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: Grr. I wrote this entry and lost it and now I have to write it again and now there's gum in my hair. This yogurt is so runny I can drink it. In fact, that's what I'm doing. Anyway.

For the past few months I've been working on an Inform game for entry into the 2000 Interactive Fiction Contest. Right now you can see my game on the list of games, but that's about it. The games will be downloadable tonight, so I encourage you to play and vote on them all.

This week's cheese is Fontina. Last week's was Gorgonzola, which was an unmitigated cheese disaster. I think I might have had Fontina already, but no matter.

: A terrifying vision of the future. A slightly less terrifying vision of the future. A terrifying vision of the past. From the ever-wonderful APOD.

: FHW: It's "2001 Mars Odyssey" For Nasa's Next Trip To The Red Planet. I like it because it sounds like a promo for next week's episode of a TV show. "It's '2001 Mars Odyssey' as Nasa plans a trip the the Red Planet! But when Sharon shows up, it's a space battle of the sexes! Men are from Mars... on the next Nasa in the City!"

When Joe was here, he bought a TV Guide and a copy of USA Today. I think he's just trying to make Americans look bad.

: It is as I feared. My DOJ/innovation story was not written correctly. It was supposed to be a reductio ad absurdum of Microsoft's "DOJ vs. the Freedom to InnovateTM" rhetoric, but it was widely interpreted as a pro-Microsoft satire. As evidence, I offer the fact that it was mentioned in the editorial section of a Libertarian online rag. It's only a matter of time now before it shows up on moraldefense.com.

: I may or may not have mentioned this before, but David Brin's two Uplift trilogies are excellent. The traeki/Jophur are the coolest alien species I've ever encountered in any medium.

: The competition games are out. Get them, play them, and vote on them. Woohoo!

Correction: this week's cheese is Havarti. I have had Fontina before, but that was a few weeks ago.

: Celeste tells me that I made the Dean's honor list for Spring 2000! Huzzah!

: Wow! And I just discovered the reason why I made the dean's honor list! My grade in my compiler class was changed to an A! That gave me three As and a B for my final quarter, my best ever. Now I really wish I'd gone to those Oceans discussions. :)

: How many Space Shuttle flights have there been? Would you believe 99? The shuttle program is marginally younger than I am; I find this hard to believe. I don't remember a time with no Space Shutle. Interesting double negative there. I didn't steal no bike, neither!

: "People are getting rehired faster than they're getting laid off." And how exactly does that work?

: Susanna mentions that I got here a Piglet pillow for Christmas, but what she doesn't mention is that I stuffed Piglet into a big plastic zip-lock bag and wrapped the bag, so that it looked like a normally shaped pillow. Then when she unwrapped it, the zipper of the bag split open and this huge Piglet crawled out. It was really cool. I think that was the most successful gift I've ever given.

Speaking of gifts, I have been remiss in not mentioning the generosity of my friends (by which generosity I get by). Actually, I may have mentioned this before, but I dunno. My mind is goind, Dave. I can feel it. Jake sent me a CD of the 30-minute magnum opus PI Jake's Birthday Party which I sent him a couple years ago and then lost my copy of it. Also a stylish Fujichia T-shirt (which I'm wearing now) and another CD which is Dickens Hotcackes live (which I can't make heads or tails of) and unreleased crup. Hooray for unreleased crup!

And I need to mention the Footrot Flats book that Joe sent me so long ago, which I have not yet gotten around to reviewing.

So.

: It's time to Guess The Verb! Inform source now avaliable!

: Brits take the biscuit. That was my biscuit, damn you!

That story is a year old; but they're re-running it like it's new, presumably because they don't have anything on this year's Ig Nobels yet.

: Mike sent me a link to a wonderful comic: Diesel Sweeties.

: "So? Write your Congressman!"
"I am my Congressman!"

: I have to work this weekend. Bleah.

: My mother sent two pictures that her aunt Lejeune took of me when we were in Sequim. They go into the black pit that is the Sequim travelogue directory, which will eventually (I promise!) have all the Sequim pictures I took, and an actual travelogue to describe them.

Lejeune was in the army during WWII. She achieved a rank which seemed to me considerable for a woman in the army during WWII; corporal, maybe. She has a wonderful house in Washington with a jaccuzi and a deck that looks out over light forest from the top of a hill which you can see here. I wish I'd been paying more attention when she was telling war stories.

: It is as I suspected: Neal Stephenson is a much better writer when his imagination is constrained by historical fact. I started reading Cryptonomicon today and have yet to be gripped by the urge to put the book away in disgust.

Also, I like that Vitamin B6 is actually another name for pyridoxine hydrochloride. This could be the foundation of a great hoax of the "dihydrogen monoxide" form. "Stop! Don't you realize that that banana contains pyridoxine hydrochloride?"

: Another tale of the DOJ's never-ending crusade against innovation.

: FHW: Red Hat Responds to Quality Allegations. Damn those persistent rumors of quality!

: Giant Trilobite Passes Horrible Prehistoric Judgement Upon Puny Humans. Uh, I mean, Giant Trilobite Discovered.

: I'll show you the life of the mind! I'll show you the life of the mind! Look upon me!

I remember Adam saying that the way John Goodman says it at the end of Barton Fink. It's probably my favorite memory of Adam.

: Mike wants me to make Guess the Verb! T-shirts. He even pointed me to cafepress.com (which I think Kris uses, and which is really cool) to tempt me. I personally think he's just a little too excited about Guess the Verb!. T-shirts would be cool, though.

: I forgot to mention: this week's cheese is Gruyere. It's of the Swiss family, but not as good as Jarlsberg and probably not even as good as Swiss. It doesn't melt very well. It's not bad, though.

: I'm on page 118 of Cryptonomicon and it's still good. At page 118 of Snow Crash, reading it was a chore borne of my idealistic... idea that if you started reading a book you should finish it (see NYCB 1999-05... I never finished it). Of course, Cryptonomicon is twice as long as Snow Crash, so in terms of comparison I'm really on page 59 of Snow Crash, but even at page 59 I knew I was in for a long, hard slog. Also see NYCB 2000-06. I really need to get a search thing going. It would be so easy to do, too.

: Sometimes you get a headline which, due to word compression, verbed nouns, etc., can be read in nearly x! ways, x being the number of words in the headline. Here are two such headlines: U.S. sex partner tallies excluded professionals, Call to jail bird persecutors.

: (Intentionally) FHW: Tiny Pin Scrubs Shuttle Launch. That tiny pin is nuts! He doesn't play by anybody's rules! But he gets results! Next week: Ordinary Table Salt Scrubs Shuttle Launch.

: I meant to mention this, but never did. Whenever anyone whom I don't want to talk to asks me what my name is, I tell them that my name is Jake Berendes (but not that they call me Jakey B). Whether they want me to sign a petition, give them money, or match me with my sandwich order, it makes no difference. My name is Jacob, Jacob.

But Jake Berendes is not one to take this lying down. The Jake empire struck back with a brilliant coup in which he obtained a student ID in my name with his picture, the better to commit heinous acts in my name. Just yesterday, for instance, he attended a musical event, and sent me this dispatch:

Subject: you like party music
 
yesterday's blackalicious concert was free to clark
students, and any worcester college student. but if
you don't go to clark, you had to sign in. so as far
as the records go, _you_ enjoyed the show, and vouched
for greg nixon, your fellow student who forgot his id.
also you're not very confident in writing your name
and you almost spelled it wrong.

I still have to fix Jake's MP3 upload thing.

: I'm working day and night. Cam's job is to make my life miserable. But it's okay. Because I'm doing cool stuff.

: I'm off the Mountain Dew wagon. Jason offered me one and I accepted. Soon I'll be knocking over convenience stores to get Mountain Dew money.

: I registered a domain yesterday, which inspired me to do another project along with Mike. I won't tell you which domain it is, but I'm sure you can find out with the right tools.

: Ouch!

: Celeste and I are having lunch today. I should probably get off the Internet so she can call me.

: Cryptonomicon is history. I'm now trying to decide what in my huge stack of books I should read next. I don't feel ready to tackle Heaven's Reach yet. Possibly Annals of the Former World.

: Is Marriage to Unix the Answer to Enterprise Linux? You don't ask that kind of question unless you already have an answer handy.

: Moeh.

: The standard model: Gotta catch 'em all!

: Does anyone know of a hosting service which would sell me a disk allotment of x megabytes, and allow me to host arbitrarily many domains within that quota? I forsee a future in which I have a million tiny domains, and I don't want to have an account for each domain.

: He's an intriguing bow-shock. She's a poorly understood gas cloud. Can they get along in the suburbs?

: Dave forced me to read Gold Key. By "forced" I mean "wrote me an email with subject line 'key dada' and said that he remembered seeing something like it on Da Warren". I think Dave is mentally smushing up a couple things that were on Da Warren, which is basically what the authors of Gold Key did.

: Boy, if ever an article cried out for screenshots! You die Joe!

: I've gotten many email raves for Guess The Verb!. Of course, why would you email someone to say "Your game sucks"? Only a month to go before the results are released and the true metier of Guess The Verb! is lade bear. I may not have used "metier" correctly in that sentence.

: Dave wrote a Segfault article which is very useful: Laundry Hampers Considered Inefficient.

: Metier, noun. 1: vocation, trade. 2: an area of activity in which one excels. I did not use it correctly.

: I'm wondering if that entry violates rule 5 of the comp rules. I don't think it does, since this is not a public Internet forum, newsgroup, or bulletin board, and since I wasn't really discussing the merits of the game--just saying that some crazy people had sent me email about it. If someone complains, I'll block it out until after the voting period.

: Segfault was honored by a Dork of the Day award today. The thing is, the award links to one particular article, so is the award going to Segfault or to the author of the story?

: Who thought up these Pentel mechanical pencil designs? With the little eraser cap and the annoying tiny eraser that you constantly have to adjust? It is, in the schoolyard parlance, weak.

: The previous entry refers only to the Pentel P205 model. I just got a Pentel AL15 from the supply cupboard, which is a much better pencil design.

It's not a question of price. That stupid metal cap costs money.

: It's alive! ALIVE!!!

: I found an an essay Andy wrote about his trip abroad, where, among other things, he met William H. Macy (the Leonard/Andy film actor idol). I have an email in the pipe to him, but who knows whether he'll ever answer it.

: FHW: Anti-genetic coalition says U.S. breaks protection laws. Down with genetics!

: And more FHW: Web site to sell books of black interest. It's called "Amazon", you may have heard of it.

: Brian reminds me of Andy. He has the Andy hair color and high school vintage hairstyle, and he turns the same shade of red when he's blushing or laughing. The trained Andy spotter will notice, however, that Andy, unlike Brian, has curly hair; and that Brian, unlike Andy, is a core Apache developer.

: I fixed a bunch of bugs in Guess The Verb!, but I'm not going to do a new release until I fix the big bug, which causes the wheel to behave strangely. One thing that is not a bug is my use of the word "haft". It is a word, and it means "the handle of a weapon or tool". It's not "shaft" and it's not etymologically related to "shaft". So there, I guess.

: Jake, I can't send to your email address. Your account is over quota. Go ahead and use Interesting Places To Die.

: The Dinosaur Hunters... this fall on NBC! I want this book. I will buy it when the stack of books I have yet to read is depleted some more.

: I'm about halfway through The Mote in God's Eye, which is sort of a less frustrating (for the characters and for the reader) Fiasco. Fiasco is a great book, but sometimes you'd like some actual communication to go on between the aliens and the humans. Anyway, I checked this book out of the library when I was maybe 10, and there are about three passages from the book which I remember but I don't remember anything outside those passages. I never finished the book and I think I'm further along this time than I was last time, so I don't think I'm going to remember any more stuff.

: Good morning.

: I almost bought this biography of Franklin yesterday, but it costs $35 and I already had $50 worth of books. Perhaps later. There was a biography of Orwell which looked good as well.

I don't think I understand the genre of the book review. I thought the point was to talk about the book, but inevitably that seems peripheral to the real point of the review, which I'm not sure what it is.

: Happy birthday, Celeste!

: Segfault: Tech Journalists Begin Work on Incompatible Linux Kernel

: This week's cheese is Dry Monterey Jack, which is almost Gouda-like and much better than last week's inedible selection, Mizithra. Curent book: Pigs Have Wings by P.G. Wodehouse. How did Wodehouse escape my grasp for so long?

: I need database help and I'm also holding my own severed head.

: New version of Guess The Verb!. Actually the new version dates from Monday but I didn't put it up until today.

: Hey hey. Monty Hall's Hall of Doors is linked to by the web page for a statistics class.

: I finished Pigs Have Wings yesterday and have embarked on The Road To Mars. Reading Pigs Have Wings was like watching a complex data structure, possibly a graph, being constructed and then dismantled.

: I forgot to mention that yesterday I got a package from Celeste containing the ultra-cool Transformers T-shirt she had a picture of on her page earlier. And some socks. And a very sweet card. Huzzah!

: Woohoo!

: CollabNet is moving out of its San Francisco offices into a big office in scenic Brisbane (Brisbane, California, not Brisbane, Australia). All my stuff is packed (not that I have a whole lot of stuff) and on Monday it will be in the new office. Anything that means I spend less time in San Francisco is fine by me, although I don't understand how the BART shuttle there and back is supposed to work.

: Hey, not bad. Segfault is on top of Yahoo's "most popular sites" in the Entertainment/Humor/Computers_and_Internet category, and just under The Onion in the Entertainment/Humor/Parody/News category.

: I'm gonna leave pretty soon, since the machine I do development on has been taken down for the move and there's not much for me to do here. Stay well, do good work, and don't melt.

: Fabulous! Rick Miller wrote a great story for Segfault called Hackers Strike Again, Tap Linux Secrets Too! And since Rick works at Transmeta, he was able to get a picture of Linus hamming it up to go along with the story. As previously stipulated, fabulous!

: My mother indicated to me the second half of this music column from the Bakersfield Californian. Yes, just when you thought it was safe to be Christian. The band Korn is from Bakersfield, by the way. There are probably people in Bakersfield who are proud of this fact.

: Can somebody with an account on the Wall Street Journal Online tell me what's behind this link? Segfault is getting a lot of hits from it. I spoke with WSJ columnist John Dodge a while back, but I had my doubts as to whether anything would come of it. Apparantly it has. Tenative woohoo!

: Aha. Dodge managed to get the info he needed on mslinux.org and went ahead with that article. But he tossed in a link to Segfault, so that's fine.

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