Saying goodbye to Foursquare

It looks like we had about a 5 year run Foursquare and I, and I had frequently questioned why I went to the effort of checking in, but I did like my mayorships and losing my mayorships while I was on vacation only to eventually earn them back when I returned and fell back into my old habits.

That is no more. With the update and change to Foursquare, I can no longer regain the mayorships that were meaningful to me.  Well, I guess I could go over to their new app Swarm and become a mayor among my “friends” but I really don’t want to collect Foursquare friends, I want to be the fucking mayor of my damn vegan restaurant.

At one time it really did work for me, I remember being in Portland, wondering where that little breakfast place I went to was and finding it… actually finding it again.  I remember surprise mayorships that I think I hold to this day because I was the dude who cared enough to check in. But I also remember the day the app just died, when my checkins stopped counting and I could not regain a mayorship I had held for months or years because I was stupid enough to go on vacation before the surprise update to the way the game I had been playing took place.

So this is as much a grave marker as a lament, I don’t know that I will or will not go back but I am acknowledging a loss here.  I feel like if I had just been more monitizable… I could still be playing, but I knew all along that it was hallow.

So from my very first checkin:

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.14.27


To the badges I just don’t understand:

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.19.40To the ones I had to travel across the planet to get:Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.23.50To the obvious expertise I developed:

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.19.27

And the few I thought might have made me cool:Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.19.01To my ultimate consistency:Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.27.23Even when I didn’t know what I was doing:Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.25.40To the places I have been and brought the game:Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 21.14.17I reflect on the fact that I played thru this for most of my time on wifi exclusively because I was using my iPod or because I had no data plan (in Russia) and am pretty amaze that it was so sticky.

This is the challenge of the network app, and the world we live in, the “game” lives on and my data will continue to be monitized, but I am done contributing.



Games to Play in July


Why do I want to play these games?

1) Cosmic Encounter – because earlier editions of this game were simply the most fun I have ever had in a boardgame and I want to know if I should go ahead and sink cash into the expansions.

2) Battlestar Galactica – the mechanism of asymmetry and (potentially) adding cylons halfway thru the game is intriging.

3) Diplomacy – is such an immense classic where the players decisions control all outcomes.  This is to say that there are no dice rolls, but beware this game has also caused the most friendship breakups of any board game in its 50+ year history.

4) Nomic (not pictured) - Peter Suber’s classic game of self amendment, a rules game where the rules are they playing field and all of the potential paradoxes that that implies.

When do I want to play?  The month of July is set aside for madness, I shall undoubtedly also play “Are You a Werewolf” expecially at conventions, and am thinking about Thursdays because it is a game night during the semester. Let me know if you would like to play and are in San Jose.

Mineopticon II (SF & Vancouver)

Friday the 13th of June was a lucky day, well that and a fun day to boot.

Here is the grand daddy of the Diamond Boots Ensemble flitting about making sure the setup is smooth:


And a love note to our remote friends in Vancouver leading up to the pre-show.DSCF6399

Along with a little glimpse into the Canadian art scene via remote tele-projection:
DSCF6400 DC introduces the crew and the show:DSCF6401 The best looking audience in San Francisco:DSCF6402 The best looking audience in Vancouver:DSCF6403 Maestro Yagiz doing the live scoring:DSCF6405 DSCF6406 Audience with our camera operator Laurence:DSCF6409 As the event unfolds:DSCF6411DC calling the show with Yagiz on musical accompanyment:
DSCF6417 Dreamy afterglow:DSCF6420What an amazing event this was too, three concise acts that were thoroughly entertaining.  It was nice to be “done” with my part early on and to be able to be an audience member.  DC did such a wonderful job creating moments of delight an flash during the show, I have to say that Jestingrabbit’s stage ended up being the perfect stage for the show.

There was just enough noise in the performance to make us really appreciate the effort that the eight horse dancers had gone through to make the show a feast for the eyes.

I am so glad I got to experience this “live.”  It was a perfect example of what is possible in a virtual space with audience separated by hundreds of miles and performers even more spread out…


Arcade Cabinet Work at Tech Shop

This is an overview of what happened at the TechShop from June 9 to June 11 2014 by members of the Game Development Club at SJSU.  Team members included:  Angelica Cabanlit, Erin Gunderud, Matthew Hoffman, James Morgan, Andrew Puentes. (With special appearances by Antonio Jimenez, Kelsey Higham, & Kristi Loo).


Plans will follow after we know that they are successful.  Probably on Instructables.Day 1 Arcade Rebuild

Here is the materials layout from Matt who did the full Sketchup re-design of the cabinets:

cabinet plan 3 sheetsNote that the middle sheet leaves room for cutting a second control panel just in case…

It fascinated me the way the files were translated into Shopbot pseudo G-code, particularly the economy of the shapes.  You can see below that the files baloon in size (can you say balloon with a 166k file) when vents are added.  I don’t think there is any need to go in and adjust these except that they add to the tool time as well.  This implies to me that the file size is also an indicator of the job duration.Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 1.26.03

This is some of the actual code, very simple to read and very very visualizable. The data is in inches (check the parameters) and arcs, I am unsure what arcs refers to here, but expect to find

So I managed to nearly destroy one of the sheets of plywood, it seems that V-Carve inserts an offset automatically when importing from Adobe Illustrator, it is sort of funny too as when I mentioned this to the dreamcoaches they were “that thing is the devil, it cost me 8 feet of vinyl.”

I was able to re-arrange (which required cutting two of the pieces (floor and back panel) in half and was able to cut all the remaining pieces from the scrap and the other sheet.  We may have missed one piece, but it can be liberated from the remaining scrap.


Here is the mess that is the wiring of the Winnitron:


And the Winnitron in mid-repair:

Winnitron SJ - working onThe Winnitron made it back home with a newly painted control panel in the TechShop SJ lobby.


New Cabinet

A brief chronology of the latest cabinet build, starting with the results of the Shopbot cut:

DSCF6364Matt & Andrew begin the build:DSCF6367

The new cabinet made it back to the Game Lab:

Finally three generations of arcade cabinets, side by side (note that the new one is about 1 inch shorter.


I want to express my gratitude to Cody McCabe and TechShopSJ for hosting us for the three days that took to build out this project. Only two of us had any building experience, but by the end of our three days we were all furniture makers.  We have a LOT of followup to do, including adding some branding to all three cabinets and adding some hardware to the new cabinet.

I also need to thank the CADRE Laboratory for New Media and the Department of Art & Art History for material support.  Matt Hoffman deserves special recognition for his modeling / sketch up / illustrator work as well as his building and engineering skills.

We have great plans for the new cabinet, which is going to be beautiful when it is done (it is already pretty handsome).