What I’ve Read This Week (June 14 2021 to June 20 2021)

Howard Oakley writes about the macOS content caching server functionality. This is a pretty cool little thing that is built into macOS that I did not know about. Alas, I don’t particularly have a stationary Mac to run one of these at home. It would be somewhat useful for me.

When you have a Content Caching server running on your network, other Macs connect to it when downloading Apple-provided updates and content, including files in iCloud, as set in its options in the Sharing pane. Clients, including Macs, iOS and iPadOS devices, need no configuration: once the service is turned on, the next time that they start up, they’ll automatically connect to it, and from then on, whenever they download cached content, it will be obtained from that server.

Mint writes about the demo for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, a Final Fantasy game made by the developers of Nioh, Team Ninja. My first impression of this was on the Nextlander stream and suffice to say I was not impressed by how the game looked. The gameplay did look to have quite a bit of depth to it but visually it looked very boring.

It wasn’t until after the Square Enix showcase concluded that I realized I was standing on the platform for the hype train pretty much alone. Most of the internet was too busy clowning on the protagonist to give half-a-damn about what sort of game Stranger of Paradise was going to be. To be clear, I fully understand that: the trailer wouldn’t make a great first impression to anyone that doesn’t know about its pedigree, and even to some that do.

On the point of visuals:

Besides that, visually the game is rough to say the least. Everything is simply too dark, it feels like the resolution is scaled to 720P, and I found there were a lot of graphical hitches and tears. This I’m least worried about, as Team Ninja has run alphas of this kind before for the Nioh series with the same sorts of issues, and by the time they released, they were gorgeous and running without a hitch.

Sin Vega writes a review of the tactical RPG Wildermyth. This is not the kind of game that I usually play but her review has piqued my interest.

If you’re interested in narrative, there’s a theoretical game you’ve already dreamed about. It’s an impossible fusion of deliberately crafted stories and pure systems-driven anecdotes, all lending themselves to stories of your own like procedurally generated bricks.

Wildermyth is that game. It is real. And it is wonderful. This tactical RPG imbues your every fantasy adventurer with life, turning dynamic character hooks and subplots into people you recognise and cherish. Funny and thoughtful and painfully mortal people.

Joanna Goddard has three interviews with three transgender kids. Happy pride everyone.

How did you tell your parents?

There was one night when my sister was like, ‘So… Mommy’s a girl, I’m a girl, Daddy’s a boy, and you’re a boy.’ But I immediately was like, ‘No, no, I’m a girl.’ And that was the first time, but there was another time. We were driving back from Mommy’s school, and she was telling me about the different words like transgender and all different words and when she described transgender, I was like, that’s me. I was five.

Nick Here writes about the new design for Safari that is coming with macOS Monterey. His thoughts match mine; I am decidedly not a fan of the new Safari design. I suppose this means I will continue to use Firefox on macOS for the foreseeable future.

Over the past several releases of MacOS and iOS, Apple has experimented with hiding controls until users hover their cursor overtop, click, tap, or swipe. I see it as an extension of what Maciej Cegłowski memorably called “chickenshit minimalism”. He defined it as “the illusion of simplicity backed by megabytes of cruft”; I see parallels in a “junk drawer” approach that prioritizes the appearance of simplicity over functional clarity. It adds complexity because it reduces clutter, and it allows UI designers to avoid making choices about interface hierarchy by burying everything but the most critical elements behind vague controls.

That is all from me this week. See y’all next week!