Inform 7 is now open source

Inform is a design system for interactive fiction based on natural language, and consists of a core compiler, together with extensions, kits and other resources, a number of outlying tools, and documentation, along with applications presenting the system in a friendly way on MacOS, Windows and Linux. This software had been used extensively since 28 April 2006, but by 2016 its source code was in considerable need of modernisation. In…

Ultimate Infographic Design Guide + Design Tricks – Venngage

This website is selling something. You can ignore the too-frequent suggestions that you use the templates that they provide (unless you really want to sign up for their product). If you dodge the pitches there’s some good info here. Want to become better at infographic design? This guide is jammed with tips, tricks and tons of examples for creating expert-looking infographics. Planning your infographic design Write a compelling title Use a…

Q-Less (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 6) Shenanigans with Vash and Q

Rewatching ST:DS9 In the teaser, Bashir is monologuing for an evidently awestruck Bajoran woman, while O’Brien looks on scornfully.  A barely functional runabout has just made it back through the wormhole. Dax has picked up a passenger, whom O’Brien recognizes as Vash.   I enjoyed Vash’s chemistry with Picard in her first appearance (TNG s3e19 “Captain’s Holiday“), and though the Robin Hood sequence was the occasion for some great comedy in…

Captive Pursuit (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 6) O’Brien Befriends a Nervous, Hunted Alien

Rewatching ST:DS9 Sisko is listening to a sexual harassment complaint from one of Quark’s employees when an unexpected ship arrives through the wormhole — the Alpha Quadrant’s first visitor from the other side.  The ship’s pilot is jumpy; O’Brien gets him to relax a bit, but when asked his name, species, and job, the new arrival says only “I am Tosk.” When O’Brien deposits him in a guest room, he…

Babel (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 5) Virus Garbles Everyone’s Speech

Rewatching ST:DS9 Overworked O’Brien is fixing all the things. (The scene in Dax’s lab is great comedy). As he tinkers in a crawlspace, we see an ominous little hidden blinking thing.  Various brief character scenes (is Odo gloating or commiserating over the slow business at Quark’s; Sisko thanks the overworked O’Brien and we get a brief update on Keiko’s school; Dax tells Kira she’s enjoying the attention she gets while…

Mobile is a “really punishing format” for indies, says inkle’s Jon Ingold

Mobile is a really punishing format for independent developers. It used to be that the App Stores drove users to find games in viable quantities – 80 Days certainly benefitted enormously from Apple’s Editorial featuring – but that process has largely stopped. To be big – which is to say, to be viable – on the App Store now, a game needs to have a lot of push behind, a…

NASA astronaut: Russians were ‘blindsided’ by reaction to yellow suits

I posted a while back about the yellow and blue color scheme of the suits worn by Russian cosmonauts who had then just arrived at the International Space Station. This story says all three Russian had gone to a school whose colors are yellow and blue, and that they did not intend the colors to have any political significance. Those suits were likely designed months or even years in advance.…

Windows 3.1 Turns 30: Here’s How It Made Windows Essential

After watching all the episodes of the 80s/90s Star Trek: TNG, with the beautifully designed fictional LCARS computer interfaces, it’s amazing to look at what actual computer interfaces looked like in the early 90s. (OK, the Macs of that era looked prettier.) 30 years ago—on April 6, 1992—Microsoft released Windows 3.1, which brought the company to a new level of success, kept the PC platform competitive with Macs, and set…

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In April, 2002, I was blogging about an autistic person’s guide to asking a girl on a date; The Inform 6 Beginner’s Guide; broken links;

In April, 2002, I was blogging about Instructions for “Asking a Girl on a Date” (autistics.org) The Inform Beginner’s Guide (I edited this book on programming text adventure games in Inform 6) Broken Links: Just How Rapidly do Science Education Hyperlinks Go Extinct? (yes, the link was broken but I linked to the backup on the Internet Archive) Faking It: Sex, Lies and Women’s Magazines “Prenatal memory and learning” (language…

Ungrading after 11 weeks

Mathematics professor Robert Talbot reports on his ongoing experiment with ungrading — giving feedback and emphasizing the students’ metacognition, rather than encouraging them to fixate on “marks.” (Students who are less equipped to self-evaluate might actually benefit from the clear signposting provided by grades, so in his experience, removing grading from education does not magically remove inequities in the classroom.) I think it’s possible to have a hybrid setup in…

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (workshop premiere of a new musical by Greg Kerestan)

I really enjoyed seeing the first workshop performance of SHU alum Greg Kerestan’s original horror-comedy musical, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” based on the classic 1920 German expressionist silent film. The music is powerful, and the cast is hilarious and creepy, in all the right proportions.   The daughter plays a ballet mistress socialite (and is also the choreography & assistant director).   You have one more chance to see…