Another year is over and we now look forward to a fresh start in 2017. As we prepare our resolutions or intentions or what have you, let’s reflect back with a 2016 year in review. By the way, there will be NO politics or political hot topics/agendas in this post.
I hate to start on a somber note but I would rather get the depressing stuff out of the way first. We lost some amazing celebrity icons this year. One of our favorite TV dads, Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains”), and our favorite TV mom, Florence Henderson (“The Brady Bunch”) both passed away this year. We lost our faithful Shepard on the Serenity, Ron Glass (“Firefly”). Some of the biggest icons in sports history, American history, and geek canon also passed away. These people include John Glenn, Nancy Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman (“Snape”), and David Bowie. Star Wars and Star Trek both suffered tragic losses when our beloved Kenny Baker, known eternally as “R2-D2”, and Anton Yelchin, our modern day “Chekov” passed away.
The hardest loss the Star Wars community suffered happened while writing this post. Our most beloved Princess and General, Carrie Fisher, passed away at 60 after suffering a major heart attack. I am beside myself after losing yet another one of my favorite actors. I send my thoughts and prayers to her family. MTFBWY, Princess Leia!
Thank you for enriching our lives with your gifts and Rest In Peace.
Ok, enough sad talk. Let’s move on to the brighter things of 2016.
Gaming in 2016
2016 was a big year in gaming, especially if you are a fan of Blizzard games. Overwatch was their newest IP released this past spring and it is hugely successful. They have already launched new heroes and more maps and introduced the Overwatch League, thus taking eSports to a new level. As much as I was advocating for Overwatch, I did not get to play the game as much as I had hoped because of external factors that lead me right up to Legion.
A few months after the launch of Overwatch, Blizzard then launched World of Warcraft’s 6th expansion in August titled Legion. The expansion brought back the Burning Legion, taking us to the Broken Isles and bringing a new hero class, the Demon Hunter. This year I’ve covered leveling to 110, which is the new level cap, and I covered the changes Blizzard made to professions. The success of Legion and Overwatch has made 2016 a great year for Blizzard and fans of Blizzard games.
One of the strangest phenomenons in gaming was the Pokemon Go fad. I know that Pokemon has a huge following but I never would have guessed the insanity that would ensue after Pokemon Go launched. It was so popular stories were showing up on major news networks as well as local news. I admit that I tried Pokemon Go but it just wasn’t for me.
This year I began a new endeavor with home projects. All home owners have all the normal home projects (i.e. remodeling, landscaping, major repairs, etc). However, if you are something of a techie, home projects take on additional meanings. The inaugural Biggs Labs post outlines what my projects were for the year.
I did not complete all my projects this year, but I did complete about half. We have wired about half of the house with CAT-6 and centrally located the router with a 24-port switch. The in-home network was the backbone of the projects for the year. Once the network was complete and fully functional I started on my project to cut the cable and build my own DVR and Netflix. Using FreeNAS, MythTV and Plex I can now record shows from an HD antennae and access my movies from remote locations.
The next project, Home Automation, I have broken down into three phases (thus far). The first phase involved setting up the hub and configuring all the door, window and motion sensors. We also installed a garage door tilt sensor which helps to expand the range of the hub. I detailed the setup in a post. I have much more planned in 2017 to expand my smart home, including additional security features; stay tuned to more Biggs Labs post.