First Look: OS X 10.9 Developer Preview

It’s that time of the year again. Apple has delivered the opening keynote of WWDC 2013, and with it, developer previews of OS X 10.9 and iOS 7. I’ll most likely be reviewing iOS 7 tomorrow (well sort of… these posts aren’t actually reviews as I don’t give final rankings as they are developer previews, although I will give my opinion on where Apple is going).

For starters, Apple ditched the cat names. This is so jarring that I feel the immediate need to purchase a cat and name it Mavericks. This is the end of an era. But does it signal the end of the OS X platform? Does it signal a merge with iOS? I think not (I’ll explain why in a bit).

OS X 10.9 Mavericks desktop

About This Mac screen

The Finder

Okay, so remember how a bunch of people have been fantasizing about iOS on the Mac? It’s not happening. Along with the Mac Pro updates, Apple has proven with the updated Finder that they do indeed still see the value of real tools like file systems, as instead of trying to minimize its presence, they’ve improved one’s ability to use it. Goodbye TotalFinder and PathFinder. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

A Finder window in Mavericks, displaying a few of the new features.

Most noticeable here is tabs! Yes, a file browser in a mainstream OS finally has tabs! Apple has heard my pleas! Remember the days of web browsing back when IE ruled both PC and Mac? Back when you had to have a different window for every page? How did we live? Oh wait… we’ve still had to deal with that in our file browsers. But no more! The greatest UI enhancement to come to web browsers in the last decade has also come to Finder. If you manipulate large numbers of files often, this will be a life-changer. And of course, for those times when you do need multiple windows, that’s still supported. And just like in Safari, you can split and merge them to your heart’s content.

Okay, enough on the tabbed Finder. Yes, that alone would make Mavericks the most important OS X release since Snow Leopard to me, but there are other things that are also important. Like tags. Remember those kind of useless colored labels that you’ve been able to tag your files with since who-knows-when? Well now you can search by them.

Tags. The red one.

Oh, and it turns out that you can indeed assign arbitrary tags by right-clicking a Finder item then clicking the Tags label itself. That’s much more useful. It took me awhile to realize this. D’oh.

An arbitrary “meme” tag, showing stupid things I’ve made in Photoshop.

And while on the topic of not useful, what’s with the full-screen mode? There are many applications I resize to fill my screen. Finder has never been one of them. Despite needing to manage legions of files, I’ve never found the need to do this, despite being incredibly liberal about the amounts of screen real estate I give the application I’m working with. So… yeah, I don’t get it. As a matter of fact, I dare say it’s entirely impractical. When working with a file manager, you often want to drag and drop things into other applications. But when they aren’t in view, you’ve got a problem. Ah well. I suppose the fact that it’s there doesn’t do any harm, but I just can’t see any practical use for it.

Death to Skeuomorphism

Yes, this gets its own point (I’m obviously going to have a field day in the iOS 7 review…). And the most screenshots of any point in this post. Scott Forstall has been ousted from Apple, and with him, skeuomorphic design principles. And if you didn’t watch the WWDC keynote, you missed it. They thoroughly roasted Forstall. But sadly not literally. Suffice it to say I was hoping they were leading up to a burning of his effigy. The result? Apps that look more clean and less gaudy. Take a look. First the old 10.8 apps, then the new 10.9 ones.

Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Notification Center in 10.8. Notice excessive use of skeuomorphism.

Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Notification Center in 10.9. And WTF Reminders?

iBooks

I’ve long been wondering when iBooks would come to the Mac. Long have I struggled to find an app suitable for reading stuff. And maybe I’ll still struggle for awhile. Maybe it’s a bug in my upgraded install, but it seems to me as though it’s not included in this developer preview. (apparently it’s not just me)

Safari

Safari has been updated to version 7, bringing with it a few new features, most of which are somewhat obtrusively visible by default on the Top Sites page.

Top Sites page in Safari 10.7.

Apple touts the “revamped” Top Sites page itself as a major feature, although the news is you can basically customize it a little. It isn’t really a big deal in my opinion.

Safari also now includes half of a fully-featured Twitter client, in the form of Shared Links. It displays tweets from people you follow in the sidebar if the tweets have links in them.

Shared Links in Safari 7.

This might be a pretty good time-waster. How much time have you spent browsing through links people have posted on Twitter? Now that functionality is built right into it! Considering I’ve got a full Twitter client open most of the time anyway, I’m not quite sure it’ll change much, but depending on your work/time-waste flow, maybe it’ll appeal to you.

Apple also claims that Safari now uses less memory. This, if true, is a very good thing, as in my experience, Safari is a memory whore. Anyway, that comparison is nearly three and a half years old, so let’s do a new one. I’ll compare Safari 6.0.4’s memory usage on OS X 10.8 with Safari 7’s on 10.9, with the same tabs open on each (my blog, The Verge, and my email).

Safari memory usage in 10.8.

Safari memory usage in 10.9.

Also worthy of note here is that each tab finally seems to have its own process. Ever had one tab freeze, and had Safari proceed to tell you that you must reload all of your tabs to fix it? And you were probably right in the middle of something important. I’ve yet to manage to get a tab to freeze, but if my theory is correct, it won’t do that anymore. Now for the memory usage comparison. Not counting the third-party Flash plugin (which is irrelevant to these tests anyway), Safari in 10.8 has a total memory usage of 763.4MB. For a mere three tabs. None of which are anything particularly intensive. Meanwhile, in 10.9, the total usage for Safari is 392.3MB. This is an improvement of nearly 49%, and possibly the most important improvement in Safari in general. Also, the new Activity Monitor. It shows a lot more information. I think I like it.

Maps

Apple has brought its (controversial) Maps app to OS X. I find the gestures to manipulate the map a bit… awkward. I suppose it’s a limitation of using a 2D screen and touchpad to navigate 3D objects. And I knew my town’s skyline was pathetic, but I didn’t realize the tallest building in Downtown Lake Charles was almost completely flat.

Hybrid view in Maps, displaying a completely chopped-off view of Downtown Lake Charles.

The primary use case of this will probably be to plan routes that will later be navigated using the mobile app, and of course Maps supports this scenario (although I can’t get it to work). At some future point when it does, it’s supposed to allow you to plan a route, then send it to an iPhone.

Multi-Monitor Support

Another massive improvement is the ability to run full-screen apps on multiple monitors. (for those of you who haven’t used 10.7 or 10.8, yes, this was an actual thing we couldn’t do, hence why we never used full-screen apps) This should’ve been around since the beginning, but running an app in full-screen mode no longer blacks out the contents of your other monitors. Or… linens out. It actually showed the linen texture thing across the other monitor. Maybe it’s just a part of the whole skeuomorphism removal thing. 

One monitor, running Safari in full screen mode.

The other one, with stuff on it besides a huge linen texture!

You’ll have to just picture these things side by side. Grab can only screenshot one screen at a time, and if I stitched them together, it would be hard for me to fit the image in this post. Just believe me when I say I saw both of those things at the same time. Which is unbelievably awesome. I personally still don’t see why I’d prefer a full-screen app over an app resized to fit the screen, but now I don’t have to loathe the idea anymore.

Miscellaneous

OS X Mavericks now also includes actionable notifications (notifications that you can interact with), iCloud Keychain (basically a cloud-based password manager), and numerous performance and power enhancements. I haven’t done in-depth testing, although everything does seem faster. And that can only be a good thing.

App Nap

One of the performance and efficiency related improvements in Mavericks is a feature called App Nap. Basically, what it does is cut CPU usage to apps that aren’t active. I haven’t been able to test its effect on battery life, but it does have an obvious effect on CPU usage, as seen below. What’s more, it’s impossible to tell when “resuming” the “paused” app that its state had even been altered, so congratulations to Apple for accomplishing a seemingly impossible feat here.

Safari CPU usage while visible.

Safari CPU usage while minimized. Note the “Safari Web Content” process previously using 4.0% CPU is now using none.

 

Summary

OS X 10.9 Mavericks is quite the interesting update to Apple’s desktop operating system. It brings with it a lot of things that it should’ve had long ago (proper multiple monitor support) as well as things that are much-appreciated in the first mainstream OS to have it (Finder tabs). iBooks and Maps are also fairly common-sense additions, as are the performance and power tweaks, some of which are fairly impressive. As some of these are more difficult to examine in practice, you can read more about them at Apple’s site. Other things, like full-screen Finder, are kind of pointless in my opinion, and the omission of a new design for the Reminders app still boggles my mind, as Apple seems to have desired to banish skeuomorphism completely from its software. Actually, I would’ve liked to see a complete visual redesign of the OS to match iOS 7. The current design has been around almost completely unaltered since Lion and is getting a little long in the tooth. Ultimately, the things Apple did do are good (or harmless), but the things they didn’t are a bit disappointing. They’ve got until the final release to redesign stuff, and I’d say that’s likely for the Reminders app, but I doubt a full visual redesign of OS X will happen between now and then.

 

I’m Not Buying an Xbox One, and You Shouldn’t Either

Yeah, I’ve got a thing for really long names for my posts. But it’s eye-catching and sums up the points I’m about to make. Microsoft has totally bungled almost everything they’ve put their hands on lately. Windows Phone, Bing, and now the Xbox One (note: I really do like Windows 8 though, and while I’m still primarily a Mac user, my Samsung Series 7 Slate is my favorite of all the tablets I’ve owned).

Right now, however, I’m focusing exclusively on the Xbox One. Don’t get me wrong. MS haven’t shot themselves in the foot. It’s more like they dropped a nuclear bomb straight onto themselves. First off, from what I’ve heard, the Xbox One and the PS4 have the same processor, but the PS4 has a superior GPU.

But non-geeks don’t care about that, as long as it plays their games

But it doesn’t. If there’s one thing the Xbox One doesn’t do, it’s play games. For starters, it isn’t backwards-compatible with Xbox 360 games. Hmm… so you’re going to buy this console at launch and have maybe a dozen launch titles and no legacy games to fall back on. Sure you might still have your 360, but what if you’ve decided (like me) that your living room is already cluttered enough and you’d like to get rid of it? Or what if you want to sell your 360 to help you afford this likely-overpriced brick?

Maybe they just couldn’t pull off backwards-compatibility?

No… just no. You know the Asus Transformer Book Trio? If that’s possible, surely MS can make a product that can run both Xbox One games and legacy 360 ones. In fact, it’s running three different operating systems at once. This wouldn’t be much of a stretch. Yes, it’s a different architecture, but those chips are from 2005, dinosaurs in this industry. They’re cheap enough they ought to be selling them right next to the Pringles and Lays by now. MS could easily throw one in without significantly increasing the price of the console. Basically, due to MS stinginess, your Xbox One will be virtually useless for quite awhile after buying it.

But wait… there’s more!

So not only can an Xbox One not play 360 games, it can’t play Xbox One games either.

What?

I’m dead serious. The Xbox One can’t play Xbox One games. No internet connection? Crappy connection? Then your console won’t allow you to play your games, even offline. It has to phone home every 24 hours just to enable this. Oh, and like to try out games borrowed from your friend? You can’t. Like to try them out by renting them? Too bad, you can’t. Oh, and aside from the 24 hour phoning home restriction, my favorite, multitudes of restrictions on used games that essentially mean you won’t be able to buy them (publishers can, and most likely will, prevent it altogether, or apply additional “transfer fees”). I happen to like buying used games. New games are about as overpriced as name-brand clothing, and if you buy either thing, you’re a sucker. And so are MS for trying this kind of thing. Making enemies with the likes of GameStop et al. is in no way good for them. Due to the large number of people who purchase their games (and consoles) through such stores, they have great power to influence one’s console purchase. And guess which console they’ll push (hint: it’s not the one that has essentially waged war against them).

Get your head out of the cloud

Okay, so I do have a bit of bias to admit. I’m strongly against cloud-dependency. It’s the reason I’m always slamming ChromeOS. I’m not against the cloud as a concept, as long as you aren’t forced to use it. It’s great to have your data synced across devices, as long as you also have a local copy. What if MS goes out of business (yes, it’s unlikely, but not impossible)? Or, what if, more likely, they decide in a few years that every Xbox One user should buy an Xbox Two (it probably won’t be called this, but while not a legitimate reason not to buy the One, I do need to mention how illogical their naming pattern is). Those (completely unnecessary) verification servers cost money to run, and why would MS ever spend that money on allowing people to use their now-obsolete console, when they’d love to sell you an “Xbox Two”? And here’s the biggest problem. Why would you buy a console that its developers have to “allow” you to use, on a day-by-day basis, after you’ve bought it? One could argue that MS wouldn’t want to risk losing customer loyalty, but they’ve already proven that they couldn’t care less. Anyone remember the Windows Phone 8 debacle? Everyone who bought an expensive new top-of-the-line Lumia (I forget what it’s called… MS/Nokia suck at naming things logically) only days before WP8 was announced was stuck with no upgrade path. MS (and its fanboys) argue a bootloader incompatibility. Mhmm. Do explain how years ago, I was able to emulate EFI to boot a hackintosh, using open-source utilities developed by hobbyists. MS certainly had the capability to do the same for WP7.x devices, but why would they? They don’t care about customer loyalty. At all. They have an awful track record. Don’t think that they won’t try it again.

Conclusion

Microsoft is working hard to craft its biggest flop yet. It can’t compete with the PS4 on specs, it can’t play games (neither 360 titles nor its own for that matter), it looks like a VCR from the early 90’s, its name is hardly appropriate for a console that is, in fact, third in its series, and it’s being placed carefully on the path to planned obsolescence.

Sony, this is my appeal to you. I know you’ve made your mistakes (the geohot lawsuit anyone), but you’ve been doing great lately. Releasing the source code for your Android firmwares on time? And so far at least, not immersing your products in unnecessary DRM and cloud dependency. Keep it up, and you’re sure to win this generation’s console wars.

(P.S., if anyone at Sony is reading this, I was really impressed by one of your stores when I visited a few days ago… I’d love to review that 4K 82″ TV I saw )

…Let’s hope MS has at least solved the Red Ring of Death, or this isn’t a Windows Phone level failure; it’s a Microsoft Bob level failure.

Justin Daigle: A Facebook Experience

Hi! As of today, Justin Daigle (.com) is a fully-owned subsidiary of Facebook, Inc. I have sold the domain, as well as its content and a ten-year contract of my services, for the sum of one billion US dollars. As part of the deal, I have also sold the notterland.com domain to Zynga, and will assist them in developing a freemium game offering strong and completely unfair practical benefits to paying customers. As for this blog, I will now document what’s new at Facebook and my work there. I will be updating here and my brand new Facebook page from my new Chromebook Pixel, the ideal machine for people who do nothing but browse the web! The new analytic software installed on my blog is also tracking which posts you read, connecting your IP address to your real name and your Facebook account without any other information required, and selling this comprehensive profile of yourself to the highest bidder.

Psst: Happy April Fool’s Day! 

Also, thanks Gwynne for the idea.

Thoughts on Google Glass

It’s probably about time I write another blog post. I’ve been rather devoid of inspiration ever since Glitch closed, but my blog and its shiny new theme (thanks hounsell!) are kind of sitting here collecting dust, and I’ve decided I probably need to blog more often. I know this is my own personal space, but in the past couple of years, I’ve grown rather self-conscious about the stuff I post. I need to get over that.

Anyway, I was going to post a personal rant on my birthday, but decided against it. I also planned to write a review or two of Ubuntu Touch (the demos looked so amazing and I planned to shower it with praise), but then I actually tried it and it’s awful. “Woefully incomplete” is an understatement. Those demo videos left me feeling like Android is a last-gen OS, but the product hasn’t lived up to the demos, so there is no next-gen OS to switch to (for those who don’t follow me on Twitter, I’ve recently switched to Android and a Nexus 4, which truly feels like a next-gen device as compared to my iPhone 4S; I might still write a post soon writing my thoughts on the switch).

Regardless, my intent today was to write a post about Google Glass. For the most part, it’s a rant. Not a rant about Google Glass. Ignorant commenters on articles about the product are already doing a great job of spewing out cynical nonsense; I feel no need to assist them. I’ll instead be ranting about these ignorant commenters and the ridiculous arguments they pose over and over again (the way I see it, there are three).

1. I’ll look ridiculous wearing it!

Nope. You’ll look like a spy from the future, and that’s awesome. Why would you not want to look like a spy from the future? Not to mention, I don’t think I want to look “socially acceptable,” since in today’s society, that means gold chains and pants pulled halfway down one’s legs such that one’s underwear is visible. People are walking around looking like complete douchebags (even worse than what I just described, look at the cast of Jersey Shore), and you complain about a pair of futuristic-looking glasses? I don’t get it. I really, really don’t get it (maybe it’s just because I have no social credibility to lose anyway, so… why not?).

2. It’s too expensive!

There’s two ways of looking at this one, one of which actually has some merit (but not much). And that way is “It isn’t cheap enough for me to afford it.” It probably isn’t. Let’s assume “It’ll retail for less than $1500” means “It’ll retail for $1499.” For non-geeks, that’s no impulse buy. But non-geeks just spend their money elsewhere, on other expensive toys. It isn’t my problem, or Google’s, that you just bought a new Mercedes-Benz and can’t afford Google Glass now. Not to mention, if you don’t already budget for new tech toys, you’re probably not part of the target market anyway. This is for addicts like me who can’t last five seconds without being in front of a computer screen.

The other way of looking at it is “It’s too expensive for what it is.” Nope. This is brand new technology. It’s no easy feat to fit a computer into a device that small, and then actually display its data unobtrusively. This is probably the first truly revolutionary computing device in the last five years or so. Want to look at an example of something that is overpriced for what it is? Look at the Chromebook Pixel. $1300 for a device that’s effectively good for nothing. Seriously? It still baffles me how a company that develops things like Glass and self-driving cars comes up with stupid ideas like Chromebooks, which, are pretty much the epitome of netbooks (limited-functionality, cheap computers designed for little more than accessing Facebook and other web sites). Add on top of this the completely moronic idea of making an expensive netbook and trying to market it to professionals. Professionals who need to do what exactly? Look at Facebook in super-high resolution? I believe one example given was photographers. You know, because you can run Photoshop within Chrome… oh wait, nope. I could rant more about how the whole cloud-dependency idea is ridiculous, but I don’t think I need to in order to make my point. I realize I went severely off-topic here, but my point was that Glass is a revolutionary product. It solves a real problem (the problem of being constantly connected to information in ways smartphones will never accomplish). Chromebooks, which now approach the pricing point of Glass, are a solution without a problem (“A computer designed for the cloud!” Yes, but what do I need that for?).

3. It’s invasive of privacy!

This one’s the most ludicrous claim of all, and also seems to be the most frequently-repeated. I basically wrote this post to get to rant about the people using this argument. The first two things? They’re subjective to an extent. Some people may not find them attractive, or be able to afford them. No amount of “proving I’m right” can change those things. Nor do I need to. If you don’t want Google Glass, that isn’t really my problem. But this whole privacy thing is. People are claiming the ability to record people discretely invades their privacy, and therefore people shouldn’t be allowed to do it! Cry me a river.

First off, you’re already being recorded. Ever been inside a store? They have security cameras and stuff. Ever been outside? People are probably (inadvertently, I’ll get to this later) already recording you with their phones.

But, I can see them doing that!

Probably not. That you notice every person in your surroundings, and their phones, is highly unlikely in most circumstances. It doesn’t matter anyway.

Nobody cares about you. Seriously.

Unless you’re doing something that you probably have no business doing in public anyway, nobody cares about you. You’re narcissistic, schizophrenic, or both, to think that you’re some kind of celebrity and everyone is out to maliciously record you. Anyone out recording with these is probably just recording their surroundings in general. And even if you were, hypothetically, some celebrity and the object of someone’s recordings, it doesn’t matter.

There’s no such thing as privacy in public.

No, really. It’s paradoxical.The definition of public is “open to all persons.” The definition of private is “confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential.” (Source: Dictionary.com) If you’re in public, and therefore in a position to be recorded, you have no privacy (neither in practice, nor as some sort of idealized or legal right). You’re incredibly self-entitled to think otherwise. Get over yourself. If you want privacy, never leave your house. You have a legal and practical right to privacy there. You’ll take it and you’ll be happy with it.

In closing, if you don’t want Google Glass, that’s fine. I probably can’t convince you otherwise, nor do I need to. If you think I look like a dork wearing them, okay. I don’t really care. If you think I’m violating some hypothetical right to privacy that you have in public, nope. By definition, you have no privacy in public. Deal with it. I’ll be rocking a pair of these on day one of their official release (hopefully later this year), and look forward to reviewing them. =D

Glitch: A Screenshot Archive

I know I said that last post would be my last Glitch post, but I kept digging through this old folder of screenshots I had, and figured I could squeeze out one more. At the time I downloaded the folder (it was for the one-year post a couple of months back), I had 157 screenshots. In the spirit in which I posted the sixteen in-game snaps I’d never published, I’ll also publish a selection of these screenshots I took with the best explanation I can come up with for what it’s about. Note: These explanations may turn into multi-paragraph ramblings explaining the many bugs I’ve known about at various times throughout my journey through Ur. Also, chat logs. Publishing a fair few of those as well. I’d publish all of them, but 157 images in one post is a little ridiculous. If I look through the folder and decide I have enough interesting images to warrant a future second post in this series, I’ll write one.

Taken in Anrasan Glance on the same night of the other Crowns Underground photo (January 13, 2011) of my celebratory one year post, we used the same technique here to get behind the stone. Jade attempted to patch the area so it would be impossible to do this again… she didn’t realize we were using a different method, and until the day of the game’s closing, it was still possible to use this technique to get behind the stone. The technique, discovered by Palindrome, involved following a person, who would accept the follow while you are jumping. This follow is then “broken,” and you are stuck following the person until they evade you. The follower would proceed to climb part way up a ladder, and the leader moves toward either the left or the right. The follower will then slide (still in ladder-climbing position) in a (random?) direction. Assuming the bottom of the ladder is lower than the highest point on the floor of that street, this technique could be used to get underground on a street.

There were two other hacks usable to get underground, at least to my knowledge. The first and simpler of these was the summon trick. If you stand facing right, with a wall to your right, the player you summon will be pushed underground. I accidentally discovered this bug along with Liza Throttlebottom during an attempt to grind subway badges. I summoned her to the station, standing immediately to the left of the gate. After she arrives, she’s to the right of it and able to get underground.

The second, and possibly the most complicated, is known as the “blending trick.” In the final days of the game, tis held a class to explain this one, however a few people (mostly members of the Game of Crowns group) have been aware of it for months. I’m not exactly sure from whom this trick originated. While it is the most complicated of the getting underground hacks, it also works on almost any street. The process for using this hack was as follows. Similar to both of the other hacks just mentioned, it requires a second person. One must be on a fast connection or computer, and the other on a slow one. The idea is for the person on the slow connection/computer to follow the person on the fast one. The person on the fast connection/computer will then change streets, and, as soon as possible, change back to the original street. If the second change is completed before the follower has a chance to load the new street, the follower will be on the final street, but with the paths of the street before. Once the follower is in an ideal location, the leader may then follow them to obtain access to the normally off-limits area.

Notice I said “almost” any street. We tried hacking The Other Drop using the blending trick, and this happened.

 

 

Stuff like this is why RM is awesome. My first experience of her involved one of the many tree wars I’ve taken part in. That’s how I got the impression that she was a “rule maniac.” She then did this to prove me wrong. Yes, that’s a patch in Timtim. =P

This awkward moment happened later that day. I really don’t know if any explaining is wanted or needed here…

One of two in a series of guide mishaps. Not sure how exactly he managed to do that. I blame WASD, despite the fact that none of those letters are involved here.

In case you haven’t seen the back story behind my perpetual ridicule of WASD controls, here it is again:

Sep 25 1:16:24AM Gwynne  my meditation keps messing up when i type…

Sep 25 1:16:33AM Gwynne  its not supposed to do that >.<

Sep 25 1:16:37AM You  Precisely.

Sep 25 1:16:48AM You  Using WASD as opposed to the arrow keys by any chance?

Sep 25 1:16:57AM Gwynne  yeah?

Sep 25 1:17:07AM You  I could never. It’s too illogical. D=

Sep 25 1:17:23AM Gwynne  it took me a lot of getting used to xD

Sep 25 1:17:23AM You  If anything, D should move you down, not right.

Sep 25 1:17:37AM Gwynne  but theyre arranged like the arrow keys

Sep 25 1:17:43AM You  S for… south, I guess?

Sep 25 1:18:46AM Gwynne  if you wanna do it that way you could just have ULDR, wich are all over the place…

Sep 25 1:18:57AM You  Exactly. First thing I’m fixing if TS hires me.

Sep 25 1:19:18AM Gwynne  you are *not* changing WASD to ULDR

Sep 25 1:19:38AM You  But… WASD doesn’t make any sense!

Sep 25 1:20:04AM Gwynne  but its arranged like the arrow keys! its convenient!

Sep 25 1:20:21AM Gwynne  it would be so hard to move using ULDR

Sep 25 1:20:37AM You  I’m going to prove to you that ULDR works. Tomorrow, I’m going to modify my arrow move game to use ULDR as the controls.

Sep 25 1:20:59AM Gwynne  omg >.<

Sep 25 1:21:29AM You  http://justindaigle.com/files/ArrowMove.html Note: WASD doesn’t do anything. It never did, and it never will.

Sep 25 1:22:06AM Gwynne  you are crazy…

Sep 25 1:22:30AM You  For writing a game that expects one to use arrow keys?

Sep 25 1:23:04AM Gwynne  for not seeing the reason in WASD.

Sep 25 1:23:16AM Gwynne  my meditation messed up again! argh!

Sep 25 1:23:21AM Gwynne  brb

Sep 25 1:23:24AM Gwynne just left 🙁

Sep 25 1:23:54AM Gwynne is here!

Sep 25 1:24:05AM R-e-l-a-x-i-n-g.

Sep 25 1:24:08AM Calm blue ocean.

Sep 25 1:24:11AM This is beautiful.

Sep 25 1:24:14AM You  I’m not the one who can’t meditate whilst typing. 😉

Sep 25 1:24:15AM Good, good.

Sep 25 1:24:30AM Whoops. There it goes. That was relaxing. +363 mood, +363 energy, +0 iMG

Sep 25 1:24:36AM You  Ha! There you go again.

Liza wasn’t quite a guide at this point, but, uh… kind of surprised they promoted her after this (just kidding, Liza’s awesome).

 

This key spawned every 40 seconds behind the pillar toward the right of Newcot Close in Groddle Forest. I managed to gain a level a day for my last several levels (after the iMG transition) using these keys. I would spend a few hours camping this key every game day, then enter the (then-new) basement seam streets from the Gregarious Grange Tower basement. Using diagrams like the one below, I would pick out high-value iMG quoins, then use /home and /leave, which would put me back in the Gregarious Grange basement, ready to repeat this process. While this method was not as efficient as a later method involving ticket to paradise upgrade cards, it was the best of its time (and also did not get nerfed until much later than the upgrade card method).

 

This diagram indicates the location of two high-iMG quoins in Piryan. There was a third 3k iMG quoin, but by the time its location was explained to me, I had already memorized the locations and didn’t update the diagram.

 

New day screen after one particular day of using the basement method of level grinding.

 

I think stuck buffs were caused by connection lag. The high jumper and moonwalk buffs were fun, but the sneezing and purple junk buffs didn’t do anything while stuck, if I recall correctly. This was my personal record of four. I probably could’ve gotten more, but I couldn’t think of anything else to add to these.

 

Pictured above was an experiment in staying in the Ancestral Lands past the timer expiration by means of taking turns with people who did not have the overwhelmed debuff. Palindrome later discovered a bug that allowed one to just clear the overwhelmed screen by opening then closing the iMG window. Using this bug, I quickly gained my last few AL’s achievements (it also had the added benefit of reliably spawning a Juju Bandit, one per street, from any trap).

 

One of two of my favorite bugs ever in Glitch, this one sort of came about by accident. A month or so before the actual discovery, TomC discussed with us the possibility of resetting a pickle by means of changing the TSID. At this point, however, doing so was thought impossible. I got bored one day and tried this:

Feb 18 12:08:39AM You  Ooh… I wonder if I’m the first person to try this. Fill up your inventory, play with your pickle, then quickly pick up an item while it’s out of your inventory.

Feb 18 12:09:06AM You  (if you don’t believe me when I say you won’t lose it, try it in your house)

Feb 18 12:09:26AM Lx  Could do it with a cubi too.

Feb 18 12:11:04AM You  Wait… I think I just discovered something more to this.

Feb 18 12:11:05AM Rayana  would rather not try it with my pickle… it might glitch

Feb 18 12:11:18AM You  So I did it with a named cubimal, and when the rock returned it, it lost its name.

Feb 18 12:11:28AM You  Maybe, just maybe, it resets TSID’s?

Feb 18 12:11:58AM You  If so, Justin Daigle ‘s Bargain GNG Bin is open for business!

Feb 18 12:11:58AM Vira has left

Feb 18 12:12:03AM Rayana  would that generate an extra GNG?

Feb 18 12:12:11AM You  If it resets the TSID? Yes.

Feb 18 12:13:48AM You  Let’s help me keep track. Current pickle TSID: IA9H12OEHEO2B7O

Feb 18 12:15:03AM Meander Thralls has joined

Feb 18 12:15:07AM Bradamus Prime has left

Feb 18 12:16:47AM Humbabella has left

Feb 18 12:17:10AM Fur  hey! its new person

Feb 18 12:17:11AM Fur  hello

Feb 18 12:18:22AM Lx  Meander’s been here before, but welcome back 🙂

Feb 18 12:19:13AM You  Success!

Feb 18 12:19:18AM You  Pickle TSID changed to IA9HPQM3IEO282V

Feb 18 12:19:52AM You  Whether it’ll actually let me get a GNG out of it now is still up for debate.

Obviously, it worked. Again and again. It wasn’t patched until much later, after I was pretty bored with it (yes, it did get boring after awhile). Also, for whatever reason, they never fixed it on cubimals.

On that note, here’s a screenshot of my testing house, back when items were huge. I later made the GNG’s five to a shelf once items became smaller. I still don’t know why they did that. I preferred the huge items…

 

The Loudspeaker in the Rook Museum could be interacted with as though it were a human player, to an extent. I think it also had a player TSID.

 

This was shortly after the Great Moving Box disaster of 2012. For about a month, the Faded Heart item, which could ordinarily not be picked up or dropped, was stuck on many of our floors. I happened to screenshot this rare moment. It kind of bugs me though, the inconsistency between quest items… Faded Heart could not be picked up or dropped, but could be placed in an SDB. After the developers “fixed” it, Play Cube could not be picked up, dropped, traded, or placed in an SDB (although I discovered a workaround with Gwynne that would allow you to do so by placing it in a gift box, wrapping it, then giving the other player the gift box; I never got to test this method with a greeter stick, but it theoretically would’ve worked). And of course, then there was the conch. Not realizing they didn’t lock when placed in towers, this happened:

Sep 29 1:47:45AM Gwynne  *you* could make the conch 😀

Sep 29 1:47:51AM You  Riiiiight…

Sep 29 1:48:07AM You  Considering you didn’t even know if you could do it, how do you expect me to do it? 0_o

Sep 29 1:48:33AM Gwynne  *shrug* you could try…

Sep 29 1:48:54AM You  I wouldn’t even know where to start. D=

Sep 29 1:48:58AM stoot barfield is here!

Sep 29 1:49:04AM Gwynne  :O

Sep 29 1:49:09AM You  Nice guest you got there!

Sep 29 1:49:13AM               stoot barfield  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!

Sep 29 1:49:13AM Gwynne  xD

Sep 29 1:49:18AM stoot barfield high fived you! Mood +10

Sep 29 1:49:22AM You high fived stoot barfield. Energy -10

Sep 29 1:49:33AM               stoot barfield  I just came here for the Justin

Sep 29 1:49:38AM Gwynne  lol

Sep 29 1:49:41AM               stoot barfield  BUT, Gwynne … can I tell you something?

Sep 29 1:49:46AM Gwynne  sure 🙂

Sep 29 1:49:49AM You  Heh. Am I somehow interesting?

Sep 29 1:49:49AM               stoot barfield  I will say it to you privately

Sep 29 1:49:52AM               stoot barfield  ready?

Sep 29 1:49:55AM Gwynne  yes!

Sep 29 1:50:30AM               stoot barfield  thanks for the conch

Sep 29 1:50:37AM Gwynne  stoooot…

Sep 29 1:50:49AM Gwynne  thanks 🙂

Sep 29 1:51:04AM You  Gwynne  I’ll pick it up if anyone comes in

Sep 29 1:51:12AM You  She must’ve been too shocked.

Sep 29 1:51:16AM Gwynne  or i could just keep it…

Sep 29 1:51:20AM Gwynne  lol

Along with the new tutorial came a set of streets known as Gentle Island. No, this is not a Gentle Island street. It’s Adanac in Groddle Forest. It’s where I got kicked out to. Unfortunately, I only got to go to one Gentle Island street, and I couldn’t figure out how to move around on it, which I was too preoccupied with to actually remember to take screenshots there. The means by which I got to Gentle Island involved following a new player on their home street, who would then return to Gentle Island, taking me with them. Simple!

 

This took place at a party in March. Pali and Liza suggested that stoot hire me. This was my dream in life. A dream I’ll never get to realize now. 🙁

 

Anyone remember this person? Somehow single-handedly broke the game for like eight to twelve hours. Yeah, me too. D=

I think they originally had one or two of those flower symbols in their name, which duplicated each time anything displaying it came up. The downtime sucked, but the forum topic that came as a result was pretty funny. This post was possibly my favorite.

I think they removed those characters from that person’s name, and most likely (hopefully) blocked it from being a valid character in usernames from then on out. However, they still allowed quite a few they probably shouldn’t have, including the hair space, which allowed me to use the name “Justin” despite the fact that it was taken (although it did inconvenience and confuse people who wished to send me mail, sorry!).

 

Finally in the “weird characters in people’s names” department, there was this. The Arabic characters in this person’s name somehow caused their level to appear before their name. I’d seen a lot of bugs in Glitch, but this one really weirded me out. Reminds me a little of this character people used to stick in their profile on forums, that would cause all the text to appear upside down.

 

This is a (poorly-made) concept I threw together on how to deal with the problem of multiple quest popups. When you had something like sixteen new quests, it was annoying. Close one popup, then another comes right back in your face. This was the bane of my existence for my first few minutes in-game at a point when I had a lot of quests I just didn’t feel like doing at the moment. So I proposed this alteration, a scrolling list that could be closed all at once.

 

And now, the final exploit in the history of Ur. Much like the GNG thing, this was sort of an accident. I had managed to stay in-game, running around and doing stuff, for about half an hour after the official closing. I left this makeshift memorial in honor of Gwynne, not really capable of thinking of something better considering the panic (looking back, I wish I would’ve left artifacts, or something that actually had value at that point). I think I pulled this off by having left the game open in Safari. When I later tried opening it in Chrome, it must’ve pulled the cached files, and with the servers still being up, allowed me to load the game. I then got kicked with some “logged in from multiple places” notification half an hour or so later (unfortunately, I’d closed the other window by this point… I may have gotten to stay even longer had I not done so). Although it might’ve been a manual thing done by staff, considering I kind of saw a couple of them in Cebarkul and tried talking to them. They never replied. 🙁

I did get mail from people noticing I was still in game though. xD