The Great Bar Photo Caper

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I’ve been going to a bar / restaurant near my hometown since the late nineties. They serve good food in generous potions and very cheap beer. They also have an array of very old, sometimes creepy photos covering the walls in their dining room.

In the old days, my friends and I would probably end up at this bar at least once a week. Since moving out of town, though, I don’t get to see the place very often. I finally got there with my friends for the first time in years, and we had a brilliant idea: We decided that we had to sneak one of our own pictures onto the wall.

Choosing a photograph

This was really, really hard. It had to be something that had a personal significance to us, but it also had to fit in well with the other pictures. We didn’t want it to be easily noticed.

Our first choice was just awesome. Unfortunately, we didn’t think it would stay on the wall for very long. It was a picture of one of our friends appearing to enjoy having his sausage sampled in his kitchen while wearing a tuxedo. We edited the photo to make it black and white and look very mottled and old. It looked perfect, and we were all very happy with our work.

Unfortunately, we didn’t think this photo would have much longevity. We’ve seen younger people eating here. We didn’t think it would be appropriate, and we figured one of these young people might point it out to their parents, and it would be taken down. I have to note here that this picture is still residing in the frame. It is just hiding behind the new picture.

Making a better choice

Some of us attended the same elementary school, Frances Willard Elementary in Scranton, PA. In the hallway near the main entrance hung a photo of the woman our school was named after, Frances Willard. This picture was very creepy when we were six or seven years old. It was rumored that the ghost of Frances Willard was haunting our school, and her eyes seemed to follow you as you walked past her picture.

Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard (September 28, 1839 – February 17, 1898) was an American educator, temperance reformer, and women’s suffragist. Her influence was instrumental in the passage of the Eighteenth (Prohibition) and Nineteenth (Women Suffrage) Amendments to the United States Constitution. Willard became the national president of Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1879, and remained president for 19 years. She developed the slogan “Do everything” for the women of the WCTU to incite lobbying, petitioning, preaching, publication, and education. Her vision progressed to include federal aid to education, free school lunches, unions for workers, the eight-hour work day, work relief for the poor, municipal sanitation and boards of health, national transportation, strong anti-rape laws, and protections against child abuse.

Wikipedia Entry on Frances Willard

When we were in elementary school, we had no idea who Frances Willard was or why you would name a school after her. We were just excited about Ghostbusters, The Transformers, Voltron, and G.I. Joe, and we were busy watching the Space Shuttle Challenger explode on live TV in our classrooms. Frances Willard’s Wikipedia entry says that her vision included federal aid to education, free school lunches, and protections against child abuse. These all seem like good enough reasons to name a school after her.

We do realize that there is a touch of irony in hanging a picture of a prohibitionist in a bar. If anyone actually recognizes who she is when they see her, I certainly hope they get a good laugh out of this fact.

How can we hang the photo quickly?

Our original plan was pretty terrible. We noticed a few frames that were damaged or didn’t have glass. We figured we could print a photo at the correct size and sneak it in right over the top of an existing picture.

This was going to present us with some issues. Our potential targets were all different sizes, and they are scattered all around the walls. The odds of luck being on our side are never high, so we didn’t think we’d ever end up sitting near the frame we were prepared to hijack. We really needed a better plan.

I just happened to stumble on an image from the book Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know – Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic that explained how to hang your own art in a museum. We didn’t need to be as sneaky as the fellow in the book, but we did purchase our frame.

We also decided to use poster tack to attach the picture to the wall. This made it very easy to quickly stick the picture to the wall, and it won’t leave any damage behind if they decide to remove our sneaky photograph.

Executing the plan

Jimmy brought the framed picture, and I brought the sticky tack. In the parking lot, we put about an inch or two of poster tack on each corner of the frame. Then Jimmy put the picture frame into the large pocket of his jacket, and we entered the restaurant.

We had to wait until the place emptied out a bit, so we had plenty of time to finish our food. The waitress took our empty plates, and Jimmy ordered another beer. Jimmy decided that he would spring into action after she delivered his beer.

Before the caper After the caper

The actual execution went quickly and smoothly. Someone had suggested that sticky tack wouldn’t be capable of holding the picture to the wall, but it is holding to the wall extremely well. It won’t be coming down unless someone intentionally tries to remove it. In fact, we joked that it would probably be the only picture in the place to still be on the wall after a nuclear holocaust.

We did a great job of making sure the picture would blend right in and did everything properly, right down to the smallest detail. Almost all the other pictures in the bar are attached to the wall with one or two drywall screws. We even made certain that the frame holding our picture of Frances Willard had a drywall screw of its own.

It was difficult not to continually marvel at the perfect crime. We had to keep reminding each other to stop looking at our work, and I had to keep telling Jimmy to stop touching it. He was just too impressed by how sturdy it was, though, and he just had to keep poking at it. I kept telling him that if he called too much attention to our handiwork, someone might notice and take it down!

We all know people like to steal things from bars, but do you know anyone else who has gone to such lengths to leave something behind?

My Upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusy Tahr

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I had a large block of free time yesterday, so I decided to make an early upgrade to my laptop to the Ubuntu 14.04 beta. I almost always wait until at least the first release candidate is available, but I figured that I may as well give it a go early this time. I imagine that I’ve had a simpler time since I actually run Xubuntu, and I don’t have to deal with the rapid pace of changes to Unity.

Everything seemed to go very smoothly at first

When I upgraded from Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10, I had a few minor issues. All of the issues were with my own software. Besides the ones I listed on my blog, I also had some minor headaches. I had a few Emacs packages and settings that weren’t too happy with the new Emacs release, and my rbenv needed to be updated before I could publish any new blog posts with Octopress.

I didn’t have any of these problems when upgrading from Saucy Salamander to Trusty Tahr. Everything worked fine. I always like an upgrade that goes almost entirely unnoticed. It turned out that this wouldn’t be the case.

OpenGL windows aren’t behaving when using the Sawfish window manager

Everything was fine until I fired up the Steam client. Then things got pretty stupid. If I minimize the Steam window or switch to another virtual desktop, an image of the Steam window will eventually appear on the screen. Eventually my Google Chrome window started behaving the same way, probably because I have most of the experimental OpenGL Chrome features enabled.

Switching to the default XFCE window manager corrected the problem. Compiling new Sawfish packages didn’t help, but I was able to temporarily fix the problem. I’ve started running the Compton compositor along with Sawfish. This eliminates the problem, but I’m not very happy with this solution. The last time I tried out Compton, it significantly shortened the battery life of my laptop.

My Google-fu didn’t turn up any useful information about this problem. I’m hoping that it will be fixed by the official release of Ubuntu 14.04, or that the bug will affect other people that are using more standard software from the official Ubuntu repositories.

Are you having a similar problem? Were you able to fix it? Hopefully a proper fix won’t be too difficult!

Update on misbehaving Steam and Chrome

When I got home a few days ago, and I upgraded my desktop to the official, non-beta release of Ubuntu 14.04. I was expecting to have the same problems, but I didn’t. At least not right away.

I decided to turn on some of the OpenGL acceleration settings in Google Chrome, and that’s when things got weird. I started having exactly the same problems that I had on my laptop. I was very excited, because I thought that I had found a solution to my problem, and I immediately changed all of those settings back.

That didn’t fix the problem, so I logged out and back in again. When I fired up Steam, it downloaded an update. Now the problem is half fixed. I can’t minimize my Steam window without having it randomly pop an image of itself over the top of things, but if I leave the window up it no longer intrudes on other workspaces.

This is a bit inconvenient, but I’m a virtual desktop addict, and I don’t minimize windows very often.

Screen blanking problems with my QNIX QX2710 monitors

My Korean QNIX QX2710 monitors would reactivate at an unsupported resolution a few seconds after the screensaver powered them off. It was one of the nasty unsupported modes that puts ugly, bright vertical lines down the right third of the display. I didn’t notice it right away, and it left some lines burned in on both monitors for about ten minutes.

The culprit turned out to be this new light-locker program. It moves control back to lightdm whenever the screen is locked, and I’m guessing that lightdm was changing the screen resolution or something. My quick fix was to remove light-locker.

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wonko@zaphod:~$ apt-get remove light-locker

Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson and The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman

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I might be reading a little too quickly. Just two weeks ago, at the end of my Casino Royale post, I mentioned that I was going to choose my next book from one of the various Humble eBook Bundle or StoryBundle collections that I’ve already purchased. I have already finished two ebooks from StoryBundle since then.

My poor organizational skills

When I purchased my first two StoryBundle.com bundles, I made it a point to tag them accordingly when I imported them into Calibre. Then I got lazy or forgetful, and that didn’t happen anymore. Not having the books tagged made it very difficult to choose my next book, so I went through my old emails and tagged books from a dozen different ebook bundles.

While I was tagging books, I noticed that StoryBundle’s Epic Fantasy Bundle was still on sale, and I hadn’t bought it yet! I even lucked out because there was a Neil Gaiman novella in there, but it felt like cheating!

The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman

This one was a short and easy-to-read novella. I read the first chapter before going to sleep, and quickly finished off the rest during the next evening. It takes place after the events of American Gods and follows Shadow in his travels to Scotland.

I don’t know how much I can say about something so short. I enjoyed The Monarch of the Glen just as much as I enjoyed American Gods. This time I had a better idea of what to expect going in, though.

Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson

I ended up reading Constellation Games from StoryBundle’s Video Game Bundle. The synopsis sounded interesting, and Cory Doctorow thought it was a brilliant novel. That was enough reason for me to give it a try.

Constellation Games is the story of Ariel Blum, a video game developer living in Austin, TX, and making first contact with a coalition of alien species. It felt like a fresh and novel viewpoint for a first-contact story. Most of the books that I’ve read involving first contact end up being told from the viewpoint of some genius with eight doctorates. Telling the story from the point of view of a game dev blogger was very easy to relate to.

It was also fun reading a book that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. There’s a lot of humor in here. All of the comedic science fiction that I’ve read has been British, and almost all of it was written by Douglas Adams. I enjoyed reading a more American take on the genre.

“Ah, and the lovely Jenny,” said Tetsuo, pinching her hand carefully in what I guess was a suave gesture. “I didn’t know you had a private car and driver!”

“That was a taxi,” said Jenny.

“That explains why it was so ugly,” said Tetsuo.

Leonard Richardson Constellation Games

I only read a few pages of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother. It was overloaded with leet-speak buzzwords. It felt too much like watching Hackers, so I put the book down pretty quickly. Constellation Games suffers from the same problem, but not to the same extent.

I would say that I definitely enjoyed reading Constellation Games, and I look forward to reading anything else Leonard Richardson decides to write. I would also be very interested in playing Caveman Chaos, a fictional game from his book.

zsh-dwim: I Feel Like a Genius, Belatedly

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I’ve been stuck on my laptop for the last few months, and I’ve been doing my best to tolerate its old, slow, spinning hard drive. I’ve also been tweaking all sorts of settings in an attempt to make things more tolerable. I installed the preload daemon, and that seemed to help things a bit.

That wasn’t enough, though, so I started tweaking various sysctl settings. I’m pretty old school, and I have old habits. I never use the sysctl command. I always use cat to peek into the files in /proc/sys/ and echo to change their values. On one hand, this gives me tab completion of all those file names that I never remember. On the other hand, it takes quite a few keystrokes to turn those cat commands into echo commands.

This is exactly what zsh-dwim is made for. Wouldn’t you think I’d realize this right away? I didn’t. I didn’t think of this until a few days after I was done messing around with sysctl settings!

I’m very excited about this new zsh-dwim transformation. It saves a lot of keystrokes, and I wish I’d thought of it sooner! Unlike using sysctl, this transformation works with variables under both /proc/sys/ and /sys/.

This will be very handy the next time I have to tweak a bunch of kernel settings, and it has given me some ideas for the future of zsh-dwim. I keep thinking of zsh-dwim in terms of actually swapping out parts of the current command. I believe that I should also start thinking in terms of simple cursor placement as well.

You can find zsh-dwim at GitHub.

Ten-Year Anniversary of Using Darcs and Git for My Emacs Config

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I just happened to take a look at the log of my Emacs configuration Git repository yesterday. I don’t know what made me page through the entire log, but I was very excited to see that the oldest log entry was dated March 13, 2004. That’s ten years to the day!

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commit 0bfa6223629f72065f65fd44c2741d48a9019f07
Author: thehead <thehead@patshead.com>
Date:   Thu May 13 16:31:21 2004 -0400

    Initial Import

That was the day that I migrated my Emacs configuration files from CVS to Darcs. I didn’t import my CVS history. Having history is handy when I mess something up and can’t figure out what I did wrong. Only recent history is useful for that. I didn’t think that ancient history was worth the trouble of importing one commit at a time into Darcs.

I miss Darcs

At the time, Git didn’t exist yet. It was still over a year from its first release. I had already chosen Darcs as my preferred “next generation” version control system. Back in 2004, I still had a separate laptop and desktop. We didn’t have Wi-Fi hotspots in every coffee shop, and we didn’t have convenient things like Seafile or Dropbox to keep our files in sync.

Distributed version control with Darcs was an amazing upgrade, and storing configuration files in Darcs was very convenient. I didn’t have to hope that I remembered to check out my projects before I left home or worry about finding an Internet connection if I forgot.

I was a late adopter of Git. I didn’t migrate my Darcs repositories to Git until March 2011. In my opinion, Darcs has a much more user-friendly command-line interface, and I also preferred the Darcs concept of “every copy is a separate branch.”

If you switch branches often, Git will be faster and more convenient, but it was handy knowing that each copy of each Darcs repository automatically acted like a distinct branch. Combining that feature with Darcs’s excellent merging made it easy to commit small, host-specific changes to local repositories.

Finally giving in to peer pressure

I had to give up on Darcs. Git may be a pain in the neck in comparison, but there’s just too much friction when the rest of the world has decided to use Git. It looks like I converted my Emacs repository three years ago.

I’m surprised so much time has passed already. I think I’m still less comfortable with Git today than I was just a few months into using Darcs. Git is not only less intuitive than Darcs, but I run into merge conflicts much more often than I ever did with Darcs. Git’s merging feels like a hammer compared to the scalpel of Darcs’s “patch theory.”

Do you keep your configuration files in version control? Are you also using Git?

Casino Royale by Ian Flemming

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I was at a bar with my old friend Tim back in January. It seems that if he’s not busy building awesome guitars, that he just might be reading a book. He told me that he read about half of all the James Bond books last year. He says they’re all rather short, easy to read, and a lot of fun. I’m sure he told me more than that, but those are the highlights that I’m remembering!

I’m a big fan of the James Bond movies—my favorite Bond would most definitely be Roger Moore—so it seemed like a no-brainer to sneak Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale to the top of my list. I thought I would get through it pretty quickly, but it didn’t work out that way.

I’m trying not to write a “book report” here, but I can’t really explain what was slowing me down without giving away a few serious plot points. There will be spoilers ahead!

The first half of the book had very little action. It started out with a chapter full of dossiers of all the various bad guys, and I knew I’d never remember any of that. Then they spent a lot of time talking about cash for gambling, strategies for gambling, and then they finally got down to playing some Baccarat. I’d be surprised if I was bothering to read more than a chapter each day.

Things started to get more exciting around the half way point. The “Bond girl” gets kidnapped, and there’s a car chase. It is a very poorly executed chase on Bond’s part, and he is almost immediately captured. This was one of the many things that wouldn’t be likely to happen to Roger Moore or Sean Connery. They then proceeded to torture Mr. Bond for at least two chapters.

Le Chiffre spoke.

“That is all, Bond. We will now finish with you. You understand? Not kill you, but finish with you. And then we will have in the girl and see if something can be got out of the remains of the two of you.”

He reached towards the table.

“Say good-bye to it, Bond.”

Ian Fleming Casino Royale

This wasn’t just the sort of torture where you simply hit someone with a lead pipe until they talk. This involved attacking some important and very sensitive parts. Parts that we’re told will eventually be removed. When Le Chiffre spoke those words at the end of the chapter, I didn’t know if I wanted to turn that page. If I hadn’t been reading Casino Royale on my tablet, I may have wanted to pull a Joey Tribiani and put the book in the freezer.

I put the book away for a while, and during that time, Season 2 of House of Cards showed up on Netflix. That kept me distracted for a while, and I mostly forgot that I was in the middle of reading a book.

I didn’t pick it back up until last night. Much to my relief, 007 is rescued at the very beginning of the next chapter, and the doctors say he will make a full recovery. I quickly breezed through the rest of the book before I went to sleep. If I’d have known I had nothing to worry about, I probably would have finished the book on the same day that I ended up putting it aside.

What to read next?

I’ll definitely continue the series, but I’m going to choose something different to read next. I’ve picked up two or three StoryBundle.com bundles that I haven’t touched yet. Perhaps I’ll choose a book from one of those bundles at random. Maybe I’ll luck out!

I Migrated To Octopress From Movable Type

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I started this blog back in 2009, and at the time, I really had no idea what my requirements were in a blogging engine. There was only one thing I knew for certain: I wanted static HTML pages. Static pages are served up fast and are very secure. Other than that, I had no idea what I needed.

I ended up choosing Movable Type. All the blog post pages in Movable Type are static, so it did a pretty good job of meeting my only requirement. It has other features that seemed interesting, too. It has a commenting system, and it will send users an email notification if someone replies to their comments. It has a built-in search system. It will notify various services every time a new post is published. Movable Type also lets you schedule posts to be automatically published in the future.

Four years ago, the fact that Movable Type will announce the existence of my new blog posts to the world sounded like it would be an amazingly useful feature. At this point, I am pretty sure it was completely useless.

What was wrong with Movable Type?

Everything in Movable Type happens in its clunky web interface. The worst part about that is having to compose and edit posts in an HTML textarea. I’ve had something stupid on more than one occasion that made hundreds of words vanish on me because of this. I eventually started using a Chrome extension that would let me edit textareas in Emacs. This helped, but it was still clunky.

Things also seemed to keep getting slower and slower as I wrote more posts. Sometimes I would need to open a half-dozen older posts to check on things and make some small tweaks. This would involve a lot of waiting for posts to open, and waiting for posts to publish.

I was running Movable Type 5, and version 6 was going to be released very soon. I figured that my choices were to upgrade or find a new blogging engine.

What was I looking to improve?

I definitely wanted to get rid of that web-based editor. Most of the new static blog generators store all your posts in text files under Git. This seems brilliant to me. I can’t imagine a faster way to edit blog posts than using Emacs on my local machine. My plan was to be able to have a ‘commit –> push –> publish’ workflow.

I also wanted a more modern theme. I’m not the least bit artistic, and I have absolutely no sense of style. I just wanted something that looked clean, and it definitely had to be a responsive design. Responsive web pages detect what sort of device you are on and adjust the layout of the page to fit.

One small roadblock

All of the available static blog generators are completely static. That means they’re not going to have any sort of a built-in comment system. That meant I was going to have to use some sort of comment service. I decided to give Disqus a try.

I wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea. When I was surfing the web, I used to notice Disqus all the time. It was often very slow to load. Sometimes it seemed to make entire pages load more slowly. This had me worried, but by the time I was looking to switch, things seemed to be working a lot better.

I migrated over to Disqus while I was still using Movable Type. I’ve been using Disqus since June, and I am actually very pleased with the results. I’m getting more comments than I did before making the switch, and I’m much happier letting Disqus handle sending out all the various notification emails.

Enter Octopress

I’ve been actively using Octopress since August of 2013. I’m extremely happy with the results. I have a nice, clean, responsive theme. According to Piwik, I shaved over a tenth of a second off my average page generation times. That alone was worth the effort of migrating!

All my blog posts are now happily sitting in a Git repository on my local machine, and Seafile does a great job of keeping the posts synced up between my laptop and desktop, even when I forget to commit something, and that happens more often than I’d like to admit!

One important feature is still missing

I’ve been limping along for the last six months without one of my favorite Movable Type features. I currently have no way to schedule a blog post to publish in the future.

My blog web server was on a virtual machine running an ancient version of Ubuntu. The OpenVZ host server was still running CentOS 5, and you need the newer OpenVZ kernel that ships with CentOS 6 to run more modern versions of Ubuntu. This meant getting an rbenv and Octopress up and running was pretty much out of the question.

I’ve since upgraded the host server and the web server, but I still haven’t gotten around to setting up an rbenv up on the server for Octopress. This means I still don’t have my commit –> push –> publish workflow up and running yet. I have a little helper script that makes Octopress a bit more comfortable for me, but it still needs a few more features before I can get my automatic publishing back.

The verdict

I’ve been using Octopress for six months so far, and I am extremely happy with it. My site loads faster, looks more modern, and looks so much better on phones and tablets. My friend Brian also migrated to Octopress last year, and I think he’s almost as pleased as I am.

Are you still using Movable Type? Are you using a static blog generator like Octopress? Are you thinking about migrating to a static blog generator? I’d really like to hear what you’re thinking about, or how it is working out for you!

A Couple of zbell.zsh Bug Fixes

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I’ve been using zbell for over a month now, and I’m really starting to rely on it. Old habits are hard to break. I still find myself peeking at long running processes just to see if they’ve finished, but I’m slowly learning to trust that zbell will let me know when something needs my attention.

A test zbell.zsh notification

Deploying a new blog post using my laptop takes over thirty seconds. I always like to take a look at the live website after it publishes to make sure I didn’t goof anything up. I’ve finally stopped flipping back to the terminal window to check on the progress. Instead, I’m trusting zbell to let me know when it is time to check the blog.

One very, very annoying bug

Some people complained when I chose control-u as the default key for zsh-dwim. Control-u is bound to the function unix-line-discard by default. I’ve never used this function in my entire life. A key sequence that I use for a similar purpose all the time, control-c, has always been my preferred way of canceling a command that I am writing. It has the advantage of leaving the unfinished command on my screen, and that comes in handy if I need to reference my thoughts later on.

This action triggered a very annoying bug in zbell. Hitting control-c would cause zbell to immediately notify me of the previous command. This was very loud and quite annoying. This bug could also be triggered if you hit Enter on a blank line.

Thankfully, this was easy enough to fix.

A much less intrusive bug

The email notification in zbell also had a small bug. I had decided to include the command’s exit status in the body of the email, but I wasn’t squirreling that status away early enough. When you want to capture the exit status of a command, you have to capture it immediately. If you execute any other command before making a copy of the exit status variable, you will end up overwriting it.

This one was easy enough to fix, but it might still be pretty fragile. I added a line to copy the exit status to another variable right at the very beginning of the precmd hook, but any other functions bound to the precmd hook could mess that up.

I don’t have any other hooks, so this fix is good enough for me.

You can find the zbell.zsh Gist at Github.

My Gaming Story: The Start of Three Decades of Gaming

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I grew up playing videogames. I remember begging my parents incessantly for an Atari when I was six years old. I was too young to know that there were better systems available, and I had no idea that the machine I wanted was actually called an Atari VCS.

I remember one particular Christmas morning, rushing down the stairs as fast as I could to see what Santa Claus had delivered for me. I unwrapped small boxes with game cartridges like Munch-Man, Parsec, and Hunt the Wumpus. These didn’t sound like Atari games to me.

Then I opened a rather large present containing a Texas Instruments TI-99/4a personal computer. It had a metallic case, a keyboard to the left, and a cartridge slot to the right. It didn’t bear much resemblance to an Atari VCS.

My disappointment and confusion vanished pretty quickly once my father got this new piece of equipment hooked up to the TV. By then, I was happily laying down chains in Munch-Man, or shooting down aliens in TI Invaders. Both of these games were superior to the originals from which they were cloned, but I was completely oblivious to that at the time. I was just having fun playing them.

I still enjoy playing some of these games today. I have some of the best TI-99/4a games, like Parsec, Munch-Man, and The Attack running on my arcade cabinet. It doesn’t quite feel the same playing them like this, but it sure does bring back a lot of memories.

I often wonder where I would be today if my father had gotten me that Atari VCS that I actually wanted. Making a living working with computers has been enjoyable and profitable. I doubt I would be where I am today if my father hadn’t chosen to buy that TI-99/4a.

Thank you, dad!

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

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I have been working my way through Pratchett’s Discworld series for quite a few years now. I’ve stuck pretty closely to the Discworld Reading Order diagram. It didn’t take me much more than a year to plow through all the Rincewind and Witches novels. Finishing Thief of Time marks the end of my much slower journey through the Death novels.

Lu-Tze looked impressed, and said so. “I’m impressed,” he said.

Terry Pratchett Thief of Time

I can’t really explain why, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but for some reason I kept hearing the voice of Hermes Conrad from Futurama whenever Lu-Tze was speaking. I’m not sure what sort of similarities there should be between a Tibetan monk and a Jamaican Olympic limbo athlete turned accountant, but this is what my brain decided. Who am I to argue with my brain?