April 1, 2018

Resetting a Lenovo System to Factory State

I spent quite sometime figuring out how to reset a Lenovo S500 desktop to its initial, out of factory state. It was not a smooth experience due to inconsistent product terms and lack of an intuitive process. Most likely, you landed here because your system is having issues and resetting seems to be the last resort after having spent the last few hours trying every online advice and failing. Hence, I hope my experiences might help you shorten your troubleshooting time and avoid the complications I encountered. 

Do note this process is irreversible, you will lose all your data. So backup your important data if your system is still accessible, before starting the process.

The Lenovo S500 that I worked on is a small form factor (SFF) desktop, but I think the process I described below should work in general for Lenovo laptops. Do leave a comment if it works for you!

February 23, 2018

Beginner Tips and Hints to Playing Cities: Skylines

Steam recently offered a free weekend play of Cities: Skylines, so I gladly took up the offer. Long story short, a few nights of sleep deprivation later, I had some thoughts and tips on what to look out for as a new beginner to this game.


Shun Away From Walkthroughs/Guides/FAQs Until You Have A Few Hours Under Your Belt

Seriously, I mean it. Close this tip page and come back after you have tried the game. Cities: Skylines can be overwhelming and everything that you read beforehand will likely be forgotten or not make sense to you before your first game. I suggest getting your hands dirty, have a general feel of what is going on, before reading up on tips and guides to better understand some of the nuances and game play.


Resist The Urge To Restart Or Reload At The Beginning

At the beginning. you are likely going to stumble a lot while discovering the game. The urge to reload or restart is strong but I suggest to let it go, because you are likely going to redo most of your initial base anyway. The game ships with a few mods and unless you enable the all buildings unlocked mod, the game restricts your progression by limiting the starting structures, gradually releasing more upon reaching each population milestone. By the time your base has developed to a certain size and you have unlocked most of the important structures, you are likely going to revisit your initial section and redo the roads or relocate some structures.So there is no point in wasting time reloading/restarting, or redoing your structures early in the game. Speaking of which...


January 7, 2018

Early Map and Dungeons Exploration in Risen Game

I really like Piranha Bytes' Risen game, even though it is a pretty old game from 2009. Many players may not have heard of this game since it launched without much fanfare. I too first found it by chance and was quickly absorbed by the open world gameplay, much like a medieval Grand Theft Auto. 

Unfortunately, due to other commitments, I did not go very far in my first play. Since then, Risen 2 and 3 were released. Even though I have them all in my Steam library, I never had the chance to play the series anymore. Recently, I decided to revisit the first Risen game again and wanted to share some interesting observations from my second play.

Risen is unlike most RPGs, at least for its time, in that it is not very linear. While it is true that you have your usual main and side quests, except for small parts of the world which is locked out by magical barriers, you can actually visit most of the places right from the get go, after waking up on the beach.

The only limitation put in place was tough monsters which blocked access to secret treasures or dungeons, Given your initial outfit of rag tag clothes and probably a stick or broken sword picked up from the beach, you would do better to heed the game tutorials and not venture too far from the guided path until you get to the Bandits' camp or Harbour Town. In fact, given your lousy state of affairs, it is unlikely you can explore many places in the beginning.