Summer! In autumn! Because UK. This country is weird. Anyway…

Published stuff

Shortly after I wrote my weeknote last week, I headed to a real-world shop and bought some pieces of paper with words on. I know. Weird, right?

One of them was issue 300 of Stuff. Any magazine reaching that milestone is a big deal, but it feels like more of an achievement in the current climate, where magazines are under fire and so many people want articles to be free.

Issue 300 was special for me in another way, because an editor asked me to write a big feature celebrating all of the best gadgets that had appeared since the mag’s debut. This was split into time periods, giving people a real sense of how technology has evolved since the late 1990s.

The piece was a pleasure to write, and I do hope you enjoy reading it if you buy a copy of the magazine.

Also for Stuff – this time online – I wrote Apple to zap Lightning: why a USB-C iPhone 15 is good – and why it’s also bad. This is my take on Apple’s switch to USB-C, and noting that regardless of the good/bad details, most folks are just going to be angry. I also had fun making an image for the piece, inspired by Susan Kare’s wonderful Mac artwork. (Far better than stock art! Although I’m very aware I’m not Susan Kare. Still, I gave it my best shot.)

Elsewhere, TapSmart published my feature on creating a toolkit to make memories. This one’s all about techniques and apps to help you capture, save and share precious memories.

Upcoming stuff

Much of my brain and output over the coming week will be responding to what Apple does on Tuesday. But away from the new iPhones and such, I spent quality time properly digging into Apple TV recently (rather than, you know, just watching shows). A tips feature will therefore be winging its way to the Stuff website shortly.

Other stuff

Stuff wasn’t the only magazine hitting a milestone with its current issue – Retro Gamer hit 250. It says everything about the state of games magazines in the UK that I had to look for the section in my local WHSmith. And it turned out there no longer was one. Instead, just four games mags were lurking above the comics.

But Retro Gamer survives – thrives – after 18 years of stewardship under editor Darran Jones, who took over (if my memory’s not playing tricks) for issue 19. 250 issues. 18 years. Both major achievements. And it’s a great mag, which across those many issues told the stories of hundreds of amazing games – stories that in many cases otherwise would never have been told.

It’s been a long time since I wrote for the mag myself. From the mid-20s to the mid-70s, I was a very regular contributor, and fortune enough to write about many of my absolute favourite classic games. I remember a comical ‘interview’ with Alexey Pajitnov, where I asked about the genesis of Tetris and he spoke for half an hour about making the game as I quietly ticked questions off my list that I no longer needed to ask. Easiest interview ever. (And such a privilege to have what amounted to a one-on-one lecture of sorts about the creation of such a seminal title.) There was Mark Cerny’s sheer surprise that anyone would be interested in Marble Madness. The infectious enthusiasm of Eugene Jarvis. The generous input and unseen background work from Steve Golson. And so many more.

I have a retro itch again. I need to find a way to again contribute to the mag occasionally. Regardless, I hope it continues for many years to come.

Finally, a different flavour of retro, in Jamie Montgomerie bringing back two wonderful mobile games – meaning I can remove them from my 32-bit folders of sadness. Over on his blog, he writes about Coolson’s 10th Anniversary and resurrecting Coolson’s Artisanal Chocolate Alphabet and Coolson’s Pocket Pack. Generously, both are free. If you’ve the relevant kit and you enjoy word games, download them right away. Well, after reading his blog post, obviously.