jducoeur: (Default)
Okay, the funny bit isn't that Google's directions from, say, Pittsburgh to London involve swimming across the Atlantic. It's that all such cross-Atlantic directions seem to specifically involve connecting Boston and Calais. I do half-wonder if there's a Carolingian involved in this particular easter egg...
jducoeur: (Default)
Okay, the funny bit isn't that Google's directions from, say, Pittsburgh to London involve swimming across the Atlantic. It's that all such cross-Atlantic directions seem to specifically involve connecting Boston and Calais. I do half-wonder if there's a Carolingian involved in this particular easter egg...
jducoeur: (Default)
A recent link roundup from [livejournal.com profile] jikharra sent me surfing on the subject of Interactive Fiction, aka Text Adventure Games, an old favorite of mine. (And presumably of others here who are old enough to remember when they were cool.) That, in turn, took me to the current page on Inform, one of the IF design tools.

Man, the field has evolved. Inform is a neat enough toy to make me want to build some IF games just to use it. The UI looks really lovely, and they've clearly given a lot of thought to the design process for these games. It no longer expects you to write a huge blort of text and then play through it; instead, it's designed for highly interactive desgining, building your world up gradually. It provides good-looking tools for automated testing of the game and noting where things have changed. And it still outputs Z-Machine, which means it should still play on my phone. (Which, y'know, is just delightfully geeky.)

Hmm. I wonder what I could write? So many options...
jducoeur: (Default)
A recent link roundup from [livejournal.com profile] jikharra sent me surfing on the subject of Interactive Fiction, aka Text Adventure Games, an old favorite of mine. (And presumably of others here who are old enough to remember when they were cool.) That, in turn, took me to the current page on Inform, one of the IF design tools.

Man, the field has evolved. Inform is a neat enough toy to make me want to build some IF games just to use it. The UI looks really lovely, and they've clearly given a lot of thought to the design process for these games. It no longer expects you to write a huge blort of text and then play through it; instead, it's designed for highly interactive desgining, building your world up gradually. It provides good-looking tools for automated testing of the game and noting where things have changed. And it still outputs Z-Machine, which means it should still play on my phone. (Which, y'know, is just delightfully geeky.)

Hmm. I wonder what I could write? So many options...
jducoeur: (Default)
... you know -- the idiotic misfeature that you don't figure out until you move in. In the old house, it was the firetrap flue system that we had to rather expensively replace once I figured out (a couple of years after buying the house) just how incredibly dangerous it was. For the new house, I was careful to hire gold-plated inspectors, to make sure there was nothing quite that risky. But even the Scadutos don't test everything, and one of the things they don't test is the cable system.

The good news is that, after tearing my hair out for a couple of hours, I now understand why the cable reception is poor in the playroom and nonexistent in the living room. The bad news is, I don't understand how the damned system ever worked.

Best I can reconstruct, the cable runs like this. The drop comes in at the side of the house, and immediately enters the garage. It goes through a big-ass signal amplifier there, and dives outside again. It then goes through a 2-way splitter, and one of the lines from that immediately feeds into another 3-way splitter. Most of those lines go inside, and feed into the various bedrooms. Another then goes around the house. Out back behind the basement, it goes through *another* splitter. One side of that continues along to the far end of the house, through a fairly corroded signal cleaner, and finally up into the living room. The other goes into the utility closet, where it goes through *another* splitter. One side of that is supposed to hit the cablemodem; the other hits *another* splitter/amplifier, which splits it three ways to feed the three main rooms in the basement.

Jesus. It's a wonder that there is any signal at all, by the time it goes through all of that. The playroom has been through at least four, maybe five splits, so it gets a weak signal only if the basement amplifier is plugged in. The living room is only going through two or three splits, but it doesn't have the signal amplifier, so it only gets snow.

I have to assume that this system was at least marginally functional at one time, but I'm genuinely surprised. I suspect I'm going to have to work with the cable guy tomorrow to puzzle out which splits go exactly where, and pare it down to just the few rooms we actually give a damn about. (Really, having cable TV in the laundry room isn't high on our priority list...)
jducoeur: (Default)
... you know -- the idiotic misfeature that you don't figure out until you move in. In the old house, it was the firetrap flue system that we had to rather expensively replace once I figured out (a couple of years after buying the house) just how incredibly dangerous it was. For the new house, I was careful to hire gold-plated inspectors, to make sure there was nothing quite that risky. But even the Scadutos don't test everything, and one of the things they don't test is the cable system.

The good news is that, after tearing my hair out for a couple of hours, I now understand why the cable reception is poor in the playroom and nonexistent in the living room. The bad news is, I don't understand how the damned system ever worked.

Best I can reconstruct, the cable runs like this. The drop comes in at the side of the house, and immediately enters the garage. It goes through a big-ass signal amplifier there, and dives outside again. It then goes through a 2-way splitter, and one of the lines from that immediately feeds into another 3-way splitter. Most of those lines go inside, and feed into the various bedrooms. Another then goes around the house. Out back behind the basement, it goes through *another* splitter. One side of that continues along to the far end of the house, through a fairly corroded signal cleaner, and finally up into the living room. The other goes into the utility closet, where it goes through *another* splitter. One side of that is supposed to hit the cablemodem; the other hits *another* splitter/amplifier, which splits it three ways to feed the three main rooms in the basement.

Jesus. It's a wonder that there is any signal at all, by the time it goes through all of that. The playroom has been through at least four, maybe five splits, so it gets a weak signal only if the basement amplifier is plugged in. The living room is only going through two or three splits, but it doesn't have the signal amplifier, so it only gets snow.

I have to assume that this system was at least marginally functional at one time, but I'm genuinely surprised. I suspect I'm going to have to work with the cable guy tomorrow to puzzle out which splits go exactly where, and pare it down to just the few rooms we actually give a damn about. (Really, having cable TV in the laundry room isn't high on our priority list...)
jducoeur: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] fairdice for this pointer to a remarkable optical illusion. Goes further than any I've previously seen in fooling the eye into seeing *completely* the wrong thing...
jducoeur: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] fairdice for this pointer to a remarkable optical illusion. Goes further than any I've previously seen in fooling the eye into seeing *completely* the wrong thing...
jducoeur: (Default)
(Previews is the comic-book catalog from Diamond; basically, it's how I tell my pusher what to get for me. The following is assorted comics geeking.)

The new book Hyper-Actives (what a delicious name for a teen superhero team) features a protogonist whose code name is "Silverwing". Gads, it's frightening to even think about what powers a House Silverwing superhero might have. "Exhausting Super Wind". "Infinite Viewpoints Vision". Mightier than a Bad Royal Idea, able to leap tall Law Codes in a single bound. Etc.

What is it with Oz right now? I think there are at least five different adaptations coming out at the moment, from the literal to the whimsical to the just plain weird. This month adds yet another straight graphic adaptation of the first book, apparently aimed at kids. (Some of the deconstructions coming out right now are not particularly kid-friendly. Two pages away is "OzF5: Gale Force", whose cover features Dorothy with a BFG.) And it seems to be spreading -- this month features the beginning of "Hatter M", which seems to be a dark Victorian fantasy where the Mad Hatter gets reinterpreted as some sort of Jack the Ripper character.

(Hmm. It does sound like the time may be ripe for another re-run of Future of Oz. Worth sticking in my back pocket as a not *too* hard project for some con.)

The Legend of Isis has a comic book out. How much of the comic book market was even alive when Isis was on TV? Heck, how many of them have even heard of it? I can only assume that the nostalgia market for people my age is getting ever stronger.

Hmm. There's a new comic out called Serenity that has nothing whatsoever to do with Firefly. It's clear from the cover that that's the case, but have to watch for confusion on that score. (This one looks to be a Christian pseudo-manga aimed at teenage girls.)

Victoria's Secret Service. Nuff said. (Well, except for betting that all four variant covers involve some sort of bondage themes.)

Oh, right, a recommendation: Action Philosophers is a real hoot, if you're looking for something at the intersection of thoughtful and humorous. It consists of brief accounts of the lives and work of major philosophers in world history, told with pretty good accuracy but a tone that can mildly be called irreverent. Consistently amusing, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. I recently read their account of "This is a SAINT?!?" Augustine...

Preview coming out for a Buckaroo Banzai comic, which purports to be by Mac Rauch among others. I'm not actually sure this is a good idea, but I'm definitely curious.

After all these years, Titan is publishing a collection of Peter David's Star Trek comics. These were interesting on a number of fronts, not least in that he is the only person who actually recognizes that the Star Trek cartoon series even existed. (Well, okay -- everyone acknowledges that the episode Yesteryear is canon. But Peter's the only writer who uses M'Ress and Arex, the two most alien crewmembers the Enterprise ever had.)
jducoeur: (Default)
(Previews is the comic-book catalog from Diamond; basically, it's how I tell my pusher what to get for me. The following is assorted comics geeking.)

The new book Hyper-Actives (what a delicious name for a teen superhero team) features a protogonist whose code name is "Silverwing". Gads, it's frightening to even think about what powers a House Silverwing superhero might have. "Exhausting Super Wind". "Infinite Viewpoints Vision". Mightier than a Bad Royal Idea, able to leap tall Law Codes in a single bound. Etc.

What is it with Oz right now? I think there are at least five different adaptations coming out at the moment, from the literal to the whimsical to the just plain weird. This month adds yet another straight graphic adaptation of the first book, apparently aimed at kids. (Some of the deconstructions coming out right now are not particularly kid-friendly. Two pages away is "OzF5: Gale Force", whose cover features Dorothy with a BFG.) And it seems to be spreading -- this month features the beginning of "Hatter M", which seems to be a dark Victorian fantasy where the Mad Hatter gets reinterpreted as some sort of Jack the Ripper character.

(Hmm. It does sound like the time may be ripe for another re-run of Future of Oz. Worth sticking in my back pocket as a not *too* hard project for some con.)

The Legend of Isis has a comic book out. How much of the comic book market was even alive when Isis was on TV? Heck, how many of them have even heard of it? I can only assume that the nostalgia market for people my age is getting ever stronger.

Hmm. There's a new comic out called Serenity that has nothing whatsoever to do with Firefly. It's clear from the cover that that's the case, but have to watch for confusion on that score. (This one looks to be a Christian pseudo-manga aimed at teenage girls.)

Victoria's Secret Service. Nuff said. (Well, except for betting that all four variant covers involve some sort of bondage themes.)

Oh, right, a recommendation: Action Philosophers is a real hoot, if you're looking for something at the intersection of thoughtful and humorous. It consists of brief accounts of the lives and work of major philosophers in world history, told with pretty good accuracy but a tone that can mildly be called irreverent. Consistently amusing, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. I recently read their account of "This is a SAINT?!?" Augustine...

Preview coming out for a Buckaroo Banzai comic, which purports to be by Mac Rauch among others. I'm not actually sure this is a good idea, but I'm definitely curious.

After all these years, Titan is publishing a collection of Peter David's Star Trek comics. These were interesting on a number of fronts, not least in that he is the only person who actually recognizes that the Star Trek cartoon series even existed. (Well, okay -- everyone acknowledges that the episode Yesteryear is canon. But Peter's the only writer who uses M'Ress and Arex, the two most alien crewmembers the Enterprise ever had.)
jducoeur: (Default)
Things that make you realize just how ubiquitous the Net has become:

My stepbrother Mike Teger is currently climbing Shishapangma, the 14th tallest peak in the world. With his digital camera. Using a satellite uplink to maintain a website describing the trip, complete with photos, as they climb the mountain.

Really quite neat -- Mike's gotten a number of cool pictures from Tibet. My favorite shot, of the base camp at night, is on this page, which currently isn't available from the navigation, due to a link error. (OTOH, I can't really fault them for having a few bugs, given that they're maintaining the page from three miles up...)
jducoeur: (Default)
Things that make you realize just how ubiquitous the Net has become:

My stepbrother Mike Teger is currently climbing Shishapangma, the 14th tallest peak in the world. With his digital camera. Using a satellite uplink to maintain a website describing the trip, complete with photos, as they climb the mountain.

Really quite neat -- Mike's gotten a number of cool pictures from Tibet. My favorite shot, of the base camp at night, is on this page, which currently isn't available from the navigation, due to a link error. (OTOH, I can't really fault them for having a few bugs, given that they're maintaining the page from three miles up...)
jducoeur: (Default)
Just a minor note for the geeks in the audience (from the [livejournal.com profile] googlecodeupdte feed): check out this map from Google. Perfectly ordinary, but it turns out that you can control the label that shows up on the map, by putting it into the URL. Perfect for party invitations, and a reminder of why I like Google...
jducoeur: (Default)
Just a minor note for the geeks in the audience (from the [livejournal.com profile] googlecodeupdte feed): check out this map from Google. Perfectly ordinary, but it turns out that you can control the label that shows up on the map, by putting it into the URL. Perfect for party invitations, and a reminder of why I like Google...

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