Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Random Day

A few Random thoughts for today

- I got a new phone, which would not merit much comment normally, except I’m a gadget nerd and got one of the Verizon Droids. I’m pretty much shackled to Verizon, so it came down to the Droid or the Pre Plus, both of which are pretty sweet. Droid sold me on its google integration and web browsing, and a couple days in I’m still pretty much delighted with it. Biggest complaint is the app store: while it’s worlds better than the blackberry app store, there is really no filtering of crap from non-crap, so finding anything useful is pretty much a crapshoot. I’ve grabbed a few things on recommendations or because I know the brand: notably Evernote, astrid, Advanced Task Killer and Twidroid but I figure I’m still missing out on quality, so I put out a request for suggestions to anyone out there.

- I’ll be going to Dreamation up in Jersey this coming weekend, driving up early Friday morning and staying through Sunday. I have signed up for exactly nothing. This was not a cunning plan on my part, just a result of constantly forgetting, so I intend to play it by ear. I’ll probably hit the signup sheets for things, but I’m also totally up for some pickup play, and may even see what supplies I can bring to help that out. As a heads up, I have a bit of a Dreamation/Dexcon tradition of doing an open breakfast. I usually do this in the hotel, but I don’t know what the facilities are like this year, so I’ll be playing that by ear. Anyway, it basically goes like this: around 7:30 to 8, I’ll go an grab breakfast, and there’s an open invitation to join me that is limited only by whatever chairs can be scrounged up. So if you see me, please, come grab a seat.

- On the topic of Dreamation, if I introduce myself to you and we’ve already met, please do not take offense. At some point, my ability to keep online handles connected with names connected with faces with icons really took a hit. It is entirely possible that I will make that connection sometime halfway through any conversation, and while that’s funny to watch, no offense is meant by it.

- On a similar topic, I come to these things to talk to people. Playing games is an awesome bonus, but the context to randomly shoot the shit about games and gaming is a pure delight for me. So while I sincerely doubt that anyone in my VAST[1] readership would be inclined to shy from conversation, I just want to lay it out there for the record: say hi. I am totally happy to talk.

- The podcast suggestions covered a wide range, but there was no clear winner, so I’m going to call out for a tiebreaker! Of the podcast suggestions I got, the ones which got multiple suggestions were the following:
  • Podgecast
  • Return to Northmoor
  • Atomic Array
  • Actual People, Actual Play
  • Canon Puncture

So, I will be picking one of these. Given that list, people are welcome to suggest which one I go with!

1 - Har har


  1. Apps that I've found useful:

    Aldiko - eBook reader. Probably less useful if you already have a dedicated ebook reading platform.

    Battery Graph - Useful for getting an accurate battery reading, and getting an idea as to how fast it's draining, and what kinds of activities are contributing.

    Google Sky Map - Not really useful, but it's a neat thing to use to show off the phone.

    Layar - I have a handful of other Augmented Reality apps installed, but this is probably the best known one. I haven't needed it much, but it could be more useful if you travel.

    Locale - I haven't used it much myself, but having the ability to change the settings (ringer loudness, which tabs show, etc.) on your phone based on time or location could be useful for separating work usage from personal usage.

    Market Suggest - Suggests applications based off of the ones you already have installed. It might suggest crap, but it will be popular crap.

    NetMeter - Pretty barebones app, tracks WiFi and dataplan usage. Useful if you're concerned about going over your dataplan.

    ShopSavvy - Scan barcodes, do automatic comparison shopping.

    These are all free apps. There are probably good paid apps too, but I wouldn't know about them.

  2. "...and staying through Sunday."

    How long on Sunday? Through the Indie Roundtable?

    "I’ll probably hit the signup sheets for things, but I’m also totally up for some pickup play, and may even see what supplies I can bring to help that out."

    FWIW, I threw FLUXX, some poker chips, and a deck of playing cards in my bag (plus S7S and PDQ# Space Opera stuff).

    Also, are you up for cornering Mac and forcing him to run MYTHENDER?

    "On the topic of Dreamation, if I introduce myself to you and we’ve already met, please do not take offense. (snip)

    You and me both, mang.

    I suspect that proliferation of online handles vs. real names and icons vs. pictures artifically overwhelm our Dunbar's Number/Monkeysphere.

    "randomly shoot the shit about games and gaming is a pure delight for me"

    Expect much of this during the driving, once coffee is acquired for the brainmeats.

  3. Definitely hoping to stick around for the round-table.

  4. Podcast vote: Atomic Array.

    As for remembering names, etc.: Dude, you should have multiple kids. I can never keep their names straight! It makes them laugh to no end.

  5. I love my droid! I'm still thinking about upgrading to a nexus one, but that will have to be after I find a new jyorb. (Know anyone? :P I'm willing to relocate!)

    Ahem... sorry about this. I suck at "networking"

    My favorite apps for the Droid are aTumble, ($0.99), DroidLight (Free), OurGroceries (Free), NPRNews, ConnectBot (SSH!), Slide Screen (A desktop revamp, I use it intermittently when I'm getting lots of email / tweets/ etc that I need to pay attention to.)

  6. I'll vote for Return to Northmoor again. :) I will also note that Meta epsiodes 1 & 2 are almost a different show from the rest, so I'll vote for those in particular.

    Don't have a Droid, so can't comment on the rest. :)

  7. Droid apps worth checking out, in alphabetical order:

    Age of Conquest: low-maintenance, turn-based resource management strategy game. Free versions will do you nicely for awhile. Good if you can't stand tower defense games as I can't.

    Barcode Scanner: Uses the camera to scan barcodes for immediate web search. Handy for price comparisons. I used it to nice effect when I bought a dishwasher.

    cNet Scan & Shop: Ditto but more focused.

    Fandango: Recent addition to droid.

    FlashLight: Handy (and augmented by droid's massive and bright screen).

    Layar: Not there yet, but a promise of the futureworld you were talking about before. It overlays web data over a live image from the camera. Neat to play with.

    PDFGView: Handles web-hosted pdf viewing nicely.

    Real Dices: You can tell by the Engrish the quality. It's only d6s. Not very good. But the only dice roller out there so far.

    SportsTap: Decent sports aggregator for following your favorite teams.

    Wixel: Basically Boggle. Good because you can play in exactly 3 or 5 minutes.

  8. Canon Puncture has lots of Karlman-y goodness in the near future. Just sayin'.

  9. Podgecast - basically the grandfathers of what you said you don't like. They balance funny and content in a range I find acceptable, although their I.P. show last week was outstanding... I'd love to hear more like that.

    Return to Northmoor -Never listened, not sure why.

    Atomic Array - Setting heavy discussions about a fairly wide range of games. Not typically deep design discussions. Interviewing style is interesting as the questions tend to outshine the answers. Sounds like well manicured audio. Others might call it polished.

    Actual People, Actual Play - Not done analyzing. Level of interest may be dependent on the game they're playing, right now it's Burning Empires with a few others occasionally. I've learned things from it recently, which besides the one week of I.P. discussion on the podgecast, hasn't been occurring for me outside of podcasts you listed or some of the interviews Kevin has done on the Walking Eye.

    Canon Puncture - Canon Puncture is hard to pin down as what they're doing has seemed to change several times. Right now they're discussing RPG blog posts, and doing game pitches. Sometimes the blog discussions are interesting, like the last one posted on the Porn&D&D blog; I haven't been interested in the game pitches.

    Hopefully my sounding like an arrogant prickhole is helpful.

  10. re: Canon Puncture

    Rich drives the ship with his passion and keeps us going. I pretty much ride along and make it all look pretty.

    I think you can sum up our goal as this: to share our passion for tabletop roleplaying. For play. You're right, though, this is a bit of a change from what we were doing before. We're old geezers but we're still sailing through the fog-shrouded seas looking for our place in it all.

    If we ever find it, THAT's when we'll probably stop being interesting altogether.

    But your very valuable opinion is noted, Clyde my friend. It helps.

    Sorry for nabbing your thread, Rob. Take this as my pitch - and my invitation to tell us what doesn't really work for you, like Clyde has done.


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