By random coincidence both the Ouya and Oculus Rift arrived at my doorstep this week. One day after each other. The Ouya on Wednesday, the Oculus on Thursday. I backed the Ouya kickstarter project nearly a year ago.
I haven’t gotten a chance to give them a proper spin, but I can say they’re both quite impressive. The Ouya lacks great games, but makes up for it by its looks and emulators. The Oculus Rift is even more mind blowing than I thought, but left me inches from puking after about five minutes of wearing it. Apparently this happens more often and should get better after getting used to the effect. Although I already get nauseated again by just thinking of the Rift Roller Coaster demo.
For the Oculus I’m not just curious about games (the horror genre is never going to be the same), but also looking forward to trying more ‘experiences’ as I’ll call them. You can find quite a few on Rift Enabled. From watching movies in a cinema, to simply floating through space and reading about the planets in our solar system.
Also, there’s these kinds of projects:
I need to go see The Lawnmower Man again..
Tweeting about Instacast made me review the podcasts I like. Why not share them here?
Most shows on my list are Apple development and game orientated. I’m still looking for a few that cover web development. Anyway, in a slightly particular order, these are the podcasts I enjoy listening to.
A podcast about indie software development for the Mac, iOS and other Apple technologies
A podcast discussing news of note in iOS Development, Apple and the like.
David Smith (@_DavidSmith) talks about his experiences as a independent iOS and Mac developer. I like how it covers the things he comes across in his daily activities. It’s always around 15 minutes, making it super convenient to listen to when you have a moment to spare.
Sort of like the director’s commentary track for Daring Fireball.
Empowering Indie Software Makers To Be Better At What They Do
The most entertaining 30 to 45 minutes of your video game week
I like ScrewAttack and their video game items, both on their website and in the podcast.
I use Uservoice to manage tickets for Porthole, AirVLC and other Danger Cove apps. While doing helpdesk, I usually notice that some questions get asked more than once. That’s when I try to wrap the answer in a knowledge base article. First and foremost because it will help people out even faster than I can respond via email. Questions like: “Will this work on my Mac?” and “If I buy Porthole, how will I get it?” are perfect for a knowledge base entry. The answer is similar for everyone and it’s something that you want to know now, instead of in an hour. The huge downside however, is that I don’t get the chance to interact with my customer. This goes double for questions that have similar solutions for everyone, but when asked a lot might indicate an underlying problem that could be fixed in an update.
This means that when the knowledge base expands, I need a way to track how often each article is read. Seeing the amount of support calls drop (good), but not knowing when everybody encounters the same problem and silently discards your app (pretty bad) is a very uncomfortable feeling. Trust me. Uservoice has some built-in analytics that provide general statistics, but because I chose to show knowledge base articles on the product pages as well, I need something extra.
_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Support', 'Open article_107729', 'article_107729']);
Or if you prefer to make the call inline.
<a href="#" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Support', 'Open article_107729', 'article_107729']);">Article title</a>
These events fire every time someone opens (or closes; I log that separately) an article.
What I end up with is a nice overview of which topics get consulted the most! This still doesn’t beat communicating via email, but it makes sure that I can at least determine where to focus my attention (and sleep at night).
Not sure if I’m alone in this, but the thing I look forward the most with every new game console is the control pad. Of all the parts it’s obviously the part that I’ll be touching the most.
The PS4 controller was introduced a while ago and I was somewhat underwhelmed. The LED on the back looks quite cool and it has a tiny touch pad, but its shape is not something I find attractive.
The new Xbox One controller on the other hand looks pretty smooth. Can’t wait to hold it.
To be clear, I’ve always liked the looks of Xbox controllers better than the ones that came with the Playstations, but preferred the feel and technology of the Sony manufactured devices. Especially the d-pad of all past Xbox consoles was absolutely horrendous, ruling out any chance of me playing a fighting game on the Xbox. The new pad however looks perfect, with its cross design (compared to the circular shape from the past).