In continuation of week 15, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the sixteenth week of 2024:

  • 🎮 This week was an exciting one for retro gaming on iOS. After some initial debacle with a ripoff GB emulator, which was pulled after a few days by Apple, another one, Bimmy, was pulled by its developer just a day after it was approved. But then the well-known Delta emulator developed by Riley Testut, which was previously only available via the AltStore was released worldwide in the App Store, except for Europe. Here you can get it exclusively via the AltStore PAL, an alternate iOS Appstore.1 Its developer wrote a little about the availability of Delta and the AltStore PAL in general. Installing the AltStore and downloading Delta went as smoothly as Apple currently allows, and the app is just great. Very nicely designed, customizable through skins and comprehensive. However, I see myself rather less playing GB[AC]* games on my iPhone, as they bring more fun on the Analogue Pocket or one of my other devices with a built-in gamepad. However, the situation is similar to photography, you know, the best camera is the one you have with you …

  • 🕹️ If you’ve now gotten a taste for it and also want to play some of your legally acquired Roms on your Mac but don’t want to install an all-in-one solution like RetroArch or even ES-DE right away, you can also pick up some tips on stand-alone emulators here: Emulators aren’t new; here’s the great ones on the Mac. More emulators are also apparently in the starting blocks, and I also downloaded a C64 emulator, but I haven’t looked at it yet and therefore don’t know if this a valid recommendation.

  • 🧠 This week, MetaAI unveiled its new Llama 3 models, which can be easily downloaded to the Mac using Ollama with commands such as ollama pull llama3:8b or ollama pull llama3:70b. If you prefer not to use the command line to interact with the LLM or any of the GUIs mentioned in Week 8, you might consider exploring ‎Enchanted LLM. This app offers a free and slick interface to interact with Ollama’s LLMs.

  • 💻 I mainly use Rectangle Pro for window management on macOS, which also offers the possibility to throw windows into predefined areas via mouse gestures (Window Throw), but if you are looking for an alternative, you might want to check out the free Loop.

  • 🤖 This is so f*%king incredible: Farewell to HD Atlas. But of course that can still be topped: All New Atlas 🤯.

  • 🦉 As already mentioned on my little Site Project, DropScout for iOS / iPad is out of beta and available for free: DropScout tracks your Amazon products and alerts you when prices drop! Also mentioned there, since version 3.11, Soulver once again includes an iOS version that can be unlocked with a one-time purchase. After years of incompatibility, you can finally exchange files between macOS and iOS again. Did I mention before, that I love Soulver?

  • 💻 Lou blogged about apps that Open at Login on his Mac, and two apps were new to me. As Mission Control Plus - Put the “control” back in Mission Control - is included in my Setapp subscription, I started evaluating it. The app does mainly two things, it adds an X-button to Mission Control’s windows and several keybard shortcuts managing them. The other one was Backup Status - View the status of Time Machine right from your desktop or Notification Center. Bookmarked but not tried myself yet.

  • 💻 On A Better Computer, I stumbled across 10 useful Mac apps you may not have heard of and found Cleft quite interesting. However, it absolutely did not want to work for me and instead of transcribing my spoken text, it bombarded me with error messages and just deleted everything. Well, I might look at it again in version 1.1 or maybe 2.x.

  • 🛠️ Whether I spend a lot of time troubleshooting to get something running that I would like to accomplish depends strongly on the platform I’m doing it on and my expectations of the project/product.2 With Apple products or other commercial services, my tolerance for having to spend a lot of time to make something work as it should is quite low, for example. This was also one of the reasons why I switched from Windows to macOS about 20 years ago. I just didn’t feel like dealing with the fiddling anymore. With Linux projects, it’s different for me. I almost expect it to be difficult, and it’s fine with me because in general it’s open source and I heavily benefit from the hard work from others. So, I spent countless hours trying to set up a WLAN access point on a Raspi that is connected to my network via LAN and brings the connected devices into the network via VPN. (My regular router can’t do this, and I have one or two devices that I’d like to connect to the network via VPN, but I can’t install a client on them.) I ultimately failed and gave up a few weeks ago. Last week, I stumbled across the BerylAX GL-MT3000 and it took me no more than 5 minutes to get it up and running with NordVPN. This really blew me away.

  • ⏺️ The Stream Deck Neo was announced and looks really compelling to me.

  • 📺 Continued watching Palm Royale - still not sure about this TV series.

  • 🎥 Watch Riders of Justice - enjoyed that one.

  • 🕹️ Spent way too much money for discounted games on Steam and played a lot of Dead Cells. Really hard but I like it a lot.3

Have a nice week! 🙋‍♂️

  1. BTW I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s spontaneous change of direction regarding emulators was related to the AltStore PAL to take some wind out of the sails of the alternative app store, but maybe I’m going too far with that. Perhaps others can unravel this. ↩︎

  2. This paragraph was obviously inspired by a section of Clockwise↩︎

  3. BTW as of writing this, Dead Cells is no longer on sale on steam but for Nintendo Switch. So, if you own one, go and check it out. ↩︎