recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : xbox   8

Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices
"Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

[image: screeshot of macOS wi-fi panel]

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:
I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:
thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:
On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:
Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:
Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing. [https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/996056615928266752 ]

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

[image: screenshot of Messages in iOS]

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

[screenshot]

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)"
digital  memory  memories  2018  jasonkottke  kottke  traces  animalcrossing  videogames  games  gaming  flickr  wifi  marcinwichary  death  relationships  obsolescence  gmail  googlhangouts  googlechat  iphone  ios  nostalgia  xbox  nintendo  messages  communication  googlemaps  place  time  chrome  mac  osx 
may 2018 by robertogreco
ASTRONEER
"Explore and exploit distant worlds in ASTRONEER – A game of aerospace industry and interplanetary exploration.

Astroneer is set during a 25th century gold rush where players must explore the frontiers of outer space, risking their lives and resources in harsh environments for the chance of striking it rich.

On this adventure, a player’s most useful tool is their ability to shape their world, altering the terrain and extracting valuable resources from planets, and moons. Resources can be traded or crafted into new tools, vehicles, and modules to create everything from massive industrial bases to mobile rover bases."

[via: https://twitter.com/jedmund/status/813215415077781504 ]
games  videogames  edg  space  xbox  windows  steam  gaming 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The ghost in the machine
"In racing video games, a ghost is a car representing your best score that races with you around the track. This story of a son discovering and racing against his deceased father's ghost car in an Xbox racing game will hit you right in the feels."

[See also: http://jalopnik.com/son-finds-his-late-dads-ghost-in-a-racing-video-game-1609457749 ]

[Update 16 Apr 2016: Now a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCtSgb-b7zg ]
death  ghosts  digitalghosts  kottke  digitaltrails  memory  games  gaming  videogames  xbox  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Kodu Offers Pop-Up Computer Programming for Children - NYTimes.com
"Kodu, built by a team at Microsoft’s main campus outside Seattle, is a programming environment that runs on an Xbox 360, using the game console’s controller rather than a keyboard. Instead of typing if/then statements in a syntax that must be memorized — as adult programmers do — the student uses the Xbox controller to pop up menus that contain options from which to choose. Kodu itself resembles a video game, with a point-and-click interface instead of the thousand-lines-of-text coding tools used by grown-ups."
microsoft  xbox  xbox360  programming  scratch  education  learning  children  games  gaming  gamedesign  criticalthinking  edg  srg  tcsnmy  kodu  interface  iteration  computing  classideas  coding  teaching 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Children and technology: The soft bigotry of low expectations | The Economist
"I think we imagine on some level that our children are weaker than we were. In 2004, I was working in a tech startup...We took on a Harvard undergrad as intern; I asked her whether she used IM, which was how most of office shared info. Her answer was: Oh, I stopped IMing in middle school. I just found that it wasn't very productive. Ultimately we all grow into some kind of ambition, & have to make decisions about how we spend our time. There's no reason ambition will find iPads any more difficult to conquer than it did IM or novels before it. If spending time online is bad for your life (& I think it can be), you'll figure it out. The other problem with Obama's throwaway line is that it's hard to separate the good, serious, empowering ways to use technology from the bad, unserious, frivolous ways. Harder still is determining which unserious, unplanned, frivolous uses of technology will turn out to be important in the future."

[via: http://tumble77.com/post/649930316/ ]
technology  children  parenting  education  attention  productivity  im  barackobama  ipod  ipad  xbox  playstation  distraction  online  internet  bigotry  expectations 
may 2010 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read