:. always seeking

HearthStone for iPad impressions

Thu 17 April 2014   by: Chad Stovern
filed under: gaming   tags: blizzard hearthstone ipad

splash screen-thumbnail

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Blizzard games in general, and I’ve been waiting for HearthStone to release to have a Blizzard title to enjoy casually on my iPad. Now that that time is here — my biases aside — let’s dive in for a quick look.

Once you go through the initial setup of your account and get the game started up for the first time, you’ll notice it looks just like the desktop edition for Mac or Windows.

home screen-thumbnail

The same thing is true for all of the menus. If you click on “My Collection” you’ll see any of the decks you’ve put together so far. Making a deck and naming worked just the same as on the desktop edition of the game with one caveat; you need to drag the cards over into the deck staging area on the right side of the screen.


One of the cool benefits of trying this out last night and taking these screenshots was being awarded a free pack of cards just for completing a single game in any game mode. Here is a quick look at a few shots from the couple hands I played between last night and this morning.

Identical to the desktop version — noticing a trend here? — you’ll start out the pre–match ritual of keeping or replacing a card in your starting hand.


Let the battle begin! Here’s where I start to prefer the iPad version over the desktop edition. It is so natural and intuitive and just feels nice to drag a card out of your hand and plop it onto the game-board, or tap and drag to target an enemy.


While I’m not a “seasoned” HearthStone player the computer AI obviously had no chance against my “draw more cards, full taunt mob” hunter deck.


Needless to say I had a blast trying this out and can’t wait to face my friends and other opponents online in the comfort wherever I can plop down and get some wifi. Feel free to friend me via my battle-tag (Giddeon#1794) and join me for a game.

Lok’Tar Ogar! - Victory or Death!


Sat 12 April 2014   by: Chad Stovern
filed under: productivity   tags: fear failure starting

Getting started is hard. The best way to start when you can’t seem to, is to merely start. Being afraid to fail has claimed countless projects, blog posts, ideas, and other things from coming into existence. I bet more often than not never starting is more of a failure than having to listen to critique, edit, make changes, or try something completely new.

…back to writing the actual thing I was afraid to start.

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Thu 10 April 2014   by: Chad Stovern
filed under: productivity   tags: inspiration

I’ve helped a number of people at work and elsewhere with “personal productivity stuff” by steering them to David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done“, things Merlin Mann has written or said on a podcast, Scott Hanselman’s talk “Scale Yourself” — among other resources.

While I’m happy to be able to help others make improvements where I have also iterated and improved, I can’t help but feel like sort of a “Second-hand meta wizard”.

I suppose all the folks listed above that have inspired me were at one point also inspired by others before them. I guess ...

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Mon 17 February 2014   by: Chad Stovern
filed under: technology   tags: freebsd

Here is a very handy method for updating all of the software on your FreeBSD box. This gives you the ability to just “walk away” while your machine merrily hums along recompiling all your software without you having to sit around to answer prompts.

Update your ports tree

portsnap fetch && portsnap update

Check for updates and choose / update any options

portmaster -an --no-confirm

Update all ports without any confirmation questions

portmaster -aydbg --no-confirm

…Or update only specific ports without any confirmation questions

portmaster -ydbg --no-confirm portdir/port portdir2/port2

Explanations of options from the portmaster man page ...

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Sat 15 February 2014   by: Chad Stovern
filed under: productivity   tags: stress balance habits


The past few weeks at the office have been more stressful than most. I do fairly technical work on a regular basis and manage a small team of people at the same time. When there are outages caused by things ranging from equipment failures to widespread fallout from “denial of service attacks” online; it can quickly become a daunting task to fix problems, direct people, and manage expectations.

The problem is, this was just the most recent piece of a larger recent pattern. I realized this when someone very close to me stated, “You just don’t seem happy ...

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