Astro's Playground
June 16, 2022 | 0 min read

Photo by Krzysztof Hepner

I’m a fairly recent PlayStation 5 (PS5) owner (last Christmas). Astro’s Playroom is almost the perfect game. It’s free, easy, and short. It’s also delightful.

I played though this game over a few days and loved it. I got all of the puzzle pieces and artifacts. I didn’t get all of the trophies and don’t plan to.

This game comes with all PS5 consoles. If you can get a PS5, try this game out.

That is all.

June 13, 2022 | 2 min read

Me at WWDC 2018

WWDC 2022 was this past week and it was great. I didn’t get to watch enough sessions. There are a ton that I want to watch. I’ll slowly chip away over the next few months.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend Apple’s WWDC in person several times. I’ve been to WWDCs in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018. I “won” a ticket in 2019, but we transferred it to a teammate so that he could experience WWDC in-person.

My first WWDC was in 2012 at the Moscone West in San Francisco. I had never been to California before. Everything was new and interesting. The entire trip was amazing and a little overwhelming. I loved every second of it. That same year, I attended Google I/O (also in Moscone West), but WWDC was different.

My last WWDC was in 2018 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. I liked the WWDC being in San Jose. It gave a new vibe to the conference. Selfishly, I was able to explore a new city experience some new things.

Being at WWDC in-person beats any other experience. There’s a level of focus you’re able to give to the conference and all the amazing tech Apple has announced. You are there to focus on the conference and it’s easier to tune out other things. Flying across the country can be a hassle, but I think that bit of distance helps with the focus.

When I watch WWDC remotely, I don’t get that same level of focus. Things will come up at work and home. Slack dings, dinner needs made, kids need to go to practice, dogs need walked, etc. At home, the list of distractions is pretty long, especially when it’s not essential work.

I say all this as someone who’s been very productive as a fully remote employee for the last six years. I can handle one week a year being in-person with other folks and totally focused on the new Apple tech.

I do enjoy the pre-recorded session videos. They are very well produced and succinct. Sometimes I thought in-person sessions were trying to fill the full time slot allotted. Now, the videos contain exactly what they need to. No less, no more. And they look great.

I think the format for this year’s WWDC may be the future of the conference. Inviting a number of people to Apple Park for some in-person video watching and the rest of the conference being remote.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever get back to take part of WWDC in person. I would love to. But I realize that I’ve been lucky enough to attend a handful of times.

As long as Apple invites people to attend in-person, I’ll keep trying.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
May 12, 2022 | 1 min read

I have a video game backlog that is about a mile long. So many new games to play, so what do I do? I play a game that came out in 1992, 30 years ago.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Screenshot

Last week, I finished playing through The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for about the 40th time. Not really, but I have played through the game a number of times.

I first played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in 1992. I fell in love with it immediately. I still play through the game from time to time.

Most recently, I’ve played through this on my Nintendo Switch through Nintendo Switch Online, which is an online service that allows me to play old games like this.

I think this game came out at the right time for me growing up. I had played Zelda games before and after this one. But this one stuck with me.

I don’t profess to be amazing at the game. I’m not. I die a lot. It’s more about the experience of the game. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past fits like a glove. I’m able to pick up the game and feel like I’m a teenager again. It’s great.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Screenshot

I’m conflicted on what I should play next. So many games. Too many games. Maybe I’ll play a new game. Or maybe I’ll play The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on the Nintendo 3DS which is the spiritual successor to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

We’ll see…

On Netflix
April 20, 2022 | 1 min read

To preface, we’ve been Netflix subscribers since the DVD days. I am not one to share our Netflix password either.

Daring Fireball recently posted an article about Netflix shares dropping 25% in Q1 of 2022. He believes this is because of the quality of Netflix’s original content. I agree with Gruber on his assessment.

There’s not a lot of compelling original content from Netflix. The originals feel like a sea of garbage with the occasional gem. We’ve tried a lot of them, but have only enjoyed a few.

We have enjoyed House of Cards, The Crown, and The Queen’s Gambit. I’m slowly making my way through Arcane and have been meaning to watch The Witcher. But these aren’t must watches for me. If needed, we could subscribe for a month or two and binge the shows and then go back to ignoring Netflix.

Netflix has original games now? Why?

Pricing on Netflix has gotten out of hand. It’s the most expensive service we have, and one of the least compelling. We pay $15.49/month for the Standard plan. I don’t think we’re getting $15/month of value from Netflix. Right now, we’re only watching Seinfeld and Grey’s Anatomy (my daughter does). Every week or two, I’ll watch another episode of Arcane, but I usually forget that Arcane exists.

There is a cheaper Basic plan. We haven’t dropped down to the cheaper plan because of High Definition (HD). The Basic plan doesn’t allow HD streaming and that’s been a dealbreaker for us for a while.

I think Netflix has to take a step back and reevaluate their original content. Stop making so much of it and concentrate on making really great content. Oh, and they should revisit the pricing.

The issue isn’t password sharing, its quality original content and pricing.

When I’m looking for something to watch, I’ll turn to Disney+, HBO Max or Apple TV+. If I get down to looking for something on Netflix, it means I’m desperate.

Purchasing AppleCare+ on Child Accounts Part 2
April 20, 2022 | 1 min read

This is the second and final blog post about purchasing AppleCare+ on Child Accounts. Part one outlined the saga. I wanted to follow up in a post and mention how things turned out.

I had rescheduled a call with my Apple Support contact for this previous Monday (April 18th). This call was also set for 8pm, like the last one.

Leading up to this call, I had been checking Apple’s Check Coverage site every other day. I last checked on Easter Sunday. Each time with no luck. I figured I would pester the support person on what I should do.

Monday at 8pm came and went. I waited for a call from Apple Support for about 30 minutes before giving up and figuring it was another no-show. Shortly after 9pm, I received a call from Apple. I missed the call because I was walking the dogs 🤦🏻‍♂️.

The support person left me a message saying that the issue was resolved. They went on to say that I should email them back and let them know if things were satisfactory on my end. I couldn’t believe it. I check both kids’ phones and the website and it appeared that the issue was indeed resolved.

I am happy with the outcome, even though the process to get here wasn’t ideal. I’m not sure if purchasing AppleCare+ through a child account is an issue for everyone, or just us. I hope Apple has fixed the root cause of the issue.

I’m glad this issue has been resolved. I‘ve spent way too much time thinking about this and how to get it fixed.

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