I Think I'm Against App Stores Now

TLDR; I'm allowing all but two of my android apps to sunset off of the app store in the beginning of the year. You'll still be able to download them all and their source code from GitHub. Here's the thing folks: I'm really starting to worry about app stores. I used to think of app stores like package repositories. Eager developers write useful utilities, get them approved, and that's that. The compatibility may eventually drop off, but you can be reasonably assured that your software will

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TI-99/4A Tis Fun/4All

The other day I was south of Seattle perusing some lesser known thrift stores. Just your typical Saturday morning, when I spy a very cool thing: A TI-99/4A retail box. I inspect the box, and it's full of treasure! A bunch of cartridges, a couple of tapes, the original instruction and basic training manuals, a 1981 issue of computer user magazine, two paddles and an rf adapter. And since it was so close to Thanksgiving/Black Friday, everything was half off. 20$ for a 4A?

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My (486) Gaming Laptop

When it comes to modern retro gaming, there's a whole world of emulation options out there. Dosbox runs on anything, and even your phone is powerful enough to emulate modern consoles. Still, for some of us that's not enough. There's something magical about playing on original hardware. On the other hand, it's actually pretty rare that you find a 486 laptop that's still in great working order. Usually it's the hard drive that's busted. Thankfully, there's a great fix for that now. You can (quite cheaply)

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Your First Day as an Engineering Manager

Hey Folks, For those who've been reading this blog for a decade or two, this article may seem a bit out of place. It's not a cool hack or a game review or software that I've written. It's honest advice that I give to managers in my org. Over the past 20 years my career has been an ever-increasing set of leadership initiatives, engineering challenges, and public mistakes. I've decided to start sharing a bit more of those aspects of my career. I'll be cross-posting more

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Boom Box Build Version 1

Dissatisfied with the current stand of the boom box world, I set about to see if I could do better on my own. The end result is a boombox so loud, so RUDE, it's like nothing you've ever seen or heard before, and it wasn't particularly difficult. Step zero: Speakers I believe that if speakers are the heart of a boom box, you should build your boom box around the speakers you have. In my case I found a set of old pyle 10" drivers and

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Chromecast your LPs With a Little Help From WebAudio

As it usually does, this all started in the thrift store. I was perusing the usual DVD racks and furniture when something caught my eye. It was an ion USB turntable, the kind with no speakers. These types of cheap turntables clutter the electronics sections of most thrift stores, as the replacement needle is generally more valuable than the turntable itself. Nevertheless I decided to take a look. Lo and behold, the needle still had the plastic sleeve on, and had never been used, for 5$

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An ode to antennae

If you're anything like me, you hate to see old technology go to waste. I've often heard folks lament as I perused the electronics section at a thrift store, "oh that's a cool TV, but there's no connector!" Pshaw I say to them, it's got one of the best connectors in the world. It's got an antenna. This is a quick tale of one such occurrence, that ended with me purchasing an 80s era pocket TV. You can file this under ridiculous hacks, as there's an

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Road Rash (Sega CD)

When it comes to video games, there are two guaranteed ways to get me interested. One: have an awesome soundtrack. Two: competitive racing. While I never considered myself particularly good at either music or racing, the combination really gets my motor running. That's why games like Rock and Roll Racing, Burnout, GTA, etc hold such high regard for me. They mix quality racing (or open-world style racing) gameplay with real tunes, real composers. So when I saw Road Rash, I knew I was in for something

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Site Changes Incoming!

Hi All, Over the course of the next week, you'll be noticing some site changes. First off, I've moved the commenting system to disqus, and migrated all of the existing conversations to this new format. In this way, I'll be able to more easily experiment with different blogging systems. Next, I'm in process of migrating to the ghost blogging platform. I dig the simplicity and it's been ten years since I moved hunterdavis.com over to WordPress. It's time for a change. If all of the

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GTA IV: The Dating Simulator Gotham Needed

Niko Bellic. The titular character in GTA IV, he’s not exactly a jovial fellow. He’s the straight-man, the angry psychopath. GTA IV tells his story, his journey. Like any good hero’s story he’s got to grow, struggle, and … go on dates? Those of you who haven’t played it might be skeptical. At first, I too was skeptical. Then I poured 40 hours into a complex love story set against the backdrop of New York. I also spent those 40 hours killing

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(Review) One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 (Vita)

Yep, a Vita review. I realize this game exists on other platforms (and I own it on Steam myself), but there’s something special about the Vita version that warrants it’s own review. I’ve come to really respect my Vita, but as an android developer I say this begrudgingly: “Today, in late 2016 there still isn’t a better option for console quality gaming in your pocket than the Vita.” Hands down, especially the original with the gorgeous OLED screen. At any rate, I

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(Review) Doom (2016)

Doooooooooom! (2016) is very much a game about speed. There is no run button. You are always running, and fast. The original Doom had you moving at something like 40mph and this feels faster. At times much faster. It’s a speed that I hadn’t even realized I’d forgotten, but I had. Perhaps you had too. This game feels like Quake 3 on steroids, in the best way. You want to yell out “parkour!” as you fly across the screen, climbing up high ledges

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Review: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13-3

Here I am, a full six months early with my review for Final Fantasy 13-3, wondering what the hell it is I just played. Sure, it says Final Fantasy on the box. Sure, it’s got all of the characters from the last 2 games, and even some of the mechanics. Wow though, I mean wow. What the hell did I just play? 1222201202" title="" /> After the Pokemon style mechanics of the last game, I was ready for anything. Anything is just what I got. You

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Quit The Drip Legit

Quit The Drip Legit is a combination of two of my favorite things: Quitting drinking coffee. Jupyter notebooks (ipython notebooks). You see, about once a year for the past decade, I’ll decide I should quit drinking coffee. I then carefully map out what days I can drink coffee such that I won’t go through withdrawals. A few months will go by, and I’ll start drinking coffee again. A year will pass, and I’ll start the whole process over again. Now I’ve

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Emotional Gaming: Fallout 4 vs. Ori and the Blind Forest

I spent almost 100 hours playing through Fallout 4, and easily spent an additional 20 watching a friend play. With an emotionally gripping intro, huge open world, fun (light) city-building, crafting mechanics, and a prolific RPG skills/feats tree Fallout 4 has all the elements of a gaming masterpiece. I paid 60$ for Fallout 4. I spent about 9 hours playing Ori and the Blind Forest. It also contains an emotionally gripping intro, but keeps it’s world tight in a Metroidvania style open world above

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Review: Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Steam Edition)

13 months ago I published my review of Final Fantasy XIII. Shortly thereafter, I picked up the sequel FFXIII-2 and began a new weekly ritual. Fire up FFXIII-2 for an hour or two. Become distracted by another game. Set FFXIII-2 down for another week. b02usrgb-psd" title="" /> After a full year of this, I realized I was only halfway through the game, so this past month I’ve been kicking it up a notch and playing a full 4 hours weekly. X360B03_1.jpg" title="" /> So, having

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(Tutorial) Using Sourcegraph In Your Android GitHub Flow

As I was reading my daily news articles the other day, I came upon a fascinating piece of oddly-licensed software: Sourcegraph. It’s a Git server with much the same features as GitHub, only with the added “code intelligence” feature. Code intelligence is a parsing engine that allows for the same smart-lookup (and quick-lookup) features you’d find in an IDE, only available in your browser while viewing the repository. As it’s free for personal use, I thought I’d give it a spin as

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Ratchet and Clankdown (Sunset Overdrive Review)

Something was bugging me. I had put 5 hours into Sunset Overdrive, and some elements of play were evoking a sense of Déjà vu. Sure, there were the obvious allusions to Crackdown. The ominous voice, the hidden orbs, the open wold city. Hell, I bought the game knowing it was Crackdown-esque, that was part of the appeal for me. No, this feeling, it was from another game. I dug deeper. RobotDLC_Ball" title="" /> There were other, more subtle clues. An open world full of enemies, but

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No Tools, (No External Power Supply) Xbox HDMI Output (Video)

So you’re wanting to play one of the many original Xbox games that isn’t backwards compatible with your new Xbox 360 or Xbox One system. That’s cool, and everything is going great until you go to drag out your old Xbox and remember that your TV only has HDMI. Not wanting to clutter up your wall with another plug, and not wanting to take the lid off of your Xbox, there’s still another way! You’ll need: 2x Xbox Controller Port To

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Review: Deadpool (2013)

Regardless of how you feel about Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, as a reviewer of video games it became a very bleak time in the early months of 2014. There was more than one calamity that befell consumers as a result of that purchase. All Activision Marvel games lost their license. All future video game license deals for current properties were off the table, and current games were pulled from digital stores. That meant no more “Marvel vs Capcom”, and no more Deadpool. While many of

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