Razer Blade 15, after 2 years.

I have had my Razer Blade 15 since launch, I bought it soon after the original Blade 15 was released. It has a GTX 1070 in it, and is still running, at least.

What do I mean by that? Well, Razer’s poor quality control has made sure that I’ve experienced a host of issues with this laptop, even as I state that it’s probably the best laptop out there to get. Technology, eh? See, there’s no better laptop I can recommend that looks better, feels better, or performs better in a single package than the Razer Blade, but it comes with problems.

I’ve experienced constant Blue Screens (fixed by finding an obscure NVidia update package and installing that – which most people don’t have the time for), the mic and camera both no longer work, and the inside pin on the charging port broke off, making it charge 30% slower. At least it’s still running, like I said, I haven’t had to ship it off to Razer. However, my warranty long expired, so I won’t get any help in that regard if it breaks at this point. I’m actually writing this review from the blade itself, and it’s a joy, but I’m waiting for the next issue.

Hopefully the keyboard doesn’t break next…

Waiting for issues to happen is definitely not something you want to ever engage in when using a computer, especially one purchased for about $2500 (got a student discount at the time), and it’s kinda unacceptable given Razer’s history. Google Razer Blade 15 issues and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Regardless, there really isn’t another option for me if I want the speed, looks, and overall experience Razer delivers in their package. I will try to squeeze as much life out of this laptop as possible, but it’s definitely playing the Silicon lottery. One thing I would recommend is to NEVER buy the laptops from Razer.com. Always use a US retailer that is well known such as Best Buy or Microsoft, and buy the extended warranty. It will be worth it.

Here are some alternatives to the Razer Blade 15 if you don’t have as stringent standards on looks as I do:

(no affiliate links)

I’ll update in another couple of months/years when/if this thing dies or continues trucking along. 🙂


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Looking at the market week ahead.

The trading year is almost over, and most traders are looking ahead to the upcoming year. What does the rest of December hold? Here are some of the economical thoughts and the current stock watchlist of the companies or ETFs I’m keeping my eye on.

The Bloomberg Economic Dashboard reports the Global PMI every month or so, and it’s higher than last month. A number above 50 signals expansion. Before it was hovering around 48-49, and now it’s 50.3. The U.S. employment has risen 266,000 jobs, which is no small feat.

It seems to quell rising fears of an economic recession happening sooner rather than later.

The unemployment rate declined slightly again to match its previous low at around 3.6%.

This means it should be safe to invest in the last weeks of December, as it was a strong month.

Here’s our current watchlist:

RS
CPRT
GRMN
APD

We’re taking a look this week at stocks that are near their 52 week highs and have strong fundamental underlying metrics. Here are the charts and data on these stocks:

Right click on any of the above and click “View image” to see it full sized.


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Market Analysis | 11/25 – 11/29

Economic performances today. -Chartmill.com

This week opened with most major indexes reaching new all time highs off the hope of a China-US Phase 1 deal being made in the near future. SPY has continued it’s steady climb above 300.

Daily chart for SPY over the past few months.

This week will likely be more of the same we’ve seen over the past few weeks, tentative bullish positions pushing everything slowly higher. The December season is not going to be a bearish month, so it should be safe to still take Bull positions on most well-performing stocks for the rest of 2019.

Watchlist for this week:

TAL, RTN, V, EDU, FB, SNAP, SRC, STOR, HDB, BRO.

Highlighted Trades

TAL: LONG @ 44.5 SL:  43.4 
FB: LONG @ 204.5 SL: 189.73 
SNAP: LONG @ 15.5 SL: 14.75

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How to customize your Windows 10 tiles.

Windows is better (and worse) in many ways than it ever has before. One such apparent lack of basic functionality is the ability to customize your start menu tiles. No, I’m not talking about that rinky-dinky disgustingly simple right click menu, I mean something like this:

Of course I have a Windows update pending…

Which looks a lot better than something like this:

 

How, you may ask? Through something called the VisualElementsManifest.xml. It’s a feature of Windows that you can actually use an .XML file to instruct it how to display the tiles. There are only a few options, but the one we’re most interested in is the option to replace the icon with our own picture.

You can thus add one next to each application’s .exe that you’d like to replace the icon for, and then update the shortcut’s modified date (quick way to do so is cutting + pasting it out and in of the windows start menu icons folder), and bam!

Name the .xml file the exact same as the .exe.

Example Firefox visualelementsmanifest:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Application xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <VisualElements BackgroundColor="#000000" ShowNameOnSquare150x150Logo="off" ForegroundText="dark" Wide150x300Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Wide150x310Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Square300x300Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Square310x310Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Wide300x150Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Wide310x150Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Square150x150Logo="firefox-customtile.png" Square70x70Logo="firefox-customtile.png"/>
</Application>

 

But how do you get stuff like Groove Music UWP apps working?

Make another .exe that launches Groove, then put the VisualElementsManifest.xml next to that.

Sound complicated?

Good thing I’ve already done all of these steps for you.

All you have to do is download these two things (three if you want to launch steam games from the start menu):

  1. My tiny AppLauncher (open source; it doesn’t need to be – it’s like 3 lines)
  2. CustomNativeTile (will generate the .xml files for you, allow you to pick shortcuts from a UI, and auto-updates the start menu tiles after picking the picture)

And if you want to launch steam games from the start menu:

3. SteamLauncher (same idea as the AppLauncher, just for steam)

 

I’m gonna assume you have a rudimentary knowledge of computers to get this stuff working.

Cheers!


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Which Broker to use: TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood vs WeBull

With the recent trend of most brokers going commission free, more and more opportunities are starting to open up the those just starting out in the financials world. However, the vast array of choices can be overwhelming. Which out of the available brokerages/applications should you get?

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is the go-to for most new investors, as they recently went commission free on all equities, with small charges on options. They include a large learning/education library, and a ton of really good resources for getting started.

Robinhood

The classic. This is the original no commission, completely fee-free investing app that shook the world when they first launched in 2013. I still use them for options investing, as they don’t charge any fees for any options contracts you wish to purchase. However, the UI is not very advanced, and I highly recommend using something like TradingView.com with it.

WeBull

WeBull is one of my favorites. It has a clean UI, pretty advanced charting tools for what it is, and I haven’t experienced any problems with it. It has someresources for beginners, and encourages exploration and learning in its own way.

 

I use a combination of all of the above for my trading, personally, and I highly recommend you have fun exploring the different brokerages. Charles Schawb is one I’ve also heard a lot about, although I haven’t personally used it. I visited their website a few times and looked at their tools and it just failed to entice me into downloading it or signing up, so I haven’t. I personally use a combination WeBull and TradingView.com as my favorites so far, paired with RobinHood for the options contracts. In that way, I avoid paying any fees.

TradingView.com is also something you should add to your repertoire simply because of the ability to code your own indicators and use them for free, which is wildly useful. I myself use them all the time, and strongly recommend that you check them out if you’re the slightest bit interested in chart patterns or stock ideas.

I was about to hit the publish button and then I remembered ChartMill, so check that out too. They provide in depth analysis about equities on demand. They have some confusing pricing structures, so be careful, but I seem to be able to use it for free as much as I want, so test it out.


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