Roger Stringer   About ▾

I'm Roger Stringer, a DevOps engineer, developer, author, foodie, speaker, dad. Founder of Flybase.

GearVR Tips


I’ve been a fan of virtual reality since the early days, in fact I even worked in a VR lab back in the late 90s where we mostly just played games on early VR rigs.

Ever since the Oculus Rift came out, I’ve been a fan of it’s premise, and I’ve owned a couple models, which all worked fine.

My biggest problem with the Oculus was wires though, you sit in a comfortable chair, and move around but the wires can limit you.

That was what brought me to the GearVR, Samsung’s partnership with Oculus to create an Oculus-powered VR rig.

Games are pretty fun with it: you can race against other players in a mario-cart type race environment, build entire worlds with Minecraft VR, fight against enemies in space with End Space, Eve: Gunjack or Anshar Wars 2, solve puzzles with Darknet or go bowling. You can also use a variety of apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Oculus Cinema, or even talk with others via AltSpaceVR. There are other games and apps, but those are the main ones I’ve been enjoying.

Google’s Cardboard initiative follows a similar idea but it’s not quite as nice as the GearVR, though Google has promised a Gear-like headset for all android phones.

GearVR has some handy pieces to it, aside from the lack of wires running to a computer, it’s powered entirely by your phone, and has a touchpad on the side of the unit that lets you control most of the apps.

Obviously, the units that mount to your desktop will have better games, but that’s actually just fine by me, I’ll take portability and wireless convenience anyday.

But there are a few things you need to make this experience better.

1. Enable airplane mode and close background apps.

  • Enable airplane mode on your phone, and then turn wifi and bluetooth on. This helps against some overheating issues that have been reported and lets you use the rig longer.
  • Close all the background apps on your Samsung device before you start GearVR. This will free up resources and make your programs run faster.
  • Connect and enable any devices you plan on using before you start using the GearVR. Once you’re in, you cannot install or connect devices. Also, make sure they are within arm’s reach so you can locate them by touch while you’re using the device.

2. A comfortable place to sit

  • Sit in a comfortable position that allows rotation. A swivel chair is ideal because it will allow you to turn freely while in virtual reality. Stay away from dangerous ledges or sharp objects as virtual reality can be quite disorienting.

3. Headphones

  • You want a nice pair of headphones, I actually enjoy noise-cancelling headphones for this, but any comfortable pair will do.
  • Wireless headphones may sound like a great idea, but they tend to have some lag between device and ear, so wired is the recommended.
  • If you plan to chat with people in apps such as AltSpaceVR, then you also want to get a pair that includes a microphone.

4. Game controllers

The GearVR can be used with any pair of standard or bluetooth headphones. That being said, some users have reported audio lag with bluetooth, so wired headphones are recommended. Additionally, the GearVR can be used with Bluetooth Controllers, and some applications require the use of one (noted in content list). Confirmed compatible controllers include:

Additionally, any standard bluetooth controller should work, as long as it follows standard button mapping and control schemes.

Avocado Dip


This tasty recipe was posted on here before, and got accidentally deleted when I did the jekyll migration last year. Since then, I’ve had people asking for the recipe again, so I am putting it back here now. :)

Avocados are great as they are flexible and can fit into any type of dishs. This dip takes avocados in a new way, and uses the other ingredients to give you a rich balanced dip.

What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (pick your favourite hot sauce there is no wrong choice here)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

How to make it:

  1. Cut all around the ripe avocados down to the pit. Twist and separate the halved fruit. Remove the pit with a spoon, then scoop the flesh with a spoon into your food processor bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon to the food processor.
  3. Chop garlic on your board and mash with 1 teaspoon salt to paste the garlic. Add garlic paste and the red wine vinegar to the food processor.
  4. Place lid on the food processor and turn it on.
  5. While the blade is spinning, stream in extra-virgin olive oil and add hot sauce.
  6. Stop processor, taste dressing and adjust seasonings