Moar SF

Last week was good times… it was nice working near (and being able to turn around and talk to) my team again. It was also nice seeing friends every night (I never ate dinner alone the entire week). Whee. Photos from the trip are posted to photos.

Unfortunately, I came down with the plague shortly after Saturday started, cumilating in a 102 degree fever yesterday. Lots of water and sleep seem to have helped that somewhat, but it’s still not the best way to spend my first couple days back in Pittsburgh.
(The flight from Vegas was also delayed by an hour and 45 minutes, so I got into PIT much later than I was expecting.)

Whee life.

San Francisco

I am in San Francisco. It was a rather frustrating trip here, but has been a fun time thus far (due, in no small part, to the holiday today).

Travelwise, I spent most of yesterday on planes. Got into San Francisco about 30 minutes late, and had some slight panic when I made it to the bus stop at 12:16, with the 292 scheduled to arrive at 12:15. Fortunately, it was a little late, and I barely made it on… which was fortunate, because BART had stopped running and the next bus was at 1:15 AM. Made it to the hotel at around 1:30 and managed to get some sleep. Meh.

Jeremy, Shawn, Ian, and I spent the day wandering San Francisco for Unpresidents’ Day.
What is Unpresidents’ Day? I’ll let the video tell you. (NSFW for language.)

Video editing done by Jeremy. My DSLR apparently delivers decent quality audio, despite all the background traffic.

There were also tasty Mission burritos (oh how I missed you) and Korean food at Stone (highly recommended).

Mark and Tim playtested People Wars for me, and it seemed to go well. It looks like attacking and tasks are mostly balanced now (I worry a bit about attacking being overpowered, actually, because of the constant difficulty of task playing, but lower difficulty as the game progresses of using more powerful attacks), but the main issue is (as I suspected) with the limited pool of task cards. This will have to be remedied before the game is released.

Now I should sleep so I can go to work tomorrow. Yay work.

Yay Dreams

So I had been remembering a movie for a while that I had seen a few years ago, thinking it was good and wanting to buy it. I had vague memories of the plot and characters and who I had seen it with, and was figuring I should ask them what it was called… but of course it kept slipping my mind at times when I was by a computer.

Last night, I had a dream about the plot, and about being in the movie, and about picking up a copy of the DVD at the store. It also gave me the title. Lo and behold, I remember the dream (and the title) during the afternoon and look it up on Amazon. And it was the right title.

My subconscious is awesome.

(The movie, by the way, is The Illusionist.)

In card game news, RPG Get! has been put on hold for a bit while I work on People Wars. I think working on the TCG website and subsequently looking back at the people-based card games made me realize how much I miss having cards representing the people and events in my life, so the game kind of took priority.
(The game being built on a known, proven game system probably didn’t hurt either… RPG Get! is getting there, but still has a lot of issues to iron out.)

If anyone is interested in seeing the cards or playing the game, People Wars as it currently stands is available for download here (and you can poke me for game rules). Once I get it to a point that I’m happy with, I’ll build a full website for it.

Yay card games.

Blackberry complaints

The more I use consumer electronics, the more it’s clear to me why Apple is so successful. Their stuff just works, and it mostly works the way you expect it to (and without getting in your way like most intro-level Adobe products do).

Case in point… I have an email in Gmail from Groupon saying that I can get a $5 credit if I make a purchase from my mobile device, and helpfully providing links to places to download. Okay, great… I load Gmail on my Blackberry, and see that the links in the email are not rendered as links. They are plain <a href=""> tags. Every browser can render links. WTF, Blackberry.

Fine, whatever. I email myself the link as plain text so I can click it. Doing so brings me to this page, which is Blackberry’s official App World. See that “Download” button? Yeah, I didn’t. The Blackberry browser does not render that button. None of the four browser options render that button. (And, if you view source, you can see why… it’s not a button at all but a bunch of styled divs. WTF again.) And why are there four browser options? Should an end user have to know the difference between “Hotspot Browser” and “BlackBerry Browser” and “Internet Browser”? Does anyone actually know the difference?

Fine, whatever. I have the official Blackberry App World application installed on my phone. Let’s do that instead. Go in, search… and no results. There are no results for the Groupon application I am staring at on my laptop browser. I search for a bit in the various views and can’t find it. So I give up and try to close the application. Which proceeds to freeze and crash the phone. The official App World application. And this isn’t the first time it’s done this either.

This is, of course, in addition to other problems I’ve been having, such as buttons that can’t be clicked in the Blackberry Browser (plain HTML input buttons too), the generally unintuitive UI, the “Emergency Call” option being helpfully located right under “Unlock Phone” where you will hit it almost every time you try to unlock your phone, and the selection defaulting on the “Lock” option after you unlock where lag between popup notifications (such as for meeting invites) *will* cause you to hit the “Lock” button again. (And don’t even get me started on some of the issues I’ve had to deal with at work related to the Blackberry browser.)

So yeah. As much as I love having a physical keyboard, if I was ever going to buy my own smartphone, I will stay far, far, far away from Blackberries.

Edit: Yes, I could copy-paste the “Download” link into an email and open it in the Blackberry and hopefully get the right thing to happen, but I shouldn’t have to do that, and I’m too frustrated with the phone to want to do that now anyway. It’s one thing if third-party websites and software don’t work correctly on the phone (although I’m still extremely confused why it can’t make plain input buttons work properly), but if your first-party website and apps don’t work correctly, something is very wrong. That’s not just bad design, that’s sloppy.