Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 6:32:19 PM by Chris Flick
So I'm reading one of these typical computer magazines you can find at any newsstand or bookstore and there's an article in it where the author is talking about how computer game emulators are suddenly becoming very, very popular - you know, classic computer games like Asteroids, Dig-dug, Centipede, Galaxia and so forth - and it got me to recall one of my favourite computer games I used to love playing whenever I could.
The game wasn't all that sophisticated - heck, how many games WERE back in the early 80's? It didn't have 3D graphics, the main character wasn't a superhero, didn't have any weapons, couldn't do any complicated karate kicks or punches. But he could run very fast. He could jump incredible distances. And he was incredible (most of the time) at avoiding certain death on every level.
Not bad for a stick, I'd say.
Yes, for all you old-time Commodore 64 users out there, you know who I'm talking about. Don't you? Yes... yes you do! Why don't we all put our hands together and give a great big nostalgic hug to Jumpman and his brother, Jumpman II???!!
I'm not sure why I grew to love that twirling, jumping, spinning, unsophisticated, totally addictive little creep. But any chance I got, I use to hang out at my friend's house hunched over his Commodore 64 keyboard determined to make MY Jumpman last one more level, to jump a little higher and to avoid certain and utter doom. A doom that always would come. And before I knew it, I was hitting the replay button and watching him zoom and zigzag across the screen one more time. One more time. One more time.
Guess it's a pretty good thing a Jumpman emulator doesn't exist or else I'd NEVER get the CMX Suite strip done.
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 8:57:15 AM by Tom Muck
I'm sure everyone has heard about all the voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement issues in this country. Being in the computer field gives me a different perspective on the voting issue. In this day and age, why can't a vote be tied to a person by his Social Security number? Certainly the computer can come to the rescue. . .in fact it's a rather simple computer problem: when a voter votes, he is shown to have voted in a database. He can't vote again. What could be simpler? You show an ID to the people at the voting booth (maybe even a bar-code scannable ID card) and vote. Once you've voted, the central computer has your vote stored and you can't vote again.
I'm not sure why they need provisional ballots with a system like this. It seems that more problems are created by allowing people to fill out pieces of paper when they don't show up on a list. What is to prevent them from filling out these pieces of paper at different locations? The whole thing is a mess and is really needless. Having everything computerized would give other advantages:
- You wouldn't need special equipment to get hauled out every 2 years -- you just need terminals.
- It could be standardized across states -- no more butterfly ballots, punch cards, or other problematic voting systems. That would virtually eliminate voter error, which was a huge problem in the last presidential election ("You have voted for Winthrop Blankenshipshire -- Are you sure??? Yes | No | Go back ")
- It could be administered by a third party.
- You wouldn't need trial lawyers to get involved in a voting process.
Banks can maintain records of millions of people so that when you put your card in an ATM, you only see your money. The IRS maintains records of taxes for millions of people. Even online gambling sites maintain accurate account information. A computerized voting system would be far less complex than any of these, but far more accurate than what we have now. I think we are still using some voting machines from the 40s and 50s. It's time to move this process into the 21st century.
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 7:44:06 AM by Sheri German
I get up very early each morning to get the kids off to school and a houseful of pets fed (the latter being more willing respondents to the wake up call than the former--come to think of it, the pets are the wake up call). As soon as I drive my so-called walker son to the middle school at 7:55, I start right in with my work. Given that I shove down breakfast and lunch while I am typing and mousing away, you'd think I would be done with work in time to enjoy the evening with my family. So why is it that I am often doing the midnight madness thing?
I was a music major in college. I remember how a bunch of us would meet for breakfast, then race down to the practice rooms to claim our favorite pianos. We often put in five or six hours of practicing a day, but we had breaks! We made time to relax and enjoy each other--even if we tended to relax by putting on a piece of music one of us had been practicing, and sing along together at the top of our lungs. I used to think we were crazy, obsessed monomanics. I hadn't even begun to know what monomania really meant.
So here I sit, another Tuesday morning with a long to-do list in front of me, and three cats lounging on the bed where I am working on my Powerbook. Not one of the cats cares for any of the others, so getting them to cooperate is not in the cards. Nor do any of them particularly fear me when I issue a command such as "Move off the blanket so I can at least make this bed!"
Well, this web field feels a lot like trying to herd cats. It's a slippery business, nothing seems to stay in control, and the clients often feel like those immovable critters on the bed. But then one of the cats (they're a somewhat grateful rescue bunch) comes over and pats an adoring paw on my face, and I know I love them anyway. Now don't we feel the same way about this Web biz?
Oh, no! My Birman cat just flopped on my Powerbook and deleted all this text! I am gonna have to type this over...
Category tags: On the Personal Side
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 3:11:53 AM by Bill
It seems that the web design business is seasonal. At least it is in my neck of the woods I don't know about you, but traditionally, I get a lot of work coming in beginning around September of every year, lasting through January or February, and then after that it's spotty until the same time next September. Am I the only one? It's just odd... I mean it's great, because the holidays are coming up and that means some extra money to spend, but it sure would be nice to even out the feast or famine routine and make it last year 'round.
There is no explanation for this phenomenon that I've been able to find. If I knew what caused it to happen, I'd make it happen all the time. Maybe it's because companies want to ring in the new year with a new or revised website, or perhaps summer is ending and folks realize it's time to get back to work, and that means new web dev projects. I dunno, but it's confounding.
As Kasey Kasem likes to say: Ponderous, man...
Category tags: Dreamweaver