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Pieces of modern Art

People sometimes forget that a programming language is a tool to tell the computer what to do, and to tell other programmers what you wanted the computer to do.

Programming languages are not a way to write a piece of modern art, to create algorithms in the most inconvenient, unreadable but shortest way possible. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that way. Fortunately again, this is also the reason why a lot of programmers still have a job.

The Long Dark

I'm not a fan or early access games, or "paying for beta testing games" as I would call it, but after a recommendation, I bought the survival game "The Long Dark" which isn't a finished game yet.

The game play works basically like this: Without a lot of tools or supplies, you get thrown somewhere randomly into the Canadian wilderness during Winter, and you need to survive. You mainly fight against hunger and the cold, and sometimes also wolves, but that's it already.

I don't have much time for playing games, but this type of game still fits quite well into my gaming habits: I usually die pretty quickly in this game. The best I've done so far was surviving for about 4 days, I think. And although the game isn't finished yet (there is only the sandbox mode available, the game will apparently contain a story as well once finished), it is both fun and frustrating at the same time.

So far, I can recommend the game, especially if you are interested in learning how much nature sucks. :)

Our Steam Greenlight Progress so far

About 3 months ago, I added CopperCube to Steam Greenlight, Valve's pipeline for testing if unknown games and apps are worth for publishing them onto their game selling platform 'Steam'.

We've received primarily only positive feedback on that page so far, but the amount of votes isn't as high as I thought they would be. I think one reason for this might be the Steam User interface update: Today, it is not easy to find the Greenlight pages anymore, especially not the ones for apps (instead of games). First, you have to click the rarely used top Menu Community -> Greenlight.

And then, you still need to select "software" manually from the again rarely used menu:

Not very easy to stumble upon it that way. But I'm not sure if this is actually the reason for the low amount of votes, maybe there is some other one, and I don't have any values for comparison.

Anyway, I was quite happy to see that so far, most people voted with "yes please!" for CopperCube, even 71%:

However, as mentioned, there is this huge drop in visits:

Seems like the the visits went down to nearly zero around November 10th. Very strange.

But anyway, let's see if this will go somewhere. If you haven't voted on Steam for CopperCube yet, it would be nice if you would do this and help me a bit!

I'll post updated stats in a few months again.

Heating, Energy, Zubadan and Me

I create software for a living, which is a rather clean and environment friendly business. But because of this climate change and earth destroying stuff going on, I recently thought it might be still a good idea to be more eco-friendly. So I made a few changes:

The first step was to switch our energy provider, which just needed 5 minutes of my time on a website. For a few weeks now, my office has been powered by 100% clean hydro-electric engery, and I pay even less for my power now.

The second step was to rip out the old oil-fired heating, and replace it with this monster:

(I took this picture last week, when we had a lot of snow)

It is a Mitsubishi Zubadan air-to-water heat pump, which now heats our building. Basically, it gets the heat from the air and sends it into your heating system. This concept is rather new for many people, and I was also a bit skeptical. I didn't really think that this would work also on very cold days, but we had a pretty cold last week (-9 C Celsius = 15.4 Fahrenheit), and it provided 60C hot water without a problem. In addition, although the power usage went up on that day, the costs still were lower than what our old oil heating system would have used:

(Note: The power needed shown is the one of the full house, not only the heating system)

Right now, I really love the system. Less costs, cleaner energy, no need to buy refills and the like, quite a Win-Win-Win situation. And basically, now our heating and power is generated fully by water power. It is a quite nice feeling.

Happy new Year 2015: Resolutions and Discounts

Happy new year! I didn't blog for some time now, because there were quite a few changes in my life recently, fortunately all of them quite positive. To celebrate the new year, I am offering some big discounts (-40%) on most of my software, including CopperCube. See all the discounts and how to get them on the Happy New Year 2015 discount page.

The discounts are valid only during the next 3 days. Maybe there is something interesting in there for you as well. Also, one of my New Year's resolutions is to blog more again. Consider this as a start :)