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: Cool hack: Zillions of games, a generic strategy engine and language for defining strategy games. Plays chess and its myriad variants, as well as whatever other puzzles and games people have thought up. Windows only, unfortunately, so I haven't tried it myself. The chess variants site is cool, though, and platform-independent.

[Via Plurp and the aforelinked chess variants site, which I found a couple weeks ago via some weblog that I forget which one. The way this works (see previous example) is that I see something that's cool and forget about it, then I see it somewhere else and remember it and post an entry about it and have to quote the source that reminded me of it, as well as the (by now hopelessly forgotten) original source.]

: Slightly scary Markov chain URL ticker: ClickoLinko (found through referer logs). I assume it monitors the #crackmonkey IRC channel. From it I was reminded of ThinkGeek, to which I would be particularly subsceptible to right now were it not for my tendency to lose interest in cool gadgets once I realize how much cooler they could be:

"Hey, that is really cool!"

"It'd be even cooler if the car was a tiny MEMS device."

"Oh yeah."

I think I got this disappointing yet money-saving internal voice from Dan.

: About a week ago I went to a used bookstore and bought a bunch of used books. It appears someone had recently gone to that selfsame bookstore and offloaded their collection of novelizations of '80s games, because I found and purchased a Zork novelization, an Enchanter novelization (which I'm reading now), and a novelization of the RPG Paranoia, which I only know of from the multiple-choice text adventure based on it that was bundled with the Adventure Game Toolkit, and from the great phrase "First Church of Christ, Computer Scientist". The first two books would make good prizes for the IF competition (incidentally, I never received my prize for Guess the Verb!; oh well).

Also at the used bookstore I got a bundle of Retief books. Great! (I've never seen Retief books except in used bookstores; they must all be out of print). More on these later; Google 'Retief' if you're curious.

retief.com is taken but the owner isn't doing anything with it except trying to sell it to someone else (much like me with another cool science fiction domain name, except my motives are pure; I'm not doing anything at all with it. Eventually I'll host a software project there, once I come up with a suitable idea for a software project).


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