The End Of The 3DS Era


“holy crap. they decided to go ahead and do it.”

That was my response to Nintendo announcing that they would shut down the eShop for the 3DS and Wii U systems, posted in a private IRC channel with a bunch of friends.

Imagine if you will.

It’s 2015 again. You’re in elementary school, sitting in a classroom with the lights on, as the teacher continues on and on about some math stuff you can’t seem to recall right now.

Lunch happens. You go into the cafeteria, and sit down. With a tray full of tasteless food, you reach into your coat pockets and pull something out. A light on it is blinking orange, and you open it-making a loud CLICK-CLICK-CLICK noise.

You can stop imagining now.

That was how one day in my life went.

That thing I pulled out? You probably guessed that was a 3DS.

At the time, almost everybody who was considered a ‘gamer’ at this school had a 3DS.

Many of us saw the graphics demonstrations for the Xbox and PlayStation with our mouths dropped open. People who actually owned one of those consoles were considered almost god-like.

If you happened to wander into the cafeteria-like what happened earlier-it could be extremely easy to find someone to connect with and play multiple rounds of whatever game. This was aided by Download Play, where if a game supported it, you could play multiplayer with someone-even if you didn’t own the game.

It was also very easy to find people using the StreetPass feature on the console-you could walk past people and collect tons of Miis and maybe a couple Mystery Boxes in Mario 3D Land if you were lucky.

Now let’s fast forward to 2019.

At this point, the Nintendo Switch has been gathering steam, and most of us have already shelved our 3DSes.

Fast forward some more to 2021. I’ve entered 8th grade and now with less COVID insanity, the world finally has stopped whirling like a top.

The gaming world has now become, well, another console war. The PS5, Xbox Series X/S, the Switch, and PC are now almost at equals, doing console war things.

I, myself, sat down on PC, since I was never going to get a new console-plus most of my friends were now playing on platforms like Steam.

And by that point-Nintendo consoles became sorta…casual.

In the world of high school gaming, you are either hardcore, or casual. One is better than the other.

You are either shelling out $1000+ for top-of-the-line hardware or you aren’t playing any games.

You are either playing what everybody else is or you aren’t playing any games.

You are either Xbox, PlayStation, PC, or Nintendo.

And the platform divide is big. And always has been.

I still sometimes remember when most of us used one platform-and were happy with it.


The Apple App Store Problem

The App Store is a pretty decent part of the iOS/macOS ecosystem. Being able to get access to and manage thousands of third-party apps with something directly integrated into the operating system is actually really good and adds a fair amount to the user experience, compared to Linux, where the various package managers, their repositories, distro and architecture differences, and Flatpak’s annoying insistence on security that results in the apps you install you using it not being able to autosave, the App Store is somewhat better. Even Microsoft jumped in on it, with the Microsoft Store in Windows 8.1.

However, as we’ve seen in the past, nothing is perfect.

It can be really hard to develop for (if you’re not a Mac user)

Before apps can even reach the store, they must be developed. While writing the code is easy, with plenty of documentation, frameworks, languages, and tools to help, and you can do that with an ordinary Windows or Linux PC.

However, you can’t just release source code and expect it to work. You’ll need to build real executables for iOS before your app can be released on the App Store, so it can be run by any old user. To do that, you need Xcode. Xcode is Mac-exclusive, which means you can’t run it on Windows or Linux.

Macs are very expensive, and getting a used one risks getting a computer that can’t run the newest version of macOS and Xcode. Because of this, some app projects and developers may not even be able to even develop their application at all.

Getting on the App Store itself can be expensive

However, even after you’ve managed to build your app, there’s another issue: actually getting onto the App Store.

In order to upload an app to the App Store, you need to be a part of the Apple Developer Program. To join said program, you need to shell out $99 every year to publish your app and keep it there. (If you don’t renew your subscription, your app will remain on user’s devices if they already downloaded it, but it won’t let new users install it)

Although for some of you, $99 a year isn’t a large ask. Some people pay more than that a month for their phone service and internet plan. However, for some smaller developers or open-source projects relying on donations, it could be a pretty large wall. A large social network company with thousands of users could keep their subscription, but a small, obscure app with only a few users?

Probably not.

Now, let’s look at what iOS’s biggest competitor, Android, does differently.

Compared to Apple’s Xcode, which is again, exclusive to Macs, Android Studio is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Chrome OS.

And to publish to the Play Store, you only need to pay a one-time fee of $25, not per year, only once.

Those reasons make a very open marketplace, with lots of smaller developers. I’m not saying Google’s store is perfect, what with its tons of low quality, uncontrolled services, and even malware, but it’s something Apple could learn from.

Apple could port Xcode to Windows and Linux. They could also fix the monetary requirement, possibly lowering the fee from $99 per year or even take from Google’s playbook and just have a one-time fee, all while keeping their existing guidelines.

Who knows if Apple would take these ideas. Maybe they won’t. But…again who knows?

solvent gets an update!

So, you know that calculator project I made a while back? solvent?

I came back to it after abandoning it and have released a new update to it.

Now, the changes:

  • Changed the interface to use pico.css instead of my garbage custom CSS
  • Internal cleanup (my code is still bad, per usual)
  • Added decimal to fraction conversion

That’s about it, now go check it out if you want at

Electron.JS: Both good and bad

For what seems like forever now, Electron seems to be the go-to way to make standalone apps from web languages and frameworks like React, Svelte, and Tailwind.

Microsoft, Spotify, Scratch (and TurboWarp), Discord and many, many more use Electron to make their desktop apps.

Being able to turn your already existing web code into a desktop app may work a lot better in some instances than rewriting your applications to be native, like being able to have a consistent UI, have backends and codebases that work across platforms, and save a lot of development time.

However, nothing is perfect.

Electron is very flexible, mostly because it bundles Embedded Chromium (the engine that browsers like Chrome, Edge and Vivaldi use) and Node.JS.

However, this makes packages very large.

Let’s put it this way:

If your app is small, light, and simple, using Electron will cause the app to bloat up and become, well, not very small, light and simple.

Plus, it uses a lot of resources. Running it on something like a Raspberry Pi at its defaults is very slow, which makes for a very poor user experience. Running many Electron apps at once, well, it may make an even worse user experience.

If you really want a more lightweight app and a better experience for low-end devices, then you might want to look into alternatives like Tauri and Neutralino. Those use webview, which loads your apps in the OS’s built-in web component instead of bundling Chromium like Electron.

However, I’m not saying you should drop and run away from Electron. If you feel like you want a mature framework, then you can go with Electron. However, if you don’t need a whole browser embedded in your app, and you probably don’t, then look into Electron alternatives. Your users will thank you.

Appel: Even after 2 years, it’s still good

There’s something to be said about Griffpatch’s many games. Insane quality and continuous breaking of Scratch’s limits all add up to some amazing and well-crafted experiences. It’s no wonder that he is the most followed user on Scratch. Heck, he even made one of the most well-known Scratch projects ever, a 2D recreation of Minecraft.

And on December 21st, 2020, Appel was released to the world.

The main menu of Appel, version 1.4.
The main menu of Appel v1.4

It was a platformer, but unlike the millions of generic, copy-pasted, carbon-copy platformers, this one was scrolling, had enemies with a bit of rudimentary AI, boss fights, and a freakin level editor. And shortly after launch, it blew up, thanks to the Griffpatch bless/curse (“even if he shared a blank project, it would still get extremely popular”). 

And it’s easy to see why.

First off, it was a true, original platformer on a site dominated by popular generic platformers, and for most of us, that was extremely refreshing.

Take this:

A generic platformer project.

and compare it to this:

The beginning of the second level of Appel.

There is a big difference there, right? 

Everything about Appel has that Griffpatch charm, and that rubs off in a lot of elements. Well, here’s why Appel is still good, even after two years have passed.

Unique levels

Appel’s core levels provide a lot of challenges. Although it might seem brutally hard at first to successfully jump up a wall without getting impaled on some spikes, after a good amount of practice, you’ll eventually make it up. This is aided by your ability to stick to ceilings, so you can jump-attack enemies and safely observe the patterns of things like crushers and moving platforms. Even then, there are checkpoints absolutely everywhere in each stage, and they’re often placed right before difficult platforming segments.

The enemies play a big role in this too. Some can be easily bopped on the head, and they explode into bits. Others wear spikes on their head that result in you getting bopped in the foot and exploding into bits. 

Solid platforming

Again, this game is a platformer, so what’s a platformer without platforming? Sometimes, you’ll fall off platforms and have to either respawn or make your way back up again. It’s oftentimes like a typical Mario game. There are also bits where you can do some additional platforming to get around hard spots.

Compared to a typical generic platformer, where there are some basic jumps and lava to avoid, Appel has things like spike pits and enemies that charge or gang-rush you. Some you can defeat, others you can’t. All in all, good levels.

Decent controls

How are you supposed to play a game if you can’t control it? Appel works really well in the controls department. Appel uses the mouse to navigate menus and use the level editor (more on that later!), and the arrow keys for actually moving (for right-handed people, at least). Left and right arrows/A and D keys are move in their said directions, the down arrow/S key is crouch, and the up arrow key/W key is jump. The easiest way for me to use this (and i will write this as “right-handed/left-handed”) is put your middle-finger/ring finger on up arrow/W, and pointer/pinky on left arrow/A, and right-ring finger/left-middle finger on right-arrow/D, and press with the needed finger to move. 

Appel controls nicely. They are not exactly tight by any means, but they are at least fairly responsive, which is good because you’ll be doing a lot of reflex actions here. If you use TurboWarp and a controller, you will experience some slight delay but it won’t detrimentally affect your experience.

Creative gimmicks

As I said before, Appel isn’t your typical lava-and-platforms game. There’s stuff like crushers that, well, crush you and force a respawn, but in some levels you can ride on them to access secrets for more collectibles. There are big blocks that if you get too close will actually flip over and smush you if you don’t get away fast enough (this is sometimes used in puzzles to make it possible to cross some gaps). There’s plenty more, but I’ll let you play the game and figure out how they work.

Level editor and fan-made levels

One of Appel’s many features, alongside the main story, is a level editor where you can make you own levels. You have stuff like enemies, obstacles, terrain, apples, a lot of what the game has to offer at your command, and you can build whatever you like, and then save, play and even share them.

The Appel level editor, as of version 1.4.

There’s a whole plethora of levels out there for you to explore, and by simply looking in the level repository, you’ll definitely find some you like. 

Well, that’s kinda why I think Appel is still good, even after 2 years. If you want, I highly recommend playing the game for yourself. Have a great rest of your day/night/whatever.

The Unshared Projects Bug – For Better Or For Worse?

Recently, The Scratch Team made an update that fixed a bug that allowed unshared projects to be viewed and downloaded using external viewers like TurboWarp and the official scratch-gui development instance.

This has been controversial for a number of reasons. Let’s go over them.

Your unshared projects are actually private!

This is the biggest reason I got behind this. When you open the project page on one of your unshared projects, you get a message saying “This project is unshared, so only you can see it.”

This message gives the impression that nobody can view your project unless you choose to make it public. However, with the unshared projects bug, this isn’t the case. If the project’s ID gets out in any way, anybody can load it up in TurboWarp and see your work. This can be especially bad if your project is still a WIP, or it’s something you never intended others to see. Even worse, people could export the project as an SB3 file, and distribute it by other means, like uploading it onto their Scratch account.

This makes the bug a major privacy issue. If any other website had a bug like this, it could be trouble. Imagine If Google Drive had a bug that allowed anybody to access your private files without needed to prove they were the owner of them?

Collaborations may be a little tougher now

The first time I heard of this bug getting patched was when I noticed a little topic called “Consider Collabs” in the Suggestions forum. This brings up the problem that collaborations rely on the unshared project bug to share stuff with each other without having to publically release the project containing it. I can completely understand this.

Some people want to keep their whole collaboration a secret, like when a series finale is in the works, and you want to prevent people from spoiling the ending before it is officially finished.

Just remember that TurboWarp, which popularized the usage of the bug, is a very recent creation and collaborations are not impossible with the bug patched. TurboWarp’s developers sum this up nicely:

It’s okay to share unfinished projects. Scratch is 15 years old while TurboWarp is two years old. Collaborations happened just fine during the 13 years without TurboWarp and will continue just fine.

TurboWarp Documentation, “Unshared projects are no longer visible”

This community is really adaptive. I’m sure that people will quickly find a new way to stealthily share assets and code with each other without the project leaking.

A potential vector for inappropriate content has been sealed

I know this may be a stretch, but this bug may have been abused by people to distribute rule-breaking content, like inappropriate projects or links or usernames to unmoderated chat websites.

People frequently look for ways around the Scratch filter, and this may have been one of the ways people did this.

That’s all I have to say on this bug. Thank you for reading :D

Ocular and Aviate: Battle of the Status Sites

Ocular and Aviate.

Two websites that do the same thing. Statuses. Basically, just text strings that are tied to your Scratch account and can be displayed on various websites via their API.

They may seem the same, but they are very different.

Let’s get into it.

Ocular was spun off Jeffalo Post Viewer by, well, Jeffalo sometime in 2020 as a searching tool for the Scratch forums. It’s handy if you need to look up duplicates, past answers, or get someone’s forum posts to view their track record.

In October 2020, My-Ocular was released, which introduced the custom color and status features to the website. In 2021, it was merged with regular Ocular.

After signing in to Ocular, you are given the ability to react to posts, star them, and access the dashboard, where you can set your custom color and status.


Aviate officially launched in April 2022, so it’s not that old. It’s exclusively a status website, no extra features here.


Now, let’s get into the differences.

Aviate has more versatile statuses, allowing you to fetch statistics like your post count or followers from your Scratch account or even do simple math through dynamic components. Ocular also has components, except they aren’t as powerful as Aviate’s, all they let you do is either insert a randomly-selected joke or how many Ocular users there are, and that’s it.

However, Aviate’s adoption is small in comparison to Ocular’s.

For example, Postpercent displays Ocular statuses on user statistic pages and a certain browser extension has an Ocular integration addon that shows statuses on Scratch user profiles and forum posts. If you want to see all of the websites that show statuses from Ocular, then check out its usage gallery.

Aviate was rejected from being added to the same browser extension because, well, they already had Ocular integration. Not very many websites display Aviate statuses, and that’s a shame, since the dynamic components let you create some really cool things. Heck, even the creator of Ocular stated that he liked the concept.

So, which one is better? I’ll let you decide.

Fun fact: The “Current Status” thingy on this very website’s home page is powered by Aviate!

Good riddance to iFastNet

I seem to have a weird habit of switching web hosts. First, it was Wix, but I moved from it to WordPress for more freedom. I found a few when I searched for free web hosts that would give me a good platform to run a WordPress site. I almost went with AccuWeb, but I learned that you’d need to share a government-issued ID so, I couldn’t set up an account here.

Here’s the thing: most of the free web hosts out there are resellers of the same company’s hosting package, and that company is iFastNet. You set up an account on one of these resellers, get your website started, and then if you want to “take it further” you can transfer your website from the reseller to a paid plan on iFastNet.

I discovered one of these resellers after about 5-10 minutes of web searching, and this one was “aeonfree”.

Despite the poor English, I decided to set up shop here. The feature set was impressive, and the limits were generous. I created an account and registered a subdomain. After installing WordPress and moving my posts over from Wix, I enjoyed using it for quite some time, however, I had some massive issues with it.

First off, it was very, very slow. You could feel it was slow. I know that a common complaint with WordPress is that it’s naturally slow, it has to make SQL queries and such. However, my friend’s website ran on WordPress on a similar setup to mine (not the same host, mind you), and it was fast. It loaded in less than 2 seconds, whereas mine took upwards of 4 seconds, half of which was spent waiting for it to connect to the server instead of sending and receiving data. I tried optimizer plugins, CDNs, and lightweight themes, but nothing worked.

I’ve also had a major skirmish with tech support over a transcript of a chat conversation in a blog article. On April 12, 2022, the comment filter in Scratch stopped working, and all hell broke loose on the website. I created a quick blog article to inform people. I intended to leave it up as a historical archive, but I couldn’t because I was apparently breaking aeonfree’s Terms Of Use, via a screenshot of a chat conversation included in the article. They don’t like “chat scripts” on the websites they host. However, the article did not contain a chat script or a link to one, and only contained a screenshot of a conversation. I later deleted the article, however, I didn’t delete the screenshot from the WordPress media folder, so I continued to receive emails about them. I later deleted the images, and they stopped giving me grief. The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth.

However, more recently, on August 23rd, my website didn’t work and responded with a 403, and did so for over 12 hours. I was able to get the site back, thankfully.

Even more recently on September 1st of 2022, my website all of a sudden now redirected all traffic to Google. No, really. I had set no redirects, and I had no idea why this was happening. I couldn’t even sign in to the WordPress admin panel, but I managed to break and enter using the desktop WordPress app. I grabbed a backup of my website made the night before, and I set up a new hosting account and subdomain, and well, here we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I sorta liked my time on that web host, but I’m looking forward to using this new one more.

Stop trying to be 100% right

Every time you help people, you would really like it if you were right.

Admit it.

Even though it’s human nature to make mistakes. 

And you will make mistakes.

And you will not be right.

Anyway, I spend a lot of time on the Scratch forums.

And I mean A LOT. I currently have 1000+ posts in Questions about Scratch and Suggestions combined.

And when you’re trying to help people solve a problem or give decently meaningful feedback on a suggestion, then being correct on what you are talking about is kinda very important. 

If you do not meet the standards of correctness, then you shall attract the ire of your fellow forumers.

However, it is extremely hard to be 100% correct. Let’s stick with the Scratch forums example.

Three things are important when replying to posts on the Scratch forums:

  • Speed
  • Clarity
  • Being Correct

Speed is important because you need to be on top of the literal ninjas faster typers other people that are replying to the topic.

You also need to be clear in your topic because apparently, you might confuse the total idiots that are New Scratchers

And you need to be correct because being wrong will not help the person asking the question and also make yourself look like an idiot who spent 30 minutes trying to find a nonexistent page on the Scratch Wiki to show what a 404 error is on the wiki

However, it is widely known that attempting to be fast will result in incorrect information being dispensed. An example is attempting to understand an article on why throwing empty soda cans at others is not very nice of you within 30 seconds and then tabbing back to the thread to speed-type your response in 25 seconds, wait 1 second for your grammar checker program to tell you that you misspelled 24 words in your response, and spend 4 seconds correcting them. Then you may have given the incorrect answer that “people hate soda cans being thrown at them because those people hate soda”, where it’s because you just simply shouldn’t be throwing garbage at people in the first place!

You could also sacrifice being fast for accuracy, but then by the time you’d have pressed the “submit” button, your post is buried 6 pages in by a flame war started by the person making the topic bein a total freakin idiot about what the heck a “duplicate topic” is

You could also sacrifice clarity for accuracy, however, you would also confuse the total freakin idiot on extremely confusing words such as “ocular” and “TOLORS” and “Scratch”, because inherently they only understand stuff broken down into extremely simple terms such as “a forum search engine created by jeffalo” and “the place that explains why the scratch team won’t add certain things” and “the website you are currently on, seriously how the heck would you not know that you are on Scratch??????”

Therefore, you should not try to be 100% correct and instead strive to have the core point of your post be correct. That way, you do not have to sacrifice anything to help people.

If you are wrong and do anger the others around you, then simply be correct from then point onward.

Thank you for reading this absolute piece of trashpost.

Note from the creator: this post was supposed to be humorous (well, to me anyway) so do not take it seriously. although you should probably take this seriously: the fact that it’s ok to be wrong and you should not be mean to anyone who is wrong or misunderstands something, just simply correct them politely.

thank you once again for taking the time to read this post (and stopping by my website)