BvS in 4DX

I went to see Batman vs Superman on Sunday. In 4DX. I took Kevin and his girlfriend to Gurnee Mills, and I had a few hours to kill, so I went to see a movie. I went in having no idea what the heck a “4DX” movie was, I was just curious.

As it turned out, it was a blast…Quite literally! The price is even a kick in the nuts, as it turns out! I reluctantly sprung for the $19 ticket, saying to myself “Oh, this BETTER be good…” I skipped the snacks to make up the difference and just bought a small drink. Turns out I should have skipped that too–since I ended up WEARING half of it! If you’ve been to Six Flags, you have more than likely experienced the Space Shuttle simulation–with the moving, shaking seats and the huge screen and immersive experience. THAT is what 4DX is like, except it lasts for the entire length of the movie–two and a half hours! This includes shaking and rumbling seats, surround sound AND lighting–during lightning and explosions the entire theater flashes, wind, and even misting–yes, when it rains, or someone on-screen gets splashed, YOU do too!

Holding onto my drink and trying to find just the right “safe” time to take a sip, was an ordeal in itself! At several points I even had to grab onto my cell phone and glasses which were in the cup holder attached to the seat, because I thought they might fly out of the holder and onto the floor! Explosions were the most jarring, including gunshots, giving me quite the kick at times. You certainly can’t relax and fall asleep in one of THESE movies, that’s for sure!

A few times, I even got a bit queasy when the camera, often floating above the action, made the seat “float” through the air very slowly, and the accompanying breeze added to the effect perfectly, so it really felt like I was floating along with the camera. Very cool effect–enough to make me just a teeny bit ill.

Since I have a bad eye, I’m guessing much of the 3D impact was lost on me, but I could tell they tried hard, and the movie looked great with the glasses on, though, as always with me watching 3D, my eyes eventually began to water a few times.

When it was all over, it felt like I had spent an entire three hours on a Six Flags ride! I was actually exhausted. I thought the movie itself was good, but because it was my first time in a 4DX theater, all of the effects were a bit overwhelming and distracted me from focusing on the movie itself at several key times. I guess I’m going to have to go see it again–maybe next time at a standard theater so I can follow the story.

Oh, and when you see this movie in 4DX, they say the effects are actually enhanced for the “team” you are supporting. Sunday was “Team Batman”, so the effects from Batman were enhanced more than for Superman. Good thing too, because…well…I’d better stop right here before I say too much… Go see it for yourself.  Before someone spoils it for you.

My Samsung Galaxy S6 Debacle

The battery died on my Galaxy S6 last night, and I tried pretty much everything possible to get it working properly again, including soft reset, hard reset, factory recovery, etc. etc. etc., but nothing worked.  It seemed to “reboot” to the “SAMSUNG” screen most times instead of the “GALAXY S6” logo screen that normally appears from a power-off state. In fact, it REFUSED to even power off! Holding down the power button for a few seconds–which normally brings up the menu to power off of restart the phone–simply made it reboot back to the “SAMSUNG” screen (which is not a normal reboot, as previosuly mentioned).  Doing things in some apps – like trying to export my OnTrack readings and e-mail them to my wife, which I do daily, caused the same reboot, as well as just trying to open the built-in “Themes” function in Settings.

About a week ago I upgraded to Android Marshmallow, and everything worked great with it up until now. I’m not sure exactly what triggered this to happen except for my battery going dead while I was trying to use my phone. Pretty much everything is backed up to the cloud–all my apps, photos, etc., and the rest I have backed up manually (my OnTrack test results, SMS backup, and screenshots of all of my home screens, folders, and all of my app drawer icons–just to remind me of what was installed, for future reference). So my phone is primed to be wiped, but I can’t even get it to do THAT at this point.

I tried all of the instructions I found online for “How to hard reset the Galaxy S6”, but no luck. I even set the security settings to wipe the phone after 25 failed attempts at entering a PIN! I didn’t realize, however, that this little function was so time-consuming! What it does is let you enter the wrong PIN about 5 times, then reminds you about the wipe after 25 attempts and gives you a 5-minute delay before allowing you to try again. After trying again, maybe a few times, it reminds you again and increases the delay to 10 minutes. It repeats this process all the way up to 25 attempts, until it only allows 1 attempt before increasing the wait time between attempts. Finally, after the final attempt (and a whopping 1 HOUR delay), it tried to wipe the phone, showing “Deleting all data…” on the screen for several seconds, then did it’s reboot to the “SAMSUNG” logo, and returned to the login screen. When I tried to login once more with a bad PIN, it then showed “-1 attempts left – try again in 60 minutes” and the “Deleting all data…” message stayed on-screen as it once again attempted to wipe the phone. This time, however, the “Deleting all data…” message stayed on-screen forever. After waiting about 30 minutes with nothing changing, I pressed the power button and it went to the “SAMSUNG” startup screen again, rebooting.

After all that, I got desperate. With the only other option being to bring my phone into my carrier’s store, and having them first go through all of the same time-consuming troubleshooting steps I already went through, I started thinking about those buttons. For a warm boot you press 3 buttons. For a hard reset you press 3 buttons, but use the opposite volume button… and neither of those work for me. So what if I press ALL the buttons at once? There are a total of 4 on the phone: Volume Up, Volume Down, Power, and Home. So I did it and held them for about 10 seconds. Sure enough, my phone rebooted…CORRECTLY! Showing the GALAXY S6 screen instead of the SAMSUNG screen it kept rebooting to every other time! It just rebooted back to the login this time, but at least I could now consistently get it to properly reboot. So with this in mind, I did the 4-button reboot, and then immediately switched to the 3-finger combination used for a normal “hard reset”, figuring it would think it’s coming up from a power-off state and actually reset. After a couple failed attempts, the third time was a charm and I was able to switch buttons quick enough at the moment the GALAXY S6 screen appeared, holding the 3 buttons down, then the ANDROID logo appeared! SUCCESS! The next part was pretty amusing too… The little Android robot proceeded to fall over on it’s side, dead, with a big red circle with an X in it on he Android! I laughed pretty hard at that, which took away a lot of my frustration with this whole mess.

After a short time, the recovery menu appeared and I knew how to navigate this one–by using the VOL UP and VOL DOWN to select menu items and the POWER button to select them. With those I chose Factory Reset, and after it worked for several minutes I was FINALLY back to a brand-new phone! Everything is setup once again and working properly now. I know it’s good to refresh your phone every 6 months to a year, but this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be done. It was, however, good practice, and maybe this posting will even help someone else who might end up in the same situation. I have no idea what actually caused the issue or what became corrupted, I only know that my battery went dead quickly. If I’m not near a power source when it gets low though, I tend to push it right to the edge, so maybe that’s not such a good idea. It starts warning me at 15% battery, which is a sign to start charging or shut it down–SAFELY. Since I didn’t do that, it could have been in the middle of writing something critical when the power ran out. All I know is that it wasn’t a “CLEAN” shutdown, it was instantly dead. When I last glanced at the battery, it was at 1%.