AMD Slays

March 13th, 2018 by harold


My favorite is the small one on top of that big Pentium II cartridge, the Am386 DX/DXL-33. So many memories.

AMD fascinates the shit out of me. It’s a “small” company led by a woman, Lisa Su.

AMD competes with Intel, a company ten times bigger and fights against Nvidia, a company about the same size. Both are aggressive as hell. It doesn’t matter. In this ultra-complex world of billions of transistors sandwiches, AMD is and has been able to sustain themselves in both CPU and GPU worlds. That’s so insane. I swear, it’s absurdly amazing.

They bring great products to the market. They launched 20 different CPUs and a bunch of GPUs last year and they’re all excellent. I really wish I could buy some and enjoy them and built rigs for people around.

Keep pushing, AMD.

Jason Out

March 12th, 2018 by harold

Jason Rohrer on his last released game, One Hour One Life.

But if the games press isn’t relevant anymore, how do people find out about new games? There are two ways: word of mouth, and YouTube videos. Word of mouth has always been the most important factor for any game, I think.

Word of mouth is insanely powerful. It’s random, unchecked, pervasive. It just happens. I keep hearing about FortNite even though I don’t play it nor do I see people play it nor do I watch people play that game. But it’s around and that makes me want to try it.

I designed One Hour One Life intentionally to operate well in this new paradigm.

That’s a crucial statement. I’ve always heard developers talk about making the game they want to play but I always felt that this was not necessarily business-savvy. Jason didn’t hesitate and designed his game so that it works with how people “behave” with new games. Very interesting and apparently, successful.

I hope it gives other developers ideas. Let’s free ourselves from silos a bit, shall we?

Slowing the tech roll

March 12th, 2018 by harold

I’m so appalled at the state of technology right now. It looks like everything bows down to services.

No one is forcing companies to not be dicks. They get away with it. Take Twitter, who became big by having so many people making apps for their service. They meticulously killed those, stealing their features. They started to modify chronological order and shit.

My phone is old but it works perfectly fine. Everything that Twitter does –displaying text, pictures and short videos- can be done on a 2012 phone. I shouldn’t have to upgrade anything *at all* to display not 140, but 280 characters. Flickr gives me that shit too: “you should upgrade your browser”. Your website displays a grid of pictures, the fuck you mean? Any browser can do that.

The other thing is, those services could be so awesome if they hadn’t gone AI and Big Data on us. True Chronological Order on FB or Twitter would be so incredibly powerful. I would be on it all the fucking time instead of being grossed out, kind of forced to check here and there.

Imagine tabs on FB with you sharing to different people, easily. Imagine never having to dread a back and forth in your timeline. Imagine FB as easy to filter as your email. And fast as hell. Mmh.

The sad part is that we’re a few lines of code, a few refactoring away from freedom. It fucks me up.

I am Charlie Wilson

March 11th, 2018 by harold

I had always wondered why the GAP Band was in this weird zone, universally praised and known while being completely obscure and different.

I had always wondered why so many of those grooves and amazing anthems sounded so similar.

All the answers are in his book. I read it months ago and it still makes me sad. They got robbed. They got pissed. Brotherhood might not be what you think it is.

The GAP (standing for Greenwood, Archer and Pine, where the Tulsa riots happened) Band is huge. Charlie’s voice’s enthusiasm is unmatchable. I feel him when he talks about learning music and how he was fascinated by harmony while teachers were telling him to focus on melody. I had the same shit happening to me when I learned piano. Stacked notes over sequences of notes any day, I don’t care.

I’m glad you’re at peace now man. Thank you for the absolute bangers you guys created and thank you for writing it all down, uncle Charlie.

On that music and Mars thing

March 10th, 2018 by harold


I mean, yeah. He’s one of the best-selling artist of all times already. It’s not just that he’s known. He’s making mad money and started by impersonating Elvis, the dude who stole black people’s moves and music. Patterns.

That’s how music business works. Music sells primarily to white people, in a much bigger volume to white people. Since about the 40s so it’s been a while.

For this reason, artists need to cater to that market. And there’s nothing better to cater than to look alike, especially since videos are how the word spreads out (and the reason why I don’t like them: music is about listening, fuck watching).

It’s no coincidence if Rihanna and Beyoncé are not dark skin women. That Drake is very white. The Wknd. That Bruno is even whiter. There is an absurd amount of talented black artists who were/are too black for TV. It all started to really hurts with the rise of MTV almost 40 years ago.

So many originators of black music –that is being used in various ways in ALL pop music- have never been heard or seen. I dig them online, listen to their music, find their pictures and love them. Music will always be more important than faces.

I think that’s the core argument: most black artists were making their own shit, creating their lanes. Trying things out. On the last Prince’s album he toys with house music and dubstep, but it’s still a Prince song with his guitar licks and ways of arranging horns and keyboards. MJ’s Bad album is fucking unique in so many ways. You can recognize a GAP Band groove from miles away.

Bruno copy/paste shit and says shout out to the OGs. It’s a different vibe. But yeah the song 24 Magic slaps and it’s annoying. It itches.

The worst part is that this entire appropriation phenomenon makes black people hate their black skin when their black skin is perfectly fine. Black skin is a symbol of creating timeless music genres and songs. Be proud of it.

Wing Commander II

March 8th, 2018 by harold

Outstanding article on a pillar of computer games’ 90s culture.

In retrospect, the Speech Pack for that game might have been one of the thing that made me think that sound is important in games. Even then as a preteen, buying sounds for a game felt wrong but I thought this was just because technology was moving so fast, developers didn’t have the time to do everything at the same time. Which was true, to some extent.

The technical craziness to me was that this game used 20MB of space. My hard-drive at that time was 20MB, which was standard and not enough for Origin’s game. 40MB hard-drives were ultra expensive. It’s as if today a game coming out required you to have a 2TB SSD ($1200 as of now). Not recommended, required. That was nuts.

The game was pretty bad. The fake 3D didn’t work well. The divide between gameplay/story was already there and yes, the story wasn’t that great. But it didn’t matter, I really wanted that game. The jump between the CGA-based awful game clones on MS-DOS to this mind-blowing 256 colors fest with digital effing sound was ludicrous. 3D-rendered bitmaps were sexy as hell.

I loved the visual style and design: those spaceships look like they were straight out of Robotech and I couldn’t get enough of that back in 1991. At the same time, Sonic was blowing everything away and Street Fighter II was punching everything away. Dragon Ball, Ranma½, Saint Seiya were airing in France.

That summer, Japan was reigning supreme in my young designer’s head. Japan, and Origin Systems.

March 8th, 2018 by harold

It’s like a bad joke.

If you’re challenged in life, you’re supposed to talk to a therapist.

Therapists require money, quite some. If you’re challenged, you might not have access to that money. You might have trouble to even pay for basics like food or shoes.

If you vent out to friends, they stop wanting to see you right?

If you let friends vent out to challenged-you so that you can forget your own issues, you start looking like fucking Gollum.

If you stay alone, away, it hurts and things don’t get better magically.

If you socialize heavily, everything feels shallow as fuck and you feel empty for days.

If you look for help, people think you should man up.

If you don’t look for help, it doesn’t come either.

I’m pondering the emergency. Writing helps. Sound is the best.

Playoff horizon

March 7th, 2018 by harold

Could my Spurs miss them? Will the Cavs make it to the ECF? Nothing is less sure. I don’t care about Cleveland so much though but how could San Antonio stay in the race?

Well, maybe the staff wants to preserve players for next year. But that’s not how it works, all those new players need playoff experience. If LMA and Kawhi are back in full effect, they could upset tons of people because nobody has played against them in ages. That would be a serious advantage in the ultra-competitive West. Pop is the smartest, we’ll see.

I miss watching Kawhi so much.

Speaking of the West, the Pels are super scary now. With Okafor and Mirotic added, AD can fest while Jrue is tearing all defenses apart while defending like a demon. He is the most underrated player this season. He is crafty as hell, you don’t know what’s going to happen but bam, 2 points in yo face that’s what happened. They’re a nightmare in the fourth and they have tons of experience in OT. They will hurt bad.

The Lakers won’t make it, the Jazz are ahead and definitely strong right now. My man IT doing well considering what he’s gone through, enabling LA to win in Miami for the first time in ten years. Not bad at all.

3s are cool until they’re really not cool, killing the game.

I Hate Atlanta

March 2nd, 2018 by harold

It’s so good.

I hate the simplicity and minimalism, so on point.

I hate that I feel Earn especially when he says after inhaling, “I’m good”.

I hate how the show is always the same shit and that I can’t get enough of it.

I hate that I recognize René & Angela, Breakwater, L.T.D, The Delfonics and Curtis on the first beat, even filtered out.

I hate that I’d love to work on that show. Or the computer game version of it.

I hate that I’d love to make a show like that, based on my book. Or my friend’s life.

I hate that I’m anxious AF and that this show doesn’t relax me.

I hate that Atlanta feels like a dream that I want to watch again.

I hate the clichés and love the clichés.

I hate Katt *soft damn* Williams for being great. I hate the cast for being so dope.

Atlanta is good. I hate Atlanta.

In The Summertime

March 2nd, 2018 by harold

Produced, recorded, performed, mixed and mastered by Harold in Los Angeles on an AMD A10 computer.