31 October 2013

Smart enough?

A tweet quoted in Why Deprecating async() is the Worst of all Options:

The fact that top men standardized something already broken tells me I'm not smart enough to use C++11 or 14 in production

Unrealistic expectations of perfection are not smart. Rejecting all the goodness in C++11 because of the issues with std::async and std::future is not smart. If you don’t come across the pitfalls when learning about C++11, you’re not being smart in how you learn about C++11.*

So, I guess I agree, but I don’t think this has anything to do with people involved with C++11. ☻

*I currently only get to write C++11 in my spare time, and nigh everything I’ve read about std::async mentioned the known issue.

30 October 2013


Why did Apple remove so many features from the Mac iWork apps? I don’t know, but here’s a guess.

Ive has now been put in charge of human interface for software as well as hardware. He brought a fresh pair of eyes to iWork and saw a lot of things that could be improved. (You might not agree that they are improvements, but I long saw things in Pages that I felt could be improved.) But he also lacked the experience of what customers wanted.

Combine that with the work to bring the Mac, iOS, and iCloud versions of the iWork apps closer together. The decision was made to move forward with these things, but to also—when installing the new iWork apps—leave the current ones installed for existing users who depend upon existing features. That will give them time to reassess those features, to be thoughtful about how they bring them to the new apps, and to take the time to implement them well.

29 October 2013

On innovation

What do people mean when they say Apple isn’t innovating any more?

Do they mean creating new kinds of products? There were tablet computers before the iPad. There were cell phones and palmtop computers before the iPhone. There were portable, digital music players before the iPod. There were portable computers before the PowerBook. Arguably the only product that Apple invented was the personal computer, and I’m sure people would make the case that they didn’t do that either.

Do they mean making an existing product more practical? If so, how can you not call Touch ID innovative?

And whatever they do mean, do they really expect it to happen every year? Every iPhone—including the first one—has been criticized for not going far enough. (No GPS? No 3G?)

28 October 2013

Your RPG Person Profile

Your RPG Person Profile

I'm currently running (at home): My Skylands campaign.

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (at home) include: There is a Mekton Zeta campaign and a Wizards’ D&D 3.5e campaign on hiatus.

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (online) include: No time.

I would especially like to play/run:

  • Classic D&D
  • Classic Traveller
  • Buck Rogers High Adventure Cliffhangers
  • Pendragon
  • Risus
  • ...many others that aren’t coming to mind at the moment...

...but would also try: Nigh anything that doesn’t put me on the spot or make me think about “narrative”.

I live in: Texas.

2 or 3 well-known RPG products other people made that I like:

  • (I feel like it’s awfully repetitive and obvious to list the Moldvay D&D Basic Set, the Cook/Marsh D&D Expert Set, and classic Traveller.)
  • The Risus Companion

2 or 3 novels I like:

  • The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
  • Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

2 or 3 movies I like:

  • 2001
  • Disney’s Robin Hood
  • Disorganized Crime

Best place to find me on-line: My e-mail address involves my first name separated from my last name by a COMMERCIAL AT, then a FULL STOP, then the two-letter ISO country code for Christmas Island (CX).

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it’s: IDK

I really do not want to hear about: IDK

I think dead orc babies are ( circle one: funny / problematic / ....well, ok, it's complicated because....) boring

Games I’m in are like: ...thinking...

Free RPG Content I made is available on this blog (updated irregularly) and on my web site (in dire need of updating).

You can buy RPG stuff I made: Nowhere.

If you know anything about _____ it’d help me with a project I'm working on N/A

I talk about RPGs on Google+. Some on Facebook too. I’m usually RobertFisher or RFisher on forums, but I don’t visit them much these days.

27 October 2013

The Apple events problem

The problem with Apple events isn’t that they’re becoming boring and repetitive.

The “problem” is that more people are paying attention now. Many of those people are only now realizing that not every Apple event is as interesting as some of them have been. Many of those people are only now starting to see patterns.

18 October 2013


A couple of things you might want to know if you are considering the IK Multimedia BlueBoard. This information comes from IK’s video about the BlueBoard, answers they provided in the comments to that video, and playing with the app.

The BlueBoard is primarily in either program change or control change mode. So, you can not use the foot-switches to switch presets while also using an expression pedal to control volume, wah, etc.

There is a mode that can do program changes via the bank switching feature while otherwise being in control change mode. Bank switching, by the way, is done by holding down the A or B foot-switches.

Also, you can not use two BlueBoards with one iOS device. So dedicating one to program change and one to control change is not an option.

Overall, this is pretty disappointing. Since my Griffin StudioConnect has MIDI, I’m going to be looking into conventional MIDI foot-controllers. Still, the BlueBoard would be useful even with its limitations.

08 October 2013

Xbox Live Rant

I hate Xbox Live.

After buying some Microsoft points, I transferred them to my son so he could buy Minecraft. It turns out, that Microsoft won’t let a minor buy it, although the system didn’t tell me that. Someone else had to explain why it wasn’t working. Oh, and I couldn’t transfer the points back to me. Why can I transfer points only one-way to an account that can’t use them?

I carefully customized the settings for the kids’ accounts, but the settings don’t seem to have anything to do with what is actually allowed or not. I am constantly having to adjust the settings to allow them to do things I thought I had already set as allowed. And it is even odds whether changing the permissions will actually help or not.

I recently bought another Microsoft points card, but whenever I tried it, it always came up as invalid.

(There’s also the run-around I got trying to get a second-hand Xbox repaired.)

And you have to have an Xbox Live account to use the Amazon video app.

Every time I have to do anything with the Xbox is painful and ends up not working.