Hey Tumblr

December 15th, 2017 by harold

Verizon owns Tumblr. Verizon has no chill and probably will kill this service anytime they want, which might be tomorrow. Probably in the next couple years.

I always thought having a slideshow of my likes at my funeral would be the shit. I wish I could save them all in a convenient file with a big ass folder full of gifs and pictures. I found a script that does it but I haven’t tried it yet. SAVE YOUR LIKES AND POSTS TOO, DIGITAL STORAGE IS ULTRA CHEAP.

To users and post makers: I love you. I love y’all (not y’all over there stirring up shit and stealing content, of course). Tumblr has some of the funniest shit I have ever seen online and I’m decently old now. Thank you for all the work, all those perfect gifs. All those inspiring posts. I’m serious. It’s phenomenal.

To women of color of Tumblr: you already know. You know you made that website a million times better. I’m still giggling at shit like Dick Me Down Darius™ and so many more.

To youngsters: if you feel something for someone and this relationship is reasonably doable, just go and fucking give it a try. Embrace the offline world. We’re so incredibly polarized and you will live longer than any previous generation so pace yourself, give some love, get hurt, regroup, give more love, block, give more love. Stay away from the dark forces, I know they’re strong. But I also know they don’t lead anywhere.

To my followers who still can read more than a sentence at a time: heyy thank you for reading.

The Digital Antiquarian

December 9th, 2017 by harold

Filfre.net. A history of computer entertainment by Jimmy Maher. Absolutely bloody amazing. Please donate to this man.

This week I read the genesis of the Commodore Amiga. The 68000 Wars, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5. This is awesome and so precious.

In France the Amiga was rare as hell. All my friends had computers and consoles from C64 to NES with ROB, none had an Amiga. But magazines were always reviewing games on it, displaying those amazing colors that were inexistent on my IBM, still running in CGA/EGA.

The Amiga was vastly superior and yet, was sort of not existing outside printed pages. Weird! Even weirder was when they closed everything and died early 90s right after announcing new machines, that was so unexpected. On the front page of all magazines that month. Thanks to Jimmy, I understand now why and how Commodore and Jack Tramiel and all those folks were on the verge of bankruptcy the whole time, ready to take insane risks and playing dirty.

Learning that they went to see the guys at Digital Research to adapt their dying OS to a brand new platform that wasn’t running the same hardware, and actually made it work in a few hardcore months, tells you everything about the mentality of the computer game industry. We Brute Force. We Crunch. Since 1974.

The future would lie with modular, expandable design frameworks like those employed by the IBM PC and its clones, open hardware (and software) standards that were nowhere near as sexy or as elegant but that could grow and improve with time.

I first-hand witnessed that as a kid. The IBM PC was not exciting for games in 1988 but was the shit in 1992. Improvements were made every month and you could just swap a card or plug an additional one. Look at graphics: the Amiga was the star with its legendary HAM mode. But then VGA and SVGA happened discretely, games started supporting those modes and that was it. The Personal Computer wasn’t bragging about its technology, it was a consortium of manufacturers who simply were just pushing hardware out, selling more and more.

Anyway. Historic stuff right here.

Design is design

December 8th, 2017 by harold

Design is the same everywhere

I wholeheartedly agree with Jesse. Why aren’t those principles applied more systematically in everything we do building those games? I don’t know. I know playing bass daily gives me a very tight sense of rhythm and flow that I can’t really explain or quantify easily. But it is in me and it comes from another field, music. Which is a game. That follows patterns and design principles.

Design is the same everywhere.

Pineapple

December 8th, 2017 by harold

On my IT gig I’ve been helping this old Asian lady for months. She comes to see me to get help. She’s over 75. She has no family around, she works and needs basic email stuff etc. So I show her how to do stuff on her devices. Once I’m done explaining and showing her, she’s always excited and happy like a child.

She often says "oh I love you so much!" and I’m like "I love you too!". Yesterday she comes by. New phone, new stuff to learn. I show her the process of uploading pictures and she’s super excited and happy as usual. She says "do you like pineapple?" And I’m like "yeah" She comes back 3mn later and gives me a pineapple.

I don’t know if she got rid of it or if it was a true present but it’s all good. “How did it go today?” asked my boss. I raised the fruit, shaking my head laughing, she started wheezing. My bagpack was heavy this morning and I remembered that it had a pineapple in it. A pineapple.

"He was rich in personality and getting pineapple for free" on my tombstone y’all.

Slow Clap

December 4th, 2017 by harold

The pursuit of popularity in a hyper-connected digital environment accentuates the populist style of communication that already characterized media-driven forms of political communication well before the internet age—a style characterized by dramatization, confrontation, negativity, emotionalization, personalization, visualization, and hyper-simplification.

Important article. Get involved locally, focus, make moves, support what you believe, don’t stop.

Costs and Boxes

December 4th, 2017 by harold

Raph Koster at it again. After reading most of the discussions and his awesome blog posts. Two things:

– Our capitalist society destroys the middle inexorably. Mid tier developers, middle class, same. It’s by design: capitalism focuses on maximizing profits which exacerbates both ends of the spectrum. The bottom and top rise while the middle deflates. It’s almost pure physics at this point. I don’t like it, I like the middle, the middle is balanced. We barely mention game developers but we are the ones suffering the most from that strong tension between small teams/budgets or huge teams/budgets. Both bring crunch and unemployment, stress and means to brute force as much as possible (loot boxes are some kind of brute force financing). Capitalism needs to chill. We need to chill.

– Generations, as always: a lot of gamers are over 35 and hate those loot boxes and pay for win systems. Younger generations? They love that stuff. They don’t mind subscribing, they care about showing off their new avatar’s outfits. It’s a generational gap. They have less than ever offline and want everything online, that makes sense. Millennials and internet natives are a much bigger, juicer crowd than gen X. As the industry focuses mainly on youth well, they mostly try to tell 35+ to fuck off. But not too much because they still bring a lot of money too. They can’t afford to lose that crowd either.

That’s where I think something will happen in the next five to ten years: population is aging, living for a much longer time. Most of the wealth is going to move to older brackets. Publishers will have to go and reach out for this money and they might have to rethink their business models and subscriptions to include 40 and 50+ people.

FirstDraft

November 28th, 2017 by harold

I finished editing the first draft. 207 pages.

Writing a memoir is a trip. There’s something mind-bending, thinking back and forth, forth and back over almost four decades.

It’s liberating. I wrote down some stuff that I had in mind for years and I don’t think about them anymore, as if my mind knew that now that it’s out there, there’s no need to keep thinking about it.

It’s exhilarating and weird.

Going through pages, jumping here and there makes me realize how much Design has been and is my life, my soul. I obsess about designing better. For anything and everything. I need to fix this shit. It’s like an emergency, a countdown to me. It’s beyond passion. I know where it comes from.

Now what? I have to hand it over to a few readers I guess. See if I can find a publisher. I’m toying with titles, it’s fun. One that still makes me laugh after months is “I Got Out I Guess”. I haven’t seen the movie yet. You have to read my book/know me well to truly understand why. I also have “Baguette & Burgers” and a dozen others.

The pitch? “from 80s socialist France to post-Obama America follow the fascinating, intersectional life of a different tech worker of color.”

BITCH BUCKLE UP

UnpredictaBall

November 23rd, 2017 by harold

Phila whoopin Western conference 4th seed’s ass hello? The Sixers having a scary as shit month. I call him INDEED EMBIID now. I saw a play where Simmons just torture super athletic Iguadala under the basket like he’s a toy. Ben Simmons is a devilishly good rookie. Best game I’ve seen this year was Sixers vs Mavs, it was awesome.

The key to win is to be unpredictable. And if possible, to offer some entertainment to people.

My Spurs doing pretty well so far but can’t wait for Parker and Leonard to come back. The Pels are doing a little too well, they’re getting more stable with Rondo. The Two Towers are real. So is Filthy Kyrie. All those teams are pretty hard to decipher. What will be the next play? Exactly.

The Raptors are meshing harder and harder. I think their game vs the Warriors was amazing, they figured some shit out. But they still are predictable. So are the Warriors even though they’re so good it’s not an issue. It is with Cleveland. Houston wins with ease but seriously, the 3s all the time? Not fun to watch, even though Harden is unreal from behind the arc.

Holding on and not giving in

November 22nd, 2017 by harold

I was reading about social media attacking our free will. It reminded me of the internal struggle I had when trying to get that Gmail address in 2004 (invite-only, already a vicious mind trick). At that time, Gmail was vastly superior to anything around but the catch was unprecedented: Google would have access to my emails and contacts. I remember pondering and not wanting that at all. I gave in.

Quote:

it’s more about people having a totally different sense of reality, even within the same society or on the same street. It really makes it hard to achieve that common sense of what’s at stake that is necessary for an effective democracy.

And this behavior reinforces itself because of the power of communities, that are sheltering us from a lot but also are destroying the common. In the end, we still all live together on the same big rock. The sense of being all part of the same thing needs to stay but is pulled out by a mix of technology and capitalism.

Every week there are these outrage cascades online. Outrage is a rewarding thing to us, because it fulfills a lot of these psychological needs we have. It could be used to help us move forward, but often, they’re used to keep us clicking and scrolling and typing.

That’s honestly what I fear most about all the sexual harassment stories lately. Not that they are false, but that we think those websites are trying to be progressive when they’re mostly playing us for clicks. Those stories are sadly not new so why so many in few months? Because engagement is insane and metrics are in real time, pushing for all kinds of shady tactics. That undermines actual solutions to real problems.

I don’t know any comparable governmental or religious mechanism that’s anything comparable to the smart phone and social media, in the sense that people give so much attention to it, and it has such a frequency and duration of operation.

I think it varies a lot across generations. Boomers don’t care. Most Gen X can slow down and not give a fuck overnight. Millennials, less. Gen Z, smartphone natives, even less if at all. Don’t give phones to your kids. Let them grow without that stuff as much as possible.

In the end we need to stop using advertising as the source of income in a global environment, it’s just bad design that created what we’re living now. It’s already unsustainable. Let’s stop giving in.

MakesNoSense

November 21st, 2017 by harold

People are said to be excited by AR but can’t mention one single reason or one application where it would actually change their lives for the better. Also people in 2009: “I want notifications!!!” and in 2017: “no I don’t omg make them disappear please”.

If you download a movie you might get a letter telling you that they will cut your connection if you persist but tax evasion in the hundreds of billion dollars offshore is “in the spirit of laws” so it’s fine. Flint still has no clean water.

I lost track of how many VR systems there are out there but it’s a lot and when looking at all time peak stats I only see single to triple digits players. That’s ghastly. Outside developers, I’ve never seen anyone using one.

There’s a new programming language called Pony. People code in Pony now. If they code in Octopus or Calzone in 2020, don’t bother asking.

Elon Musk unveils $200K car and an electric truck and has the weirdest transportation ideas. Elon, we good on that front. We made tremendous progress since the Prius, people don’t move that much and half of pollution comes from cooling/heating buildings anyway. Disrupt housing, man.

People are happy to download iOS 11.3.9.1.1.call.me.sometime to fix the most inexcusable bugs on $1000 phones like it’s totally fine and normal. It just works.

I see programmers on Hacker News arguing about why we don’t need that much JavaScript on websites because most of them are static pages. Bitch, we knew. We told you years ago but y’all needed jobs and now the web is technically a monstrously inefficient pile of shit.

Here on the west coast people throw free joints at you at traffic lights, in Portugal all drugs are legal and in France you will soon get a $375 fine for smoking cannabis, the weakest link. What le fuck.

Lack of consistency and nonsense just get on my nerves so much.