Thursday, June 8, 2017

The importance of backups

Just recently I had to experience how important it is to backup your data and how painful it is not to do so. Especially in todays technological age where our smartphones are everything and we are nothing without them, as sad as that sounds it is true for many of us.

So how did I come to this realization? Well, it all started with a bike tour and the idea to be navigated by my IPhone. While the idea was perfectly fine, the execution was slightly flawed.
Since riding a bike is more difficult and less fun with a smartphone in one hand, I used wire to attach the cell phone mount from our car to my girlfriend's bicycle. While the mount was securely attached, the IPhone was not and slipped out due to vibrations during the tour. As fate wanted it the phone fell perfectly in front of me so I ran it over without any chance of evasion.

The result was cracked glass, a slightly bent phone and a touchscreen that stayed black on the left side and malfunctioning on the right side. Though the worst was not the material loss but what resulted from it. Since I have always been very careful with my belongings I have never damaged any of my electronic devices. Making backups was a chore that was rather bothersome and I hadn't needed it in all those years. But when I needed it to save our precious vacation pictures, I didn't have a backup on either ICloud or ITunes.

That's where the real tragedy took place. When plugging my phone into my laptop ITunes asked me to verify that I trust this computer by clicking a button on my phone. Kind of hard with a broken screen but maybe the button would appear in a part that is still somewhat usable. But to get there I first had to unlock the IPhone by entering my four digit pin. Not possible on the screen so I tried the finger print sensor again and again the screen reads 'Device disabled, please connect to ITunes'. Ironically that's exactly what I was trying to do. The real tragedy here is that by desperately trying to connect to ITunes and save my data, I sealed my own fate. I've been told by the Apple Support that at this point the only option is to set the phone back to factory settings since the security mechanism against data theft kicked in.

Well Fuck

All vacation pictures I so desperately wanted to save are lost. Memories I can't recreate. All because I didn't regularly backup my data so I could either recover them from a backup or at least could have backed them up with ITunes because the trust relationship between phone and computer would already have been established.

I will not make that same mistake again
If you read this, please don't do what I did.
Make regular backups.
Save precious Memories.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Are point and click adventures dead?

I just finished playing one of my favorite games of my childhood: Toonstruck.
I really enjoyed playing it again because it took me back to a time when games weren't about the best graphics and you actually had to use your head to make progress.
As a kid I loved playing point and click adventures because they told a compelling story, were usually funny and you got this rewarding feeling of achievement when you were stuck and finally figured out what item would solve your problem or found that tiny detail that you missed 20 times before. This was a time before looking up a walkthrough on the internet was the natural instinct after being stuck for 5 minutes. I would patiently wait for my dad to come home from work because collegues of his were playing or had already plyed the same game and he could get clues from them where to look more closely in order to progress.
Unfortunately this game genre kind of went dormant for years when graphics became better and gameplay offered more possibilities. Only recently I have noticed that this kind of game is on the rise again. The most famous example Telltale's Walking Dead is a little more story driven than it is puzzle heavy but still fits the genre. Also other adventures with more puzzles have made an appearance lately. Other great examples are Shardlight, Broken Age, Life is strange and the fan sponsored Broken Sword 5 - the Serpent's Curse.
I am honestly glad that this genre is making a comeback and I am looking forward to playing old as well as new point and click adventures in the future.

In case you are interested in my mentioned playthrough of Toonstruck check out my Youtube channel: