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6/30/07 - Tired of Windows, Microsoft, and anti-virus software I purchased a MacBook. This update was created on the new MacBook. I have started using iMovie and will hopefully have some better movies to share in a few weeks.
6/16/07 - Wendy Williams appeared Wednesday at Border's in Boston to talk about her book Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound. She signed my copy.
Thursday I went to the People's Power and Light fifth anniversary. The head of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources delivered a speech about how the state has been very receptive to offshore wind turbines. It was relieving to hear such positive news after having reviewed the roadblocks Ted Kennedy has used to stall Cape Wind.
Below is a video of what I was doing last weekend. I was the fifth performer in the line (wearing a white shirt and shorts).
6/3/07 - Ben & Jerry's has a website dedicated to global warming. It includes a web game . . . which I totally beat.
This weekend is WildFire so I probably will not make another post until the following week. If you are near Rhode Island you might be interested in attending the Sustainable Living Festival.
5/26/07 - Recently the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) was launched as a gamer advocacy group. This group is going to lobby for its members to work against legislation that would put limitations on the game development industry. If you are worried about games being made illegal or censored you should join.
The Serious Games Summit had an event at the British Consulate that I attended. It included a panel with Professor Robert Stone from Birmingham University, Doug Foster from Click2learn, Tom Hunter from Compass Rose Games, Scot Osterweil from MIT Education Arcade, Kent Quirk from Cognitoy, and Robert Ferrari from Turbine Entertainment Software. The discussion was about uses of games outside of entertainment. The discussed application included medical training, job safety, global warming, and diabetes management.
5/16/07 - Below are two videos. The first video is of a survival pack. This is a backpack I designed and built (which included sewing the pack) for Burning Man. It includes squirt guns and EL Wire. I plan to add an umbrella in the next few months.
The next video shows how poor Cox Communications service has been. I suspect the inefficiency of their cable boxes is doing more than creating green house gases, it is actually causing their network to be abused to the point that 24 is unwatchable.
5/13/07 - Friends of mine at CogniToy are working on a Global Warming game called Melting Point. It is a game that uses real world data to let the player choose the fate of the planet based on economic and ecological choices.
A letter arrived from Comcast a few days ago asking me to call them to discuss the issue. The first time I called the representative who wrote to me was out, hopefully I will connect with him in the next few days.
My motivation to choose an alternative to cable has increased because of outages and connection problems that have been happening in my area. I hope to get a video of the issue soon.
5/3/07 - There has been some discussion recently of Flex-Fuel vehicles. They are as inexpensive as a regular car. They were first produced in the '80s. They can use a mixture of gasoline and up to 85% ethanol. Unfortunately, most areas have a very limited distribution of anything higher than E10 (10% Ethanol). The closest place to me with E85 is an hour drive. While an E85 mixture makes about as much carbon dioxide it was made with plants that converted carbon dioxide into oxygen while they were alive. While this is better than E10, it still creates carbon dioxide. Some of the Flex-Fuel advocates decry hybrids because Flex-Fuel has a greater reduction in gasoline usage at a lower cost than a hybrid. The problem is that hybrids produce far less carbon dioxide. A hybrid conserves energy while a Flex-Fuel car changes where the fuel originates. I propose that the best option would be a mixture of these technologies.
There are a lot of good reasons to shop at Whole Foods over other super market but the reason I have switched is because they offset all of the non-green power energy all of their stores use with wind energy certificates. Shopping at a super market that uses National Grid is supporting a super market that is adding to global warming.
For years I have expressed my disappointment with previous generations forcing their issues on the future generations to solve. My son does not deserve to inherit a world where there are no winters. Our children should inherit our solutions not our problems.
4/26/07 - Sunday I discovered that Comcast uses the same digital cable box as Cox Communications. Comcast is the largest cable provider in the United States. I will be sending them a letter tomorrow similar to the letter I sent to Cox and Motorola.
Today I received my newest solid state bulb. This one has 150 LEDs and uses 3 watts of electricity. It is bulkier than the other solid state lights I have, but it creates the equivalent of a 70 watt incandescent bulb.
4/22/07 - Melissa Black of Motorola responded to my letter. The response and original letter have been added to the Green Power section of the site. To paraphrase; she apologized and recommended a review of the user guide as well as the FAQ.
The letter to Cox Communications has not received a reply. I have posted a copy here. Over the next few weeks I will investigate options. I suspect satellite is the most likely choice to resolve this issue.
There are three poems I had never added to the poetry section. They have now been posted.
4/16/07 - I have written to Motorola about their DCT 2224 cable box. Nothing has been received by me from Cox Communications yet.
This weekend I saw Antje Duvekot and Ellis Paul at the Joyful Noise Coffeehouse. I went to see Antje, and she was great. Her live performance was more evocative than I expected. I was unfamiliar with Ellis Paul but I enjoyed his portion of the performance.
4/5/07 - The Motorola cable box Cox Communications provides their customers creates an average of 8.35 pounds of carbon dioxide a month or 100.2 pounds per year. The average car registered in the United States creates 4 - 5 tons of carbon dioxide in a year. This means that 100 of these cable boxes combined creates more carbon dioxide than the average car! As the fourth largest cable provider in the United States they are dramatically hurting the environment through the use of Motorola’s digital cable box.
I have sent a message to Cox Communications asking them to work with Motorola to more efficient cable boxes or to consider another vendor. I will be writing a similar letter to Motorola. I will keep the site up-to-date with news from both companies.
3/22/07 - The Current Electricity Use page has been updated. I replaced the torchiere that was using 9 KWH a month with one that will use 2.64 KWH. I also turned off WiiConnect 24 reducing the lower-power mode from 9 watts (5.94 KWH) to 1 watt (.66 KWH). The remaining incandescents in my house were isolated to the basement. I replaced them with compact florescents (CFL). My original estimate of their total use was three hours, but since I made that estimate I have forgotten to turn them off twice causing them to be on for days! I have kept my original time estimates the same. This caused the CFL KWH to slightly increase but I have completely removed the incandescents. I will also be replacing one of the 19 watt CFLs with a 1 watt solid state light. In summary, this week I have reduced my monthly KWH use by 11.74 which equates to $1.57 and 9.61 lbs of CO2.
Since my cable box is the second biggest electricity user in the house making it a major target. While on, this marvel of Motorola's uses 15 watts compared to the 14 watts it uses when powered off! I called Cox Communications and technical support said the power was being used to keep it on the network with an up-to-date channel listing. I explained that was unacceptable and asked if there was a secret power save option or a replacement. Technical support verified that there was no power save option and warned me against unplugging it! They transferred me to sales in search of a less power hogging device but sales had no clue what I was talking about and suggested I try technical support. I am probably going to write a letter to both Cox Communications and Motorola. If they do not find a solution I'll explore other methods of receiving television signals.
3/16/07 - To see how my electric use was prior to compact flourescents I created a Electricity Use by Appliance:Before page. My lighting costs went from $4.33 a month to $0.96! That is a yearly savings of $40.44, and I barely use lights compared to many people I know. Not only that but its an environmental yearly savings of 303.6 lbs of CO2 a year.
3/11/07 - I have posted a list of Electricity Use by Appliance. The list was compiled with a Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. The list shows how much each appliance costs me in a month and how much CO2 it creates without a green-power option.
2/22/07 - The green power cost calculator has been changed to make the output more readable. Here is an example of what a bill looks like using 100% green power.
2/15/07 - The green power cost calculator has been updated to display the cost of solar panels. The amount of sun your roof gets will increase or decrease the price. Also, the calculator does not factor in government rebates that can cut the cost in half. There are also programs you can join to allow you to pay monthly instead of paying the flat up-front fee.
2/9/07 - Special Update: If you would like to see how you can support Sean and Peter please visit http://www.toxicollective.org/ps/.
2/9/07 - The last two weeks have been very stressful for me and many of my friends. Sean Stevens and Peter Berdovsky are both charged with placing hoax devices to incite panic. It is a felony charge with a five-year maximum sentence. They also face one count of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
I stand behind Sean and Peter. Peter and I spent some of the first 48-hours of our acquaintance playing chess. We stale-mated twice, beat another friend, and than Peter finally won a game against me.
Sean Stevens is one of the nicest and most caring people I know. He has been a driving force for many of the great things that have happened recently in this region's burning man community. He has been an artistic inspiration for a project I am currently working on.
Let's review why my friends got in trouble. First, lets go back to 1952 when George Bush senior founded Zapata Oil Corporation. Oil has been a major part of the Bush family's income.
In the 1970s George Bush senior was involved with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). George Bush senior became the director of the CIA around the time his son, George W. Bush, entered the oil industry.
George W. Bush was the CEO of several oil ventures including Arbusto Energy, Spectrum 7, and Harken Energy. $50,000 was invested in Arbusto Energy by Salem bin Laden, Ossama bin Laden's older brother.
In the 1980s the CIA funded Ossama Bin Laden and Al Quida to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. This was directly after George Bush senior was director of the CIA. This was also while George Bush senior was the vice president of the United States.
January 1990 Arbusto Energy was awarded a contract to drill crude oil off the coast of Bahrain in the Middle East. This came as a shock to industry insiders for the company had no off-shore drilling experience.
In August of 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait. 75% of Kuwait's GDP is derived from oil exports. George Bush senior sent US troops to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.
Reacting to the war in Iraq Ossama Bin Laden called a jihad against the United States. In the years that followed Al Quida was responsible for multiple attacks on the US. The greatest of these was the September 11th attacks which occurred 9 months after George W. Bush took office.
Iraq, which was unconnected to the September 11th attacks, was attacked on the basis of weapons of mass destruction which were never found. The original attack was called Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL).
The CIA and Bush family trained and armed Al Quida. Bush senior's war with Iraq, which aided the family's personal interests in the oil industry, prompted Ossama Bin Laden to retaliate. We armed them. We declared war on people of their religion and they retaliated. Now we're in Iraq working to open their oil fields to our businesses. US interventionist policies have gone too far. The Bush family has led us into two wars and armed terrorists in order to further their oil interests.
Sean and Peter are not terrorists. They are artists who got hired to place advertisements throughout the city. The overreaction is a result of Bush policy. Fear feeds into Bush's hands allowing him to stomp on the constitution so that he and his family can have more power. This current war has lasted not only longer than the original war but longer than our involvement in World War II. How many more victims will we tolerate for the Bush agenda? How many more 9/11s are headed our way because we've allowed the Bush family to kill for oil?
If you are upset with Sean and Peter please reconsider. Sean and Peter are not terrorists. Sean and Peter have no interest in oil. Sean and Peter did not supply arms to Ossama Bin Laden and train Al Quida. Sean and Peter did not send our brave troops to fight in Kuwait and Iraq.
1/25/07 - I got my new solid state light bulbs. They have as many lumens as my previous bulbs but one of my rooms feels darker. All the other rooms are fine though. I got my electric bill today and the extra I paid for renewable energy was 6 cents, but that's because I signed up late last month. Based on my KiloWatt hours it should be more like $2.00 next month.
1/18/07 - I am currently looking into solid state lighting. It turns out that solid state lighting (LEDs) allow for a huge energy savings over incandescent and florescent lighting. Unfortunately the kind that fit in regular 120 watt light fixtures are in short supply and high demand at the moment. I was able to buy one, but it has not arrived yet.
Zelda and Splinter Cell Double Agent reviews for the Wii have been posted on my LiveJournal.
1/11/07 - Chapter 65, The Return, of Time-Keepers is now available. This is the final chapter.
Our society is becoming more aware of CO2's effect on global warming. Unfortunately many of us have trouble realizing what we can do to help reduce CO2 emissions and global warming. Green power is available to most homes in the US, but very few of us are aware of how to get it and how much it costs. I have compiled information from the department of energy to create a calculator that will tell you how much it will cost to switch to green power. It will also give a link to your local green power provider so you can sign up online. Finally, it will tell you how many pounds of CO2 you will prevent from releasing into the atmosphere.
1/4/07 - Happy New Year! Chapter 64, Proposal, of Time-Keepers is now available. Only one chapter remains.
This year my Child's Play Donation went to Children's Hospital Boston. They sent me the following note:
"Thank you for your generous donation to Children's Hospital Boston through Child's Play. This being our first year to participate in the toy drive, we have been overwhelmed by the support and charitable spirit of so many around the world. We have received an incredible amount of wonderful movies, books, board games, video games and video game systems. These donations will be distributed throughout our hospital and will provide countless hours of distraction and entertainment for so many of our patients during their hospitalizations. Additionally, some of the donated items will be given as gifts to our patients as they spend their holiday in the hospital. We truly appreciate your support this holiday season."
12/28/06 - Chapter 63, The Hero, of Time-Keepers is now available.
12/21/06 - Chapter 62, Tong's Office, of Time-Keepers is now available.
Happy Holidays from East Coast Games!
12/14/06 - Chapter 61, Overload, of Time-Keepers is now available.
I posted a review of Ubisoft's Red Steel on LiveJournal.
12/7/06 - Chapter 60, Entry, of Time-Keepers is now available.
12/1/06 - Chapter 59, Battle of Words, of Time-Keepers is now available.
11/23/06 - Chapter 58, The Final Wait, of Time-Keepers is now available.
An event review about waiting in line for the Wii has been added to the Event Reviews page.
Happy Thanksgiving! This year I'm thankful for my son's health and that he's doing well in school. I'm also thankful for all the friends who are part of my life.
Simon says he's thankful for, "the United States of America getting along with people." He also said he was thankful for everything, including plants, animals, and the games for his Wii.
11/16/06 - Chapter 57, Parenting, of Time-Keepers is now available.
Nintendo's Wii is hitting stores Sunday. The stores near me went from, "We don't know what the Wii is," to, "We won't have pre-orders", and finally to, "All our pre-orders are sold out and all the units we expect to get have been pre-ordered." My son and I will be going to stores as they open (and possibly as they close) in the hope that they'll have more than they expected. If anybody has a connection in the New England region please let me know!
11/10/06 - Chapter 56, Spying, of Time-Keepers is now available.
It's that time of year again and I have replaced the Red Cross banner with the Child's Play banner. Please support Child's Play. It is a great way for gamers to give back to the community.
11/2/06 - Chapter 55, Super Mario Brothers, of Time-Keepers is now available.
10/26/06 - Chapter 54, Order, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
10/20/06 - Chapter 53, Peng Shilie, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
10/15/06 - Chapter 52, Lunch, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I moved some older posts to the What's Old Archive.
10/6/06 - Chapter 51, Little General, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
|"Glow Poi at GENCON" on Google Video|
|My friend Ernie shot this of me at GENCON 2006.|
9/29/06 - Chapter 50, Sniffing, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
9/21/06 - Chapter 49, China, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I wrote a small piece from a historical point-of-view about the destruction of Carthage.
Last weekend I attended Wildfire. It was a great event where I learned a lot of fire arts. Here is a picture my friend Stacey took of my first burn:
9/14/06 - Chapter 48, The Smell, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
9/7/06 - Chapter 47, The Past, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
8/31/06 - Chapter 46, Launch, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I have been updating Wikipedia this week. It is horrifying that I am an expert on this, this, and even this.
8/24/06 - Chapter 45, The Team, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
8/17/06 - Chapter 44, The Weakness, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
A write-up of GENCON 2006 has been added to the Event Reviews. The convention was great, check the write-up for details.
8/3/06 - Chapter 43, Planning, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Next week there will be no update as I will be at GENCON.
7/27/06 - Chapter 42, Watching, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I recently finished a re-write of www.compassrosegames.com. Check it out.
7/22/06 - Chapter 41, First Wedding, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
7/14/06 - Chapter 40, The Feast, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
7/6/06 - Chapter 39, Sealing, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I went to the Firefly Arts Collective last weekend. It was an amazing event and I am already excited for next year!
6/29/06 - Chapter 38, LARP, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
6/22/06 - Chapter 37, The Happy Submarine, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I will be performing this weekend in the pre-show of Boston's Summer Revels. The event is free and is being held at the Boston Children's Museum.
I moved some older posts to the What's Old Archive.
6/16/06 - Chapter 36, Tourney ‘15, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
6/8/06 - Chapter 35, Utopie Arcade, of Time-Keepers has now been posted. This is the first chapter of Book II (First Mission).
5/25/06 - The Table of Contents, of Time-Keepers, has now been posted. The table of contents includes the dedication.
Next week there will be a special announcement.
5/19/06 - Chapter 34, Ribbon-Cutting, of Time-Keepers has now been posted. This is the final chapter of Book I. Next week a table of contents page will be added that includes the dedication.
5/12/06 - Chapter 33, Attack Plans, of Time-Keepers has now been posted. The final chapter of Book I will be posted next week.
E3 is currently underway. Nintendo has finally revealed the release games for Wii. It looks amazing. I am far more interested in it than I am in the overpriced PS3 or the not so special X-Box 360. Wii has a pretty lame name, but the controller looks to make games far more entertaining than what its competitors can do.
5/4/06 - Chapter 32, Training, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I have created hoop creating picture tutorial. It is based on JasonUnbound's tutorial.
4/27/06 - Chapter 31, Redesign, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Pictures from my trip to Germany are now available. It was a fun trip and I am really happy I got the chance to go.
4/20/06 - Chapter 30, Birth, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
4/4/06 - Chapter 29, Holes, of Time-Keepers has now been posted. We are only a few chapters away from the end of book I.
I will be on vacation in Germany from tomorrow until the 17th. For this reason I have updated the site early and will be unable to update the site next week.
3/30/06 - Chapter 28, Groundbreaking, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
3/23/06 - Chapter 27, Platinum, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
3/16/06 - Chapter 26, Arrival, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
3/9/06 - Chapter 24, Kara and Chapter 25, Storm of Time-Keepers have now been posted.
The Eagle and The Elephant, a new poem, has been added to the poetry page.
3/2/06 - The USB drive with the HTML version of chapter 24 died today. There is, unfortunately, not enough time to make a new HTML version. Two chapters will be posted next week to make up for the skipped week. Sorry for the inconvenience.
2/23/06 - Chapter 22, Golden Fury and Chapter 23, Concern of Time-Keepers have now been posted. The second chapter is to make up for the skipped week.
2/9/06 - Chapter 21, Daughter, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I will be on vacation next week. The next update will be two weeks from today.
2/2/06 - The site could not be updated last week due to technical difficulties. My apologies if you were waiting for the post. To make up for the missed week I have posted two chapters and a poem this week. Chapter 19, The Voyage, and Chapter 20, First Date, of Time-Keepers have now been posted.
Dancer, a new poem, has been added to the poetry page.
1/19/06 - Joe Kindorf passed away last night after a long illness. Joe was a co-worker of mine at MEDITECH. He will be missed.
Chapter 18, Flight, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
1/13/06 - Chapter 17, The Clue, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
It looks like I will be taking Simon to Arisia this weekend. I am excited as it will be his first convention!
I added two poems to the poetry page.
1/5/06 - Chapter 16, Final Selection, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
12/30/05 - Chapter 15, Ultimatum, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Happy New Year! Simon and I will be celebrating at Bright Night.
My Internet access will be severely limited for the next few weeks. I will attempt to continue weekly posts, but it might not be possible. My apologies in advance.
12/22/05 - Chapter 14, Pressure, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Art is defined by answers.com as "Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature." Games can (and many do) imitate, supplement, alter, and counteract the work of nature (or life). The film critic and movie producer who recently stated that games are inferior to movies as an art form are snobs. Both of their careers rely on an industry that makes less money than that of the video game industry. A critic is paid to give their opinion and thus they often get an inflated ego about how important and how far-reaching their opinions should be.
It has been said that games do not make people cry as opposed to movies. While I do not belive I have ever cried because of a video game I have cried because of a LARP. I also have probably been frustrated almost to the point of crying with some video games. I know my son has cried because of video games. That being said, there is only one song I can think of that can cause me to cry. There are no paintings or sculptures that have ever made me cry. Finally, I personally find games more intellectually stimulating because of their interactive form.
12/15/05 - Chapter 13, The Hacker, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I added a definition of fox to the game development glossary.
12/8/05 - Chapter 12, The Biologist, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I just completed a beginner's Salsa class. I have to wait until late January for the intermediate class. Tonight I'll be going to the opening of Providence's D-V-8. Before D-V-8 I will be having sushi with my sushi meetup group.
Nintendo's Revolution system sounds amazing. I keep imagining how their new control will be. This is the most revolutionary hardware designs I have ever seen. I wish it would be out sooner.
12/1/05 - Chapter 11, The Stefano Family, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I replaced the Red Cross banner with the Child's Play banner. Please support Child's Play. It's a great way for gamers to give back to the community.
11/25/05 - Chapter 10, The Lyles Family, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Happy Thanksgiving! This year I went to an 'Orphan Thanksgiving'. Which basically meant a bunch of friends that either had no family to spend the day with or had no family they wanted to spend the day with. I fell more in the former category.
This year I'm thankful for my son's health and happiness. I'm thankful that my mother has made a full recovery from her coma. I'm also thankful for all my friends new and old alike. Finally I'm thankful to have a job that I enjoy, that challenges me, and that supports my lifestyle.
11/18/05 - Chapter 9, Intervention, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Sorry for the delay in posting this week's chapter. I went to the 2nd Annual Rhode Island Dark Music Festival last night which kept me up too late. While there I saw Incus preform. They were great, I even bought a CD.
11/10/05 - Chapter 8, Birthday, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Moving has its ups and its downs. The main upside to me is that it's great exercise, It is also a good time to get rid of junk. The downside is having everything packed and not being able to put Tabasco sauce on pasta because it's buried deep in boxes.
I never mentioned much about ICC here. For a detailed review you can go to my livejournal. I also made a post about White Wolf's current plans.
11/3/05 - Chapter 7, Children, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
My house is going to be painted soon so my Internet access will be intermittent for a few weeks. I will try to keep posting but I will not promise anything.
I took my first Salsa Lesson last night. It was a fun class.
10/20/05 - Chapter 6, Progress, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
I will be at the International Camarilla Conclave next weekend. This means I will not be making a Thursday update next week. So we will skip a week.
10/13/05 - Chapter 5, The Call, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
You may have heard of Jack Thompson's Proposal to have a game industry write a game so he will give $10,000 to charity. Jack, $10,000 is dirt dude. If you want to make a point add one or more zeros. Also, your game sounds really boring . . . maybe that's why nobody knows who you are.
10/6/05 - Chapter 4, Carmen, of Time-Keepers has now been posted. It introduces the character that is my personal favorite of the book.
I am progressing in Liquid Dance. Dancing is becoming a real fun part of my life.
9/29/05 - Chapter 3, The Hunt Family, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
Despite getting sick Wednesday, this was an awesome week. I got to see Voltaire in concert at Nokturnal. It was the first time I had ever heard any of his music. I was actually expecting dark brooding punk/goth music. I was happily surprised. This guy could be our generation's Weird Al.
9/22/05 - Chapter 2, Greed, of Time-Keepers has now been posted.
9/15/05 - Chapter 1 (Awakening) of Time-Keepers has been posted here. A chapter will be posted weekly until the book is available for purchase. The details of printing are currently being negotiated. It is possible that even after the book is available for purchase further chapters will be posted on this site.
9/8/05 - Why do we have the Federal government? I love my local government, it provides for roads, schools, and trash removal. The federal government provides a self-sufficient mail delivery system. What is my money going to? 20% goes to the army fighting a war I disagree with. Well, that's fine. Maybe I'm wrong. I certainly agree we need an army to defend ourselves. Than 58% of my money goes to social security and medicare, which I doubt will ever help me! I'm sure both systems will be too broken by the time I hit whatever ridiculous age is required. 1% goes to foreign aid, I like that, though I disagree on who should get that aid. 7% goes to interest, which makes me wonder why we are in so much debt. So what does the federal government do? I want it to protect me. I want it to protect ALL of its citizens. ALL, not just white rich citizens, but all of them. Yes, the country has some great laws that are fairly similar to laws in Canada and most European nations. So I'm not too impressed there.
Here's the thing. I expect my money for defense to go to defense! I expect the government to defend its citizens. Why are we in Iraq when we NEED to be in New Orleans? The citizens of New Orleans are in a clear and present danger from the environment and our own god-damned government. What the fuck is going on! Why were people left behind? Where was the food and water? Why was the government shooting at innocent civilians who just wanted to walk out of the city? Why were citizens held hostage without food and water! Where is the outrage over how mismanaged this has been?
September 11th was amazingly organized and taken care of. It was done so well that some wonder if it was expected. Why is it that when our president (or his daddy) have no agenda to push disaster response is horrific?
I wish the answer were as simple as impeaching Bush. At this point I've lost ALL faith in the federal government. If Washington could see us now he would break down and cry. The revolutionaries would wonder why they bothered to free us. We would almost be better off if we stayed under the yoke of the British!
Even if another person was in his place the system putting him or her there would insure corruption. The two party system enforces corruption.
If I could leave the United States right now I would. Unfortunately I can't take my son out. If I could I would certainly go as there is no way I want to chance him getting drafted for a future war or for the current military "effort" if it lasts until he is old enough (which the way it is going might just happen).
9/1/05 - It is scary to see a US city underwater. My thoughts go out to those effected by Hurricane Katrina. I have updated the Red Cross banner to mention the relief efforts.
NERE 2005 was a success. I had a lot of fun and so did the majority of the attendees. I am working with folks in Albany to pursue the possibility of having NEGLECt and ICC there.
8/18/05 - There was an excellent article about last month's Post Mortem on masslive.com .
NERE is next week so there will probably be no update. I will be in Maine on Thursday. Will you miss me as much as I will miss you?
8/11/05 - Brenda's talk at PostMortem was excellent. She is writing a book on the topic which I cannot wait for her to finish.
I am crazy-busy with NERE.
8/4/05 - Today is Simon's 5th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMON! I love you.
Tuesday will be this month's Post Mortem gathering. It is an important topic for the industry so I have included the entire post:
Murder, Sex and Censorship
(and Why You Should Care) - Brenda Brathwaite, Cyberlore
In the last year, over a dozen bills targeting video games were put before state Assemblies and Senates throughout America. In other countries, video games were banned outright. Legislators seek to control their sale and their distribution while big box retailers indirectly influence their content. And all this before Hot Coffee. Now, we face irate politicians and the FTC... again.
What does this mean for us as game developers? What should we do? How will the legislation affect us? Who's calling the shots?
If you make or play video games, this Post Mortem is a must for you. Find out:
As a 23-year veteran of the video games industry, Brenda Brathwaite is currently a senior designer at Cyberlore Studios. She has worked on 20 published titles including the award-winning Wizardry series of role playing games and the award-winning Jagged Alliance series of strategy role-playing games. Most recently, she was lead designer on Playboy: The Mansion for Cyberlore. Brenda was also a host of the "Sexuality in Games" Roundtable at the 2005 Game Developer's Conference, the founder and moderator of the IGDA Sexuality in Games mailing list, and the founder and chair of the IGDA Sex SIG. Brenda is also a member of the International Game Developers Association.
7/29/05 - The Save ConnectiCon drive has ended. The drive took in a total of $34,525.81 which was a little more than required to get the couple out of debt. Thank you all for your help. I have replaced the banner with the Red Cross banner.
The NERE 2005 site has been updated. It's now super sexy thanks to the efforts of Damian Broccoli.
My softball season ended last night. We lost all the games we played this season. This is an actual record for the league. In the years the softball league has been running no team has lost all games. Despite our poor record we did make it into the play-offs. All teams make it to the play-offs which makes you wonder what the regular season is for. In any case, I had a great game. I was the catcher every-other inning. Except for possibly a foul ball I might have been able to catch I had no errors (nobody scored or got a base because of a mistake I made). I also scored two singles. One got me to second because of a bad throw to first. I then got to third and home. Unfortunately the ball that got me to home was caught in the outfield. The team was pretty surprised and impressed.
7/21/05 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is being talked about because there is a way through cheats and or mods to unlock a mini-game of a sexual nature. The mini-game shows no nudity (like the Sims which is rated T for Teen). The game ratings group ESRB are considering changing San Andreas from M (Mature/17+) to AO (Adults Only/18+). There seems to be little distinction between the two ratings. People like senator Hillary Clinton (who voted for her by the way, were there bribes involved) are trying to get federal legislation to restrict the sale of games to children.
MPAA (Movie) ratings and ESRB ratings are both voluntary. I am horrified when I hear a parent of a child my son's age say they will take their child to see Revenge of the Sith. When I compare that movie to other movies with PG-13 ratings like Spiderman 2 I wonder if Revenge of the Sith actually deserved an R rating. Every system has its flaws and federal regulation is a waste of tax dollars. It is a parent's responsibility to know at least the ratings of the games their children play. Games I have for my son are all rated E (For Everyone) and eC (Early Childhood).
If you live in a hole (so deep you cannot get wireless access) you may not have heard James Doohan died yesterday because of pneumonia. He will certainly be missed.
ConnectiCon was fun. I saw a few booths of web comic artists like Comedity and Cain. I spent a little time at the rave, which was kind of lame. The rest of the time I was helping with Requiem. If I can go next year I will probably stay for the whole event so I can play more games.
The convention center ConnectiCon was held in charged far more than their original estimate. This has placed the couple who chaired the convention in $34,140.58 of debt. To help support them I have changed the top banner to a Save ConnectiCon banner.
7/14/05 - I went to court today. The divorce will be final in 90 days.
I will be at ConnectiCon this weekend. It looks like it will be fun. Requiem will be on Friday and Saturday.
7/7/05 - The terrorist attacks today in London have hopefully come to an end. It sounds like London's emergency management team has done an excellent job limiting the amount of people hurt and killed.
A group related to al Qaeda is trying to claim responsibility for the attack. Terrorism is the use of force or threat of force to coerce a government or society into making ideological or political changes.
The United States was founded by terrorists. The Boston Tea Party and the burning of the Gaspee were terrorist acts. Unlike 9/11 and the attacks in London the terrorist attacks of our fore-fathers were for political reasons and were not intended to hurt people.
Religion has always been a tool to control others. Wether or not a deity or set of deities exist man uses the belief or faith in them to control others. Christianity promises that people who do not sin or who ask forgiveness for their sins before they die will go to heaven. Some branches of the Islamic faith belive that fighting for God (much like Catholics fought in the Crusades) will insure them a place in heaven. These branches further proclaim that suicide to die for god will allow a person into heaven.
Jesus Christ was a martyr. The faith created around his actions required a peaceful interaction with non-believers as Jesus himself acted in such a manor.
Mohammed was a military leader. He used his followers to take over his pagan home city of Mecca. He personally created the religion to be peaceful. No harm came to the pagans who laid down their weapons in Mecca. Still, he used a show of force. Now, almost two thousand years later the followers of his religion have to interpret his actions. If Mohammed used force to take over a city should Muslims use force to take over the world? The religious leaders who want to increase their power (like Ossama Bin Laden) will say yes.
How do you prove to a believer that there is no god and thus no heaven? How do you prove they are being used? Faith is meant to be blind. You must blindly follow and blindly believe, if you do not you will not gain the reward (heaven) just as belief in Santa or the Easter Bunny is required for the toys and candy.
6/30/05 - One of my closest friends is moving from Rhode Island to Tennessee. I will miss her more than she understands and I hope she keeps in touch.
Simon and I will be visiting my father this weekend. It will hopefully be a nice relaxing weekend away from 'it all'.
I am working on a new project while I wait on Copyediting for Space Orphans. I have a working title, but I want to keep the details to myself until I get further along with it.
6/23/05 - I updated my iTunes List today. Not much has changed, but it includes some newer bands and of course newer songs.
I ended up playing catcher on Monday. I had a few errors and could have gotten some outs for my team by catching fouls. Still, I got two runs for my two at bats. My first hit of the game was a double due to an error by the other team. The second hit was a single. I am really surprised I did so well, especially since the sun was pointing directly at home plate as it set. It was my best game this season.
6/16/05 - I may possibly be the worst softball player in the United States of America. I am not positive as I have not seen every softball player play, but it is indeed a possibility. Actually, tonight I had my best game of the season. I hit the ball all three times I was at bat. The first time I even made it to first (and from other batters as far as third). I still have not scored a run this season. The other two hits I got were not caught, but one was captured fast enough to get me out and the other to get another person out ending the inning. I cannot throw very far, but I am getting better. Perhaps playing catch when I was a child would have been a good idea!
6/11/05 - White Wolf has finally finished the MET (Minds Eye Theater) books. I pre-ordered my copies and got the PDF versions. I finished reading them a few nights ago and have moved on to a new project. I like the changes to MET because they make combat last longer. That has been the biggest problem in the games so I look forward to the changes being accepted by the Camarilla.
We have finally announced NERE 2005. For details you can visit the NERE site: http://nere2005.neregion.net/text/index.htm.
6/3/05 - It came to my attention recently that there are some movies I should have watched by now. They are Dogma, and Fight Club. I have wanted to see The Aviator for awhile so I rented it and Dogma. They were both phenomenal. The Aviator was not exactly what I had expected. I never knew Howard Hughes had a mental condition. While I knew about his background in designing airplanes I had not known about his work in movies. I have to wait to get a copy of Fight Club.
5/26/05 - Star Wars: Episode III was excellent. It certainly earned it's PG-13 rating. I kept thinking after order 66 was issued, 'No, look-out!' It was probably the best of the first three. I have to spend more time to decide how it compares to the original three.
I played Forsaken on Saturday. It was fun. I hope to play it some more soon.
5/19/05 - Star Wars: Episode III was released early this morning to the general public. I would have watched it at the midnight showing if I thought I would still be able to function at work today. I opted for caution and decided to see it tonight at 7:30 instead. I bought my ticket awhile ago. Just to avoid spoilers I am avoiding all media today. Except to update my website I am not using IM or browsing the Internet. Instead of listening to a radio station I am listening to CDs. I will go alone. I went to the last two alone so it just seems right to see this one alone. I wish I could take Simon to see it. He loves Star Wars, but with this one rated PG-13 due to more violence he can and should not go.
NERE has finally been announced. It will take place at the Merry Manor Inn, Portland Maine August 25th-28th 2005. More details will be released in the next few weeks.
5/12/05 - The third draft of Space Orphans was completed on 5/10/05. Copyediting has begun as has work on the fourth draft. As I am unsure when copyediting will complete I cannot give an estimate on when the fourth draft will be completed.
Details of the next generation X-Box are rumored to have been leaked. The copy I saw mentioned a ridiculous number of pixels that can be displayed per second. Apparently we have jumped straight from reasonable frames per second to the unimaginable future where we count pixels per second using the word billions.
Last night I attended a Boston Post Mortem meeting. I was discussing with a friend of mine who develops games for the cellphone how his portion of the industry will probably be doing a lot better than the rest in the coming years. Reviewers, publishers, and at times customers demand more. More content, more features, more textures, more levels, more gameplay, and better AI. At the same time they want all of this to work with a graphics standard that has been raised beyond belief. Maybe Lorne Landing's decision to take Oddworld Inhabitants from the games industry to the film industry actually is justified. Does it matter that the game industry has more income than the film industry? A film takes less time to make. In some cases it takes less people to make. The question is, on average, which takes more man hours? In the game industry the man hours average is increasing. The film industry's man hours are staying about the same. With the exception of MMORPGs, I hope games can go back to focusing about game design and leave concerns about technology behind.
5/5/05 - A greyhound park in Plainfield CT recently closed. There are hundreds of dogs that need to find homes. Greyhounds make great pets. If you are interested in adopting please visit http://www.greyhoundpets.org/.
4/28/05 - I have been given the position of convention lead for NERE 2005. This means I am EXTREMELY busy. I just spent four hours staring at dollar signs making a budget. So, not much of an update today. I had a whole rant about ambition in mind too. Maybe I will post it next week.
4/21/05 - I finished my Forsaken PC yesterday! It is just in time for a prelude game Saturday. I wrote some more about him on my LiveJournal.
4/14/05 - I got my second copy of Werewolf: The Forsaken Friday! I finished reading Shadow of the Giant Friday night. It was good, but in some ways disappointing. It might be mostly because I hate when a good series ends. I have read through to the appendices of Werewolf: The Forsaken. Hopefully I will finish it soon and be able to start creating characters.
The marketing battle for the next generation of consoles has begun. My last two systems purchased were a GameCube and a Nintendo 64. I liked the games on them. They played well and were fun for my son and I. My disappointments with the GameCube were that it could not play Nintendo 64 games and it could not play DVDs. I found the selection of games superior to that of the Playstation 2 and the X-Box. As a developer my choice for ease of coding would be the X-Box as it is closest to Windows. Whatever happens, I think I will be sticking with Nintendo for a long time to come.
I moved some older posts to the What's Old Archive.
Last weekend was great. I had a blast with Simon. I miss him. This weekend I will be running a Requiem game on Friday. On Saturday I will be playing at the CT game and Sunday I might play Changeling.
4/7/05 - I lost my copy of Werewolf: The Forsaken Sunday! I gave up waiting and ordered a new one with overnight delivery. Hopefully it will be here tomorrow. I am taking Simon to visit my father in Sandwich NH this weekend. Hopefully I will have it by then.
I wrote some fiction for my Forsaken PC. It is about his first change. You can read it on my LiveJournal.
3/31/05 - I finally got my copy of Werewolf: The Forsaken Saturday. I gave up on buying it from Amazon.com (because they delayed the order) and picked it up at a comic shop in Salem. I have read about a third of it all ready. So far it looks better than Requiem in terms of gameplay.
3/24/05 - I ordered Shadow of the Giant yesterday. It is the latest in Orson Scott Card's Shadow series. I have already read the first chapters online. It has an awesome start, so I hope it gets here soon! At the same time I am waiting for my copy of Forsaken. I am suppose to be storytelling for Forsaken but my order got delayed. I have a friend with an extra copy, so hopefully I can snag that one. If not I need to find a game store. Sigh.
3/17/05 - Happy St. Patrick's Day! As far as I know my lineage includes no Irish, English yes, but Irish no. Still I can pretend. It helps that my second favorite local band is the Dropkick Murphys. In fact, despite being at the tail end of a stomach virus, I have defied my health by eating cornbeef and cabbage. Yes, I'd rather get sick than miss my cornbeef and cabbage!
I joined Mother's Without Borders recently. Yesterday they sent me a thank you note signed by their CEO. It was an actual signature, not just a stamped signature. I am impressed with the personal touch. I think most of their current work relates to the Tsunami relief efforts. Their stated purpose is to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world which fits perfectly in-line with the type of charities I prefer to donate to, children's charities. I wish their name was a tad less sexist, but heck, nurturing and caring for children does tend to get associated with mothering.
3/10/05 - The second draft of Space Orphans was completed on 3/5/05. I expect to have the third draft (which is already 20% complete done) finished early next quarter. Copyediting has also begun.
I fully support Greenspan's plan for replacing federal income tax with a consumption tax (national sales tax). I've always felt there should only be one type of tax. I had always assumed it would be best if all but income tax was removed. After hearing this proposal I have changed my mind. This would mean a far smaller IRS. There would no longer be audits. Or if there were audits, they would be for retailers. This would make it a little more difficult for retailers, especially in states without sales tax. The best reason is that people will no longer need help to pay taxes (at least federal taxes). Some people will still need help with state income taxes. I expect H&R Block would go out of business. Do not be surprised if they lobby against the change.
Another reason to support it is it's lack of loopholes. No expensive tax attorney can reduce the amount a person would pay.
The only thing to worry about is big purchases. This will make houses and cars far more expensive. On the other hand, it will make saving money toward retirement far easier.
3/3/05 - My wife and I are getting separated. Obviously I have no obligation to post this here. However, I think at first I was very much in denial. It will be easier for me to face the facts if everybody knows then if it is a secret. Plus, now I do not have to guess who knows, I can assume everybody does.
We are doing what we can to make this a hurtless process. No one person is to blame for this.
So, how does this effect the site? Hopefully, it will not. I plan on posting at my same frequency. I might have less time to write for awhile.
2/24/05 - I am half done with 2nd draft of Space Orphans. Were it not for having two colds in so many weeks I would probably be done.
I just finished the Requiem portion of the NE region's new World of Darkness timeline. I used OpenOffice because I cannot justify the need to pay money for a spreadsheet program. Heck, for what Microsoft charges I would be better off writing my own.
2/17/05 - I'm back, did you miss me? I had an incredible amount of fun in NYC. The Requiem game was the best I've been to this year. I was also impressed by how cleaned up NYC is compared to when I was last there.
Tomorrow is my second Requiem game as a storyteller. I have a lot planned and while I think my first game went well I think I'll be more organized and this one will run even better.
Game Developer Magazine's February 2005 issue has an article titled "Increasing the Bottom Line: Women's Market Share" by Clarinda Merripen. If you don't have the issue, I highly recommend you get a copy. It's a great fact sheet covering misconceptions about women and games. It contains some of what she covered at Postmortem recently. In one place the article states, "Women influence or more directly control over 80 percent of both consumer and business goods and services." It also states that, "Women account for 66 percent of all home-computer purchases." Clarinda states in one portion, "In order to make games both women and girls enjoy, they should hire women to create them."
2/3/05 - I'll be on vacation in the Berkshires next week. There will be no update as I will have no Internet access.
I'm going to Manhattan for a game on Saturday. I'm extremely nervous. I've been to NYC before, but never as an adult. I've also never driven in it. I have to overcome this fear for my gaming addiction. I predict high parking fees!
We went to an eye doctor today for Simon. He had glasses, but they were a bad prescription. The doctor today said that most children his age with such poor eyesight would have been crosseyed years ago. She said Simon had compensated using environmental cues. In other words, he was smart enough to overcome the shortcomings of his eyes. This makes me feel very proud. :).
1/27/05 - Despite the forecast I went to New Hampshire on Saturday to play Requiem. I got there safely (only skidding once, a few miles from the destination). That night I decided to stay. There was an option of going to Salem Mass, but I felt the weather and parking would be too much hassle there. Sunday morning I discovered that Rhode Island and Massachusetts were covered in feet of snow. I helped shovel the house I had stayed at. The governors were advising people not to travel, so I was fortunately able to stay in New Hampshire. Finally, I left around noon on Monday. I dropped off a friend in Boston. When I got home I spent 2 hours shoveling. Then, of course, it snowed yesterday. I shoveled last night and a little this morning. My back is issuing protests about shovelling.
1/20/05 - The first draft of Space Orphans was completed on 1/17/05 with 78,321 words. I expect to have the second draft completed later this quarter.
The fourth issue of The End Times was published today.
1/13/05 - Clarinda Merripen of Cyberlore gave a talk at Postmortem last night called Women + Videogames = Profit. It was amazingly insightful. For example, she mentioned how many stores have trial kiosks. They usually appeal more to men because it puts people in a situation where they are learning in front of an audience and can therefore cause ridicule. One issue throughout the industry is the lack of women employees. This is often caused by the lack of flexible benefits and crazy hours game developers often are required to put in. One of her ideas, which is used by the company she works at, is to put in job ads 'looking for a woman or man'. This is supposedly seen as code to women that yes, they can have those types of jobs. Another issue she mentioned is that women are usually on the lower end of tech curve. New tech devices usually go to the boys, then the men, then the girls, and finally the women of a household. She also mentioned how even though 40% of game purchases are by women gaming magazines have less then 5% of a female audience. The small percentage is due to the (poor) advertising and marketing of and in the magazines. I hope she will post the presentation on the web. If not, she is also writing an article for Game Developer Magazine.
The Postmortem meeting was in The Skellig Pub and Restaurant of Waltham. After our meeting concluded the room we used was scheduled for a weekly singer/songwriter series. Brit Kirk, who is a new artist, did an amazing performance. The best way I could describe her is Counting Crows meets Alanis Morissette. The lyrics were surprisingly emotional and inciteful. Hearing her is the perfect reminder that artists in the business for money are in it for the completely wrong reason. You cannot make art out of money, art comes from the heart, not a wallet. Unfortunately, she has no mailing list, website, or even CD at the moment. The event is run by Tom Bianchi. Tom is an amazing instrumentalist. If you are ever near Waltham I highly recommend going one Wednesday.
1/6/05 - The first draft of Space Orphans is 75,000 words as of 1/6/05. I expect to finish the first draft of the novel this quarter.
The next book in the Shadow portion of Orson Scott Card's Ender series is due to hit stores in March. The book is called Shadow of the Giant. He posted the first three chapters on his website. I read them, and now I wish I had not because I do not want to wait until March to read the rest!
Child's Play totals are in: $310,000. That is sixty thousand more than last year. I was a little disappointed in how it was run this year. I liked how last year they made updates, posted letters, and posted pictures every couple of days. It was like we were building towards something. This year all they had was the new site with the corporate sponsors and a thermometer. They did not even take pictures. I guess this is partially due to having multiple locations. I hope they do it next year like they did it the first year.
12/30/04 - Happy New Year!
I wish I had better news for the New Year. Many New Years festivities throughout the world have been cancelled or replaced with events to mourn the victim's of Monday's devastating Tsunami. The death toll as listed on CNN is currently 116,000. That's not 116,000 possible deaths, that is 116,000 reported and confirmed deaths! To put that in perspective, less than 3,000 people died in the 911 attack. The highest death toll to a natural disaster in the United States was in Galveston Texas when in 1900 a hurricane killed an estimated 6,000 people.
A tsunami is a large wave created by an earthquake or volcanic eruption. In this case it was caused by a 9.0 earthquake. At 9.0 on the richter scale this is the largest earthquake in the world since 1964. While you might not think 9.0 is much higher than say 7.0 (which is considered major) you need to realize the scale is in magnitude. A 9.0 is the equivalent of 32 BILLION tons of dynamite. An 8.0 is only the equivalent of 1 billion tons of dynamite. The following is a map showing the effect of the Tsunami.
Child's Play has concluded. I may post some information on it's results later. Thank you for participating. I have replaced the banner with a Red Cross banner. Please support the Red Cross' Tsunami Relief effort. The Red Cross is an amazing organization who did a tremendous job during 911. From what I have heard they are the leading relief organization for this disaster. They need as much help as they can get so PLEASE donate.
If for whatever reason you would prefer to support a different organization's relief effort CNN has a list of organizations who are working on the effort. They include UNICEF and AmeriCares. For the complete list please visit http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/28/tsunami.aidsites/.
12/23/04 - Happy Holidays!
Bush is working on a plan to be able to shut down the Global Positioning System (GPS) in a national security emergency, like a terrorist attack. So, in a national emergency, say when terrorists decide to attack power grids, Bush wants to be able to turn off GPS. Currently aircraft and hikers are probably the most reliant on GPS. Cars are becoming more reliant. How will people get good evacuation directions if GPS is down? Maybe they should stop and buy maps! Seriously, this is what terrorists want. They want the government to make the average person feel unsafe, to feel terror. It also plays perfectly into party politics. Vote for us, we will protect you . . . from the scare we created.
12/16/04 - The first draft of Space Orphans is nearing completion. It will probably be just over 75,000 words. It is about 68,000 words at the moment.
I have gotten two quotes for printing Time-Keepers. At the prices I have seen and based on commissions using places like Amazon.com that sell books at 'discount prices' I have to sell over 1,000 copies to make a profit. This is mostly because the book is 600 pages. The initial cost for most printers is the most expensive cost. Most printers use metal plates to set the ink on the pages. With 600 pages that means 600 pages worth of plates. I might be able to afford a print run of 1,000 but it would be very tough. Plus, even if I can afford the printing I still need to promote the book. Extra runs are cheap, but I'm worried about selling all 1,000 of the first run.
12/9/04 - Surprisingly enough, I'm still watching Enterprise. I had thought the series was ending last season, which basing it on that season's episodes would have been a good thing. This season is better though. The characters are actually heroes again. They are also getting involved with the back story of the other series, which I find interesting.
In one of the early seasons of Enterprise there was a blatent reference to HIV. Mind-melding in Enterprise's era could cause a disease in the meldee. In that episode it was compared to HIV by the way people acted to the meldee with prejudice. There also was 'no cure' like HIV. There were even commercials about HIV and AIDs during the initial airing.
In last weeks episode we find that a cult of Vulcans know the truth, the disease is caused by poorly trained melders and it IS CURABLE. So now I have to wonder, what are they saying? This cure was kept a secret because the people in power felt those who melded were subversive. Are the writers of Enterprise trying to say there is a cure to HIV but the government is suppressing it? Thats what it sounds like to me.
There was also a blatent reference to the war in Iraq. The last episodes were a three-part story. In the first episode the Earth embassy on vulcan was blown up. Evidence was found that linked the explosian to a group of Vulcans called Syrrannites. The Vulcan government claimed that Syrrannites were subversive terrorists that destorted the teaching of Surak (the founder of logic). At the same time the Syrrannites claim they are a peaceful group. Also, the Syrrannites live in a hidden community of tunnels within an extremely dangerous dessert called the forge. The forge has anti-electronic properties that make most technology unusable within it.
Malcolm finds a bomb inside the embassy that has DNA from the leader of the Syrrannites. Captain Archer goes into the forge to find the Syrrannites. The Vulcan government says they will find and prosecute the Syrrannites themselves.
While the captain is unreachable in the forge the doctor discovers that the DNA is from when the leader had been a baby. In other words, the evidence was planted.
The leader of the Vulcan government begins bombing the forge to kill the Syrrannite terrorists. So I guess that means the forge is Afghanistan and the Syrrannites are Al Quada!
The Vulcan leader than shows (fake) evidence that Andorians have a version of the Xindi weapon prototype. For this reason they must go to war. The Xindi weapon is a weapon of mass destruction. They are now comparing Andorians to Iraqis. In the end Enterprise stops the war and reveals that the Syrrannites are not terrorists. There is also a final scene where the Vulcan leader talks to a Romulan about reuniting their planets. If I remember correctly old school Romulans were supposed to be Russians or Chinese. So are they saying George W. Bush started the war because he has some ally he wants to reunite with?
I think they want a bit overboard with the social commentary. They were good episodes, but comparing Syrrannites to Al Quada is just too much.
12/2/04 - I am starting to look into self-publishing options. I really want to work with a publisher, but thus far none have shown interest. I have sent out submissions to all publishers that publish science fiction (and accept submissions). There are several negative connotations toward self-publishing, mostly generated by publishers who prefer you to buy their books. It can make more money to self-publish, but really I prefer the large readership a publisher provides over money any day.
11/25/04 - Happy Thanksgiving!
I have moved several posts to the What's New Archive.
East Coast Games turns 6 this month! This domain was purchased 6 years ago to provide a place for beginning game developers to learn. Since then it has grown to feature a wider variety of gaming related articles. Now it includes fiction and poetry. I think if I was asked 6 years ago what I thought this site would be now, I would have said it would not last this long. Back then the Internet was still new. Very few people expected the web to stay virtually the same for so long. Some, like the president of Rhode Island College, felt the Internet was a fad. While I never thought it was a fad, I thought the web would have evolved. It has evolved, in the quality and quantity of content. The technology, however, has stayed virtually the same.
11/18/04 - The third issue of The End Times was published last night.
I have finally been convinced my life is not complete without a LiveJournal. So you can now find me there ranting and raving as LJ user forestjay. I am not sure how often I will use it, however, it will probably be more frequent (and personal) than my posts here. I will especially be using it for Camarilla related news.
11/11/04 - Happy Veterans Day.
I have become the assistant regional storyteller for new chronicle development in the NorthEast region of the Camarilla. Wow, that sounds like a big title. Anyhow, it's keeping me really busy, but it's fun. I get to write stuff for players.
11/4/04 - The first half (50,000 word / 200 pages) of Space Orphans has been completed. I'm hoping to get the next quarter completed in January.
10/28/04 - I have replaced the Amazon Honor system banner with a Child's Play banner. The banner will remain on the site until the conclusion of the charity.
Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Series for the first time since 1918. My grandfather had been a Red Sox fan until he died a few years ago and I am glad to have watched the game in the house he had lived in, even though he was not alive to see it.
I recently discovered that another East Coast Games, Inc. exists. It turns out the other East Coast Games is incorporated and located in Delaware. They are working on a game called Spoils of War which is an RTS/FPS similar to Natural Selection. If you are looking for them, their web address is http://www.ecgames.com/. We are in talks to make sure we do not conflict with each other.
10/20/04 - It is that time of year again and Penny Arcade is running the second annual Child's Play charity drive. The charity asks for good people like you to send games, toys, and cash to children's hospitals. Last year $250,000 in toys, games, and cash were donated to the sick children at Seattle Children's Hospital. Many of the children benefiting from the charity are long term patients. The idea behind Child's Play, beyond raising the spirits of ill children, is to show the news media that gamers are not the violent inhumane people they make us out to be. Unfortunately, even last year's successful drive did not grab the news media's attention. Probably because they feel the violent portrayal of gamers sells far better then stories about gamers coming together for a worthwhile cause.
This year the charity is supporting five hospitals from different locations within the United States. I sent a Deluxe Blo-Pens Creative Activity Set from Amazon.com to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. If you would like to donate please visit the Child's Play website at http://www.childsplaycharity.org/.
Tomorrow at 6:00am I will be on a flight to North Carolina for the International Camarilla Convention. I am very excited, although I am worried how much sleep I will get versus how much sleep I will need. I have had a cold for about a week and it feels like it is almost over, but maybe that is wishful thinking and I will have it the whole convention. Hopefully my roommates will not kick me out for coughing!
10/14/04 - I have added the following poem to the poetry section.
How bleak is a day,
When a Formorian rules?
How bright would it be,
If the city were free?
She was called the White Hag.
Ruler of evil,
Murderess of Doyle.
For Doyle I went.
Doyle was noble in life,
Even if not in title,
A hero to many.
When we first met he saved a childling,
Now he is dead,
His death needed to be avenged.
The Hag brought a storm of lightning,
But our forces could brave whatever weather she created.
Her wolves brought rabies,
Our forces were prepared with vaccines.
The wolves differed in breath,
Some breathed fire,
Some expelled acid,
Still others breathed ice.
Tried as I might,
My magic could not a-wolf light,
I did what I could,
But fled so as not to join her list of kills.
The Fae prevailed,
The balefires were lit,
The Hag fell out of the dreaming,
Her own weapon used against her.
In the autumn world the battle continued,
Her magic faltered,
Finally she fell,
Her head separated from it's body.
The dreaming has chosen,
We will not be slaves to any Formorian!
The poem is about a proxied battle that took place in Boston's Changeling venue. It was done amazingly well considering the number of people who proxied.
If you go to CNN's website and do a search for "Badnarik", as in Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik, guess how many hits you will get. If you guessed zero you would be correct. Green Party Candidate David Cobb and Independent Candidate Ralph Nader both have more coverage (as in they have coverage) on the same web site.
The Libertarian Party has more legislative representatives then all of the other 'third parties' combined and yet CNN will not cover their presidential candidate! The news media's generic excuse for not covering third party candidates is that they do not get enough votes to merit newsworthyness. That logic is exactly why they get so few votes. Unexposed candidates cannot win elections. When the news talks about how the candidates stand on the issues they ignore the third parties.
The Commission for Presidential Debates (CPD) is a nonprofit corporation that claims it is nonpartisan. Yet, if it was truly nonpartisan it would invite ALL presidential candidates. Because the only debates that got national news coverage were held by the CPD and the CPD only allowed Republicans and Democrats to participate both Michael Badnarik and David Cobb crossed the barrier to try and enter the debate. Both were arrested. Despite the fact two presidential candidates were arrested trying to get to a debate they should have taken part in the major news media still will not cover the candidates.
The CPD gets some public funding from Arizona. For this reason Arizona Libertarians have filed a law suit against Arizona. It is a violation of the Finance Reform Act and Arizona state law.
I will be at the International Camarilla Convention next Thursday so I will try to make a post on Wednesday. If I cannot find the time I will have to skip next week.
10/7/04 - I finished reading The Dark Tower. I am still having trouble deciding how much or how little I like it. It is a good book with lots of action and great characterization. I still cannot get over the fact that Stephen King used himself as a character. This series was meant to be his greatest work or his opus. He makes books outside of the series important to the characters and story which therefore makes it seem like a marketing strategy. In all of the greatest works of fiction I cannot think of one work that included the author as a character. The Odyssey did not have Homer as a character. Pride and Prejudice did not have Jane Austin as a character. The Time Machine did not have H. G. Wells as a character. So either this is a ground-breaking piece of literature or it is an egotistic slap in the face for the readers. Had I known in the 1980s that the series would have ended as it did I do not think I would have begun reading it. At the point when he introduced himself as a character it was really too late to give up reading it. Perhaps it is because many of the early readers needed to read the final books to get a sense of completion he felt he could use the last three to market himself and the other books. Now, do not think I am completely anti-King because of this. I still like the other books of his that I have read. Maybe the last three books in the series were more of an experiment than a marketing scheme. They also do make sense to try now as he retires.
I uploaded the latest version of my iTunes play-list. It includes new music I have added over the last several months from The Streets, Lazyboy, Coheed and Cambria, as well as some older music from The Cranberries. I am in a bit of a money crunch until February so I unfortunately will not be buying more music until then.
Is it my imagination or have web journalists decided they do not need copyeditors? I cannot say my grammar is perfect but all of the writing I have done for The End Times and IGN has been copyedited. I saw somebody's print-out of a sport's story from The Boston Globe's website and the very first sentence had a typo. It is not just them either as I saw a typo in a print-out of a story from ESPN as well. That type of sloppy publishing hurts the medium and speaks poorly of those outlets.
My son got glasses Tuesday. I have been wearing glasses for as long as I can remember and I did not expect to dislike them as much as I do. I tell him they look great. My wife has perfect vision so it was always possible our son's vision would be from her genes. I was not very fond of how I looked as a child with glasses and he looks very much now like I did as a child. I also hate that he will be stuck with glasses, or possibly contacts, for the rest of his life. When he went to school yesterday the kids thought it was cool because Harry Potter wears glasses. While it may be cooler now then it was, it is still a hindrance to have to wear them and to always have to worry about losing or breaking them. I have been avoiding the eye doctor for a few months so I could wait until February when I can afford new glasses. The lenses in my glasses are scratched and will probably need to be replaced. When the lenses are new and clean they are very easy to see-through. However, just the natural oils from skin can make them hard to see through. They also make them hard to clean. I hate that he will have to live with that. On the other hand, things could be so much worse.
9/30/04 - I got my copy of The Dark Tower. I think I'm about one third through it. It's the largest book of the series. So far it's good. The end will determine my final opinion of it and the series. I liked all the books up until Stephen King introduced himself as a character. I'll wait and see how this book is before I decide if it was as bad a decision as I originally deemed it.
Around 1990 several people predicted what life would be like by the year 2000. I wrote some of them down, but lost them until earlier this week. Apparently I wrote in pencil using cursive writing in that period of my life. I'm glad I've come past that point in my life as reading something written 14 years ago in pencil is a bit difficult.
That means three out of 12 predictions were correct. That is 25% correct. I wish I had written down who these predictions were made by. I remember I wrote them down after hearing them on two major network television programs. If I ever do this again I'll have to remember to use pen instead of pencil!
I think the reason I wrote them down was to determine their accuracy. Based on these findings I must say that predictions are generally inaccurate, even the vague ones.
9/22/04 - The Dark Tower was released yesterday. My copy will hopefully arrive soon. It is the last book in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
There is an interesting article in Time Magazine about the two truths media outlets show about President Bush. They go on to say that one side of the media believes Bush is a hero and saviour. The other side belive he is a despotic zealot. I have not personally noticed any media outlets take the former stance but it is possible I have tuned them out because they differ from my own views. The latter, however, I hear regularly. Living in Rhode Island and working in Massachusetts means I am surrounded by Democratic propaganda. My favorite radio station, WFNX, does not seem to care too much about the other candidates but all the presidential news include anti-Bush opinions. As much as I agree and sympathize with those feelings, I do not feel they have any place in the news. The news should be about the facts. Who does what when, where, sometimes why, and how. It should not include stereotyping, name calling, or bashing just for the sake of bashing.
The article also talks about how the Internet is causing news reporters to have trouble justifying some statements. Popular blogs questioning the truth behind some news sources are easily backed by information from web searches. People's new-found easy-access to information will hopefully force reporters to be more honest or lose their already diminishing audience.
9/16/04 - Issue 2 of The End Times has just been published. It includes some terrific art, two stories, and a collection of poetry.
Today's my birthday. My mother-in-law asked me if I feel like an old man. I'm not against getting old, it's part of life. Maybe my opinion will change in twenty years. The younger a person is the harder it is for them to get respect in the workplace. People ask me why I have a beard when it makes me look older. I always reply that older is often better. Unfortunately, there is an age when the attitude reverses. No company wants to invest in a person who might retire or need to leave for health reasons.
New draft legislation (bills: S89 and HR 163) is currently being planned in both the house and senate. This legislation will make people more eligible to be drafted then ever before. It will also allow women to be drafted. While it may be fair or equal for women to be subjected to the draft it's illogical and uncivilized. If we draft women in a prolonged war of over twenty years we would have a net population loss. If our opponents did not draft women we would quickly tip the balance in our opponents favor! This is also a potentially destructive action against families. If both parents of a child are drafted then the traditional family structure will be broken. Being forced to grow up with one parent can be difficult on a child, being forced to grow up with neither is devastating.
Some people hypothesize that if these bills are passed and Bush is re-elected the draft will be re-instated as early as 2005. If my son is at risk of being drafted to fight a war of aggression (like the current war) I will not hesitate to move to another country.
Bush senior caused 9/11. During his time with the CIA he supplied Al Quida with weapons so that they would fight the Russians. Giving weapons to a third world nation is not a humanitarian act. When Bush senior attacked Iraq for oil in the first Gulf war Osama bin Laden became angry with the United States. His revenge for Bush senior's war was the 9/11 attacks. Now Bush senior's shadow of a son has us fighting again. Our country is not just fighting for terrorism or Iraqi freedom, the fighting is to make some of us rich. Our Vice President, Dick Cheney, worked for Halliburton, an oil services corporation, and stands to make a substantial amount of money from the war efforts. Some people are quick to point out that our president's grandfather made money working with Nazis. While it may not be as drastic, it should be noted that the Kennedy fortune was made from illegal importation of alcohol. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor, served on Chevron's board of directors.
You can write to your senator about the draft legislation via http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm and your congressional representative via http://clerk.house.gov/members/index.html.
9/9/04 - The first quarter or 25,000 words in the original draft of Space Orphans was finished on 9/6/04. The first half is expected to be completed around the holiday season. The book is currently expected to be approximately 100,000 words long.
My son began preschool this week. So far he seems to be enjoying himself.
9/2/04 - I have archived some of the news into the What's New Archive.
I got my Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) presidential campaign bumper sticker this week. It's already on my car.
This is a very important election. Please vote. Please do not forget that while most of the government is run by two parties, funded by special interests, and want to keep your votes restricted to those two parties, the United States is a democracy. There are other candidates. If you are unsure of who to vote for, or have not heard anything about the other party's candidates please try the SelectSmart.com candidate selector. It is a quiz that will give you results based on questions determining your political stances. The following is the output it gave me:
|1.||Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (64%) Click here for info|
|2.||Cobb, David - Green Party (51%) Click here for info|
|3.||Nader, Ralph - Independent (51%) Click here for info|
|4.||Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (42%) Click here for info|
|5.||Bush, President George W. - Republican (42%) Click here for info|
|6.||Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (40%) Click here for info|
|7.||Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (34%) Click here for info|
8/26/04 - I have added the following poem to the poetry section.
The darkness is revealed and our future unsure,
The time for heroes has returned.
Pure in their hearts as well as their souls,
We must face the demons who have sprung from their holes.
Do we trust our nocturnal neighbors,
Or do we strike our own destiny?
Their powers are immense,
but our numbers can prevail.
The death count has risen,
Who stands to fight the killers?
The One Giver's silence is a sign to all,
We have ignored our duty to ourselves.
A time of reckoning is upon us,
We must shun the sweet words of the betrayer.
Our lives may be forfeit but our freedom remains,
Choose to follow your spirit and redeem your soul.
This poem relates to an epic poem called Days of Fire that was created by White Wolf. It's an amazing poem. As the current World of Darkness comes to a close my characters have had some great revelations. I hope this type of dicovery will continue to exist in their new World of Darkness. I was going to wait for the LARP books to be realesed before buying any of the new books, but my friends are already creating bloodlines so I want to catch up. Hopefully the books will arrive fairly soon.
8/19/04 - While Time-Keepers is being looked at by publishing companies, I have begun work on my second full-length novel, Space Orphans. A link to the Space Orphans page has been added to the side-menu.
Stephanie sent me a copy of a picture of her belly from the signing at the Evanescence Concert. So here it is:
8/12/04 - A few of you wrote trying to bribe me to tell you what update I would make about Time-Keepers. I was evil, and made you all wait until today. So, here it is: the copyediting and fourth draft of Time-Keepers has been completed! I now feel it is ready to be read by publishers. I have created a Marketing Plan for publishers to review. I will now be actively mailing publishers about the book.
In other news, I went to Turbine Nation/ACPL 2004 on Saturday. I have added an event write-up for it to the event reviews section.
2/18/04 - Tanga Chapter 17 titled The Alpha has been posted.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about family. Last week's discussion, which I wrote before leaving for vacation, was about Puritanical Ideals and directly relates to Janet Jackson.
The initial writing of Time Keepers is now complete. In other words, the first draft is done. I'm now editting to create a second draft. I hope to have my editting done late second quarter of 2004 at which time it will be copyeditted. The book is currently 166,354 words long. It's generally too costly to publish books greater than 100,000 words. For this reason I am breaking the book into two books. The first book is about 87,000 words long and the second book is 78,000 words. If they do get published separately it will probably be as 'Time Keepers - The Colony (Volume 1)' and 'Time Keepers - First Mission (Volume 2)'.
Congratulations to Orson Scott Card on having the writers from X-MEN 2 signed to Ender's Game: The Movie
My vacation in the Berkshires was fun. We went to the butterfly conservatory, the Berkshire Musuem, and went Tubing at Brodie Mountian twice.
I watched the Grammy's purely to see Amy Lee of Evanescence. Congratulations to them for their two Grammys. I also found it disappointing Janet Jackson did not attend because of the Super Bowl and yet the untalented Mickey Mouse Club reject not only went but sang twice and undeservingly won a Grammy over Sting. I seriously doubt I'll waste time to watch the Grammy awards again.
2/4/04 - This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Future Interfaces.
Last Thursday I was listening to a local "alt-rock" station and heard that Amy Lee of Evanescence is "sick of playing music from Fallen" because it was lyrics from her late teens. I'd love to see them come out with a new album, but that's a fairly depressing thing to hear after buying tickets to their show! I'm hoping it was just an exaggeration.
Many people, many other people, watched the superbowl on Sunday. I've only watched one Super Bowl and it was the last one the Patriots one. I'm not a big sports fan. I'd rather play sports (or games for that matter) than watch. Anyway, with all the hullabaloo they made about the half-time show, maybe I made the wrong decision. I keep wondering why CBS would ever have MTV produce anything for them. CBS is like ten times bigger, can't they do it themselves? I guess maybe they expected MTV's specialization would make it a better show. Honestly though, MTV lost my interest when they stopped being about music and began airing traditional shows. The FCC is an extremely out of place agency. Sure, it is important to enforce a rating system, but that's not what they do. They enforce antiquated rules. Remember the vchip? Well where is it today? Why is it that we aren't allowing broadcast channels to broadcast whatever they went within the rating? Even more important, why would the FCC fine for a LIVE broadcast? You can't control a live broadcast, trust me I was a DJ for awhile, I know. Also, where are all these "angry" people who were upset by Janet Jackson's breast? Why is it OK for our children to see violence and murder on television but not the human body in it's natural form?
I'll be on vacation next week and might not have time to post the weekly update. I will be writing a weekly discussion and chapter of Tanga, although I'm not sure when they will be published. They may have to be posted before I leave.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. It's had a ton added.
1/28/04 - Tanga Chapter 16 titled Telia, the next day has been posted.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Body Modifications.
I bought tickets to the Evanescence concert at Boston's Avalon. The concert is on a Sunday in late February. My ticket is for row GA8 (General Admission) seat 10. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I assume they have more then 8 rows, but I have never been to Avalon so I don't know. This is actually my first "rock" concert. I've been to concerts before, like folk concerts which are pretty mellow and school concerts. I'm going alone because my wife and I don't have a babysitter. I'm rather nervous about the whole thing. I have one friend who goes to punk concerts where in the mosh pit everybody wheres metal to cover their knees and lower legs . . . so they don't leave as a bloody mess. I'm guessing Evanescence will be mellow in comparison, but I'm not sure. I get the feeling if it was a 12 stones concert it probably would get a bit violent. If you haven't heard of 12 stones, their lead singer is the male vocals in Evanescence's "BRING ME TO LIFE." Both groups are with Wind-up Records. They are also the label of Creed and Seether.
My membership to The Camarilla finally came through! It has been six months since I signed up and paid. My first year's membership will end in 6 months! It's OK though, I've already talked to some of the members on their website and discovered the Boston Chapter.
1/21/04 - This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Races.
I have migrated another set of webpages from my laptop to this website. They feature WarCraft 2 Strategies and maps/PUDs. On the left I have also added a games section. The EVE link is the only link that takes you off of this site in that section. Since the majority of the EVE Vault work is done by me I think it makes sense to have the link. I have also made a link to my AC site. The Natural Disaster and Space Adventure links were also moved from the now gone products section to the games section.
1/15/04 - Tanga Chapter 15 titled Telia has been posted.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Mining!
Congratulations to NASA for getting their rover not only to land on Mars but to start driving on the planet's surface!
Some site management information, I have archived some of the older posts. To find them visit the What's New archive (AKA What's Old). Also, as you may have noticed I update the site weekly now. I have decided I will be sticking to this schedule. You can expect one weekly post from now on. The post will usually be made late Wednesday night. Some Wednesday's however I am at the Boston PostMortem and on these weeks post late Thursday night. I may occasionally post on other days, but they will only be for very special or important reasons. Also, it's likely that weeks I'm on vacation I will not be able to post, unfortunately I rarely vacation. If you want to see the post but don't want to come to the site I suggest you add yourself to the mailing list. I send each post to members of the mailing list. If you would be interested in an RSS or XML feed, e-mail me and I'll consider it.
An e-mail was sent to the Evanescence mailing list giving a link to the free download of the band version of My Immortal for all owners of Fallen. When you go to the webpage you download a "CD Checker". You run the software and put Fallen into your CD-ROM. The program will recognize it then send you to the link. I think it's a very innovative idea. My only disappointment is the file is a Window's Media file and won't play in iTunes :( .
1/7/04 - Like I had planned I went to Providence's Bright Night. My son and I went alone as my wife was feeling ill. First we went to the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and watched BIG NAZO. My son still says the puppet show (BIG NAZO)was his favorite. It was a two hour show starting at 6:00 PM and we stayed for about an hour and a half. Next we walked to North Main street to see Bill Harley in the First Baptist Church. I've liked his music since I was a kid, unfortunately my son couldn't sit through more then two songs. Next we went to see Len Cabral. Len Cabral is a great story teller and my son liked a song he did that everybody got to sing along with and act out. The last thing we went to see, and this was around 9:00 PM, was the labyrinth on the fourth floor of the mathewson street church, sorry I can't find a link. It wasn't a maze, it was a spiritual labyrinth that had only one route in and one route out, and no way to get lost. I found it disappointing in that respect. It is actually a copy of the labyrinth in chartres cathedral of France, which I have been to. My son had us walk through it four times! We had to be barefoot because it was painted on canvas and when I finally forced him to leave at 9:30 my feet were actually sore from all the walking! Beside the labyrinth various musical artists preformed at times. At one point a clarinet player finished a solo and my son clapped when the artist finished. Your supposed to be quiet in the Labyrinth but the artist thanked my son for the compliment.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Music of the Future!
The initial writing of Time Keepers is now 3/4ths complete. I'm still on target to finish the initial writing in this quarter.
I went through my laptop recently, which is old and runs Windows 95. It turns out I had some older websites I worked on there. I will slowly publish them on East Coast Games. The first and most popular is 1 World, 1 Nation. 1 World, 1 Nation is something I worked on while I was in college. I published it on geocities, which was recently bought by Yahoo. As I said, it got a lot of hits and I got tons of pre-spam era e-mail. Unfortunately the e-mail included multiple death threats. Toady with so many mail filters it's difficult to e-mail me anyway, so I'm not so worried about getting such threats! In any case, I want you to realize before you read it that the ideas in the site are not something I have any plans on pursuing. Except for fixing the links the files have not been edited since 1996, which partly explains the style. While I think the ideas would benefit humanity I think the Off-Planet Theory is far more important. Finally, if anybody does decide to send me death threats I'll forward their correspondence to the police.
I have also added a small political section to the left menu of the website. I doubt it will have any updates any time soon.
12/31/03 - Happy New Year! New Year's EVE has always been my favorite holiday. I took a vacation day for it this year. Tonight we'll be celebrating the New Year at Providence's Bright Night. In years past we went to first night but due to lack of attendees and funding it was cancelled for this year. Bright Night was put together by local artists including Bill Harley, Len Cabral, the acme clown company and BIG NAZO who were disappointed that First Night was cancelled.
I have published Chapter 14 of Tanga titled Raven Corp.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about years!
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. There was some music added, I think it was mostly The Offspring and Transistor by 311. Transistor isn't that good, but with about 19 songs and the CD only costing $10 through iTunes I couldn't resist.
After the whole rant I gave last week about copying DVDs I saw a commercial yesterday saying basically the same thing. It turns out a group has been formed called RespectCopyrights.org. Unlike the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), RespectCopyrights.org isn't suing little girls to get their point across they are using informational campaigns and working with educators. RespectCopyrights.org was created by members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). While RespectCopyrights.org is mostly about movies it also supports copyrights of music, software, books, television, and video games.
12/24/03 - Happy Holidays! My wife and I just finished putting together some of the gifts for my son. I hate putting things together, especially when there are no diagrams that show all the parts!
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Holidays!
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. I think there was very little music added, but with the holidays my memory gets fried.
Time Keepers is now 2/3rds complete. I think I'm still on target to finish the initial writing in the first quarter of 2004.
12/17/03 - This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Game Music.
Congratulations to US and coalition troops for capturing Saddam Hussein alive.
Chapter 13 of Tanga (Back to Basics) has been posted on the EVE Vault.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. I went on another buying spree. This is a great model for selling music. Going to a music store is a pain, especially since when you get there you find out that all the songs on the CD but that one you like on the CD suck! Then you have to decide, is the one song really worth the cost of the CD? My answer is almost always no. The reason I bought Fallen by Evanescence is because I already knew I liked three of the songs. I knew the other songs could be a gamble, but three good songs on an album has to be a good sign . . . right? In their case YES! In the case of AudioSlave though, nope. Not at all. Even Linkin Park albums are iffy. Ego War by Audio Bullys is a great buy. I had only heard one of their songs, but I loved it and was willing to pay for the CD even if the rest of the songs sucked. Fortunately, the rest were great too. They'll probably be famous in a few years. iTunes is great though, you find a song, sample it, if you like it BAM you got it for $1. Just a $1, so pretty soon you have like 100 and you didn't even notice you spent $100. Of course even though you spent $100, they're all good songs, or at least songs you like! Albums are great too, most cost $10. That means if you find 10 or more songs on an album you would buy for $1 you can get the whole album for $10. The only drawback, is there are some artists I'd like them to have that they don't yet, like Nickel Back, Dave Matthews, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The other day I was in the men's restroom of the local mall. I overheard a kid talking to his friend on a cell while he used the urinal. He basically told his friend to rent some DVDs because they have a new DVD-writer and that they'll copy the DVDs. That really ticked me off, I wanted to go over and show him some holiday spirit. I can't understand people that steal like that. Do they not appreciate the fact that the actors, directors, producers, camera men, writers, gaffers, boom operators, and everybody else that works on a movie is doing it to make a living? Do they not realize that while most of the actors and actresses get a good salary the camera man can't keep his family in a house after a pay cut because everybody steals his work instead of paying for it? /Rant off. :)
12/10/03 - This week's EVE Vault discussion is about publishing and EVE's future.
If you haven't already heard, Penny Arcade is running a toy drive for a children's hospital. If you want to fight against the vilification of games I strongly suggest you help their charity. I bought for the hospital a copy of Crazy Taxi which I hope will give a hospitalized child hours of enjoyment and escape from their situation.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. I went on a buying spree, yikes I spent like $80 on online music. One click shopping is the devil! I haven't even played all the songs yet! I'm listening to the Nirvana songs at the moment. I also updated the page to show the music genre, which may be helpful since some of the music I listen to is unusual.
I don't understand why many New Englanders don't know or forget how to drive in the snow. A 30 minute drive to work yesterday took me over two hours because of the traffic, yet the roads were perfectly clear of ice, snow, slush, and black ice. Plus the city of Pawtucket RI has decided to drive plows through our road too high to plow but at the perfect height to topple the snow banks into the road. These trucks then go to a nearby factory and do an excellent job there. I guess they know where the money is, too bad they forgot where the votes are! This has caused multiple people to get stuck, one of which I helped push and another which borrowed a shovel from my wife. My wife called the city when I was at work and the attitude-ridden woman she spoke to said they would send a plow to actually plow. No plow ever came though. I hope that woman realizes that when mayor James Doyle (which is probably her uncle) fails to get re-elected she'll be getting the boot. Well good riddance!
12/04/03 - This weeks chapter of Tanga is a ends the section relating to the Milky Way. It was posted Today and can be read here.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about EVE and the Milky Way.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. I finished rating the music. I also bought Ego War by Audio Bullys. It's not an easy CD to find and buy. Newbury Comics was sold out, Best Buy didn't have it, and Strawberries hid it in with Dance/Electronic music. It's a great CD though, well worth the cost.
The not so big news this week is that the initial writing of Time Keepers is now over 100,000 words. It seemed fairly arbitrary a number to me, until I decided to see what other people consider novel length. It turns out at least one publisher won't accept a novel submission unless it's between 75,000 and 100,000 words. So I may have to split the book into two books, but I'd rather not. It is possible and I have a place I can do it, I just feel the two halves are better as a whole.
I have also updated the reviews with a review of Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King.
11/26/03 - This month marks East Coast Game's fifth year! In honor of our anniversary I have posted a teaser of something I'll be expanding into a novel after the first book in the Time Keepers series is completed. This short preview is currently titled Vampire Training Academy. The name may change when I expand it. Special Thanks go out to Una for Copy Editing this. If everything goes right Una will also be copy editing Time Keepers. Good Copy Editors are hard to come by, and I'm very lucky to have her.
If you're wondering why I'm keeping my book in development, Time Keepers, under wraps but openly posting the Vampire Training Academy intro, it's because Time Keepers is still very open to changes. Because it will be part of a series, I want to do this first one right so I'll have a solid foundation for the future books. As soon as it's in a rough draft status I'll probably post an excerpt here.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is a reflection on the first 25 weeks or half year.
East Coast Games oddly enough was started the same month and year as Penny Arcade, who I mention from time to time. They're the only webcomic, or any comic except the occasional Dilbert calendar, that I read. They made a special comic for their celebration.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. There is very little unrated yet. Most of it is from Tori Amos's Under the Pink album, which I can almost guarantee will all be five smileys. I added at least one song. If I only added one it was by the Ataris. As sad as it is, and makes me feel, I love the saddest song from their So Long Astoria album. After hearing it I always want to get home and give my son a big hug.
I have added a reviews section on the side. It includes game reviews (just MMORPGs at the moment), fiction, and non-fiction. I also moved my iTunes Playlist to there since it is a review of songs. I also moved the technical book reviews and compiler reviews to there.
11/20/03 - This weeks chapter of Tanga is a continuation of the last two chapters. It was posted Tuesday and can be read here.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Realism.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist yet again, didn't see that coming did you! I don't thinkany songs have been added, but with over a day of playing time for the entire list I still have not rated all the songs. I'd like to have them all rated, so I can play my favorites, so I'll continue doing this until it's done
Everybody is so down on Matrix Revolutions. I like it. I like many movies that the average viewer dislikes, Cable Guy, Star Wars Episode I, and Star Wars Return of the Jedi. With the Matrix, I expected from the very beginning that it would take place mostly in the real world. Isn't that obvious? Since Neo is fairly omnipotent in the Matrix all of the rebels goals in the Matrix become child's play. So naturally the second movie would be more in the real world. I actually expected the final movie would only be in the real world, with a possible candy scene for the viewers.
The big news this week, for me at least, is that the initial writing of Time Keepers is half-way complete at 180 pages.
11/13/03 - This week's EVE Vault discussion is about Fan Fiction.
I have updated my iTunes Playlist again. I warn the faint hearted reader, there is at least one song title with a swear in it. If you find this objectionable, don't read it. I would edit the file but I think it would be an insult to the artist(s).
So I keep hearing people say they "don't understand" Matrix Revolutions. What specifically do they not understand? The only thing I was unsure of is one of the character's fates.
Stephen King is going to receive an award for his work. Some are saying he does not deserve it because his books are dumbed down. If they are dumbed down, I guess I'm dumb enough to like them. :o I have been waiting . . . and waiting for him to finish the Gunslinger series. Well, he finally has! I'm reading Wolves of the Calla at the moment. It's good so far. One of the things I think the high class snobs that can't sell as many books as King need to realize is that Shakespeare, who they probably worship like a deity, dumbed his plays down. It's the most practical business approach. Compare it to Apple and Windows. Would you rather have a platform with niche art programs or a platform that does just about everything? Obviously people choose Windows just like they choose King. In many ways that makes him better.
There has been a slight redesign of the site. I have never liked frames and I finally took the appropriate measures.
11/06/03 - This weeks chapter of Tanga is a continuation of the last chapter. It was posted today and can be read here.
This week's EVE Vault discussion is about InGame ads.
I also posted my iTunes Playlist and it has the familiar smiley ratings from other parts of this site. Any track without smileys is unrated, which may mean I will hate it or love it. All 50 or so tracks I bought from Apple's website have the top rating . . . of course. The other tracks are from my CD collection. Some of which are from CDs by artists with some good songs but not enough good songs to make an entire CD. As an example, Fallen by Evanescence is a great CD and all the music gets five smileys. Audioslave on the other hand has some disappointing tracks on their self-titled album. What's great about iTunes is that you can preview 30 seconds of a song before purchase. You also can buy individual tracks. You can rip CDs into your playlist and you can burn CDs. Also Apple's AAC format is secure, as far as I can tell, preventing people from getting illegal copies of songs . . . in that format of course.
I saw Matrix Revolutions last night at 10:30. It was great, but I'm a bit confused about the fate of one character. The character seemed to die in the end, but the character may have just been wounded / asleep / unconscious. Also there was not as much hand to hand combat as I would have liked, it did have some though.
10/29/03 - As an extension of my post last week today on the EVE vault I posted Weekly Discussion 21: Vilification of Games.
I also posted an auto-biography of myself here.
This time change thing is killing me. My son is waking up an hour earlier saying, "Dad, it's time to get up. Look the sun is up!"
Have a safe and Happy Halloween. My son will be Trick or Treating as Anakin Skywalker. We got to see some Jacky-0 Lanterns at the Roger William's Zoo pumpkin display.
I don't really have much more to say today, accept of course that I hope the fires in Southern California will be put out soon with no further loss of life. The men and women fighting to stop the fire, even those that fight it from behind a desk, are true heros and deserve the deep admiration I have for them.
10/22/03 - As you may have heard Rockstar Games, TAKE2Interactive, Sony and Walmart are being sued because of a recent shooting. The shooters were both underage and said they were inspired by Grand Theft Auto 3. Grand Theft Auto 3 is one of my favorite games. It's rated M because it's not intended for teenagers. Maybe it was too easy for the teens to buy the game but if they were that influenced by a game they have issues that would have violently surfaced without ever having played the game. The parents should be held accountable, but since the parents don't have as deep pockets as Sony or Walmart the lawyers place the blame where it does not belong.
This is a sad chapter in a trend towards vilifying games. Greece made the use of video games in public illegal! Any electronic game, even a kids game like Pokemon for the GameBoy was illegal!
Back even further we can remember how Senator Lieberman, now running for president, and senator McCain, who might run against Bush, both blamed Doom and Quake for the Columbine killings. Its discouraging to think that two presidential hopefuls made their careers by working against the first amendment to the US constitution.
I posted the EVE Vault weekly discussion today. Weekly Discussion 20: Storyline Events asks if players should be able to change the story of an MMORPG.
I have also finished Tanga Chapter 9 - Truth part I.
Also on the writing front, as of last Thursday Time Keepers is 1/3rd done! I'm still in need of a publisher.
I'm weak, I bought The Matrix Reloaded on Saturday. I have already watched it twice. I guess it was worth it though because I would have had to rent it before Revolutions so I could get a refresher. Then in the likely chance Revolutions is good I would have bought it and thus spent more in the long run!
10/15/03 - The Chinese have made it into space! Congratulations to them for their achievement.
I posted the EVE Vault weekly discussion today. Weekly Discussion 19: Jobs asks what jobs will be like in the future.
I have been listening to Fallen by Evanescence and I love it. It was a birthday present. All the tracks are excellent which is surprising for such a new band. The first I had heard of them was Bring me To Life in Daredevil. Which I also thought was a good movie.
I am getting real excited about The Matrix Revolutions. I have already watched the 100 MB trailer about 20 times! I bought the original The Matrix when it first came out. I'm avoiding buying and even re-watching The Matrix Reloaded until I see The Matrix Revolutions.
10/08/03 - I have written two purity tests, one about AC2 and the other about EVE Online. I'll keep permanent links to them on the sidebar menu.
I posted the EVE Vault weekly discussion today. Weekly Discussion 18: Corporate Ownership asks what companies will be like in the future.
Chapter 8 of Tanga, titled Disappointment, has also been published.
It looks like California is about to have a new Governator. Personally I would have voted libertarian if I lived in California but I bet Arnold will do better then Davis. I heard somebody complaining on the radio about all the Davis administration workers losing their jobs. I can just picture this as a political cartoon:
Person 1: Uncle Davis got voted out so we're going to lose our jobs. I guess we'll actually have to work now!
Person 2: Nah, even though uncle got booted we can just collect welfare and unemployment.
Person 1: *smack head* Of course, I should have thought of that.
10/01/03 - I wrote two articles about my time at the Indy Gencon this year. It was a great time and I'm really glad I went. You can read about day 1 & day 2 as well as day 3 & day 4 here. You can also read an older event write-up I did for the Asheron's Call Player Luncheon of 2002. Event reviews I write will from now on be easily access able through the sidebar of this site.
I posted the EVE Vault weekly discussion today. Weekly Discussion 17: Survival of the Fittest asks what happens if humanity defies Darwinism.
09/24/03 - I was going to postpone the announcement longer but I have decided that the sooner I get it over with the better so here it is:
Time Keepers, a novel by Forest J. Handford currently in development. The initial writing is 1/4th done as of September 2003. It will be completed in the first quarter of 2004 and be about 360 pages. The book is in need of a publisher. Anybody interested in publishing the book preferably in a print format should contact Forest directly. More details will follow as the book gets closer to completion.
Also of note, a page has been added here with links to Tanga, an EVE fan fiction, that I work on for IGN's EVE Vault. The latest chapter to the series, Chapter 7 - Course Correction, was published yesterday.
Today I also published my weekly EVE Vault discussion, discussion 16 - Leveling treadmill.
In other news, I watched Underworld on it's opening night. I think it's a great movie and recommend it to anybody who likes the vampire genre. More specifically I want to discuss White Wolf's law suit against Sony over the movie. White Wolf is the maker of a series of Vampire work which directly relates to the Camarilla LARP which I have personally played and enjoyed. While I held off my judgment until I saw the movie I agree with the maker's of Penny Arcade who wrote this of it. If you read through the complaint it states that both works are very similar and both include a Romeo & Juliet story between a vampire and a werewolf. The book made through White Wolf was copy written in 2003. The screenplay of Underworld was copy written in 2001! Clearly if anybody has the right to sue it is Sony not White Wolf! I think however their key concern is that both are making a game about vampires and werewolves using a Half-Life engine by Valve. I don't see how that is an issue as it's an obvious choice for the quick production of that style game. In the end this law suit seems frivolous considering how many differences there are between the two works. Certainly both works are about as far from each other as they are from works like Blade and The Vampire Chronicles.
09/17/03 - Last week's post hopefully caught your interest. Maybe some of you even wondered if the site really would be updated. Well put aside your doubt because here it is!
I have been doing some work for IGN's EVE Vault for a little over 15 weeks. During this time I have been writing fan fiction and forum discussions for the Icelandic MMORPG EVE Online. Today I will introduce you to the discussions. This week the discussion is about the emperor of one of the races in the game. Many of the discussions touch topics that are not inclusive to the game, like politics, religion, and weapons of the future. From now on you can read these discussions from links on this site. Next week I'll add links to the fan fiction I have done for EVE. Also don't forget, I'll soon be announcing the major project I am working on.
09/11/03 - We'll never forget our friends and family who were lost in any of the 9/11 flights or at the twin towers. I (Forest Handford) was personally a co-worker of Carol Flyzik who died on one of the flights. I had not intentionally planned to post today however if I did not post today it would be because the terrorists won and that the terrorists succeeded in creating a long lasting terror that deeply hurt us. Instead of that we must move on. We can't be afraid to live our lives because some people don't like us.
Today's post is about two topics. First I recently reviewed The Cg Tutorial. Take a look in our reviews. It's a great book for artists who want to try technical work and graphics programmers.
The second portion of this post is to inform you of the future of this website. This website was started by me, Forest Handford, in 1998 as a way to teach novice game developers. Over the years most of the tutorials and work have been done by me. However from time to time we have had the help of some excellent volunteers. Because this was strictly about game development it lost some attention as I moved on to other projects. I'll get into more details about those projects in the next few weeks. Right now what I want to say is that East Coast Games, Inc is now inactive and the website is being turned over to me to use for multiple topics. It's not my intention to make this site a "blog" however in some ways it may start to appear that way. The works I will soon be featuring here will not for the most part relate to game development, like work I do for IGN's EVE vault. Also there is a major project I'm working on that I am 1/6th complete and I will announce the details of this project in the coming weeks. To all the fans of this site, I'm sorry if this is a let down. Please stay a few weeks longer to see what will be happening before unsubscribing from the mailing list. The tutorials will remain here as they are. As you may know they are a bit out-dated, I would like to update them but I don't foresee a time when that will be possible. In any case those tutorials will be there forever as will most of the works that will be added in the future. The only question I think that may leave open is, will I be the solo content creator for this site. The answer is yes . . . and no. For the time being yes, however if any work is sent my way that you might want to see I certainly will do my best to get it added.
-Forest J. Handford
03/05/03 - Total immersion and transmedia access is a topic that has been touched upon more and more within the MMORPG space. From talking with various MMP players, we've found that there is strong interest for increased access and interaction with the gameworld and community. If you are interested in the leveraging of wireless technology to extend the game world (ie. anytime/anywhere access to key stats, time-sensitive events, and communication with guild members, etc) and improve guild/gameplay dynamics, please contact us. We are looking for gamers and game developers interested in constructively voicing opinions and offering strategic viewpoints to help shape our products into an indispensable value-added tool. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
10/09/02 - The links page has been updated. Links to places that no longer exist have been removed and a link to Boston PostMortem has been added.
8/15/02 - It has been a regrettably long time since the last update. E-news has gone out of business so we no longer have magazines for sale here. We still have made very little money (less then we spend on hosting costs) and in fact nobody ever bought a magazine through our site. Don't fret though, even if we have to go non-profit we have no intention of closing.
We are proud to announce that we have begun to sponsor and host game fan sites. Currently we host Miyamoto Yoshi's AC site and will soon be presenting Emeraldas the Archer's AC site.
1/6/02 - David McNally has completed the two chapters of a Visual BASIC Advanced Tutorial.
So what is with those Amazon Honor System banners? The Amazon honor system is a way for you to support East Coast Games by donating any amount of money. The way we found out about it is that Forest is a big fan of Penny Arcade and recently donated money to them through Amazon's honor system. If you use this site, want to keep it free, and maybe even learned something here that you would have needed to buy a book for pleae donate.
8/2/01 - Natural Disaster has gone BETA.
To BETA test Natural Disaster now click here.
Jeffrey Burke has completed the introduction of our Delphi Tutorial.
We have implemented the Amazon Honor system on our website. To support our site please click on the banner at the top of this page.
To play Natural Disaster now click here.
5/19/01 - An article on C++ Exception handling by Eelco Braad has been posted.
Natural Disaster has gone Alpha and is only a few weeks from going Beta.
5/6/01 - A new poll has been placed on the forum asking what you think of our site's design. Our site will be greatly expanded once Natural Disaster is completed. Design information about Natural Disaster includings specs and a post mortem will be posted here. With this expansion we have decided to reconsider the design of the site. We will probably remove frames and use tables. We also plan on only having a few links on the front-page to help make the menu more readable. Please post your vote for the site's design on the forum so that we'll know before we make the changes.
Last quarter East Coast Games, Inc. earned no revenue! We spend approximately $100 a quarter. This quarter we have made $6 through Amazon.com sales but it's still not enough to come close to breaking even. If we continue to lose money we may have to make East Coast Games a pay site. We want to keep it free so that it will be accessable to students, but we also feel that our work is worth more then what we get. To prevent us from having to convert to a pay-site system please buy books and electronics at Amazon.com through us. The price is the same as if you had gone to them directly but we make %5 of the sale.
4/14/01 - Randall Morgan has written an article on MSVC Remote Debugging.
2/27/01 - We now have a web forum! Please visit it at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EastCoastGames.
Are you looking for a job in game development? VIS entertainment is looking for experienced game developers to join their teams in Scotland. Visit them at www.visentertainment.com or send your resume to email@example.com. Their address has also been added to the resume mailer bringing the total to 76 companies.
2/23/01 - With the help of the folks at Google our search has been fixed/improved. Try it for yourself to see what you think.
1/7/01 - Storm Front is looking for game developers. Visit them at www.stormfront.com or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
11/26/00 - Are you looking for a job in game development? Creative Realms Studios is undergoing a major expansion and is in need of game developers. If your interested please e-mail your resume to email@example.com. Their address has also been added to the resume mailer bringing the total to 76 companies.
10/09/00 - eAds has stopped sponsoring sites like ours. For that reason you will no longer see their banner. We will be looking for another sponsor to replace them.
7/03/00 - Neil Edelman has updated his article about Avoiding Interspatial 3D Transformations to point out something he noticed while surfing some discussion boards.
6/18/00 - Neil Edelman has written another great article for us about Avoiding Interspatial 3D Transformations.
5/14/00 - We have changed hosts! We use to use HostAmerica/Interliant and now we use Interland. We decided to change for the following reasons:
Cost. Their service cost averaged $210 a quarter. East Coast Games, Inc. makes on average $32 a quarter. The more hits we get the worse the loss ratio became! Our Interland plan has 50 MB space with 5GB monthly transfer for under $20 a month! One year with interland is less than the cost of being with Hostamerica/Interliant for a quarter!
Secondary Reason 1:
Mediocre service. Although they are better than our original provider, domain hosts, their lack of solutions to get our web forum working was dismaying!
Secondary Reason 2:
They used their uptime gauruntee as a shield and do not mind having downtime! When they moved our server they didn't place our site on a temporary/backup server! To us this meant they did not care about our uptime, just their conveinance.
Our changing hosts has caused some downtime and some parts of the site will continue to be down for awhile. We hope this does not cause problems for any of our users. Thank you for being understanding during this time.
5/7/00- Our newest staff member, Neil Edelman, has joined after creating an excellent article about lighting for 2D games.
4/5/00- Our newest staff member, Filipe Jose de Souza, has joined after creating an excellent introduction to Delphi programming.
We have decided we do not currently need a webmaster. Until further notice we will have the CEO of East Coast Games Inc do the duties of the webmaster.
12/19/99 - We now sell compilers through our site! Now you can buy from us the software that studios use to create the best games. Currently there are two reviews that Forest wrote, one of Microsoft Visual C++ and one of Microsoft Visual BASIC.
As of 9/29/99 East Coast Games has been incorporated as East Coast Games, Inc. We would have made the announcement sooner but a certain state, Taxachussetts, never sent their response to our articles of incorporation!
11/13/98 - Forest has added another chapter to his C tutorial! Increase your skills with the lastest masterpiece from the Master Of The Mundane!
10/16/99 - Our lack of a good Catholic schooling is showing! One of our viewers pointed out some glaring spelling mistakes. Anyone out there who can point out other spelling mistakes please let us know! Look for our new tutorial on using the Microsoft Word Spell Checker coming soon!
10/12/99 - Forest has added yet another chapter to his C Tutorial! Check it out!!!!
9/20/99 - For all you who are interested in DIRECTX check out http://www.binaryspells.com/directx.html
9/6/99 - Forest has added more to his "C" tutorial! Check out the new chapter and his examples with source code in the C Tutorial Section!
9/2/99 - Forest (that's with 1 "r") has recieved numerous replies from musicians to help with our web site. Forest is currently reviewing the responses and will let everyone know what the audio plans for www.eastcoastgames.com will be!
8/8/99 - Welcome Amazon.com to our growing list of sponsers. Check out our Resources/Books section to get Forest's take on the lastest game programming books and even buy one via Amazon.com!
8/1/99 - We have a new webmaster. Welcome Pete Knights! Pete is Unix/Perl/Microsoft/Jack Of All Trades. He also does a MEAN impression of Ethel Merman! Let the good times roll!
7/24/99 - Our Webmaster is MIA! We have not been able to contact him for over two months. As you may have noticed the quality of the site has gone down due to this disaster. If you would like to help us and be a webmaster please read the ad at the bottom of this page.
We have done away with our old address-book update list and now have a more professional list. This list will allow you to get updates from us without letting other visitors see your address.
We have had some words on our main page get jumbled together because of missing and run-away spaces. We just finished our search for the spaces and think they are all back in line. If you know of any missing spaces please contact your local missing spaces agency as soon as possible!
6/30/99 - An introduction to C has been added to our website. We also made a fix to an error that a visitor, Felipe Marcelino, noticed with our website. Thanks!
Some of our update list e-mails were lost. If you haven't gotten an update recently please sign-up again. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
6/13/99 - Dirk has finished chapter one of the VisualBASIC tutorial and we added a link in our links section to a site that's brought us a ton of visitors, Game On.
5/22/99 - We are happy to announce the addition of Dirk Henkemans to our staff. With Dirk comes the addition of a VisualBASIC section to our programming tutorials.
5/9/99 - The recent killings in Littleton Colorado have thousands of people asking why did it happen and how can we prevent it in the future. Many industries are taking fire for what happened. Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman is placing the blame on movies and violent games that he says are realistic. He compared the game industry's advertisements to Joe Camel and is working to censor ads. Please visit his website http://lieberman.senate.gov/to read more about his views and to e-mail him your feelings on the subject.
5/1/99 - The Win-32 version of Space Adventure's file name was made to the setup program to avoid problems on Windows NT and Windows 98.
The function calls for the hit wave were added to gameutil.cpp.
We still are working on the s3m code. We have code to play it directly to a sound blaster sound card but we need to get it to work with DirectSound. HOPEFULLY the next version of SpaceAdventure will have background music.
Plans for adding text messaging and a scoring system are underway. They should be easy to add and may accompany a new DirectX chapter.
3/25/99 - With all the hype over Intel's new processor, here is a look at why not to buy a Pentium 3:
I had previously been openly excited about the Pentium 3 processor do to the speed improvements Intel has come up with. Their Pentium 2 Celeron model can process 5 instructions simultaneously with clock speeds up to 450 MHz. The Pentium 3 can process 7 instructions simultaneously with clock speeds currently up to 500 MHz. So at first glance, as a multi-threaded game programmer, I said Woo-Ha.
After reading more about the Pentium3 through Windows Magazine and from Yahoo! News I found that to help track hackers Intel added a serial code to the Pentium 3 that is broadcast when connected to the internet with all internet related messages. The reason they did this was to help catch hackers. The problem with this is that even if your not a hacker you can be traced. Using the Pentium 3 can help stalkers, marketers, etc to track a person's internet actions. They could than contact Intel to find out who the serial number belonged to or wait for the person to send personal information that could lead to finding them. Although the serial number can be shut off via a switch on the chip, when the computer has fatal errors, is in a sleep/low power mode or is rebooted the serial number is again accessible. For more info on the CPUID visit http://www.hardwarecentral.com/features/reports/cpuid/
For the less paranoid and more conservative of you who may not mind an invasion of privacy there is a more economic reason to stay away from the Pentium 3. The celeron model is being sold by Intel for $76 when the Pentium 3 is being sold for $450. Both are made for approximately $60. For Q1 of 1999 there are plans for Intel to release a 1 GHz processor. The price of a Pentium 3 is expected to fall drastically in Q3 of this year. > <
If you want to make a stand by not buying anything from Intel AMD has a cheaper 450 MHz chip which deals with 3D rendering and integer equations faster and more accurately than the Pentium 2.
3/18/99 - We've added a new chapter on DirectSetup, that dicusses how to add setup programs to your games.
3/14/99 - There was a bug in the setup program of Space Adventure that might have caused the program not to work on some machines. If you have had trouble installing or running the game, please download it again here.
For those of you who don't know, Space Adventure is playable on the MSNGaming Zone as a ZoneLan or DirectPlay application. You must install it from the setup program in order to play on the Zone.
3/4/99 - Added 9 new emails to the resume mailer, bringing the total to 75.
12/8/98 - Big news today. I just purchased www.EastCoastGames.com. Joseph P. Russell has made his first visible work for us by reviewing some Java books. Thanks and Welcome Joe. The book reviews that have been added include Assembly and Java books so check them out.
11/28/98 - I finished an introduction to DirectX with an application that draws some pictures.
11/15/98 - I finished and introduction to Windows Programming with another Game Programmers are Huggable program.
11/3/98 - I finished Chapter 6. Yesterday the program 6 used the return name; syntax. It turns out that my compiler doesn't like that and needs return (name); ! This has caused several hours of debugging overhead. It also means some of the extra error checking code I made will go unused. You can make the program more lean if you like.
11/2/98 - I FINALLY finished debugging the game for Chapter 6 * Big sigh of relief *. I'll probably post
the chapter later this week. Here are the files:
< Header> < Main > < Program >
I also rebuilt all the games to minimize their size and maximize their speed.
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