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November 2022 In Review

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November 2022 is no more. It has been a slow month. I made myself some tea just before typing this, and the drawer where we keep it in broke, so that’s a good start. More things broke this month, such as the dryer (for the second time), a bike tire, a glass, a piece of the parquet (??), and my mood. These gray and windy days remind me of disturbing scenes from The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow.

Speaking about breaking stuff, I continued the site refactoring streak of last month and migrated another blog to a CSS grid system where the sidebar disappears after the content by changing grid-template-columns from 24% 1fr to 100% and adding a grid-row value of 2. I had no idea it was possible to swap rows, that’s quite neat!

Previous month in review: October 2022.

Books I’ve read

I started reading Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s Grand Europa Hotel but it’s a big one and can be difficult to digest at times. Progress has been slow—at the end of our days, there’s little energy left to read. It does somehow match closely to last month’s Ik = Cartograaf as they’re both about the history of Europe, although I like Ilja’s writing style and approach a lot more.

Games I’ve played

  • Axiom Verge 2—4/5; the successor to last month’s Axiom Verge, another one-man stunt from Tom Happ. It feels less spectacular than the first one but it’s still highly enjoyable as a metroidvania. I own Limited Run Games' physical release of the 2-in-1 cartridge (8hrs).
  • Void Bastards—2/5; I bought that one last year and gave it a couple of hours before giving up. After giving it a second chance, I gave it another couple of hours before giving up. The Switch version feels cumbersome (4hrs).
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World—3/5; an enjoyable if repetitive platformer that’s likely to be more fun when played with your kids (7hrs).
  • The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow—4/5; this must be the highlight of the month: an exceptionally creepy and well-written indie adventure game with superb voice acting (6hrs). Here’s the launch trailer thrown in for good measure:
YouTube video x-1C_9RQJb8

A lot of short games, it seems. No worries, Tactics Ogre has arrived, that one can easily eat up 40+ hours… To be honest I’ve been kind of scared to start playing it.

Selected (blog) posts

  • Guidelines for Brutalist Web Design by David Bryant Copeland matches closely with the “build websites that last” mantra I came across last month.
  • I know this has been shared a lot already, but Home Invasion by Hugh Rundle expresses my current feelings about Mastodon quite well.
  • Nikita is right: the most important feature of Sublime Text is that it doesn’t change. That article is from 2020 and still relevant. It’s sad to see so many migrate to Visual Studio Code.
  • William Woodruff explains how he modernized his 1980s sound system. I think this is my favorite of the month.
  • José Naranja is a notebook maker. I love everything about that blog, and he sells his notebooks! A pity they’re €250
  • T.R.Schmidt reveals that Duke Nukem 1 & 2 stole graphics from Turrican. Wow, that’s news to me—I can’t unsee it.
  • David Lebovitz bakes a chocolate pecan slab pie. Now I wish we had pecans available: the overflow of walnuts don’t exactly taste the same.
  • Ana Rodrigues is very open on her blog about her pregnancy and the birth of her baby—a very emotional post.
  • A lot of people seem to have fun with 86Box, an accurate IBM PC retro emulator. I’ve yet to give it a try.
  • Did you know you can emulate an old version of macOS in the browser? See https://macos8.app/!
  • https://flamingtempura.github.io/bibtex-tidy/ cleans up and sorts your LaTeX .bib files. A lot faster than heavyweight Zotero stuff.
  • If you’re having trouble connecting a display to your Apple Silicon Mac, try BetterDisplay which unlocks custom resolutions and brightness settings.
  • This will brighten up your day: https://grumpy.website/ collects software design mistakes.
  • wazero is a zero-dependency WebAssembly runtime for Go that looks promising.

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I'm Wouter Groeneveld, a Brain Baker, and I love the smell of freshly baked thoughts (and bread) in the morning. I sometimes convince others to bake their brain (and bread) too.

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