Electronic Arse-Pirates

I read an interesting article on Slashdot this evening which makes me a) thankful I never aspired to get involved in the game programming industry and b) likely to boycott purchasing any “big name company” games from now on. (By boycott, of course, I mean pirate.)

I can recall stories about ridiculous working conditions way back in the days of Doom and Quake. I remember joking with a fellow Crayola Clan member about avoiding the gaming industry. He did get into it, though, and went on to work ridiculous hours. He’s changed game companies at least three times in the last 4 or 5 years that I know of, too.

It’s one thing to work ridiculous hours when you’re one of the owners of a small startup company trying to “make it.” It’s quite another thing to work ridiculous hours when you’re a salaried employee for a huge mega-corporation, and you’re receiving no overtime pay or compensation of any kind. That should be against the law, imho. Maybe this explains why 99% of all commercially-produced games blow: All the developers are so sleep-deprived that they just don’t care.

EA Spouse Blog Entry

Virtual Moving Day

According to the Powers That Be, uvtek.net will move on November 20th. At that time the site will probably “go down” for a few days while I move the files.


Wow, that only took an hour and 20 minutes. I rock!

By the way, I have to point out that whoever wired the phone lines in this house sucks. Instead of using phone wires with the normal red, green, yellow, and blue wires, they decided to use something completely non-standard. So I spent the majority of my time figuring out that the blue wire goes on the red contact, and the white wire with blue stripes goes on the green contact.

So anyway, I sent another fax to those wacky Omnis Network people through a fax/modem, so we’ll see if they get this one.


I am wondering if our fax machine is broken, because I faxed the appropriate papers to the new Internet provider twice yesterday but the status on their web page still says “awaiting faxed papers.” I recall now that Cynthia mentioned she had problems faxing out resumes a while back, too. I suppose it’s reasonable to expect that, after 10+ years, a fax machine might develop some problems.

So, I am now embarking on a quest to fix the phone jack in my room, find a fax/modem card, install it in my computer, and get some fax software running.

Auctioning Aladdin

I know my server may get yanked out from under me at any moment, but I just had to write something about this.

So I’m surfing the ‘Net and I find myself at www.novadesign.com. (I like to check in there every now and then to see if anything interesting is going on.) To my amazement, I found that they tried to auction off the source code and intellectual property of Aladdin 4D on Ebay! So I browse on over to the Ebay listing, and I’m even more amazed to see the starting bid at $35K and the Buy It Now price at $89K. Needless to say, nobody bid on it.

I’m not under any confidentiality agreements with Nova Design anymore, so I think I’m safe in disclosing that we only paid $20K for that program in, I believe, 1993 or 1994. And frankly, I’m not sure we even broke even on it. I say “only $20K,” but looking back now, that seems like a ridiculous amount of money to pay for what I considered to be nightmarishly obtuse source code. If I may humbly say so, transforming that hideous user interface that we bought into something reasonably usable was some of my most profound programming genius. Ironically enough, those changes would bring zero extra value to the software since clearly nobody would buy it now for the Amiga interface.

Just to set the record straight, the source code examples shown on the Ebay listing are NOT representative of my work on the code. Probably 99% of what was shown was written before I ever touched it.

It is a decidedly odd feeling to see one’s source code on Ebay, I have to admit.

Aladdin 4D Auction (sorry, it’s ended)


I sent in the request to move uvtek.net this morning, but so far it’s still here. Hopefully it will move soon.

14 Episodes of Kingdom Hospital, Stat

We finished watching Kingdom Hospital on DVD tonight. Overall it was pretty good but I think the 14 episodes could have easily been shrunk down to 4 or 5. I guess they were hoping for an X-Files type of series where half the episodes don’t have anything to do with the basic story arc.

It was pretty typical Stephen King. Lots of “inside jokes” (“short time,” “Little Tall,” “Nozz-a-la,” etc.) The obligatory SK cameo. Lots of lines that work on paper but not spoken aloud. Lots of freakishly weird characters. Lots of meandering around the plot.

Antubus was quite well animated for a television show, but that’s probably been said before. I was rather puzzled when he transformed from a CG creature to a teenage goth boy in the last couple of episodes though. Probably just ran out of time to render all that hair.

I’m curious to see the Lars Von Trier “The Kingdom” miniseries it was based on, but after seeing (read: fast-forwarding through a great deal of) “Dogville” a few weeks ago I’d be too scared to actually go through with watching it.

Boycott In Progress

It has come to my attention that Flower Depot in Ashland has screwed us over, so I thought I should warn all of the loyal readers of my site.

Cynthia ordered a delivery of flowers from them and they sent crappy flowers, and they have not refunded our money.

They will be getting no further business from us, and I recommend that you join us in sending them a strong message about the power of word-of-mouth and the Internet: Boycott Flower Depot!

They have a web site, but I will not dignify them with a link. It’s a pre-fab FTP florist site anyway, and their email address is on AOL. What more damning evidence could there be?