Hanselman's Newsletter of Wonderful Things: January 17th, 2021
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Last year kind sucked, and the end of last year was particularly lame. I got off Twitter for a while and discovered TikTok. I went there as a creative outlet. If you choose to sign up you may get inundated with a bunch of stuff that makes no sense or has no relevance. However, within just a few days by searching for an “liking” topics that I wanted to hear about, I found a wonderful, joyful, diverse TikTok and have learned about everything from Sea Shanties to Indigenous Dances to Woodworking. It’s a lovely little community and I’ve enjoyed my week on it.
NOTE: Some of these links go to Tweets or TikToks. If either hassles you to sign up, open the link in Incognito mode. You should be able to view all these links without signing up for a service. Also, if there’s an Amazon link, I’ve added my ref tag.
Here’s some things that have made me laugh or smile since we last spoke.
TikToks are tiny films less than 60 seconds long, similar to Vine if you remember. Here’s some highlights of lovely things on TikTok I’ve found:
An example of some fun tiny film making from Seth Worley and his son as well as one from Ryan Mitchell, and Karen X. Making small films is a great weekend activity for the family and it costs you nothing!
Scottish people are having a blast on TikTok and it’s quite creative.
There’s also a massive reintroduction of Sea Shanties to the world and it all started on TikTok. Polygon has a fascinating article on ShantyTok. Here’s The Fresh Prince, as a Sea Shanty.
People in support roles for famous people have also taken to TikTok to talk about their experiences. We learn that some of our favs are not super nice, but it’s also lovely to hear when a favorite actor is even nicer in person than we’d guess.
I’ve found TikTok to also be an endless source of inspiration - particularly as a middle age person who is always trying to get into, and maintain, shape. Folks like Darryll keep me moving!
Linguistic TikTok is also fun with educational skits like this one on French and this one on Chinese.
There’s so much fun on TikTok with music as well, folks are creating and dueting music.
Ok, enough TikTok (follow me!) here’s a few other smiles:
I did a few blog posts I like, this one on 2020 and 2021 in the world of remote software but I really like this one where I added Teams buttons to my Stream Deck to make it easier to mute!
AdaFruit (my favorite store online!) has had a number of great blog posts lately, well, really always, I can just scroll and scroll!
This is a fun blast from the past. Modifying a Sony Watchman to make it a Wifi controlled Vector Display.
Here’s an easy fun project, a magnetic e-Ink display that syncs to your Google Calendar! You can make this in a fun hour on a weekend.
Videogame Stills of Fictional games from the Amiga made by Suzanne Treister, rediscovered in 2021. These were in a number of art galleries.
A few more fun things:
I find this one of the MOST disturbing optical illusions ever.
An interesting Twitter thread where a person hacks into the new Nintendo Game and Watch device and finds out how to get it to do new things! In fact, they got it to run Doom!
Make your own fun Arduino-based giant Teams Mute Button with this writeup from Jen Fox!
Did you watch Ratatouille the Musical? It’s bizarre and wonderful and crowd sourced.
The first Second Gentleman of the US visits the Library of Congress in this video.
Does your office suck? Do you have no window but you have an extra monitor? Why not make a portal to a better place?
What happens when you type a URL in the browser and press enter?
I hope this little newsletter provided you some value and a little distraction. I appreciate you.