Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Tesla model Y performance after 1 year. My review

So tomorrow marks 1 year to the day that I picked up my Tesla model Y. Previously I was driving a 2015 black model S 85D, which was still excellent, still had decent range, and which I resold for about half what I bought it for 7 years earlier. I was pretty happy doing that. I used webuyanycar which isn’t the best way to sell, but I hate dealing with people and wanted a zero-stress quick sale. FWIW I bought the model Y cash, not lease, and I had to wait a YEAR to get it. Damn you crazy foreign people and your driving on the wrong side of the road!

Specs wise, I basically picked the ‘go ahead and take my money’ version, because I chose red, performance, and Full-Self Driving. FSD gets you nothing but traffic light recognition in the UK for now, but I expect to keep the car 5 years and wanted to lock in FSD for £10k as I expect it to offer more soon.

Here are my general impressions after a year of driving. No massive road trips beyond some 5-600 mile round trips to my solar farm, and only driven in the UK. I live in a rural location in England, lots of narrow roads, dirt tracks etc.

The Good Stuff

It feels MUCH better put together than my model S. The S had panel gaps, because it was an early Tesla, and it was to be honest a little rattly. The new one feels chunkier, sturdier, and feels pretty solid and indestructible. This was a Shanghai built one FWIW. The finish is excellent, the panel gaps non existent. It feels very much like one they made after they have already made a million+ identical ones. Very sturdy. Its also much quieter inside. It has stiff, sporty suspension. Both suspension and noise are apparently even better with newer ones.

Its FAST. Like insanely fast. Its really tricky driving a car like this in 20mph zones. Its like riding a chariot. Its overkill, but its fun. I’d probably be more shocked at the speed if I hadn’t already owned the model S.

The software/UI/infotainment is fantastic. None of the bugs and quirks and failures I experienced in my model S before I upgraded the screen. It feels really slick and easy to use.

The charging is insane amazeballs fast. I actively do not want a car that charges faster than this. This is the ideal rate for me to grab a coffee and a pastry before getting back in the car. People who obsess about charge speeds must have excellent bladders and incredibly tight schedules. Seriously, this is definitely fast enough. Its a fixed problem now!

The sound system is superb. Really quite shockingly good, especially for bass. I noticed this immediately on the very first day. I’ve never heard better in-car sound.

The Bad Stuff

No ultrasonic sensors. This is dumb as hell. It uses ‘tesla vision’ parking assist, which is currently rubbish. It may well get better over time, but right now its inferior to my old model S. Working parking sensors are essential for a big car in the tight parking spaces and lanes in the UK. OTOH reversing is trivial, thanks to 3 rear facing camera views on a huge screen.

Its too fast. Its really major overkill. I should have got the much cheaper long range one. Its so fast that even just lightly tapping the accelerator, I often think cars around me at traffic lights have stalled or not noticed the lights change. Its mad. As someone who is not into ‘track days’, I definitely went too far on this choice. If I had to buy a new one, I’d pick long range.

The Rest

A lot of the other thoughts I have on the car are just personal preference stuff. I nearly got a model 3, but wanted the latest model, so went with the Y. (The new model 3 has come out during my first year of ownership). I do like sitting higher up, but the car is an SUV crossover so its still a bit big for me tbh. The luggage space is absolutely huge, and not something I ever really will need. YMMV, esp if you have kids or dogs or take sports equipment places.

Style wise, I adore it. I love the minimalist interior, although some people hate it. I am totally onboard with the high tech, simple design. Other modern cars now feel hilariously fussy and ridiculous to me inside. One not-obvious benefit is the Y interior is trivial to clean. Cars with 627 buttons on the dashboard must be a nightmare.

In general, I give the car 9/10. I would make it a 10 if the park assist stuff worked better. I would also prefer the auto-wipers to be more reliable than they are, but this is a trivial niggle. I cant think of anything else the car needs. TBH I cannot imagine needing another car, unless it has some amazeballs undreamt of feature. Overall I’m massively happy with it.

Would I recommend it to people? Absolutely if you think the price/specs/size is what you want. As a family sized sporty EV it is unbeatable. The tech is amazing, build quality excellent. Its probably overkill unless you love fast cars and have the cash to spare, and a lot of people would probably see their money better spent on a Nissan leaf or MG4. For people with kids/pets who road trip and need luggage space, its perfect, although for 95% of people the performance option is going to be totally unnecessary, and the model 3 is still cheaper, and almost as good, sacrificing just space.

If you are thinking of getting one, pester me on twitter for a referral code that gets you some freebies! @cliffski.

Is the age of big tech growth over?

Not just as someone who works in tech (as a computer games programmer, and previously, an IT support guy), but also as someone who has invested in the stock market for 20 years, I’ve definitely got used to the idea that the ‘tech titans’ are the lords and masters of the modern world. It certainly has seemed so from a financial point of view, with companies like Apple and Microsoft achieving insanely high market caps, and mind-boggling revenues. When people talk about making big money, they often talk about working for fat salaries at a tech company, or cashing in super-lucrative stock options, or even just being sassy enough to have bought Apple, Microsoft, Facebook stock really early.

Especially in the US, ‘tech-worker’ has been synonymous with money. People with non tech jobs in the San Francisco bay area have long bemonaed the super-wealthy tech workers impact on the cost of housing. Tech workers were so elite, that they got bussed past the remaining poor people directly to their super-high-tech and luxurious offices. At work, thet would be pampered with free food, expert chefs, sushi-on-demand, massages at your desk, huge bonuses (obviously), yoga retreats, amazing health care coverage, and premium coffee. It was like living and working in some star trek future paradise…

But it might, just might be coming to an end, in all sorts of ways.

One of the most interesting developments in tech recently was elon musks buyout of twitter. I have no time for, or patience with the various angry rants about the man, but what I want to talk about is the immediate and dramatic firing of so many employees at twitter. To the mainstream tech media, this was indeed, ‘nasty and brutal and dangerous’, and obviously there was a huge swathe of recently fired twitter employees who were happy to predict the imminent explosion of the western world because they lost their jobs. This is predictable, and not very enlightening. Last time I checked, the world still exists, and twitter is still up and running.

What I find interesting is the divide between many mainstream media reports of the potential catastrophe around firing 50% of the staff….and both the reality, and the barely-heard discourse from some experienced developers who took a different view. Those views are often shared in private, between friends, because sharing any opinion other than ‘firing people is awful’ online is an invitation to horrendous abuse…

Nevertheless, I count myself among those people who shared musks view that it was clear that a LOT of developers working at that company were clearly adding little to no value. In fact, if you have ever worked on a large project with a large number of programmers, you will be aware of a point where adding extra coders actually makes things slower, and worse. With twitter it felt like this had happened years ago, but the hiring kept going. As a long term twitter user, I would struggle to find ANYTHING that was added to the platform in the last decade. There was rumours of longer tweets, which was apparently something akin to the manhattan project and all 7,500 twitter staff could not collectively implement this, let alone an edit button…

The very short time since the twitter takeover has given rise to a huge number of new features. Subscriptions are now a thing (and I subscribed), monetization of content, and premium-paywalled content is now a thing. Super long tweets are now a thing, as is some simple formatting. It turns out that you dont need 7,500 developers to implement a few basic features to an app. Who knew?

Whats interesting to me, apart from twitter as a case study, is that so many companies almost IMMEDIATELY followed suit, and laid off a huge chunk of staff. All over the world of tech, those big companies started firing thousands of developers. Its like Elon has been used as a human shield, absorbing all the hate for layoffs, which have allowed senior management to actually do what they knew needed doing, and firing the least productive staff.

In itself, thats interesting, but just maybe a phase in the continual growth of the power of big tech companies. Firing developers whose productivity is close to zero will cut costs, boost profits but not change the relative power of these companies. However, I suspect there may be bigger, more structural changes coming that will reduce the power of the tech sector in general, and not just the FAANG crowd. AI may shake-up the market and re-arrange which companies are on top, but I think the whole tech market may be heading for a correction. Maybe those tech companies have seen it coming, and is why they were so happy to slim down. Maybe their internal predictions for the future of tech growth are a lot lower than they let on?

There was an interesting story recently about photobooths in south korea. We even saw some when we were there recently. Its a craze, which looks like it may stick around, where groups of friends cram into a photobooth (like passport photos) and take actual old-school real photographs in silly poses wearing hats and with props. Its something people do with a group of friends. Why is this a big threat to big tech? Its because its prioritixing something that is anathema to the tech companies: actual physical activity in the real world, and its taking off in famously tech-friendly south korea.

They say that young people no longer desire possession, but desire experiences. I think thats true. The one exception has been the phone, which has become many peoples most important and valuable possessions, but as more and more revisions come to the latest mobile phone, the feature gap between this year and last years model shrinks even more. I have a samsung galaxy S8. It is absolutely amazing, and does everything I can imagine ever needing. I’d like a longer lasting battery, but not enough to upgrade…

I have a friend who refuses to own a smart phone of any kind. I can send him a text, and thats it. He is happier that way. He is about 12 years younger than me. I have another friend who refuses to be on social media of any kind, even asks people not to post pictures of him. I doubt these people are total outliers. The shine of social media has worn off. Stuff like cambridge analytica, the widespread problem of cyber stalking and online abuse has meant that people are very aware of the downsides to always being on social media.

Because I am old (53 I think?) I can remember before any of this was a thing. My life has taken me from a big chunky (rented) TV with 3 channels, and an expensive home land-line rotary-dial phone, to an age of VR, AI and smartphones. The technological transformation has been absolutely mind blowing. However, taken over a much shorter timescale, I’m not sure whats got better lately. In fact, it feels amost like tech is degrading and getting worse. My new laptop (the old one self-bricked itself due to software after under 2 years) has a one terrabyte SSD (insane), but has software bugs meaning sound is muffled and stuck at 50% volume. Thats brand new out of the box. Utter trash, coded by idiots, probably spending more time at the yoga retreat than learning to write audio drivers…

Tech is losing its sheen. I recently bought this new laptop (about £800) and a new pair of sneakers (£93). I am way more pleased with, and excited by the sneakers than the laptop, and I am a fucking computer programmer. This is weird, this is a change. I can totally see how happiness with ‘real-world’ stuff somehow feels more ‘real’ and ‘wholesome’ than any advance in tech Advances in tech just feel like meaningless numbers. Oh look, a 16MP camera, and a 2TB hard disk. 64 GB RAM Whoop-do. Who fucking cares? a 4K TV… why? whats next? a 32K TV? really?

Why does this matter?

As a stock-market investor, I take this stuff seriously. I spend a lot of time looking at trends, and data and considering what the future brings. Recently I was hunting for stocks and found two companies (Dicks Sporting Goods and Academy Sports and Outdoors) that had insanely low price-to-earnings ratios. This basically means that investors dont think much of the future for those companies. A P/E thats super high implies you expect earnings to climb dramatically, and is appropriate for a fast-growing tech startup. A low P/E implies stagnation, and boredom.

There is a whole host of tech companies with insane high P/Es and a slew of real-world companies with insane low P/Es. This is an opportunity. If I’m right, and people are falling out of love with tech and re-allocating their furure spending towards the real world, then there is a massive opportunity to buy those low P/E companies now and watch the stock climb. I’ve already done this with those 2 companies, and I’m now doing it with the toy company ‘Jakks’. I’ve also got my eye on the company that makes ‘crocs’ footwear. Make no mistake, these companies look boring, but that may be where the value is. I sold some nvidia to buy Jakks.

I have no idea whether my own experiences and views can be generalized, which is why I find the South Korea photobooth phenomena so interesting. Its also why I find the healthy market for live music so fascinating. Crowding together with tens of thousands of people to witness a live event is the complete antithesis of tech. We should all be at home, alone, sending skypes and whatsapp messages to our friends ffs! not actually in the real world with people!

On a related note, I found a recent book interesting. It was about people losing the ability to focus due to social media, but one specific section in there was especially interesting. The author mentioned that it would be trivial for social media apps to have a feature to make it easy to tell us when our friends were nearby, maybe in town the same time as us, so we could arrange an impromptu meetup. If I’m in a coffee shop and it turns out a buddy is in the shop 3 doors down, wouldn’t it be cool to let us know so we can say hi? (optionally!). The thing is… social media companies do not WANT us to do this. All the time we are separate and alone, we use social media, and see ads, and generate data and content, for free. They simply have no way to monetize real world friendship.

For a long time, we have been so dazzled by the shiny features of technology that we have thought of nothing else, but in the same way that electricity or cars were at one point amazing new things to obsess over, maybe ‘tech’ will just become another part of life, such as plumbing, or heating, or home appliances like washing machines. Maybe we will relegate a mobile phone to the same status as a microwave. Why get a microwave 14.0? it still just cooks food right? If we DO this, then the currentl market valuations for a bunch of tech companies are going to collapse. Dont be caught holding speculative tech stocks when the music stops.

Cliff’s ultimate guide to Korean Drama TV (kdramas)

It all started with watching ‘parasite’. We loved it. So much in fact, that I looked at what Korean TV dramas were available on Netflix. That got us hooked, and now I would say probably 75% of my TV viewing is Korean dramas on netflix. I’ve watched a LOT of them, and they are long….. and some are better than others. Here is my much delayed ultimate guide to how to get into korean dramas.


I’ve never watched squid game. I don’t like dark, or violent or ‘harrowing’ TV. If you loved squid game and want more of the same, I cannot help you. The kind of drama I like is very very low-stakes. Think downton abbey with noodles. There are no exploding helicopters or torture scenes. Although some of the dinner-table arguments in some kdramas are a sort of mental torture I guess…


Do you have Misophonia? Its a fear/hatred of the sounds of people eating, specifically slurping. If so. Just stop reading here. Its culturally totally accepted for people to make loud slurping noises when eating and drinking in Korea. Its expected. I’ve sat through hours of people slurping noodles noisely. You have been warned.

Does workplace bullying trigger you? If so, you may also want to quit now. There are constant themes of workplace bullying in Korean dramas. I dont mean passive-aggressive emails, I mean people physically assaulting subordinates in an office and yelling abuse in their faces. Super common. Its kinda shocking.

There is no sex and almost no violence. Thats likely a positive but some people will find Korean dramas laughably tame. I’m sticking with my ‘downton abbey with noodles’ theme. The EMOTIONAL power of the best of the series is exceptional, but I am yet to see an exploding helicopter.


KDramas do some weird things that western dramas just DO NOT DO. For example, if someone smiles in some of the lighter dramas, and its supposed to be cute, don’t be shocked to see some added emojis and cartoon graphics appear on screen. Its a thing. Also, don’t be surprised if, the first time we see a good looking young man, he is walking in slow motion with his own theme song. Yup, thats a thing too. Oh and there will be an enormous amount of bowing, of drinking soju, a lot of people printing documents and shredding and scanning documents, a lot of late night drinking in bars that are seemingly tents, and a staggering amount of discussion of school homework.


People who have only watched one KDrama apart from squid game have watched this one. I almost skipped it, because the premise was so stupid: Fashion designer and daughter of billionaire accidentally skydives into North Korea’. Seriously? Although apparently this is more common that you might think. Anyway… this is a really good one. Its a romance, but its the most ‘action’ of all the dramas listed here. There are actual chases! on a motorbike! someone fires a gun!

CLOY (as its known) is a typically epic story about the repercussions of a wealthy families daughter ending up in North Korea. Its a very clever intertwined romance that involves a bunch of people, multiple families, a lot of history, a cover-up and conspiracy, corruption, and lots more. You might *think* at the start that its a lightweight comedy, but its actually got more depth than you think. Its also got a superb cast.

CLOY plays heavily with the hilarity of a wealthy fashion celeb who finds herself stuck in a peasant village, where only 4 different state-sanctioned hairstyles are permitted, and everything she tells people about her life is dismissed as ‘southern propaganda’. The North Korean soldiers who find her are often hilarious. CLOY got some grief for not depicting North Korean life as harshly as it maybe should have, which is fair, but its a comedy and a romance, not a documentary. Its long, but worth the effort. I’ve watched the whole thing twice.


Do you think parents put too much pressure on their kids to do well at school? HAHAHAHA. You might think that, but unless you are an upper-middle class South Korean mother, you are absolutely kidding. This drama shows you what REAL pressure on kids is like, and this is a common theme in many kdramas. South Korean kids have a staggeringly high suicide rate, and when you watch this series you will understand why. Oh. My. God.

Like all the best kdramas, the first few episodes of Sky castle make you think you know how its all going to go. ‘Ok, so its about all these elite families and the lengths they go to in order to get their kids to the top of the class right?’ But it goes way further, and into way more into depth than you expect. Characters that you think you know all about very definitely turn out to have more depth. It also has some really superb performances, and is very, very emotional. I don’t have kids, and I’m massively affected by watching this. Its maybe a bit long, and some of the more lightweight plots, to do with the day jobs (mostly as doctors) of the parents can seem a bit ‘meh’ compared to the fairly dark and serious stuff, but I massively recommend this. It probably has the most jaw-open OMG moments of any kdrama


Not for everyone. Its unusual. EAW is about Koreas first attorney who is diagnosed as autistic. I REALLY like it. It handles it very well, although the lead character is probably a bit of a media-cliche of someone with autism. On the surface, again like all kdramas, its a simple premise: Young attorney Woo starts her first ever job, and learns to navigate the work environment, and make new friends. However, over time, you realize there is a lot of backstory and bigger, more serious plot also playing out in the background.

The thing that really makes this special for me is the way in which they portray an autistic character as being openly, proudly and specifically autistic. There is none of this ‘shes a bit different’ or ‘thats just how she is I guess’ coded bullshit. She even introduces herself as autistic to the jury. Its really nicely done. I warn you that its one of those ‘wacky’ kdramas that is not afraid of cartoon sound effects and other silliness. Whenever Woo ‘cracks a case’ she gets visions of dolphins and her hair is blown back the wind. Yes really.

Woo also has some really great performances. Specifically, her immediate boss does a brilliant job of navigating from arrogant and work-obsessed lawyer who hates the idea of woo in the office, to understanding, to friendship, and eventually to becoming a really likable character. Unlike the other shows listed here, Woo is very episodic. Each episode in a case, and the over-arching drama/romance is secondary.


This one is SO HARD to describe without it sounding boring, or unfocused. It is however, excellent, and probably has the best acting out of all these ones listed here, plus some great writing. The main star was also in Parasite, as the rich man, if that helps at all. Its really hard to explain the plot… but basically its about a family of 3 brothers, and how they are coping at a certain point in their life. One had a business fail, and is now unemployed and living back with the mother. Another is a once super-cool, but now failed movie director, also stuck at home with the mother. The third, and the ‘star’ is working as a structural engineer for a massive company, and it seems like the plot is basically going to be about an attempt to force him out of his job…

My mister is LONG, and pretty dark, but its well worth the effort. It genuinely makes you feel for the characters, and you get to know so much about them. It has a unique mood, thats very carefully crafted, and really draws you in. Some of the characters are better than others, and the villains evil sidekick is *probably* funny on some level in Korea, but he just comes across as an over-the-top buffoon. Where My Mister really shines is the chemistry between the two stars. You *think* that this is going to be some sort of office romance between them… then you think ‘hell no, its a corruption/blackmail/stalking thing?’ and then your perspective on it changes again and again.

My Mister has a big cast, and it doesn’t exactly race by. There is a LOT of drunken banter, a lot of slow moody scenes of people walking home in the dark, a lot of scenes of people loading and unloading paper into photocopiers… but its all awesome. What My Mister does really well is the philosophizing of the main characters. These are not people just slinging out snappy one-liners. There is a lot of deep introspection about life, what matters, whats important, emotions, and relationships. Its probably the best written kdrama in this list. Its also big on office politics. Which leads us to…


Dont ask me about the titles. Who knows how this happens… Anyway, this is an office drama. Like all Korean dramas, the focus of every single employee in these massive conglomerates is 100% on how they can screw over people in another department. Its amazing that ANYTHING gets made in Korea. All of the staff are constantly fighting with other departments. Its almost comical.

Misaeng is basically about an intern at some big company. He is unusual in that he has very few qualifications, and has thus got he job through ‘connections’ (a common angry theme in kdramas). He is a one time professional baduk (Korean ‘go’, basically) player, who couldn’t make it full time, so suddenly has to refocus and get an office job. Sounds pretty tame?

Misaeng was one of the first series we watched, so I was a bit shocked by how long it is, how AWFUL the workplace environment is for interns in a korean office, and all the other culture shock stuff, like the extreme, extreme deference to superiors at work (not at all unusual for everyone to stand and bow if the manager walks into the room). I also found myself constantly thinking ‘What the hell does this company even DO?’, but all of that is secondary to the relationships between the people in the tiny department it focuses on.

I guess ultimately misaeng is about friendships at work, and how people rely on one another, and get to know one another. Its amazing watching it a second time, because you see your first impressions of almost everyone are so wrong. You end up REALLY rooting for the manager of this small team, and really caring about them when things dont go their way. Be warned: if watching a billion hours of people answering the phone and writing reports and fetching coffee is going to kill you, then probably don’t get started with this one :D.


This one is DEFINITELY an acquired taste. Its super weird, but for some reason I found it absolutely hilarious. It REALLY piles on the wacky sound effects and crazy camera tricks, but it does it with such style… Its basically the story of a lawyer who has a reputation for never, ever, ever losing a case, and who is famously obsessed with money (or is he?). Due to a hilarious translation, his nickname is ‘monster pervert’, but you have to just mentally ignore that, because its clearly gone a bit wrong there…

Anyway, I LOVE the main character, he was obviously born to play this role. He excels at pulling the most amazingly smug expressions every time he inexplicably wins a case and things go his way. His assistant, a man obviously styled on Batman’s ‘Alfred’ is also good value. Some of the other characters can be over-the-top and annoying, but its worth it for those scenes where Ko Tae Rim goes into one of his rapid fire nonsensical monologues that win over the jury.


Trust me, these are the best 6. I’ve watched a load more, including Startup, Strongest Deliveryman, Our Blues, Revolutionary Love, Crash Course in Romance and likely more I cant remember. If you want something closest to a western drama in style, its probably Crash landing. If you want excellent writing, its My Mister. For light hearted fun, Legal High or Attorney Woo. Sky Castle is tough to watch but worth it. Misaeng will make you glad you arent an office worker in Korea.

Every band I ever saw live (I think…)

I keep meaning to do this, and this blog is as good a place as any. I used to go see a lot of live music, overwhelmingly its heavy metal, but theres a lot of other stuff in there. I will probably not remember all of em, but here goes:


Ozzy Osborne, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Rush, Dream Theater, Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Bon Jovi, Winger, Kings X, Extreme, Mr Big, Crimson Glory, Queensryche, Motorhead, Wolfsbane, Little Angels, Leatherwolf, Vow Wow, ACDC, Skid Row, Loudness, Saxon, Spider, Manowar, Phantom Blue, Alice Cooper, Zodiac Mindwarp.

Thrash Metal

Metallica, Testament, Anthrax, The Stupids, Cancer, Deicide, Acid Reign, Onslaught, Skyclad, GWAR,

Guitar Bands

Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Thorogood.


The Cult, The Damned, Killing Joke, Siouxsie and the Banshees.


The Mission, The Cure, Dr & the Medics, Hawkwind, All About Eve.


Coldplay, Sting, Jeff Beck, Howard Jones, Simple Minds, Status Quo., Bonnie Tyler, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd.

I probably forgot a whole bunch of gigs here. I saw a lot of goth/punk stuff, but was always drunk and cannot remember most of the names. Also, some of these bands I saw a lot. Ozzy Osborne at least 4 times, Vow Wow at least 10, Dream Theater maybe 10 times too. I’m probably forgetting a bunch of support bands too. I may have seen New Model Army and Fields of the Nephilim and some similar bands, but honestly that whole decade I was drunk and kinda not sure whats a real memory.

Bands I never saw but wish I had: Guns N Roses, Slayer, Queen, The Police, Ritchie Kotzen.