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On Something Technology

On Tech: Mac OS 11

For the first time in years (at least that’s what it feels like), I watched the entirety of an Apple press event, while it streamed live. I used to live and breathe for these — and that’s when they were being streamed at ridiculous late-night (or early-morning) hours in Tokyo — but have felt myself slowly caring less and less for them over the years, with the majority of what is presented feeling more like “updates” than new exciting products. But I’m currently on vacation, and so yesterday I decided to see what they were going to show at their WWDC event, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it.

First off, I think pre-recording these is the way to go now. Sure, we all know why they did it that way, but it came off better than the usual live stage show we’re now accustomed to, and gives voice to more people in the company. But what got me most excited was the peek at the aesthetic changes to the Mac OS UI (under the next upgrade, Big Sur), and it’s only today that I understand why: this is in fact a departure from Mac OS X, which has been the end-all be-all of Mac OSes for 20 years.

My first Mac, the white MacBook, which I imagine I would have gotten in 2000 (I remember it came with the beta for Mac OS X, which came out in September of that year).

Interestingly, this also made me realize that I’ve been a Mac user for 20 years now. The very first Mac I bought (a MacBook) came with the beta for Mac OS X, and so I was straddling the convergence between OS 9 and this new gooey future OS. I was always a big fan of Mac computers — I still remember drooling over the multi-page pamphlet for the original Mac back in 1984 — but alas my parents never wanted us to have one, preferring to stick with the tried and true PCs of the time (our first computer was a Commodore VIC-20, but all the PCs that followed during the 80s were Commodore PCs, from the PC-10 to the PC-40).

But yeah, a more significant OS update feels fun and fresh, a lot of the features they shared for their other OSes looked great (especially the changes to how you organize your “screens” in iOS), and I imagine my next Mac will be one that runs on Apple’s new ARM architecture.

It’s the first time in years that I’m excited about using Apple products.

Categories
Art Events Games Personal

GameLoop & GCX

Today was an enjoyable day, taking in Montreal’s annual GameLoop “unconference” — “unconference” in the sense that as a group we crowdsource the sessions for the day, with each session then acting as a salon-type discussion.

After leaving Japan and moving to Montreal, it’s taken a while for me to decide to start attending this sort of event again. It was a big part of my life in Tokyo — from running the PechaKucha Night series there, my PauseTalk series, and then other types of talk events and workshops I organized throughout the years (and then there are all the events that I attended as part of the audience).

But after the move, my new goal was to concentrate on my new career path (working in the games industry) — you could also add to that the lack of knowledge I had about the creative scene here in Montreal. Then, a couple of months ago I finally decided to check out one of the events organized by the Mount-Royal Gaming Society, Art-UP (also prompted by the fact that my friend Renaud Bédard was one of the presenters), and it not only scratched the itch I had to experience this sort of event, it also made me want more, both in terms of attending and in terms of organizing.

It prompted me to reach out to the person (Nicolas Marier) who was organizing the long-in-hiatus PechaKucha Night series in Montreal, and not only did we hit it off on our first meeting, but it looks like things are brewing in a positive way to reactivate the series.

I then attended the Canadian Gaming Expo, with a day of talks that I found to be hugely inspiring (mostly revolving around indie game studios) — and it was nice to see a few of those presenters as participants in today’s GameLoop event.

It’s good to be bathing myself again in this sort of knowledge sharing — something I try to participate in and push at work as well — and I’m hoping that I’ll get to have a hand in organizing and supporting more events here too.

Categories
Art Web

Taxi Talk

The latest entry in the excellent New Territories web series (produced in part by Anne Ferrero) is “Epilogue: Taxi Talk,” a short film that sees a taxi driver recount a tale from the past.

Categories
Art Web

Rekall

Although not strictly Japan-related, I’ve taken quite a liking to the Rekall Tumblr, filled to the brim with 80s-90s visual references that are straight up my jam. It’s updated by game developer Steve Gaynor.

Categories
Design Fashion Stores Web

Tokyo Signs

I don’t know how I missed this, but I’m in love with everything that Tokyo Signs has to offer — t-shirts, iPhone cases, a tote bag, and even a pair of tights, all inspired by Tokyo’s signage. The line is produced by Bento Graphics (led by my buddy Benjamin) and they promise items in the future. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Categories
Art Design Web

10 Years of Spoon & Tamago

Big congrats to my buddy Joseph (aka Johnny Strategy), who recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Spoon & Tamago, a site I’ve been happily reading (and often linking to) since the very start. We became friends through our shared love of blogging about similar aspects of Japanese art, culture, and design, and it’s really great to see how he was able to celebrate the milestone — read this post, which also includes a nice video that offers a nice wrap-up of the site’s last 10 years.

Categories
Photography

Kimiko Nishimoto

These photos (self-portraits) by 89-year-old photographer Kimiko Nishimoto are simply hilarious. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Categories
Art

Doraemondrian

My buddy Duncan created this great illustration that mashes together Doraemon and Mondrian. Via Canvas.

Categories
Design Web

New Territories Part II

In other Anne Ferrero news, the other video series that she’s involved in, New Territories, released a second episode a few weeks ago, and it’s another visual treat.

Categories
Art Design Events

Designart Reports

Designart has come and gone (held in Tokyo last month, October 16-22), but here are a couple of reports to read on the event that was, from The Japan Times and Dezeen. So happy to see Mark and Astrid (Klein Dytham architecture) be involved in this, and it sounds like it’s the start of a great new series of art & design events for the city.