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: Lately it seems that I can't go to sleep unless I implement some crazy idea or another. Two nights ago it was the purple election map. Last night I wrote an entirely new IF game for a competition. Since the competition deadline is April 15, however, Degeneracy will almost certainly be released before you see this new game.

The weird thing is that there's a third crazy idea in my head (one of many) which very simply connects the purple election map with the IF game. If this keeps happening it will be very frightening. But cool.

Kevin just got a spam which claims "This CD sells on Ebay for $21.95."

: You'd need a really big cup of coffee with this donut. Also, it's not a donut.

: I did not implement any crazy idea last night. Instead, I slept. But here is a crazy idea which I've had for years but which I probably will never implement since it's pretty obvious it won't work.

The idea is to implement Tetris but to change the way it gets harder over time. Instead of the blocks dropping faster, the shapes of the blocks get more complex. You'd start with regular Tetris and then move to 5-block Tetris, 6-block Tetris, etc. Probably at around 7-block Tetris you would get very angry at the person who wrote the game.

: Segfault: Banner Ads Now Themselves Have Banner Ads

: I don't know why the kids today need their "Napster" and their "Britney Spears" when they could just sit and listen to Last Transmission From Starbase XY003 all day. That link is to a rock opera, half the work of Pete Peterson, which rocks the rock opera world like an opera of some sort. Or a cookie or something. Did I pull a quote from the web page? No? Then I will:

Were they trying to send us a message, encoded in tune? Were the absurd lyrics encrypted messages sent to warn Star Command? Were they just delirious? Were they just a couple of down-home boys who couldn't resist a good tune and a microphone?

The combination of 70s pop culture and science fiction is so seamless that you almost forget that the science fiction is just more 70s pop culture. In fact, that's probably why it works so well.

: Mike points out that it is "a banner day for banner ad bashing". Unrelatedly, he also says:

it dawned on me that instead of fighting against the stupid things i hate about the internet, i should embrace and profit from them.

Be afraid.

: Last Transmission From Starbase XY003 inspired me to such an extent that I actually got off my butt and finished The Age of Reason. I did use the "train from Tehachapi" line, even though my mother informed me that I actually misquoted it. I sent her some hush money. The rest of you, enjoy this cautionary tale. Time travel is not a toy!

: My cornbread mix says it contains "no chemicals at all". Amazingly, I am able to derive sustenance from it despite its total lack of carbohydrates, fats, or sugars.

: I was going to complain that Honey Nut Cheerios does not actually have any nuts in it, but then I looked at the ingredient list and there are crushed almonds in it, so I cannot in good faith complain. I've never tasted the almonds, though.

: I forgot to mention that I got the latest issue of Jake's Interview with a Frankenstein. There is a feature on the menangalan, in which Celeste is given special thanks. I think the best way to get on Jake's good side is to introduce him to some undead creature of which he was previously unaware. It's tough to do, though, because really, when you think "undead monster", you think "Jake Berendes".

: Correction: that should have been "monsters".

: A couple years back, I said that the Lone Gunmen from the X-Files should have their own show. Well, Fox called my bluff. As of tonight, they do have their own show. I'm considering actually watching it, even though it will probably suck. No, I can't be pleased, but thanks for asking.

: I got zero work done on Degeneracy this weekend. I got quite a bit of work done on the LoTechComp game, though. I know my priorities are inverted (I promised Degeneracy this month, the LoTechGame deadline isn't until tax day), but Degeneracy is a drag to work on. I need to just knuckle down and finish it so I will be free of its deadly curse.

The new game is really fun, almost in the same way robotfindskitten is fun. In fact, in a certain, well-defined sense it is MORE FUN than robotfindskitten. Blasphemy? Perhaps. I can't give you the name because if I give you the name then you know exactly what it is; let's call it "The Djinn Game" (doh) for now.

But check it out: I originally wrote it using the default Inform library. It was about 40K. Since almost none of the Inform library functionality was being used in the game, I wrote my own parser loop, taking it down to 7K (including a skeleton narrative). Since then I've added about 3K of text. I can and hope to add arbitrary quantities of text, which is what takes it into the robotfindskitten vein. Before entering the game into the contest I also need to work out a better theoretical underpinning for the game to make it more consistently challenging.

: If nothing else, The Lone Gunmen show takes place in the correct universe, the comedy universe, in which characters can get into funny situations without having to spend a week in the hospital and/or a month in court due to a misguided attempt by the authors of their situations to keep things realistic. So many alleged "comedies" are given the quotation mark treatment by me because, while they claim to be funny, they do not take place in a funny universe. So that's one thing The Lone Gunmen has going for it. The other is the Lone Gunmen themselves, who are almost always funny.

My dilemma here is severalfold; in a bizarre sense, and in common with who knows how many others, I consider the Lone Gunmen show to have been my idea. It's implemented pretty much the way I would have done it (except my version would have taken place in a universe with encryption software), and it airs a year and a bit after I had the idea; about the time I'd think it would take to turn an idea into a television series. And yet, now that it's on the screen, I really can't see where it can go, other than a retelling as farce of X-Files, which is a good idea but which is bound to get tiresome after a while.

Also, any mental commitment I might make to watch TLG next week and see how it comes out is a) likely to be forgotten, since four times out of five I forget to watch TV when I mean to, and b) the exact same mental promise I made for Star Trek: Voyager, and we all know how that turned out.

Mike just sent me a bunch of code for the pig from Degeneracy (not to be confused with the girl from Ipanema). He's been doing more work on that game than I am.

: Mike is also coming up with new and funny ideas, whereas I merely tell an uncaring audience what I think of television programs I saw last night. His latest business venture is NearDeath, Inc. The only way I can do the concept justice is to reprint in its entirety the brochure excerpt he sent me (yes, the excerpt in its entirety) :

NearDeath, Inc.

Is your loved one listless? Stuck in a dead-end job or relationship? Wasting their life away? Gripped by the terrible forces of inertia? Unable to focus on what's really important in life?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, and if all the talking, pleading and counseling you've tried so far has failed, NearDeath, Inc. can help you help themselves.

Studies have shown that when faced with Death, 97% of all people suddenly realize the value of Life. Those who then somehow cheat Death go on to lead changed, productive and inspiring lives. Unfortunately, the majority of people who face Death do not escape its grasp, and their moment of divine revelation is sadly short-lived.

Now, NearDeath, Inc. offers all the changes a close call with death can bring, with no danger of actual death. Our team of specialists will design and execute an experience tailored to your needs - from erroneous lab results to falling pianos, to dramatic multi-vehicle collisions and explosions.

We also have on staff a team of expert hypnotists - so you can design a near death experience of your own and never remember doing so!

Sometimes, the only thing that can change a life is the spectre of death. Call today.

: Argh! Dada Pokey is broken!

: I fixed it.

: Today is Celeste's and my first anniversary! Yay!!


From the odd-ways-of-segueing-the-case-study-into-the-article department:

Only about 5,000 people are currently using Gabber, but that's not what makes Missig's work interesting. Instead, it's the place he's chosen for his programming. Gabber is just one of roughly 16,000 software projects hosted by SourceForge.

Yes, having 5000 users for your project is less interesting than hosting it on Sourceforge.

: "Linux is a great operating system, but it was impossible to use unless you had a hat with a propeller on it." Interim solution: give out hats.

: There's probably not going to be anything posted to NYCB for a while.

: I still feel awful, but not posting to NYCB does not make me feel less awful, so I might as well make a few notes.

One thing that's big is the coverage of Reddish Purple vs. Bluish Purple, the chart which is interesting because it is not interesting. Mike posted it to Plastic, from whence it was picked up by Andrew Sullivan, who apparently writes for the New York Times, and then by the folks who started me on it, Salon. I'm just hitting the big players here; there's also MetaFilter and many other places linking to it. The upshot of all this is that Crummy got over half as many hits today as did Segfault (Crummy usually gets about 5% of the hits that Segfault gets; it didn't hurt that Segfault gets relatively few hits over the weekend). In addition, I was on the receiving end of a Katzian outpouring of mail: four whole messages, including more accolades from Greg Knauss. Never let it be said that it doesn't pay to get aggravated about really trivial things. So long as you do something with it, rather than just being aggravated and not doing anything.

While everyone in the world was hitting my site today, I was working on Degeneracy. My state-of-the-art issue tracking system (a text file) says I fixed 23 bugs today, not counting the huge rewrites I made to the text I wrote early on in development (before I'd gotten into the game's idiom, as it were). Now that I'm done with those rewrites, I feel a lot better about a March release. Plus, I've only got 24 more bugs to fix, though more are probably hiding in the two latest transcripts from Mike. Another pointless statistic: so far, I have logged and fixed about 300 Degeneracy bugs.

Also, today I found the ancient (hand-hacked HTML) NYCB archives, adding fuel to the eternal question of whether or not I should convert them into NewsBruiser format. Pro: I would get to claim that my weblog archives go back to 1997. Con: Someone might actually look at them. The internal debate rages on, with the various factions manifesting themselves as small costumed versions of me, which flutter around in the vicinity of my shoulders.

Tomorrow I might write a code-generation script for the djinn game so that it's easy to add text. Tomorrow I will definitely be going to the mall, in hopes of drowning my sorrows in consumer goods and services. Also, I need a haircut.

: I brought the NYCB archives back to December 1997, which is the earliest point at which there is something recognizable as NYCB. There is a sort of proto-NYCB throughought 1996 and 1997 in the "What's new" page for Crummy (then an attempt at a pure humor site like you get with the Modern Humorist nowadays), but that is definitely not going back up on the Web. I'm emberassed enough to show you what I was writing in 1998, though I am glad that I can link to Addicted to Vaudeville in its proper context (cf. Kris, who actually did something with it).

: Why, if you want your website to make money, you should run it by yourself and from your bedroom (with case study): here.

: Yesterday I got my usual trip-to-the-mall haul; lunch at Olive Garden, some books, a Godzilla video (Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster). I also got a tape with all the Hitchhiker's Guide TV episodes; I saw the first three on the Sci-Fi Channel many years ago but fell asleep before it finished. If I had my way, there would be a Supreme Court decision corresponding to every Godzilla movie: Godzilla v. Mechagodzilla, Godzilla v. King Ghidorah, etc. "The court finds in favor of... Godzilla!"

My big literary find yesterday was The Pope's Rhinoceros by Lawrence Norfolk. Pro: use of the Albrecht Durer rhinoceros woodcut on the cover, sixteenth-century setting. Con: previous authorship by this writer of another historical novel with the same sort of title (Lempriere's Dictionary), comparison to Umberto Eco on the back blurb. I must admit that the Eco comparison is what got me off the fence and got me to buy the book, but it also makes me wary of the contents. It seems to me that only bad things can come of being the sort of writer who is compared to Umberto Eco, but who is not actually Umberto Eco.

I also bought a Dover Introduction to Topology, because it was cheap and I feel I don't know enough (ie. anything) about topology. Dover books have a way of making me feel intellectually inferior; this may be part of their charm. The Dover books are the good twin of the For Dummies series.

: Lovely headline: Fakegifts.com duo plead guilty to selling fake gifts.

: Argh. Time keeps slipping away. Today is Rachel's birthday and I didn't send her the card I got her or get her any present. Sunday at the mall I considered getting her an animatronic Tigger doll I found in a toy store, but then I tried it out and it was really creepy, so I decided not to.

: I added the online journals of Greg Knauss (with whom I am now personally acquainted) and Sumana Harihareswara (who I now realize has an online journal) to the ever-growing Crummy journal/weblog taskbar (patent pending). Back to writing for the secret Crummy feature...

: I made a big "to do" list of all the people and organizations I have to call to get information and tax forms and whatnot, but it had no effect on me other than to make me feel guilty about not making the calls. Usually a list will make me work to check things off the list, but not this time. Hopefully tomorrow.

I tried to buy a computer today, but once again the people who should by rights rejoyce that I want to give them a large amount of money, did not do so. My debit card wouldn't clear (is there a purchase amount beyond which you cannot use a debit card?) so I had to send them a check. So *eventually* I will have a new computer. It will probably take a couple weeks even though the folks who will eventually provide it are right here in San Francisco.

Supposedly, I have $1500 of student loans I was supposed to start paying off in January. I'd like to pay them off and get it over with, but I haven't heard from the people who are supposed to be collecting the money. I'm worried that rather than trying to contact me, they have chosen the more expedient route of silently tarnishing my credit record. So I have to hunt them down. I don't even remember who financed the loan, which makes it difficult to pay it. As usual, URSA is no help at all.

: My mother tells me that she's been getting calls from the loan people, and gave me the number to call, so that's squared away. Well, not entirely since I still have to call them and pay the loan, but the difficult part of finding a way to contact them is accomplished.

: Hi, I'm still awake. I was going through the NYCB archives and I just realized that a graphic I linked to about a year ago was probably one of my subconscious inspirations for Degeneracy. Remove the baby from that picture and you've got something very close to my mental picture of Degeneracy. I was going to suggest you also remove the yarmulke, but it can stay.

: Writing scripts for database migration is a pain. But it's you, the old-version-using consumer, who benefits.

: Life imitates NYCB.

: This New Scientist article is an intruiging mix of novel ideas (the probability that a randomly chosen program is decidable, a halting problem for a counterfactual Turing machine which can solve the regular halting problem) and complete crap reporting. As far as I can tell, it's treating riffs on the Incompleteness Theorem as though they were more disturbing than the Incompleteness Theorem itself. And there is nothing more disturbing than the Incompleteness Theorem, jaded though we are in this modern age to the full scope of its terror.

: Tenative woohoo! The order for my computer has been accepted and I should get the computer proper by Tuesday! Dan has looked over the manifest and approves of the goods.

: At long last, I have scripts which will convert the hokey old database for Tigris Classic (the ancient [Chinese] version of Tigris running on tigris.org) into the shiny new database for Tigris 1.0. I've been working, at home and here at work, for the past 18 hours (not 18 hours on this one thing). It feels good to be done, or close enough to done that the remaining things can only be done by co-workers. It's also a good feeling to see tigris.org running on Tigris 1.0 in my sandbox (we're going to upgrade the real tigris.org soon, though not as soon as I would like). I'm not even tired, though that will probably happen once I get home.

Happy Saturday. I have to check in tomorrow (later today) to make sure our test run goes okay (we're upgrading an internal site), but I don't plan on doing a whole lot. I hope I can get rid of those twenty-odd (twenty odd) Degeneracy bugs this weekend.

: Bah! I have Lock and DoorLock<-Lock classes in Degeneracy, but I get warnings about Lock not being used when I instantiate only DoorLock objects. Fortunately a non-DoorLock lock is in the cards for as soon as I get DoorLock to work.

You can tell I'm running out of things to do to a game when I start implementing the locks on doors as separate objects. I'm only doing this because Mike saw fit to try "put key in lock" instead of the standard "lock door" and I pledged that I would, within reason, make every command typed by a beta tester do the Right Thing.

: 3.01 cheers for Kris, who, after many travails, has landed a CAD programming job at Dassault, the French CAD company with the bizarre website. "I don't think I could have imagined a better job," says he.

: Oops, it was my fault. DoorLock wasn't actually extending Lock.

: I have been officially sidetracked. I'm working on a new Web toy which will go into /features. Hopefully it will only take a few hours.

: It's ready, but I need a graphic for it. I'm waiting on Mike.

: Mike isn't around, so I went ahead and did a clumsy graphic of my own. Hopefully I can get him to do a better one later. Anyway, here's the new toy: The McSweenifier! It formats any piece of text in the distinctive style of the noted journal of puffery and parody, McSweeney's.

The original reason I did the McSweenifier was that I was trying to properly format this fake McSweeney's story, and I realized that it would be more rewarding to write a program to do the formatting than to mess with it myself. And here we are.

: Cam, thank you for linking to the McSweenifier so that I can pretend that people who come here from your site are going there and not to the Transformers evolution debate you linked to the day before.

: Thanks to Mike for (at long last...I had to wait, what, two days?) the new McSweenifier graphic. The beehive was my idea, but Mike's masterful rendition of it was all his own. Well, it was ripped off from clip art, but if I say that then I'm not properly showing my gratitude towards Mike.

The power went out at work today, so I couldn't really get any work done. Fortunately I'd already gotten quite a bit of work done, having started work at 5 and accomplished in a few hours what I thought was going to take me two days. I'm not very good at estimating how long it will take me to complete a task, obviously. I went home when the power came back on, in hopes of working from home, but the power there must have gone off again, because I can't reach any of the dev machines.

: I neglected to mention that I got an address to send a check to such that the balance of my student loans ($1538 and change) will be erased. Yay! The check will be sent off tomorrow.

: Pluto: still an alien disco ball?

: Plasticfied again, courtesy of Mike (again). Mike acts like a shell corporation I hide behind, or something, but he actually does these things of his own free will! Amazing!

: I won my first game of Illuminati tonight (that is to say, I played my third game of Illuminati, and for the first time I won). The secret, as always, was the Orbital Mind Control Lasers. [Insert unconvincing segue here.] So today was not that bad a day.

: I have been pressed into service, where "service" is defined as "appearing at CrackMonkey Night tomorrow". Josh Lucas will be there, as will Elise, but Elise is the one who pressed me into service in the first place, so she'll be of little comfort.

: I'm not sure why this was originally classified as "science", but I'm glad it was because otherwise I never would have seen it: Preparing oneself for tea with the Queen. Actual quote: "[T]he Queen is never off duty." Made-up quote inspired by actual quote: "The city has a thousand stories. I'm the Queen of England. I carry a badge."

: I'm uncertain as to whether or not I should have used the royal "we" in my made-up quote. Is that still done?

: Scott James Remnant, who somehow manages to be both mad dog and Englishman, writes:

"I'm The Queen of England. I carry a Corgi."

This is funnier than my joke, but it requires my joke as a baseline, so I don't feel bad.

Jake, for you I will throw in a bonus reference to "I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walking with the Queen."

: So you have a mass market product to sell. Why not get a huge mass of data showing everything the mass market is interested in and then ignore all those data in favor of the data for a tiny group of people who are somehow cooler?

: Mike sent this to me with the subject: "Grocery store sells food - news at 11":

"We are very excited that a leading chain like A&P has taken on the line. The national rollout and enthusiastic acceptance of `The Wizard of Oz' marshmallows continues to be most positive."

It's almost three years old. How did he find that? The world may never know.

: Here are pictures I took yesterday. The first pictures are of my new boss, Steve Zwaska, showing Daniel Rall and myself the high-powered rocket parts he had in the back of his vehicle. The last two are horribly overexposed and were taken later, at the aforedreaded CrackMonkey night. Nick Moffitt is playing the Degeneracy beta in the second-to-last picture, though you'd never know it.

I also put up some older pictures from last month, when my uncle took me skiing, just because they were there. ("there" == "my home directory")

: I am a soapdish.

: The Degeneracy pig is annoying. Degeneracy is annoying. I'm so glad I can (hopefully) finish it tomorrow. Then you, the general public, can be annoyed by it.

: I withdraw my complaint about the pig. It is not annoying. I just don't know how to use the stuff Inform gives me.

: In my never-ending quest for more ways of wasting time, I have found Bob: Space Guy!. A classy, fast-paced ncurses shoot-em-up for which the winning strategy is, unfortunately, all too apparent (I, not known for my arcade prowess, beat all twelve waves on my third try). However, the mere fact that I'm judging it on its merits as a game, rather than as a programming exercise, means that it's far superior to robotfindskitten II, my own foray into the genre.

: I have yet to blind Nick Moffitt with science, but I have managed to annoy him with Degeneracy. His experience today gave the lie to my assumption that you would be unable to win without figuring out the game. Apparently my puzzles are too well clued. Who'd have thought?

I have an idea as to how to plant the neccessary seed in the player's mind, but it's going to have to go into the second release candidate tomorrow.

: From this Infoworld article:

The technology, dubbed Visual Net, works much like a paper-based map in that users click on a region, such as Literature, and that leads them to a map containing more options within the category.

That is to say, the technology works absolutely nothing like a paper-based map.

: Cedric sent me an enormous Degeneracy transcript which, at 136K, is only slightly smaller than the Degeneracy Z-code binary itself. He found two huge bugs, both of which I may or may not have now fixed, and about 35 minor bugs, 28 of which I have fixed. I probably won't release it tomorrow, but hopefully sometime this week.

: By the way, if for some odd reason you like this recent NYCB stretch, where all I do is talk about the status of software I'm writing, take a look at mid-May 2000, when I was writing a compiler for my compiler class.

: Any given KayBee's Toys in San Francisco still contains one dozen goo-vomiting Jabba the Hutt dolls. They've been marked down to $3. I can't understand why nobody is buying them. I bought another one today; you can't have too many puking Jabbas! They make great gifts, and if I can't give it to anyone, I can keep Jabba encased in the carbonite that is his plastic case, and eBay it for big bucks when today's preteens are nostalgic twentysomethings.

: "Steel Hose Reels are the choice of pros". Who exactly are the relevant pros here?

: More tidbits from the junk mail catalog I got: "Don't deface your yard with a permanent basketball goal." Yeah, basketball goals are such eyesores.

: Headline I've been unable to think of a way to make into a story appropriate for Segfault:

Electromechanical Singing Fish Inexplicably Sings "Let Me Die!"

: Yesterday I got two Young Ones tapes, the Red Zone Cuba MST3K, and Destroy All Monsters!, the Godzilla epic which apparently has more gigantic monsters per capita than any other film ever made. I am fully cogniscent that even this blizzard of rubber-suited destruction will not make me happy, and this (further) depresses me somewhat. Rather than not being made happy by cheesy 1960s Godzilla movies, I would prefer to not be made happy by large amounts of money and the ownership of small tropical islands.

I have amassed great wealth and power, yet I still am unhappy. Why?

I have watched Godzilla whomp on Rodan and the ankylosaur-like Anguirus, yet I still am unhappy. Why?

You see the difference?

: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Koopa Troopas and Octoroks. Here's a song I wrote about three years ago that I've been playing to myself a lot lately: Frog/Antifrog. It was supposed to go on AYAO?, and it still may if I ever resume work on AYAO?.

Tonight I'm going to implement the results of the Degeneracy usability roundtable, held by Nick and myself. Hopefully tonight's release candidate will be the last.

: Degeneracy RC4 is now in the inboxes of its beta testers. It looks good enough that I will tenatively set the release date to March 30. I need time to write the web page and the Usenet announcement and whatnot. And so to bed...

: Woohoo! My new eyeballs computer is in! It looks disconcerteningly like my old computer. But it's got a CD burner, a much bigger hard drive, more RAM, and now I've got a big honking monitor.* I don't know how I'm going to fit the monitor into my car to take it home, or how it's going to fit on my desk once I get it home.

*Monitor may not honk.

: Writing this from my new computer (cf.)

Ed won tonight's Illuminati game, though Elise almost won in her debut appearance. The Discordians are the ones to beat, I tell ya. Also, the good thing about playing the Servants of Cthulhu is that you can keep the cards for the groups you destroy and pretend each one is one of Cthulhu's tentacles, and wave them around at other players while talking about Cthulhu's imminent return. This is the only good thing about playing the Servants of Cthulhu.

Going to sleep now.


Oh yeah. New BogoMIPS rating: 2011.96.

This keyboard has a bunch of "Internet" buttons, but according to keydump, only one of them actually sends a key signal. I wonder how I can take advantage of this button technology.

I'm going to take this opportunity to finally move onto archival media the Da Warren archives and all the other ancient crap I keep lugging around from computer to computer. First step: get some blank CDs.

: Did ancient astronauts file issue #3355?

: Doh. I parked my car last night thinking it was Thursday night, but in actuality it was Wednesday night and this morning I got a parking citation because I was on Thursday morning's street-cleaning side of the street. Fortunately, it's only a $30 fine.

Excellent. Now if only I could put this information to work.

: From the message accompanying the fifth Degeneracy release candidate: "We should have no more confusion about how to operate the hourglass." That's almost certainly the version that's going out tomorrow. I fixed everything I'm going to fix, and I just need to make some minor changes to the bibliography.

And now... it's sleepin' time!

: Webcomic I enjoy: Narbonic. Today's (guest-authored) strip is the evil parallel-universe version of Jake Berendes West Covina.

: "Over the years he was often confronted with unimaginative administrations that lacked imagination." But how were they on imagination?

: Here's last night's Illuminati game (which I won, making me the reigning champion at a whopping 2 wins).

Wrapping up Degeneracy. Hopefully I'll be able to release it tonight. If not, there's always tomorrow.

: Degeneracy goes online in half an hour.

: Degeneracy. Read it and weep.

: Google's acquiration of Deja means that I can't post my Degeneracy announcement to rec.games.int-fiction. If someone more Usenet-savvy than myself would deign to get in contact with me about posting the announcement on my behalf, I would be eternally grateful towards them.

: Kris is going to post my announcement to r.a.if. Eventually. If he does it tomorrow, then Mike's wish of an April 1st release will be met, sort of.

: My referer logs show that Kris has, in fact, posted my Degeneracy announcement. Thanks a lot, Kris!

This is pathetic. I can't say "thanks a lot" without it looking sarcastic. I'm not being sarcastic, obviously.

: The Browser Greetings program is now on hiatus. There are too many browsers these days and all of them claim to be Mozilla and hide their true identity in fine print, regular expression-wise; to give them the full Browser Greetings experience will require a rearchitecture. Also, my Linux kernel version number detection doesn't work for 2.4, and it's easier to take down the CGI than to try to understand Perl code I wrote three years ago.

: Also re Degeneracy, Kris gave me much more credit than I deserve in his last mail:

I played Degeneracy last night for a few hours and had to stop when it was late enough that I was trying hard to figure out the deeper mystery and started thinking "what if Leonard put in something so insidious, some terrifying Lovecraftian truth about entropy and religion that I won't be able to sleep once I figure it out?" (Things generally boil down to that for me.)

Unfortunately, my game is wholly lacking in terrifying Lovecraftian truths which will prevent you from sleeping and turn you into a white-haired, ghostly shell of your former self who flails furiously and helplessly at unseen enemies, eyes paralyzed with terror, uttering a single, unpronouncable word over and over again. Maybe in the next version.

: I have decided that The Lone Gunmen wants to be The Big Lebowski. I'm undecided as to whether or not this is a worthy goal.

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