bjoreman.com

June 21, 2022

The end of a pod

My epic and completely unnecessary project of re-listening to all of Reconcilable differences is almost at an end, and I look forward to … something different?

I am not sure why, but at some point I turned this little adventure into a milestone. Once I am done, I intend to try and keep my podcast listening time down and instead … do other things. There should be other things I can spend all that focus on, at least sometimes. I clearly feel when I have been listening too much for one day, I get a bit restless and feel like I have wasted time and energy on the wrong things. And because I like to focus on what I listen to, I rarely really let my mind wander while listening to podcasts. Background processing of other thoughts is if not on hold then at least greatly slowed down compared to when I listen to music, or, even better, nothing but my surroundings.

In short, I have the classic goal of mindlessly consuming less and instead do things with more intent - including truly doing nothing and relaxing.

It has never really worked out before, so I look forward to giving it another go.

June 20, 2022

Books I have read

Books and other literature I have read, in, somewhat uncertain, reverse chronological order. The list starts from the summer of 2008, and my main purpose with it is to be able to see what I have actually been reading. I do feel that I read many quite good books, but I never seem to be able to recall what I have recently read when asked for recommendations.

May 30, 2022

Peak dental care

Sometimes, reaching a local maximum can be a lot more rewarding than the absolute one.

I had some good years of dentist relations, and of course a lot of so-so ones. Years where the little things add up in one way or the other, where focusing on one thing only seems to mean another will be remarked upon during the next check-up.

Last time I went, we had the usual conversations, the usual x-rays, and the usual poking around. As far as I recall, the comments sounded as they usually do as well.

Then, the dentist wrapped up the examination. I was expecting some immediate or schedulet follow-up to address this or that, as well some comments about flossing more, brushing softer, not drinking carbonated drinks, what have you.

All I got was "We do not need to do anything."

No praise could have felt greater.

May 20, 2022

Can touch this

In 2007, I got a touch-based device which felt magical.

Not a phone, silly, that had to wait another year.

No, it was the Ipod touch.

On the occasion of Apple discontinuing the Ipod touch line, we started talking about it on a recent episode of Björeman // Melin. I was wondering out loud where mine was, only to realize that it was sitting right there on the shelf just above my monitor.

Still beautiful.

Ipod touch charging Ipod touch charging

Still slimmer than my actual Ihpone.

And, for some reason, it still works perfectly.

Slide to unlock Slide to unlock

It is definitely a relic frozen in time. Old OS, no chances of updates, no chance of new apps, and all sorts of show stoppers (and slowness) when it comes to browsing the web.

Ipod touch home screen Ipod touch home screen

But you know what is good about a device which fits all of your music into your pocket? You do not need any connection to the rest of the world to enjoy your music.

Not only that, but my old music collection actually contains some stuff I can not find on Spotify. Video game remixes for one, but, more importantly, Girl talk's essential All day.

Girl talk's All day Girl talk's All day

Yes, Plex and Plexamp and all that good stuff. But that is a whole lot more stuff and connections than just having the songs in my pocket, a swipe and a tap away from my ears.

Little details:

May 08, 2022

Nearly there, much at stake

Quake. The first first-person shooter completely in 3d. Released in 1996. How much of a different era was that? Enough that it was the very last game I got on floppy disks - 19 of them as I recall - each with a compressed part of the whole game on it. (I feel as if it was zipped, but I suppose it may have been RAR:ed, too.)

Quake felt special. Serious. Id software and John Carmack being special when it came to game engines was already a known concept, and the "completely 3d" thing felt meaningful. Everything felt solid, not even the flames of torches were 2d sprites. More mature people who purchased games got the CD with Nine-inch nails' ambient soundtrack to play with the levels, but even without music Quake had a dark, brooding mood all of its own. Spirit-like whispers, the groan of zombies, not to mention that metallic sound of bouncing grenades.

Fast-forward six hundred and forty FPS generations to 2022. There is a Switch in the house, and I realize - in a rapid series - that a remaster of Quake has been released, that it is very highly rated, and that the Switch is by far the most appealing machine in the house to try the game on.

A quick throw of money at the Nintendo e-shop and a somewhat longer wait for the download later (yes, there is such a thing as impatient playing of Mario kart), and I was ready to re-visit Quake.

Boom

Apart from being caught in a portable console, Quake was still extremely familiar territory. Sights and sounds came flooding back and felt as if they had never left. What I did not remember was just how fast things feel. You can set a lot of the pace yourself by how you get into and back out of encounters, but the action moves very fast and very smoothly.

This is the base upon which we built increasingly tall towers of complexity, much of it essentially meaningless.

Levels are more intricate than I recalled, weaving back through themselves in three dimensions in very nice ways. The shotgun somehow feels a bit wimpy, possibly because I do not yet close in enough when using it, but fragging enemies with grenades remains the joy it always has been and always will be.

Controls

Having played my share of console FPS, I expected controls to be a non-issue, if lacking the precision of a keyboard and mouse setup.

I played a few maps, and generally failed to get comfortable with the controls. I think my main problem was the acceleration when aiming, and that can be adjusted in settings, but it felt like there was a layer of frictionless ice between me and the pixel-precision I want and quite frankly need when aiming. Quake is not Quake without good aim.

Then I made The Discovery. Clearly the people who remasterd Quake knew their audience, even on the Switch.

I grabbed the Switch and its dock, headed down to the basement and the trusty work desk. The Switch connected to the monitor, and into those lovely, lovely USB ports on the side of the dock went my mechanical keyboard and honest to Cthulhu optical mouse. Elegant weapons, for less civilized times.

Yeees.

This is how Quake is meant to be played. Pixel-perfect aim, butter smooth, breakneck speed, zombie guts exploding all over the place. That experience has not aged a day.

But I should try to adjust the other controls as well, because it is a pretty cool feeling to snuggle up with Quake in bed as well.