Many people try to compare Rust to Go, but this is flawed. Go is an ancient board game that emphasizes strategy. Rust is more appropriately compared to Chess, a board game focused on low-level tactics. Clojure, with its high-level purview, is a better analogy to the enduring game of stones.
I’ve been at Confluent for a year and half now, and it was fun in many ways, but I’ve decided upon a change, and I’m joining Sigma Computing next week.
Another instance where I was looking for a different “local maxima” but ended up finding a global maxima instead.
Everyone wants different things at different points, but Sigma feels like a sweet spot for me right now.
It’s not too big and not too small, with a rapidly growing engineering team, there is a whole different bunch of tech to learn from scratch, an opportunity to work on an end-to-end full-stack product while also having significant infrastructure challenges.
I’ve learnt a lot from the folks I’ve worked with at Confluent, and I’m excited to begin the new year on a new adventure 🙂
Many games have come and gone, and I haven’t actually played anything for about five years now (!), and looking back, I can barely recall most of what I played.
Some names that do stand out though (I’m sure I’m missing atleast one or two big personal time-sinks here), are:
Age of Empires (2)
I was surprised (or perhaps I shouldn’t have been) to find that I wasn’t alone in the specific nostalgia for this game.
Here is a bit of gameplay as an example, though as I looked at it, I found it a bit boring now.
I don’t think it was the mechanics of the game (unique though they felt at the time) that was attractive anyway, but rather (at the risk of being too autobiographically revealing here) the backstory to it.
Update 1: I was able to track down the “Intro movie“, which is … yes, quite un-watchable today — but for some context, this came out in 1999, one year after Dark City, and the year of The Matrix.
It isn’t just the usual post-apocalyptic landscape, with warring “factions” (which feels like elements of Starcraft-like Zerg/Protoss, Star Trek TNG Borg) — the player too is post-human, transformed into a “Synaptic Donor Unit” in order to “play”, giving up their humanity forever.
In return, they get cybernetic command over every deployed piece of military hardware, able to both direct them in the “usual RTS style”, but also enter a given vehicle for a “direct FPS style”.
(Obligatory Wikipedia link for more details on the plot and characters etc)
This isn’t very novel as a general metaphor for gaming — after all, every time you “direct units” in a strategy game, who are you, if not some abstract spirit that controls these people or animals or vehicles or whatever — but it was novel in being so explicit about it.
Within the story of the game, then, you as the player are already “physically dead”, and your outcomes are bleak too: either annihilation at the hands of the enemy, or a victory that preserves the human race (but … leads to you being decommissioned?)
Of course, this backstory is over in a few minutes and the rest of the game can be played and enjoyed in complete ignorance of it too.
Update 2: I found at least one example of fan fiction for it.
“Jan says some hackers are putting together a big war machine. It’s called Synaptic Donor Unit – SDU. Jan says I better lay low at the Arcades, or else Resistance is going to come looking for me. Weird cookbook they’ve got going: Wire together the computers of the free world, add connectivity to all automated armament plants, then upload one human. Sounds like a dream I’ve been having.”
I tried out Airtable for a year, for a simple personal spreadsheet that I’ve been keeping for a few years now.
It’s slick, and quick to enter data, but in the end I’ve decided to go back to Numbers.
Things I liked:
I really liked being able to easily add images when needed
Having single-select and multi-select lists are useful and intuitive. I miss this the most in Numbers.
Things I didn’t like:
To do something as simple as making a little chart, I needed to pay $20 a month! Yes, the Pro plan had far more than charts, but I just cared about this one small feature, and it seemed ridiculous to me.
Things I didn’t care for:
I realized I wasn’t going to use the 3rd party Airtable plugins or integrations.
There is an intermediate Plus plan ($10/mo). I expected to use it, and would’ve been okay with it, but surprisingly didn’t hit the size limit on my bases.
Adaptations in Numbers
I was able to get most of the way to a single-select box by a combination of
Setting the data type for the column to “popup”
Adding a conditional highlighting (this is surprisingly easy to do)
I’ve always been one to try out new apps, and new tools, because there are always ways of doing things better, and the satisfaction that comes with that.
Recently though, I’ve been very sensitive to my personal info becoming siloed in a bunch of different places, and I want as much of it as possible
Moving from Airtable to Numbers involves giving up a few features, but it satisfies these requirements I’m placing on my tools these days, so I’m quite happy about it 🙂