Read it never?

The art of postponing stuff has reached a new level. This is how I do it.




Adobe Forums: There was a RAISE without a handler. The application will now exit/

Had same thing – problem was with WebLink plugin after some update.

Locate Acrobat Plug-ins folder (right click on Adobe Acrobat Pro in Applications and select Show Package Contents), remove folder WebLink.acroplugin or replace it with previous version from backup, and restart Acrobat. Not sure if this plugin is big lost, but at least you should have your Acrobat running.

A bug like this should really be a shame for Adobe devs

I’ve had problems with Adobe Acrobat Reader Pro since I don’t know when (more than 2 years). Today I found an answer even though I have googled the issue many times. Also, just like the poster in the forum, I find it really disappointing that Adobe has not acknowledged the bug or fixed it.

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle – Yahoo! News

The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems.

Slaves of tomorrow – gamers hooked on games which are fronts for data processing factories.

MMD3 → LaTeX

I am writing my thesis in Scrivener using MMD3 and in doing some customization to the MMD3 LaTeX templates. As a note to self and those who are interested, here is how the MMD3 memoir template works together with the following metadata.

latex input: mmd-memoir-header
Title: MultiMarkdown Example
Base Header Level: 2
latex mode: memoir
latex input: mmd-memoir-begin-doc
latex footer: mmd-memoir-footer

The MMD3 meta-data is parsed in order, so first, mmd-memoir-header is added, then using latex mode: memoir (as opposed to beamer), mmd-memoir-begin-doc is added to the output. The actual MMD3 document is added before latex footer: mmd-memoir-footer as latex footer is a special keyword. I have the author and bibtex keywords after Base Header Level in my actual metadata.



The Five Facets of Gaming

The Five Facets of Gaming

A usual scheme for classifying games is to use genres. Using genres is a very blunt way however, and today, there is too much variation in within a genre for genre labels to be informative enough. A better way of classifying games is to use a facetted scheme. I propose the following five facets:

  1. Game-play mechanic
  2. Control scheme
  3. Theme
  4. Art style
  5. Goal of game

Game-play mechanic (GPM)

The Game-play mechanic refers to the way the main character interacts with the game world. Examples include

  • side-scrolling shooter
  • physics based artillery
  • first-person-shooter
  • hidden-object
  • point-and-click
  • move blocks

Control scheme (CS)

The control scheme facet describes how the user controls the game. Examples include

  • on-screen touch-pad
  • touch line-drawing
  • mouse+wasd
  • device tilting
  • device shaking

Theme (T)

The theme facet describes the setting of the game, i.e. where and when in time and space + who are the main characters/objects in the game. Examples include

  • Fantasy (or subset thereof)
  • Science fiction
  • Zombie apocalyse
  • Hospital environment

Art style (AS)

The art style facet describes how the style of the game artwork. Examples include

  • Retro 8-bit
  • Cartoon
  • Realistic
  • Abstract

Goal of game (GOG)

The goal of the game facet describes the goal of the game character. This is sometimes expressed as a story, and sometimes expressed as a performance metric. Examples include

  • Save the princess
  • Get the highest score
  • Get the fastest time

Concrete Use-Cases

List of facets:

  1. Game-play mechanic (GPM)
  2. Control scheme (CS)
  3. Theme (T)
  4. Art style (AS)
  5. Goal of game (GOG)

Quake (PC-version)

  • GPM: linear first-person shooter
  • CS: keyboard+mouse combo
  • T: Demon underworld
  • AS: Dark, pixel drawn
  • GOG: Kill the final boss + perform well on each level

Tiny wings (iOS)

  • GPM: Physics based sidescroller
  • CS: single touch
  • T: Bird and hilly islands
  • AS: Cute crayon
  • GOG: Get the highest score

Do we need more facets?

The idea of having a facetted system, is to capture the most important dimensions of a game description. With an increasing variation in games and development of novel aspects in gaming, there will probably come a time in the future when five facets are not enough to capture the most salient properties of games. The question is how these five facets fare in describing current games. If you have an opinion, please to chime in to the discussion.

Discussion (updated 2011-09-08 14:38:20)

From @Hellibop (twitter)

“@fnurl perhaps in addition to goal of game; goal of user? Experience – level up – socialize… I’m missing a human connection.­N” and “@fnurl how would you categorise The Sims?”

Regarding the goal of the user, I thought about that, and reasoned that users can have any goal really. E.g. I could play Tetris and try to put all pieces of a certain kind in the left corner. The goal of the user is up to the user, but most games provide a goal for the game character (which in the case of Tetris, I would agrue is an abstract, non-visible character). Other games such as The Sims are “open ended” which means that they do not have an end, so the goal type would be “open ended”. So a categorization of The Sims would look like this

  • GPM: virtual human simulation
  • CS: mouse operated menus
  • T: Current day neighborhood
  • AS: Generic Semi-realistic 3D computer graphics
  • GOG: Open ended simulation

From @MathiasNordvall (twitter)

“@fnurl Nice attempt, but read @miguelsicart ’s article on game mechanics though and your model is artifact rather than use focused.”

There are other definitions of game mechanics, and I seem to be using Richard Rouse’s (Rouse 2005) description as cited in Sicart 2008: “what the players are able to do in the game-world, how they do it, and how that leads to a compelling game experience”. Also, I seem to be using genres or “subjective framework names” as labels form my facet values – i.e. the game mechanic genre “physics based sidescroller”. The reason for using genre labels for the facet values is to reduce the space needed to describe a game. This facet based classification scheme should be seen in the context of replacing a system such as the system used in e.g. the Apple iOS App Store with far to broad game categories (such as “Action”, “Adventure”, “Arcade”, “Educational”, “Family”, “Music”, “Puzzle”, “Role Playing” and “Strategy” (Actually, I have the most trouble with “Action”, “Adventure”, “Arcade” and “Puzzle” since the games I would place in those categories are far to heterogeneous)), so I would not go so far as to call this system a formal system, just a better system than only using a single genre/category. For a consumer, knowing that the formal game mechanics for Shadow of the Colossus are “to climb, ride (the horse), stab, jump, shoot (arrows), whistle, grab, run (and variations like swim or dive)” (Sicart 2008) is in my opinion, not appropriate. A genre/framework description such as “third person action platform” would be better in my opinion from a game consumers point of view.

Better Display in Service

Here is a better version of the Display in service which does not need any customization. This version which uses a shell script in Automator rather than an Automator action + AppleScript was originally written by Brett Terpstra, creator of

Posterous seems to have problems with my attached zip-file, so I have hosted it off site: →

Display selected text in Marked

A side effect of posting the previous post was that I wrote a OS X Service that takes the selected text, saves it as a temporary file and opens that temporary file in Marked.

I have attached the Service. Just put it in ~/Library/Services
Download this file

Update 2011-09-05: There is a new version available which you do not have to customize here.