Pretty soon, that classic Xbox console gathering dust in your closet will be able to join you at the pub. The Microsoft Xbox turned 20 some weeks ago. And while many companies have come and gone in the home console market, Microsoft has proven to have plenty of staying power.
When Microsoft first entered the home video game console market, it was considered a bold, but high-risk move. Microsoft certainly had the resources and clout to succeed, but many big companies had entered the video game console market only to be pushed out.
When Microsoft launched the Xbox console, they didn’t have the massive IP library enjoyed by Nintendo. They also lacked the established customer base and third-party support that Sony secured with the original Playstation console (launched 1995).
The Xbox, however, brought plenty of computing power, equipped with twice as much ram and a processor roughly twice as powerful as the Playstation 2. Nintendo’s hardware lagged even further behind. Microsoft also invested a lot of money developing exclusive games for the Xbox, such as the mega-popular Halo series.
The Xbox ushered in the era of online console gaming with Xbox Live. Back twenty-some years ago, if you wanted to play with friends, that typically meant getting everyone in front of the same TV. With Xbox Live, you could play with friends across the country.
The original Xbox sold more than 24 million units, outpacing the 155 million Playstation 2 units sold. Microsoft enjoyed more success with the Xbox’s successor, the Xbox 360, which sold 84 million units to the Playstation 3’s 87 million.
The console wars rage to this day. Over the last few years, the Nintendo Switch has dominated sales across the globe. That said, the newer Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X and S consoles are fighting hard for market share.
How to be a responsible hiker
Hiking has become an increasingly popular summer activity. However, the influx of inexperienced hikers on popular trails has led to various problems. Here are a few tips on how to be a considerate hiker.
Bring back all your garbage, including apple cores and other biodegradable materials. Also, make sure to stay on marked trails. If you stray off to create a shortcut or go around a puddle, you could trample fragile plants. You should also avoid picking up sand, flowers, rocks, and other parts of nature. What’s more, don’t disturb or feed wild animals.
Most hikers want to enjoy a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Shouting or listening to loud music, for example, is rude and inappropriate. However, a friendly “hello” or a smile is always appreciated. Additionally, don’t stop in the middle of a trail. You should also let fast walkers go around you and prioritize those climbing if you’re descending. Moreover, share the beautiful views by not spending too long taking pictures at scenic outlooks.
Be prepared and careful
If you’re not well prepared or don’t know your limits, you could put yourself in danger. Therefore, bring plenty of food and water, even on short walks. You could be outdoors much longer than anticipated if you get injured. You should also bring the right equipment like a good pair of shoes, a first aid kit, and a whistle. Finally, choose a trail that matches your abilities and respect all trail signs and instructions.
One last, important piece of advice: don’t risk your life for a selfie.
Use warm colors in your decor
Do you want to repaint or decorate a room or two in your home? In 2022, warm colors are all the rage. Here are some tips to help you choose the right color and achieve the desired results.
Balance warm shades with cool tones
Combine warm colors with cool elements to create a sense of balance. For example, yellow or orange walls go perfectly with a polished concrete floor or wrought iron furniture.
Use them in the appropriate places
Yellow is a particularly stimulating color that has been shown to improve concentration and productivity. Therefore, it’s ideal for your home office or the bedroom. Moreover, red has a restorative, soothing effect, while orange evokes friendliness and creativity.
Think about the mood you want
Do you want to create an intimate or energizing space? Answering this question will help you determine the intensity of the colors to choose. Canary and mustard yellow, for example, evoke two very different moods.
Consider the effect of lighting
Both natural and artificial lighting can impact color. Before you start painting, make sure to try the colors in your space. Apply a few samples to the wall to see how your lighting affects the finished result.
Do you need help creating the perfect decor? Consider consulting an interior designer.
When to prune your trees and shrubs
Although trees and shrubs can grow very well without intervention, occasional pruning helps promote optimal health. Here’s what you need to know.
Shrubs like rhododendrons and lilacs bloom from last year’s stems, whereas others, like roses and hydrangeas, bloom from new growth. It’s best to prune shrubs that flower from old wood immediately after blooming. However, shrubs that bloom on new growth should be trimmed in the spring.
In general, shrubs and trees go dormant in the spring before their buds open. This is the best time for pruning because the plants heal faster. Late fall is also appropriate. However, pruning in the winter should be avoided.
Furthermore, mid-summer is ideal for pruning trees that produce a lot of sap in the spring, like maple, birch, and willow.
Lastly, pruning large trees and fruit trees should be left to the experts. For the best results, contact a professional tree pruner in your area.
How to choose the right cycling accessories
Whether you’re new to biking or a seasoned rider, investing in the right accessories will make your time in the saddle more enjoyable. Here are a few tips for choosing the right cycling gear.
Every cyclist needs a well-selected helmet. Don’t hesitate to try on several models to find the perfect fit. The helmet you choose should be comfortable, easy to adjust, and stay in place when you make sudden head movements. You should also select a helmet that’s suited to the type of cycling you do. For instance, road helmets don’t have a visor and are sleeker than mountain biking helmets. If you enjoy varied biking activities, a hybrid helmet may be best.
If you’re an avid cyclist, invest in proper clothing to significantly improve your comfort and enjoyment. Moisture-wicking socks and fabrics can help keep you cool and dry on hot summer days. Cycling jerseys often have practical back pockets for carrying small items like your keys and phone.
The right pair of cycling shorts can make a big difference on long rides. Choose a pair of shorts made from a comfortable material like chamois or nylon spandex. Make sure the shorts have as few seams as possible to reduce the risk of chafing. The thigh band should also remain in place without cutting off blood circulation. Although bib shorts take some pressure off your abdomen, they’re not very practical for women. It’s up to you to decide what you like best.
Bags and panniers
There are many different cycling bags to choose from to serve you on a long ride. A seat bag is good to store small items like your wallet, a repair kit, and snacks. However, a handlebar bag makes it easy to access things like a camera or map. If you need to carry camping gear or a change of clothes, a pannier attached to your bike’s luggage rack is ideal. Invest in a waterproof model or saddlebag covers to keep your belongings dry.
If you need personalized advice, speak with the sales staff at your local bike shop.
Bring your office to the backyard
Do you work from home? Whether you want to escape distractions or enjoy some fresh air, moving your office outside could boost creativity and productivity.
Depending on your needs and the available space, you can create an open office by installing an overhang on your deck to protect you from the weather and the sun’s powerful rays. This option is ideal for summer. However, it may not work when making calls in the middle of a rainstorm. Therefore, you may want to build a complete room, similar to a converted shed, which can be used year-round.
Things to remember
Above all, your workspace must be functional to ensure you’re as productive as you usually are in a traditional office setting. You must also have access to electricity and a stable internet connection. You may also need to consider investing in an air conditioning, ventilation, or heating unit.
If a backyard office appeals to you, work with local businesses and contractors to make it happen.
4 benefits of hiring experts to maintain your lawn
If you don’t have the time or energy to cut your grass or trim your shrubs, you may want to consider hiring a lawn maintenance company. Here are four advantages to hiring professionals to keep your yard tidy.
1. They have the right equipment. If you hire a pro, you don’t need to buy or rent expensive pieces of machinery like a tractor, mower, hedge trimmer, fertilizer spreader, and more. You don’t have to lose time and money on maintenance either.
2. They use effective products. Professional lawn companies use high-quality, specialized fertilizers, pest treatments, and weed control solutions to keep your lawn lush, green, and healthy.
3. They know precisely what your lawn needs. Depending on the condition of your yard and the time of year, you can count on the professionals to dethatch, aerate or fertilize your lawn to keep it looking its best.
4. They get the job done fast. Lawn maintenance experts are committed to building customer loyalty. Therefore, they’ll do everything they can to meet or exceed your expectations.
You have everything to gain by doing business with pros! Contact a lawn maintenance company in your area to learn about its many services.