Simon & Schuster’s Treks to Nowhere

Excellent post by Jimmy Maher about Star Trek games of yesterday.

In 1983 the powers that were at Gulf and Western Industries, owners of both Paramount Pictures and Simon & Schuster, decided that it was time to bring Star Trek, a property of the former, to the computer under the stewardship of the latter. To appreciate this decision and everything that would follow it, we first should step back and briefly look at what Star Trek already meant to gamers at that time.

(via The Digital Antiquarian)

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29 Ways To Stay Creative

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Here are some versions suitable for printing.

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The Six Layers

Good writeup by Matthew Gallant about applying Scott McCloud‘s Six Layers of Art to video game design.

The second of McCloud’s concepts that I’d like to explore is his idea of the six elements of art. He believes that “any artist creating any work in any medium will always follow these six steps whether they realize it or not”, and that their order is innate.

I think it could also be applied to any craft like woodworking or computer programming.


(via The Quixotic Engineer)

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Going Against The Grain

Justin Williams on and other niche social platforms.

Social services like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook succeed because they are designed to reach the highest amount of people with the least amount of friction. The easiest way to remove friction for users is to make the product free and then figure out monetization down the road when you’ve (hopefully) gained a ton of users. Right there, and Glassboard are at a disadvantage by being “freemium” rather than full-on free.


Finding an audience of people interested in your platform is challenging. This isn’t Field of Dreams where if you build it people will magically appear. Once you find that niche of users, you’ve got to ensure they’re also the type of folks that are willing to pay to support your platform. If they aren’t, you keep looking for a niche that will sustain your product.

Original link not found anymore. (via Daring Fireball)

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Reappearing List Items

While using Viand my wife told me that items she had previously bought were reappearing on the Buy list mysteriously. I finally had some time to look into it.

Turns out it’s not so mysterious. When I create an item it’s boolean Buy property is set to zero or one to determine which list it goes on (zero is the Add list; one is the Buy list). I also add the newly created item to the database at the same time it’s added to one of the lists. When an item is moved between lists it Buy property is set to the correct value.

What I forgot to do is update the record in the database when it switches location from one list to another. To fix this I first created an UpdateDatabase method in the ItemDatabase class.

public void UpdateItem(Item item)

Then I called this UpdateItem method in the BuyPage’s ItemBought method, passing in the item.

internal void ItemBought(BuyCell item)
	if (allItems != null) {
		var obj = allItems.First(x => x.Name == item.Text);
		if (obj != null) {
			obj.Buy = false;
			obj.Quantity = 1;

	MessagingCenter.Send<BuyPage>(this, "UpdateAddItemsListFromBuyList");

And did the same in AddPage’s BuyItem method.

internal void BuyItem(AddCell item)
			if (Application.Current.Properties.ContainsKey("Items")) {
				allItems = (List<Item>)Application.Current.Properties["Items"];
				var obj = allItems.First(x => x.Name == item.Text);
				if (obj != null) obj.Buy = true;


			addView.ItemsSource = UpdateAddItemsList();
			MessagingCenter.Send<AddPage>(this, "UpdateBuyItemsList");

Silly mistake. Shows you what can happen programming after hours.

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Social Media Explained


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The Back of the Fence

Joe Cieplinski’s CocoaLove talk on the factors contributing to Apple’s success over the past decade and a half (hint, it’s more than just design). (via Daring Fireball)

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