Issue 78

17 February 2021

by Lori M Olson

DRD078: Smoking soldering irons, full hechts, a treasure trove of free imagery and flabby code...this issue has something for everybody!


OPED ― Our Unvarnished Opinion

I read this tweet a few weeks ago, and thought, but that’s not what ‘heads down’ means…

To this person, ‘heads down’ was a phrase that triggered an association to another phrase: ‘grind’. As in ‘nose to the grindstone’. And I can see that connection being made. But I have to disagree, because that’s not what ‘heads down’ means to me.

To me, it’s the first half of ‘heads down, butts up’ which always brings to my mind the ‘ready, set, go’ of the start of a race. The beginning of a new project, or a new sprint. The launch of a new app…

It’s worth remembering, as you start to work on your new app, that it’s not always the speedy hare who wins the race. Often, the slow but consistent tortoise is the one who crosses the finish line first.

Take your time, keep working on it consistently, and get it right! And when you launch, remember to send me a link, because I’m always looking to spotlight the apps of our community! ― WNDXLori

The February edition of MiM will be dropping within the week. We’ll be talking about…well, you’ll just have to sign up to find out! And there’s some amazing bonus content.

APP ― All Things App

If you’ve ever wondered whether there was a better way to handle the whole trial-subscription-before-they-charge-you thing, it recently came to our attention that Blinkist certainly had. That, in itself, made us think more positively about them–so that’s a PR win right there. But the real headline is this: by tipping the balance slightly more in favour of the Blinkist customer, conversion was actually better not worse. We’re still not fans of the unless-you-tell-us-not-to-we-charge-you model, which Blinkist didn’t fundamentally change. Their new approach is definitely a step in the right direction.

We absolutely love empirical data. It’s just so much better than “it seems awesomely fast!” or that old chestnut “you’ll wonder what to do with all the time you save!” Hubboy. For us, there’s nothing better than a good ol’ Joe Friday “just the facts, ma’am”. So we were delighted to see this numbers-driven Android Flutter build comparison thread of the Apple M1 vs. Intel.

SPOT ― Spotlight On…

As we have said any number of times before we never failed to be in awe of the amazing stuff folks are coming up with out there. For those who fancy themselves as a bit of solder gun jockey, you simply have to check out iCircuit 3D. It’s like you’re sitting there fiddling with the actual physical components! All the fun of the real thing without the annoying smell of burning hair.

Speaking of ‘amazing stuff’ (see above), these Nokia Game Jam entries certainly got our attention: Blokia 3310 by TheDarkMagi; KutKat by LittleBOxes; Robo-A-Robot by Niyy and Tiny Necromancer by leviduncanpixel, YourBoiCrub.

And what about you folks? Did any entries snag your attention?

TALK ― Talk of the Tech

We simply can’t believe that a whole year has rolled by since the last 7DRL. But the next one is coming up fast, as we were recently reminded by Amir on the DragonRuby Discord. Don’t be distracted by the ‘sometime in March’ first impression you’ll likely get. That’s closer than you think what with the 28 days in February and all.

And on the ‘more cerebral’ DragonRuby Slack team, we are back to talking about crash reporting. Again. So, not as ‘cerebral’ as we may have thought.

GAME ― All Things Gaming

OK, all kidding aside for this next item. There was a really interesting tweet thread by Kara Goldfinch and let us come right to the point: it’s not always about snazzy, amazing graphics or plots so dense you need a tricorder to find your way through them. For a huge constituency it’s about one really important thing: accessibility. If you simply build that into your next game you may find you have a lot of new, really excited fans.

And the other thing we stumbled across recently (thanks Gant!) was this game with a razor-thin plot and yet ends up being totally addictive. First, clear all the must-do-today stuff off your desk and then try Get Google.

I’ll take dinner at my desk, thank you.

TWIL ― This Week I Learned

If any part of your day is spent looking for interesting, compelling imagery (hmmm…that somehow seems familiar) then you are going to do multiple consecutive backflips with a full hecht dismount when we pass along this tip on Smithsonian Open Access. Spoiler alert: it’s a zillion, super high quality images from the Smithsonian and they are all free.

Pardon us while we swoon.

HAHA ― And They All Laughed

Memes rule.

(image: iOS_Memes)

That’s a Wrap!

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“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a person, and a dog. The person will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the person from touching the equipment.” ― Warren G. Bennis

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