251: Coding Talk with Jesse Grosjean

This week’s guest is Jesse Grosjean, an independent developer known for WriteRoom, TaskPaper and a love of plain text. He joins Brett to talk coding, coffee, and board games.

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[00:00:00] Brett:My guest this week is Jesse Grosjean, an independent developer. How’s it going, Jessie?

Jesse:Oh, good. Thanks for having me.

Brett:Uh, you were last on in 2012. That is so long ago.

Jesse:Yeah. Yeah. Um, it, I been programming ever since, although over time it seems like I programmed slower and slower, but that’s what I do.

Brett:Is that just part of aging or are you becoming more careful in your, in your older years?

Jesse:I don’t know. I think it’s, it’s part of, I have lots of fun programming and I learn more over time and I sort of, I think I get I’m Mo it at the moment. I’m more into like making my programs pretty and data structures and things. Not that I’m a super great person at that, but yeah. Uh, I don’t know. I’m very deep.

Like, I, I can tell you the story of my last few years and it all [00:01:00] started out with all right, let’s see how to search a bunch of files. And now I’m like four years or three years into Russ programming and parallel programming and all this stuff. And it was all just to search a few files.

Brett:Oh boy. Um, I have this habit, like I’ll start out a project with what I consider to be like a good. Bait like object. I don’t know what you call when you map out what properties and what objects and how everything’s going to interact. And then it gets out of hand so quickly. It’s I start adding too many properties and too many controllers.

And, uh, my, my apps after a year ended up being unmanageable and I ended up having to start over.

Jesse:Yeah. And I, for, for me, especially recently, I mean, I certainly have that problem. And what I do is I start over continuously and especially if I get stuck on something, my, my desktop is scattered with junk mail, junk, junk, junk, junk, junk, junk, all these little. [00:02:00] Junk things, trying to get all the mess out of the way.

So I can actually figure out the massive, my existing program out of the way. So I can figure out what this one little attribute does or something. But, uh, it, I, at the moment I keep on going deeper and deeper into probably stupid. I don’t know. I just let’s see if we can reinvent this, you know, but it is fun and it’s very, go ahead.

Brett:is this a, is this searching text files, uh, or searching files? Uh, is that your next project?

Jesse:Yeah. I mean, basically previous my sort of application history that is inter the way I look at it. Anyway, I did a few apps early on that were just kind of learning how to develop Mac stuff. And then the first one I had success with big success was with Rite room, which is a very. Simple app that just blocks out your screen and does full screen mode.

[00:03:00] And then, so the next step was task paper, which was okay. To-do list in a text file. People liked text files. I like text files. Let’s see how simple you can do that. And so task paper is a very simple syntax to make a to-do list. And I worked on that for a bit. And then. I wanted to, you know, always want to expand and make things, do more and stuff.

And so the next step was folding text and that, um, the basics of has, it takes a marked on file, then it makes it so you can fold the various, like, you know, in a code text editor, how you can fold, um, regions of text. Well, it does that in markdown structure and then it also, um, I like outliners a lot. And so the, the underlying model is really an outliner and that’s the same thing with TaskPaper it’s outliners that feel like text editors and, um, [00:04:00] folding text ads, uh, also a query language.

So you can filter the document by a query and it’s very sophisticated or complex or something like that, query language. And, uh, then. So, so that’s the direction I’ve been headed as time goes on, things get more complicated. I probably should have just stuck with right room, but then, then my, then my programming life would be boring.

Um, and, but right room, I sort of R sorry, folding text was sort of the big effort, but I didn’t like the way it turned out, particularly, um, in that. I for all these apps, I kind of use them for the same thing, which is, I’m not a very organized person. I don’t keep like long journey. I mean, I try sometimes to do journals or something, but mostly it’s just like a pizza sketch paper.

And I read out ideas on it, most of the time programming ideas, but I [00:05:00] just sort of, I’m very interested in the feel and the environment and folding text-based basing it on markdown, which. I on one hand think is great, but on the other hand, I don’t feel very calm in it with all the various things going on.

And anyway, and also folding text while the sales started out great, they were dropping so that past paper was selling better. And so anyway, I did do after folding text or rewrite of task paper just to modernize it. But then my, my big project, well, all those projects, what they share in common is, uh, very much, uh, uh, plain text based approach.

And then, uh, uh, strong, uh, rich, uh, I like to allow people to do plugins and things like that, so that they provide that kind of API APIs and the data model that people can change. Yeah. Extensibility. Yeah. Yeah. So I always think that’s [00:06:00] a fun, you know, I never use it basically ever in other other programs, I’m not really that kind of person, but just the idea really appeals to me.

And I like it. You know, I have fun doing that anyway, providing it. Um, so they’ve all plain text files with extensibility and, you know, they’re focused. Maybe towards tasks or something, but basically there, they try to be flexible programs that you can use for lots of different ways. And so the next thing I want to do is make it so that you can support multiple files.

Now, how hard can that be? And, uh, that’s what I’ve been working on since and in various forms. Um, but the, I guess the, the thing that, so basically my, my vision is. Very simple. You know, every code editor has this little file tree and you can browse through the files. And I liked that. Um, but [00:07:00] then for extensibility, I, there there’s a few details that I want different.

And so for example, save searches are always something that, um, people talk about in applications and in task paper. And so task paper, I build a new separate UI for saved searches. And it shows up in the sidebar, right. And you click on it and it shows the search results. Um, with multiple files, I’m starting to think sort of, I think of it isn’t instead of a text-based UIs like a file based UI.

So maybe there’s a new file type called search. And you just put that in one of your folders and it’s has a certain format, which saves your search, you know, in a plain text file. When you click on it, it will open a document, which. Show search results. And it seems to me like that’s a pretty extensible way you could do, you know, a calendar or it’s an extensible way.

So you have a basic database of text files, and then you can have some text files, which are plugins [00:08:00] that they store their data and texts, but they show, you know, you can, they’re more user interface than what we think of as text file. If that makes any sense at all. right. I think they, yeah. And they that’s interesting cause yeah, I’ve tried both of them, but not in detail enough to actually have ever come across that, I guess with them. They’re both sort of apps that I love. Like, I think they’re really cool. And then I hate because there’s just, so I don’t know, it’s this foreign thing I assume.

I mean, maybe it’s all plain text files that I can sync to my computer, but I don’t think it is. Um, and [00:09:00] like, I don’t know, like, I think they’re cool on one hand, but then I can’t, when I’m actually in the editor. It’s just, there’s so many different things that it can do that I don’t have that nice calm feeling.

If that makes sense. I, I definitely have over the years, I don’t know that I’ve seen, I’m sure I haven’t seen it. I haven’t downloaded it. And you know, it’s been quite a while. Right.

Brett:so, so there was envy old

Jesse:That’s what I’m thinking

Brett:Yeah, that’s been, that’s like a decade old and I, I, I stopped updating that because I started working on, uh, an app called bit writer. That was just basically going to be a modernized version of envy old. And then the guy I was working on that with just disappeared.

Like I have no idea what happened to him. Stop responding to two emails, messages, just gone. Um,

[00:10:00] Jesse:Never knew that it was such a phenomenon, but I guess it is.

Brett:I, yeah, I’m a little worried. Like, it’s been a couple. Yeah. Since I, since I’ve heard a word, I have concerns, but so I let that, I let that project die after, after, uh, uh, kind of dragging dry, uh, what’s the PR making people, um, worry about it for like three years and, uh, eventually gave it up. And then, uh, Fletcher, penny, the guy who created multi-market down.

Jesse:Yes. Yeah.

Brett:he contacted me with like a rough draft of his version of envy guilt, and I got all excited and I signed on and we are developing together, uh, an entirely modern Regan re-imagining of NBA salt called NBA ultra cleverly enough.


Brett:if you want on the beta, if anyone listening wants on the beta, it’s pretty open right now, but you have to ask.

[00:11:00] Jesse:Yeah. I mean, I would love to sure. Yeah, I have this whole pie. That’s one corner of my desktop is just a dump of all these various applications and it’s I do like trying them a lot.

Brett:but yeah, we extensibility like we, the NV ultra has customizable themes and you can save searches, but when it comes to adding an extensibility, that’s something that I do in my projects, but I don’t tend to put out commercial apps. With that kind of, uh, like the, what folding text had. And there was a whole community that kind of developed around writing extensions for folding text. Do you think that having that kind of extensibility is worth the extra support that it causes?

Jesse:um, I have no, I mean, I guess worth is so does it drive enough sales? To do do the thing I would say, I don’t know. Probably [00:12:00] not. Because if I look around at lots of popular, shiny apps, none of them support that. And if I look at my apps, they aren’t quite as shiny or popular and they do support that. Um, but it is, I dunno, it’s the most interesting part of the whole thing for me, like in the forums, talking to people.

And so it makes the apps a lot more fun to develop. I think.


Jesse:API for extensibility. So, you know, it’s sort of, there has, and it would be practically [00:13:00] impossible to compact the two. So there, you know, I sort of, if people are doing scripts that take them, you know, half a day or something, then I think that’s a good level. Like, I don’t want to be like Photoshop or something where you, I, I’ve no idea.

I haven’t used Photoshop in years and years, but I imagine, you know, they provide this. Hard API that then they don’t try to break for a long time and things like that. And I’m more into it sort of as if somebody asks, can I do this? Then I have a way to say, well, yes, you can hack it this way. And it’ll pretty much work.

And, you know, and I think that’s a, been a lot of fun.

Brett:nice. Yeah. Well, I look at an app like text mate. Did you ever get into text mate?

Jesse:No, not, I mean, no, I, I, I used it as a demo again, but mostly I just use X code cause I wasn’t using doing Ruby or any, any of those things too much.

Brett:Well, it built this, um, it was the first truly extensible editor that I ever used. And I, I [00:14:00] got into it and found this very active community, mostly via like, it was a mailing list, but, uh, but everyone building plugins and sharing themes and, uh, it, I really felt like the success of text mate hinged on.

It’s extensibility and the community that, that created, um, that, you know, counterpoint to that text may really isn’t a thing anymore. So I don’t know if that’s commercially viable or not.

Jesse:Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know it’s for, uh, like for example, for, um, yeah, I dunno. I, yeah, I don’t know. Um, I have fun thinking about it anyway, though. And that’s definitely a strength. Stability is a big part of what I’m thinking about for my next stuff, but. Yeah. W whether it’s a good idea, I don’t know. I’m sure for some people, it would be a really good idea.

They’ll really like it. But if [00:15:00] enough people, I don’t know.

Brett:So do you think the, the folding texts community is ready to kind of move on with you to whatever your next thing is?

Jesse:Um, I’ve, I mean, I don’t think there’s, I can’t, I have no idea how, how many people are still using folding text, because it I’ve made it for free for a number of years. And, but it’s like free, but I just set the price to zero on the payment platform. And so like, I get, you know, sales every day and so some people are downloading it.

I’ve no idea if they’re using it just as a quick demo or using it lots. And, uh, for my current app it’s or my current idea for the next stuff, if I could ever get it done is pretty. Different than folding texts in a lot, you know, folding texts, the idea was how much can I cram into the text editor and my current ideas?

How [00:16:00] much can I cram into files in the file system? And so I, it’s similar in, it’s a very extensible idea, but it’s a completely, it’s sort of different ends of the spectrum. So I don’t really know if it, uh, will be appealing to them. And this, you know, maybe for a different task, it would be, but it’s sort of a different take.

Brett:Yeah. I feel like people who get into it, the idea of an extensible app, it’s a very specific crowd who, uh, almost gets more excited about the idea of extending something than just the idea of using it. Uh, I count myself among those people. Like as soon as I see an app has the capability for me to make it do something new that’s, uh, that’s really appealing to me.

I feel like I’m part of a small. Commercially non-viable segment of the, uh, the Mac community, but it’s, it’s a, it’s a vibrant [00:17:00] segment, I guess

Jesse:Yes. Yeah, yeah.

Brett:do you know, complex point

Jesse:Yes. Oh, definitely. He, uh,

Brett:his real name?

Jesse:Uh, I know it. I have a chat window, but let’s see. Can I, um,

Brett:I feel like I probably know him. In both real-world and as complex point, but I’ve never associated

Jesse:I think he let’s see, um, I I’m terrible with names.

Brett:while you, while you

Jesse:I sh I,


Jesse:I should know.

Brett:I’ll tell people that this it’s a person who,

Jesse:Oh yeah. Rob is

Brett:Oh yeah, yeah. Right.

Jesse:Rob. True.

Brett:Rob true. Yes. He writes scripts and I’ve seen him in the forums for multiple, uh, apps with especially JavaScript extensibility. And, uh, he writes amazing scripts that do [00:18:00] amazing things and solve just about every problem.

And I find myself very jealous of his, his problem solving skills, I guess.

Jesse:Yeah. And he’s actually like, he’s definitely the one who uses task paper. The, the, the biggest expert on task paper scripting. He helps a lot in the forums when people have questions. And so, yes, I, I he’s, he’s definitely the one who uses task paper scripting, the most that I’m aware of.

Brett:uh, every task, paper, scrip I’ve uh, I’ve I Britain, or that I use has at least something that, uh, that came from Rob. Yeah. I’ll put them in the show notes.

Jesse:Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Cause he’s, he, he’s very nice to me and I dunno, we chat from time to time, although, as you can see, my name for memories is my memory for names is not very good.

Brett:same. Yeah. Um, okay. So w you were telling me, and we’re going to get nerdy, but, [00:19:00] uh, you were telling me that the current version of task paper, uh, while it has, uh, kind of Coco elements in the front end actually has a JavaScript. Backend is that how you would phrase it?

Jesse:In various ways, basically what the model of is that, uh, it reads a plain text file into an outline structure. And then it’s the outline structure that you manipulate when you’re editing. And then when you save it, it turns it back into a text file. But the, the, like if you look at test papers, scripting API, you’re moving objects around, not, not ranges of text. [00:20:00] Yup. Yup. Um, I’m uh, I have no idea why at the moment I’m. Having lots of fun with rust, which is my new JavaScript for, so now my I’m doing the back, the model layer in rust and the front end and Coco Swift. Um, and so I like I’m doing some consulting in objective C and I have to say that I like Swift a lot better just for like the experience of actually using it.

There’s all kinds of neat. Uh, I don’t know, background about addictive, see and small talk and things like that. I always thought that’s the kind of person I am, but I’m really now liking rust. And that seems [00:21:00] like it’s kind of the opposite of all that. So I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be now.

Brett:you, should I learn Russ before I learn objectives or before I learned Swift

Jesse:I don’t know. I, I think that if not, if you want to get something done, maybe because. Pretty much when I started on my third current thing, I started learning Russ, but for me it’s been super useful and fun as just a way to learn a little bit it’s lower level programming. Right. And so Swift, the thing that, and this is like, especially when creating task paper and just in general programming on the Macintosh, even in objective C as you’re building off all these frameworks that are closed source, and that’s always been a huge frustration for me.

Um, cause I can never, I never, like, I dunno, I don’t have like a team of people or anybody I know who really programs right around me, especially programs, Macintosh stuff. And so the way to find the right way to do things [00:22:00] is, I don’t know how you do it really, you know, you search on stack overflow or get hub or something.

And it used to, like when I first started out mailing lists really useful, but I haven’t got a useful answer from a objective C or Swift mailing list. And I’m not sure I have, there’s probably some Google search that will show somebody meaning that people are very nice, but a lot of the time you don’t get the answer.

Like, you know, why, why is this happening? And there’s no way to find out really. And so the thing that I love about rust is that. All those frameworks are open source and you can just dig down. And also it’s small enough now that there’s, you you’re, you’re, you’re quickly humbled and how little, you know, with at least I am with all my questions to rust people.

Cause they’re sort of much lower the people who are sort of the foundation of it, know lots of low level stuff that I don’t know, but I’ve found that boy, they have explained stuff to me so often and so quickly, and I’m sort of amazed now. It hasn’t actually helped me really some product, but. [00:23:00] They, it sure is fun.


Jesse:and it’s really so Swift, I always have all these problems making it fast. Uh, trance, you know, is this string in an Estring? What’s the conversion between the two, et cetera. And it just drives me nuts cause I can never tell. What’s actually really happening, if that makes sense. And it creates performance problems and it creates just general frustration.

Whereas with rust it’s, you know, that what’s happening is right there in front of you. If you just look hard enough and you can see the bit turning or whatever, um, now it might take a while to actually figure it out, but that’s really satisfying to me.

Brett:The source and everything is part of the beauty of something like Swift is, uh, you don’t have to, [00:24:00] you don’t have to know how everything works. You kind of, you have these simple to use tools to accomplish the tasks you’re allowed to accomplish, accomplish.

Jesse:Yup. And, and I would say that you were asking, I was, should I learn rushed instead of Swift? I think probably the answer for most Mac programmers are 99.9 is probably no. Swift is definitely the straightaway to go with. That said rust is famous for being hard to learn. And I definitely, it wasn’t easy for me to learn.

But I feel like I know it pretty well now. And I’ve programmed in Swift, probably just as much, but I know Swift less. Well, it feels like Swift has a lot more, I don’t know when it’s dumb, but you know, there’s like protocol or an in programming and there was some talk that they gave. And I certainly, I think I know what a program protocol is and what protocol oriented programming is pretty well, but [00:25:00] there’s all these weird little cases like.

Conformance something. I, you know, I’m just throwing out words. Cause I don’t know what the exact detail was, but in rust it has some similar issues, but, and maybe I, I expect they’re probably very similar and the same answers on both of them rust. I feel like I know that the various ins and outs Swift, I never quite know why, you know, if that makes sense. And there’s some. Details to the Swift and Swift is also growing much faster. I don’t know. There’s just the language itself. I think again, I’m not an expert. And I think under the hood there, they’re very similar in a lot of ways, you know, they’re both, uh, typed with templates and all this stuff, but I tend to like Russ better.

Although I suspect it you’ll actually make an app faster, especially on the Mac with Swift. Maybe not.



Brett:Um, so you said something about, uh, liking markdown, but the looking [00:26:00] at the files made you uneasy.

Jesse:Yeah, just,


Jesse:well, uh, so like right now, I dunno, I’m looking at my I’m in task paper. I just have a few notes on what my three things I was going to talk about, you know, very short, a couple of paragraphs and. Even looking there, like I have questions, should I put a dash in front of it? Or should I just make a simple outline without the dashes?

And I decided like, without the dashes, although I’m not sure I wanted all the Taluk, which is what task paper does when you don’t put a dash in front of it and Mark down the heading thing. I’ve never liked the way the headings look, which is dumb

Brett:w like the ATX style with

Jesse:Yeah, yeah, yeah. That, that. Big thing that ATX style.

Yeah. And I’ve almost found that like, uh, I hardly ever use an iPad, but I sit with my son sometimes when he’s going to sleep [00:27:00] and I’ve been writing in like the Apple notes app with rich text and I’m like, huh, I kind of liked this better than, you know, cause it just looks cleaner. And so test paper, I mean folding texts, one thing I didn’t like was the.

That style, but also just, I was trying to map it to an outline because that’s what my query language is based on and the whole API for manipulating it. And while some of it maps, a lot of it maps very cleanly to an outline, there’s all kinds of edge cases. And that was, I think, more than just the way it looks.

That was probably the big thing is that it, it didn’t map to an outline. And that’s what the end goal was. And of course, I mean, it kind of does, but you know, there’s just all kinds of weird cases that it’s, it’s the who’s, what’s the child here, you know, or if you move this here, how do you keep it a valid thing?

If you move this item here and the parent is a list item and you know, there’s all kinds [00:28:00] of complexity.

Brett:um, so I know folding texted did this to some extent, but have you ever worked in. Any of the editors that really make like markdown look like rich texts. So like once, once you hit enter on a headline, it turns it into a like three, uh, like 21 point bold.

Jesse:Right. And I, I haven’t were, I mean, I that’s sort of, I. You know, like notion and those things kind of do that kind of, I mean, they, if they’re not marked down, but they, you kinda enter text and then you set the type and then it’s set and it’s, it’s different than like select highlighting it and saying bold.

Um, and I liked that, um, the. And I’ve I think I forget there was one big one with the Mac that was like the first one. I think it was a cross-platform app. That was the first one. Anyway, that I’d seen that did that for Mark down in it. It doesn’t even, [00:29:00] you don’t even have to press enter. Right. You just kind of, it recognizes it on the fly.

And I liked that idea a lot. Um, but it’s hard. I don’t know. I haven’t, uh, I’m not sure. I like it enough to. I’m a little bit against magic kind of things and that’s magic. Um, but it might be, I don’t know, I haven’t I’m for it, but I haven’t done it Quip. Yes.

Brett:I’m a big fan of Quip as an alternative to Google docs. Anyway.

Jesse:Yeah, I’m trying to like, again, my using it’s in the pile of apps on my desktop. I don’t remember. Yeah. So I’m just opening it to remember what it looks like. It looks different now. I guess the things with, I like it. It’s neat. It does so much though. That, which are obviously an app does so much, you can just, you don’t have to do it right.

[00:30:00] But still, whenever I look at it, I think of that. Um, I guess the things that sort of with notion and all these apps, they have this idea of, you know, there’s this constant, uh, button hovering so that you can change the type of items, which again, I liked that idea, but at the same time,

Brett:It is a web it’s a web view. It, I think it’s. I think the desktop version is electronic, but it’s a web app. I like that. If you, if you start align with, with three hashtags hashes and then type a headline, when [00:31:00] you, when you, Oh, as soon as you hit space after the hash, is it switches the type to an H three.

If you type a dash and then space, it starts a bullet list for you. And then if you copy stuff out,

Jesse:Yeah. Yup. Yeah. And it, um, I do like it, so I don’t know. I’m still how far away I’m on my current project. So I go back and forth one thing, uh, So I, I guess the, the, the, to the next version of task paper on, on one hand, the idea was to, yes. Do very much that kind of thing. Like add support for bold and Italian, like, and things like that, um, that were where you wouldn’t have to type out the markdown things and links.

Those are the kinds [00:32:00] of bold italic and links without seeing all the, the, the syntax or the link. Um, but then on the other hand, my other thought is,

Brett:which is kind of the idea behind markdown to begin with.

Jesse:I guess I would say w w w all within the same app and as by design, kind of w which, and by reports, I think of like a calendar view as a report, or, you know, a, my to-do my schedule for this week, like two dues that are due. Cause a lot of the time people use task paper and it’s [00:33:00] they for to-do lists and they always want to generate, you know, What’s going to happen next week.

How do I gather my things? And I can do it in, uh, you know, the task paper has all these queries and you can do it, but it always feels to me like, boy, this would just be better if you just generated it in a nice, clean view that was displayed in a web view or something. But you could switch back and forth very quick.

And then you would have super simple editing without having to worry about folds and all this stuff in your way. You kind of have both of them. And so that, that is very much like down, but not, not, uh, extending the idea beyond just a published document to other, squeezing the data into other views.

Brett:all right. Well, I look forward to what you’re working on. I look forward to seeing this.

Jesse:Me too.

Brett:All right. Well, let’s talk about some top three picks.

Jesse:All right. Um, um, let’s see. [00:34:00] So we, I have two, two kids, one in high school and one’s in fifth grade and the fifth grader, big into board games. And so the family minus the high school or wait, we play board games and a current one that we really like is wingspan, which I don’t know if you play board games, but.

For me, I

Brett:before the pandemic, I did enjoy a good game night.

Jesse:Oh yeah. Okay. Yep. Well, w w uh, I don’t know. I always there there’s like, they’re not new anymore, but you know, the non monopoly games, so ones with lots of rules and pieces and things like that. We like those ones, except there’s sort of cooperative ones, which.

[00:35:00] I guess they called it an engine building game, you know, where each person is working on their own. And there’s not too much conflict of like over territory or something, but, uh, or anyway, it’s, uh, we’re having a lot of fun with it.

Brett:that sounds cool. I, uh, I, I bought, uh, the game pandemic,


Brett:Before the pandemic I bought, because I liked the idea of a cooperative board game. I’ve never actually played it. Uh,

Jesse:well, we, we have pandemic too, and I love the idea, but it, in the end, in my experience, lots, I know people who love pandemic, but for me, um, I don’t know. It turns it’s more of a conversation. You, you, you don’t, you, you don’t sit there and think about your own stuff and dream up your own things. You spend the entire time collaborating with other people, which.

That sounds good. Doesn’t it? But I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m not as interested in that.

Brett:So [00:36:00] what’s the basic idea behind wingspan.

Jesse:Um, well, the first thing, even for us who liked to play all these board games, I don’t know what the first version, the first time you play it, it’s very confusing, but it’s a game where you have, uh, cards that you draw and, uh, which are birds. You’re you’re you have an apiary, I guess it’s called and, uh, Um, so you’ve got birds which are coming in the form of cards and you’ve got eggs, which are how you get new birds kind of, and you’ve got food.

And so those are your cards, eggs, and food. And then you can, uh, fill out these various habitats and cards have powers. And then when you sort of go to a habitat for a resource, all the cards that are in it, Have powers that might play. So when you kind of just, you build up an engine, you know, where, okay.

Now when I do this, all these things happen. Cause I [00:37:00] planned ahead or I got lucky or something. And so when you start out, it’s slow, but as you go, it gets better and it’s yeah, it sounds, and it seems like you never, the games are usually pretty close. Like, you know, I guess 70 points is a kind of a base score and it seems like everybody’s within 10 of it.

So that’s nice. And you’re not like, I don’t know. There’s some games where you can very easily defeat the other person or at least provide offend against them. And this one, you’re all kind of working against on your own with you. There’s some ways to compete, but it’s not, you’re working on your own. Then you compare scores in the end.

Brett:what’s the balance in rough estimate, balanced between, uh, luck and strategy.

Jesse:I don’t know. Cause I haven’t usually when I, when it’s, there’s a lot of strategy involved, but then sometimes I get unlucky and I, I don’t know. [00:38:00] Um, basically, I don’t know, cause I haven’t, I’ve played it for maybe a month. Um, but it seems like with us, everybody has one. Similar amounts of time, which would mean to me, that must be lots of luck, but when you, when you feel like you’re, you feel like you’re in control, so, you know, I that’s, that’s the best kind, right? Right. And this one, I think that there’s the competition isn’t so direct. Well, one, I’m not like we, I play board games. If I’m casual, you know, there’s lots of forums where you’ll find some expert who I’m sure has a, a much better opinion on all this, but for me, it’s just, uh, it’s more the [00:39:00] fun part. Is kind of building up your engine and seeing how it goes, and then you’ll be like, Oh, I think it’s not obvious to me either at the end of the game, which one of which, which of us has one, then you count all the points.

Cause there’s a number of different dimensions that you total at the points in your, Oh, I won or, Oh, I won. So it’s more kind of building a satisfying engine, at least that’s how I see it when I’m playing it right now.

Brett:all right. Well, that sounds like something I’m going to check out.

Jesse:You don’t mind tell you recommended and uh, And I think actually it’s, uh, we play the board game, but it’s a computer game too, which my wife plays w w and I think I try to stay away from if I have the board game and I play it on the iPad or something, then all of a sudden the board game becomes much less fun.

Cause you have to like wait forever if you’re used to going fast. But, uh, anyway, there, there is a computer game and that’s another way

Brett:have you tried any of the online card games?

Jesse:I haven’t no.

Brett:a, there are [00:40:00] a couple online versions of cards against humanity that I’ve had. Like we started having, um, Plex based watch together movie nights, uh, after quarantine started. And, and that’s been a lot of fun and great way to, I like ’em better than actual movie nights where I had to go to someone’s house.

Um, but online card games have actually been. Uh, a good, a good substitute for game nights and the cards against humanities that are out there, uh, kind of clones they’re, they’re fun. They’re sketchy. Uh, they, they crash a lot, but yeah, I have found, I don’t have a family per se. I have my partner and the two of us together are good at like cribbage.

But board games aren’t as much fun with just two people. Uh,

Jesse:Right. Oh, the wings, the wingspan game does, you can do it with two people since it’s pretty much just you building your own thing. So that’s, that’s [00:41:00] one good thing about it.

Brett:Yeah. I would be curious about finding a board board game board poured style games that could be played by groups online. I haven’t looked into that much yet.

Jesse:Yeah. It seems like that. Again, I haven’t looked deeply. I like. Uh, carcass on, on the iPad is that’s always, I’ve looked at other ones and they’re never as fun as that, that, like, I think it’s actually, there’s a new version now maybe, but the coding monkeys people, I think that people made a card game and it was like, or a board game.

And I still play that one. I liked that one, but, yep.

Brett:right, so what’s your second pick.

Jesse:All right. Well, my second one is, is. I have lots of hesitation, but it’s the quest two headset, which is a VR thing. And it’s got it’s Facebook. It’s, you’re selling your soul when you buy it. And it’s also VR, which I’m [00:42:00] not, you know, you plug yourself in, and now you’re in a new world, which are all things that are not entirely appealing to me with that said it’s.

Then I thought it’s really cool looking. So I don’t play many video games, like, you know, the 2d or, you know, fancy, uh, where you have a fancy IBM PC and you play video games. I don’t do that. Um,

Brett:make PCs

Jesse:right. Either. Yeah. Windows, whatever it is, the stuff I can’t play

Brett:old are you?

Jesse:Yeah. Um, but I do like to every five years or so, look at the latest tech and see, wow, this is how good it looks now.

And. For a long time, it looks better, but I’m just like, this is still so boring. Um, but this VR headset thing, you know, we’ve only had it a month or something, but I’m very impressed the way it looks like it’s just the first one. It’s like, wow, I can’t believe technology does this. And now it’s sort of [00:43:00] a little bit boring now that you know, it’s still a video game and the actual games aren’t quite as interesting, but just for a tech demo.

Um, I’m amazed that it’s possible. And I’m sure, I mean, I think VR headsets that are somewhat similar must be around for the last five years or maybe longer, but it’s the first time I’ve been exposed and I was like, wow, this is quite the amazing thing.

Brett:I want to say October, uh, I, I had a guest, um, who was that?

It was, Oh, Alex Cox was on and, uh, their pick for, uh, one of their, one of their top three picks was the Oculus quest, like first version. So at which is no longer available in just a short, short span of time. Since October, apparently when did the two come out,

Jesse:Uh, I think October actually [00:44:00] seriously, maybe I, it was, it was before Christmas anyway.

Brett:do you, you don’t have any grounds for comparison, like you don’t know

Jesse:No, yeah, no, I have no idea. I’m just rather amazed like this, this one, you know, requires no separate computer. You has no chords, you just kind of plug in and it looks fancy and it tracks you so closely. It’s kind of amazing.

Brett:what kind of stuff do you do with it?

Jesse:Well, yeah, the best part by far for me is just the, the wow factor of, um, you know, their initial demos the first day. You’re just like, wow, this is amazing. And it’s so, and so what do we actually do with it? Um, The, the, whatever the beat saber is the only one that I sort of can play over where you sit there and slash away with music blaring in your ears, but it’s kind of fun.

Yes, I think so. It’s, it’s sort of there there’s very much, again, for me, who’s not a big gamer person. I’ve tried demos of other stuff and it’s not nearly as, you know, [00:45:00] fun, but that one’s neat. And. I don’t love plugging myself in and having everything else go away, but it is neat saying, all right, maybe I’ll dry this and then, huh, that’s going to make me stand up and jump around.

And that’s kinda neat. I like, I like that.

Brett:nice. That’s why I bought, that’s why I bought, uh, an X-Box whatever with the connect. Uh, I thought it was after the, we came out and the, we didn’t appeal to me, but I thought that connect would make me enjoy video gaming more if it was more of a full body experience, uh, that did not turn out to be true.

Jesse:Yeah, I don’t, I’m not, I’ve never tried that or really know anything about it, but what, what is the con. no, not that [00:46:00] I can find. No. I mean, for me, really, the, there there’s the beat saver. One is really neat. Um, I don’t know if you, you could get bored of it pretty quick, but ni Justin that you go do it. And it’s like, wow, that’s pretty neat. You know, after 15 minutes, my face hurts and I, you, it’s not something you do for a super long period of time, but it’s just kind of a neat experience.

Um, and I ha we haven’t bought a ton of other ones. There’s like a shooting arrows one, which is kinda neat. And my son really likes that and runs around like crazy and sweats a lot. I’ve tried it and I kinda like it, but not, not really used to it. It’s more tense, beat sabers, just kind of satisfying instead of tense, if that makes sense.

Um, yeah, but give a try or try a friends or something. Um, but just as far as a tech technology demo that I wasn’t aware of, it’s pretty cool.

Brett:Awesome. All [00:47:00] right. Well, hopefully they’ll get more comfortable over time to think that would be the next step.

Jesse:Well, yeah, although I don’t know if I really would want to spend, I mean, maybe I would want to, I don’t know if I would want myself to spend all day in there, but you know, but yup.

Brett:I could see, like, if, if I could actually work, if I could code in a new environment, like it seems to open up the possibilities, a minority report style for actually building interfaces. Uh, for doing, you know, your, your work or, or your hobbies, but to, to build new paradigms of, of human input devices like that, that’s the stuff I find most interesting about, uh, the possibilities of VR

Jesse:Yeah. Yeah. And they do, they do have, I haven’t tried them, but apps that, you know, allow you to open lots, your computer screen, you know, 15 times or something. And I,


Jesse:yeah, it would be [00:48:00] neat. Although I think it would, I don’t think I would be able to survive, you know, it, it would my eyes and my head and everything would get too tired.

But, um, so I haven’t really tried it, but it certainly is it certainly as a new, uh, new technology that’s interesting, or one that I wasn’t aware of any way. It’s not that new kind of thing, but you know,

Brett:it’s newish.

Jesse:new-ish yes.

Brett:All right. So what’s your third pick?

Jesse:Um, I guess morning drinks. And so just espresso and tea. I drink a lot of like, I like fancy green teas and.

Espresso machine. Um, I sort of, I never drank coffee and then I decided, well, I should try it out. Everybody likes it. And then I decided that, um, I would like espresso cause that’s, I sort of like processes and complexity and wasting time. And that seemed the best, the most complex way to make coffee. And so, um, [00:49:00] looked into that and then eventually got this old used broken actually too.

Commercial espresso machines and then put them together. And that was a into one that worked. And so I know nothing about that kind of stuff, but it was a fun project over the maybe a year ago. I think I finally got started working.

Brett:I would be really curious to, like I have, I have an espresso machine and I love it. I use it daily, but I don’t really understand how it works. would be an interesting project to me.

Jesse:Yeah, it’s definitely, um, I know nothing about any, anything that’s physical and it scared me a little bit in that there’s electricity involved. Um, but there’s, you know, lots of friendly people in forms. And if you send pictures and act dumb, cause you are dumb, I got a lot of help and it was a fun project.

Um, and. Oh, go [00:50:00] ahead.

Brett:Can you imagine if Rob Tru was into espresso machines?

Jesse:I know maybe. Yeah. There’s, there’s the, the one thing about espresso is that I think I don’t really taste stuff. I like lots of food and do lots of food stuff, but I don’t taste like I’m not, if I make it. And there was a long process, I’ll like it, no matter what, there’s no choice. And so lots of the people in the espresso forums are talking a lot about different flavors and, uh, how, how do I get this?

And my machine’s a commercial one, but an older it’s like 20 years old. And a lot of them talk about temperature is sort of the defining factor. And I don’t have much control over temperature. And I also haven’t ever like had espresso with somebody who knows what things tastes like and can say, this is this.

That is that. Um, so yeah, my I’m sort of. I’m missing a lot of it, but I’m still having lots of fun with it.

[00:51:00] Brett:Even medium, but especially to dark, I’ve gone like all in on light roast coffee.

Jesse:Yeah. And that seems from what I’ve read, that seems to be the big that’s what all the fancy espresso machines. At least in the forums I read are trying to do now is make it so that you can extract it more, you know, it’s, it’s more temperamental and so you can extract it better. And I also have kind of liked, I always describe it as sort of a sour taste.

Although I think that people say that’s wrong. It’s, there’s some other better way to describe it, sours wrong, but, uh,

Brett:know all the wine tastes or words

Jesse:Yeah. Yeah. I think sours has negative connotations, but, but I, I also kind of like that all the, my, my wife is very firmly. Doesn’t like that sour taste and likes the darker, darker ones. So I don’t know.

Brett:L L went and bought her [00:52:00] own like coffee set up like a stove, top espresso thing. Because my, when, when I get espresso, quote unquote, right when I’m really happy with it, uh, she, she doesn’t like it at all,


Brett:too bitter. Um, I, I, like I said, I don’t know all the words, like what I considered to be like the high notes.

I really liked those strong and, and to her that she likes dark Rose, rich smooth coffee, which is to me a failure on my espresso machine. So she’s, she’s, you know, taking coffee, making, uh, uh, uh, on, on her own

Jesse:Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m still, I still get to make it and I’ve been, I usually add D like foam milk and stuff. So in the end they all taste pretty good, but, uh,

Brett:I, I found out I, well, I guess I kind of knew, but I confirmed that I have a, uh, [00:53:00] lactose intolerance, so it took some searching, but I actually found an oat milk, uh, uh, barista edition. I think it’s by Oatley. That I can get a great micro-foam out of, on my espresso machine. And

Jesse:Oh, cool. Yeah.

Brett:enjoying that.

Jesse:Yeah, I’m always, I’m always amazed. I am not, for me. It’s, it’s very much jug of milk specific. Like some jugs of milk will work so well and then some have a problem and it’s very noticeable. Just that whole jug has a problem. And then the next one is perfect the whole way. I don’t know. It’s interesting.

Brett:I will throw in a mention here, uh, for you and for my listeners, uh, crema, uh, it’s uh, uh, coffee company, prima.co. Uh, they, they bend like a whole array of different roasters and different roasts. And you can create these [00:54:00] playlists and schedule like weekly or bi-weekly or monthly. Uh, just automatic, uh, that it shows up at your door.

And I have found so many good coffees with this and, uh, I love it so much that I’ll give you my affiliate link and save you some money and make me some, uh, some free coffee out of the deal.

Jesse:All right. Yeah, definitely.

Brett:yeah, that’ll, that’ll be in the show notes. Uh, I absolutely love the service. I should get them to sponsor the show.

Jesse:I’ve been buying. I, I, the, I I’ve generally been buying like five pound bags and then put them in the freezer and. So, I don’t know if this one looks like it may be a smaller, but anyway, I’ll check. Check it out

Brett:can order, you can order five pound

Jesse:Oh, you can. Okay, cool. Okay, good. I, I like stuff cheap

Brett:I like to, yeah. It’s it’s not cheap. I spend, I spend probably 40 bucks a month on coffee. Um, But if you really like one that they send [00:55:00] you, you can, uh, load up your, your recent cause you rate your copies as you go, and you can order a five pound bag of one that you really like, uh, and get it set separately, get it sent separately from your a subscription.

But, um, there is something to be said for this. I like it. If I make it myself thing, I, uh, like mushrooms, I have never liked mushrooms. Until I started cooking them for myself and coming up with kind of processes for cooking mushrooms. And as of just the last couple of months, I can honestly say I like mushrooms now

Jesse:Oh yeah.

Brett:of hating mushrooms.

Jesse:Well, yeah, I’ve always, I kind of like most food, but yeah, I definitely have almost as much or more fun doing, like I do the wine kit stuff and a lot, lots of process, stuff like that and the results. I don’t know if I can know [00:56:00] that they’re all, none of them are perfect there, but they’re all good. But the process is very fun and it’s, and also just the.

Uh, I very much like the, the, the bulk having much, much of something. So if you have 30 bottles of wine that you’ve just made, or if you have a whole espresso machine and all the beans you want, you know, it’s, it’s very fun to have as much as you want.

Brett:For sure. Noah, no extinction instinct.

Jesse:Yes, exactly.

Brett:All right. So if people want to, uh, keep up with your work, where should they find you?

Jesse:Um, well, uh, Task paper, user forums is where, uh, that’s that’s the public place where we talk nowadays. Um, so it’s task, paper.com. And then if you go to user forums, that’s where you’ll get, if you have questions or something like that.

Brett:and you’re on Twitter as Jesse Gross Jean,

Jesse:Oh yeah, I am. Yeah, I haven’t, I kind of read Twitter, but I haven’t, I don’t post much, but yes.

Brett:that’s funny because on the folding Tech’s website, it’s [00:57:00] suggest following year.

Jesse:Yeah. You know, Yeah. Yeah. You know how those things work.

Brett:All right. Well, thanks for your time today.

Jesse:Okay. Thank you for having me.

Brett:It’s been a pleasure. I hope we, I hope we get to catch up again in less than eight years and, uh, and do keep me posted about, about this new project of yours.

Jesse:Sure. I will. And, and add me to the envy all thing and, you know yeah. Ultra ultra and the, uh, that coffee thing you said was there was a link or how was that? That,

Brett:Uh, I will send you, uh, my affiliate link. So if you love it, we’ll both get something out of it.

Jesse:Cool. Okay.

Brett:All right. Well, have a great week and everyone, I will talk to you next week.

Jesse:All right. Bye-bye.