🤔Remember Runcible? Adobe's war on Flash, and Hang out in Rambly

8 bit meetings galore!

Helooooooooo and welcome to The Land of Random this week.

Have you gotten a chance to watch Squid Game yet?

Yes. I know it’s the most popular show on Netflix - but it’s really darn good.

I don’t know about you - but I’m never going to think about Red Light Green Light the same way ever again . . .

Speaking of Horror and Halloween - Did you see that Krispy Kreme is releasing a themed donut box called the Spellbook? Yeah, they’re really swinging for Millennials and Gen-Z this year.

Wait, why am I taking a break from writing and driving to Krispy Kreme . . .

In the same vein, Pepsi is making a themed Cracker Jack soda - but you have to enter a contest to win it . . .

In random “special edition news” I’m currently working on drafting a list of ALL, ALLL the non-linear tools I and a fellow non-linear tool fan can find.

It’s gonna be an amazing read when it comes out!

Stay tuned . . .

🤔Remember the Runcible?

Once upon a time, there was a dream for a simpler phone - one that was round like a pocket watch - that could easily slip in your pocket.

It was called the Runcible - and the idea was awesome.

It was a popular project too - reaching over 600 backers and $260K in funds.

Here’s a picture of the prototype.

Like other alternative smartphones we’ve discussed, this one was also created with minimalism in mind.

Here’s the official description

Runcible is an elegant, powerful mobile device. Circular & palm sized. As powerful as a smartphone, but designed with a sense of quiet serenity and longevity. This anti-smartphone can do "smartphone things" like make calls, type, take pictures & video, explore the web and get directions. The rest of the time, Runcible is quiet, beautiful, and truly yours. (Source)

Sounds cool right?

Think about it - taking a nice break from the smartphone with a little one that can take calls, play music, and respond to texts.

Well, unfortunately, the project is stuck in “build-out hell” and I doubt it will ever be created.

Aubrey Anderson - the creator behind the Runcible - gives really detailed updates every few months from July 2016 through September 2018. They are full of interesting details about the logistics of building a round smartphone.

Pictures like this, for example . . .

It isn’t until May 2019 that a fateful frustrated post is made - seeming to indicate that the project may be permanently stuck due to issues with getting the right amount of circuit boards.

Here’s a quote

Almost two years of time and development resources have gone into this board design and we can't afford to do it again with the budget and remaining sanity we have.  This price structure was certainly not the understanding we started with, but we really have no cards to play here.  Our only viable option is to bring in more funding and / or up the total boards we are able to order by adding a partner's order to ours. (source)

Sounds really sad. 😥 I feel really bad for all the poor backers who will probably never see their beautiful Runcible.

The most frustrating part is that it doesn’t appear that any refunds have been made - or any kind of final “This is it. I’m sorry but the Runcible won’t happen” post. This kind of ghosting behavior feels very much like vaporware.

Android Central wrote about it last year - and it doesn’t seem like any progress has been made since then. They even tried reaching out to Audrey! No luck . . .

Read the article here. It’s pretty interesting!

They did uncover another circular phone called the “Cyrcle” and it does look like this one may actually exist. I hope this one makes it to market! It’d be wild to see or use one.

Check out the ghost of the project at the link!

Runcible

💥Adobe’s War on Flash

Flash may have been officially buried in January - but it soldiers on in China - the last official bastion of Adobe Flash.

While Adobe has indeed stopped shipping new global versions of Flash, the technology is still supported in two markets – Enterprise and China via Flash.cn – a site managed by Zhong Cheng Network, the only authorized distributor of Flash in China.
This was a significant move for local companies that still rely on Flash Player but also provided a limited opportunity to keep Flash alive, something of importance to those who don’t want historic Flash content to be rendered useless. (Source)

For all the web people who want to keep the legacy of Flash alive (5 percent of the web perhaps still has - had flash code), this provided a nugget of hope.

There’s also the BlueMaxima preservation project too, in case you’re interested.

Soooo can you download the Chinese version of Flash to use with your favorite ancient game website?

For example - to play games on OneMoreLevel? Quite a few games are dead on there as a result of

You coulddd but “It comes preinstalled with an adware program called Flash Helper which, according to security sources, exhibits malicious behavior.”

Sounds Sus.

A Github user by the name of darktohka created a Flash version that doesn’t come with that Sus adware program.

“As such Clean Flash Installer can be used by anyone to use a relatively secure version of Flash Player after the support for Flash ended.”The developer says that he was inspired to create his tool to keep Flash content alive, something which he says was a huge part of his childhood. (source)

Hurrah! A kind-of-but-not-really official Flash workaround!

Sadly, Adobe went on the offensive against this project - and issued a DMCA notice - and got it taken down.

Darktoha was pretty disappointed.

“As this is my passion project, I am deeply disappointed with Adobe’s action. The repository in question only hosts the installer code for the project, which was written by myself and does not contain any infringing code,” he explains.

“Adobe Flash was a huge part of our childhood, and it’s gut-wrecking that Adobe would rather have everyone use super out-of-date versions of the software when versions with security updates are freely available. It makes no sense for them to DMCA an installer that was written independently and makes use of the freely available and downloadable version of the project.” (source)

It makes no sense at all. Why can’t Adobe just let these things be? It’s their fault that some of the internet is broken.

Yeah - they gave many years of warnings - but what’s wrong with letting people use their own workarounds if they’re willing to take the risks?

In the meantime, if you want to go back and play some Flash games, try one of these workarounds!

Can I Plz haz Flash?

😎Rambly - Take a Retro Meeting

Yeah - we’re all tired of Zoom meetings - and Slack Huddles feel like a mini Clubhouse.

There’s a lot of neat alternatives out there - but people want to click in quickly! They don’t want to make new logins . . . .

If they can’t get in as fast as they can into a Google Doc or Sheet - you’re probably going to lose their interest.

The key is - LOW FRICTION.

Rambly changes that dynamic! It’s a 8 bit style room that you can chat with others in.

Walk and talk with your friends in a 90's-style video game. Rambly is a virtual space for events like happy hours, parties, and meetups. Walk around to mix, mingle, and keep things fresh. (source)

It’s as simple as clicking to create a room - and sharing the link with others.

You can even write a message that shows up for everyone in the room - such as a Google Doc you could all be working on.

It’s also a Spatial room - so you can have multiple conversations happening in the same space - wayyyy more intuitive and natural than other app “break out” rooms.

I kinda want to try this out for a meeting soon! Go check it out at the link.

Rambly

🐙The Land of Random

get hopping into those random links

Waivly Newsletter

It’s hard to find kindred spirit newsletters, but Waivly also has the skills to find “the good stuff.” Waivly is a really neat creator focused newsletter that covers a wide range of topics - from startups to crypto, culture, and more! From Nanoleaf wall lights to the Google Pixel event, there’s lots of interesting things to read.

Subscribe Now!

Learn How to Make a Text Adventure

This looks like a fun afternoon! It’s meant for kids, but it breaks down some great coding fundamentals - and it’s really cool. Check it out!

Adventuron

I have no words. This will Haunt Me

I think Eminem would be scared too

Sketch Machine

This tool is so wild! Create crazy gifs like this one. I don’t even know how to describe it . . .

Sketch Machine

Make Your Phone a MP3 Player

Don’t go scrounging for an Ipod Classic. Recreate that wheel effect with your music right there on your Iphone. Sadly Android peeps are out of luck for now.

Rewoundly

Everything is a Checkbox

Brian’s creativity knows no bounds. Everything is blue checkbox - from pictures to videos, logos, and more!

Checkboxes

Scroll and Draw

This really awesome site lets you draw and scroll, up and down, forever! You got to play with this - it’s so fun!

Draw Draw Draw

Guilty Crown Cover

I love some anime piano YT, don’t you? Whether you like anime or not, this guy has a ton of talent - and has been on Youtube for a long time.

TikToks You Can’t Miss

Well, now I want a lamb burger

That’s worthy of a Triple Take, or a solid minute long stare

Now THAT is a downright creepy Halloween costume

I was last Thursday days old when I learned this

Yoooo. How much to make those in bulk?

Ah yes, the poor sheriff

That’s all for this week! See you next time. :)