I’m speaking on a marketing panel

June 13 2018

I’ve already made a formal announcement on my portfolio site, but I wanted to share it here as well. I’m speaking on a panel about Promotion through Digital and Traditional Media at the first annual “Pride in Business” Business Forum and Trade Show on June 21st.

There are more details about the panel on my portfolio blog, but if you’re in or around downtown Toronto on the 21st, I’d love to see you there and hang out. You can get free tickets for the panel on Eventbrite.

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Some Spit and Polish

February 3 2018

There aren’t many people who frequent this site, but if you’re one of them, you may have noticed some changes around here:

  1. The whole look and feel of the site has changed. (I was feeling playful, and it’s Saturday.)
  2. There’s a ton of blog posts here that weren’t here before. That’s because I shut down one of my old blogs. I used to write on a blog called Overly Opinionated, where I shared my view on stuff happening with Apple and Nintendo. I wrote it pretty frequently for about two months, and then stopped. Since I figured I’d write there pretty infrequently, I thought there was no reason to have a separate site for it. So now all that content is here, and that site redirects to this one now.

All this amounts to a bit of spit and polish. This site looks more active than it’s been in some time, and it’s got a new, modern look and feel to it that I really dig.

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Wii Games Officially Ported for Shield TV in China

December 5 2017

It’s always interesting when Nintendo releases their games on somebody else’s console. News broke today that, in an effort to break into the Chinese market, Nintendo is releasing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Twilight Princess, Punch-out, and (eventually) Super Mario Galaxy in HD on the Shield TV. Rumour is that the Metroid Prime trilogy is also on the way.

The Shield TV and the Switch share a lot of the same hardware, so I’m sure you can see where this is going.

But here’s the thing (from The Verge’s story on this):

Nintendo hasn’t released the Switch in China, and historically doesn’t directly offer its consoles for sale in the market; a subsidiary called iQue has handled China-specific variants of handheld consoles as well as a version of the N64 back in 2003. This, then, is a significant step into Chinese living rooms for Nintendo.

I don’t necessarily think any of this is an indication that these games are coming to Switch, and I wouldn’t hold my breath for them any time soon. Nintendo claims the Virtual Console (or something like it) is coming, but historically, they’re very bad at these things.

To me, this is a strong indication that Nintendo is dipping their toes into the waters with emulation on the Nvidia, which comes as a side effect of an experiment in the Chinese market.

This isn’t to say I wouldn’t want these games on my Switch. I’d love the ability to play these games on the go (although I would have some serious questions about how the Switch handle’s the Wii’s motion controls). I’m on the same page as everybody else here. And I’m certain that we’ll get older games on the Switch eventually. But their delivery mechanism is up in the air for me. Will they be released through Wii-style Virtual Consoles, the regular e-Shop, or a new streaming program as part of Nintendo’s online plan in 2018? I have no idea.

But most importantly, I’m not convinced by this story that any of these specific Wii games — no matter how badly we all want them — will get released on the Switch.

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About that root user bug in macOS

November 29 2017

Yesterday, a huge story about a bug in macOS that allowed anybody to easily log in as the root superuser on your Mac made (and broke) the new cycle. That’s a particularly condemnable bug. It’s shameful that it made it past QA; Apple shouldn’t have let it slip.

Even for an Apple apologist, this is a difficult bug to defend.

But I want to take a moment to dispel the notion, currently making the rounds, that bugs in the Mac are more prevalent than ever before. I don’t know if that’s the case.

I think two things are happening:

  1. The Mac is in the hands of a wider audience than ever before, which means bugs are more likely to be reported and analyzed. As Apple becomes even larger, the company faces more scrutiny for bugs they would have got a pass on in years prior. You could make a very strong argument that, because of a large audience, each macOS bug now affects significantly more people. If a bug affects 1% of users, and one million people use Macs, then that affects about 10,000 people. If twenty million people use Macs, then that 1% user base is now 200,000 people. Viewed within that metric, little numbers become significantly larger.
  2. When the Mac shedded its skeuomorphism, a lot of the little bits of joyful interaction you find in macOS got lost in the process.1 When that joy is removed from the process, I think bugs become a lot more obvious — and a lot less forgivable.

Only Apple knows if the Mac is buggier than it’s ever been before. No matter what the truth of the matter is, though, Apple has a huge perception problem they need to sort out over the coming months (and years). Most of my friends (particularly the non-tech ones) don’t say Apple products “just work” anymore.

  1. This isn’t the first time the Mac has lost personality in exchange for highfalutin design. A lot of old-timers hated early versions of OS X because it lost so much of the Mac’s personality. This isn’t a new problem for Apple.
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Adobe’s iOS app failure →

November 23 2017

Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell wrote a piece I wish I wrote about the lack of proper Adobe apps on iOS:

I’ve got a bunch of web and podcast art templates that are saved as layered PSD files-that’s the Photoshop file format-in my Dropbox. How would I crack one of those open on iOS and use them? So far as I can tell, nothing Adobe makes will do the trick… but I can open those files in the $20 Affinity Photo without any trouble. Procreate for iPad will do the same. iOS is apparently a wasteland for active Photoshop users unless they buy and learn someone else’s app.

This is a huge problem for Adobe, but an even bigger problem for users.

The biggest problem, though, is inertia. Adobe remains the standard for almost every client I’ve ever worked with. They want all the final print work archived as Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign files. And I can’t say I blame them, because the competition is still too volatile to wholly rely on for enterprise.

This all drives me nuts. I think Creative Cloud is over-priced, particularly compared to the competition. I also think Adobe’s apps are hot messes. The UI is needlessly complex, and the competition is almost universally easier to use.

One other note: no competitor has tackled a full InDeesign replacement, which makes switching difficult for anybody who does some print work (like I do). InDesign is an annoying and buggy app — possibly the buggiest app in all of Creative Cloud — but the linchpin that keeps many professionals from trying out other services.

And like Jason says, all of this could be fixed if Adobe embraced the iPad. Native iOS apps that offered proper Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign would be a boon for iPad users and Adobe. They’d offer a chance to reboot the apps, much like what they’ve recently done with the new Lightroom CC.

The time has long been coming for full iOS versions of Adobe’s apps.

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