and desktop app available. By using the app you have the ability to change the style of the instruments that are on the device.

Orba As A MIDI Controller

In addition to using Orba as a standalone looper and synth, you can also control other MIDI devices. Via Bluetooth or USB, Orba works with most MIDI production software like Ableton and GarageBand for example.

Depending on which production application you choose will determine whether Orba works as a DAW or thru a companion app. In any case, the options and capability to work as a MIDI controller are there.

The First Impression Using Orba

Artiphon Orba

Having purchased and received my own Artiphon Orba, after an exceptionally long 3 months wait I might add, I find that it’s definitely fun to use. The design is pretty sleek and overall very intuitive. Its small size allows it to fit inside a pocket and makes it perfect for making music on the go. Once powered on it’s super easy to get started making loops, patterns, or songs.

Aside from the eight pads generating sounds, they also have alternative functions. While pressing the center menu button you can then press one of the pads to change the instrument category. In addition to the four instrument category pads, the remaining four pads control BPM, octave, recording, and play and pause.

Once unpackaged I downloaded the mobile and desktop apps to explore all the other sounds that are available. Although the number of different kits is somewhat limited, there are more than enough sounds available to get you going. Although I have GarageBand I have only used Orba as a looper and haven’t tried it as a MIDI controller…..yet.

While the app is certainly a great addition to Orba there are definitely a few areas that could stand improvement. At the top of my list of improvements that I’d like to see would be the ability to export the loops and songs that you create. The ability to create on the fly and export or save locally is an improvement that could extend its usability. The other improvement would simply be adding more kits to choose from on the app.

The Verdict On Artiphon Orba

Orba, the second instrument to be released by Artiphon, is a lot of fun and does not disappoint. Regardless if your a beginner, hobbyist, or professional, the ease of use and capabilities are quite unique and wide-ranging.

While I still have yet to test its MIDI control abilities, I can only assume they work just as well as the looper and synth. And even though there could be more kits to choose from, that only means an already great device still has room for improvement.

Even despite the inability to truly save songs or export them, the Orba shows us the potential of combining music and tech in a portable package. Just picking Orba up for 5 minutes might turn into an hour of your time because of how addictive Orba is. Although there’s room for improvement, for me the Artiphon Orba is definitely worth the cost and wait.