So, the little dude has - unsurprisingly - a great backpack. It's a Red Oxx kids backpack, and it's both indestructible and very well suited to the "Time to go to locker between classes? HA HA HA" lifestyle he lives. It's main flaw is the laptop compartment offers no protection
Design is intended to be used with a separate laptop sleeve or similar (or with no laptop), but adding one more layer of unpacking to his process is not going to end well for computers, as we have some evidence of.
So I am now considering other backpacks which will hold a crapton of textbooks, but also keep his laptop safe. I have some good contenders on hand, but I figured I'd check what recommendations they have out there for students.

Answer: Only crappy ones.
I mean, there are some ok reccs - can't go wrong with a Jansport, honestly - but most of the reccs are very clearly by people who have possibly never met kids, much less considered how much crap they have to carry.
Some of these bags might be reasonable if prefaced by the explanation "if your school has lots of time between classes, so you only need to carry a little at the time, and you're of course using roller luggage for what you take home and bring in, this slimline bag is hyper cool!"
"Hey Kids, I know you're carrying forty pounds of books plus gym clothes, but have you considered this quirky design with a retro aesthetic and zero consideration for ergonomics? It's totally the thing!"
Advice this bad is just infuriating.

Anyway, the challenge here is that there are a LOT of great bags that offer excellent organizational options, and those are good for the office, but less good for textbooks & notebooks. He needs a big, cavernous space.
Which is why I'm not joking at all about not going wrong with a Jansport. The basic Jansport config, with a good laptop compartment added, is all about cavernous space. It sets the bar, and the number of other bags that clear the bar is...low.
Yes, a GoRuck could do the job, but there are to considerations.

1. Clamshell open is great for access, but requires space that is frequently unavailable at school. A large top load is going to be better.

2. Gorucks are too dang expensive for this.
That said, I think he wants to hijack my CPL24, which has some structural similarities to the GR-1, but is less military in look. He has described it as feeling like an adventurer's backpack, so that may trump all other considerations.
But in terms of things in the house, the main contenders are the CPL, A Jansport Tech, and an ebags Slim Traveller. I have a couple maybes, but since my own tastes run towards slim bags, they're iffy.
We've also had a few disqualifications for lack of coolness. Had a Briggs & Stratton carryon backpack that was perfect in terms of how much it could hold, but it was blocky and super uncool. And I could not fault his judgement.
Anyway, fun problem to have. :)
Verdict Is in and the winner is the CPL24 by a mile. He immediately started running around and shadow boxing in it. The rigid back and super comfortable straps mean the excessive weight stays comfortable, and the laptop protection rocks.

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More from @rdonoghue

23 Nov
So I finished up watching Arcane, and I enjoyed it, but I'm really annoyed that I didn't recognize that Kevin Alejandro was voicing Jace. Having just been delighted by his acting (and directing!) in the final season of Lucifer, that was kind of cool.
Confession: I was a little let down by the super punching. It was fun, no question, but at no point did the fights manage to pass the quality of the bridge fight in ep 3, which was brutal and magnificent.
Also, I am much more forgiving of hoverboards by virtue of being delighted across the board(ha ha) with Echo and his spotlight episode. All in all, the tertiary threads (Viktor, Echo, Heidigger) were where the real story strength came through.
Read 19 tweets
23 Nov
Reading a random Pirates of the Caribbean remark (like I said, random) has me thinking that RPGs would really benefit from language that allows someone to simultaneously be THE BEST and also THE WORST at something simultaneously.
It absolutely won't work in all genres, so obviously not something for all games, but there's a whole slice of play where "Incredibly competent within my domain but you can be confident my every action will end with disaster" is a legitimate space to claim.
This is easy enough to *do* in many games. If the agreed upon fiction in a Blades in the Dark game is that you are the best lockpick in the city, but you only have a small dice pool, those dice are going to go wrong a LOT.
Read 10 tweets
21 Nov
This, I should note, is why it is very weird to follow different rules for building a town and building a dungeon. In classic terms, the dungeon is just a town full of people you're allowed to murder.
Yes, I'm being both tongue in cheek and deadly serious. The dungeon full of murderable intelligent beings *is* a weird, sketchy idea in need of interrogation, but ALSO, if you're going to accept it, then it merits a little bit of thought about logistics. Food, Water & Waste.
(The challenge, of course, is that once you start thinking about WHY they picked this dungeon to live, how they survive, how the community forms, it becomes harder and harder to think of them as murderbags. Weird.)
Read 7 tweets
20 Nov
Sidebar: I have 100% been the GM who would kill a player because they spit in the mob boss's face.

I'm not anymore, but at the time, it was 100% logical. An NPC is very vibrant in my mind, and responding with lethal force was entirely "what my character would do", just as a GM
Spoiler #1: that's as much or more of a red flag for a GM as it is for the player.

Spoiler #2: There is no way to pretend this wasn't also about the player failing to RESPECT this NPC, and that I WOULD SHOW THEM. No way I'd have admitted it, but that was totally in play.
The thinking behind this is not malicious, or even explicitly anti-player. It's just the narrative logic of the game carrying forward. As long as you buy into this logic, it's easy to be an utterly monstrous GM with neither guilt nor shame.
Read 21 tweets
18 Nov
I've been getting involved more in how we form scrum teams (in the logistics and hiring sense, not the "forming, storming etc) and it's struck me that it is ass backwards that we seek out Scrum Masters & Product Owners the same way.
Getting a Scrum master for a team is like hiring any other specialist. Some overlap of domain knowledge is valuable, but you are bringing them in to do specific work with specific tools and learning what they know is part of the expertise.
Like a facilitator, much of what a good scrum master can contribute is agnostic to what the product is. Expertise and learning add value, but the baseline requires very little. Which is great, because it means you can air drop a scrum master into most situations and see results
Read 32 tweets
18 Nov
Just seeing the snippets from #agiletesting is making me miss live events. Not because of seeing people (though I miss the too) but because actual presentations are so much better than Zoom presos.
Not that Zoom presos are bad - they enable lots of things that would otherwise be impossible - but they impose different constraints on the speaker, and because we’re still immature at this, they are not all terribly fruitful.
Zoom (as a stand in for the category of software) makes the habit of presenting to the slide deck so much worse due to the default nature of screen sharing. It removes the speakers ability to read and respond to the room.
Read 4 tweets

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