October 2022 is no more. This month broke yet more temperature records in the EU: a week ago, we recorded 24 degrees Celsius, while it should have been 10 or less. The culprit is supposedly a very slow high pressure jet stream. Who wants to take on a bet and predict that this winter will shatter more records?
I’ve been enjoying fiddling with my blogs. Brain Baking got a new logo: a lightbulb with two different lobes; a brain and a loaf of bread representing the baking part. The screw even ends in a fountain pen tip! Thanks to my wife’s drawing skills—I did nothing but come up with an idea and convert the result to SVG to more easily blend in on the site. Also, I finally managed to remove the Bootstrap 3 dependency on Jefklak’s Codex and took the time to streamline some
<div/> and CSS soup. That’s
250 kB of (uncompressed) data less for a site visit!
Twitter’s exodus thanks to a certain billionaire is leading a lot of folks to the Fediverse, which is great, except that my timeline is starting to look like a mess, making me start questioning the usefulness of it. To me, the appeal was in the quietness, not the endless scrolling like in any other conventional social media platform. We’ll see how things evolve.
Oh, and to all developers: do not update your macOS to Ventura. I’ve had issues with a slow Mail client, Python scripts (some Alfred plugins still rely on Python 2 which is gone now), Homebrew compilations, JDK paths, … The worst? I lost
45 GB. Why?
Previous month in review: September 2022.
Books I’ve read
- Ik = Cartograaf by Jeroen Theuwis. A travelogue of Jeroen’s hike from Ireland to Istanbul filled with historical facts of Europe and a troublesome family life. I’m not sure what to think of it.
I tried starting a couple of others but felt too tired each time I opened them. Next month perhaps?
StoryGraph is crap at Dutch books, so I also gave up on that site.
Games I’ve played
We’re slowly evolving from pointing & clicking to exploring castles and backtracking:
- Finished last month’s playthrough of Anna’s Quest by Daedalic Entertainment. It’s all right but the control scheme and protagonist drove me crazy. 2/5—Mediocre.
- I tried getting into Cursed to Golf by Chuhai Labs but gave up after three hours. The masochistic nature of the barebones roguelike implementation is just not for me. 1/5—Bad.
- Michael Klamerus over at Mastodon—hey, this is useful!—recommended me The Darkside Detective, a (very) short and gritty adventure game bursting with dark humor. 3/5—Good.
- Axiom Verge, developed, composed, and designed by a single guy. A great dedication to classic NES Metroid. 4/5—Great.
- Metroid Dread I had still lying around and didn’t get around to until I finished Axiom Verge and wanted more metroidvania goodness. It’s as expected: cinematic, full of tension, and regularly frustrating and bland. Still, it’s the first 2D Metroid game in 19 years since Metroid Fusion! 4/5—Great.
For those who appreciate Roland MIDI goodness: someone at Bandcamp produces high-quality MIDI soundtracks of classic DOS games, including Apogee and LucasArts games.
Selected (blog) posts
NDC Sydney happened two weeks ago, and Steve Sanderson’s talk on the history of the internet and web tech was amazing. I particularly enjoyed Steve showcasing old tech like Netscape Navigator and Win 3.1’s inet capabilities using a live emulator. You can watch it online:
- SNES Ranking via Roy Tang: someone ranked all (US-released) SNES games. All of them!
- Ben Werdmuller now publishes his sources. It’s like this curated list, except better and not as time-consuming. Very cool!
- Computers should expose their internal workings as a 6th sense by Matt Webb. Couldn’t agree more.
- Measuring Soccer Player’s Creativity by Pieter Robberechts et al., an interesting take on creativity (for soccer players: the ability to create openings) and analyzing it using a neural network.
- Justin Duch spent 574 big ones on a web font for his blog. It was worth it, he concludes. I honestly don’t see that much of a difference but am happy for him. It better be worth it.
- Surma explains in detail how monochrome image dithering works. I’ve seen it used in Low Tech magazine and contemplated on including it here, but it’s perhaps a step too far.
- Hans Peter Jansson explores generating artwork for adventure games using DALL-E 2, and it looks like it’s a feasible path.
- Kevin Norman convinced a scammer that they’re going crazy. Highly entertaining.
- Anders Jensen-Urstad collected screenshots from developers that use UNIX in 2002—that SuSE Linux' green tints triggered instant nostalgia waves. Michael also collects screenshots over the years. I wish everyone did!
- Jim Nielsen writes about website fidelity in high/low/text-only modes that should be part of a standard protocol.
- Justin beat Pool of Radiance and told us about the playthrough.
- GitHub’s ReadME features Open source is democratizing video game development this month, an interesting if incomplete read.
Other random links
- The RSS Endpoint list. Some of these can be semi-hidden and it’s great to see that alternatives to RSS-Bridge exist.
- In case you’re not familiar with recent JS browser additions such as
fetch(): You might not need jQuery provides an overview.
- Speaking of overviews, Dan North sent me a Killed by Google list. Spooky!
- If you’re bored: Guess The Game!
- In case you didn’t know yet, Belgium has a lot of ugly houses.
- I discovered that I should be using Open Critic instead of Meta Critic.
- There’s a GoldLib ISA Sound Card, a clone of the legendary Adlib. It’s a very stingy
€360tough. I think I’ll hang onto my Sound Blaster 2.0 for a little while longer.
- Advance Wars is apparently playable through the web.
- I’ll be keeping an eye on GoToSocial, a Go-based ActivityPub server that might end up replacing Pleroma for me if it one day exists alpha.