TL;DR: I'm building Deckbox but for Pokémon cards. Headless WordPress app with a Next.js/React frontend. You can browse the catalog now; you can also request a beta invite if you want to try it out. Want to learn more? Read on!
I think this architecture has stuck with me more than I realized. As headless WordPress took off, I had the chance to learn how to properly build a API-based application. Now all I needed was a problem to solve...
A problem like the massive amount of Pokémon cards in my collection. I've started selling some of them on TCGplayer, and while they have a decent app, it didn't quite fit my needs. I needed an application I could store my catalog in and quickly check it for cards that have increased in value. It also needed to be able to tag different versions of the same card for when it came time to build a deck.
Yeah, it doesn't look like much. In the interest of finishing, this is a minimally viable product. In this case, lots of Bootstrap. But let me show you what there is!
One one level, Grimoire is just a catalog of Pokémon cards. It uses the TCGplayer API to get the different cards. TCGplayer is already invested in having an extensive catalog of all the Pokémon cards printed, so that is thankfully work I do not have to do. For Grimoire, I wanted to add two things to their catalog:
A Grimoire ID (
pkm-evs-49-r in the screenshot) consists of up to 4 parts:
pkmdenotes a Pokémon card. This part is mostly in place for when I inevitably support for Magic the Gathering.
The idea is that by looking at the card, you can infer the ID as long as you know the patterns. This is the part of the project that's going to take the longest, as there is a major manual process to all this. Most cards can fit in this pattern, but there are always exceptions. There are deck-exclusive variants, league staff variants, and a bunch of other cards that will have to be manually assigned IDs.
It's okay. It's not like I have a full-time job or anything.
The card in the screenshot above is a reverse-holographic printing. There's also a normal, non-holographic printing. These cards are the same from a gameplay perspective, but they have different collection values. With Grimoire, alternate printings are all linked together:
Different card, different price, but same text. The two versions of this card link to each other. This is largely in place so that, in the future, it can be easier to find out which cards you have as you're building a deck. Some desirable cards may have more inexpensive versions. That's why it was important for this feature not just to work within a set, as shown for the Pikachu card, but between different sets.
One of the headline cards for Evolving Skies was Umbreon VMAX, shown in this screenshot:
There was also a "secret" version of this card with alternate artwork:
Very cool! And very expensive. But that wasn't the last time they printed this card. In the Brilliant Stars set, there is a special collection called the Trainer Gallery featuring Pokémon posing with their trainers. And here's the gigantic Umbreon:
All three of these are different cards with (very!) different prices. But when building a deck, all three are functionally the same.
But I set out to build a personal catalog, not just a list. So once I've logged in, how does that change things?
At the bottom of each card's page, there is a list of the different collections I've made. I can change the quantity of this card in each of those collections. In this case, it's a pretty rare card, so I've only got one.
On my profile page, I can see all my collections and the current value of those cards:
And because entering this data can take a long time, it was important for me to have a CSV export so that I can download my cards and their quantities in a standard format.
I could write several blog posts about the tech problems I solved making this app. And in fact, I probably will, sometime in the next... time. If you want to see a writeup on any of the features, leave a comment!
At a high level, the frontend website is a fully static Next.js application. This means that the website is written in React and TypeScript with anything that can be rendered ahead of time written to static HTML. It's currently hosted on Vercel, but I could just as easily host it anywhere else because, again, it's static HTML. If Geocities was still around, I could host it there.
That would be a bad idea, I would not host it there.
The backend is a WordPress theme hosted on Smolblog. Remember that? The static rendering uses GraphQL to get the cards and sets, while the more interactive features use custom endpoints in the WordPress REST API. The only reason for the separation is... that... I couldn't figure out how to make the custom endpoints I wanted in GraphQL and I didn't feel like taking the time to learn it just yet.
But there were plenty of fun problems I did solve, including
As I get to the end of the first version of this project, I learned an important lesson:
WordPress was a bad choice.
I don't say that lightly. I've spent the last few years of my life immersed in the WordPress world, and I truly believe it can be used for almost anything.
But in the case of Grimoire, the data does not lend itself to custom post types as easily as custom tables. While sets and cards could conceivably be custom post types, they would rely heavily on custom metadata and taxonomies. The data is much more suited for a traditional relational database. At this point in the project, WordPress is only being used for authentication and as an administration tool. For the future of Grimoire, the benefits of a fully-featured platform like WordPress are outweighed by the difficulties in working directly with the database.
I have a few plans for Grimoire moving forward:
I've rambled long enough. Go check out Grimoire and let me know what you think!
In September of 2020, I published a song called "The Optimist's Lament" that was one-half a listing of everything going wrong with the world and one-half a desperate prayer to God to help. Today, I lament more.
Today, right-wing insurrectionists stormed the capitol of my country in an attempt to stop the certification of an election. This is horrible. Yet what hurts me the most here is seeing the multiple instances of Christian imagery in the attack.
Check the "Proud American Christian" in this flag:
Or the more classic Christian Flag in the background of this one:
And I'm not surprised. Honestly, I'm not even angry anymore. Just sad. I'm sad that my faith—the part of me that I can hold on to when literally nothing else makes sense—is used in this way.
I was angry about this once. But this already happened in 2020:
Not to mention 2016:
But this is just politics. It goes all the way back to the late 70's where many prominent Christian leaders were galvanized into politics by
the Supreme Court verdict in Roe v. Wade the loss of tax exemptions by Bob Jones University based on their segregationist policies:
Although a few evangelical voices, including Christianity Today magazine, mildly criticized the [Roe v. Wade] ruling, the overwhelming response was silence, even approval. Baptists, in particular, applauded the decision as an appropriate articulation of the division between church and state, between personal morality and state regulation of individual behavior. “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision,” wrote W. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press.
The IRS was not placated. On January 19, 1976, after years of warnings—integrate or pay taxes—the agency rescinded the school’s tax exemption.
For many evangelical leaders, who had been following the issue since Green v. Connally, Bob Jones University was the final straw. As Elmer L. Rumminger, longtime administrator at Bob Jones University, told me in an interview, [...] “That was really the major issue that got us all involved.”Randall Balmer, "The Real Origins of the Religious Right," Politico
But I don't have the energy to be angry about that. Because while some have been using the name of Jesus to justify abhorrent political views like locking undocumented immigrants in literal cages or promoting the rich at the expense of the poor, others have just been using symbols of Christianity to justify... stuff.
So yeah. I don't have the energy to get angry about images of Christ's sacrifice—the time that the crowd chose to execute an innocent man instead of the violent insurrectionist—being used to sell a fascist coup.
I don't even have the energy to get angry about images of Christ's sacrifice—the entire means by which I can gain some hope in this bleak life—being used to sell questionable political beliefs.
Because I spent too much energy fighting off images of Christ's sacrifice—an event so traumatic Jesus literally sweat blood in anticipation of it—being used to sell sub-par, half-quality merchandise that I'm "supposed" to buy instead because it's "Christian."
So yeah, I'm sad. Sad that the symbols of my faith, rather than being a sign that I am welcome and safe, are now warnings for me to stay away.
For the unfamiliar, a "headcanon" is a fan's interpretation of an aspect of a work that does not necessarily align with the work as generally accepted. In a sentence: "It's canon in my head." What follows is my personal interpretation of The Lego Batman Movie.
Not sure if Batman spoilers but definitely Lego Movie spoilers so have a break:
This is a sequel to The Lego Movie. One of the clues that Lego was actually a kid playing with Legos was the odd turns of phrases and over-the-top characterizations that made sense when viewed from the perspective of an eight-to-ten-year-old. While we don’t get quite as many in Lego Batman, they’re still there.
So, basically, Finn is all “Hey, Dad, I want to watch a Batman movie!” and Finn’s dad is all “Well, we can try, but I don’t think you’re going to like it.” And they watch one of the tamer, modern ones (Batman Begins most likely), and Finn hates it. Haaaates it. And he asks his dad about other Batman movies, and his Dad gives him the TV Tropes synopsis of them.
And now Finn is pissed. Like, really pissed. Because Batman is one of his favorite characters. He’s probably got “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman” on his lunchbox or something. But the Batman he saw is… kinda boring. And not a hero. At least, not to him.
And his dad, eager to actually do some proper Legoing with his son, suggests they make their own Batman movie.
That’s why we get some casual-but-not-important references to The Abyss and Master Builders and the Massive Multiplayer Crossover (I’m one of the nerd friends you can ask) but no explicit tie-ins to The Lego Movie beyond that: it’s Finn and his dad setting out to make a real Batman movie.
It started with an email:
Let’s see, do I remember that Mini?
Yes. Yes I do. Story time: I bought that Mini February of 2009. Custom-built: no sunroof or automatic A/C, but I added in bonnet stripes, fog lamps, and sport seats. 6-speed manual transmission.
It had a turbo button. They actually called it a “sport” button: increased responsiveness of the throttle and the tightness of the steering. It was a turbo button.
And in January of 2013 I lost the cushy job that let me afford said amazing car.
Thankfully, I had enough equity in that car that I could sell it to CarMax and get one that... runs. And I own outright with no payments, so we’ve got that going for it.
Still, though, that doesn’t mean I’m happy about the whole thing:
Now, CarMax, like many large companies these days, has people monitoring their Twitter account. So they responded, and we had a little conversation:
And that was that.
Or at least, I thought so until a week later:
OK, sure, you want to send me something. This is why I have a PO Box.
Now I’m curious.
Anyway, this week I finally had a chance to head to the Post Office and pick it up. For those familiar with the United States Postal Service, it was a “medium flat rate” box. Not the CarMax Koozie I was expecting, then.
In fact, it wasn’t something CarMax at all:
Well played, CarMax; well played. I’ll see you in a few months when I sell my house and can actually afford one of your cars.
My first great garage sale find was an original Nintendo Entertainment System with all the cords, 2 controllers, and 4 games including Super Mario Brothers 3 and Contra. All for seven dollars.
We sold Contra for seven dollars. I later heard about Contra and all it entails, but I don’t really regret that sale. We didn’t enjoy that game a whole lot (mostly because it was super hard), and it meant we basically got the NES for free.
Now, this was back in the days when GameStop still bought/sold classic games. We picked up original Zelda and sold it back. We found a copy of Super Mario Bros / Duck Hunt and might have sold it back; I can’t really remember.
And then we found Kirby’s Adventure.
When the Virtual Console for Wii was announced, I explained why I was looking forward to playing Kirby’s Adventure again:
First, Kirby’s Adventure is fun. Plain and simple. Not many games from this time period let you fly to get around puzzles, let alone absorb abilities from your enemies. Second, the game is expansive. There are at least six different worlds, each with several levels and minigames to boot. Third, powerups. One minute you’re throwing razor-sharp boomerangs, the next you’re a fireball, and the next you’re a floating UFO shooting laser beams. Don’t like what you’ve got? Press select and find a new one. But my personal favorite is the surprise ending, where [spoiler deleted] and you find out that [spoiler deleted].
Kirby’s Adventure is one of the best games of the 8-bit era. It has an unusual game mechanic, plenty of secret areas to discover, save files, a surprise ending, and one part even has parallax-scrolling backgrounds that most games didn’t see until the Sega Genesis / Super Nintendo era.
Satoru Iwata was a producer on that game. He’s most known for working as a programmer at HAL labs, working on games like Kirby and Earthbound (and even doubling the size of Pokemon Gold/Silver!) before moving on to become the president of Nintendo. He was there for Nintendo’s release of the Nintendo DS and Wii which were responsible for the company’s massive successes last decade, and when the 3DS and WiiU didn’t sell as planned, he himself took a pay cut. And when news of his death was released yesterday, it took so many people–myself included–by surprise.
He was an authentic president, a skilled coder, and he will be missed. Rest in peace, Iwata.
I’ve largely been silent on the issue of Ferguson, MO. Most of what I’ve “said” on the topic have been retweets and reblogs of what other people have said. Since I’m not on the ground there, I’ve ceded my voice to those that are. Since this doesn’t feel like my story, I’ve ceded my voice to those who it is.
Though I’ve been developing opinions of my own on the subject, I was waiting for the evidence and the investigation to be made public before saying anything. I feel that I need to be serious with my words; firing off half-baked opinions about a controversial topic based on shaky evidence is not what I want to be known for. I trusted our justice system to conduct a complete investigation and give Officer Wilson a fair trial.
With Monday’s announcement that there would be no trial (at least at the state level), that trust has been shaken. And so I write.
I firmly believe that there is enough doubt around the circumstances of Michael Brown’s death that a trial is deserved. The solution to conflicting reports is to bring them out at trial. The solution to conflicting evidence is to investigate it. There is a lot of noise around this event; we need a real investigation and a real trial to cut through the noise and find the truth.
Many people have bemoaned how the court of public opinion has already found Officer Wilson guilty of murder. The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney could have taken the judgement to an actual court, but chose not to. Perhaps I am being unfair–after all, it was a Grand Jury that chose not to indict Officer Wilson. Yet Attorney McCulloch had a simple job and failed to do it.
These events have shaken my faith in the justice system in my country. I’ve always believed that the system was fair; I see now that it isn’t. I have thought that the disproportionate targeting of African-Americans by police was a factor of wealth or some other circumstance, but now I’m wondering if racism in the police force is a bigger problem than I first believed.
Even if Michael Brown was a thug that deserved to die, Officer Wilson did not have the right to make that decision. The death penalty, even where it exists, can only be given out by a jury, not a single officer. If Michael Brown did not deserve to die, then this is a crime. This needs to be investigated. We need the truth.
Having kept track of or been involved with Invisible Children in one way or another since 2006, it's easy for me to believe the recent accusations against them.
I do not have a firm opinion on this nor the time to properly formulate one.
Have a few brief thoughts on this whole Bin Laden kerfluffle that are too long for twitter, so here goes.
don't celebrate death, celebrate justice
And now I should get back to work.
<p>Hi, my name is Andrew W. King and I am the President of United American’s Branch Office Division.</p>
I believe we have a winner for the “Most Obscure Yet Oddly Professionally Sounding Name Of A Company” award!
<p>I found your resume online and wanted to contact you.</p>
If this wasn’t an obvious form letter, I’d appreciate that. But it is, so I don’t.
<p>We are now hiring applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds and we believe you are an outstanding match.</p>
In other words, I have a pulse.
<p>We have immediate openings for motivated individuals like you.</p>
You could tell I was motivated just by my resume? Then you obviously didn’t catch that I’m living at my parents’ house.
<p>First year earnings can range as high as $100,000 for new representatives and management positions are <strong>awarded</strong> for excellence, regardless of prior experience.</p>
So, if I “award” you the award mentioned above, will you “award” me a management position?
<p>If you are goal-oriented with good communication skills and have a desire to succeed within a company that has a well-known industry reputation for financial stability, quality products and streamlined services, then I would like to speak with you at your earliest convenience.</p>
Rule Number One for Evan: NO SALES POSITIONS I’m sorry, but this is not negotiable. Unless you’re Apple.
<p>We are a part of the Torchmark Corporation.</p>
Found them. Do not want. I mean… really do not want.
Moral of the story: don’t spam. You’re wasting the time I could have spent trolling craigslist.
I may or may not have attempted to grill pork on the stove.
I may or may not have set off the smoke alarm.
The local fire department may or may not have been called.
This may or may not show up on my student account.
Update: I did. I did. I did. It won’t.
There once was a buggy AI
Who decided her subject should die.
When the plot was uncovered,
The subjected discovered
That sadly the cake was a lie.
A woman in liquor production
Owns a still of exquisite construction.
The alcohol boils
Through magnetic coils.
She says that it’s “proof by induction.”
A preoccupied vegan named Hugh
picked up the wrong sandwich to chew.
He took a big bite
before spitting, in fright,
“OMG, WTF, BBQ!”
There once was a small juicy orange,
See that lighthouse beam in the sky
That guides yonder ships going by?
My friend shines that beam;
She’s living her dream.
I’m in grad school. I still don’t know why.
There was a young woman named Bright
Whose speed was much faster than light.
She set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.
A programmer started to cuss
Because getting to sleep was a fuss
As he lay there in bed
Looping ’round in his head
was: while(!asleep()) sheep++;
The limerick’s structure somewhat
necessitates eloquent smut.
If you haven’t the time
to learn meter and rhyme,
then don’t write them, you ignorant s–t.
There once was a girl named Lenore
And a bird and a bust and a door
And a guy with depression
And a whole lot of questions
And the bird always says “Nevermore.”
There once was a man from Japan
whose limericks just wouldn’t scan.
When asked why this was,
he answered, “Because
I always cram as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can.”
There once was a maid from Madras
Who had a magnificent ass.
Not rounded and pink,
as you’d possibly think;
It was gray, had long ears, and ate grass.
There once was a gal from Peru
whose limericks stopped on line two.
There was a zookeep from Nantucket
Who was struck by a fish — couldn’t duck it
He was thrown from the cage
By a pinniped’s rage.
Quoth the walrus, “You can’t has mah bukkit!”
A newspaper poet for Hearst
Deprived of his reason
By uncontrolled sneezing
Was by phantasmal demons coerced
To write all of his limericks reversed.
The limerick packs laughs astronomical
in a space that is most economical.
But of the ones that I’ve seen,
so few have been clean,
and the clean ones are seldom so comical.
A dozen, a gross, and a score
plus three times the square root of four
divided by seven
plus five times eleven
is nine squared, and not a bit more!
There once was a fellow from Xiangling
Whose greatest delight was in mangling
Poems. He would drop
Words between lines and lop
Their ends off, and leave readers dang
There was a limerick I heard,
With stressed syllables quite awkward.
Rhythm was somewhat
Still present in it, but
It forced mispronouncing every word.
To the skeptics I say, oh come off it.
Your aluminum hat? You can doff it.
To me it’s a riddle
Just what’s in the middle
But I’m sure that the last step is profit.
There once was a girl named Jude,
Who’s skirt by the wind was strewed.
A man came along,
And unless im quite wrong,
You expected this last line to be lewd.
Ther once was an old man of Esser,
Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser,
It at last grew so small
He knew nothing at all,
And now he’s a college professor.
A student as smart as could be
Had to integrate x to the 3
He said “x to the 4
over 4, I am sure”
But was off by a constant of C.
Since your poems are clumsy and s–te,
No longer can I be polite:
Come on you f–ktard,
It’s really not hard,
to get the d–n syllables right.
A poet ran out of ideas;
Because he had no more ideas;
He repeated himself,
By repeating himself,
Because he ran out of ideas;
Two eager and dashing young beaux
Were held up and robbed of their cleaux
In summer it’s warm -
They’ll come to no harm
But what will they do if it sneaux?
There was a young man who said “God
Must find it exceedingly odd
To think that the tree
Should continue to be
When there’s no one about in the quad.”
“Dear Sir: Your astonishment’s odd;
I am always about in the quad.
And that’s why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by, Yours faithfully, God.”
There once was a poet named Gunderson
Whose rhyme schemes were all very cumbersome.
With each botched refrain,
he’d be heard to exclaim,
“Oh, how do I get myself into these situations?!
If you haven’t heard about all the to-do about Manhunt 2, the wikipedia page has a nice summary. Basically, someone made an extremely violent game, got an Adults Only rating from the ESRB, which makes it against company policy for it to be stocked at most major retailers or played on the major game consoles. What follows is my thoughts from this discussion at Wii Fanboy.
I don’t have a problem with people making AO games or buying AO games as long as they are of the proper age. However, I fully respect the right of the major retailers to not stock the games. Best Buy, Target, and the like don’t carry NC-17 movies (do they?), so it makes sense that they won’t carry AO games. There’s plenty of opportunities for small, specialty retailers to carry the games.
As for Nintendo and Sony refusing to license the games, it’s their decision. They’re not entering this decision lightly; with all the hype this game is getting, licensing this game is like money in the bank. But if they want to keep their platform at a certain level, that’s their decision.
And folks, please please PLEASE don’t call this ‘banning‘ the game or ‘censorship‘. The government is not involved here and no one’s going to jail. These are decisions by private corporations; no one is being forced to not carry Manhunt 2.
I think the core problem is that video games are still fighting for acceptance as an art form. Games like this won’t be acceptable until after that happens, not before. Games like this–unfortunately–will do more to hurt games’ acceptance than help it.
STOP CALLING YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN, JACK THOMPSON.</p>
Yes, I was one of the signers of the letter (though I was too cheap to donate anything). I disagree with much of what you’re saying, but that’s beside the point. I’m not angry because I disagree with you.
I’m angry because you are knowingly distorting information and “bearing false witness” against those that ordered flowers. If you would take the time to read the letter you would realize that the flowers were simply to get your attention. It was believed that you would appreciate flowers better than sex toys, copies of GTA, or pizzas you didn’t order. Apparently we were wrong.
Jack Thompson, it is my firm belief that by proclaiming God to be on your side in this battle is defaming the name of God (Exodus 20:7), similar to those who proclaim that “God Hates Fags.” You are associating the name of God with a message of hate. I am not saying God does not hate sin. He does, but he does not hate sinners. He sent Jesus for sinners.
I realize I have not been very coherent in this post. I would love to dialogue with you further on this (an e-mail form can be reached from my website). However, since you seem to have mocked our request for a civil forum with you (see the FFJ letter), I don’t hold much hope for that. In fact, I doubt you will read this at all. You’ve probably already written me off as a damned Pixelante, not bothering to notice that I, and many others, hold the same Faith you claim to have.
I had to get that off my chest. Sorry.
The comments on this digg story have once again degraded into another flamewar. Because the simple mention of anything religious in the tech world is absolutely taboo. This comment really took the cake, though:
<p>If “Christians” wanted to make this world a better place, they’d immediately either denounce their religion or kill themselves. There is no room in this world for those who believe in fairy tales and are over the age of 10. I have no doubt that some of what is written in the Bible is historically accurate to some degree, but <span class="caps">ALL</span> religions blow it <span class="caps">WAY</span> out of context and attach their own beliefs and propoganda in order to suck new members into their respective branches of Christianity. <span class="caps">DOWN</span> <span class="caps">WITH</span> <span class="caps">THE</span> <span class="caps">RELIGIOUS</span> <span class="caps">RIGHT</span>!!!</p>
And here is my ill-deserved responce:
Truly spoken like someone that doesn’t have the faintest clue what Christianity is about. I don’t care if you went to church every single day of your life; that doesn’t mean you know anything about it. Let’s look at things logically here:
<p>“If “Christians” wanted to make this world a better place, they’d immediately either denounce their religion or kill themselves.”</p>
Contrary to popular belief, there are true Christians out there that are actively trying to make the world a better place. WorldVision is a good place to start. And if we all took your advice and killed ourselves, you’d just look at us and say, “Wow, look at all those idiots who killed themselves.” Cults have mass suicides. Christianity doesn’t. In fact, if you actually read the Bible, you’d see that Jesus brought someone back from the dead. Hardly the action of someone endorsing mass suicides.
<p>“There is no room in this world for those who believe in fairy tales and are over the age of 10.”</p>
No one over the age of 10 seriously believes in fairy tales. Christianity isn’t a fairy tale. Fairy tales are defined as being “extremely happy.” People going to hell isn’t happy. It’s one of the things I like least about Christianity, but it’s still there. And I still believe it.
And what if it is a fairy tale, anyway? It gives me hope, helps me survive, and makes me a better person. If I didn’t have this hope, I would have already killed myself.
<p>“I have no doubt that some of what is written in the Bible is historically accurate to some degree, but <span class="caps">ALL</span> religions blow it <span class="caps">WAY</span> out of context and attach their own beliefs and propoganda in order to suck new members into their respective branches of Christianity.”</p>
Okay, are you talking about all religions or just Christianity? Make up your mind.
Some is historically accurate? How about a book that has more than ten times as many usable sources (manuscripts within one generation of the original) than anything by Plato or Aristotle? How about a book that has survived with no substantial changes for over a thousand years? Works of fiction don’t do that. Works of fiction don’t inspire people to change their lives.
And don’t judge a religion by its followers. It’s the same reason you shouldn’t hate the Mac just because some Mac users are complete zealots. Yes, some preachers throw on their own versions of Christianity. That’s how cults get started. And the majority of thinking people in this world see them for what they truly are: quacks.
Propaganda? Sounds like you’ve been reading your fair share of anti-Christian propaganda.
<p>“DOWN <span class="caps">WITH</span> <span class="caps">THE</span> <span class="caps">RELIGIOUS</span> <span class="caps">RIGHT</span>!!!”</p>
The religious right, as much as some people would like it to be, isn’t Christianity. Don’t judge a religion by its followers. Go to the source (the Bible) and decide for yourself.
Seriously, you need to read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. It does a good job of presenting the core beliefs of Christianity without any of your so-called “propaganda.” And Lewis was not a stupid man.
My two cents on the Nintendo Revolution / Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 debate, posted at Engadget:
I’m not a gamer. At least not hard-core. When I sit down for 30-45 minutes at a time I expect to be entertained. I expect to have FUN! Right now I’m having fun playing Astro Boy for the GBA. A 2-D system. No polygons, no advanced cell processing bullcrap, just fun.
That’s why I’m buying a Revolution. I’m sick and tired of wading through fake ROM sites and pr0n to play Star Fox 64, too cheap and lazy to find the game and a used N64 at the store. Nintendo’s offering me a system with (presumably) an iTunes-like interface for buying old games, downloading them to my console, and being able to play them. Between that and my PS One (yes, ONE), I should be set for a good long while.
Xbox 360? Wake me when someone hacks it so I can play my QuickTime videos or use my Mac. Oh, and when they get a game I can be excited about besides Halo #. Sorry, guys, but I’m an Apple fanboy, and if Microsoft is going to sell the system based on it being a multimedia hub, it’s gotta work with my Mac in order to sell it to me.
PS3? Maybe so. If the Revolution wasn’t backwards compatable, then I might simply because I’ve got games for it. But now that they’ve got DDR on the GameCube (never mind that it has Mario in it), I’m not as inclined.
Then, of course, there’s price. Nintendo seems eager to undercut the other two consoles, probably by not being as “powerful” as the others. And at the power we’re talking about, the differences between chips (35x, 3x, 150000x more powerful) won’t be apparent until the end of the cycle. By then they’ll be talking about the next generation. And even the least powerful console will still get geeeeeorgous games (God of War, anyone?). Nintendo could squeeze basic polygons out of the SNES (Star Fox), I’m sure they could do a lot with the Revolution.
Oh… this is about rumored specs? Um… well, Nintendo is like Apple, so don’t believe anything until Steve Jobs– I mean Miyamoto-San officially announce something. Um… yeah.
In this /. story Apple is reported to have officially switched to Intel processors, citing more innovation, better power use, and the fact that they’ve been planning it for the past five years. Mac OS X already runs, they’ve got a real-time emulation layer to transparently run current Mac programs, and most other programs can be rebuilt in two hours.
So you mean after years and years of my touting how Intel chips suxxors, now I’ve got to follow Apple onto them? groan I hope this works out. I also hope that they’re not going to sell OS X apart from Macs… or maybe that’s their plan? What better way to invade the Windows territory than to invade their own hardware? Offer the Mac experience at a very cheap price…?
No, that’s not Apple’s style. The Mac experience is driven in part by the fact that hardware and software Just Work™. If Apple has to start supporting all manner of hardware that’s in the x86 world, that would cause problems. Of course, they could only support ATI/NVidia cards, Intel processors, and a certain kind of RAM… Meh, who knows. Now let’s see if I can get Tiger to run on that old HP POC I’ve got upstairs that won’t even run Red Hat…
Okay, if you’re into technology, you really should check out Kevin Rose’s new downloadable show Systm. This first episode is about building a warspying device, basically a box with a screen and a receiver for wireless cameras (like the X10 camera that shows up in pop-up ads the world over). It’s a pretty cool show, especially for being free.
Another reason I’m saying this is that Kevin recently quit his day job at some television channel to do this. Given the direction that network is headed (the $igns are everywhere), I’m kinda glad he’s jumping ship now, although Attack of the Show won’t be nearly the same without him. Good luck, Kevin. And I want to interview you for bsod!