Charlie

The freight train rumbled slowly through the industrial district of East Portland, blasting its low horn at regular intervals as it trundled through the block-sized cement factories and bike warehouses.

It was forty cars long, made up of flatbeds of which about half were loaded with shipping containers. From behind a container emerged a short, squirrely man in a ragged trench coat and a dirty green baseball cap named Scissors.

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Bureaucracy

Screenshot of the text adventure game bureaucracy

While technically a text adventure rather than a graphic adventure, it was written by Douglas Adams and it is this writing pedigree that got this game on my list

In this department, the game doesn’t disappoint. The humour and characters set the bar high very early on for what adventure games could provide in terms of narrative and experience, foregoing the fantasy and science fiction to present a biting satirical critique on the modern world, one that still feels fresh and relevant today. 

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MKAnnotationViews and AutoLayout

Having just developed a plist-based design framework that works in Interface Builder, I’m more interested than ever in using xibs and storyboards to design my views.

I also like using AutoLayout. There are significant advantages when it comes to things like labels that make it so much easier to deal with than manually setting frames everywhere in code. Things like Dynamic Type, accessibility, and localisation all become easier and there’s less room for error.

There are some things that do become more complicated with AutoLayout (mostly transforms) but there are well established workarounds for most of these.

I was recently designing a new app that involved using MapKit and I wanted to use AutoLayout to design a subclsss of MKAnnotationView but this isn’t entirely straightforward.

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Getting the Nintendo Switch Connected Abroad

A photo of the Nintendo Switch in a bag with a copy of Zelda Breath of the Wild

I had a lot of trouble getting my Nintendo Switch to connect to the internet while staying at our otherwise lovely villa here in Bali. While trying to join a network it would give the “registration is required to use this network” warning, then launch the browser to try to show me the registration page.

Except instead of a registration page, it would just show the default conntest.nintendowifi.net page. This means that no registration was actually required and the Switch was online but, because it hadn’t passed registration, it thought it wasn’t and no services would work.

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