Started Watching Gundam Seed Destiny

Posted on April 26th, 2006 in Uncategorized by andrija

So, the time has finally come. To watch the sequel for my all time favourite anime, Gundam Seed. I’ve seen 7 episodes so far. My impressions: entertaining, top notch looking, good ending song, so-so opening song. But the story so far just doesn’t energize me as much as the original did, and there are lots of parallels. True, I wasn’t that much into original until later, but there isn’t that feeling inside of me while watching it. Of course, I might be unfairly giving the original high score due to the fact it started the avalanche of anime for me – first love cannot be forgotten, as they say.

However, I will say that Lacus Clyne is much cuter in anime than her figurines imply! And only in episode 7 do we get to see Haro – while Tori’s debut is in episode 6. Neither serve any purpose here so far, unlike in the original.

Indeed, AsRock Dual-Sata2 wants identical sticks of RAM

Posted on April 24th, 2006 in Hardware & Software by andrija

If you want to use all 4 memory slots in your AsRock Dual-Sata2 motherboard, you must use identical sticks – I mean same manufacturer, same model, same everything!  Otherwise you’ll be running them at half speed – which technically is the same as not working.  Crazy, crazy stuff.  I paid a fair bit of cash to find that out, so I hope you won’t have to.

By the way, concerning this issue, RTFM! (Read the f*$@% manual). Right there on page 8 it says to use identical modules in all 4 slots. Well, ok, so they do tell us. But then what the hell is the point of having 4 slots? It means you shouldn’t expect to expand your memory in the future as it will be very difficult to find identical memory modules unless you get them all at the same time. I don’t recall hearing about this issue in other motherboards, at least not recently. It might be interesting to find out if this limitation only applies to this motherboard.

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Finished Oblivion

Posted on April 23rd, 2006 in Video Games by andrija

I somehow managed to finish Oblivion (meaning, finished the main quest). The game started in fun, but ended in frustration. If you want to play it, do yourself a favour and read a character creation guide to figure out how to level up properly, and pay attention to fatigue and enemy health during combat. I wasn’t aware of how big of a factor is former and how to find out latter, but once I did it helped quite a bit in reducing my frustration (or at least how often I had to reload the game).

My final opinion is that lack of polish (the game crashes occasionally and even corrupts your savegame sometimes!), lack of performance (the game stutters and frame rates are low even on really fast machines, and especially when it is needed the most – during multi-enemy battles) and inconsistent and unbalanced monster/player level up system have robbed this game of its greatness. I’d rate it as “good”, 3.5 out of 5.

Asrock Dual-Sata2 doesn’t work with 4 sticks of RAM?!

Posted on April 23rd, 2006 in Hardware & Software by andrija

So, an Asrock Dual-Sata2 motherboard doesn’t actually work with 4 sticks of RAM! Or rather, it only works if those sticks are all identical. I found it the hard way. Well, that’s what you get for trying to save money. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, “the lesson is: never try!”. Indeed, I already spent money twice trying to save it, only to have both attemps fail (though it was my fault the first time).

Basically, I have 2 sticks of 512MB OCZ VX Gold, and I wanted to add two more 512MB sticks to get total of 2G of memory. What I wanted to do is replace 512MB sticks with two 1G sticks, which would let me keep all my memory timings tight. But I wanted to save money and decided to live with 2T – it only causes 3% or so of performance loss in real-life applications, they say. So I got two G.Skill 512MB sticks. Unfortunately, the board would not boot at all, not even to bios splash screen. After a few failed boots, it would automatically load bios defaults and then it would boot all the way to Windows where it would continue working. Unfortunately, with memory running at 100MHz! I lost half of my memory bandwidth, dropping from 4499/4470 to 2239/2241!! The loss is even bigger if you consider that at 1T I would get 5426/5366 (these are all Sisoft Sandra memory bandwidth benchmarks). This happens if you turn on the “memory flexibility” option in bios, which is the default, and without which it won’t even boot.

After trying just about everything – changing all available memory settings in bios, raising DRAM voltage, shuffling sticks, forcing timing change with A64 tweaker (in case it was bios, not hardware holding it back) – I had to admit defeat. But my friend is running the same board with those same G.Skill sticks – 4 of them – and his machine seems to work fine! So do some other people in some forums I visited. I’ll have to investigate more, just to confirm that this is what it is (meaning, I’m not the only one). Even if it’s just my board that’s bad, it won’t help me much as the warranty is probably long expired by now.

…or not?

Posted on April 21st, 2006 in Video Games by andrija

So I reinstalled Oblivion and continued to play it. So sue me. All I said still stands. The reason I continued is the same one as always (this certainly isn’t the first time I did something like that) – I just can’t stand to leave things unfinished. Well, that is not true either. It’s only when you talk about games or anime that I can’t stand not to finish, even if I don’t like them.

I finished a few easy quests that didn’t need any combat. I really don’t have much of the main quest left to finish (I’m at 40+ hours) so let’s just get it over with. The final rating of the game will probably be 3.5 out of 5, and between 4-4.5 if you read the walkthrough beforehand. The game requires it – not really the walkthough, but the play guide for sure.

Giving up on Oblivion

Posted on April 21st, 2006 in Video Games by andrija

I started writing a long post and – of course – I managed to accidentally press the X button and close the window. There goes everything I typed. How appropriate. Just like after trying and finally succeeding to defeat a whole bunch of enemies without anyone dying – after 7 tries! – and then trying to save the game, I got it to crash and create a corrupted savegame.

I will update this later, and probably use an editor to type posts. Screw these text boxes in web browsers, it’s just way too easy to accidentally do something like move off the page, close the browser or whatnot. Oh wait, there is a save button. Still, I have the habit of saving after editing every sentence, which comes from using 8-bit computers in 1980’s. But I don’t have the same habit when typing in some text box in a browser. Hm.

Anyhow, the lack of balance and lack of realism where it really counts – when realism is being hammered into your head everywhere you look – took away all the fun of playing Oblivion. I can’t see why it’s getting so rave reviews. Perhaps people keep forgetting how crappy the framerates are or – more likely – they put up a review after playing a dozen hours or so. Well, guess what. The game is fun the first dozen hours or so! Then it goes sharply downhill.

I mean, have you played a game which punishes you for leveling up? In 20 years of gaming, I can only name one or two, say Radiata Stories. I was about to say Star Ocean 3, but that one simply suffers from lack of balancing; it’s not that you’re punished for leveling up, it’s that you’re expected to be playing a certain way at certain points of the game, which may not be true at all depending on how you decided to level up.

In what now seems a tradition of western RPG’s – and perhaps it’s the reason of their demise in recent years! – the game seems to provide you endless freedom, but in reality you really have to play it in certain way if you want to have any reasonable chance of finishing it without tearing your hair out. A few available character creation guides mention it – but don’t ponder on it. Well, if someone tells you that you have to know what you’re doing when you’re selecting your character or you will regret it many hours into the game (i.e. have to restart from scratch!), yet the game doesn’t actually provide any real useful info in that regard, and furthermore gives every impression – explicit, no less! – that you can play any way you want – then something is really wrong somewhere. Something is even more wrong if people are willing to brush this off as a minor issue. I am really starting to hate that Greg Kasavin guy who reviews on Gamespot, as he turns more into a fanboy than a reviewer whose views actually mean anything. I mean in the review of another game he laments that the new, easy difficulty has been added, making the game more accessible. Perhaps because it devalues his achievement of finishing it? Mister, you job is to review games, if you want to brag about finishing them then become a pro player or something. What readers want to know is how good the game is, not how cool you’ll be if you’re able to finish it. I mean, come on! Sure, on a specialized fanboy website, not on what is just about the only big review site left on the web (since other ones show up in review index, I cannot believe they are not at the very least affiliated, it’s business after all, and you wouldn’t be pointing your customers to other businesses, unless you like Miracle on 42nd Street).

Games are supposed to be fun, but these games seem to cater to a particular group of people that likes to consider themselves cool and elevated above the masses because they use numerous spreadsheets and number crunching and literally hundreds of combinations of skills, spells and items to figure out how to play the game. Should I need to know all that and/or read a walkthrough before playing the game so that I know how to create a character? Sure, if you want to play something custom, I can understand that. But if the game provides a template character and that one will not work out in reality, then it’s a major problem. About as major as it gets, short of crashing every few minites (which Oblivion sometimes comes close to).

The same was the case with Baldur Gate, in particular the Throne of Baal add-on for the second game. It was impossible to finish for anyone who was not an expert in D&D. Shouldn’t you market the game as such then? For D&D fans only? Not for general gaming public? And make sure you let it known in the review? God forbid! Because probably, you’re not cool enough to play and uderstand the game if you’re not the member of the club, so we say the game is super good and you suck. Well, sure; on your group’s review site maybe. Not on a major website for general public! Come on, and stop sucking up to developers and publishers, you’re not children any more, and you’re running a business. Provide information and ratings relevant to general gaming public, not to a very select group.

Fat chance for it though.

An RPG by its nature is not a game where you should be pressing the quickload button very often. In a Square Enix game, you die maybe 10 times during the 40-80 hours that you will put into it. Ok, so it’s not as action oriented as this one. Regardless, having to save after every killed enemy (actually, quite often several times during a battle with the same enemy, meaning every time you believe you did some major damage) and having to load on average eery few minutes (unless you’re just wandering through a safe town street) – this is not a hallmark of an RPG, it’s a hallmark of a modern first-person shooter. Even in a shooter it’s only the norm because the framerates are so bad nowdays and the enemies are cheating so badly that it becomes mandatory to play it this way. Unless you have a SLI gaming machine or are a god of gaming, the enemies in modern games are very challenging, yet you’re expected to dispose of them as if they were predictable beasts of yesteryear. Circle strafing doesn’t get you very far these days, it’s all about pure luck – you get killed the second you pop up from the cover, which you must do sooner or later, no? If somehow the enemy misses, then you pray that your bullet will hit and you won’t before you duck for cover again. And repeat this many times for a single enemy, since of course enemy bullets are about 10 times as powerful as your own.

Well, Oblivion suffers from all that. All enemies have the similar, cheating attack pattern of reading your moves as you’re pressing the keys to perform the action – rather than observing and reaction to the action itself – and using it to avoid your attacks, in particular power attacks. They can perform their own attacks very fast, not giving you any chance to avoid. Well, you can try, if you have a weapon with very long reach and keep using backwards power attack (only once you’re expert with the weapon, skill of 75 or more!). That will make a battle last 5 minutes, if you’re super skilled. Most likely, the enemy will get you once in a while at which point they’ll in most cases knock you down – regardless of your block skill, perhaps it is some other stupid skill that governs the knocback, but then what the hell is the block skill for anyway?

Oh, yes, the enemy will knock you down. A goblin that weighs less than your huge 64-pound two-handed sword will attack you, who have a very high stat of 100 encumberance that governs the skill of block, he will attack you with a dagger. Yeah, you read it right, a dagger. And one out of three times, which is like once every two seconds – he will be knocking you, bigger than him and wearing 100 pounds of armor, he will knock you down on the ground with his dagger attack. Even if you’re blocking. Oh yes. Think I’m joking? Wish I were! It’s not only goblins, it’s mountain cats and lions too. Ok, they are heavy and they can jump, but when you’re level 20 and blocking with a big shield, not to mention slashing at them with a huge sword, as long as they are? You gotta be joking me!

Oh and of course, when they attack, you will recoil. Not every time. But just about.

And when you attack, they will only recoil if you have expert skills, are doing backwards power attack, and maybe one in 7-8 times. And of course, even if you’re just a friggin’ split second late – or maybe even if you’re not late – their own attacks always have priority over yours. They can and will interrupt your attacks. You will never, ever, ever manage to interrupt theirs. If they are starting to attack, if you’re already moving, you might be lucky to slide out of the reach. Of course their reach is longer than yours when using the same weapon, or at least it seems so. This is the same problem that made Quake 4 on hard difficulty so, well, difficult (for the record, I’m playing Oblivion on normal difficulty). The combat there was down to pure luck, meaning “I hope to poke out and put a bullet in you before you single-shot kill me, and then duck back to cover and repeat 20 times before you die”. That is no fun and no challenge, just plain frustration. Utter stupidity on the account of game developers and designers. In this case it’s a pretty big deal as they ruined a game that would otherwise be awesome. I’m sorry but I have better things to do in my life than restart a game 40 hours into it or face losing my savegames because I have to use save/load more than the idiot designers have foreseen it. When it comes to a game that is so difficult that requires constant save/load, then any otherwise “minor” instability or performance deficiency becomes a major pain.

And believe me you’ll be playing a lot to get to skill level 75+ with your weapon, or anything else. About 30 hours to be exact. Which is fair enough, except that you’ll be very sorry when you do, instead of being happy. Because seemingly for each level you gain, your enemy gains two. Unless you know the tricks – meaning have read the walkthrough or did a lot of trial and error – on how and what to skill up so that you can attribute up faster. The game won’t tell you that. But unlike other games where this know-how will provide you a bonus – perhaps a big bonus, but certainly not a penalty, in this game leveling up is something you might want to actually avoid whenever you can.

Finished Outcast, started Oblivion

Posted on April 18th, 2006 in Video Games by andrija

Last week I finally got around to playing Outcast.  I got it back in 1999, and started playing it back then, but the learning curve was too intimidating and I gave it up.  I guess the sole reason for replaying it was the symphonic soundtract – I’m a sucker for those.  It was sitting on my shelf since then but this time I decided to try to play it.  Using walkthrough, of course – I didn’t want to waste too much time trying to figure out what the hell is going on in that game on my own.  The world is just too big and there are just too many enemies to simply go and play without some kind of a plan.  Luckily, with the walkthrough and with some methodical questing, it wasn’t a difficult game, though it did take a fair bit of time to finish.

And a few days later, to congratulate myself on getting a new job, I bought a new video card – GeForce 7600GT, and a new monitor Viewsonic VP930b (though I already have a 20″ LCD; I want to dual screen it).  And of course, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.  I loved Morrowind so I figured I’ll want to play this one with a lot of eye candy.  And sure enough, the game is as addictive as they come.  I won’t say too much right now as I’m sure plenty is being said about it already.  But I do have to say that it is becoming less fun to play as time passes, because the enemies tend to get more and more difficult, without any clear means of getting a leg up on them.  That is because supposedly the level of the enemies you face is dynamically determined based on your own level.  There are several major problems with this, the first one is philosophical, namely lack of feeling of accomplishment.  What is the purpose of levelling up, if the enemies are no easier to defeat (same enemies,
at the very least)?  More importantly, just how does the game determine what is the appropriate level for an enemy?  From what I saw, it definitely erred on the tough side.  The jump in enemy difficulty in many quests was simly staggering, especially since the enemies were essentially the same as the ones you faced before without too much trouble.  So if you can’t level up, can you at least buy a new equipment?  Well, not really.  The best equipment is not bought but found, it seems, and that doesn’t happen very often.  I probably played for 20 hours and found only one weapon and armor upgrade!  The money is very hard to come by, and is ridiculously easy to spend.  For example, the training system is next to useless because the amount of money required is so high that you’d spend hundreds of hard earned gold to raise a skill just one level – and we’re talking only skills in the apprentice range, which aren’t all that strong anyway.  To put it into perspective, you’ll be playing for many hours to earn those few hundreds, and not only that, but your skills will rise several times during those hours, much more than just a single point increase you’ll have to pay for!  Then what the hell is it for?  And besides, what are the ways to get money anyway?  Doing quests for fighter’s guild does pay, but 200 gold which you typically get is but a drop in the bucket.  I also never found any useful armor or weapon in shops (and even if I did, it is priced in multithousand range meaning it’s – again – useless).  So what the hell am I supposed to do?  Unfortunately, from being fun the game is turning into a tedious exercise in save and load.  Probably because I’m not playing it exactly the way that the designers envisioned it to be played.  Which makes no sense at all in a game like Oblivion, where the whole point is that you can play it any way you want!  If I can’t level up to be able to defeat the enemies, then they better provide some kind of a friggin’ guide in the game itself on how to proceed (and of course they won’t, because you’re supposed to play it any way you want).  I just hope I’ll be able to find some more items around, because the game will become unplayable pretty soon.

So unfortunately, yet another issue of having to discover the secrets of game designers or read walkthroughs.  I haven’t used walkthroughs yet, and I hope I won’t really have to.  But I probably will.

The shortest I’ve ever played a game

Posted on April 6th, 2006 in Video Games by andrija

I was cleaning up my PC yesterday and while doing that I decided to start playing some really old games I got years ago but for some reason didn’t play.  The one I decided to do first was Independence War: Edge of Chaos.  It’s an old space sim.

Now, space sim games are one of my favourite genres.  Unfortunately, this genre is all but dead.  I haven’t played one since Freelancer and that was in 2003.  But the genre was dead already at that time.

I went through the intro sequence, played the “tutorial” mission, if you can call it that, and then finally after about an hour, I got to actually start the game proper.  Which is to say, I was given a guided tour of the system I was in.  I left my base, speeded up to the first waypoint, received a bit of radio chatter and then received a message that went something like “surrender your ship or die”.  My ship’s AI said “oh, soonoer than I expected, but don’t worry, this ship can take them”.  As I was reaching for buttons on the joystick to steer, speed and prepare to find the enemy and fire, I was “treated” to what I thought was a cutscene.  A ship was shown in the center of screen and it blew into pieces.  Wow, I thought, the ship really did take care of them, and on its own.  After all, it’s been only a few seconds.

Alas, that was my ship!  It was me who got destroyed.

What the? – I thought.  Oh well, I must’ve run into something.  So I decided to load and retry.  It only takes about a minute and half to get to that scene.

Next time I believe I managed to live for 10-20 seconds.  The following time I was even luckier at about 30 seconds.  The final two times I tried it, however, I died within 5 seconds again.

No, I am not kidding.  I died in literally less than 5 seconds several times.  I’m guessing I was blown to bits by missiles. 

Now, I don’t even have energy to yell out a rant.  I mean, seriously, what kind of CRAP is this?  It doesn’t even deserve a rant.  This is the worst, crappiest junk of a gameplay I’ve ever seen.  I’m sorry, but there’s nothing, but nothing I can do in 5 seconds to avoid a salvo of missiles at point blank range.  I was thinking of using flares but I have no idea how to activate them, and God forbid you can actually remap, or forget remap, just see what key mappings are.  I can’t find my manual and the game didn’t teach me that in tutorials.  I doubt flares would help anyway.

In fact, I believe I was firing flares at the enemy instead of lasers, those 2 times I survived for 20-30 seconds.  I mean, I did manage to get them in my sights, but instead of quick laser beams – that it would fire before the dogfight started – the ship would fire some kind of slow ball thingies.  Either flares or some kind of missiles.  They weren’t hitting anything anyway.  Now, I have never EVER seen a space sim where the joystick button 1, primary fire, doesn’t mean “fire” at any point while in the cockpit.  I can only guess that by selecting the nearest enemy it also switched the controls in some way, making the ship fire something other than lasers.  How and why?  Who knows?

What’s worse, according to a “walkthrough” I found on the web, the AI of your ship is supposed to use this mission as the dogfight tutorial.  I think that time when I managed to survive 30 seconds, he did say a sentence or two.

Now, did I just maybe end up in the worst possible spot when the attack was triggered?  I don’t know because at that point the game is not telling you to go anywhere, but even then the game needs to be set up so you can see who your opponents are.  Instead you get a cutscene “give up your ship or die”, during which of course you cannot see anything or control your ship, and after the cutscene the unseen enemy pounds you to death in 5 seconds with missiles.

I don’t think this kind of stuff ever happened to me in any of many space sims I played.  I was attacked by swarms of ships firing missiles but never the very second the mission starts and without any kind of forewarning.  Even near the end of the game.  And this, this was the very first real mission in this game.

I am without words.  I didn’t even pound on my keyboard.  This is just pointless.  The worst gameplay I’ve ever seen.  Particle Systems, the company that made the game, was later acquired by another company.  I can only hope that by today the person responsible for this crap is washing dishes in a poor neighbourhood somewhere.  I only wish the stupid payola critics that gave the game high marks would join them.

5 seconds.  Primary fire doesn’t really fire.  Just unbelievable.

Finished Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood

Posted on April 3rd, 2006 in Video Games by andrija

Well, I finished another game, this time on my PC.  I played the original game on my Xbox so this was a good chance to compare them.  I guess controls worked fine on PC, using all three mouse buttons in combination with keyboard.  The result was a game that was easy to control, which is a relief.  The only problem was the occasional incorrectly marked location for your squad to take cover at.  Those controls were a bit finicky but it wasn’t a major problem.  Graphics were very nice and even on my GeForce 6600GT, at 1600×1200, they seemed snappy enough.  It wasn’t super smooth, or even just smooth, but it worked out ok, with occasional major drops in framerate which overall made only a minor impact on gameplay.  It can never be smooth on a 16ms LCD monitor anyway.

The bigger problem with this game was the gameplay itself.  Yet another game that managed to frustrate me.  Luckily, at least it had a few helpful features such as the ability to heal the squad and yourself when loading a checkpoint (if you died 3 times without progressing) as well as reviving any squad members that died when they shouldn’t have.  Without it, the game would’ve turned into yet another totally frustrating experience.  With it, it was “merely” frustrating.  The main reason for frustration is the lack of sufficient number of well-placed savepoints.  Often, there wouldn’t be one after either very difficult or very long sequence, forcing you to redo it all when you unexpectedly die – sometimes from a single shot.  And because in many ways the game isn’t realistic – come on, taking several tanks at once and having to defeat infantry at the same time in order to “liberate” panzerfausts from them – that’s just nuts.  But never mind that, how about having to take out a tank with panzerfausts which are in a quite far away crate – and then of course being eligible to die by a single shot and having to replay for 10 minutes or more to get to the same point?  Can’t any of your teammates help by carrying some extra ‘fausts?  No way you’d be running a few hundred meters back and forth, in order to fire 3-5 ‘fausts necessary to take the tank down. 

And then the issue of the game forcing you to take a certain path through the level.  Which makes many level trial-and-error.  Meaning, die many times until you find out exactly how did the level designer envision it to flow.  That’s just crazy.  Or rather, artificially prolongs the game.  Thank God they decided to at least add the heal feature as I mentioned before.  And I rarely ran out of bullets, because I’m pretty good at using short bursts.  And why are german guns so much more precise?  Supposedly supperior M1 Garand is next to useless because it’s impossible to line a shot with it.  Just where the hell am I supposed to aim with it?  Only the machine gun ends up being a useful ally weapon.  Oh well.  I’m done with it anyway, so I can move on to next one.  But I’m not sure what’s going to be the next game.  Maybe Serious Sam 2…

More Wireless Trouble

Posted on April 3rd, 2006 in Hardware & Software by andrija

If you recall, I had a lot of problems with my network about a month and a half ago.  Unfortunately, they didn’t really go away after that.  Well, they did work for a while, and then my laptop’s hard drive died!  I mentioned in the weblog that I considered doing reimaging.  Well, now I had to.

After completing reimaging, and reinstalling latest Centrino drivers from Intel, I eventually ran into major problems again.  Connection would drop frequently, and so would the router.  I was starting to get really pissed off as I wasn’t able to watch even a single episode of any anime when I get in bed (before going to sleep I often watch an episode or two on my laptop in bed).  Basically, there was no stability whatsoever, and often the network would drop every 10 minutes or so – and bringing it back would not always be trivial.

This was starting to really piss me off.  So I first decided to drop the WPA2 and switch to WEP just to test out if it’ll help.  It did – it was much more stable and didn’t reboot any longer.  But that’s no solution – WEP is almost as “good” as having the network unprotected.

So I decided to do something more radical.  If you recall, I used my Airport Express through its Ethernet port, meaning in wired mode only.  Now, I decided to disable wireless on my router completely and simply use the Airport Express as the wireless access point.  That actually worked!  Well, maybe I shouldn’t be so excited – it is supposed to work, after all.  However, it is getting so difficult to get any technology to just “work” these days that such a simple fact really is exciting.

Anyhow, not only AE worked well, but it allowed me to set it up in WPA2 mode!  If you recall, it wasn’t willing to act as the client to the D-Link 624C router
in WPA2 mode.  But it works well with Centrino laptop.  What does this mean?  Well, that D-Link 624C is nowhere near ready to be used in WPA2 mode
(the firmware was beta after all).  Also, it is not ready to be used even in WPA mode with newer firmwares.  Or newer Centrino drivers.  It seems if you want to use this router with a Centrino laptop – and that would be most of them – you should stick to super-old drivers and old firmware (2.42 was it?).  It will be reasonably stable.  Anything newer with either drivers or firmware or both – and you’re better off using wires to connect your laptop least you risk breaking it in half when pounding on it in frustration.

Even now the network isn’t all that stable.  Connectivity to Airport Express drops every few hours, though it seems to reconnect on its own in about half a minute.  Actually, it really isn’t very stable at all, but at least the recovery is much faster and doesn’t require doing anything, well, other than retrying your application.  In case of watching a video, it means closing and reopening the player.  So it’s still not good enough.  Perhaps WPA2 is too much, or my area is overcrowded with networks (which is true).

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