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Sorry, but I haven't yet shared the information about myself that would typically display here. Check back later to see if that changes, or if I instead choose to remain an enigma.

Getting retro with...a movie.
December 09, 2010

Somehow an online conversation got to the discussion of the Towers of Hanoi puzzle. Tower, towers. We discussed other annoying introductory computer science puzzles. The one that always had me baffled was Nim, well, until I learned mathematical induction, anyway.

And any rite of passage from the bad old days included the film Sorting out Sorting. I had the dubious privilege of watching this twice. I remember being baffled by heap sort, but it seems simple now.

It's about the closest thing computer science has to Reefer Madness.


Lose Your Own Adventure
November 12, 2010

Someone was bound to do it, and this looks like a pretty good spoof. The problem is, it can be too easy, so you might get slaphappy satire...

Man, I remember when these books were $2 apiece. Yeah, inflation blah blah. But the pictures and story ideas look really promising. I like the "Saving Oswald" picture especially.


Seeing a sort of workplace legend
November 04, 2010

I'd seen X's name on various test documents we had. A satire on Bridges of Madison County entitled Bath-Houses of Madison County (gay man introduces woman to fashion--X was gay himself) Another document read, in 30 point font, "X is annoying! X does not shut up! X is the Rush Limbaugh of Software Testing!" There was a good reason for the font. I forget what.

X left years before I started working here, and I think many of his test documents got purged a few years after in a general "let's keep it neutral" kick that , but today I saw someone walk in and ask everyone what their titles were. It wasn't until I saw the nametag that I knew: this was the guy. He didn't seem particularly volatile, but then again, it HAD been 10+ years since he worked here.

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> APPLAUD.LISTEN TO JASON SCOTT.G.G. (longer and less focused)
October 26, 2010

These notes are more the final pickings, trying to avoid what was in the DVD or what was already discussed.

After the talk, Jason Scott answered some questions which the documentary probably won't in detail. The most amusing to me was after I thanked him. At one place where he apparently had a decent crowd, but they turned against him. You see, he did not discuss D&D, which, of course, was not really in the scope of the film. So the person who'd invited him apparently wrote a "WHAT IS JASON SCOTT HIDING" email to the people in his local group, cc:'ing Jason Scott. No, really.

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> WATCH 'GET LAMP' (long)
October 21, 2010

Today, there was a screening of the documentary GET LAMP at Google Chicago, which happens to be a very short distance away from where I work.

We watched the main feature for an hour and a half, with thirty minutes of questions afterwards. The movie was just great. I was worried I ate too much pizza and drank too much pop (it's free at Google) and would miss part of the show by going to the bathroom, but I didn't.

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A memorial text adventure
October 11, 2010

So I've been judging IFComp 10. The games have been interesting--even the bad ones seem to have a spark, or somthing I wish I'd thought of, or something I think I could add my own twist to.

The one that made me think the most, though, is decidedly mediocre: "Ninja's Fate" by Hannes Schueller. It's a memorial game for an IF writer. We're not very good at the concept yet, because the Internet was largely developed by younguns. Even the original IF writers from the 80s--were young. About the only IF writer who died is Douglas Adams, who was more than an IF writer.

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Inform 7, and 1st review in a while
October 02, 2010

So I wrote my first review in a while. It's nice to have tourneys to motivate this, and I was able to put aside the usual worries, like

1) did I write this before?
2) did I fall into the same traps I usually do?
3) did I remember all the fun stuff from this cool game?

There's a problem here with writing: too little, and you don't wring out the mistakes with experience. Too much, and you can get bored, if that's not what you really want. Unfortunately this creeps into my reading others' reviews. It's too easy to recognize "oh this again" and shut off the writing-enjoyment sub-lobe in my brain. Yet at the same time, I do enjoy even making minor changes in my review, whether from others' suggestions or my own observations.

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