Day to Day

Bypassing 2K Launcher in Steam for Civilization VI

The 2K launcher broke down for my friend and I today and we are unable to run my Civilization VI game from Steam. This is so annoying. Why do they have to package in a launcher for Steam, it is just an extra and unnecessary in starting the game. Thankfully, Reddit has the answer but theirs is based on the older Steam version. Here’s what we had done to resolve the issue by skipping the launcher and running the client straight from Steam.

  1. In your Steam Library list, right-click on Civilization VI
  2. From the pull down menu, select Properties
  3. Under General, enter the game exe path in the Launch Options field
Launch Options

The default path should be the following for DX11 – “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI.exe” %command%

The default path should be the following for DX12 – “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI_DX12.exe” %command%

If the path does not work, try replacing Program File (x86) with Games. Your path will look something like this – “C:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI_DX12.exe” %command%

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/civ/comments/mlompp/psa_how_to_bypass_the_launcher_in_steam/

Please game companies, stop making dumb and useless game launchers that just crash or go nuts. We can’t even play the games properly because of that.

Day to Day, Reviews

New Monitor Unboxing – Acer K234Y

If you had read my last post, my Dell monitor of 6 years has been laid to rest and I got a replacement for it, a necessity considering the current WFH (Work from Home) arrangement. I ended up choosing the Acer K234Y instead of its Dell competitor based on price, delivery speed and from past purchase experience.

Acer K234Y as shown from Acer Singapore website

This is the second Acer monitor I had bought from Shopee for the past 2 years. I was initially tempted to get another Dell as a replacement due to its dual HDMI port feature, but given the limited real estate of my table, it is doubtful that it will be put to good use. Without the dual HDMI port, and all factors compared, I think I rather spend $60 less instead (i am a cheap *******). I also like the how the monitor stand provides more space to place the little items I have as compared to the traditional round/rectangle base. But this is just my personal preference.

The monitor was promptly delivered by a Ninja (Ninja Van) within 2 working days. As shown below, the box is in pretty good condition when I received it, thought it looks a tad puny. It doesn’t feel like a 24″. I guess looks can be deceiving.

Delivered product via reliable Ninja

Immediately after unboxing, I am treated to a full display of all available items, less the display. These are nicely packed in the box. You can see that there is no power adapter as it is inbuilt into the monitor. This allows for a cleaner look and feel and better cable management.

What you first see after unboxing

What you have in the box are the following:

  • 23.8″ IPS LED display
  • 3 pin power cord
  • HDMI cable
  • Monitor stand (x2 parts)
  • Instruction and warranty manual
What’s in the box

There is one thing I wanted to point out. Kudos to Acer for taking care of even the finest detail. I liked the way they provided this tool-less option for assembling the monitor stand. This really ease installation and there wasn’t a need to find a screw driver. You just have to flip the metal piece (as shown below) and hand screw the monitor stand assembly. Very nice. I don’t see this in the monitors I had assembled so far. Am totally and pleasantly surprised.

Good design from Acer, taking care of even the smallest detail

The back of the monitor provide the option of a VGA port, a HDMI port and the power cord connector. I wonder if anyone still uses VGA these days. Does this mean that DVI ports are gone for good?

Available ports at the back of the monitor

Finally, here’s the finished result. Apologies for the blurred picture as my hands went jelly with anticipation of using it. It has a matt finish so I can no longer see my own reflection as compared to the previous one but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes I spook myself when I see my own reflection in the dark.

Ta-da !

With a screen size of 23.8″ and estimated price slightly under $200, I thought this is a decent buy for WFH usage. It has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 (Full HD) @ 75Hz, not the usual 60Hz. Typical aspect ratio of 16:0 and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. It has a response time of 1ms VRB and did I mention it has an IPS LED display? For more technical specifications, you can read it up via Acer product page here.

I had been using it for about a week and I am quite happy with it. If you are interested in getting one for yourself, you can check out the product from Acer official store in Shopee. IMHO, it is a good buy if you are not looking for anything fanciful. You can also check out their other monitor series to find one that suits your needs. If you do not have a Shopee account yet, sign up now and use my referral code PLAIN252 to get S$10.00 off your first purchase!

On a side note here, if you are looking to use your monitor for both a desktop computer and a laptop or a laptop and a gaming console, you can consider the Dell S2421HN 23.8″ IPS LED monitor. It has a dual HDMI port that allows you to switch between devices. This was one of the feature that caught my eye in my replacement monitor search.

Day to Day

Goodbye My Trusty Dell Monitor, 2015-2021

My trusty Dell computer monitor of about 6 years finally failed me. It happened out of the blue one fine Saturday morning when it started to have weird horizontal lines appearing with a bold purple line across. At first, I thought it was some temporary software malfunction which a simple reboot would settle it. After a few restarts and finally testing it on a different laptop, it was enough proof that it has reached its end of life and for an eternal rest.

What are those weird lines !?

It seems like yesterday when I bought it from Best Denki at City Square Mall at a discount to replace my aging Philips 19″ LCD monitor. It’s the first widescreen LED IPS I got. Back then, an IPS LED display is the go to choice and this model is unique in that it has a glossy screen instead of the usual matt found in other brands. And in those days, Dell has the reputation for having the best display in the market. I also like the sleek modern borderless design of the display and its inbuilt speaker (though it is a bit weak). The functionality and looks were so good that a friend of mine got the same model for himself a year later.

Dell S2316H 23″ IPS LED Monitor

If you are interested in knowing the specifications for this monitor, you can check it out from Display Specifications website here. It has moved with me from my old to current residence and accompanied me thru all those nights of internet surfing, gaming and movies. I guess the recent years of WFH (Working from Home) due to the Covid-19 situation has hastened its demise. It is really hard to function efficiently without an external monitor now. I’m currently using the 13″ laptop screen and it caused quite a bit of stress on my eyes and back after prolonged usage at work.

I have shortlisted two replacement options – Dell S2421HN vs Acer K234Y. Both are 23.8″ IPS LED monitors with some slight difference in performance and port options. The price difference between them is about SGD$60 and I have greater faith in Acer being able to deliver earlier. Both are decent monitors and it looks like a close fight after factoring all the pros and cons. Nevertheless, with great sadness, I have to bid the old Dell monitor goodbye. It was one of the best display I had owned and used so far.

Dear Dell monitor, thank you for your services all these years.


Need a new monitor or other gadgets? 11.11 is just round the corner. Use my referral code PLAIN252 to get S$10.00 off your first purchase! Download Shopee now and enjoy hot deals at the best prices!

Day to Day, Reviews

GP Recyko+ U211 USB Battery Charger

GP Recyko USB Battery Charger

I got a new battery charger to replace the aging Eneloop, which had been with me for almost a decade – I reckoned. The old one was still working fine, it was just that I got curious on how a USB battery charger would perform. At a low price of under $10 from Lazada, why not give it a try? It even comes with 2 free AAA batteries!

Features

This charger provides a portable and light weight charging solution for AA and AAA NiMH batteries. Typically it takes about 8 hours to fully charge 2 AA/AAA batteries and it has an auto power cut off safety feature to prevent overcharging.

  • USB compatible
  • Charge 2 AA or AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Auto power cut off
  • LED indicator (Flashing Green when Charging, Green when Completed)
  • Uses Micro USB plug

Specifications

Input Rating: DC 5.0V/1.0A
Output Rating: Per channel charging:
+ 2xAA – DC2.8V 300mA average
+ 2xAAA – DC2.8V 120mA average

What’s in the Box

  • 1x USB Charger
  • 1x USB Cable (USB to microUSB)
  • 2x AAA 800mAh GP NiMH rechargeable batteries

Official specifications from GP Batteries International

Experience So Far …

It has a smaller footprint than my old Eneloop and is much lighter too. I like it that it is USB compatible so I can have the option to either charge it via the wall outlet with an USB power adaptor (not included), or via a power bank or via a computer. Charging time of 8 hours is similar to my old charger, which I am fine with it. The newer model of the GP USB Battery Charger boost of a faster charging time so take note of that. In comparison with the old Eneloop, the charger does not feel warm to touch after 8 hours, a pleasant surprise.

Similar model of my aging Eneloop charger as a reference

Looks like I will be replacing my Eneloop with this moving forward. In the meantime, I have ordered another 2 AAA batteries from GP. I would still prefer Eneloop if they have affordable USB battery charger models, but at this point in time, looks like GP is the winner.