Tag Archives: Writing

Website Copy – MJT Solutions


MJT Solutions’ goal is to set the benchmarks for the managed services industry by providing its customers with affordable solutions that go beyond the average service provider. Our industry knowledge and expertise provides a solid infrastructure and a wide range of customer centric solutions that will meet and exceed our clients’ needs. Our clients have come to rely on our broad capabilities, reliable and consistent service to deploy new technologies, streamline business processes and use our expertise in IT to boost employee productivity.

We are committed to setting the highest level of excellence in our client services and technical standards. We can facilitate your needs from outlining your options, negotiating contracts with vendors and service providers to the final implementation and support. Unlike traditional contractors and consultants, we support our clients’ from the planning and design phase through to the service/systems’ lifecycle.

We understand the real time requirements of our clients, their need to move quickly and efficiently in today’s ever changing markets. We find it especially gratifying to make these things happen for our customers and building long term relationships with them.


MJT Solutions is an information technology management, support and consulting services provider. Our team of senior consultants and systems administrator have been in the service provider industry for a number of years having held senior posts at several tier2 and tier3 telecommunications providers such 3Z Canada, Neutral Data Centers Corp and Permond Solutions Group.

Currently the service industry is divided between large scale providers focusing on enterprise customers or very large customers and smaller consulting firms pursuing other smaller businesses. In this market exists a demand for carrier grade solutions that are customized for small to medium scale businesses without the costs generally associated with this level of service. This is where the Vere advantage becomes clear; we partner with you to build best of breed solutions to meet your specific requirements that also work with your budget. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.


This service is tailored for all our SMB and SOHO client tiers and provides them with 24/7 on call technical support from our helpdesk analysts. This service is already included with our Managed IT portfolio but also stands on its own to provide organizations with limited technical staff a point of escalation to quickly and efficiently manage incidents that may otherwise have a negative business impact.

We saw the need for expertise in the collocation market where the ISPs either do not have the resources to support the remote clients or their resources are overloaded and the quality of services inevitably suffers. This is where Vere comes in. We have a presence at 151 Front Street to ensure we can respond to our managed collocated clients at a moments notice. Our team of Systems Administrator with significant industry experience is always available at the 151 Front Street datacenters or just a few moments away from any datacenters across Toronto.

Faster than Light Game Review – Gamer Living – 1412 words

You are a Federation ship, carrying vital information across galaxies.  This is much easier said than done, however;  you are being ruthlessly pursued by the Rebellion.  Every stop you make, every ship you help, and every trip to the store means the Rebellion is one step closer to finding you.  Every galaxy you visit is littered with threats: Space pirates, malicious aliens, slavers, and ambushes lie in wait.  However, space is also filled with people who desperately need assistance: survivors of battles long past, stations filled with giant space spiders, and Federation ships trying to outfly pirates.  If that’s not incentive enough, there are also trade stops lush with wares, and the weapons and technology you need to out-fly and out-fight the Rebels.

FTL: Faster Than Light is the little video game that could; this indie game achieved funding through Kickstarter.  The game’s concept might sound hopelessly esoteric to the casual gamer: a real-time space sim with the consequence of permanent death if you slip up?  Roguelike games aren’t usually applauded for their accessibility.  However, Subset Games not only pulls this concept off, but it does so with aplomb.  The basic gameplay is fun and it manages to be strategic and skilled despite the lack of twitch reflexes and the inclusion of random events.

Every element of the game is made very clear in the user interface, and despite the fact the models aren’t too far off from the pixelated sprites of the NES in concept, in practice, they read clearly and express essential information – health, race, action, movement – in a glance.  The icons and areas of the ship are equally clear, in an almost utilitarian fashion that still manages to be pleasing to the eye.  The graphics and audio hail back to its retro ancestors, paying homage while adding modern twists.  It sheds the harsh sounds of old 8-bit soundtracks but keeps the same influences, smoothing the final product out into something that manages to be both eerie and hopeful at times, while staying entirely faithful to the genre of science fiction.

As for gameplay, the general hook is very simple: You have a ship, you travel to different points across galaxies, and random events will pop up.  FTL: Faster Than Light refuses to keep a light and relaxing pace.  Instead, the game plunges into depths that end up being extremely rewarding and fun to uncover.  For instance, you start out with one ship, the Kestrel, and three human crew members. Later on, you can acquire additional crew members by saving them from slavers or chaos, and purchase them from stores.

Your ship has rooms, and each room houses a vital part of your ship.  There’s the engines, the shields, the bridge, the sensors, the weapons, and so on.  These rooms can be damaged in combat in various ways – sometimes the shields are broken, or the engine needs vital repairs.  Other times, holes in the floor suck oxygen out of the ship and characters slowly asphyxiate.  Or maybe a raging fire will take out your crew members in a horrible blaze.  Not only do you have to manage your crew members, but clever use of the airlocks can remove fires at the expensive of oxygen loss.  It’s a little like controlling a house full of Sims, but the stakes are much higher.

Then the game goes deeper still.  Each crew member has experience bars.  The guy who works on the shields all day will end up being very good at repairing shields.  Not only will he repair them faster, but the player is awarded temporary bonuses from having the shields expert in the shield room during combat.  You’ll also collect more and more crew members as you travel the galaxy, and they come in multiple races.  The alien race composed of rocks (aka Rockmen) are slow and lumbering, but they can knock out fires.  The Engis can repair things ridiculously well, but don’t expect them to get in a hand-to-hand fight.   Also, the different alien races confer ship-wide bonuses, such as increased repair speed or the psychic ability to see rooms that might be blocked from your sight due to a nebula or camera malfunction.  This means that not only do they have their individual strengths and weaknesses, but the aliens you bring on board will change the way the game plays and the way you manage the various challenges upon your ship.  So, every game that you play will provide a different experience as you deal with your new crew. The result is you can use your crew members and your ship efficiently to minimize your hardships.

And there will be hardships aplenty.  The random event generator can be very unkind.  Luckily, combat is a blast.  Your ship is outfitted with weapons (and later on, drones) that each have unique effects, damage levels, charge up times, and power requirements.  The combat is real-time, but there’s also a turn-based element to exchanges as you each wait for your weapons to charge up.  Liberal use of the pause button will make life easier for new players, but once you’ve obtained some comfort with the combat system, you’ll be able to breeze through some ordeals.  The tricky part comes when you have to combine crew management with ship combat, and then you’ll be clicking away more than a Starcraft player could ever dream of.

Of course, there are rich rewards for your tribulations.  You will receive the bread and butter of your travels – missiles and gas – but you’ll also get scrap (which is essentially currency) and drone parts.  From there, when you stumble across a shop, you can trade these assets for new weapons, new crew members, new drones (which provide passive effects during combat) and new upgrades.  This leads to a rich experience that bears repeating – and repeat you shall.  And, as the tip screen will helpfully remind you, dying is just part of the fun.  Achievements you unlock during successful runs will carry over through a persistent metagame to allow you access to new ships, layouts and equipment.  The problem is the Rebels are tracking you, and the map will slowly show their progress.  You gain rich rewards for exploring every corner of the galaxy, but the Rebel fleet is persistent and competent.  Once you fall within their jurisdiction, you can expect fights against powerhouse ships that show no mercy at all.

So, what’s the catch?  FTL: Faster Than Light is an excellent game, seemingly too good to be true.  There is one problem, though:  the sheer amount of information the player requires to play the game to its maximum potential.  Subset Games has included a tutorial, and while it is well done and informational, it still took experience out in the field to actually learn what I was doing.  The tutorial also only covers the basics, and the player is expected to pick up the rest of the information on his or her own.  This leads to some confusion over the game that requires a lot of unnecessary research and experimentation, which can break up the fun flow of outrunning the Rebellion.  As an example, the way persistent upgrades, ship unlocks or weapons upgrades carry over across games was a large source of confusion to me at first.  I wasn’t sure if my upgrades mattered past the individual games or not, and it affected my individual play sessions – do I bother upgrading when I think I’m near death, or do I just go ahead and try again with a clean slate?  In addition, the ship upgrade systems can be a bit difficult to use efficiently.  While the tutorial explains the basics, I had to teach myself the best ways to upgrade my ship to keep improving how I played and advance farther.  These problems rarely affect the first few games or hours of gameplay, but once the player is in the thick of things it can cause confusion.

FTL: Faster Than Light surprised me the way few blockbuster AAA titles can.  While the concept of this game might seem alienating or meant for a niche audience of fans of roguelikes and micromanagement, Subset Games has produced a game that comes very nearly close to perfect.  It strikes a satisfying balance between acquisition and attrition, random and calculated, managing and playing, complex and simple.  Players of all stripes can find value in this game, and I can’t wait to make another run across space.

Headset Review – Gamer Living – 1115 words

My old headset lasted two years, staying faithful and reliable through thick and thin. I grew to fall in love with that old headset and all of its quirks and features: the way it smelled like the shampoo I used, the comfort of the heavy foam band, the teeth marks my cats left on the microphone.  But then, in a devastating coincidence, it perished to old age on the same day as my seven year old desktop PC. Heartbroken, I thought I could never love again.  But now I have a new headset in my life, the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition, and I think I can once again open my heart to allow a new headset in. Did this headset betray my trust, or did it leave me swooning and senseless?

Everything about the Flux is designed to impress. If you’re the type of consumer who dreads the process of bringing a sealed plastic case home from Best Buy, hacking away at it with an X-Acto Knife until it finally yields and then tearing it apart in order to get to your precious purchase, the Flux will be a godsend for you.  The container can be opened in two minutes by simply removing the clear plastic cover on the case.  The case is designed to be reused when transporting your headset, and can be resealed as easily as it is opened.  While the packaging is a minor point in an electronics purchase that will last years under the right circumstances, the clever container shows the care and time that SteelSeries put into every aspect of the Flux.

The SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition comes in two colours: black and white. I use the black headset, which is accented with orange wires; the white headset comes with matching white wires. The Flux allows you to customize the way your headset looks. The  ear cups have magnetic attachments so you can swap out the decorative discs on the sides. I was given a choice between silver and black with an orange logo, or just shiny black plastic. Either choice looks sleek and attractive so the appearance-conscious gamer will have nothing to complain about. If you dislike the initial choices or the colour of the wires, never fear! SteelSeries allows you to purchase new cords and discs online, meaning you can have your headset customized to your taste.

Of course, looks are meaningless if the product doesn’t work well. Thankfully, the Flux is a fantastic headset for gamers. The headset was simple to set up and worked immediately.  There was very little effort needed to calibrate the sound or microphone, and I was able to listen to music and chat with friends within minutes of opening the packaging. While playing my usual games, a whole new dimension of sound opened to me.  On the Fields of Justice inLeague of Legends, I could hear birds crowing and the wind whistling in the background.  In Borderlands 2, I could hear the distinction between my allies’ weapon types and every enemy’s cries and comedic lines. In Team Fortress 2, my performance as a Sniper skyrocketed when I realised I could now hear the footsteps of incoming sneaky Spies and perilous Pyros.  My old headset couldn’t detect these subtle background noises, and game soundtracks and sound effects were muddy and indistinct compared to the Flux. I was shocked at the difference.

The microphone is different than any other headset I’ve used in the past.  I was initially quite confused by the microphone’s placement, leading to a few minutes of fruitless searching for a microphone peripheral in the box.  Once I realised that the mic was connected to the wires via a small attachment that ends up resting against the shoulder, I was sceptical of the quality.  However, the Flux surprised me once again with high quality audio transmissions.  While using the Flux, you will need to turn your microphone volume up a couple of notches to compensate for the position, but the quality is fantastic and I came across crisp and clear while chatting and strategizing with my teammates.

Once you’ve gotten over the lack of a mic in front of your face, the Flux’s mic location is actually quite useful.  If you ever like to snack or drink while at your computer, you never have to worry about the mic being in the way.   As a cat owner, I was glad that there was no dangly mic to tempt the little devils.  Eventually, the shoulder positioning on the mic felt natural and useful.

On top of the high-quality audio input and output, the Flux is constructed very well . The headset’s upper band is a thick, flexible rubber with a plastic core that is both durable and comfortable. There are adjusters above the ear-cups, but they take only minimal adjustments and stay put where you set them.  My large noggin was no issue for the Flux’s flexibility.  Even better, the Flux isn’t stretched out when traded between users.  Instead, the headset remains comfortably firm on the user’s head, never being knocked loose or requiring tedious adjustments.  The Flux can be a little too firm at times, however, and after hours of use the headset becomes painful as the soft backs of your ears are pinched by the excessive pressure.

The wires in the Flux can be switched to different sides of your headset, and there is also an extender in case you find that the standard cord length to be too short.  If someone wants to listen in, he/she can plug headphones into the other side of the headset.  This was very useful for watching movies late at night or sharing a funny YouTube video without having to unplug and replug the headset in.  It was a very nice touch that I never realised would come in handy until I had access to it, and a sign of the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition’s careful design and clever functions.

I once felt that there was only room in my heart for one headset, and after its death that I would become an audio widow.  The SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition taught me how to love again.  Often gamers cycle through headsets at an alarming rate, buying twenty-dollar purchases that break after a couple of months.  I highly suggest investing in a high-priced but durable headset that will last years and provide an extra level of quality to your gaming needs.  It may seem like an expensive cost, but not only will you save yourself the heartbreak of constantly replacing another broken microphone, you may find yourself appreciating the Flux’s loving construction and carefully considered features.  I know that I have been thoroughly swept off my feet.


Local Musician Biography – 329 Words

Born of an intellectual household helmed by two sociology professors, Lina Quesada learned from an early age to weave together concepts of logic and emotion, art and intellect. This practice has been applied to her songwriting career; from the age of seven onward  Lina wrote songs for school musicals and family performances. She’s never looked back. Ten years ago, Lina left her birthplace of Bogotá , Colombia to seek success in Toronto. She started with only a scant handful of original songs, an acceptance letter to Humber College’s music program and a dream, but over the last decade Lina has been honing her art with hard work, dedication that allows her to overcome the challenges in her path.

Lina’s professional start was behind the scenes, working at a music management company and turning out jingles. Her first step onto the stage was singing for the band Sweet Thursday in 2003, working with producers Todd Dafoe and J. Miller. Unfortunately, Sweet Thursday was an outfit that was a touch too commercial, and Lina returned to her own projects. Working with old friends and contacts from college, Lina found herself in the company of some established names in the industry – Ron Lopata (Jully Black, Ron Sexsminth), Bryon Wong (Beck, David Usher) and engineer Vic Florencia (Joss Stone, Nelly Furtado). Free from obligations and distractions that old projects held, Lina recorded a demo CD that was true to her artistic vision in 2008.

Lina’s new EP, One, is a fresh of breath air amidst a musical landscape that can be audaciously loud and bright. One hits emotional high and lows during its brief duration. Her songs fuse a piano-pop foundation with lilting melodies, Latin rhythm and jazz accents overlaid with understated lyrics and finished with a dark, sometimes haunting edge. One is an EP that could have only been produced by a woman like Lina Quesada, who manages to interlace the rigid concepts of logic and knowledge with the flowing ideas behind art and emotion.

Flash Fiction – 195 words

Veronica stretched out lazily on her grandmothers couch. Upstairs, the rest of the family were happily chatting away. Veronica sighed. She hated the insincerity of family events. Her parents called her discontent a teenage phase, but she hated how her family could only express their feelings in food. Her parents had been pushing sweet, rich food on her for months. Tired of staring at the ceiling, she wandered over to Grandmas cabinet filled with VCRs. “Just like them to have a basement full of crap.” Veronica muttered. “Would it kill them to buy a DVD player?” Each tape was meticulously labeled with a name. It took Veronica a second to recognize many of the names; each tape was for a deceased family member. At the top of the pile, there was a tape marked Veronica. Maybe it was an old aunt? Curious, she popped it into the VCR player. Images popped up immediately, not of some deceased family member, but of Veronica. She stared at the screen. Baby Veronica toddling across the yard, graduating from school, going to prom… Then, a screen: “In honor of our sacrifice on August 8th, 2012.”

From upstairs, a call: “Veronica, dinner!”