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: I held my nose I closed my eyes, I read A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius. My mother read it when she was visiting me last year, and left it in my book pile. "You should read this," she said. So I did. It's okay. Not much need for me to review it since I mainly agree with the self-review in the introduction (I suppose I'm supposed to be suspicious of the self-review, but why? Is published self-analysis of a work automatically invalid?). The funny parts were pretty funny, but it had a tendency to turn into the boring parts of Microserfs. Is it a personal failing that I can only appreciate fiction in which things happen?

: Mike Popovic's secret project revealed!

: On Friday I went to a graduation party for Sumana. Happy graduation, Sumana! (even though you're not done with your finals... I never understood that) We played Taboo. I always start out not liking Taboo but eventually I warm to it. There were enough geeks present that we could effectively describe appropriate words ("throne", "leprechaun", "wish") in terms of Nethack; that was pretty funny.

I also concocted punch with Nandini, Sumana's sister. Everyone loved the punch. We are wizards of punch!

I told Seth about my game. "Your text adventures are better than any other text adventures," he said. Wow! He wasn't even drunk!

: Joe Barr's frontier attitude has clearly been rubbing off on Nick Petreley:

It should be against the law to use POP3 for e-mail, and in anticipation of that law, I've used IMAP4 for many years.

: Jason's worst-case scenario: "Imagine debugging a genetic algorithm on a buggy quantum computer running a Microsoft webserver."

: Oh no! Steven Jay Gould dead at 60! (Seth brings the tragic news)

: The mundane follows the tragic: I changed the front page to display the most recent 20 entries, since the old practice of displaying the current month's entries got a little bandwidth-intensive around the end of the month.

More game work. I discovered that one of my features is of the class of "Wow, this is a lot more difficult/tedious to implement than I thought." This is basically the state in which I spent the entire Degeneracy development process, and for a while I was fighting off despair, having subconsciously decided that IF programming was inherently as tedious as writing Degeneracy had been. That's not the case, though; this game is orders of magnitude less tedious to write than Degeneracy.

The default Inform magic system is so procedural! If you cast a spell on an object, the object never actually finds out about it; all the logic for handling the magic is inside the spell! I changed it to do dispatch to the object.

: Wow, the meaningless option poll is so meaningless that COPOUT can't accurately display the results.

: Early entrants in the spam scam contest:

From me:

From Sumana:

From my mother ("The syntax does appear to be from a Nigerian English language learner," she says):

For some reason I get the feeling that people think this contest is not a real contest. Well, it is! Right down to the valueless prizes! Send in your incitements to fraud today!

I have a feeling that the new scams are a bit toned down compared to the old-school ones, in terms of the unsavoriness of the characters and activities involved.


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