The much anticipated Pokémon GO has been released this week to select regions only, but you can sideload the game from APKMirror. I did and I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed. Let me explain why…
Pokémon GO is an augmented-reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. […] The game allows players to capture, battle, train, and trade virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world.
As mentioned above, the game was produced by Niantic - the Google spinoff that created Ingress in 2012. Pokémon GO is basically the same game as Ingress, just with Pokémon. The “PokéStops” where you get items like PokéBalls or health- and revive potions are simply rebranded Ingress-Portals.
Being basically a rebranded Ingress, Pokémon GO suffers from the same problems: its a huge battery hog, the 3D graphics feel sluggish on non-top-tier phones and the memory requirements make it impossible to quickly switch to other apps on your phone without having to restart the game (and wait for it to load). It basically means you either play the game or you use your phone. That's a horrible mobile experience.
What really irks me though, is that game mechanics changed fundamentally to what Pokémon used to be on the GameBoy and other consoles. As far as I understand, there are no real time one-on-one fights. Instead you place a leveled up Pokémon on a “Gym” (just another rebranded Ingress portal) where it can be fought by other players. Fights no longer use the previous turn-based action system. Instead you just click for an attack and try to swipe at the right time to dodge incoming attacks. There doesn't even seem to be a sensible way to pick the right Pokémon to fight (like picking a water Pokémon to fight a Fire Pokémon). There is apparently no strategic element to Pokémon GO fights anymore.
I have no doubt that the game will be successful, but I feel like this is a missed opportunity to make a better game. Combining Gameboy-like topdown 2D graphics and well established fight mechanics with the multiplayer augmented reality aspects of Ingress would have been much better. Especially considering that Pokémon is supposed to be a kids game. Having an enjoyable experience on lower end phones should have been a priority.
Anyway, gotta catch 'em all…
This is a post I was planning to write for a long time now, but somehow never came around to. In 2012 I wrote about my keyring as the main part of my EDC1). Since then a lot of my equipment changed, so here's what I carry every day:
The goal with my EDC is to be able to carry the same things really every day. That means Winter or Summer, regardless of clothing or bags carried. So everything has to fit on my body when I only wear jeans and T-Shirt on a hot summer day. And I have to actually regularly use the things I carry, otherwise why carry them? The things you see above are the result of 4 years of optimizing
Below is a detailed description of all the items.
As you may have noticed, splitbrain.org is now available via HTTPS. This is possible through the awesome Let's Encrypt project which makes SSL certificates available to everyone for free.
They're doing that for a while now, but I always shied away from the hassle to set it up. The SSL certificates they issue are very short lived (90 days) to force you to automate the whole update process. They provide a client to do that but it is a large Python script with all kind of dependencies that also tries to reconfigure your webserver. I didn't like that at all, so I looked for alternatives.
Here's a quick tutorial on how I setup SSL for my domains splitbrain.org and commie.io2):
This post is about our largest project so far: a complete storage solution for all my stuff™.
In our office we had an IKEA Sten1) shelf I had in my room when I still lived at my mom's place. It's flexibility made it fit well with all the places it moved to with me. But an open shelf has it's disadvantages. Things get dusty, it always looks messy and it's hard to store smaller things efficiently.
Most of my stuff consists of small to medium sized things since I got rid of most of my books2). So what I always wanted was something with lots and lots of drawers. But I couldn't find any affordable, suitable solution to buy. So I thought about building it myself. But building a hundred or so drawers didn't sound like fun at all.
Again, IKEA proved to be the right source to find inspiration. Their children's furniture series Trofast was close to what I wanted. It uses plastic drawers of different sizes that can be combined through a simple slot system. Unfortunately all their shelves are kinda small (they are for kids after all). In the end my solution would cover 2.70 meters of wall and be 2 meters high and provide 60 “height units”.
Photos and more details after the jump.
Yesterday we returned from our one week vacation to the Pfalz. We had fantastic weather (except for a single rainy day). We saw a couple of castles (Hambach and Trifels), ate a lot of great food, went on some light hikes, saw many cute little towns and also made day trips to Strasbourg and Heidelberg.
On our way back we stopped at Bamberg and spent the night in a cozy hotel nearby. Before finally going home yesterday we spent some hours at the wonderful Toskana Therme in Bad Sulza - a thermal bath and spa.
As usual you can find a few pictures from our trip below.