Music reviews exist only to show off how smart a music reviewer is. They’re not interested in you listening to something new. They don’t care if you enjoy something. They care that they get your attention and that you recognise how smart they are, and how niche and diverse their tastes are.

Music reviews are worthless. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Should I listen to this?

That’s it. No flowery adjectives or piquant observations. No clever bullshit. Just “is this worth my time, in your opinion?”

This has been irritating me for a while, so I’ve started a new Tumblr and a new Twitter. On these things, I will post a link to a song that I think is good on most days. Maybe you will listen to it. Maybe you will like it. Maybe you will find something new that you love. Maybe you will waste five minutes and find nothing. At least you won’t have had to put up with me trying to convince you what a great writer I am in the process. I hope you will start a similar Twitter account and share the music that you love. There’s so much of worth to experience.

Upsetting Sounds Tumblr
@upsettingsounds Twitter

🔗Music reviews are bullshit


You cannot become adept at life. You learn to react to the challenges you face, but there are many things you can’t avoid. Sometimes you’re better-equipped to deal than others and most of the time that’s not because of something you did to prepare. Sometimes you finish up, sometimes you finish down and it’s likely that your actions had very little to do with either outcome.

🔗Mario Kart Life Lessons


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We got an iPad game for Tabitha to play. Facing the task of choosing something for her to play has filled me with dread, but someone recommended one to Charlotte and removed the responsibility so that was fortunate.

I’ve enjoyed watching her play Tearaway on the Vita, but she doesn’t really get it yet. She likes hitting the buttons but I don’t think she links that to movement on the screen. Maybe she will now; I don’t know.

This iPad game, though, has been a lot of fun to watch. It’s basically a series of mini games. You choose an animal then you go to visit some other animal’s house and play a mini game. From something simple like tucking them into bed and turning off the light, to dragging components of a disguise to one or both of their faces.

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Her hand-eye coordination has noticeably progressed in the three days that she’s been playing it. It’s pretty crazy to see. She conducts herself with such purpose now, where initially she was just randomly prodding the screen in the first instance, then asking for my help.

Perhaps the most interesting thing she does is put her finger in her mouth whilst each game loads. It took me a little while to figure out what she was doing, but her dragging technique needs a bit of work so she’s lubricating her finger so it moves better. Resourceful little devil.

She even has a favourite mini game, and when we give her her "next game is the last one" warning, she’ll cycle through the randomly generated ones until she reaches it. It sometimes takes up to five minutes just to generate it. The game is one where you inflate balloons. She likes to partially inflate them and listen to the farting noise they makes as they blow around the room. Why are fart sounds so universally funny?

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And yes, we moved that hula hoop half way through me taking these pictures. But some of them that had it in were so good I couldn’t just delete them

🔗Tabitha got an iPad game


Panic released Coda for iOS (henceforth: Coda) yesterday, and it looks pretty excellent (Panic are very skilled at making things look good). However, for a lot of people, it will be missing something huge – any kind of environment.

At Buffalo, for most projects, and certainly all new projects, we work with something like Capistrano for deployment (no CI, sorry) with at least two deployment environments: staging and live. This approach will make working with Coda very difficult, because it needs to connect to a remote environment to do anything of use. Your local environment in Coda is effectively an empty file system with a text editor. No Git, no RVM, no Composer, no pip, no NPM. But most people are going to need that to get anything done. So you’re going to need an environment to connect to so that you can do something with the changes you make. For this, I recommend at least one VPS (when our stacks vary, they tend to conflict. YMMV) on which to do your dev work.

The way you’ll use Coda is to connect to your dev VPS, download the file you want to edit, make changes, upload it, and if that change is good, you’ll then commit on your VPS and push from there. Because things will be set up as a full dev environment, you’ll also be able to run your deployment tasks directly from the app, which is great. If you have an iPad and a keyboard, this could pretty reasonably replace your laptop for dev work.

However, I don’t think that Panic is putting enough emphasis on the need for this extra step. They say "it’s truly pro", and it can be, but they don’t really give you any indication of what you’ll need to achieve a decent working environment. For some people, having to add the monthly costs and time maintaining your environment to make this viable will be too much, and I think everyone needs to be aware of that before they take the plunge.

If you are interested, I recommend using Linode (referral link) but people seem to love Digital Ocean (referral link) too.

🔗Think before you buy Coda for iOS


I’m not much of a guy for parties, but Charlotte encouraged me to do something for my 30th, so I had a few friends round (round is an understatement; one came from Germany and two from Worcester) and we did my favourite things. We drank, we ate pizza, we listened to music and we played Mario Kart. Like I said, I’m not much of a guy for parties.

It was also an opportunity to visit our new house for the first time. I’ve been informed that the whole place is being completely redecorated. I’m not a huge fan of that because some of the stuff is so brash, it seems a shame to do away with it.

🔗Party over here