Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

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25 July 2005

Two similar humorous exercises in jargon juxtaposition made me smile recently – excerpts follow. First, The War on Terror as viewed from the Bourne shell:
$ cd /middle_east/Iraq/Democracy
$ ./install
Install Error: Install failed. See install_log for details.
$ more install_log
Installed failed!
Prerequisite packages missing
Conflicting package Wahhabism found in /midde_east/Saudi_Arabia
Packages Church and State must be installed separately
File System /PeakOil nearing capacity
Please read the install guide to properly plan your installation.

And If World War II was a realtime strategy game this is what would be going on in the chat during the game (warning – lots of profanity – as you might expect):
benny-tow: hey ur losing ur guys in africa im gonna need help in italy soon sum1
T0J0: o **** i cant help u i got my hands full
Hitler[AoE]: im 2 busy 2 help
Roosevelt: yah thats right ***** im comin for ya
Stalin: church help me
Churchill: like u helped me before? sure ill just sit here
Stalin: dont be an arss
Churchill: dont be a commie. oops too late
Eisenhower: LOL

10 June 2005

My wife just took delivery of her new Dell notebook. She is rightfully afraid that because it is a PC I will be tempted to spend lots of time on it playing games… But when we started filling in the XP setup stuff one of the two example texts given for the computer’s “friendly description” on the network was “David’s Game Machine”. She hadn’t typed my name in… How did they know?! 😉

8 October 2004
Filed under:Computer Games,Personal at10:51 am

Having finished a self-imposed game-free hiatus I just downloaded a bunch of game demos.
* Kohan II was OK but nothing special (rave reviews notwithstanding)
* Doom 3 wouldn’t run properly on my machine (no sound)
* Axis and Allies wouldn’t install at first then turned out to be very similar to Kohan II as it was produced by the same developer
* Medieval Lords, Nexus and Superpower 2 had no tutorial modes and just plunged you straight in to rather complex games so I became confused and bored
* Tribes: Vengeance had a demo that was so limited I couldn’t really get a flavour of the game.

I had been looking forward to hours of demo-playing fun to give myself a break after a tough couple of weeks but it looks like if I want to play anything I am going to have to play some of my old favourites – eg “Combat Mission”:http://www.battlefront.com/products/cmbb/cmbb.html. Or maybe this is the universe’s way of telling me I shouldn’t be playing games?

15 June 2004

I wish I had the time to do a proper write-up of the NotCon session I attended featuring Brewster Kahle, the man behind the Internet Archive whose mission is nothing less than to provide universal access to all human knowledge. Here is some stuff I noted instead.

Some interesting factoids from his presentation:

* There are 150,000 people using the Internet Archive per day. It stores 3-400Tb of data and recently upgraded to 1Gbps bandwidth.
* There were 300,000 to 600,000 scrolls in the Library at Alexandria. Only around eight of them are left.
* You can store the contents of the Library of Congress as plaintext (if you had scanned it all) on a machine costing $60,000.
* The bookmobile he produced that is connected to the Internet via satellite, travels the world and produces complete bound books from a collection of 20,000 public domain works cost just $15,000 – and that includes the van itself.
* He says that it costs him $1 to print and bind a public domain book – I assumed the books produced would be very rough and ready but he brought some along and they were almost as good as the kind you’d buy in a shop. I suspect he may be stretching the truth a bit – I believe the $1 a book cost he quotes is for an 100 page black and white printed booklet. It’s still impressive though especially as:
* He notes it costs US libraries $2 to issue a book. He suggests they could give people copies of public domain books for $1 instead and pay another $1 to the author to compensate them.

Like many geniuses he just doesn’t know when to stop and thankfully he has a private income from a dotcom or two he was involved with that enables him to try out lots of projects. Aside from archiving the web, movies, books and music he’s:

* taking the US to court to try to get their boneheaded copyright laws changed
* working on mirrors of his San Francisco-based archive in Alexandria and Amsterdam (hosted there by XS4all)
* encouraging anyone to upload anything to his archive (copyright permitting) offering unlimited bandwidth indefinitely (though the site doesn’t make it very easy to figure out how you are supposed to take advantage of this generous offer) including performance recordings of bands that have given their permission.
* Trying to collect and save old software (he got special dispensation from the US copyright office to do this for the next three years but can’t make it available). He does want your old software however so if you’ve got some he would like you to send it to him – in physical form with manuals where available. He’s even
* Trying to provide fast, free wifi across all of San Francisco.

He’s so hyperactive my fingers get sore just typing in all of the projects he is involved with! I worry that he’s taking on too much and that some of it may fall by the wayside if something happens to him. But his enthusiasm and his optimism are infectious. I am pleased to have been able to shake his hand.

P.S. Ironically, I recorded his presentation and have it in MP3 format but because it was 21Mb I can’t serve it myself and so far nobody has stepped forward to host the file. I finally found how to upload it but then discovered I deleted the original file once I passed it on to someone else to upload! So I hope someone still has them – if it does get posted I’ll tell you where.

24 February 2004

I am not an online roleplaying game player myself but I know enough about how they work that this article – “The Automated Online Roleplayer”:http://www.gamespy.com/fargo/august03/autorpg/index.shtml made me laugh long and loud.

15 February 2004

Watch and laugh at “The Man Behind The Motion”:http://www.ryantown.com/manbehindthemotion/ from Ryan McFaul. An interest in computer gaming is not required…

13 September 2003
Filed under:Computer Games at2:20 pm

After a long drought, a whole bunch of demos came out at once, though in the end they were all pretty disappointing. “Chrome”:http://www.chromethegame.com/ is a FPS with an emphasis on stealth and a “gimmick” – implants that give your character super-powers but only for a limited time. Unfortunately, while it is undeniably pretty the demo was extremely repetitious (power up, go through door, shoot bad guys, repeat) and you got no chance to play with the vehicles promised.

“Silent Storm”:http://www.nival.com/eng/s2_info.html was even worse. It seemed promising – a Jagged Alliance-style turn-based squad combat game set in WWII, but it was totally unrealistic (your people could be peppered with bullets and still stagger around) and you could only see the terrain from limited camera angles which often made it difficult to judge where you were running to (for example).

“Warlords 4”:http://warlords4.ubi.com/index.php was the demo I probably spent the longest time playing but only through a stubborn desire to get through it. It is another turn-based game – this one set in the usual D & D style fantasy universe, but it too began to be tedious as the tactical combat system is really primitive (a common problem with turn-based games where a lot of combats are resolved automatically).

Command and Conquer: Generals may be a good game, but the 400Mb (!) demo doesn’t really give you much insight into it. It contains just three very short missions and no multiplayer or skirmish mode.

Lastly, I haven’t had much time to play “Medal of Honour Allied Assault Breakthrough”:http://www.eagames.com/official/moh_alliedassault/breakthrough_editorial.jsp?src=mohbtdownloads&src=11hmer2g1000gnonenone (EA has to come up with some shorter names!) but without a manual it is hard to get started on, and I have to ask – what kind of first person shooter these days doesn’t let you lie down?

28 June 2003

Cory grouses that T-mobile has withdrawn support for the games built into the Sidekick PDA/communicator and in doing so can automatically delete the games from his device at the same time. He extrapolates from this that they would also remove any other data on the device if he ever left their network. I really doubt T-Mobile could or would delete all his personal data from your Sidekick without his permission. But their unilateral removal of the games does go to show just how un-web-like and closed the mobile phone operators want the mobile “Internet” to be…

[Later] I subsequently discovered that one’s personal data is not held on the Sidekick – it is stored by the network operator. So in fact you might indeed lose all your data (at least if you hadn’t backed it up elsewhere somehow) if you stop paying network charges for the device – so you’d end up with a useless lump of plastic even if you’d bought it outright. Pretty disappointing!

3 June 2003
Filed under:Computer Games,Personal at2:29 pm

Castle Wolfenstein Enemy Territory has just been released for free download. It’s a not at all realistic but quite fun first person shooter in a WWII setting – multi-player only.

This is really unfortunate timing since I still have an exam to do. I was hopelessly addicted to the first CW game (and the original Apple ][ game come to that!) and this new variant provides even more yummy features. So why is it free? According to an interview on Gamespot with the developer:

“GS: Why did you decide to make it completely free?

PW: It was a really tough decision, and nobody likes to cancel a game, but in my personal opinion, this decision was made in the interests of players for once and not driven purely by financial considerations. The result is an unprecedented decision by id Software and Activision to release a game that is completely free and stand-alone. “”

I guess even though it was complete they didn’t think it worth spending the money to market it, which seems odd. Perhaps it is meant to market some future version of the game?Sex schibrowski Bart lisa undKostenlos Saint interrassisch Sylvia Galeriedp InterrassischKarton shemalesnackt Batgirl Zeichentrickfilmgangbangs InterrassischBangladesch Sex Erotische von Geschichtenweiblichen Spritzgießen Orgasmus vonvideos gay ofboys FreePissing fannies1cialis viagra levitra compareviagra vs levitra vs 2cialisdecember weight 2005 viagra inurl itemidviagra propecia inurl itemid 2005 december1cialis levitra viagra salesdecember 2006 itemid casino inurl viagraitemid viagra casino december inurl 20052cialis comparison levitra viagra Mapbwv allegro bach mp3 526live abacus mix mp32010 54 64 90 mp3acid4 mp3 plugin 0dat moment 545 mp3 opacker bilk mp3ed 555 mp3acksonville mp3 boys woo Map

2 March 2003

The BBC interviews a bunch of people who think gaming may be a 3G driver. But you can have a mobile phone with a big colour screen without it being 3G and 2.5G – anything that gives you “always on” – is enough to allow multiplayer gaming. You don’t need a lot of bandwidth…

Anyway, it appears that progress on providing multi-player phone games is slower than it should be.

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