Since 2010

The Last Campfire

I finished playing The Last Campfire last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. It took me about 8 hours from start to finish. We need more games like this (or maybe I just suck at finding them): no violence, nobody dies, no time limit. Beautiful visuals, a quiet and immersive soundtrack, and a story that tugs the heartstrings.

This game was obviously made with massive spoonfuls of love.

HBO's Chernobyl

I’ve just finished rewatching Chernobyl for perhaps the fourth time, and I implore anyone who has not seen it to watch it. I’m not a good storyteller - why use 20 words when 5 will do?! This is perhaps why I admire those who can tell a good story so much, and Craig Mazin who created, wrote, and produced Chernobyl is one of those people.

But what makes it even more amazing is that it’s a real story. I’ve read a few books about the disaster, and listened to Mazin speak about the production of the miniseries on the accompanying podcast and I’m satisfied that, with a few embellishments obviously, the timeline, characters, visuals, and plot are all astonishingly accurate.

I don’t mean the correctness is astonishing (although it is): the story itself is. Every few moments something happens in the show that seems ridiculous, but almost every time it turns out that nope, that person actually said that thing. They did that thing. That is what happened.

I can’t recommend it, and the podcast, enough.

macOS release notes

Apple, a company which employs tens of thousands of people, and with a value measured in billions of dollars, created these release notes for macOS 14.5 which is a multi gigabyte operating system update:

macOS Sonoma 14.5 includes the following improvements and bug fixes:

  • Quartiles is a new and original daily word game that is now available in Apple News+
  • Scoreboard in News+ Puzzles gives you access to new player data for Crossword, Mini Crossword, and Quartiles, including stats and streaks

Some features may not be available for all regions, or on all Apple devices.

That’s it. That’s the entire content of the release notes.

Torture it into doing what you need

The third paragraph of this story is painfully true:

As has been typical in my career, when the vendor said they had a product, what they really meant was they had something vaguely resembling a product that vaguely matched what we needed, and with heavy customization they could torture it into doing what we needed. Of course by customizing their “product” we cleverly combined all the downsides of vendor software with all the downsides of custom software.

Conspiracy of lawyers

Terence Eden in a post titled “What isn’t realtime?”:

there are so many bewildering slow steps that it’s hard not to imagine a conspiracy of lawyers keeping things churning along to pad out their fees

Jesus yes. I’m now into the third year to trying to deal with my late father’s estate and I’ve been saying exactly the same thing. At each turn it’s as if he’s the first person to have ever died. The whole thing has been completely impenetrable for a normal human like me, and I am convinced that is by design. Because money, I assume.