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Showing posts from 2015

My highly subjective and ever evolving list of games to check out at Spiel'15

This year's Spiel in Essen will be a bit amputated for me unfortunately. Even more important to arrive prepared! So, I made a list. Maybe it can be of interest for others. Who knows. (A BGG Geek List with the same info: ) Main Releases 504 This year's Friedeman Friese seems fascinating. "504 is a game that creates 504 different games out of one box.", they say, but will any of them be worth our time (and shelf space (and money))? 7 Wonders: Duel Antoine Bauza teams up with Bruno Cathala to revisit "7 Wonders" as a two player game with intriguing drafting mechanics inspired by... pyramid solitaire. Barony Splendor is one of my favourite games from last year. Marc André is back with a seemingly (slightly) heavier game. Mysterium https://boardg

Life, death, ghosts, xkcd, d3, and flowing data

This morning I came across this XKCD strip . (I hope someone actually makes that app... Although with enough parallel ghosts chances are that you will lose more than you win, of course.) Later in the day Flowing Data published this fascinating visualisation of, well, when you might die. (Based on US life tables, mind you...) Each ball is a potential future self. (Like the ghosts in Randal Munroe 's strip.) Travelling along the life table line 'till they... die. Fascinating. And then I wondered what would happen if we somehow mapped causes of death to that? And voila, based on data from CDC , I added this colour coded death causes (along with some other minor changes) to Nathan Yau 's excellent D3.js work: (Click here for a full frame viz.) Scary. What could be next? Bar chart reflects the colour coding of causes? More detailed causes of death could lead to a better... narrative? Life tables and causes of death probabilities from other countries? Maybe

Scan with a Canon MP560 without ink

So, today I needed to scan something. And our Canon MP560 printer was out of ink... The beast never got past a screen saying "Ink tanks empty" on this and that colour, and thus wouldn't let me scan. Even remotely from my VueScan. And it was Sunday so our local friendly printer ink recycling store was closed. I suspected all hope was out, and cursed printer manufacturers conspirational grip on customers' use of their products, but did a quick google nevertheless. Lo and behold! " If you want to scan during an ink tank / cartridge error condition, press and hold the <Stop> button on the printer for at least five seconds, and then release it. The above procedure will disable the ink level detection. If the issue still persist, the ink cartridge would need to be replaced."  ( Source ) I put back the empty tanks. Turned on the printer. Held the red button (that I guessed was) called "<Stop>", and hey presto, I could scan.

Top n games of the year, where n seems to turn out to be 10...

Another year has bitten the dust, has ceased to be, is over and done for, is an ex-year, is pushing up the daisies, etc, so here’s a list of the tabletop games that impressed me the most in 2014. Suburbia The first real discovery of the year was 2012’s “ Suburbia ”. An excellent city… eh… simulator. Or, maybe, rather, “SimCity simulator”. I really enjoy the interconnected economies around reputation and inhabitants, income and money. As one might imagine, there are multiplayer solitaire aspects present, but there is enough interaction through the clever market (with a glimpse into the future) and buildings that impact all players (like restaurants that gives a significant boost to the economy at first, but slows it down for every restaurant opened afterwards). Definitely one of the best games I played in 2014. Qwirkle “ Qwirkle ” is a kind of “Scrabble” for players with different mother tongues. Or a “Scrabble” for people that hasn’t memorised an entire dictionary. Domino with mo