Manual typewriter with succulents planted in it.
Manual typewriter with succulents planted in it.
Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the spring of 1998 — my senior year in high school. I had stayed a few minutes late after my first period class, Advanced Placement English, to ask my English teacher a question about an assignment. As I was gathering my stuff and getting ready to hurry to my second period class, my teacher casually told me, “You know you’re a good writer, right?”

My English teacher was notoriously difficult. And the class was ridiculously demanding. It was the sort of class where we’d read two books at the same time (and write about both) — one we’d discuss for a few weeks in class and one we’d read on our own and discuss together for only one class (and we were expected to turn in our writing assignment for that book before that class discussion). I couldn’t tell you what class I had for second period or the structure of the rest of my senior year classes. But the stresses and demands of AP English are forever burned into my brain. …


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Khallo Adel in Kuwait in 1980 or 1981 (screenshoted from one of his many family videos).

August 2nd marked the 30th anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The invasion uprooted my family’s life and changed the trajectory of my future. Like the nearly 400,000 Palestinians who lived in Kuwait at the time, we had a really good life in Kuwait. It was a life that was built around a large community of friends and family.

And the foundation of that community was my uncle Adel Samara. Khallo Adel passed away yesterday and with him a big part of that life left the world.

Khallo was an extraordinary man. He was so much more than an uncle to me — he was like a second father. The distance of diaspora meant that I didn’t have an adult relationship with him but so much of my childhood included spending time with him and his family. …


Woman sitting at a coffee shop with a notebook open and a pen in her hand.
Woman sitting at a coffee shop with a notebook open and a pen in her hand.
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

I spend a lot of my time at work writing research plans for my research projects and providing feedback on other researchers’ plans. …


Scene from Penguin Adventure where penguins dance in an arctic landscape after beating a boss level.
Scene from Penguin Adventure where penguins dance in an arctic landscape after beating a boss level.
Celebrating after beating a boss level. Photo by author.

Last week in UX Collective, I wrote about how I got my 30+ year old video game console to work. This week in SUPERJUMP, I write about finding my favorite game for that console on eBay.

I hope you enjoy these two stories and that you dust off your own classic consoles!


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Finding closure with a long-lost childhood classic

I recently wrote about my Sakhr, an MSX based video game console designed for the Middle Eastern market that my parents bought me when I was about 8 or 9. I also wrote that my favorite MSX game was Penguin Adventure but I sadly no longer had the original cartridge.

For years I longed to play Penguin Adventure on my Sakhr. Every now and then I’d look on eBay for it but wasn’t able to find it. I figured it was too old and too niche of a game for me to ever find a replacement cartridge.

After I wrote my story last week, it felt like something was missing. I was really itching to play Penguin Adventure. What’s the point of getting my Sakhr to work if I can’t actually play my favorite game? …


Just don’t.

A shop window that reads, “Wake up. Kick ass. Be kind. Repeat.”
A shop window that reads, “Wake up. Kick ass. Be kind. Repeat.”
Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

When you’re first starting out in your career, it seems like people just love to give you lots and lots of advice. I believe this advice comes from a good place — these people have made mistakes in their careers and they don’t want you making those same mistakes.

But there’s one piece of advice that I wish people would stop repeating: “fake it till you make it.”

There’s nothing wrong with believing in yourself, having a positive mindset, and setting goals. …


A scene from a classic video game where a knight is being attacked by two guards.
A scene from a classic video game where a knight is being attacked by two guards.
A scene from Knightmare — one of my favorite Sakhr games. Photo by author.

Earlier this week I wrote about my very first video game console — an MSX-based console designed for the Middle East called Sakhr. The story has been published with UX Collective and a direct link to it is here.


A 1980s video game console that resembles a giant keyboard with a video game cartridge inserted into it.
A 1980s video game console that resembles a giant keyboard with a video game cartridge inserted into it.
My Sakhr video game console. Photo by author.

I have a clear memory of that summer evening in late 1980s Kuwait when I accompanied my dad as we shopped for a “computer” for me. …


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Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Fall kicks off annual performance review cycles at some companies. I’m getting ready to write my own self assessment pretty soon. Throughout the process, I find that I need some music that makes me feel empowered (and like a rockstar). And sometimes I just need music that makes me feel good. :)

Here are the songs that I’ll be listening to as I work on my self assessment next week:

Happy Friday! Oh, and you got this!

About

Noor Ali-Hasan

I’m a UX research lead at Google, where I help teams design and build desirable and easy to use products. Outside of work, I love art, Peloton, and Lego.

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