Team Tracy Mod — A Thunderbirds House Rules Modification

Update: TL:DR — we were using the Dis­aster track wrong.  Details at the end.

Last night was our groups first play­through of Thun­der­birds. We’d played vari­ous co-op games, and spe­cific­ally Matt Lea­cock designed games, before. We knew we were in for a chal­len­ging yet fair co-op gam­ing exper­i­ence in the Thun­der­birds uni­verse. Fun!

Well, maybe.

The first and second games ended rather quickly. We under­stood the rules, but the char­ac­ters we had were unable to coördin­ate quickly enough to avert them.

So, in the interest of sal­va­ging the even­ing and get­ting back to hav­ing fun, we decided on the fol­low­ing modi­fic­a­tions:

  1. All Char­ac­ters are par­ti­cip­at­ing in the game, no mat­ter the num­ber of play­ers. In our case that left two char­ac­ters without human play­ers. Every human play­er con­trols one char­ac­ter, but extra char­ac­ters are con­trolled by the group.
  2. We altered the Turn Over­view. In our game, Turn order var­ies dur­ing a ’round’ depend­ing on the strategy the group decides is going to be executed for that round. As each play­er takes a turn, they flip their char­ac­ter card over so we can remem­ber that play­er has played. The same applies to group-con­trolled char­ac­ters. Once all char­ac­ter cards are face down, the round ends and the char­ac­ter cards are reset, and a new round begins.

We felt that these modi­fic­a­tions allowed the entire Tracy fam­ily to par­ti­cip­ate in the game, as they usu­ally do in the TV show. And by allow­ing the turn order to be flex­ible and respons­ive to the cur­rent situ­ation, we felt it bet­ter reflec­ted the TV show’s theme of team­work — hence the name, the Team Tracy Mod. Also, it made for a much more fun and involving game.

Update:

Well. It seems we were doing some­thing wrong.
You know the dis­aster track at the bot­tom of the board? The one where the cur­rent dis­asters all pile up and even­tu­ally over­whelm you? Yeah, that one. Well, it seems that we were using that wrong.

As we drew a new dis­aster card, we placed it NEXT to the exist­ing dis­aster card, in the slot HIGHER than the pre­vi­ous one. We should have been slid­ing all the exist­ing dis­asters down one slot and pla­cing the new card in the FIRST SLOT. The way we were play­ing it, every new dis­aster assumed a high­er pri­or­ity than the pre­vi­ous one as we had to reduce the total num­ber of dis­asters to stay alive.

Played prop­erly, we could take two or three turns to map out a mul­tiple res­cue strategy and elim­in­ate dis­asters more effect­ively.

/facepalm/

We’re enjoy­ing the game much more now

Testing Duet — an OS X display extender app for iPad

You’ve prob­ably seen the online hype around Duet — an OS X dis­play extender app for iPad. Basic­ally it’s sup­posed to allow you to extend your cur­rent desktop screen to an iPad — just as if you had an extra mon­it­or. Oth­er apps already do this, but Duet’s claim to fame is it will extend your desktop in a way that’s lag free. So if you’re watch­ing movies or anim­a­tion and mov­ing ele­ments between mon­it­ors, you’ll not notice lag.

Duet’s unique fea­ture that allows this is that Duet con­nects to your Mac using the USB port and either 30 pin con­nect­or or Light­ning con­nect­or.

I’ve pre­vi­ously used sim­il­ar apps, Air Dis­play and Dis­playPad, though both have util­ized WiFi to link your dis­play to the com­puter. Also, both sup­port Win­dows or OS X. Cur­rently, Duet doesn’t sup­port Win­dows.

Duet also doesn’t sup­port the ori­gin­al iPad, where the two oth­er apps do — a con­sid­er­a­tion if you have an older ori­gin­al hanging around, as I do.

Duet has been get­ting mixed reviews on the iTunes App Store, but that may be related to the high CPU usage needed to render out a ret­ina dis­play to a ret­ina iPad — there’s a lot of work going on. If you’re using a new com­puter, or have a lower res­ol­u­tion iPad, then you may not encounter this issue.

Regard­less, I’ll take a look at the app and report back when I’ve been able to give it a workout.

 

My iOS App Picks for 2014 — iOS Photo Apps

I tend to keep my pho­to­graphy over on iPad­Dark­room, but since I’m writ­ing about iOS photo apps that I’ve dis­covered or have dom­in­ated my work this year, it seemed fit­ting to look at apps that have influ­enced my photo work.

You’ve likely seen some work cre­ated with these apps before, but they’re worth pro­fil­ing again as my picks because they’ve stood head-and-shoulders above the oth­er apps in the photo edit­or / fil­ter space.

So, on to the apps… Con­tin­ue read­ing “My iOS App Picks for 2014 — iOS Photo Apps”

My iOS App Picks for 2014 — eBook Readers

It’s that time of year again — the year is end­ing, com­ing to a close. And we often take time to look back at things we’ve done. In my case, I thought I’d look back at the iOS apps that have most engaged me over the last year.

I’ll basic­ally select a ‘win­ner’ and a ‘run­ner up’, and give a few reas­ons why the app cap­tured my atten­tion and interest.

So, without fur­ther pre­amble, here’s my first cat­egory and selec­tions: Con­tin­ue read­ing “My iOS App Picks for 2014 — eBook Read­ers”

Ello’s a thing, like the other thing, but more.

 

You’ve prob­ably heard about Ello, a new, Face­book altern­at­ive that prom­ises to be ad free, and not sell your data. Sounds inter­est­ing, so I’m try­ing it out.

Giv­en my recent obser­va­tions on Face­book — mostly that the stuff I share there isn’t really seen by my friends who fol­low me there, I thought I’d give Ello a try.

Of course, it helps if my friends are fol­low­ing me on Ello too!

So if you’re inter­ested in Ello, let me know by using my con­tact form here. Include your email and I’ll send you an invite.

Read more about Ello here. And read the Ello mani­festo here!

Hope­fully I’ll see you on Ello soon!

Free online storage — what I’m doing now

Back in 2012 I wrote about a few cloud stor­age options I was explor­ing. Well a few years have passed so I thought I’d update / annot­ate the old one. So here goes. New com­ments will be col­oured red.


UPDATES Wow, anoth­er one today (Thursday, April 12, 2012). Log­MeIn has entered the ‘cloud stor­age space’ space by announ­cing the invite-only beta of Cubby — which gives you Drop­Box-like access to 5GB. I’ve reques­ted an invite and will post about it when I have some hands-on time. Meh. Cubby’s noth­ing to write home about. Log­MeIn has been a bit of a dis­ap­point­ment since they sig­ni­fic­antly changed their remote desktop applic­a­tion and left iOS users in the dust.

Drop­Box has doubled the amount of free space they’re giv­ing out through refer­rals and Spider Oak is also in my test­ing suite. It starts out with 2GB free, and I’ve just opened my account so I’ve just star­ted test­ing, but you can expect I’ll write about it in a week or two. If you want to check it out, here’s an affil­i­ate link (which will get you one extra GB of stor­age!).

Drop­box is still cool and still used by me on mul­tiple com­puters and mobile devices. Well worth it if you’re look­ing great stor­age and 3rd party app sup­port through ser­vices like IFTTT and many mobile apps.

Cur­rently, the latest buzz is all about a pos­sible April launch of Google’s much-anti­cip­ated free cloud stor­age app called dubbed GDrive.

GDrive is clunky — not as eleg­ant as Drop­box or Copy.com (more on that later).

Reports say it’ll come with a loc­al, desktop cli­ent for most oper­at­ing sys­tems that will enable you to store and access about 1GB of files in the Cloud. Nice.

But it’s not here yet, and there are already oth­er excel­lent cloud / drive solu­tions that offer the same or bet­ter. While it’s hard to com­pare apples to apple (dif­fer­ent pro­viders offer dif­fer­ent stor­age and util­ity pack­ages) here’s my thoughts on the cur­rent lead­ers:

Drop­box
The cur­rent mar­ket lead­er, offers 2GB free, desktop and mobile cli­ents for all lead­ing hard­ware. Recently, Drop­Box has become more act­ive in the enter­prise space offer­ing solu­tions for groups and teams.
Affil­i­ate pro­gram allows you to expand your stor­age space by sign­ing up friends etc. Nice that it’s pretty seam­less. Install the app on your device, log in, and your files are instantly access­ible. I’ve writ­ten before about Drop­box here and here.

My affil­i­ate link is here, if you want to check out Drop­box.

Drop­Box is still best-of-class. If you’re not using it yet and want to explore, please feel free to click my affil­i­ate link (we’ll both get small bonuses 🙂

Sug­ar­Sync
Sug­ar­Sync ups the ante a bit by offer­ing a free 5GB account. They also have a nifty desktop cli­ent, great web inter­face, and the abil­ity to extend your stor­age capa­city through an affil­i­ate pro­gram (sign­ing up your friends, blog­ging about it, etc). Here’s my affil­i­ate link if you feel so inclined to check it out

Stopped using it recently. Not so much of an improve­ment over any oth­er and the cli­ent wasn’t work­ing well on one of my desktops.

Box
Recently made the news by announ­cing Box OneCloud — a col­lec­tion of mobile apps designed to work with Box’s cloud stor­age sys­tems:

Sign­ing up to Box gets you an ini­tial 5GB of stor­age, but they often run pro­mo­tions with prizes up to 50GB.

While Box does offer free cli­ents for mobile devices, if you want to have the seam­less integ­ra­tion of Drop­box or Sug­ar­Sync, you’ll have to upgrade to the $15/month Box busi­ness plan.

I’m still using Box. More of a slow online backup of some doc­u­ments and stuff. It works well, has a very robust busi­ness mod­el and sup­port.

Microsoft Live Sky­Drive
This is the big sur­prise — Microsoft is offer­ing 25GB of stor­age, Mobile apps, online MS Office integ­ra­tion (and you don’t need to have Office installed loc­ally), group col­lab­or­a­tion, and pub­lic file shar­ing.

For example, here’s a pub­lic link to an Empire Aven­ue pro­mo­tion­al video, stored in my pub­lic Sky­Drive space.

Cur­rently there isn’t a desktop cli­ent avail­able, so you will need to use the web inter­face (which is quite slick, even in Chrome and Fire­fox) to man­age your files. But a Win­dows and OSX desktop cli­ent is rumored to be avail­able shortly.

Now called OneDrive, you get 15GB free cloud stor­age, and MS Office online too. Not a bad setup if you use the Office suite of apps.

New Entries

Copy.com
Starts with 15GB free stor­age, and you can gain an extra 5GB per new user you invite using your unique invite code. Feel free to try Copy.com out by using my Invite Code 😀

iCloud.com
Apple’s cloud stor­age entry is inter­est­ing. You can store doc­u­ments in iCloud, then access them from any oth­er iCloud-con­nec­ted device. One thing, you only get 5GB free, and that iCloud stor­age space is also used for your iOS device backups, if you have iCloud backup enabled. Still, a cool option from folks at the fruit stand.

Mega.co.nz
Kim dot com’s file shar­ing and stor­age site. Free accounts start at 50GB, but you have lim­ited file sizes and trans­fer band­width. I use it lightly.

One or many?
Well, for me, I’m actu­ally using a mix­ture of these. Drop­box is my daily go-to stor­age solu­tion, simply because I’ve been using it for so long.

Sug­ar­Sync I’m using to keep some backup files stored safely. Box, well, I’m not con­sist­ent in my use of it, and Sky­Drive, well that’s my new darling. I’ve neg­lected it for a while but now will be try­ing to integ­rate it into my work­flow wherever I can. And yeah, you’ll here from me if there’s prob­lems.

So, did I miss any­thing? What’s your online stor­age solu­tion look like?