Fifteen Games

Stolen from Kendra.

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. 15 games you’ve played that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

  1. D&D
  2. Shadowrun
  3. Battletech
  4. Final Fantasy I/III
  5. Magic: the Gathering
  6. Street Fighter II
  7. Bust-a-Move
  8. Diablo II
  9. Ascendancy
  10. King’s Quest V/VI
  11. Unreal Tournament
  12. Halo 3 Alpha
  13. Grand Theft Auto III
  14. Gran Turismo 2/3
  15. Maniac Mansion

Worldwake Draft Pointing Chart

Well, whenever I draft online, I often refer to the set reviews on Channel Fireball.  Some of the more recent set reviews do not list out the name of the card on the page so it’s quite tough to quickly find a value.   I decided to use some new-found InDesign skills and whip up a little layout.   Others might find this useful:

WWK_draft

Songs that give me the chills

…in a good way, of course.

  • Sealegs – The Shins
  • Super-Connected – Belly
  • Give You Nothing – Bad Religion
  • Goreki – Lamb
  • This Night Has Opened My Eyes – The Smiths (and the At The Drive In cover)
  • Sober – Tool
  • Dont Fear (The Reaper) – Blue Oyster Cult
  • D-7 – Wipers

Did anyone want an oversized iPod touch?

Apple positions the new iPad as the middle ground between phones and laptops.   They state that netbooks were supposed to fill that void, but their typical slow speed kills that solution.  How does Apple decide to bridge the gap?   Take the OS from their phone and slap it on a 10 inch screen and price it aggressively.  Once the initial hype wears off, I don’t see Apple selling even 15% as many iPads as iPhones.

How can you not love this thing?  It’s like a huge iPhone with awesome new apps!

Unfortunately, there is a lot missing in comparison to an iPhone.  It’s lost, primarily, the ability to make phone calls!  Also, no camera, no GPS, no compass and the screen DPI drops by 20%.  If you’re carrying around your iPad, you better make sure you have your iPhone as well.

Who cares!  That screen is huge!  It can do all sorts of things!

No, it still doesn’t support multitasking or any sort of notification system.  Yes, there are apps that will support the iPad natively, but how efficient will you be using the iPad apps when you could just carry your laptop instead?   Yes, I think the iPad going to be used in addition to a laptop, not instead.  There are just too many things you cannot do with just an iPad.

It’s only $499!

Sort of.  If you want just 16GB of storage, no 3G and no accessories, that fine.  Anyone that wants to make serious use of the device would easily pony up for the 3G model and the keyboard dock, at a minimum.   The 64GB 3G model and a keyboard dock will be just under that magical $999 price point.  Again, why wouldn’t you buy a laptop?

The Good, the Bad and the OCD at I ♥ wireframes

My career/passion is mobile wireframing.  What’s wireframing?  Wireframing is the process of creating a wireframe.   Alright, what’s a wireframe, a-hole?  A wireframe is a mockup of the structure and behavior of a product that does not imply final colors or visuals.  Imagine all of your favorite websites reduced down to shades of gray and without any images.   Sounds pretty boring, eh?  Seeing these sites reduced to their core state actually explains a LOT about usability and functionality.  Pretty much any site that has more than 1K users probably start with a wireframe.

I found a new site that shows informative examples of wireframes accurately named “I ♥ wireframes”.  Looking through the latest 25 or so posts, I’m seeing a few trends.  First, some people spend _WAY_ too much time on a drawn wireframe.  If you need to make changes, there is no point in using high fidelity on an uneditable medium.  Lastly, there are always better ideas out there.  I’ve discovered a few annotation ideas I’ll definitely be using for my next major project.

On to the point of this post, displaying what I consider to be good and bad/nutso wireframes.  If it’s listed on “I ♥ wireframes”, there aren’t going to be any poorly-created ones so I’ll just point out the OCD ones.

Good

Bad/OCD

#tmdp Speculation Heating Up

Looks like my little #tmdp scoop is finally getting some legs:

Based on the public accounts that have used the hashtags #tmdp and #tmd, I’ve discovered potential Pink features:

  • “Tweet wall” (or Tweet fall/Tweetwall/Tweetfall)
  • Homefeed, a potential new homescreen concept
  • Input is using Swype

Granted, since all of these tweets are public, this could be a complete case of misdirection.  Since the original tag of #tmd evolved to #tmdp, I don’t agree with the current speculation that the tag stands for “T-Mobile Danger Phone/Prototype” or “The Microsoft Danger Phone/Prototype”.   Neither of those makes much sense as “TMO Danger” or “The MS Danger”.   I’m thinking it’s a badge of pride like “The MFing Danger!” and now “The MFing Danger/Pink!”.

Regardless, if you’re interested in following the developments, keep watching the #tmdp hashtag and all 41 (so far) accounts at this list:  http://twitter.com/opensob/tmdp

LeMons Arse-Freeze ’09: Festibus!

The “race” car didn’t require that much work this year (replace water pump, replace oil seals, fix a blown strut, install a new seat, repaint the hood), we decided to make our pit buggy look like a mini-Festiva.  Soon after we slapped a bit cardboard on as a roof, we realized the pit buggy was almost the exact height of the Festiva already.  Since the pit buggy has tiny wheels, we knew we couldn’t do a super-deformed style either.    We just decided to wing it and see what came out!

After the roof was on, I just started cutting.  We ended up buying a few rolls of yellow duct tape.  Hours of middle-school-level crafting later, we had this:

Gorgeous, eh?

C is for Cupcake, so what’s H?

Android started naming their upcoming releases based on sweet treats.   1.5 was Cupcake, 1.6 was Donut and now 2.0 is Eclair.   The next version will be Flan and they are toying with using Gingerbread after that.   How long will they be able to keep this up?   I tried to come up with my own list and failed at X and obviously had to look some others up:

  • Gelato / Gummy Bear
  • Hard Candy / Hasty Pudding
  • Ice Cream
  • Jumble / Junket
  • King Cake / Krumkake
  • Layer Cake
  • Macaroon / Marzipan
  • Nanaimo Bar
  • Oatmeal Cookie
  • Panettone / Petit Fours
  • Quaresimali / Quindim
  • Rice pudding
  • Snickerdoodle / Sorbet / Sponge Cake / Stollen
  • Twinkie / Tarte Tatin
  • Upside Down Cake
  • Vanille Kipferl / Vaselopita
  • Wafer
  • X
  • Yogurt
  • Zabaglione / Zeppole

Viruses are malicious buggers, these days

The first symptom was Clare’s laptop having trouble burning a CD through iTunes.  A few reboots later and some odd anti-virus dialogs started popping up.  A few web searches and another reboot later, the machine was completely owned.

Boot up was taking five times as long and was punctuated with incessant dialogs and tooltips from the system tray.  Having tackled a few bits of malware in the past, I immediately turned to Malware-Bytes Anti-Malware and ComboFix.  Unfortunately, the malware-writers know all about these tools and try so very hard to keep the system.   Here are some of the cute steps they took to keep the system in lock down:

  • Disabled access to the Task Manager
  • Disabled CD and USB drive access
  • Turned off automatic updates
  • Disabled all executables!

That last one was ridiculous.  If you could find a way to get a file onto the computer (don’t forget, no USB disks, no CDs), you couldn’t even execute the file.  I tried all sorts of tricks and literally everything was locked down.  Finally, a little research explained that only a few executables are allowed to run.  If you rename your app to explorer.exe, it’ll run.   Using that trick and Process Explorer, I was able to kill the offending processes.  A few registry hacks, exeFixer, ComboFix and finally Malware-Bytes and I think the system is fixed.

Oh, who am I kidding, I don’t trust a once-rooted system.  Time to wipe and install Windows 7!