LOWREZJAM 2017

Signed up for LOWREZJAM 2017

I’ve just started drawing some “art”, adapting an old pixel font nerds of a certain age will recognize. Finally, something my 1980s pixel art skills are good for!

Figure I’ll make a metroidvania dungeon game; I don’t mind action, I’m just not good at dealing with real-time animation of giant art sets. This’ll make a good test of my Electron framework, before I ship something big in it.

Update: Realized there’s an old game I loved to match the art that I’d like to do (an update/homage, not a straight ripoff), and it’s not a metroidvania. Making a ton of level maps is beyond my current spare time, and procedural metroidvania’s a hard research problem.

RIP iPod

Tragedy: Apple kills the last two iPods

The “iPod touch” should be renamed the “noPhone iPhone”. It’s a cute device, a good pocket Unix terminal, and 128GB is usable, but iPhone and noPhone iPhone are far less convenient as actual music players, especially for walking.

I know, Kids Today™ don’t buy albums, hell, have never sat thru an entire record and flipped to the B-side and back again, listening to every note & word of Black Sabbath or 2112 or The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions. I’m not even sure Drake counts as music. #getoffmylawn

But the noPhone iPhone has no cellular, so they can’t stream away from wifi, so they have to download & curate music, which means iTunes and syncing anyway.

I’ll be keeping my iPod classic 160GB as long as it keeps spinning. But then what? I can’t even get a shit-brown Zune.

Open Plan

Apple Park’s Open Work Spaces

I’ve had the misfortune to work in “war rooms” (no fighting allowed!) and “open plans” before, and for some reason I always think of this, for a moment before the noise distracts me:

Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April for
instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in
that clammy month that the H-G [Handicapper-General’s] men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-
year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very
hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t
think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his
intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his
ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a
government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would
send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair
advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel’s
cheeks, but she’d forgotten for the moment what they were about.
On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George’s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits
from a burglar alarm.

—Kurt Vonnegut, “Harrison Bergeron” (1961)

Remember OpenMoko?

Mickey’s Story (to be read with Brian’s Song playing)

Lessons: Linux & GTK+ are terrible, hardware guys making decisions without design & software direction are terrible, open doesn’t help if you run a shitty stack. I ♥️ Python, but not in a kernel.

That puck phone was the ugliest thing in the world, and it couldn’t reliably make or receive phone calls, which in 2007 would’ve been feature #1 in a phone.

The design mockups are hilarious, Photoshop without any connection to shippable code.

And the Commodore PET sucked.