[Music] Emotionless ATMs, “Suburban Club America”

I may have made a thing.

I recently discovered Soundation, an online music creation and sharing tool. I started messing around with their impressive Chrome Studio, and got hooked on taking loops and forging music tracks. I found it incredibly relaxing (if maddening) at times.

So after sharing some works-in-progress with friends, and with their continued encouragement, I’ve decided to share the first of 4 tracks on a collection (or what they called back in the day, an “EP”) I’ve put together called Fear of Ghosts under the project name Emotionless ATMs.

The project name comes from an in-joke the wife and I have. I’ll share that story another time.

The first track has been shared on Soundation, called “Suburban Club America“. Please feel free to give it a listen and download.

[Review] Velvet Issue 15

I have a bit of a problem with Velvet issue 15.

The issue came out a few weeks ago, and after reading it I was left with a distinct sour impression that bugged me. For weeks.

Not in an all-consuming way. Not obsessively. But every now and then, in the quiet times while on my tablet browsing for something to read and I flipped through my Comixology app, I’d be reminded of my grumbling disappointment in the issue and the way the latest Velvet storyline, The Man Who Stole the World, concluded.

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Trelby 2.2 Won’t Install on Linux? Try This Download

Trelby is a free screenwriting software available for Windows and Linux. Recently, when I installed GalliumOS on my Chromebook (a topic for another time), I sought out a variety of software to install; chief among them were apps for writing. When I discovered Trelby was a thing, I promptly downloaded it and ran into software dependency issues, the bane of any Linux install.

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Gboard, Google’s New iOS Keyboard, is a Keeper

I haven’t geeked out about an app since Instagram became available for Android (back in my tech hippy days).

But there in my news feed, I saw it. Google had released another app for iOS, and this time it was a 3rd party keyboard. Apple has allowed 3rd party keyboards since debuting iOS 8 in 2014. I’ve tried a few, and all have met the same fate within an hour: digital banishment from my phone.

My biggest issue with 3rd party keyboards has been that their accuracy was never as good as Apple’s built-in effort. Perhaps it’s being used to the built-in keyboard’s idiosyncrasies, but I always found my typing accuracy plummeted on new keyboards. Inevitably I’d get frustrated having to make the umpteenth correction and just delete the stupid app.

Gboard was different right from the start, as Google smartly added their special sauce.

The keyboard looks similar to Apple’s default. The font is distinctly Roboto, which will drive some Apple purists nuts. I like the San Francisco font well enough, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Roboto (I did say I was geeking out, wasn’t I?).

You can perform Google searches right within the keyboard, and doing so brings up Google Now cards with the results. These can be easily launched in Safari (oddly enough, no Chrome support yet). Gboard’s spellcheck is on point, comparable to the default keyboard. And that’s just for starters.

There’s support for gesture typing, a la Swype and Google’s default Android keyboard. You can easily select and paste GIFs from the app’s wide selection, and adding emoji is dead easy. It even has emoji suggestions (type “lol” and the emoji will show up as an autocorrect option). These little tricks add up to a lot value.

I downloaded Gboard as soon as it became available, and it has remained on my iPhone 6s Plus ever since. I even removed the default keyboard so it would no longer “accidentally” get set as the primary one.

There are bound to improvements in Gboard (Chrome integration, dark mode) but Google has done a very nice job in its initial iteration. They wisely kept everything good from the default keyboard but gave it a power user twist. The fact that Google was able to do so without cluttering the user experience is highly impressive.


Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Beautiful despair.

This is the best way I have to describe Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, an eclectic and dark hybrid of visual novel and court room drama. Long after the final credits roll and the twists have been hashed over in your mind (and there are quite a few), Danganronpa 2 will leave you with some philosophical conundrums. You will also be reviewing earlier events in light of later twists, making connections that will haunt you.

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Musings and Curio