Week 752

What’s this? I’m blogging about my work on a weekly basis – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on.

Last week, the E3 trade show took place in Los Angeles, which I didn’t attend and didn’t write about, but still followed closely. I did write a column about user rights on Xbox One and in Apple’s App Store for nrc.next, which is online too (in Dutch): Wat koop je voor die 70 euro? I also wrote a small review of tower defense game Kingdom Rush: Frontiers, and a big review of post-apocalyptic adventure game The Last of Us, which appeared today.

On Monday, Apple showed the next versions of its OS X and iOS operating systems (which look promising to me), but they also announced a new generation of thin laptops, with amazing battery life thanks to Intel’s new Haswell CPU’s. I bought one immediately, and received it on Wednesday.

This 11-inch MacBook Air is my fourth Apple laptop since 2002. The first two (an iBook and a MacBook, both in white plastic) lasted me about three years each, at which which point they were pretty much falling apart. This never struck me as odd, considering that I worked on them every single day and wrote novels on them. However, the ‘MacBook’ (aluminium body, renamed ‘MacBook Pro’ in its next cycle) I got next easily lasted me for four and a half years. No wonder Mac sales have stopped growing.

There was really nothing wrong with my MacBook, though it ran out of juice within an hour and I didn’t feel like getting another replacement battery. But I’ve had my eyes on an Air for a while, and my sister wanted to buy my old laptop from me. So now I’m at one third of the weight, two thirds of the price and about triple the (original) battery life. The processor isn’t much faster than the old one, but the solid-state memory beats my old spinning hard drive so hard it’s not even funny. Now all I need is a smaller backpack.

On Friday, I met up with journalist/poet Philip Fokker, who just got back from an extended stay in the USA.

That night, I watched the final two episodes of the third season of Game of Thrones, including the ‘red wedding’ that everyone is talking about, and that turns out to be the single element from George R. R. Martin’s book series that persuaded the showrunners to create the show in the first place. I love this story, especially the uncompromising way in which Martin and the show’s writers take each character wherever he or she needs to go.

Over the weekend, I finished my final contribution to Your Daily Victory Boogie Woogie. It’s called (in Dutch) Haarscherpe ontmaskering van volwassen kwajongens, and it’s a future review of a fictional documentary. This experimental writing game is now officially over, which makes me a little sad. Participating in it was quite special.