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  1. Tips for Firewall Zero Hour: Operation Nightfall, Part Two Now that I’ve laid out the meat and potatoes of the new features available in Operation Nightfall, let’s get to the main ingredients: the operations. One of the main reasons I have given this assignment to myself is because I could not find any information on the internet about how to go about completing these operations. No guides. No videos. No helpful tips. Therefore, I’m going to write up Aftr’s guide to the operations because no one else is doing it, and we are a very small community,,,,,,,so far. Free Operation – Week 1 1.) Eliminate 8 players using any assault rifle – very straight forward. Assault rifles in FZH are: Taylor X-75 (unlocked at level 1), Taylor X-75 CQB (unlocked at level 7), Kruger (unlocked at level 7) Volkov HZ (AK-47, unlocked at level 15), G6-Commando (unlocked at level 30), Reg K8 (unlocked at level 35), JA-300 (unlocked at level 42), & H5 Hornet (unlocked at level 50). Equip any one of these in public contracts and kill 8 players. 2.) Eliminate 8 players using any SMG – again, straight forward. SMG’s in FZH are: ZS (unlocked at level 1), Stalker (unlocked at level 11), Spitfire (unlocked at level 15), Stinger (unlocked at level 20), HZU (unlocked at level 25), XM-R90 (P90, unlocked at level 30), Manta Ray (unlocked at level 45). Equip any one of these in public contracts and kill 8 players. 3.) Eliminate 8 players using any sidearm – this is a very hard operation. Sidearms are separate to equip so there can be no confusion in what weapon you need to use, or which are classified as sidearms unlike the assault rifles and SMG’s. So with that said, let’s go over strategy. I tried running around with just my pistol out and could not get a single kill. Even if you outflank someone and they don’t see you, they will have more than enough time to turn and kill you once you start to shoot (even with headshots). So what I suggest is that you have to be very disciplined to do this on your own. You must hit someone with a burst from your main gun, and then switch to your pistol and finish them off. YOU CAN NOT JUST SHOOT A DOWNED OPPONENT WITH A SIDEARM FOR THIS TO COUNT. You must down them with the pistol and they must be killed. If they are revived, and subsequently killed by a bullet or grenade, it will not count towards your task. If someone else kills them while they are downed, it will count. If you kill them with another gun or grenade, it will count. Shooting around corners is good. Fire on them, retreat back around the corner, switch to a sidearm, come out and finish them off. Higher level players will have access to higher damage sidearms like the DH 44 (level 30) or Thunder (level 50) which will greatly help. Make no mistake, this is not an easy task, and if you look at my screenshot, you will see that I used a hack key in order to bypass this one as well as number 4 because I could just not get it done. 4.) Eliminate 4 players using the knife – if you click in the right thumbstick, look stick, or rear stick on the AIM controller, you will stab with your knife. Although it sounds difficult at first, it is much easier than your third task. The best strategy for completing this task is corners and flanking. Once you start to learn the maps from playing, you can start to hug the outside perimeter of the map. This will give you opportunities to out flank your opponents, especially if your team engages them in firefights. You have to be selective on this. This cannot be something you seek out every match. It just has to be something you are aware of that you need, and should the opportunity appear, you seize it. Going around the enemy, and then coming up behind them, you may find you get the chance to stab them. Hiding in rooms until you you’re your team engage in a firefight with the enemy and then see what direction they are shooting. You can sometimes pop out of a room and stab them. Listen. These players move like a herd of elephants running. You can hide in a room, wait for them to run by, jump out and stab them. Hide in a corner. On a big map with big rooms like Warehouse, Hanger or Containment, you can sometimes hide in a corner and watch them run right by. They are looking for movement, and particularly if you are far from any objective (access point or laptop), they won’t be searching for you. Wait for them to pass, then follow and stab. What is hard is resisting the urge to shoot them as you are pre-programmed to do. You will miss many opportunities at stabs for your overzealousness for a kill. You will miss kills from chasing after knife kills only to have them turn at the last second to see you and shoot. It happens to everyone. The knife is a bit finicky too. You have to be the correct distance, and sometimes it will take two stabs, so be ready. Don’t just stab once and assume he will be dead. Stab, and stab again. Kill the oxygen between the two of you because dead air is better than dead you. Practice on solo play if you must to gauge that distance correctly and see the mistakes you can make when attempting a knife kill. For finishing the Free operation of week 1, you will be awarded the Nightfall trinket. Remember, everyone can earn this trinket. You do not have to own the season pass in order to unlock this cosmetic. Premium Operation – Week 1 1.) Bypass 16 access points – Access points are the first objective you must hit when attacking before you can unlock the laptop. These yellow diamonds show up on your map once you hit a certain checkpoint on the map. If you don’t go in the right direction, or are too far away, they will not show up. Be wary if you have traveled more than a minute and they are not revealed. This means you are heading in the wrong direction and are more likely to run into the enemy team around the laptop. You must be the one decrypt the access point. This task can be done in the Terrorist Hunt mode solo or public contracts match. It is easier to do this alone as you can guarantee you will be the one to decrypt it every match. 2.) Initiate 16 laptop hacks – like the first task, this one can be completed in Terrorist Hunt solo or public contract matches. Again, you must be the one to initiate the laptop hack, not someone on your team. You do not have to be successful in your hack, just start it. 3.) Successfully fulfill 32 contracts – once again, this can be done in Terrorist Hunt solo or in public contract matches. For this, you must win the round and complete the laptop hack. If you simply play multiplayer games, you will eventually complete this task. It is just a matter of playing the game enough times. 4.) Tap on 128 different doors with any weapon – this just entails you bumping into a closed door, with your gun, which makes a “clang” sound and can alert the enemy to your presence/position. The key wording on this task is “different”. You cannot just run into the same door 128 times. It must be different doors each time. New matches are new doors, so if you want to replay Embassy 60 times, hitting the same 3 doors each time, you can do that. This can be completed in Terrorist Hunt solo, or in public matches. It is really just about remembering the task at hand and purposely bumping into doors each time. 5.) Scout 32 enemy players on your wrist tablet as Raha – for this task, you must play public contracts and select Raha as your contractor. Raha’s permanent ability is to detect enemies better on the wrist tablet. For this, you simply must be close enough to enemy players for them to appear on your wrist tablet. Easily done, but it does take quite a few matches as you rarely catch all 4 of them on your tablet. Usually you can get 2 per match, so it will take around 16 matches to finish this task. For finishing the premium operation for week 1, you will unlock the pink jammies, but only if you have purchased the Operation: Nightfall season pass for $10. If you did not purchase the pass, you may earn the bonus crypto and experience for each task, but you cannot earn the pink jammies. Should you purchase the season pass after finishing all the tasks, your progress is saved and the pink jammies will instantly unlock. The pink jammies are unlocked across all contractors, every article of clothing, and every gun. Bonus Operation – Week 1 Once you complete both the free and premium operations, you will decrypt the bonus mission. Only once the operation is decrypted, will progress begin to be tracked towards completing your tasks. In other words, if you got any kills with the Omni face paint before having the bonus operation decrypted, they did not count. You may do these tasks for the bonus experience and crypto, but like the premium operation, you can only unlock the face paint for the completed operation once you have the Ops Pass purchased. 1.) Eliminate 8 players while wearing the Omni face paint – pretty straight forward task. You must purchase the omni face paint for 1500 crypto and wear it as you eliminate other players in public contract mode. Be sure if you switch contractors while attempting this task, that you remember to equip this on the contractor you change to. 2.) Eliminate 8 players while wearing the Kaolin face paint – same as the first task, just a different face paint. Again, you must purchase it for 1500 crypto, and remember to equip it as you kill enemy players. Must be done in public contracts mode. 3.) Eliminate 16 players with headshots, using any assault rifle – refer to the first task of the free operation for which weapons are classified as assault rifles. You must kill with a headshot, so for this, aside from being sure to aim for the head (brought to you by Captain Obvious), you will have an easier time if you select a gun with a high accuracy like the Taylor CQB, K8, or G6. Pairing that with the iceman perk for your contractor which reduces weapon recoil will also help. If you hold down the trigger, remember that the spread of your bullets will open up, and you will find that many times the last bullet to hit your opponent that downs them will be the one that ended up in their chest. Once again, they must be downed with a headshot from an assault rifle and killed. They do not have to be killed while downed with an assault rifle for it to count, but they cannot be revived. If you down them with a headshot and then finish them off with a grenade, it will count. Many times I felt that I had downed an opponent with a headshot only to see that it did not count. When you down an opponent with a headshot, it makes a unique in-game sound as well to let you know you got a headshot. Listen for this, but it’s not completely necessary. Many times opponents are actually helping you when they are behind cover because the only thing you can shoot is their head. Thank you. 4.) Eliminate 32 players using any assault rifle – no different than the first task of the free operation. See that task for which weapons classify as assault rifles. Must be completed in public contracts mode. When you complete the bonus operation for week 1, you will unlock the glow face paint for all contractors.
  2. (from @thedakar Hey, dads! Trying out some new bloggers here on The Good, The Dad, and the Ugly; let us know what you think and if you want to see more posts on games, tips, and reviews! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming - take it away @Aftrthought051 !) Tips for Firewall Zero Hour: Operation Nightfall, Part One With the latest dashboard update to Firewall Zero Hour (FZH), First Contact Entertainment (FCE) has added a lot of new features that many gamers are not aware of, or are bypassing altogether. Have no fear, I am here to help you make sense of the new dashboard and features. Daily Tasks The biggest change you are going to notice is that FCE has changed how challenges are played. Before they were hidden only on the main menu, and they were simply a constant that you could do to gain additional XP and crypto (FZH’s in-game currency). You now you have two ways to earn additional XP and crypto, and the old challenge system has been completely eliminated. The first is from your daily missions. Located in the upper left corner of the dash, you can click on this to display up to three missions. You will acquire one new mission a day and retain three at a time. There is no time limit for you to complete these missions. Most important however is that in the bottom right of the daily mission screen is a “refresh” button. You can click on this button, once a day, to rotate out your oldest mission for a new one (e.g. you are level 5 and you have a daily mission you never completed for kills with a G6. A long range assault rifle which you won’t unlock until you are level 36. You can click the “refresh” button and this mission will get deleted, being replaced on the bottom with a brand new mission). Your oldest mission will be the top most one, and your newest will be the bottom. You cannot choose which mission will be recycled so be sure that the top most mission is one that you cannot complete and want to skip. If not, you will have to wait to skip your hardest mission until it is on the top. So don’t get a new mission and immediately click the “refresh” button as you may accidentally delete a mission you could have completed. Should you have three daily tasks stored up and you finish one, you will find that you immediately get a new daily task. You can then use the refresh button if your new oldest task is impossible and you have not yet used it for that day. Operations Next is the operations tab. This can be found as the fourth tab over from the left on the dashboard. As of the time of writing this article, we are in week four of the operations with a planned twelve week season. Although a new operation is out each week, you have an unlimited time to finish them. A new operation week is unveiled every Tuesday. To finish an operation, you must simply complete the task described. You may have to get so many headshots with a certain weapon or with certain attachments. You may have to complete so many contracts, or find so many intel folders. Each weekly operation has three types: Free, Premium, & Bonus. Each operation generally has four to six tasks to complete in order to finish the entire operation. Once you finish an individual task, you will get a bonus of crypto and experience points. If you complete the entire operation, you will be given a reward that may be a new skin, weapon, or trinket. To get the free operation unlock, you simply must complete the operation. However, in order to get the premium operation reward, you must have purchased the FZH season pass for ten dollars ($10) from the Playstation Store. Without purchasing the season pass, you can still earn the crypto and experience points for each completed task, you just cannot earn the final premium operation reward. You also will not be able to decrypt the final bonus operation. At the start, every free and premium operation is unveiled to the player. You can simultaneously work on the free week one operation while working on the premium week three operation. You cannot work on multiple bonus operations at once. In order to decrypt the bonus operation, you must have completed both the free and premium operation, as well as the previous week’s bonus operation. So for week one, you simply must have the free and premium operations completed. For week two however, you must have week two’s free and premium operation completed, AS WELL AS, week one’s bonus operation. So each week’s previous bonus operation must be completed before moving on to the next week’s. If you complete the operations and then choose to purchase the season pass, rest assured that all your progress is stored and you will immediately get the unlocks you have earned from completing operations such as skins and weapons. Hack keys A bundle of five hack keys may be purchased from the Playstation Store for five dollars ($5), or you may purchase the season pass as well as twenty-five hack keys for thirty dollars ($30). You can only purchase hack keys, and there is no way to earn hack keys in-game. A single hack key will complete an entire operation, not just a single task. When you use a hack key, you will get the crypto currency for each mission you did not previously complete on your own, but you will not get the experience. Some people may prefer to do the tasks they feel they can complete before using a hack key to get the extra experience, and some may feel that they would not want to waste time on tasks they are going to bypass anyway with a hack key. The choice is yours, I am just here to make you aware of the consequences. You will get the reward of a completed operation when you use a hack key. New contractor: Ruby If you choose to purchase the season pass, you will also be awarded with a new contractor, Ruby, and her skill, thief. The thief skill allows you to take crypto currency from deceased enemy players. This skill is permanently assigned to Ruby and may be assigned to another contractor as their elective skill. With thief, you will randomly get an amount of crypto from enemy corpses, and depending on the amount, is how long it will take you to collect the amount. If you stop pushing “X” during collection, your contractor will end the collection process with a partial amount and you cannot go back to loot the corpse again. I have found that one corpse will give you around two hundred fifty crypto, while another will give you around one hundred eighty and they will take very long to acquire. The other two will generally give you a combined one hundred fifty and is very quick to steal from. This skill is best used when you do not have a lot of crypto as you can see that the amounts can quickly add some substance to your dwindling bank account. It is also a skill best used as attacker because if two or more of your team remain alive, you can easily run around to rob corpses while the rest of your team takes care of the laptop hack. This is a valuable skill to acquire all the expensive gear, but it is also a difficult one to remember to do in the heat of battles. It took me many attempts of going into a game with this skill before I remembered to rob the deceased. Be aware that this skill cannot be used in single player games, only public contracts.
  3. Gillette & Toxic Masculinity A Positive Message or an Attack on Men? If you read the news or participate in social media, you have no doubt seen the phrase "toxic masculinity." If you haven't, the concept is simple on the face of it: behaviors and expectations of what a "real man" is that cause or increase likelihood of harm for self and/or others. The is an ad produced by Gillette that has taken the internet and news media by storm in the last two days that attempts to highlight "toxic masculinity." Here's the rub: what the hell does that mean? Why do we even care? Why Dads Should Care Boys or girls, biological, step or adopted, uncle, grandpa or just mentorship-related; we influence children and adults through our interactions and through our value systems. These value systems are held in close connection to our self identification. We define ourselves through our values, and our values should influence our actions. As we hold these values so closely, we tend to try and pass them on to others. If the values have served us well (or more accurately, when we perceive that the values have a positive influence on our lives) we want share our beliefs so others can have our success. What if our values are actually holding us back or causing other harm? That is the reason why we should care about this "toxic masculinity" discussion. It is far too complicated cover all of this in a single post, but lets take a quick look at what is going on in this ad and what we can do; perhaps more importantly - should we do anything? Gillette - The "Mens" Company that Jumped into the Discussion In the last two days, my news feed has been swamped by reports and discussion on this advertisement by Gillette (a company that makes razors and other personal care products for both men and women) which "calls out" the "toxic" behaviors of men. I suggest you watch it for context for the rest of this post. Gillette "Toxic Masculinity" Advertisement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0 Welcome back. How are you feeling? Happy? Sad? Confused? Angry? I felt all these things. It is a complicated and emotional topic. Look at the stats on the video (again this is just the last 2 days): The comments on the video are quite "enlightening" as well. Wade into the comments with care - they are not known for their "depth" but they give a good reading on a commentators emotional state at the time. The initial gut reactions are telling. Large numbers of men feel attacked and respond negatively. Why wouldn't they? The question is: Are the feelings justified? What is masculinity? Hell of a question, isn't it? I will take a stab at, though. Think of belief and action systems that are often held up as "good and virtuous" or as the highest forms of "masculinity": a "classic/old school gentleman," the "chivalrous knight," or the "hardworking father." All of these share common threads - responsibility & bravery among them. Think of the actions and believes these archetypes, the typical example of a thing, tend to have: kindness and consideration to others, forgiveness, mentorship/leadership, resoluteness, protectiveness, and strength in the face of adversity. (Disagree? Feel free to say so in the comments!) Each of these requires one to have both a sense of responsibility to act and bravery in order to live up to these concepts. With this idea of "masculinity" in mind, does the commercial attack those things? Spoiler alert: no. The ad doesn't attack any of these concepts; rather it highlights and encourages these concepts. I am thinking of breaking it down scene by scene but that a bit long for today - let me know if you would be interested in more commentary on this ad. So if the ad was mostly positive, why so much backlash? Where it went Wrong (for me) I can identify nearly every scene, but the one that stood out the most for me was the scene with the two boys 30 seconds into the ad. The narrator says "making the same old excuses" and the video cuts to two young boys "fighting" (more on that in a moment), then the dads standing idly by the grill repeating "boys will be boys" over and over again. The narrator continues, "but something finally changed," and a news caster talks about accusations of sexual assault. It was at this point that I had my negative emotions. The preceding scenes made me sad - bullying, sexual harassment, party culture, the "sitcom dad" attacking the maid, the board room guy using power and authority to silence the woman and "assume" her thoughts - these are situations that I believe represent harmful beliefs and actions. I was on board and supporting the message thus far; there are elements in our culture (and specifically in the culture of men) that are wrong and need to be confronted. Then the "fight scene." I became confused. I fell attacked and my mind went into defensive thoughts. I have two young boys and they do this all the time. Am I a bad parent? The narrator set it up - "making the same old excuses." What excuse am I making for my two sons when they fight? "Boys will be boys." I believe that boys DO have certain tenancies, and whats wrong with that. "Finally something changed," "sexual assault," "sexual harassment," berated me, the vision of my two sons wresting on the ground still in my mind. I became angry, and it clouded my view of the ad completely. Here's why: Attack on a Core Belief The scene, unlike the rest, lacked clarity. We see the two boys, of similar size and age, start to tussle. No context. Just a yell and down they go. From my perspective, I see two "boys being boys." To me, that is a thing - my sons like to wrestle with each other. They love to wrestle with their dad! This sort of play is not negative or "toxic," not any more than baby chimps or lion cubs tussling in nature. It gives an opportunity for my children to play and discover things, learn lessons, and connect with each other. Such play fighting or sport cannot be the entirety of a persons existence, as that would have a negative effect for sure, but in measured amounts, it serves to be a teaching tool; teaching about self, others and the world. A child has a toolbox of skills they can use solve conflict. The younger one is, the far fewer the available tools. One of the earliest tools is physical action. That physical action can take many forms: one could walk away, one could sit still, or one could attack another. The youngest attacks his brother on a regular basis, as the oldest is quite astute in driving the little one to "madness." And generally, I let them fight. Why? It teaches them something. I am not completely laissez faire a la "Lord of the Flies" - I am monitoring my children. I am not stepping in right away though. If I step in EVERY TIME they have a physical confrontation my sons learn one thing: if we fight a parent will stop us. While this seems like a good lesson, but is it? To stop every fight at the earliest sign of conflict prevents them from exploring conflict resolution in a most critical situation - after violence has started. What happens when we apply this to the larger world, where there are no parents to step in at all times? My sons do NOT learn to avoid physical confrontation, the learn to avoid getting caught. They do NOT learn that physical solutions often extract more in cost than in reward, only that violence will make parents become involved. They do NOT learn how to de-escalate violence or violent action, they learn others will de-escalate the situation for them. They might never learn there ARE times when violence is necessary, and that even in those cases, there is a cost. By allowing them to fight (supervised) they are actually developing their ability to make judgments and to reach agreements. They learn (the eldest already knows, as he does it on purpose) that you CAN push someone to violence through non-violence. There is a level of teasing, harassment, or just plain "button pushing" that will make violence justified in the mind of another. That is not the same thing as saying the justice is justified - only that it becomes justified to the other person. That is a VERY important lesson. It re-enforces civility and respect. They also learn that violence has consequences. Not just physically, though physical consequences have occurred; bruises, scrapes, bumps and cuts have all happened. More often than not the consequence is social, not physical. It could be a consequence within their relationship; they are far less likely to participate with one another after a significant fight. Less likely to share both physical possessions and knowledge. They are less likely to be trusted. It causes all sorts of problems. I notice the fight and I remember for the next time they ask me for something and then I remind them that those that fight do not get rewards. All of this helps teach that violence has long term consequences. Justified vs Unjustified Violence I have heard people say " no violence is justified," and I completely disagree. There are times when extreme violence is justified: self defense and the defense of others being the central pillar of that belief. More importantly, there is "unjustified" violence, and I think that was what Gillette was trying to highlight in their advertisement. They just did it poorly - there are time of justified violence and without context it is impossible to determine if this either of the cases. Indiscriminate violence is bad, we can all agree. Some violence might be justifiable - but how do we learn that? Through conflict as a child TEMPERED by the guidance and wisdom of adults. Interaction is key - to never intervene is tantamount to abuse, but some risk must be taken in order to allow experiences to happen. Once those experiences happen, it is our responsibility to provide context beyond the immediate situation so that they can learn to apply the experience to the larger world. Where else can we see justified violence? In sports. In many ways sports are the way in which modern societies find a way to allow physical action to manifest itself in a positive manner. Extreme examples are the martial arts (MMA, Boxing, Karate), less extreme is football, wrestling or rugby, but these are violence, make no mistake about it. What makes these justified vs unjustified violence? Agree upon rules and consent to engage in the activity. That is the lessons we need to teach, and by having "zero tolerance" for all physical violence we take away the ability to have learning experiences. Without these experiences (and the guidance from our role models) we cannot understand the world and how we should interact in it. Gillette Actually Gets it Right - They just did it Wrong. A minute later we see the resolution of the fight - the dad steps in and says "that's not how we treat each other, okay?" Small problem, i can hear the kids giggling. Maybe that's my subconscious hearing what I want to hear, but I don't hear complaints, screams or protest. I hear two kids having fun in a physical way. Two boys being boys. That's what touched the nerve. I won't lie, it took some introspection to fully understand the "simple" feeling of anger at this scene. It takes introspection and self reflection to unpack all of that. Going though the exercise is good and has allowed me to better grasp concepts I am teaching to my children. If Gillette wanted the ad to be a conversation piece, they have succeeded. Overall, the message is positive and one that dads can support. Kindness and consideration to others, forgiveness, mentorship/leadership, resoluteness, protectiveness, and strength in the face of adversity. Each scene in the ad highlights at least one of these concepts as being positive (or conversely, a scene shows that lacking these virtues leads to negative results) and that is a huge takeaway. Finally Thought Is that the only takeaway? The idea that some ways of acting are bad? Hardly. To me there is a much larger message that is getting ignored in this discussion of outrage - positive male role models are critical to the development of strong men. That's for a different post though. Let me know in the comments below what virtues you are teaching your children or mentorees; or let me know if you think the commercial was actually an attack and where it went wrong.
  4. Alright guys- No one has posted about current gaming rig builds in a while (after looking through the last few pages). I'm looking for advice on a pre-built gaming rig. Wife's agreed to get something for me at Christmas, but I will have to work on her with the price range. She's wanting to be around $500... which I suppose I could get something and upgrade it in that range... but I'd kinda like to get something that's capable to run stuff on high settings for a while without upgrades. I'm probably planning on being around $1000 after I throw some of my own money into it. Games I'm playing or interested in that I'd like to see on high or ultra settings: Wargaming titles (WoWS, WoWP, WoT), Armored Warfare, Heliborne, Fallout 76, SW Battlefront games... stuff along that line. Currently running a slap-dash 10 year old HP that I've upgraded here and there, but it's time to get something more capable. So here's my questions from the research I've done so far: 1- AMD Ryzen or I-5/I-7 chips? The only real advantage I've heard about these is that the Pentium chips are better for straight gaming while the Ryzen chips work better for those who want to play and stream 2- Graphics card- So I'm totally oblivious about AMD GPU's..... I pretty much have always run NvidIa stuff. I'm finding a mixed bag of GTX 1050ti 4gb and GTX 1060 3gb cards in my price range. Usually a GTX 1060 will have a lower end CPU like an I-5 or will be running DDR3 instead of DDR4 RAM. 1060's are typically more expensive... but considering the 1050ti has an extra gig, is it better than the 1060? What are the "comparable" AMD GPU's? I've never really looked at AMD cards as WAY back there were problems with Wargaming titles and AMD cards... which I'm sure is fixed by now... but still always kept me interested in Nvidia cards. 3- 8 Gig of DDR4 or 16-32 Gig of DDR3.... Usually a big point on some of the builds I've looked at... DDR3 is stuff gives you a bunch more GB at a cheaper price... but I understand that moving to DDR4 you can do a ton more with a ton less of RAM... Thoughts on this? So to close out- Where are the places you can cut prices on a gaming rig build and where should you pay for the higher end stuff? Is there a balancing point for it all? Anyone want to suggest a good pre-build rig between $500-$1000? All help is appreciated- I know enough to be dangerous but not knowledgeable enough to attempt a build entirely on my own. Thanks for the help in advance. Oh- last thing- I've shopped Amazon, Ebay (new only), HP, Acer, Cyberpower, and a few other websites as I've done my research.
  5. Hey, you! With the shirt that's all wrinkled up and billowing out like a sail in a strong wind! Want a tip on how to look good? Shirt stays, my man. Wanna look sharp? Use shirt stays. Tired of your shirt coming untucked when you sit down? Use shirt stays. Got an interview? Wearing a suit? Wanna look like a million buck? You got it - use shirt stays! Shirt stays are something I take for granted. I learned about them from the retired Marine instructor of my Junior Reserve Officer Training Course (JROTC) in high school and have used them ever since. I joined the military (shirt stays practically a must use) a short while after high school and it wasn't until I was in college at age 25 that I realized - most men don't know what a shirt stay is! These “kids” wear wearing their slacks and button shirts, but looked like they slept in what they were wearing! At first, I chalked it up to young kids not giving a “care” and moved on. It wasn’t until I was doing a panel discussion one day when a fellow male student asked me, "How do you get your shirt to stay ironed even after you sit down?" At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about. My mind digested his inquiry as literal: Silly kid, you can’t iron a shirt you are wearing… Ohhh! The light bulb went off and I realized that because of my shirt stays, every time I stood up, my shirt was instantly pulled down, removing any sign of wrinkles. “Shirt stays,” I say. “Shirt whats?” he replies. I tilt my head slightly to the side the way a dog does when it hears a strange noise. How can he not know what a shirt stay is? I pull up the cloth on the right pant leg to reveal my shirt stay. “This thing,” snapping it to emphasize the device. He shook his head left and right - he had never seen one! And thus began the teaching of the young mind on the gloriousness that is the shirt stay. Why Use Shirt Stays In a word: Professionalism. Looking sharp is universally associated with competence and professionalism. Studies even show that dressing well changes the way you think - you think more abstractly and increases perspective! (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/when-clothing-style-influences-cognitive-style.html#.WTmBucaZNBw) That old adage, “You only have one chance to make a first impression,” is true - and it is becoming more and more important as our lives become faster and faster paced. Shirt stays can also make clothing more comfortable as it helps keep your shirt (and sometimes your socks) in the right place, rather than bunching up and being a nuisance. You don’t have to starch a shirt as much with a shirt stay if you have a reasonable amount on tension, it helps “pull” creases away. Shirt stays also help you with posture and core engagement. No, seriously. If you have your shirt stay balanced, you can tell when you are slouching when standing or when you relax your core and let your stomach “hang out.” Which Type to Purchase There are different styles of stays - single stays, stirrup stays, clasp stays, garter stays, two lead and three lead, cross lead…. Take my advice, if you are going to get only one type of stay, get these: I wore these in the military and I wear them in the office. The stirrup style means I can wear them with any sock, pant or shoe style. If your shirt doesn’t need to be laundered, just slip the stirrup off and hang the shirt. Next time you wear it, slip the stirrup on and button up! The plastic grips on the clasps prevent damage to your shirts and you can adjust the strength of the grip by bending (ever so gently) the clasp piece with a set of plyers. If you are worried about the shirt stay showing when you pant leg rises, you could instead go with these: These will also act as sock garters to keep your socks pulled up snuggly, preventing saggy socks and raw heels. How to Use Shirt Stays To attach the stays, take one shirt stay and set the clasps on the shirt first. On the shirt, clip one clasp about a hands’ width forward of the shirt’s side seam and the other about a hands’ width behind the side seam. The side seam runs from your armpit to the bottom edge of the shirt. Using the ones I recommend above, you should now have a “Y” shape when you let the shirt stay hang down, the tail of the “Y” hanging along the outside edge of your thigh. Repeat attaching the remaining stay on the other side of the shirt. Once attached, pull firmly (not a jerk, but a tug) down on the clasps to make sure they are holding the shirt correctly. If they slip off, you can increase the grip by gently bending the arm as shown above. Now attach the bottom of the stay. With the stirrups, you slip them on your feet like a sock with the band resting in the arch of your foot. If using clasps, attach the clasp to the outside of the sock. Give those a firm tug. If they come off, adjust as needed to get a solid grip. Stand up. The stays should be pulling the shirt down, gathering any excess material toward the outside of your hips while making the front and back look smooth. If you don’t have any of that, maybe you don't have any tension! To set the tension (how hard it tugs the shirt) of the stay you need to for the buckle. On my recommended stays, there is a little metal buckle that grips the stay when flat and releases the stay when you lift it up. Some fancy styles have buttons, others have snap fittings. Move the stay tension buckle up or down until you find the stays are tugging comfortably on the shirt. I wear mine with enough tension that I can feel it lightly in my shoulders - you find what works for you through trial and error. The higher the tension, the “crisper” the shirt will look, but the more “unnatural” the shirt will feel. Also, if you go too high with the tension you risk having the clasps work loose no matter how much you bend the clasp for gripping strength. Too little and you might as well not wear the shirt stays…. Finally, put on your pants! Stand up and check that the stays are working. Bend to your left at the waist, then straighten up. Did the shirt go flat or did it just bunch up? If it bunched up, you need more tension. Sit down, stand up. Did the back of the shirt “retuck” itself? Good, you have it set right. Dad's Secret Fashion Tip So there you have it. The “secret” of sharply dressed professionals everywhere! You can use these on any tucked shirt and I promise you the difference is night and day. Oh, one last thing - if you wear an undershirt (which I highly suggest) tuck the undershirt into your underwear, then your dress shirt over your underwear inside your pants.
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