After 3 years of wait, finally a new release of Spark instant messenger – 2.9.0. With improved certificates management, HTTP File Upload support, new Smack version, lots of bug fixes and other improvements.
Full changelog is awailable at http://www.igniterealtime.org/builds/spark/docs/latest/changelog.html
I first heard about Rajas of the Ganges a while ago, although i still was surprised to learn it is almost 3 years old now. It looked like a common points heavy euro game, so i didn’t even bother to watch a review i think (or i watched and didn’t think much of it). I also heard a few times how neat is its scoring mechanism, where you either go hard on points or money and have to meet another track to win and so on. This didn’t sound interesting on paper either. But when it came out on Yucata i decided to give it a try and solidify my assumption, that i won’t like this euro. This long intro is just to show you how assumptions can be wrong. And boy, i was wrong 🙂 I liked this game on my first try, where i did horribly and lost by a mile behind my opponent. Next time i played with the same player and shoot ahead quickly, but eventually lost at the end running out of steam. My third game with the same opponent and i finally won by doing a balanced strategy. And that feeling when you get closer and closer on both tracks to meet in the end, it is so satisfying. You build something, you get a few points and a bunch of coins and you move both markers closer to each other, you cross the bonus spot and move a bit further again and so on. I haven’t yet explored all the options and strategies even. I don’t do much in the market and on the river and am still able to play strong with mostly building tiles, but i had one game where i got tons of money from the market, so it seems fairly balanced. Manipulating dice is also fun and getting more and more of them is very satisfying. But you have to sense when it is time to sacrifice a few of them to build that juicy city tile and get points. This game managed to beat Oracle of Delphi for me. Maybe because it is still fresh and i have already played Oracle a ton. And it shows that i might like a clever euro a lot. Strong 9/10.
This year i have started using Matomo to track visits and have noticed same IP addresses going often every few hours to the same pages. So, stats are a bit skewed by such bots, but in a grand scheme probably are not affected that much. Also, Matomo masks true IP and shows last part as 0.0, so i can’t tell if these are truly the same IPs and of course it is not possible to block them without knowing a real IP. The 2019 stats:
- Posted 110 entries (+38):
- Technology – 88 (+32), although there were less Windows Insider posts, but i’ve explored various other topics like cloud services, Android, statistics, also started posting Microsoft 365 news a few times per month;
- Books – 7 (+7), big increase, hope to keep reading as much and posting about it;
- Board Games – 7 (+1);
- Next Game – 6 (+2), reviewed 1 game more than last year;
- Movies – 3 (-4), watched less movies during Kinopavasaris festival and in general, also not always posting about it, in total probably watched 5 movies this year;
- General – 3 (+1);
- Top 10 – 1 (-);
- Artwork – 1 (+1).
- Sadly, no comments received this year.
As i have used Board Games Stats app for the whole year, i can now provide a bit of stats. The play count will be rather big. That’s because i also count my plays on Yucata and BGA. Because i play with humans there, not AI and because i want to 😛 But there were also some live plays this year.
- Plays: 232
- Games: 40
- Players: 179 (yeah, 99% Yucata)
- Locations: 3 (Yucata, BGA and new work)
- H-index: 9 (9 games played at least 9 times)
Most played games:
- The Oracle of Delphi: 27
- Firenze: 21
- Cacao: 19
- Guildhall: 16
- Thunderstone: 15
- Zooloretto: The Dice Game: 13
- Las Vegas: 10
Favorite player count: 2
Games played live: 12 🙂
Same as last year, only in Eglish, and only the list of new games i have tried this year and the overall Top 10-100 as of 2019. Ranked using Pub Meeple’s Ranking Engine. This year had some strong new games, which also made into Top 10 of all games (Oracle of Delphi and Rajas of the Ganges) and Codenames just barely missed the top 🙂 Top 2 stayed the same though. Yeah, i have only tried UNO for the first time this year and i didn’t like it 😀
Best new to me games this year:
- Rajas of the Ganges (4th overall)
- The Oracle of Delphi (5)
- Codenames (11)
- When I Dream (31)
- Kingdomino (50)
- Mysterium (62)
- Red7 (65)
- Machi Koro (67)
- Imhotep: The Duel (86)
- UNO (97)
Best games of all time:
- Firenze (-)
- Tokaido (-)
- Small World (+2)
- Rajas of the Ganges (new)
- The Oracle of Delphi (new)
- Thunderstone (-2)
- Ticket to Ride: Europe (-4)
- Carcassonne (-2)
- Cacao (-1)
- 7 Wonders (-3)
Been using WSUS for so many years and never learned this. Partly because on my old job we always were using one version of Windows 10 (or Windows 7) and there was no need to know the exact versions or builds. Now when i have to manage 4-5 different versions of Windows 10, Version column in WSUS became essential. It shows full Windows version with build number and last CU update version, e.g. 10.0.18362.449 for 1903 version. You can see the same information on a local machine in systeminfo or using winver command. But there is a catch which i’ve only noticed after installing 1909 Enablement Package update on one test 1903 machine. It still shows 18362 build in WSUS console, although it should be 18363. And even CU number after the dot is not up to date. I’ve been told that WSUS is actually checking Windows Update agent’s version (wuaueng.dll) to determine Windows build. And in 1909, this agent hasn’t been updated and stayed the same as in 1903 version (because 1909 is just a CU update of 1903 disguised as a “feature update”). Moreover CU updates also not always change WU agent’s version, so version after the last dot might also be stale. It seems that ConfigMgr has another column for that – Operating System Build, which shows correct version of a system. This is probably a result of WSUS being a legacy tool, not originally designed to work with such dynamic changes to build versions and it never was updated properly to work better with Windows 10 (and never will). This also shows in “failed” status while a machine downloads a feature update and some other quirks requiring a mandatory wiping of SoftwareDistribution folder as PCs just stop reporting status to WSUS properly. With 1909 update Microsoft is trying to optimize their updates and new features delivery process going away from a huge feature update rewriting all system files, requiring huge installation package and multiple restarts. Now they release new features with regular CU updates, but features stay disabled until an Enablement Package is installed at some point. It seems that MS is delivering on a promise of a Windows as a Service and maybe in a few years we won’t have big versions like 1809, 1903 and such. There will be one version for good and new features will be released monthly with regular CU updates along with fixes and security patches. Well, some businesses still will require LTSC version, so it probably won’t go away.
Microsoft has posted on their Windows IT Pro blog about a new temporary requirement related to Windows 10 1903. This new Windows 10 version will have changes to UUP (Unified Update Platform), which require to introduce new product in the list of Windows – Windows 10, version 1903 and later. Administrators will have to enable that product along with regular Windows 10 product to be able to sync updates for 1903 version (once they have upgraded their machines). This is a temporary requirement and there will be no similar product for 1909 version and newer. Once you upgrade to 1909 you should be able to uncheck this product and leave only regular Windows 10 selected. This applies both to WSUS and Config Manager (SCCM). But ConfigMgr also has to be updated to at least 1902 version to support this new product. Even if your older ConfigMgr is showing 1903 upgrade as available. This requirement is about updates that will come out later for 1903 version and not related to upgrade itself.
NOTE: after a few comments on MS blog it seems that maybe this new category will be used not temporary, but for all next feature updates going forward. And then old “Windows 10” category won’t be needed. Still waiting on clarification from Microsoft.
I have started this blog in September of 2015 by installing WordPress on my hosted domain (which i had for 7 years then and only used for email, sharing files and occasionally trying some stuff like web RSS client). I’ve used my providers (IV) Installatron service to install and configure everything. At first i wasn’t very interested in statistics, wasn’t expecting to get many visitors. So only about a year after i’ve decided to hook my site to Google Analytics, which i have used a bit at work. I have also installed Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin in WordPress and added a widget to my Dashboard. It is nice. Minimal, but has a lot of views and slices. Sometimes can be buggy and show you two days old information as one day old. But it is convenient to quickly glance at the stats when going into WP dashboard. Maybe once in a month i would also go to Google Analytics page and view more graphs and details.