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Wednesday, April 04, 2001

The till is back up to it's pathetic norm. I should withdraw that money to buy beer one of these days. Thank you psudo-anonymous donator.


Tuesday, April 03, 2001

So Anna was going through some of our old files today, and she found some of our old work from projects that were never completed back when we were trying to do an animation company. We did some greeting card work for Shockwave.com. They had this thing where you could put a photo into a card and send it to someone. They wanted some submissions for cards. For some reason they didn't like the ones I submitted.

Looking back on it I'm a better animator than I give myself credit for. Especially in Anime Animals, my attempt to be "edgy" but capture some of that Sanrio cuteness that's so popular with the soon to be thirty year olds. My attempt at pessimistic job humor for the recently graduated didn't have the shockingly ironic iconic cuteness, but if you pause the flash (right click and hit pause) at the end and then zoom in, I think that my little names for the food are quite amusing. And then I did something about echelon, because this was in 1999 and that was a big deal at the time.

I hate greeting cards.


Someone took back their dollar! Whatever I did, I apologize. I know I haven't been updating the links as much as I used to, I'll try to post some deep thoughts in a bit. I've been feeling ambivalent about what it is I want to own. I haven't been feeling very pundit like in the past few days.

I bet it was Dack! He rescinded a buck because I've yet to post the instructions on how my BLOGGER => XML => WEB process works. Well I'll just have to show him!


Monday, April 02, 2001

Playing around with ioLib. At first I experimented around with some of the movement behaviors, to see how they run. Now however I'm having fun with the XML functions. What's so fun with XML functions? One word (well two if hyphens count as a break) MULTI-SERVER!!!!! Woo hoo! I'm making chat rooms and more. Well trying to. This stuff is easy to do a proof of concept on, but hard to do right. I'll post more later after I've had a chance to test out the code more.

For now check out the flocking behavior, X-windows users will find this a familiar screensaver.


Thursday, March 29, 2001

So I am trying to simultaneously change this site into one of those trendy CSS only site, change the back end, and add a ton of features. So of course progress isn't happening in any of those fronts. I felt the need to share this since I haven't had any updates to the site in a week or so. My head is still spinning from stuffing full of knowledge at the Game Developer's conference. I'll try to post some of the things I've learned soon. When I have a moment that is.


What's a good program for remapping the windows keyboard? My damn left ctrl key is on the fritz on my laptop. I'd love to remap it to the absolutely useless caps lock key. None of the shareware programs I can find in a Google search or on download.com seem to be able to remap either of those keys.


Thursday, March 22, 2001

Oh, and then there's Lineage. The most popular online RPG in the world. And that's with it only taking place (currently) in Korea. The land of Starcraft themed cereal boxes, profitable internet cafes, professional gaming trainers, and where 50% of the population plays video games.

Oh for the Japanese comic market, and the Korean gaming market.


Notes from the GDC:

Today I attended the Community Design for Large-Scale Gaming Worlds. It was an all day session with Raph Koster, Rich Vogel, and Amy Jo Kim, This was an all day tutorial of which I have copious notes that I will try to make more sense of later. This meant that the examples generally centered around The Sims Online, Star Wars Galaxy, Ultima Online and Everquest. Which is just fine. Spending the day learning about how reading "A Pattern Language" will help design better virtual cities, and then doing a detailed analysis of the cities of Trinsic and Quenos, how they failed as cities in massively multiplayer game cities, but would have probably made great single player game cities. Great things like how every RPG needs elves and trolls (or their functional equivalents) because players who play those type of characters tend to play them in every single game. Players have their own personal play style, it's up to you as the designer to build a game that incorporates as many play styles as possible.

I'll be doing a bigger post later on Webmonkey about it all. A shout out to Paul Hoza on MassMOG, with good wishes for lasting success.


Tuesday, March 20, 2001

So after years of procrastinating I finally wrote the documentation to the dropdown Webmonkey toolbar. Enjoy.


I'm off to the Game Developer's Conference. Wish me luck. (on what? quake?)


Monday, March 19, 2001

Hey guess what? It's the one year anniversary of this log. I almost missed it. So happy birthday log! Go wish Cursorbot a happy birthday (yeah I know he was born on the 22nd of Feb, but it's hard to wish the log a happy birthday until I put on message boards).


Still wondering where all this ALL YOUR BASE stuff came from? Have an interest in internet culture? Then you'd probably be interested in the ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US: the history. A comprehensive history of the path this particular meme has taken.[via my mom]


Friday, March 16, 2001

This is how I'm feeling today about Netscape. Netscape 4 really. I don't have anything against the standard complaint version 6 today.


Thursday, March 15, 2001

The Underdogs is a site dedicated to games that didn't get the attention they deserved the first time around. Cool! I can now download and play jumpman. [via nadav]


Went by slashdot today following a link from eatonweb and read a fantastic interview with Clay Shirky.


In brief, a mathematician discovers a number, omega, that is in incalculable. This places limits on what can be known from number theory, the foundation of mathematics. Thus the attempts to construct a unified theory of everything is placed in severe doubt.

I've had a (unfounded, amateur) belief for a while that math is not etched into the fabric of the universe, but is a human tool that we use to understand the universe. And that our attempts to communicate with other intelligences using the language of math may be about as useful as trying to communicate with them using English.

Unless I'm reading this wrong (and I admit that my grasp on math is not the best) the discovery of the Omega number supports this view. We can not fully express the universe as a mathematical concept. So there must be other systems and tools that can exist outside of math to express the universe. And since humanity has invented Math, I'll lay good odds (another human invention) that other intellegences have invented their own distinctive tools. [via metafilter]


Wednesday, March 14, 2001

How to avoid becoming an outcast. (36.9 MB AVI, requires DIVX) Is it just me or do you keep waiting for some terrible secret about the kids in the town to be revealed? Like how Susan Jane needs to convert to a certain religion, or they're all mutant aliens or something? [via metafilter]


I'm just posting this because I thought the Webmonkey ad was funny two months ago, but then could find the site when talking to other monkeys. Now I don't think it's true, the monkey has been publishing lots lately.


So this is a big SXSW report. Where to start?

First off, I didn't win. Thanks to everyone who I strong armed to vote for me but I got beat out. In the high bandwidth category, where Robota was nominated, we got beat out by Unwrapped: The Mysterious World of Mummies. I'd be more bummed if I didn't like the piece and think that Second Story is a really good studio that has constantly put out some of the best in web multimedia. But I still would liked to have won. We lost out in the people's choice award to the Off-Ramp Gallery. All of which showed that they we much better at stuffing the ballot box than we were (and we were).

SXSW has some of the best panels of the interactive and web conferences out there. Most conferences are full of beginner courses like an intro to XML. They have to, that's where the money is. SXSW has managed to make one of the only web conferences where there can be a higher level of discussion. This means that it's not just about going to teach a class, and then drinking with the other panelists at night. At SXSW you can have interesting discussions during the panels (well some of them at least) THEN go drink with the panelists at night.

Highlights of the panels that I attended: The Scott McCloud interview was good (watch it hilo). Scott's refining his theories about comics online, though his main theory is still unchanged. He sees a medium online for comics free of technologically imposed restrictions of the printed page. For him this means the infinite canvas. I don't necessarily agree that the infinite canvas is the ultimate form. And as strenuously as Scott pushes it, he freely admits that most of what he is doing is experimenting, trying to find a sustainable form for comics online. I like that ideal, and hope that he inspires more comic artists to experiment online in the quest to find a sustainable form. He also talked about how HTML is not the most fertile soil to create comics in. It too has a page metaphor that he is trying to get away from, and how he'd like to move beyond HTML ultimately. I also suggested to Scott that he needs to deal with the collaborative abilities that the internet grants us. Especially the grass roots power of creation that has never before existed. How will phenomena like slashdot, or metafilter manifest in comics. One early indicator is Mr T vrs Everything, and the ever present ALL YOUR BASE meme, reprinted here in the off chance Scott reads this blog.

Justin Hall's panel on games was also fantastic. Games are still going strong it seems even if the internet has hit a little bump in the road. DC showed off that wacky world of Japanese cell phone gaming, with it's strong revenue model, virtual girlfriends, and pay for play fishing games. It's the most widely used data product that the Japanese pay for on the phone. Interesting.

The wireless web was a big topic at this year's conference. It's not yet here in America, and will be two or three years before we get what they have in Japan today, at which point they'll be beyond us again, but oh well, as Jeff Veen said, Tokyo exists in the future. Most of the people working on wireless applications are trying to take it slow this time. They don't want to create an unsustainable market like what happened to the internet. (I know that's a controversial sentence that isn't true and I don't believe, but it describes the attitude of many of the panelists and contains a grain of truth for another posting). Most presenters for wireless want to create products that people will be willing to pay for.

Advertising was the panelist's whipping boy this year. It received most of the blame, mostly since the majority of the attendees at the festival either work for, or are more interested in content sites. The failure of advertising to provide a sustainable revenue stream caused a lot of anger, many people even suggested (once again) removing it all together. I suggested that for the first time ever advertisers had the ability to know exactly how little people actually interacted with their ads, and that if the television, radio and print advertisers had these figures then they would probably collapse as well. Zeldman disagreed, saying that ads were getting better than most television shows and magazines in print and tv, kids want to watch ads. Many people suggested that ads need to be given more room and space to find their effective potential. Joey Anuff pointed out that the crew at Suck has always had success with their ad campaigns, they just took the time to be creative with their ads. That I think (and many other did too) is the crux of the problems. Advertisers aren't really treating the internet as a prime advertising medium. They're not investing the money in the ads to make them effective (cool ads, cost cool cash). And since they have lost the trust of the audience through tactics like setting cookies across sites from the ad banner, spamming and popup ads. Will the advertising industry overcome these obstacles and get back to almost single-handedly funding the entire net? I hope so. I'm not really thrilled about the current alternatives. Of course there is always the possibility of some new models taking hold, and while I would welcome all experimental entrants, I'm not holding my breath.

One of the most controversial panels was the panel on microcontent. Aside from just a general disagreement (not so much amongst the panelists) about what microcontent was there were questions as to the value of focusing on such small chunks of information, what are the best ways of manipulating the chunks, and the best way of managing it all. The term MicroContent Management System was accidentally coined by Kottke. Cory Doctorow was there and talked a little bit about how do you prevent people from abusing the metadata that is an important component of microcontent. His answer was webs of trust, which not coincidentally is what the products that his hot new company builds at opencola, that and open source soft drinks.

But it was also great to meet people and see old friends that I haven't seen in years. Derek was there giving his presentation on designing for communities, and I spent time with many of the Adaptivepath crew. I did an impression of Jeff Veen in Tokyo for the roast, and spent a lot of time with Patrick Farley who has some big upcoming plans for e-sheep.com. I'm not going to list everyone that I met or hung out with because I don't want to risk not mentioning someone.

I did have a chance to meet with a large group of the evolt founders and we got a chance to air out some of our differences. So here a hopeful wish to new friendships.

Thanks go out to Pableaux for his advice. Basically I need to stop spending my time stressing and just get out there and do brilliant work, and then write about it. As more than one participant mentioned, SXSW is a good yearly milestone to take stock of your career, and analyze what you've learned and what you've done over the past year. I am definitely taking a good long look at mine right now.


Saturday, March 10, 2001

Upload sounds and hear them played inside an echo chamber. Creepy. Cool.


this has been YET ANOTHER CURSOR CREATION ©1999, 2000 Captain Cursor Creations