Loom (Part 1)

If I don't remembering wrong was "Maniac Mansion" the first point-and-click adventure I've played. The way like the tale was presented and how to be part of the story blew me away. Even the humor could pick up my eleven-year-old pretty good.

After that I have played so far every adventure from LucasArts: The Secret of Monkey Island and his successors (but not the fourth part, that was cruel), Indiana Jones IV (the third part I have played only partial), Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max. Full Throttle and Grim Fandango have I played only partial, there were other genres my favourites in this times.

And now I'll catch up all unplayed adventures. Not only the ones from LucasArts, but also the other great series amongst others from Sierra. I'll beginn with Loom, because I was always fascinated of its look. I've been searching for the EGA version and did not find it. I've found the VGA version with speech output at gog.com. But after the first playing I've noticed that many movie sequences with their informations for the story are missing. And so I got the "FM Towns" version, which has no speech output, but a beautiful soundtrack and also the vga graphics.

At the beginning of the game in the role of Bobbin Threadbare you are faced with accomplished facts: my foster mother is held accountable by the elders of the weavers guild, because she had told me the secrets of weavering. And appearantly I play a important role, because the elders have always thought that with me the chaos was coming to their island. They transfrom my foster mother into a swan egg and if that was not enough, appears in this moment a white swan to enchant the elders also in swans, which then disappear in another dimension. I try to discover my foster mother out of the egg with a pole that have the elders been left, which only works half way: she remains a little black swan. She tells me, that I must flee from the island and discover my secret to stop the chaos in form of the third shadow.

I explore the abandoned island and finally escape with a tree trunk to the mainland. I recognize a green city behind the beach that seems to be completely made of glass. I can listen to a conversation, in which a likely famous magician tells something about looking in the future. This seems to work with some sort of sphere of glass, but it still needs to be improved. In another conversation the story of the town was brought closer to me: a dragon attacked it centuries ago and take all treasures away. Only one piece, the Conundrum, has been preserved. But it is made of diamant and not of glass, which could nobody explain.


After I was able to evict the patrol of the shepherds in the woods, who did not want to let me pass, I meet Fleece, the leader of the shepherds. She held me for a great magician, she has called after. She tells me from the clerics, who want ten thousand sheeps from the shepherds to feed an army. The dragon was also by the shepherds and had eaten many sheeps. The shepherds are desperate and demand a solution from me. I colorize their sheeps with a magical scroll, so the dragon can only hardly regocnize them on the grass. Just in this moment appears the dragon and he grabs me instead of a sheep and kidnaps me in his cave. And so I am sitting here now.


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In the past was more adventure

Not only that all in the past was better. No. Computer games were even better in the past! This seems to me in that way and may also be romantically transfigured, but from a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, with a Metacritic score about 97 and a user score about 7.7 actually, I have more excepted.

I have expected more than a admittedly beautiful looking game world. More than a dozen game mechanics, which exists side by side and have way too few points of contact and impact. But I don't want talk about the newest game from Rockstar at this place, because I have bought a tremendous book a few weeks ago, that has excited me not only with its layout, but also has taken me back to my youth.

Bitmap Books is a publisher in England and has published a book about the legendary era of point-and-click graphic adventures: The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games. On about over 460 pages in a hardcover (there is a PDF, but you must hold this book in your hands!) with many screenshots it tells the story of the adventures in the form of interviews with the developers, graphic artists und producers of that time.

And because I am bored about current games, I have something in my mind. I do not feel like playing more open-world games that annoying me with more and more mechanics and breaking off their story with picking some flowers or first-person shooters that will save their boring presentation with loot boxes. I will catch up with a lot of adventure games back than that I've always wanted to play and haven't played in the past: Loom, Kings, Space and Police Quest. Leisure Suit Larry, Legend of Kyrandia, Lure of the Temptress, Beneath a steel sky and what they are called.

All the classics, you should have seen, will I maybe play through. Without hints and solutions, the tough puzzles of that time, without me having to explain a tutorial, how I have to comine things. And I will start with Loom. The CD version from 1992 with VGA grapics.

Hacktoberfest 2018

Open Source is not only living from the idea that the software has open code and is visible and assessable for everyone, but also that the opportunity is given that everyone can partizipate. In any case, if the author of the software is involved and accepts so-called "pull requests". "Pull requests" are snippets of code (or assets), they are contributed by software developers, who do not have write access in the repository. They serve above all else to eleminate bugs, but also to integrate or improve features. Or to care about the documentation.

The Hacktoberfest in 2018 is organized from GitHub and DigitalOcean for the fith time (and in this year for the first time is also Twilio supporter) and is celebrating open source software for one month. You can partizipate on it by posting five pull requests in open projects on GitHub in october. They must not merged but shouldn't land in fake repositories or include spam.

My pull requests have moved in the repositories of Oh My Zsh, DDEV and gitignore.io until now. Maybe I will find a little bit more time this week. On friday there was a Hacktoberfest-Meetup in the holy halls of Micromata here in Kassel, I have partizipated for a few hours. It was fun and have made more fun, to visit the Webmontage, which are also held there.

Lootbox mechanics to hell

My kids playing Clash Royale and I didn't like this game from the beginning. It started with it that I have held the partition of the game board for a poor copy of the start szenario of Warhammer and it ended with the unspeakable lootboxes. There is nothing worse than lootboxes and I can understand them from the business view, that they integrate this mechanic in many AAA games, but I think it's unbearable from a player´s point of view.

Therfore I did not get warm with this game. But I must look at "Age of Sigmar: Realm war" because of the setting and my slowly growing love to "Warhammer: Age of Sigmar". Even if it was clear at the first game, that it was only a complete clone of "Clash Royale", i wanted to understand the game mechanics.

But I have done one condition: there will no money spend to run faster through the game. Even if I find it stupid, because I am software developer on my own and would like to be rewarded for my work. But I also do not develop "pay-to-win" games.

I am a bit disentchanted after the first days, because once you have looked through the game mechanics, you relaize, that there is no more ingame deepth. You are creating your deck, evaluating different combinations, you have seen by your enemies, that have beaten you hard and through the lootbox mechanic you are forced every few hours to open the comets/boxes to get new cards.

Meanwhile my character is near before level 6, I am standing at the entry in the fourth world and I think that I will play the game a little bit fourther. But not more.

Oh my shell!

For me is the most important tool after a development environment a well functional shell. Without these I couldn't do many things in my daily workflow. Sure are there actually for all commands, you are fireing in a shell, in one or another a replacement in form of a grapical interface or in an integration for a IDE, but these are either complicated to configure or have in the most cases only a small part of the necessary commands or parameters.

The times when such a shell only consisted of a blinking cursor, one had difficult remember the syntax of commands and they were not integrated in the workflow, are over. With "Oh My Zsh" exists a "configuration" framework that let no wishes open, because you can extend it yourself.

Though you can Oh My Zsh also use in the terminal of macOS, but while you are at it, you can also install a replacement: iterm2. A replacement for the macOS terminal, which, in addition to a search, profiles and a history is configurable of its myriad parameters, so you can open it like the terminal from Quake. What more do you want?


You should first install Homebrew first, after that you can with

brew cask install iterm2

install iterm. And then install "Oh My Zsh" with the follwing command:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"


Let us pretty up iTerm2: material design colors, "Quake style" shortcut and a better readable font.

You can download the color profile for the material design colors here and import and select it in the preferences under "Profiles > Colors" in the selectbox in the bottom right.

To let open the terminal window like the terminal in Quake from the top, you must create a new profile on the panel "Profiles" with similar settings you can see in the image. The most important setting is at "Style" the value "Full-Width Top of Screen".

You must define a shortcut on the panel "Keys" in the section "Hotkey Window" and then there a only a few fonts are missing that you can download here on GitHub. I am using for all windows following font

12pt Meslo LG M DZ Regular for Powerline

The we come to "Oh My Zsh", that you can easily configure with a text file. Simply run following command in iTerm2 oder open the file in an editor of your choice:

vi ~/.zshrc

Beside the theme (I am using "awesomepanda") you can install a lot of plugins, they provide a lot of useful shortcuts and tools, in the well documented file. You can see a list here, which tools are available. I am using following configuration:


Otherwise, it is worth it, to create shortcut/alias for commands in this file. You can see which one are active with the command "alias".

Twitter is (as good as) dead

The first change in the Twitter API is active since a few days, what means, that third party clients has only periodical access to several APIs (Site Stream and User Stream) this week, which will shut down finally on 08/23. The DirectMessage-API may exist until 17th of September and one week before there will be the new API-Restrictions and new rules for the development of apps come into effect, which will make it even more difficult for the unofficial clients.

Sure you can beg to the support team, that your own app become the actual limits, but this is so nicely worded, that the exception is only for the actual version of the app. If there will be a new version e.g. of Tweetbot there will only be the new limits in effect. And this will become the end of Tweetbot & Co.

I have not really a clue, why Twitter is behaving in such a way and ignores the wishes of their users. I think, it is about the maximizing of advertising income and paid tweets, they don´t show in the 3rd party apps. Twitter seems to be orienting on Facebook, when it comes to reshaping its streams. The in the beginning chronological timeline in the webview and in the official app was destroyed because of algorithms and advertising, so that they are unusable.

I have a look on Mastodon since a few days, which have a comparable concept like Twitter, but is only a piece of software in the first place, that can everyone use to build your own instance. The Mastodon-Instances could communicate among themeselves, but could be blocked, if there is an instance that send spam.

The idea behind is tempting and the many instances of Mastodon were overrun by opening accounts after the announcement from Twitter. Nevertheless are there too few users on the instances at this time, so that there is a comparable feeling like with Diaspora. Diaspora was born with a similar approach against Facebook back then, but have in the time of nearly eight years since the beginning not break the marking of more than one million users.

RSS is alive

Yesterday I´ve read the comment on Heise about dying of RSS with wonder. How often has RSS already died? With the loss of Google Reader in the middle of 2013 was RSS brought to grave. Sure, this was a big break and since then RSS or the clients are not developing much. Also the development of my favourite client Fever was dropped.

But in my filter bubble is RSS not dead. My lawn is dead, as you can see in the photo above. RSS was not successful in his form, but the idea behind is not more as the subscribing of an Facebook channel, only that you will get a filtered version and not the articles in a chronolocial order.

Maybe there must be more advertising for RSS? I am developing a TYPO3 extension since a few time, which has similiar features like Fever. Because Fever was the best solution for me. It was self hosted, the data stayed with me and there were apps on iOS (and Android probably too) that could connect to the Fever API.

The articles from me can be fetched via RSS by the way. You can get the german articles under the url https://www.insomniaonline.de/feed and the english translation under https://www.insomniaonline.de/en/feed.