Author Archives: Neustrašivi Nel

About Neustrašivi Nel

My interests are fantasy, SF, metal, cards and cats.

Why The Force Awakens sucks ass

Unlike What Star Wars has become, I wrote a year ago, I’m gonna focus here just on The Force Awakens abomination just so I can give people a single link making it clear that The Force Awakens truly is a piece of shit – so no reasonable person can deny it – instead of explaining again and again when I’m asked. True, copying the part concerning The Force Awakens from What Star Wars has become should suffice, but that ain’t really a reblogging of an existing post.

Anyway, this is what I wrote in What Star Wars has become:

Similarly, The Force Awakens itself is full of such crap. I’m just going to mention three most obvious pathetic stupidities that people often overlook in the whole movie experience.

There is Starkiller Base. What’s Starkiller Base? It’s a superweapon power by a star. To fire a single shot it needs to suck a star (i.e. its sun) dry and we saw it in the movie being used a few times (i.e. firing multiple shots). So it sucks its sun dry, then a short time afterwards, it sucks the sun dry again and fires another shot. Note that it would take a star bloody aeons at best to replenish itself after being sucked dry. There is also the “mystery of its construction”. How could such a weapon be built in secrecy by an organization that’s pretty much a terrorist cell?! They managed to conceal it’s construction in the Unknown Regions? Mkay… Now I only wonder how such an organization managed to finance the construction of such a superweapon (I guess building the thing wasn’t cheap…) 😮 You see how retarded the concept of Starkiller Base is 🙂

Now, there is a fight between Kylo Ren and Finn. A mighty sith almost bested by a storm trooper at a lightsaber duel?! In other words, a swordsman mage with years of experience of wielding a sword almost bested at a sword fight by a commoner who wielded a sword for the first time… Now tell me that ain’t just idiotic! …and there’s Kylo’s wannabe crossguard lightsaber.

Speaking of stormtroopers, there’s the recruitment of stormtroopers by the First Order, a 30year old organization (yes, a terrorist cell) at most recruits their soldiers by taking the children and drilling them into stormtroopers from the earliest age. And in those 30 years (tops) they managed to create one of the biggest if not the biggest army in the galaxy. And, again, they managed to do it under the nose of the New Republic. Well, I must say that either the First Order is really that good or the New Republic is that incompetent. Now, both of those cases would make a bad story, right? So the First Order’s stormtrooper recruitment is quite similar to how the old Jedi Order had filled their ranks up. The difference is that the Jedi hadn’t had to hide their recruitment from anyone (hell, the Republic – the most powerful government in the galaxy at the time – even endorsed their recruitment); they had never been an army and their ranks had always been relatively small and, most importantly, they had been recruiting like that for hundreds of generations… and they had ever never reached the scale the First Order “had” …in just a few decades. Hmm… I know! Maybe the First Order inherited (all…) their stormtroopers, and with them the recruitment system, from the Empire! Yeah, about that… Since an Imperial academy appeared in that Saturday morning cartoon Star Wars: Rebels, Imperial academies have officially become canon. That’s how the Empire recruited their forces …and, suffice it to say, although young, they were older than 4. And the First Order should have had difficulty then establishing (that efficient) academies of their own because, yes, they’re not much more than a big terrorist cell.

I’d like to add a few post since this is a separate post:

The movie begins with a single stardestroyer shadowing the entire planet. BB-6 is a droid that moves through the desert by rolling on desert sand without catching a single grain of sand while rolling…

Posted on May 30th, 2017 at 15:11 GMT
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Don’t buy Ulefone!

You know that saying that when it looks too good to be true, it usually is?

Such is the case with Ulefone. Never trust a company with a retarded name like ULE-FONE (mkay, I gotta admit here that my country mates are probably the only who see how stupid the name sounds 😉 ).

Ulefone is a cheap Chinese smart phone brand. Sure, when I was buying Ulefone, I didn’t expect much. Brands like Samsung, Sony, LG… and especially bloody Apple overprice their products, so I wanted to go for something cheaper. In addition, smart phones are kinda like PCs – they are assembled from many parts from various manufacturers. In theory it shouldn’t make much difference whether the casing says Samsung or Ulefone. In theory, at least… Besides, I see no sense in buying a top quality device you’re going to use for only a couple of years anyway. I mean, a TV I’m going to use for decades is a different story, but a phone I’m going to use two, maybe three years…
What I got, though, was a cell that lasted for less than a month and a half (aye, less than one bloody single month and a half). Now, I did expect more than that…

Before continuing I should say how I found out about Ulefone. A colleague bought Ulefone Power. That bad boy has 6050 mAh battery. According to the colleague, the battery lasts two days under heavy use, so I was like wow! Then he bought his wife Ulefone Metal. That one had battery problems, but the colleague said he had deleted a few unnecessary apps and that the battery life came to normal. Note that it’s quite questionable how his wife used the phone and what “normal battery life” is for her. Anyway, then another colleague bought Metal. The battery on that one is beyond repair. It lasts 15 hours tops. When he turns off his Metal in the evening and turns it on again in the morning, the battery drops TWENTY percent. True, that looks like a software problem, but is a big issue nevertheless and can’t be fixed deleting a few apps… Note also that he bought his Metal from GearBest, meaning the warranty is quite “sensitive”.
Anyway, I thought the battery (or the software) in his phone is just faulty and that it ain’t a general rule, and when I saw Armor (as you can see, Armor really is an armoured phone 😉 ), I decided that it was the cell I wanted! However, I decided to buy Armor at a local shop rather than from GearBest despite paying some $115 more just in case something went wrong – which it did (though I’m starting to think that shitty ain’t wrong for Ulefone, it’s rather normal 🙂 ) – my rights as a costumer would be secure. Turned out I made a wise decision 🙂
Well after my experiences with Armor and Ulefone support, I’m no longer attributing anything faulty in a Ulefone phone to being an anomaly.

I must say that I was quite excited about Armor because it was the first phone I bought solely with the money I earned myself.
So when I came into the shop to buy my Ulefone; the first one I was given couldn’t read SIM cards (note that Armor is a dual SIM phone and neither slots worked). I should have taken that as a sign, but I didn’t. I told myself again that it was just that one Armor. Anyway, I was given a different Armor as soon as I realized the SIM on the  wasn’t working. That was Friday, 31st March.
In the following days, I noticed the battery acting strangely (i.e. the indicator showing no battery change for hours and then a sudden drop of several percent), so I left the Ulefone at the repair shop on Wednesday, 5th April (only five days after purchase).

Ulefone was at the shop for two weeks and, naturally, they didn’t do shit in all that time ’cause everything “seemed OK”. I took the phone and thought “well, mkay; I could live with a hectic battery indicator”, and either the indicator was really hectic or, more likely, the battery consumption was really bad. Of course, it’s possible that the battery was just crappy. Knowing Ulefone now, I wouldn’t be surprised. Hell, knowing the experiences of the colleague with his Metal, I wouldn’t have been surprised back then. But, the hectic behaviour of either the battery or the consumption 😉 make me still think that the battery itself wasn’t at fault. Either way, the phone was faulty. There were days when the consumption would be mkay and there were days when the battery would barely last a day (the latter being more common).
For example: One day, the consumption was mkay till 11 AM when it was at 90%, then the battery started dropping a lot. By 1 PM, it dropped to 50% without me using the phone much. At 6:15 PM, the batter was at 34%. Then by 6:30 it dropped to 24%. When I checked at 7:15 PM, it was at 13%. An hour later it was down to 1%. By 8:45 PM, the cell turned itself off. Of course, the times and percentages I mentioned are approximate, but they should give you a clear picture 🙂

In addition to battery behaviour, there were quite a few other issues, small enough for me to be unable to prove to the repair shop if they’d claim everything was mkay, so I did nothing.

Most notable among this was the signal. I never actually lost signal though I didn’t go outside the city while I had Ulefone. Actually, on May Day which I spent in a crowded city park (not in a national park “outside civilization”), I couldn’t make calls. The cell would switch to 2G quite a lot. I couldn’t report that to the repair shop because the signal would also be mkay quite a lot, meaning it would likely have been mkay at the shop. The point is that Ulefone claims Armor has quite a powerful antenna and should be able to have strong signal virtually in a bomb shelter (…the Armor has a huge antenna as you can see on the bottom of the phone for super smooth signal reception where there are obstacles). Basically, such a “huge antenna” and “smooth signal reception” should produce a stable signal…

The phone would often heat itself a lot. It wouldn’t exactly be hot, but when you go with your fingers over the top of the screen, you could often feel the warmth. Likewise, the top back would be warm too – near the processor.

Sometimes when I turned the screen off, it would make a few flashes before going off. Dunno, but somehow I think that’s not normal 😮

From time to time, Ulefone would forget settings like default ringtone.

Now we come to “gaming” Aye, I put gaming in quotes for a reason. Ulefone rates Armor as “top rank gaming performance for budget price”. That idiot Jackie posted a test on YouTube, testing Real Racing 3 and FIFA 16. Then in another test, the same asshole said that “11% of energy had been used during the half hour of demanding game playing”. Yeah, about that… I’m not much of a gamer, but when the battery drops 20% during 20 mins of playing Bela, a simple card game, as if you had been catching Pokemon for an hour and during those 20 minutes the cell heats as if I you had been playing Black Ops; it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Of course, I knew Ulefone’s claims were probably a bit far-fetched, but Jackie a card game… Seriously?! You couldn’t have exaggerated a little bit less? I’m pretty sure Armor would have burned to a cinder if I’d played Real Racing 3 or FIFA 16 😉

On Monday, 8th May (could have been Sunday, the 7th ×D ), evening, I turned Ulefone off. Before I turned to bed, me newly bought piggy emerged from his house and me kitty ran straight to his cage and lied in front of it gazing at the piggy. I wanted to take a pic of them, so I turned Ulefone on. Tried to turn it on was more like it because the phone wouldn’t move from displaying Ulefone on the screen. After sometime, it would reboot but the furthest it would go was the Ulefone screen. I reset the phone a few times; same shit. Sam shit was happening when I turned Ulefone on the following morning.

I packed the Ulefone and everything it came with and brought the phone to the shop where I’d bought it. Upon seeing Ulefone was totally dead, I was offered a new cell. At first, the vendor told me “OK, I’ll give you a new Armor.” I told him “Anything, but Ulefone!” Then, the guy offered me a cell from a different manufacturer. Actually, I was refunded 350 HRK (cca. $51) because the cell I was offered is cheaper than Armor. The main difference between Armor and the new phone is that the new phone isn’t an armoured phone 😉 but it has some features Armor lacks, like fingerprint sensor and a bit of quality (at least I hope so 🙂 ). I’m not gonna say what model and brand me new cell is, so I’m not accused of advertising a brand by trashing a brand like this in favour of another brand. I can only say it’s not a brand like Samsung, but most importantly it’s not Ulefone 🙂 Considering the quality, true I’ve had the new cell only for a while now, but it hasn’t exhibited crap like the Armor, meaning it is already better than Ulefone! In addition, the brand’s costumer service is good. I’m gonna trash Ulefone costumer service shortly 🙂

Before I do, however, I would like to say that I don’t look at Ulefone Power in a good light anymore. I mean, a 6050 mAh battery on a 5.5″ screen smart phone lasting two days?! Big deal! I know people whose cellphones have 6.5″ screen with 4100 mAh battery that lasts 2-3 days just like that. Ulefone clearly has a battery drainage issue they need to resolve …along with their behaviour 🙂

I would also like to recommend the shop I bought Ulefone from – Neutrino. They have quite a selection of smart phones, and generally electronic equipment; they’re prices are reasonable and they did react promptly. My Ulefone only had to die ×D (which probably ain’t a prob for Ulefone 😉 ), but they offered me a new one and a refund as soon as they saw the dead Ulefone – no footling. Honestly their biggest mistake is selling Ulefone phones. If you find yourself in a need of a new smart phone in Zagreb, I suggest you see what they have to offer and just don’t buy a Ulefone 😉
Also, many shops in Croatia still offer 1 year warranty despite the EU Directive 1999/44/CE guaranteeing EU citizens a minimum of two years of warranty (according to the same directive, rooting by itself does not void the warranty despite whatever the manufacturer might say).

A little benefit of being an EU citizen. Sorry, Brits, I don’t know how things are going to work out for you by 2019. Just remember to thank Brexiters for every right guaranteed to you now as a citizen of the EU you might lose 🙂

Anyway, since we’re a fresh EU member, I guess many shops count on people not knowing their newly gained rights (frankly, many really don’t). True, you can get your the two year warranty if something happens to your device a year and a half after you bought your device first by “reminding” the shop nicely of your right, then threatening of suing them and then suing them if all else fails. Actually, you might even be compensated at a court. But all that is time consuming. Neutrino offers two year warranty for the products they sell right away.

And now Ulefone costumer service…

Luckily, many problems people might run into on their smart phones are OS related and Ulefone phones come with Android, which is supported a lot. However, there are issues, especially with Ulefone 😉 arising from the device itself. You can browse Ulefone forum hoping that another Ulefone encountered the issue you’re facing and actually managed to solve it, and then was kind enough to post the solution on the forum, but that’s it.

When you contact Ulefone support service, you’ll receive an automatic reply that they’re on holiday and that you should contact them later because they’re not going to reply to the emails they received during the holiday since there will be too many inquires (probably people telling them what a piece of shit they are 🙂 ). What’s worse, they don’t even make a small effort of changing the dates in the reply!
The last email I sent them, telling them how shitty their phones are and that they have no sense for business, was on Thursday, 11th May (yes, that’s ELEVENTH of   M   A   Y). The following automatic reply arrived quickly to my inbox:

Dear Customer,
From April 02 to 04, we will be on holiday. If there is any question, please email us again after April 4 and we’ll reply you as soon as possible then. PS: When we come back, we will not answer the emails sent to us during the holiday, because there will be too many and impossible for our customer service staff to deal with them all. So please do email us again after the holiday. For the inconvenience so caused, we express our deepest apology.
Have a nice day!

Don’t believe me? Here’s a screeny:

A screeny of the last email I got from their costumer service

In the end I can sum everything up by saying that Ulefone is truly a pathetic piece of shit. The quality is poor and they’re behaviour is terrible. By behaviour, I mean their overexaggeration, I mean they’re worse liars than Donald Trump. At least the meatbag is a rich politician. Ulefone is, on the other hand, a small company and they are willing to spend whatever money is necessary just to make a phoney ad (I wonder how many phones they actually wasted in that car rolling test…)

Jackie, lemme just tell you to go fuck yourself! Nothing personal, I think everyone in Ulefone should go fuck themselves. It’s just that I kept seeing your ugly dace in all the Ulefone Armor tests I watched, so don’t feel special 🙂
Do you know that you seriously risk being face-slapped on the street when someone recognizes you from your tests? Hell, you risk being beaten to death if someone with a bad temper recognizes you in a secluded area.

Step by step analysis of Ulefone bullshit on their About Us page

A good way to realize how full of shit Ulefone really are is to take a look at their About Us page.

I wish I had seen it before. Too many boasting is a bad sign on its own, but lemme comment each shit they say:

Ulefone Mobile is one of the biggest manufacturers of high-quality mobile devices and accessories in China. – Their homepage ain’t even available in Chinese. Many non-Chinese companies have their websites available in Chinese because of the immense number of Chinese speakers. It’s rather strange that “one of the biggest of high-quality mobile devices and accessories in China” wouldn’t have a website in Chinese, right? Even if an average Chinese spoke a foreign lingo like English and even if Chinese wasn’t so spoken, there is a matter of national pride.

-Best quality smartphones. Thanks to high-tech manufacturing processes and unrivaled quality control defect rate is minimized. – true, a small company can be good (that’s why I went for Ulefone in the first place 😉 ), but the “best quality”?! Someone’s might sure of themselves… I mean, screw Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Apple when there’s Ulefone! Considering unrivalled quality control, a small company can have a good quality control, but unrivalled?! Again, screw Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Apple!

– Affordable. Large volumes of production enable us to acquire components for our phones at competitive prices, which positively affects the final cost of the devices. – they are affordable, all right. But large volumes of production?! How the hell can a small brand have “large volumes of production”?!

-Best Customer Support. We strive to provide our customers with fast professional support on any issue related to our products. – you gotta be kidding me; the worst costumer support is more like it (although it can always get worse…). In addition to their constant holidays that last so long that they lose track of time 😉 check out their FAQ. They have nothing in Power, Metal and Future sections…

-Frequent updates. Here, in Ulefone, we have large group of engineers who restlessly working to provide our clients with fresh updates to make our software more stable and easy to use. – In the time I had Armor, there was only one update and it did shit – not a single bloody change. Guess I should be happy there weren’t any diminishments 🙂

-Smartphones for everyone. Wide range of Ulefone’s products will satisfy even the most demanding clients. – I’m hardly the most demanding, and I’m not satisfied…

There thousands of our happy owners of Ulefone smartphones around the world and this number continues to grow. Enter the number of the lucky owners of the smartphone Ulefone right now! – a Chinese brand with bad English instead of Chinese… And I think them saying “thousands” was the only time they didn’t lie because “thousands” is awfully little in the global market.

I don’t want to go through the cocky sayings of their “costumers”…

I think it’s fitting to end this post with another warning NOT to buy Ulefone! 🙂

P.S. Just tried to log in Ulefone forum to share the link to this post there, but I couldn’t log in…

Posted on 13th May, 2017 at 22:54 GMT
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Kindle (e-book reader)

I guess everyone has heard of e-book readers. Amazon’s Kindle is the most popular. Therefore, I’m gonna risk invoking Amazon’s rage by referring to all e-book readers as “kindles”, so I don’t have to type “e-book reader” every bloody time.

In case you haven’t heard of Kindle, this is a Kindle 😉

Now, when listening to people talk about a kindle, I keep hearing the same bloody prejudice why traditional books are better than kindle. People keep saying how a kindle lacks that “feeling of having paper in your hands” and that a kindle lacks the “smell” of a book.  I’d like to add that the “smell” is often the stench of decaying paper, but people seem to enjoy that particular aroma… Don’t get me wrong, those are the advantages of good old books, no question about it; bet let’s set the prejudice aside for a second and look objectively at all the pros.

Mkay, so we’ve got two cons tops. Before you mention battery, I wanna mention that battery life of my Kindle is about four weeks (with wi-fi turned off, of course 🙂 ), so battery life is hardly an issue. True, battery life probably depends on the model, but I seriously doubt it can be short.

Anyway, let’s continue with all the pros:

Kindle is lighter and, depending on the screen size, it can be quite smaller than an average book (mine is). Font size can be adjusted, so tiny print needn’t worry you anymore 🙂 It can store tons of books in its internal memory (mine, a rather old model, has 2 gigabytes; a book of about 800 pages has about a megabyte in Kindle’s native format, so you do the math…) alone + some models support external storage, so there’s no more carrying a few books on vacation or whatever.

Kindle ain’t clumsy like traditional books can be. All you have to do is hold the kindle (in one hand, on your knees, on a tale, or another surface; you can even buy stands) and simply touch the screen (or press a button if you have an older model) to “turn” a page without turning the pages traditionally. Note that you don’t need any special gloves for a Kindle because the touchscreen works even when you’re wearing ordinary gloves, which makes reading in winter a blast on Kindle since turning the pages of a traditional book in gloves is really clumsy. With Kindle, you don’t have to take your gloves of in a bus. Hell, you can read in the cold while waiting for the bus! 😀
With the freezing nights we’ve had lately, I realized how convenient Kindle really is only recently. I can simply cuddle into a cover completely, lean my Kindle on a pillow and just touch it to “turn” the pages. My Kindle (Paperwhite) can illuminate the screen (without consuming the battery much), so I don’t have to worry about the surrounding light. All in all, I don’t have to worry about finding a comfortable position with plenty of light without getting frozen.

The rumours of the Earth being our only planet are true and kindle is definitely environment friendly. Just imagine “4 gigs” of paper and how many trees need to be cut down for that much paper.

Well, since people often don’t think that saving money ain’t worth a thing if there’s no planet to save the money on and, therefore, the environment friendliness ain’t important to them, at least not in favour of profit, I’d like to add that e-books are much cheaper than traditional books. Buying a kindle is just the initial investment. If you read much and don’t want to depend on libraries [depending on how many books are translated into the local language(s) and how many of those actually interest you, local libraries can really be sparse], you will profit from a kindle pretty quickly.

In conclusion, you have the feeling of paper and the smell of a book in the one hand, and all the pros I mentioned (+ possibly more I didn’t mention), so next time when comparing traditional books with kindle, look past the prejudice and be objective 🙂

Finally, kindle is the future. Sooner or later, traditional books are going to become obsolete. Actually, the process has already begun. Traditional books may still be popular in your (or mine) lifetime but, let’s face it, the age of (traditional) books is at an end. Their demise is inevitable.

P.S. To all the people praising tablets in favour of a kindle; when it comes to reading, you are wrong, plain and simple, end of discussion 🙂 You can do a lot of shit on a tablet, including reading e-books, very true, but tablets are not made for reading books. Kindle is. In addition to (way) longer battery life, the screen of a kindle is designed and meant for reading. Your eyes don’t tire more than they would if you were reading text on paper and there’s no light reflection. A Kindle series is not called Paperwhite for no reason. Just check out the image below:

popup-glare-compareThe same book on a tablet (left) and a Kindle (right). There’s no glare on Kindle.

Posted on January 22nd, 2017 at 17:23 GMT
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Kao i svakog zadnjeg vikenda u 10. i 3. mjesecu, jučer se mediji na veliko raspisali kako “opet” pomičemo sat i kako bi pomicanje sata trebalo ukinuti i bla bla. Zanimljivo je da nikom ne smeta ljetno vrijeme do samog pomicanja sata, odnosno sve je mkay osim ona dva dana u godini kad pomičemo kazaljke.

U biti, jedan takav članak je bio na Indexu. Sad kad sam pomicao sat na blogu, padne mi na pamet da jednostavno tu stavim komentar na članak, nego da imam čitabu na Fejsu.

Inače, ovo nije jedini post u kojem sam gubio vrijeme na vrijeme 😀 Prije nekoliko godina sam napisao Time zones i Time what is time. U njima bljezgarim i o ljetnom vremenu (DST).

U biti, priča kaže sledeće:

Čudite se ko pura dreku, a većina ljudi kurca zna o ljetnom vremenu. Hrpi ljudi je pomicanje sata svake godine takav neočekivani šok iako je pomicanje sata svake godine zadnjih nekoliko desetljeća zadnje nedjelje u listopadu i zadnje nedjelje u ožujku i tu nema ničeg neočekivanog i nepredvidljivog. Ljeti mi (zapravo i veći dio proljeća i pola jeseni jer ljetno vrijeme duže traje) dolaze obavijesti da se nešto događa u 16:00 GMT+1 iako je naravno pisac htio reći da je događaj u 4, a ne 3 PM. I sad, ili ga čekam sat vremena ko budala ili je lik zapravo dobro mislio, pa zakasnim, a nekad nam je nešto toliko važno da ćemo čekati i sat vremena, a ne riskirat da zakasnimo koliko god vjerojatno bilo da je ovaj mislio na kasniji termin. Raja se ponaša kao da smo sada na prirodnom računanju vremena, i sad u vražju mater sudbe li klete skraćujemo dan! Ne znam šta se nitko nije zapitao kako to da sjene iza podneva ne padaju na jug za vrijeme ljetnog vremena… Kad u školama uče računanje vremenski zona, samo se dodaju dodaje/oduzima jedan sat za svakih 15° geog. širine kao da cijeli svijet (jednako) računa ljetno vrijeme ili ono uopće ne postoji (ne bih sad da su neke zemlje same po sebi u krivoj zoni, tako da npr. u Parizu i Madridu nikad nije sat vremena manje nego kod nas 🙂 ). Lijepo se provedeš ako bi na taj način sutra računao vrijeme u New Yorku s kojim je razlika uglavnom 6 sati, ali je sljedeći tjedan 5 sati jer se Ameri tek sljedeću nedjelju vraćaju na zimsko vrijeme. A tek zemlje s ljetnim vremenom na južnoj hemisferi… Razlika sa Sydneyjom je trenutno 9 sati. Od sutra pa do kraja ožujak razlika će bit 10 sati, onda tjedan-dva opet 9 sati, a onda 8 i tako u krug.
I meni ovo pomicanje sata isto diže živac [pogledaj satove na naslovnoj slici, a imam još dva ručna, samo, srećom, riknule im baterije 😀 ] , ali se malo informiraj. Nemoj mi onda plakat da bi u kolovozu bio na plaži do 8 sati, ali je mrak. Ako pak cijelu godinu budemo na ljetnom vremenu, nemoj plakati da se sunce zimi ne pojavljuje do 8 ujutro. Nemojte zaboravit da mi možda jesmo mala zemlja za razliku od Rusije, ali se zato trebamo prilagodit Europi. Baš bi bilo zgodno da prelaskom granice sim i tam svako malo moramo pomicat sat… A kako bi tek turisti uživali u posjetu Lijepoj Našoj 🙂
Ukratko, jedini pravi problem je da ljetno vrijeme više nije ljetno. Sunce ti kalajisano, duže je od zimskog (standardnog). Koliko mi već ide na živac što na posao krećem po mraku. Slično, kad na proljeće prijeđemo na ljetno vrijeme, taman se naviknem da mi bude malo dana ujutro i eto ti mrklog mraka! Istina je da sam zahvalan da ljeti ne sviće u 4, ali što je prerano je prerano. Tako da molim lijepo da ljetno vrijeme ne maknete, ali ga skratite 🙂

Ovo o “poznavanju kurca” govorim iz iskustva. Dok sam kurca znao o ljetnom vremenu i sam sam u njemu vidio samo pomicanje sata i to mi je išlo na živce i samo zbog toga sam htio da se “pomicanje sata” ukine. S “kurcem” sam se dugo družio i o ljetnom vremenu ništa nisam znao godinama. Niti su ga spominjali u školi niti na faksu. Inače, faks o kojem govorim je geografija, tako da je to dosta žalosno. Zapravo, sjećam se da je na prijemnom bio zadatak s računanjem vremenskih zona na gore spomenuti način. Šterc nam je samo jedan sat filozofirao o ljetnom vremenu zato što smo imali slobodno predavanje nekoliko dana nakon pomicanja sata koje nas je potaklo na tu temu. Baš me to predavanje ponukalo da se malo informiram o temi. Ukratko, ljetno vrijeme nije nikakva znanost, ali se (prije prigovaranja) sam moraš informirati; ne možeš računat na (hrvatski) obrazovni sustav 🙂

Kad sam već kod obrazovnog sustava i pomicanja sata, da dotaknem s tim povezamu orijentaciju (pomoću Sunca) 😀 Stalno čujem komentare Ova današnja mladež se ne zna ni orijentirat pomoću Sunca… E pa, koliko se sjećam u školi samo trube Prijepodne je sunce na istoku, u podne na središtu horizonta, a poslijepodne na zapadu. Znači, po zimi je sve to super, samo se smrzneš u šumi 😉 a ljeti se izgubiš u šumi jer si u pola jedan vidio Sunce na “zapadu” 😀 Pravo me zanima da li isto sranje prodaju djeci u Saskatchewanu (provincija u “središtu” Kanade) koji je cijele godine na ljetnom vremenu. Em su zime u Saskatchewanu hladnije nego kod nas, em tamo ima puno više šuma nego u Hrvatskoj; tako da jadni Saskatchewančići stvarno jebu ježa i zimi kad se pogube u šumi ×D

U svem tom džumbusu s pomicanjem sata, samo mi jedna stvar nikako nije jasna. Mkay, noćas su vlakovi stajali sat vremena da bi se vozni red uskladio sa zimskim vremenom. Ali šta rade na proljeće?! 😮 Ubrzaju sve da bi nadoknadili jedan sat?! Molim službeno objašnjenje iz HŽ-a 😀

Objavljeno 30. 10. 2016. godine prijepodne u 11:38

Pravopis (onaj jedan jedini i neponovljivi)

One spelling to rule them all…

Nakon što je na prvi dan škole (5.9.2016.) uz Jutarnji list izašao “jedini” pravopis “odobren za uporabu u školama” i rasprodan odmah ujutro istog dana, danas su ga ponovo “poklonili vjernim čitateljima”. E kako je raja navalila na njega; pravo me zanima hoće li Hrvati odjednom postati pismen narod (nekako sumnjam :/ )… Da su ga barem dali svojim novinarima da ga malo prouče prije prodaje, bilo bi baš lijepo 🙂 Inače, isti pravopis je dostupan na webu.

Eto, drago mi je da se Lijepa naša konačno pridružila zemljama koje imaju u upotrebi službeni pravopis i na njega se čovjek ne može požaliti – pizdarije poput grješke više nisu jedini ispravni oblici, makar ima drugih pizdarija, poput @ za koji pravopis kaže “da se čita pri“…

Ipak, odjeljak Slova mi je digao tlak. Evo da ga tu prepišem:

U Republici Hrvatskoj u službenoj je uporabi hrvatski jezik i latinično pismo. Hrvatski se jezik može zapisivati i drugim pismima. U povijesti se zapisivao glagoljicom i hrvatskom [da ne bi bilo zabune da je ćirilica u pitanju kojim slučajem srpska, jelte?] ćirilicom.

Na webu se pored “glagoljice” i “hrvatske ćirilice” može kliknuti na “O” i onda se lijepo otvore PDF-ovi s tablicama s glagoljicom i hrvatskom ćirilicom, a u tiskanom pravopisu se iste tablice nalaze na kraju pravopisa.

E pa, gospodo draga, hrvatski jezik se u prošlosti pisao i glagoljicom i hrvatskom ćirilicom, ali moderni hrvatski jezik se ne može pisati tim pismima kao što se vidi u priloženim tablicama. Naime, čini mi se da neka slova/glasovi nedostaju (npr. č i )… Ali, eto, pismo na kojem se (moderni) hrvatski jezik stvarno može zapisivati je srpska ćirilica. Tako su u pravopisu priložene tablice s dvama više-manje beskorisnim pismima većini Hrvata, osim onih koji se, naravno, bave jezikom i njegovom poviješću jer ti, ja, on i ona, ne možemo pisati jezik kojim govorimo ni glagoljicom ni hrvatskom ćirilicom, odnosno ne možemo naići ni na tekstove pisane na tim pismima koje bi razumjeli čak ni uz pomoć moćnih tablica u pravopisu. S druge strane, kad bismo htjeli, svoj jezik bismo mogli pisati na (srpskoj) ćirilici, a na tekstove pisane srpskom ćirilicom možemo naići. Eto, šteta da nam pravopis nema još i tablicu srpske ćirilice…

Ne kažem da je srpska ćirilica trebala biti napisana u pravopisu, ali kad nam daju dva beskorisna pisma, a pismo od kojeg bi eventualno mogli imati koristi ne daju… I sad neka mi netko kaže da nemamo komplekse…

Bog i Hrvati!

Objavljeno 14. 9. 2016. godine navečer u 9:38


Belot (colloquially called Bela) is a very popular card game. Various versions of the game are played around the world (see Jack-Nine games) and indeed a version of the game is often a “national card game” of a country (e.g. France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Bulgaria, Québec etc.).

Since Belot in its form is the most popular card game in Croatia, pretty much the same version is very popular throughout modern yogusolav states – especially in Vojvodina (Serbia) and Bosnia – and I haven’t noticed any English descriptions of Croatian version on the web, I thought I might blog a bit about the game. To distinguish the game from other versions of Belot, I’m going to refer to the game as Bela. Although I’m going to use certain terms from Wikipedia’s Belote article, the Croatian version is not described in the article.

Bela requires skill {although luck plays a very important role in the game [(see Declarations (cf04)]}, meaning you need a lot of experience and you need to play the game a lot to gain it.

The game can be played by 2, 3 and 4 players, but the 4 player game is the most common and others are just crippled versions of the 4 player game. Anyway, I’m going write general rules first and then crap unique to 4, 3 and 2 player games, but I’ll probably use 4 player examples in the description of the general rules.


Use Ctrl+F codes for easier and quicker navigation.

DECK (cf01)
CARD RANK (cf02)
SCORING (cf03)
Declarations (cf04)
Sequences (cf05)
Squares (cf06)
Bela (cf07)
Declaration confirmation (cf08)
All tricks (cf09)
Dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf15)
Declarations (cf16)
Passing/falling (cf17)
All tricks (cf18)
Threshold (cf19)
Play a four player game of Bela (cf20)
Dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf22)
Passing/falling (cf23)
Declarations (cf24)
All tricks (cf25)
Threshold (cf26)
Cutting the deck, dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf28)
Passing/Falling (cf29)
Declarations (cf30)
All tricks (cf31)
Threshold (cf32)
Dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf34)
Declarations (cf35)
Passing/falling (cf36)
Über (cf37)
Threshold (cf38)

DECK (cf01)

Bela is played with Hungarian cards (aka Wilhelm Tell cards and Doppeldeutsches Blatt). However, I’ll talk here in the terms of the standard French deck because it is the most common deck and there is no point in confusing people. Besides, Bela is played with Hungarian cards here because they are a common local deck in Croatia not because the deck was made for Bela nor because Bela was made for Hungarian cards. I doubt the French play Belote with Hungarian cards… Anyway, this way, you can just apply French suits and card values to a local deck common where you live. Besides, I recommend you just play the local version of the game. If you already play your local version of the game and just want to see differences between your version and Croatian; well… you’ll spot them easier if I go on about the game with cards that are familiar to you 🙂

So the game is played with a deck of 32 cards (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 of four suits).

CARD RANK (cf02)

There are 3 card ranks.

One is in the trump suit and square declarations [see Declarations – Squares (cf06)]. It goes as follows J–>9–>A–>10–>K–>Q–>8–>7.
Another one is in every suit, but trump. It goes as follows: A–>10–>K–>Q–>J–>9–>8–>7. Note that the value of jack and nine is different in the trump suit and other suits.
Finally, there are sequence declarations [see Declarations – Sequences (cf05)]. This rank is like in Poker and most other card games: A–>K–>Q–>J–>10–>9–>8–>7.

SCORING (cf03)

Scoring is done in two ways: through won tricks and through declarations.

Most cards are worth a certain number of points. The card values are different in the trump suit and in all the other suits. Anyway, the values of cards go as follows:

trumpother suits

Note that an 8 still beats a 7 like stated in Card Rank (cf02); they just aren’t worth any points when tricks are counted after the end of a round.

The player/team that won the last trick is awarded additional 10 points.

Total sum of points, including the last trick in a “clean game” (a round with no declarations), is 162.

One more thing before I proceed to declarations. Zero is never written when writing down the score of Bela. Hyphen is written in its place. Whether just in place of zero or for falling [see Objectives (cf11)].

Declarations (cf04)

Declarations are declared at the beginning of a round and can severely impact the game. They are made by certain combinations of cards held in players’ hands.

Note that rank of the declarations is important because only the declarations of the player/team having a declaration of the highest rank are scored, while the declaration of the other player(s)/team are not acknowledged. This can be confusing because the total amount of declarations doesn’t count. The rank is important. In order to clarify what I mean, I should write about the declaration rank down:

Sequences (cf05)

First, look at card rank in sequence declarations (A–>Q–>K–>J–>10–>9–>8–>7). The sequences must be in the same suit go like this:
Tierce* [a sequence of three card (e.g. J-10-9)] is awarded with 20 points;
Quarte [a sequence of four cards (e.g. Q- J-10-9)] is awarded 50 points;
Quint [a sequence of five cards (e.g. K-Q-J-10- 9)] is awarded 100 points;
Sequences of six and seven cards are treated like a quint (100 points).
Belot (a sequence of all eight cards in the same suit**) – the player/team having Belot is awarded by winning the game in progress.
*9-8-7 Tierce is usually called 19 to indicate that it’s the lowest declaration. When there are no other declaration, “19” is still awarded 20 points.
**Note: Some players consider Belot to be only in the trump suit while some players don’t give any special treatment to having all the cards of a suit. Belot occurs so rarely (once in 50 years in average) that I think the player who gets it (in any suit) deserves to be awarded a game. If nothing else, then to enjoy the happiness of the moment 🙂

That is all good and well, but what if two players or teams have the same sequence (e.g. a Tierce). The card with the highest rank in the sequence is taken into account (e.g. Team 1 has Q-J-10 of Hearts while the other team has K-Q-J of Spades; Team 2 is awarded the declaration). What if all players/teams have exactly the same sequence (e.g. if Team 1 has Q-J-10-9 of Hearts and team 2 Q-J-10-9 of Spades)? In that case, the first thing to look at is whether one of those declarations is in the trump suit. If it is, it is immediately awarded* in favour of a nontrump declaration of the same rank. If none of the declarations are in the trump suit, the player/team to play first is awarded. So in our case if Spades are trump, Team 2 would be awarded 50 points (more if they had other declarations) no matter whether they played first. If neither Spades nor Hearts were not trump, Team 2 would be awarded their declaration(s) only if they were to play first.
*Note: Some players don’t take trumps into account and just look what player/team is first to play.

I’m going to illustrate whose declaration(s) is awarded in sequences of the same rank on three examples:
Example I: Player 1 (Team 1) is first to play. Hearts are the trump suit. Player 1 (Team 1) has 9-8-7 of Clubs, Player 2 (Team 2) has 9-8-7 of Hearts (trumps), Player 3 (Team 1) has 9-8-7 of Diamonds, Player 4 (Team 2) has 9-8-7 of Spades.  Team 2 are awarded their declarations because all players have declarations of the same rank, but Player 2 of Team 2 has his declaration in trumps.
Example II:  Player 1 (Team 1) is first to play. Hearts are the trump suit. Player 1 (Team 1) has A-Q-J of Clubs, Player 2 (Team 2) has 9-8-7 of Hearts (trumps), Player 3 (Team 1) has A-Q-J of Diamonds, Player 4 (Team 2) has A-Q-J of spades. Team 1 are awarded their declarations because 3 players had declarations of the same rank (in nontrump suits), but their declarations  (A-Q-J) outrank 9-8-7 in trumps and Player 1 of Team 1 is first to play.
Example III: Player 1 (Team 1) is first to play, followed by Player 2 (Team 2) who is followed by Player 3 (Team 2). Finally, the last player to play is Player 4 (Team 1). Hearts are trumps. Player 1 has 9-7-8 of Clubs, Player 2 has J-10-9 of Hearts (trumps), Player 3 has A-Q-J of Clubs, Player 4 has A-Q-J of Spades. Team 1 are awarded their declarations because A-Q-J (of any suit) outrank 9-8-7 (even of trumps) and Player 1 of Team 1 is first to play.

When it comes to sequences of 5 to 7 cards, the highest card is still vital* (e.g a sequence K-Q-J-10-9 beats Q-J-10-9-8-7 despite being a sequence of only 5 cards because King beats Queen).
*Note: Some players take the length into account (in that case Q-J-10-9-8-7 would beat K-Q-J-10-9).

Squares (cf06)

Squares always beat sequences. They go as follows:
Four Jacks are awarded 200 points;
Four Nines are awarded 150 points;
Four Aces are awarded 100 points;
Four Tenners* are awarded 100 points;
Four Kings are awarded 100 points;
Four Queens are awarded 100 points;
Four Eights and four sevens are worth nothing.
*Note: some players rank Kings and Queens above Tenners. This makes no sense to me because of the card ranks (i.e. if Jacks and Nines are ranked as in the trump suit, so should the other cards be – J–>9–>A–>10–>K–>Q–>8–>7) [see Card Ranks (cf02)].

The same card can be used to form both a sequence and a square*. For example, a King in a hand can form both 4 Kings and a A-K-Q-J Quarte.
*Note: Some players don’t allow the same card to be used in both a sequence and a square.

Finally to make sense of all the declarations, here’s an example: Player 1 (Team 1) has 4A; Player 2 (Team 2) has 10-9-8-7; Player 3 (Team 1) has 9-8-7 and Player 4 (Team 2) has 4Q and Q-J-10. Team 1 is awarded their declarations (in total 120 points; 4A + 9-8-7 = 100 + 20 = 120) because Player 1 of Team 1 had four Aces which is the highest ranking declaration in this case. The team is also awarded “19” of Player 3 because Player 1 and 3 are the same team. Team 2 can kiss their asses despite their declarations being worth 170 points in total.

Bela (cf07)

Pairing of the King and Queen of trumps is called Bela. It is awarded with additional 20 points. Unlike the other declarations, Bela is declared during the game by playing either King or Queen of trumps (a player must have both King and Queen in his hand and say Bela upon discarding the King/Queen in order to declare Bela). Bela is independent from other declarations, meaning it can be declared even if player’s/team’s other declarations aren’t acknowledged.
The King and Queen of Bela don’t need to be a part of declaration (e.g. no need for A-K-Q). When they are a part of deceleration, both declarations can be declared (meaning that A-K-Q worth 20 points on their own plus another 20 points if the player declares Bela).
So in the above stated case, Player 4 can declare Bela if he has the King of trumps in addition to the Queen and 20 additional points will be taken into account.

Declaring any declarations is optional. Furthermore, you can’t say Oh, I have [had] four Queens! If you hadn’t noticed your declaration at the beginning of the game, you can go screw yourself. Similarly, you can’t play the King of trumps, not declare Bela and then later play the Queen and say Hey, I had the King! or even worse say you had the King and Queen of trumps after you played both cards.

Declaration confirmation (cf08)

All declaration(s), including Bela, need to be confirmed, meaning a player/team needs to win at least one trick in order to be awarded their declaration. Players having 100 in sequence are often unable to confirm their declaration unless the sequence is in the trump suit because if the sequence is in another suit, they probably lack other suits including trumps [at least 5 of the cards in their hand are used in a sequence, meaning they have only 3 (5 in a 3P and 2P game) other cards in their hand] and it’s quite possible that other players lack the suit of his sequence.
Not confirming you declaration usually (3P game is an exception) means the other player/team won all tricks and they’re awarded the declaration(s) of the poor soul(s) who were unable to confirm their declaration(s) [see All tricks (cf09)].

All tricks (Shooting the Moon???) (cf09)

If a player/team wins all tricks in a round, they’re awarded additional 90 points. In addition, the player/team is awarded every declaration they and other players had.
If a player/team doesn’t confirm their deceleration(s) (i.e. they don’t win a trick), it usually means the other player/team won all tricks (3P game is an exception) and is awarded their declaration(s).


The player who takes the previous trick plays the next trick first.

When a trick is played, players must play über.

Über (Ger. over) is ensuring the trick is yours while following suit. Basically über consists of three rules: The first one is to follow suit whenever you can; the second is to overpower the played card (e.g. a player discards King of Spades; you must play Ace of spades despite having the Queen), thus ensuring you take the trick; the third is to play a trump when you can’t follow suit, again to ensure you take the trick. Actually, saying “temporarily ensuring you take the trick” unless you’re the last to play would be better because the player(s) who play after you must also oblige über. Finally, when you can’t follow suit and have no trumps, you’re free to discard whatever card you feel like discarding.

I’ll try to explain über on the following examples:
Example I: Spades are not the trump suit. Player 1 discards Jack of Spades. Player 2 has Nine and Seven of Spades. He can discard either the Nine or the Seven because neither of them outranks the Jack (discarding the Seven would be the right choice because Sevens have the lowest rank; 9 at least beats 8). Player 3 has the Tenner, Queen and Eight of Spades. He must play either the Tenner or the Queen because those two cards outrank the Jack while the Eight does not. Player four can’t follow suit, but has trump(s). He must “cut” the trick with a trump.
Example II: Spades are not the trump suit. Player 1 discards Queen of Spades. Player 2 has the King and Jack of Spades, he must play the King. Player 3 has no Spades, so he cuts the trick with a trump. Player 4 has the Ace and Eight of Spades. He is no longer obliged to overpower the King because the trick has been cut (i.e. even if he played the Ace, he wouldn’t win the trick because Player 3 played a trump).
Example III: Spades are not the trump suit. Player 1 discards Nine of Spades. Player 2 has no Spades, so he cuts the trick with the King of trumps. Player 3 has no Spades too, but has the Tenner and Queen of trumps. He must play the Tenner to overpower the King. Player 4 has neither Spades nor trumps, so he discards whatever card he wants (let’s say he discards Seven of Clubs because his team mate hasn’t won the trick, so he doesn’t want to give any points to his opponents).
Example IV: Spades are not the trump suit. Player 1 discards Nine of Spades. Player 2 has no Spades, so he cuts the trick with the King of trumps. Player 3 has no spades and has the Seven and Queen of trumps. He must still play a trump, but he can chose between the Seven and the Queen since he can’t overpower the King, so he discards the Seven to give his opponents no points. Player 4 has neither spades nor trumps, so he discards whatever card he wants (let’s say that this time he discards the Tenner of Clubs because his team mate won the trick).


Objective of each round is for the player/team who chose the trump suit to pass. The opposing player/team try to prevent them in that. The player/team pass if they manage to win more points than their opponent(s) [that usually (2P game is an exception) means the payer/team that chose the trump suit needs to win 81 (+ possible declarations) +1 point]. If the player/team falls (i.e. doesn’t pass), all the points they managed to collect in a round are given to the opponent (3P game is an exception). The points are written down after each round and the player/team that reaches the threshold (4P 1001 pts; 3P 701 pts, 2P 501 pts) first wins.

As you can see, declarations can be a real bitch.

In theory, the maximum number of points won per round can be 802. A player has 4 Jacks (200 pts) and four Nines (150 pts) and his team mate has four Aces (100 pts) and four Tenners (100 pts). If the remaining 4 trumps were equally distributed, they’d have to be quite incompetent not to take all tricks …so 162 pts + 200 + 150 + 100 + 100 + 90… Actually, if their opponent would be extra stupid and had K and Q of trumps, he could declare Bela, thus, earning them another 20 points (822 in total). Well, this theory is quite unlikely to happen 🙂


A round begins with dealer shuffling the deck. After he shuffled it, he gives the deck to the player on his left (or right depending whether you play cards counter clockwise or clockwise) who then cuts the deck if he wants. The dealer, then, starts dealing. The first player to be dealt his cards, and then the first to play after the cards are dealt, sits opposite of the cutter (right of left of the dealer depending again on the direction you’re playing in).

As I mentioned above, the player/team that chose the trumps must achieve more points than their opponent to pass, otherwise they fall and receive no points. Their opponent(s) receive their points instead (3P game is an exception). Each player, except the dealer, can either choose the trump suit or pass (3P game is an exception). If all the players before the dealer pass, the dealer must choose the trump suit [he is mussed (Ger. muss – “must”)]. Now, this might look to you like it applies that players (well, Team 1 in 4P game) should just pass to avoid a possibility of falling. However, choosing the trumps is preferable. The player who chooses the trumps has the control of the round in his hands. He chooses the suit that favours him. He, also, prevents the opposing payer/team to win all tricks because it is extremely unlikely (happens only if a player chose the trumps on a really bad hand, probably because he was mussed) for the player/team that didn’t choose trumps to win all tricks. And falling is better than not winning a trick since the player/team that won all tricks is awarded additional 90 points.


The threshold depends on the number of players.

There are two option: enough and pass.

The first option lets player(s)/team say they’ve reached the threshold in the middle of a round even though they might fall if the round was played to the end. They just say they have enough points. Note that when the last trick is played, they do fall if they had chosen the trump suit and didn’t win more points than their opponent(s), that is after the round is over you can’t just say that you have enough points. You must win the necessary amount of points before the last trick has been played (i.e. before the end of the round).
According to the other option, you can’t say you have enough points in the middle of a round. The round must be played till the end. If the player/team that was about to reach the threshold fell; well, tough luck.

Needless to say, there are different tactics in reaching the threshold by enough and pass. When playing enough, the player near the threshold will choose the trump suit that allows him to reach the threshold in a few tricks with no regards to passing (e.g. a player/team needs 15 points to reach the threshold; they are going to choose the trumps if they have a Jack in their hand and only crap besides the Jack  because Jack of trumps will win them 20 points). When playing pass, the opposing player/team is going to muss the player/team near the threshold and do they’re best to prevent them from passing. These tactics don’t apply to 3P game where the player to play first must choose a trump anyway. Well, more about 3P game later.
I prefer playing enough, but a lot of people play pass, so I often have to adapt when I’m a guest.

If all players/teams breach the threshold, the player/team having the most points wins.


Four player game is played in teams. Team mates sit opposite each other.

Dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf15)

Each player is dealt three cards and then another three cards, having six cards in total. Players choose the trumps from those six cards. Each player can pass, except the dealer who is mussed to choose the trumps if other players pass. Once the trumps have been chosen, each player is dealt another two cards, making the hand of each player consist of eight cards in total at the beginning of game.
Yes, usually all 8 cards are dealt (in 3+3+2 sequence) and the last two cards simply remain untouched until trumps have been chosen.

Declarations (cf16)

After the cards had been dealt and trumps were chosen, player look at their hand to see if they have a declaration.

The team mate of a player with the highest ranking declaration – or rather his team – is automatically awarded his declaration(s) no matter their rank. I’m going to return to an example from Declarations section of General rules:
Player 1 (Team 1) has 4A; Player 2 (Team 2) has 10-9-8-7; Player 3 (Team 1) has 9-8-7 and Player 4 (Team 2) has 4Q and Q-J-10. Team 1 is awarded with their declarations (in total 120 points; 4A + 9-8-7 = 100 + 20 = 120) because Player 1 of Team 1 had four Aces which is the highest ranking declaration in this case. The team is also awarded “19” of Player 3 because Player 1 and 3 are the same team. Team 2 can kiss their asses despite their declarations being worth 170 points in total.

Passing/falling (cf17)

When the team that chose the trump suit falls, all the points they managed to win in a round are awarded to their opponents.
Since the total number of points is 162 [+ declaration(s)], determining whether the team passed is easy. The opponents count they’re tricks and if they reach 81 pts [+ declaration(s)], the other team falls and there’s no need for them to continue counting. All the points of the round are just awarded to them. If they don’t reach 81 pts [+ declaration(s)], the number of points they won is just subtracted from 162 [+ declaration(s)] and each team is awarded the amount of points they won in the round.

All tricks (cf18)

A team having no tricks means the other team has won all tricks. Basically, if you don’t manage to confirm your declaration, it is awarded to the opposing team.

Threshold (cf19)

Threshold in a four player game is 1001 points. The team to reach 1001 points first wins 🙂

Play a four player game of Bela (cf20)

Play Bela for free on your Android device. Play the game for $2.5 on your iOS device.
Play Bela online on Playtoy (Croatian; Hungarian cards).


Dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf22)

Players are first dealt three cards then another three. The player first to play must choose trumps. When he chooses the trumps, each player is dealt another four cards. There are two cards left. Those two cards are dealt to the player who chose trumps. The player who chose trumps has in his hand 12 cards in total while the other two players have 10 cards. Therefore, the player who chose trumps discards two cards from his hand to his tricks.

Each player now has 10 cards in his hand and the game can begin.

Passing/falling (cf23)

The player who chose trumps does all he can to pass while the other two players temporarily “team up” to prevent him. The player falls if he doesn’t win more tricks than his opponents together. Therefore, the “team mates” are going to give each other valuable cards so the sum of the points in their tricks is bigger than the number of points in the tricks of their “common enemy”. When the player falls he isn’t awarded the points he won in he round, but neither are his opponents.

Like in a four player game, all cards are used, so the total number of points in a round is 162 [+ declaration(s)]. Therefore, each player who didn’t choose trumps counts his points and is awarded them. Then their points are summed. If the sum exceeds 80 points, the player who chose trumps, fell and he isn’t awarded any points, but his points aren’t awarded to his opponents either. I’ll write a few examples:
Example I: There were no declarations. Player 1 won 60 pts, Player 2 won 71 pts, Player 3  won 22 pts. Players 2 and 3 (the “team mates”) are awarded their 71 and 22 points respectively while player 1 is awarded shit because 71 + 22 = 93 which is more than 80;
Example II: There were no declarations. Player 1 won 82 pts, Player 2 won 60 pts, Player 3 won 20 pts. All the players are awarded their points, respectively, because the sum of the points of Players 2 and 3 (the “team mates”) is exactly 80 pts (60 + 20 = 80);
Example III: There were no declarations. Player 1 won 103 pts, Player 2 won 17 pts, Player 3 won 42 pts. All the players are awarded their points respectively because the sum of the points of Players 2 and 3 (the “team mates”) is less than 80 pts (17 + 42 = 59).
In other words, in example I the player who had chosen trumps didn’t manage to win more than a half of the points in the round, so he fell; but he did manage to win more in examples II and III, so he passed.

Declarations (cf24)

After the player who chose trumps discarded his two additional cards, players declare their declarations. Yes, the player must be careful not to discard cards that would form a declaration.
If a player who didn’t choose trumps has a higher ranking declaration than the player who chose the trumps, his “team mate” is awarded his own declaration even if the rank of the declaration is lower than that of the player who chose trumps. For example: Player 1 has A-K-Q-J, Player 2 has 4 Tenners, Player 3 has 9-8-7. Player 1 isn’t awarded his declaration because Player 2 has the highest ranking declaration, but Player 3 is awarded his declaration because his “team mate” has the highest ranking declaration. Players 2 and 3 don’t share declarations. They are each awarded their declaration respectively (in our case Player 2 would be awarded 100 points and Player 3 twenty points).

Declarations still need to be confirmed. I will try to explain that by expanding the previous example:
So P1 has A-K-Q-J, P2 has 4×10 and P3 has 9-8-7. Player 1 won 100 pts in tricks. He also had the King and Queen of trumps, so he declared Bela being awarded another 20 points (120 in total). Player 3 won 82 pts including his declaration, while player 2 did not manage to win a trick and, thus, didn’t confirm his declaration. Player 1 did pass and is awarded in total 120 points, Player 3 is awarded his 82 points and Player 2 is awarded nothing because he didn’t win a trick in the round, so his square (100 pts) went to hell. The total sum of points in the round was 202 (162 pts + 20 points from the declaration of Player 3 + 20 pts from Bela) and the player who chose trumps won more than the total sum; in other words he won more points than his opponents combined (120 > 0 + 82). Therefore, he passed.

All tricks (cf25)

A player not winning a trick doesn’t necessarily mean another player won all tricks. Basically, if you’d won no tricks, it’s quite possible none of your opponents was awarded your declarations 🙂

Threshold (cf26)

Threshold in a three player game is 701 points. The player to reach 701 points first wins 🙂


Cutting the deck, dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf28)

In this case a player cuts the deck for himself (only two players – dealer and cutter) 🙂

The dealer first deals his opponent three cards, then he deals three cards to himself, then another three to his opponent and another three to himself. Then he turns a card and puts it face-up on the table (or on whatever playing surface). Then he deals his opponent and himself final four cards, so both players have 10 cards in total. Then he puts the remaining cards face-up on top of the face-up card, signalling that the remainder of the deck isn’t used in the round (only 20 out of 32 cards are used in a two player game). Note that both the face-up card and the remaining deck are visible.20160812_212538
Cards after being dealt in a two player game

Players then take their first six cards. The player to play first can either accept the suit of the face-up card for the trump suit or he can pass. If he passes, his opponent gets the same right. If the opponent passes, the first player can either chose another suit to be the trump suit (he can’t choose the suit of the face-up card because he already rejected that suit) or pass. If he passes, his opponent is mussed and must choose the trumps from the remaining three suits. For example, the face-up card is King of Spades. Players first choose whether they want Spades to be trumps. Both of them can pass on Spades. If they do, they can then choose between Diamonds, Hearts and Clubs. If a player accepted the suit of the face-up card, a player who has Seven of the same suit in first six cards can replace it with the face-up card. In our case, if a player accepted Spades and one of the players has Seven of Spades in his first six cards, he can replace it with the King. If another suit was chosen and a player has the Seven of Spades, he can go screw himself.
When the trumps have been chosen (and the face-up card replaced), players take the remaining 4 cards and the game can begin.

Passing/Falling (cf29)

The player who chose trumps must win more points than his opponent to pass. If he doesn’t, he falls and all the points he won in the round are awarded to his opponent.

Since 12 cards of the deck aren’t used in a two player game and because, thanks to shuffling 🙂 different twenty cards are in use in each round, passing can’t be determined from the total sum of points in a clean game. The number simply varies from round to round.

Declarations (cf30)

Nothing special about declarations here since there are only two players. The declaration(s) of the player with the highest ranking declaration are awarded.

All tricks (cf31)

A player having no tricks means the other player has won all tricks. Basically, if you don’t manage to confirm your declaration, it is awarded to your opponent.

Threshold (cf32)

Threshold in a two player game is 501 points. The player to reach 501 points first wins 🙂


Open Belot is a version of Belot only for two players. It is quite rare. I’ve played it only with one buddy and we’re not even sure we’ve been playing it right. We can’t really check because the information on Open Belot is scarce since the game is so rare. The game is quite cool and catchier than Bela for two players, so it’s definitely worth to mention.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it, but the game goes something like this:

As the name says, the game is played so both players see each other’s cards.

Dealing and choosing the trump suit (cf34)

The dealer first deals his opponent a row of four face-down cards. Then he deals a row of four face-down cards to himself. Then another row of four face-down cards to his opponent and then again to himself. Then he deals his opponent a row of four face-up cards which he places on top of the first four face-down cards. Then he deals the same to himself and then another four face-up cards to his opponent, now to cover the remaining four face-down cards. Finally, he deals himself the final four cards. Again face-up to cover his remaining face-down cards.20160813_152020 (768x1024)
This is how Open Belot looks like at the beginning of a round

20160813_152142 (1024x768)
And this is how Open Belot looks like at the beginning of a round with a cat

After the cards were dealt like in the above pictures, the round can begin. Player 1 can choose the trumps or pass. If Player 1 passes, Player 2 (the dealer) is mussed and must choose the trumps. Before passing, Player 1 must look carefully at the cards, so his opponent doesn’t choose a suit that totally goes in his favour.

Declarations (cf35)

Declarations differ somewhat than in Bela.

First, both players are awarded their declarations respectively, no matter who had the highest declaration. They still need to confirm the declaration(s) though.

Secondly, sequences differ a bit. If a player has a sequence at the beginning of the game, he is awarded the usual value of the sequence (i.e. 20 points for a Tierce, 50 points for a Quarte and 100 points for a Quint or a bigger sequence), but if he gets a card that would continue his sequence during the gameplay, he is awarded only 20 more points. For example, a player has 10-9-8-7 at the beginning of the game. He is awarded 50 points. Then, during the gameplay, he opens the Jack of the same suit, now having J-10-9-8-7. He isn’t awarded 100 points for a Quint; just another 20 for opening the Jack and, thus, continuing his sequence, providing, of course, he didn’t brake his sequence (i.e. didn’t discard the Nine or the Eight) in the meantime in which case he’s awarded no additional points because he doesn’t even have the minimal sequence of three cards. Furthermore, players are awarded just 20 points per sequence for making them during the game, no matter how long the sequences are.

There is nothing different about the squares and players should always be careful their opponent doesn’t make a square.

I’ll illustrate what I’ve just said in the following pics:

The upper rows are the cards of Player 1 while the bottom rows are the cards of Player 2. Player 2 has A-K-Q of Clubs and is awarded 20 points for the Tierce.

Player 1 then plays the Seven of Hearts, which Player 2 takes with the Ace, opening the Jack of Clubs.

20160813_204930 (768x1024)
Player 2 now has A-K-Q-J-10, but is awarded just 20 more points instead of 100 for a Quint.
In theory, Player 1 should be more concerned about Player 2 having three Kings. If the opponent opens another one, he’s going to be awarded 100 pts for having 4K and that would provide him with a serious advantage over Player 1. But, when we compare the pics of the beginning of the round with these, we’re going to notice that the King of Diamonds had already been played.

Passing/falling (cf36)

Player who chose trumps must have more points than his opponent, otherwise he falls and all the points he managed to win in the round are awarded to his opponent. It’s easy to see whether players pass or fall here because the player who didn’t choose the trumps can just count his points. When he reaches 81 points [+ declaration(s)], he can stop counting because his opponent fell, otherwise his points are just subtracted from 162 points [+ declaration(s)] to see how many points his opponent won.

Über (cf37)

The little sources I managed to find about Open Belot say über is not played (suit has to be followed though). However, we always play über simply because über requires tactics. You have to think how to ensure you win more points. For example, you have a Tenner of a nontrump suit, but your opponent has the Ace of the same suit. In addition to the Tenner, you have the King while your opponent has the Seven along with the Ace. Playing über, your opponent must take the King with the Ace because Seven is lower than King and you can then take the opponent’s Seven with your Tenner. This way you win 10 pts while your opponent wins 15 points. If über weren’t played, your opponent could just give you the Seven when you play the King and take your Tenner with his Ace. In that case, you would win only 4 points that way and your opponent would win twenty one points! In short, über über alles! ×D

Threshold (cf38)

Threshold in Open Belot  is 1001 points because there are usually a lot of declarations. The player to reach 1001 points first wins 🙂

Posted on August 14th, 2016 at 20:08 GMT
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Sony VAIO laptops

SAM_2784 (800x600)

A week ago I bought a Sony VAIO laptop, so to save people their mental health, I’m gonna write a few pointers.

Accessing BIOS

Okay, okay, I spent virtually half a day trying to access BIOS. In the end, I brought the laptop back to the store because I couldn’t access BIOS. Well, accessing BIOS is pretty simple once you know what to do. We used a method with a lot of clicking to access BIOS in the store. It can be accessed much simpler than that.

If your laptop is running, turn it off. Once it is turned off, instead of pressing the turn on/off button, press the ASSIST button. It is located right across the turn on/off button on my model (SVE1113M1EW) and “ASSIST” is written in pink.

SAM_2789 (1024x58)
Click on the image to enlarge it.

You start VAIOCare|Rescue Mode that way. Once the mode loads, press F2 to start BIOS.

SAM_2790 (800x600)

Now, the only reason I use BIOS is to change boot priority. Like accessing BIOS itself, setting the priority is quite simple once you know what to do. Go to Boot tab in BIOS (use arrows on the keyboard to move around…). Now, in every other BIOS I’ve worked with, it’s enough to just change boot priority to external device if you want to boot system from an external device. In Sony VAIO BIOS, however, you have to enable external device boot first. Anyway, just make sure that External Device Boot is Enabled under Boot Configuration and then set boot priority as you wish.

SAM_2788 (1024x768)
Click on the image to enlarge it.


If your VAIO came with a preinstalled Windows, do not reinstall it or change Windows because you’ll probably go through a nightmare finding drivers.

This is my story:
I went throughout the city in search for the cheapest option for a minilaptop. That led me to Sony VAIO SVE1113M1EW, The laptop comes with preinstalled Windows 8. Preinstalled means that you get the operating system with no disk and no product key which means you are stuck with that installation and can’t reinstall the system when a need arouses. That is why I bought Windows 7 (cheaper than Windows 8, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 7 is an operating system for computers). When I asked in the store whether I can install Windows 7 on the thingy, vendors were all like “sure thing”. Anyway, once I had bought the laptop (and spent ages to start BIOS 😉 ), I installed the Windows I bought. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find most of the drivers. I spent two days searching for them. I asked for help. We went to the deepest bowls of the Internet and only managed to install the missing LAN driver. We came across a text on Sony website that my model cannot be downgraded to Windows 7 (yes, after a week of vendors telling me that I can install Windows 7 with no trouble). Well, I took the thing back to the store and told them I can’t find the drivers. That’s when they told me SVE1113M1EW can’t be downgraded to Windows 7 (a way Microsoft and partners are forcing people to use Windows 8…). Luckily, I bought the Windows at the same store, so they couldn’t explain to me why I’d spend €120* if I had known, the thing wouldn’t work.
In the end, they returned my VAIO with Windows 7 and all the drivers. They did not give me the drivers on CD or another disk though. However, with the help of Device Manager and Programs and Features in Control Panel, I think I managed to download all the drivers. Well, let’s just hope I’ll never have to find out… even though I bought the Windows only to be able to reinstall it.

All in all, do not remove the preinstalled Windows. At least not without finding and downloading the drivers first.

As for other operating systems, I’m not sure. Linux usually detects the hardware and installs the necessary drivers in no time. I can’t vouch for every Linux distribution, but Knoppix had no trouble with the hardware of my VAIO. That is, it recognized wireless network adapter right away and I was able to connect to my modem in no time.

So far I am quite stasfied with my VAIO. There’s only one thing I don’t like (two things depending how you look at it/them), other than the living nightmares called BIOS and drivers 😉 The touchpad is way too sensetive while the keyboard is barely sensetive.

*Generally, I don’t like to talk about prices outside my own country. The price I wrote is a rounded conversion of the local currency. In addition, the “value” of the dollar varies a lot throughout the world. For example, I heard that 0.25L of bear costs £3 in the UK. British find that acceptable (otherwise British pubs would be empty 😉 ). £3 for a 0.25L bottle of bear is quite a lot here.  I don’t drink bear so I don’t know the exact price of bear here. I think 0.25L of bear costs around 4 HRK (≈ £0.4) here. Well, £3 is just too much for us 😀 Another good example is that throughout most of Africa, you can buy a 160 m² 4 bedroom flat for only a few hundred euros. On the other hand, an average African can hardly come by €1.
Suffice it to say, €120 is no small amount of money here, especially for an operating system.

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