macOS Catalina: Destroyer of My Steam Library

Honestly, it was hard to comprehend how few of the games in my Steam library were 64-bit (and thus, Catalina-compatible). However, upgrading my laptop to Catalina decimated my Steam library down from 154 titles to 33. And I haven’t played them all yet, so even that might be stressing it.

Apple has an annoying habit of killing support for old software

Honestly, this isn’t the first time I’ve taken umbrage with something Apple has done. When Apple removed Classic mode from MacOS X, I got a bit irritated… even though I had never been able to use it, as I switched to Mac when they made the switch to Intel.

In MacOS Lion, I took issue with the fact that Apple removed Rosetta. For those of you unaware, Rosetta was a piece of software that made it possible to run PowerPC-only Mac apps. Universal Binaries are Mac applications that are compiled to work with PowerPC Macs and Intel Macs. This meant that old Mac applications could run on new Intel Macs. The catch is that they had to be compiled to do so. What this update meant for me is I had to play Neverwinter Nights via a Wineskin until Beamdog rereleased Neverwinter Nights.

Now, in MacOS Catalina, they removed support for 32-bit games. This means that nothing using a Wineskin from PortingKit can be run on my computer. It means that most of my visual novels might be dead (but not all… apparently, Ladykiller in a Bind still plays).

I Hate Aspyr.

Now, there are some growing pains. Aspyr has never been that great at maintaining the Mac games they port. Neverwinter Nights was never a Universal Binary because they never ported it. Many Aspyr games have died because Apple moved on and Aspyr wouldn’t. Even now, Aspyr only has plans to update a few of their games.


How macOS Catalina Inadvertently Breathed New Life into The Sims 3

I was honestly quite shocked when I heard from SimsCommunity and BlueBellFlora that EA is releasing a pretty major update to The Sims 3. It’s a Mac-only update and macOS Catalina is being cited as the catalyst. EA is going to upgrade The Sims 3 to be both 64-bit compatible and to use Apple’s Metal graphics engine. This version is going to be titled “The Sims 3 (64-bit and Metal)”.

The Sims 3: A Royal Pain in the Ass

The problem with The Sims 3 is that with the recent updates to MacOS, it’s been increasingly difficult to install The Sims 3. In the last few versions, there have been documented problems with the install process. To fix the problem, you need to fiddle with the application contents. Uninstalling it can be a pain in the butt if you want to ever play it again. Not to mention if your Mac was new enough, it was going to require some extra jiggery pokery to play The Sims 3.

A lot of this could be bugs with both the Windows and Mac versions. A lot of it could be the fact that The Sims 3 for Mac was a poorly developed Cider port. It definitely can’t access all your memory being 32-bit. Honestly, I thought EA would have just moved on to The Sims 4 and the Sims 3 was abandoned. This announcement, however, changes that assumption.

It crashed all the time, its save files ate a sizable chunk of your hard drive, saving itself was a pain in the ass that could result in you losing game progress, moving between worlds was an ordeal that required your Sim to abandon all their friends in the old world as if they had made aliyah to Israel pre-Internet. But it was still fun to play and I spent plenty of hours playing it.

The Sims 4: Does it better

While The Sims 4 doesn’t yet have everything The Sims 3 did, what they have released is much more superior than what was in the Sims 3. Vampires in the Sims 4 contained a progression tree which allowed you to select powers and weaknesses, whereas no such thing existed in The Sims 3. The only upgrade to Vampires in The Sims 3 was the immortality reward. And that resulted in sparkly vampires.

Of all the things I wanted in my Sims games, a crossover with Twilight was not one of them. It’s also worth noting that Create-a-Sim was significantly improved in The Sims 4.

It seems everything they’ve done in The Sims 4 thus far is better. All the occult life states are better, the implementation of toddlers was better, and there are plenty of additions to Create-a-Sim and the Build/Buy tools that make The Sims 4 a pleasure to play.

In conclusion…

Having said that, though, The Sims 4 is a different game from The Sims 3. From the artistic style to the things that the DLC adds on, I feel as though different stories are being told. The Sims 4 was an environment where a game pack like Strangerville wasn’t necessarily out of place. A lot of things are better in The Sims 4 but a lot of things are also different to the point where it feels like the two games are divergent. There is still space for both to exist and be playable games.

So, why do I bring all this praise for The Sims 4 up? Especially in a post about The Sims 3 and compatibility with macOS Catalina? Simply put, it’s a nice gesture from a company that has a reputation for being less than nice. They’re not necessarily making extra money by making this move. I mean, this does future-proof The Sims 3 for a bit longer. They might be able to get a few new sales of The Sims 3 and DLC from some new customers and might be able to keep the DLC store on open a bit longer. I would argue that they might be able to make more money developing new DLC for The Sims 4.

As someone who has all the Expansion Packs for The Sims 3, the base game and a couple stuff packs, I appreciate that I’ll be able to pick up the game again next year. That alone is a couple of hundred dollars in DLC that I spent on The Sims 3, not to mention the DLC I have on the Sims 3 store.

That fact alone is causing me to trawl Amazon for a copy of The Sims 3: Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats.

Judaism Self-Improvement

Read Up, Speak Up, Show Up

So, last night and this morning, I attended Rosh Hashanah services at Temple Or Hadash in Fort Collins, CO. In his sermon last night, Rabbi Scott Goldberg implored us to “read up, speak up, and show up”. Namely, that we should endeavour to read as much as we can, speak up (including supporting non-profits we are passionate about) and showing up.

As it so happens, I am now re-reading Chris Guillebeau‘s first book, the Art of Non-Conformity. Honestly, the High Holidays are one of the best times of the year to read these kind of self-improvement books.

My Reading List for the New Year

I’m planning on re-reading both the Art of Non-Conformity and the $100 Startup. After that, I have a few other books about a number of other issues to add to my reading list. I’m looking into books like The 4-Hour Body, Living a Jewish Life, the 5 A.M. Miracle, Pretty Face, and a few others. I’m trying to build a collection of books to re-read, finish reading, or start reading. If everything goes well, I should have a list of 30 non-fiction and 20 fiction books to read by the end of the week that is a pretty diverse collection.

The Pursuit of Justice

This next year, I must commit to fulfilling my goals all while upholding my pursuit of justice. For me, this may be harder than it may be for others. Earlier this year, a former landlord was able to get an unjust judgment against me. This landlord refused to vet the other tenants well, putting me in a situation where I was threatened by a madman with a gun. The landlord chose to hold me liable instead of the madman. I cannot see any scenario in which it would be just to either pay her or allow her to get any portion of this judgment.

So, the pursuit of justice will involve finding a way to live the best life I can all the while ensuring that I do not pay this former landlord a dime. I am currently exploring ways and means to avoid this.

Pursuit of Self-Employment

If I’ve learned anything from my time at Greystone Technology and the other firms I’ve worked at in the past two years, it’s that traditional employment is wholly unreliable. It would be incredibly foolish for me to continue to pursue traditional employment. Instead, I’ll be taking inventory of my skills and abilities over the next month to try to create a business.

At my last job, I remember how hard it was to take Shabbat off. They always wanted me to work Saturday and Friday evenings. If I were still there, I don’t know how likely it would be for me to attend High Holidays services today. Additionally, if I wanted to do anything else, it would be harder if I was working for someone else. Everything I mentioned above requires a bit more in the way of personal freedom. I need to be in control of my own schedule.

The Stage

When I used to have a subscription to Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner, it had a distinction between “front stage”, “back stage” and “off stage” days. According to the Full Focus Planner website,

These concepts are taken from Michael’s online course, Free to Focus ™ and can be incorporated into your use of the planner. In short, Back Stage is time preparing for your main work (e.g. writing a script for a podcast), Front Stage is time presenting or doing your main work (e.g. recording the podcast), and Off Stage is time spent not working.

Technically, Rosh Hashanah should have been an “Off Stage” day, as it’s a Yom Tov. However, I started thinking about this post as I was leaving and started writing it once I got home. Therefore, it became a Back Stage day. I’ll need to be more mindful of this going forward if I want to be better about guarding my days.

Additionally, building this discipline into my workflow is critical if I’m going to attend Middlebury Language Schools. If I want to really deepen my language skills and immerse myself without worry, I’m going to have to prepare for this if I want to blog on a regular basis. Therefore, I think planning my back stage days would make this possible.

Getting involved in charity

I’m not sure how to do this, if I’m going to be honest. The charity I really want to work with is the Jim Collins Foundation. I think the best way that I can do this is by improving my skills and engaging in fundraising. This charity is near and dear to me as access to care for trans people is incredibly important to me.

Blogging More Often

One of the things I’m hoping to get back into is blogging. I figure I’m going to start here posting twice a week for a few months and see how I do with it. This post is a bit more off the cuff but I figure the best place to start is now.