Dead hard drive in old-school Mac style, Amstrad CPC, and an RGB30.

Published stuff

For Stuff this week, I wrote about the Amstrad CPC’s 40th anniversary. I don’t think anything else I’ve ever posted to LinkedIn has got so much traction. Mastodon and Bluesky users shared the piece a lot too. But not Threads users. Maybe those guys are Oric fans.

My column this week is: Apple, Google and others don’t care about your data and photos – but you should. It’s a tale of woe and data loss – and also how safeguarding all your data is becoming increasingly tricky. 

Just one piece for TapSmart this week, looking into gardening and plant care apps for iPhone. Sneakily, one of them is actually a game.

Upcoming stuff

Summer holidays are on the horizon, and so I’m starting to look into apps for use at airports and when on a plane. I do wonder when ‘download everything for offline use’ will seem as archaic as stuffing a backpack full of books. Or perhaps in-flight Wi-Fi will always remain rubbish and expensive. Who knows?

More retro stuff is on the way too. A couple of interviews looking into lesser-known games. And also some ‘modern retro’, exploring Pico-8.

Other stuff

I broke and bought an RGB30. Because I didn’t already have enough little consoles. And it’s everything I expected: not-great D-pad; cheap feel; finicky charging; but fantastic for Pico-8 because of the unconventional 1:1 aspect 720p display. I’m also enjoying using it for vertical arcade games.

I recently spotted my Duolingo icon looked haggard and old. Turns out this was the icon equivalent of clickbait. It’s been a big win from a business perspective, bringing people back to the app. But I question it in other ways. I cannot override this icon, despite being a paying Duolingo user. And lapsed users returning don’t see the icon change once they start learning again. I’ve also seen folks suggest it could be seen as poor framing from a mental health issue. Personally, my main takeaway is that I hate the idea clickbait has now reached home screens.

Finally, AI sucks, part 431,876. I spotted a dodgy eBay listing, looking to charge a huge sum of money for a Kickstarter the seller isn’t anything to do with and that’s not due for over a year. That annoyed me, because I care very much about the success of this particular kickstarter. So I reported it. eBay’s response: “We looked into your report and didn’t find the listing to be in violation of our policy. This determination was made using automation or artificial intelligence.” Last time I bother doing that, then.