Space Quest IV

Space Quest IV is a graphic adventure by Sierra On-Line, first released in 1991, and is the fourth in a series of six Space Quest games.

This is my second Sierra adventure (the first being Quest for Glory IV, which I haven’t written about yet because I only realised after finishing it that it was published in 1993 and not 1989 like I first though) and I found this one to be more accessible and the puzzles to be a more straightforward. Unfortunately, it suffered from the same narrative problems as Quest for Glory.

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BIS Year-End Self Classification Report

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. I am not a encryption expert. If you are in doubt, do your own due diligence. I’m confident that “I read it on the internet and they said it was OK” will not be a good defence if the NSA kicks down your door and hauls you away for cyber crimes.

Yesterday, after uploading an app for beta testing, I received this message in iTunesConnect for the first time:

If you are making use of ATS or making a call to HTTPS please note that you are required to submit a year-end self classification report to the US government.

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The Secret of Monkey Island

When Guybrush Threepwood declares himself to be a mighty pirate, we all get to laugh at his naïveté—as if the simple act of declaring himself to be one is all it takes for him to be feared and respected—before he is roundly beaten into submission under a torrent of verbal abuse. 

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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

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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Controlling Interface Builder with Plists

I have an appearance manager that reads styles from a plist file and applies then throughout the app through the use of the appearance proxy and through notifications to various custom subclasses of the standard UIKit views and controls.

This works great and allows for of a lot of easy features like different coloured themes or dark modes. The major downside right now is that none of the changes to the plist are reflected in Storyboards or Xib files.

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