I Got a Dreamcast

When the Sega Dreamcast first came out this side of the Pacific in late 1999, I thought about getting one. But I was in school at the time so in the end I decided not to “waste” the little money I had. (Besides, I had just spent close to $2,000 on an Apple PowerBook — forgot the model name or number.) In all the ensuing years, as I picked up the PS2, the GameCube, the PS3, the Wii, the Wii U, the PS4, and more, I always had a yearning for my own Dreamcast. The fact that it is Sega’s last console had only fanned the flame of desire in the gamer of me.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago I decided to buy a Dreamcast. I saw a second-handed one for sale at a local retro video game store for about $50. I waited to see if I could get a good used one for cheaper on Amazon.com or eBay, but turns out the $50 price tag at my local store was excellent (not to mention the store guarantees all the retro ware they sell), given it came with an original controller (albeit used as well) and AV and power cables, whereas a lot of DCs for sale on eBay were the console only, without any accessories, not even the power cord! And the bids were going too high.

So yesterday I went into the store and bought my own Dreamcast! I came straight home from the store and set it up with my Toshiba 32″ HDTV from ca. 2011. I just used the composite RCA jacks, and the Dreamcast worked fine! I’d also bought an off-road racing game and now I was living my 15-year-old dream! I then went to Amazon.com and ordered myself both Shenmue and Shenmue II, the latter the Japanese version since Sega never released a North American version of the sequel, which are the No. 1 must-play games for the Dreamcast. Once they arrive, I’ll be in Gaming Heaven!

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Finally, PS Vita Removes Spyware from Google

I love my PS Vita (PlayStation Vita). I have three of them, including the slim model (PCH-2000). But one thing that had irked me from the beginning was Vita’s inclusion of Google spyware (Maps app and Google location services) in the system software. This in particular prevented me from using the Near app (Sony’s version of Nintendo’s successful StreetPass feature), because I refused (and still refuse) to be spied on and tracked by Google. I do not want to be “Scroogled.”

So I was really happy to hear that Vita’s system update 3.50, released March 26, 2015, finally removed the spyware components from Google from the system. The Maps app is no more, and Google apparently is no longer providing location services. Vita owners are no longer enslaved by Google if they want to use location-related features. I, finally, ran Near for the very first time, and I plan on using it regularly from now on.

Kudos to Sony for removing Google spyware from its nice handheld.