The Springfield Fragfest
As mentioned in the book's preface, my Quake site at famvid was started in Spring of 1998. The first entries weren't dated, so they may be out of order.
Here are a few notes about the game and people the web site was about. Without them, some of it will be almost in-comprehensible.
The headlines were designed to look like “messages” that flashed across the top of the screen when you were playing the game. I did deviate once in a while.
Quake was a game where you ran around a virtual nightmare while shooting evil scary people and things. Quake II was science fiction, and took place on a planet named “Stroggos”. The inhabitants of Stroggos were called “Stroggs”. It's been too long since I've played it to remember what the US Marines were doing there.
The Stroggs were mostly humanoid, although there were dangerous animal Stroggs. One was the “shambler”, brought forward from the first Quake. Another was a vaguely dog-like animal with a very long, deadly tongue. These were called “Parasites”. Both were highlighted in a few of the Fragfest posts.
Most people playing online, where everyone but you was a Strogg, were modem users. High speed internet was very expensive, but college students in dorms and the wealthier Quake players who could afford fast connections had a huge advantage over modem users. These folks were called “LPBs”, LPB being an acronym of “Low Ping Bastard” with “ping” a technical term for the length of time to send a signal to another computer and receive a signal back.
One LPB's name was Gestalt. His real name was John, and I've forgotten what his last name was. He was a rich young Quake player who rented a T-1 to play Quake on, registered PlanetQuake.com and started Planet Quake, which eventually made the rich Gestalt even richer.
A camper was someone who waited for another player to come running, and had an easy shot. The very worst camped by the respawn point, where you would reappear after being killed, and shoot you as you materialized. It wasn’t long before servers would kick you off for camping.
This book's characters' actions were made up, of course, but they were alter-egos of real people who ran sites like mine.
John Romero was a co-founder of Id Software, the company that produced Quake. Todd Porter was head of the rival Ion Storm.
John Romero held a contest in 1997, an online deathmatch, with his Ferrari 328 as the prize. Dennis Fong, an excellent player to begin with who went under the name “Thresh” rented a T-1, about the fastest internet connection there was at the time, which gave him a huge advantage. He won the car and went on to be a professional Quake player, then an entrepreneur.
Nobody I knew online was anonymous to me, except one fellow, “Flamethrower”.
He had good reason to be secretive; Todd Porter's lawyers were trying to serve him papers for a libel suit. Porter nor anyone else ever found out his real identity. All anyone knew was that he was British.
Joost Shuur ran “Slipgate Central”, a search engine for quake sites. It closed down a month before my site opened. Its page was replaced with a light yellow background with a Strogg holding a sign that read “Haste does not bring success.”
It never reopened. Joost was hired later by Planet Quake, and built a new engine there.
Someone wrote an editorial called “So you want to be a webmaster?” on Planet Quake, which mainly tried to dissuade would-be webmasters from starting a page. Everyone who had a page posted angry rebuttals on their sites – except me. I sent my editorial, “So you want to be a webmaster, too?” to Planet Quake, who posted it that week.
It was very well received. My traffic went up quite a bit and I got a lot of mail about it, all of it positive. One piece of mail was from the fellow who wrote the article my article was about, and his note was an apology!
The “webmaster” editorial is referenced here, but alas, the article itself is gone. I can find it neither on my hard drive nor archive.org.
In December 1998 I posted the Quake Christmas page, which went viral. My British friend Neil Harriot (AKA “Yello There”) asked me to do a weekly column at his Arcadia site, which I did. Neil had health and money problems, and the site closed after I had posted six articles there.
Nacho's real name was also Neil; a different Neil. Nacho was American, Yello was British.
What follows is from The Springfield Fragfest as well as the six Arcadia articles, plus a seventh that has previously not been published.
Oct. 23, 2014
Fragfest can't escape Prozac's super shotgun
The Fragfest is bouncing off those rubber walls this week; Tikki sent me the transcript of the Slipgate party, posted here.
There is a bit of blue language, kiddies. Don't go unless you're over 18. At least, don't let your Grandma see it.
Speaking of the Quake Asylum, one of the inmates has escaped! Yes, Assassin has cleaned up his act. The site is still full of Quake cartoons, and is still funny as hell. The “sik jokes” section is still there, but he took that really sick one out. So, Assassin's Payge is now in the regular U.S. Column.
And in his links section... HEY! WTF! Where's the Fragfest?? Ah, well, most of his visitors get there from here anyway.
Assassin's rubber room isn't empty, though. After the changes to Flamethrower's page, he's gained a spot in the links section. The ALT tag to his logo alone puts him in the Quake Asylum. He's there because, hey, I like what he did to it. Good job, Flamey!
Quake2Bunker is trying to get out, too. Looks like they may make it.
Clans frag each other
I just came back from Tikki's new and improved redesigned page, where he's added the “Stupid [expletive] of the week award”. This week he's fragging people “who write in guestbooks only to say the site sucks for no reason, and suggest adding pr0n as a way to make it good.” As an example, he cites his clan's guestbook. I surfed over there with every intention of fragging the site for no reason and suggesting c0rn, but got sidetracked by the webring on the door. There are a TON of clans listed, more clans than you can shake a shotgun at, and some of the clan's names are fragging hilarious. I'm in a weird mood tonight so I went and signed the guestbook. I wrote “The site sucks for no reason, I suggest adding p0rn as a way to make it good. No, not your site, mine.”
I really don't get it, though. I solicit flames (once had an email tag that read “tell me why this page sucks”) and never had a single one; the closest was Assassin, who pointed out an error in in the commands page, but I couldn't call it flame. My mail reads like, “Cool page”; “Cool page, dood”; “I like your page”; “Come see my page”; “How can I fly in Quake 2?” (yes, it can be done); “Thank you for sunbitting your site to our search engine, you are listed on page nine million”; “Cool page”; “wow, kewl payj”; “As a radio professional we are sending you this spam to try to sucker you into buying our crappy service”...
There is, as of today, only one entry in my guestbook, and it's drug related! Krapp!! Anyway, back to the clans, I got a kick out of the names of the clans. Yes, I have excluded clan ONLY sites from my links page, but I'm thinking of adding a “clans” page to the “Links” page. If thirty of you send in your clan's names and URLs, I'll do it.
And would somebody please drop through the gift shop and write something really offensive in the guest book? Thanks, I need a good ass chewing. Be sure not to buy anything.
BTW, Tikki, I know you're reading this, I don't mind your dropping my link for 2 reasons. (1) You dropped everybody's, including Flamethrowers, and (2) neither of the two links you have left (blues & PQ) work! I still like your Beach house, even if you did board up all but two doors and took the hinges off those. I like the new paint job!
Update: Nacho just broke into the Beach House and added links to the Fragfest and to Flamethrower. Thanks, Nacho!
Nobody frags anybody
Evil Avatar's on vacation. Tikki, Flamethrower, and Quaker's refuge are having that “who can go the longest without updating” contest (Zaphod's winning; Lag City hasn't been updated in so long that... oh, wait, he's just lagged). Planet Quake is on their week long birthday party. Bet it has one hell of a planet sized hangover next week. Planet Crap was revisiting old crap yesterday, probably because nobody else is at home. SO, Instead of talking about Quake news, I updated the humor page; two new Stupid Strogg jokes. If you have any Quake jokes, SEND 'EM IN. They don't even have to be Quake jokes; most of the worst of “ethnik jokss” cease to be offensive when you turn 'em into Strogg jokes and are even funnier than the originals, although some can't be turned in to Strogg jokes easily (what's a seven course meal for a Strogg... no, wait, that one won't translate).
Remember, folks, If it ain't fun, it ain't Quake. So go away, Newt. And take that sucky Monica with you.
Update (before it's even posted): Tikki loses, he's been busy fragging a football, and will be updating his page this weekend.
Posts frag contest
The no-post contest is over. The loser is Zaphod from Lag City, who started uploading before the contest started, but he's lagged; its still uploading. Next was Devirginizer, who got back from vacation and updated Quaker's Refuge after 5assedmonkey got its act together. Evil Avatar was only away for a week.
Flamethrower posted a game review over at Avatar's Weakly Web yesterday (see yesterday's posting about the posting below), so the winner is (drumroll): Tikki God, who won a beer. I drank it for him last night.
The contest's over, Tikki, you can update your page now. If you want to see the updated pages, they're all in the Links section.
Speaking of Tikki, his clan's still the only one listed on the Fragfest Clan Links page. Are the rest of you clans scared the Arsonists are going to kick your sorry asses when they find you? Come on, send me your URL!
Flamethrower joined the game
The jj-joneses... man, I look everywhere. “Ya got any FLAMETHROWER, man?”
“Na, it's DRY as a bone. There ain't any Flamethrower ANYWHERE, man. I was hoping you knew where I could get some.”
“No, you want to ride along?"
...“Ya got any FLAMETHROWER, man?”
“Sorry, dude, there was a big bust up in Canada, nobody's got any. You don't look too good, slick. Want some Hulka?”
“I dunno, man, I heard that stuff causes brain damage. How about some Immortal? Ya got any of that?”
“Yeah, but it's been cut, it's kind of weak. Here, have a hit.”
FINALLY, over at Evil Avatar's 7-11 parking lot, I run across this really scary looking dude, who's got some skimpy overpriced nickels. So if you're jonesing for some Flame-thrower, go on over there and see a non-real audio review. It isn't Quake, but it IS Flamethrower, who promises at the end of the article, “The show hasn't been updated for a while, but it will be, soonish.”
And before your Mom writes another nasty letter, the above dialog came from an old Miami Vice rerun. The pusher gets shot and the junkie gets rehabilitated. The end.
Assassin trips over, uh, trips, uh... what was I going to say, man?
Assassin (AKA Necron99) is letting the Fragfest use his Quake cartoons for the humor section. This week is The many facial expressions of the Quake guy. My favorite is the Quake guy's impersonation of Bob Dole.
I asked if he was coming to the party, and he wrote, “anyways, id like to come, but im not good with dates.....so dont expect me there unless someone sends me a last minute ICQ or e-mail....”
Uh, it's when those little kids knock on your door demanding candy. I'll send an email.
He doesn't remember ever dying, but, well, memory is a funny thing...
Planet Quake frags Springfield Fragfest
Gestalt (who has seen the Fragfest) has renamed part of the Planet Quake Mailbag's “Shut the F* up” section “The Asylum”.
The sincerest form of flattery! John, I'm honored!
And there's ANOTHER “noo” site called “UGN 3D” that's got an asylum, too. I'm NOT honored. Hey, Planet Quake let me use one of the “shut the f* up” letters; published something I sent them; and Flamethrower, hosted by them, pimped the Fragfest on his RA show. Besides that, PQ is an old, very good, respectable and well respected site. UGN3D is an upstart, and have ripped off trademarked and copyrighted cartoons from Fox and South Park. It's obvious from the writing style that they've been here before (hint – listen to your English teacher, not me). UGN guys, I'm glad you've been to the Fragfest, now acknowledge it.
In return, I'm ripping off some of their bandwidth. That illegal Eric picture is sitting on their server. :p
Hey, I scooped everybody but Planet Crap (where Flamey made the announcement) on the Flamethrower news. I even scooped Evil Avatar, whose site is hosting Flamethrower.
Meanwhile, Planet Quake is hosting a new site, “3”, who quotes Monty Python on their opening page. They also Quote my quote of the Bible from the humor section, “And on the 3rd day...”
Now you know where all the other webmasters get their stuff from.
Irvine frags more
Bong frags less
I wrote Bong for a link button, since he's linked the Fragfest. He says, “Attached. It's small and not animated. Your page is already too graphics-intensive:)”
Meanwhile, Irvine Imagination's killer link says, “...mainly a text based site with so much information that by the time you're done readin' it, you'll have Quake II leakin' out yer ears!”
So I guess I must have the balance pretty good. Besides, word for word, Bong has more graphics.
Flamethrower is still “twisting in the wind” (Chubby Checker after beans?) Tikki God's Quake Beach House has been out of tequila since November, and Quaker Refuge hasn't updated since earlier this month; its webmaster, in the U.S. Navy, is probably lugging a BFG to Iraq to kick Saddam's ass with.
This means the “no post” contest is back on. Last one to post wins. The winner receives – First prize: A vacation to beautiful downtown nowhere. No expenses are spared – or paid. Second prize: A brand new cherry red 1999 convertible swift kick in the ass! Third prize: a rasperry ;p. Fourth prize, provided we get another entry: Absolutely nothing!
Crash, Slipgate, and other permanently dead sites are ineligible. Void where prohibited or otherwise inconvenient. Taxes, shipping, and all other costs are the responsibilities of the winners. Keep out of reach of children. Close cover before striking. Contents under pressure.
So root for your favorite non-posted site today; you may win a pound of fresh content!
If you own one of the above mentioned sites, to-morrow's poll is “how often should the Fragfest be updated”; 'cause I'm thinking about sitting on my ass for awhile; why should you have all the fun?
Update: Quaker Refuge updated 12/18. So far Tikki's winning; no update in over a fraggin' month. And – Nacho couldn't get the RA going, so that new RA show won't be. There are a few other new shows linked, though.
Flamethrower frags update
So the winner of the no-update contest is (drum roll) – Tikki, who has an (ahem) excuse. Seems not only is his browser software screwed, but the Arsonists' FTP is screwed, too.
He wins the no-expense paid round trip to... Nowhere!
Flamethrower's update, about Romero's team, was worth waiting for. More of Flamethrower's famous flames than we've seen for a long time (and an apology to a previously flamed individual). Go see the article (must be 18 or at least see it when your Mom is gone).
UPDATE: Nope, the contest is still on; Pile's page puts him back in the running. Gimme them tickets back, Tikki, the contest's still on.
Tikki joined the game [observer mode]
News from Tikki – Seems the page wasn't updated because of a little problem at the Beach House. Somebody mistakenly put up one of those thirteen month calendars with January, 2000 on it, and all the electrical equipment in the place went haywire. First the computers acted up, making rude noises and demanding parts. Then the coffeepot started dancing and whistling some obscene 16th century sailing tune. The audio equipment then burst into flames. Luckily, Tikki has three large shamblers with good kidneys to get the blaze under control. And, thirteen truckloads of rum are supposed to be delivered next week.
Okay, that's not what really happened, but he says he'll have an update soon.
UPDATE: No he won't, either – the Arsonist server is playing games with them. Enjoy your vacation, Tikki!
Yello didn't see Blue's Grenade
I got an email from Yello last night, he's in a bit of a “funk” (not sure if “funk” means the same thing in Britain as here... actually, I'm not sure Yello is British............................... ;)
The “fecker” traded Granny's mule for a voodoo 3 card and she's slapping him around? Id ignored him? Don't feel bad, Id ignores me, too. G.I.N. or Bouncy Pointy Breast Lady didn't renew his banner ad? Not sure what the trouble is, but drop by his page and send him an email telling him how cool his page is, that usually gets me out of a funk. Tell him John Carmak sent ya.
Mail from Tikki: he really needs a host. Drop by his page, if you have a hosting service and like his page send him an email.
And in other mail, we have another newbie to frag! That's right, folks, he and all his friends had a few questions about patches and servers. Lets welcome these poor fraggers into the community by blowing the hell out of 'em, just like they did you when you were a newbie! And after their gibs have rotted on the floor for a while, let them know how to respawn ;) so you can kill 'em again. Remember, there are two kinds of Quake p1ayers, ones who are typing and ones who are breathing. And remember your manners, boyz and gurlz; when someone shoots you, there are two things you can do. Planet Quake advocates praising their sk1LLz; Planet Ho Slap advocates accusing them of cheating. Get enough fraggers arguing about whether camping is cheating and you can kill all of 'em!
Of course, the height of fun is catching two newbies next to a wall shooting each other with pistols at close range, and bouncing a rocket off the wall between them. Sure wakes 'em up in a hurry!
Hulka frags uh, something or other that has nothing at all to do with Quake or gaming...
Ever notice you never see Ross Perot and Quark from Deep Space Nine in the same room at the same time?
This just in: Hulka still thinks the Fragfest sucks, but most of his army likes it. He's on Zyban, I'm on Nicoderm; the Quake patches never made me want to quit playing Quake any more than the cigarette patches make me not want a cigarette. They're hard as hell to light, too.
Too bad he doesn't like the Fragfest, his link button is cool as hell, I'd love to put it on my links page. Write and tell him if he listed the Fragfest he might get a few more hits, 'cause his link is kinda lost in the middle of the rest of all those other Fragfest links.
HULKA! Major Futcup wants you in his office ASAP.
“Oh my God! You killed Community! You bastards!”
Yello says he's both in better spirits and British. He didn't say what was bugging him, but I realized what the problem was when I saw his page yesterday – “dust and ashes”, about the Christmas wake/funeral/murder trial over at Planet Crap. I should have known, since I was there, too. My apologies, but I was too jubilant over the birth of a ton of newbies (I think Quake 2 outsold Ferbies at Christmas) and was having too much fun drinking and talking with the murder victim to realize he was dead, and that Yello was distraught over Community's death.
This was the strangest trial in the history of trials. It seems the Quake community was brutally murdered sometime in the last three years, but the forensic specialists were all too drunk to determine time of death any more closely or whether the victim was, in fact, dead. There were between 50 and 200 jurors, even though there was only one juror, the murder victim. There was no judge, unless you count Morn and Andy, and they weren't being nearly as judgmental as the jury. The sketch artists were Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. Since both are dead and neither showed up, there were no pictures.
The only witness called was the murder victim, who spoke at great length about the travesty and injustice of his murder, although he wasn't sure when he died or what he died from. The corpse cried out not only for justice, but plain assed revenge. Actually, most of the trial centered on whether the victim was actually dead.
There was more than one suspect. The first suspect called to the stand was Planet Quake, who was accused of poisoning the victim with the deadly drug, commercialism. Planet testified that not only was the victim not dead, they were only out getting high and no malice was intended; that if the victim overdosed, it was accidental. Blue, who didn't show up at the trial, was charged as a co-conspirator in the poisoning.
Flamethrower, on trial in another courtroom for arson (he was acquitted after his hanging), showed up to condemn Planet for his choice of what drug he was pushing, and said you could get a better high from the Fragfest or Spew (who also testified) anyway, and not have to worry about overdosing. He then excused himself, saying something about “petrol”, which I believe may be some sort of flammable substance the British use for motor fuel, very similar to American gasoline only more expensive.
More witnesses were called, who accused Id of killing Community by forcing him to conceive and give birth to himself, and gave the time of death as December, 1997. Id did not appear at the trial, but instead sent his lawyer Activision from the firm Activision, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, who argued that not only was Community not dead, he had been born twice. Some witnesses for the prosecution (the prosecutor was also the defense attorney and victim) testified, “I knew Community would die when Quake 2 came out, and if he's not dead, he might as well be because he just hasn't been himself lately.”
Another witness added “Yeh, thar's jest no spirit in the ol' boy any more. Why, I remember when I wuz yer age we had to walk to our deathmatches, draggin' a 486, in the snow, uphill, both ways. These young whippersnappers jest don't know what the ol' boy was like when he wuz young. Why, he'd take all you young punks blindfolded. He'd even prolly do purty good if you took off yer blindfolds.”
Yello testified, “Look at him.......................He's breath-ing...................look how big he's gotten.........................” Yello was pretty choked up about Community's death, as you could see.
For my testimony, I did a little cut-and-paste from a posting I made here at the Fragfest last October from my deposition in the Slipgate Central murder trial held at the Beach House. Speaking of the Beach House, Tikki still needs a host or he'll be back in that cardboard box at Tripod again. Seems he's locked himself out or his roommate didn't pay the rent or something, and his shamblers are getting surly from being left out in the rain. I'd let him stay here for a while, but there's just not much room in this little shack.
Of course, he could do what crash did, just walk away and start living at Planet Crap. But I digress...
Any way, back to the murder trial. More witnesses were called accusing Newbies of killing Community. Newbies didn't appear, since he not only didn't know the victim very well, he didn't know the trial was even being held. There has been a warrant issued for Newbies' arrest. Newbies was accused of aggravating Community's heart condition with his use of incivility, causing Community to die of a coronary. The rocket launcher and BFG that Community always carried around was not accused. Newbies was quoted as saying “L00z3rz, kewl”, but the testimony was thrown out as being hearsay or heresy or something.
Newbies not only is wanted for the murder of Community, he's also wanted for swimming in the lava when the “no swimming” sign is clearly posted, vagrancy (camping without a permit), and cratering.
Sgt. Hulka showed up and demanded that the victim “gimme twenty”, and seemed somehow to implicate Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in the murder.
Planet Quake was accused again of killing community by kidnapping Joost Shuur, whose trial was at the Beach House last September (Joost was acquitted of Slipgate Central's still unsolved murder). Another witness (heh, it might have been me) testified that Community had a new foster parent, Quakeport, and was old enough to be out on his own, anyway.
In the end, Community was convicted of his own murder and sentenced to death. So now you know why Yello was so blue. He thanks you all for the kind card and letter.
To nearly quote Samuel Clemons (also dead), “the reports of Community's death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Overheard in a different courtroom at the Planet Crap bar and jail: “You couldn't get a Clue if you were standing naked in a field of Clues during Clue mating season, rubbing Clue musk oil on your body while whistling the Clue mating call and dancing the Clue mating dance.”
Fragfest frags the illiterate reader
Planet Quake gets all the good letters, like the one they let me repost in the Humor section.
Yeah, people write “this is a dumb question” and “you're going to laugh but...” but it's then followed by a perfectly intelligent question, usually one that should have been addressed in Quake's manual but wasn't. Planet Quake seems to get all the morons. I want some, too.
So, I got a Real Audio encoder. Saturday (I hope) I'll have a Real Audio show, “Quake for the Illiterate” posted. This will be, as far as I know, the only Quake-only real audio show on the internet. Since I've been getting some good internet connections lately, I've bribed my daughter to do the first show while I play a little Quake. Besides, if it sucks, I can blame her! This one's more of a “test show”, with just a little “nooze” for the illiterate, and some Quake music.
The bribe was that I'd help her with a Jazz Jackrabbit page for kids. So she's getting the best of the deal.
It doesn't usually take much to do a daily update of the page (unless I'm covering a murder trial or something), but I get the feeling a Real Audio show may take a little more work, so I can't say how often the RA shows will be. I'm thinking weekly but shooting for monthly.
Rudolph the parasite doesn't get along with shamblers very well (but you know they're like cats and dogs, anyway), but Tikki asked if he could keep his last shambler in the Fragfest Garage until he gets his cardboard box at Tripod prettied up. If that damned shambler pees on the car I'm feeding him to Rudolph. The car's fifteen years old, a little shambler pee would probably melt it. Tikki's also sending a review of some game that isn't Quake I told him I'd let him post on the garage wall. Hell, if Rock House can stay in the garage, there's no reason Tikki and his shambler can't, at least for a little while. If he sends the post as a .wav file, I'll stick it in the Real Audio show.
The show's being done for a 28.8 modem, so the quality may be really crappy, but it's guaranteed to work on any PC that will play Quake 2 over the internet, as long as you have a real audio player.
You can count on next year's Christmas carols to be done in Real Audio format, along with the printed lyrics and midis you had a few weeks ago.
Garage can't escape Shambler's BFG
What a mess! Not only did we get two feet of snow and the temperature is twenty below zero (that's so cold it's the same temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit), but there's a pregnant shambler camping in the garage. Of course, Rudolph and the shambler look at each other like you look at a piece of Grandma's pie, both making noises like “camper”, “100z3r”, and “usuk”. If Major Futcup shows up he'll write me up for sure. Anyway, Tikki sent a review of Half-Life, presumably in honor of the pregnant shambler. No word on how the renovations in the cardboard box at Tripod are coming. However, it looks like when the beach house exploded, it took the Arsonists with it. Let this be a lesson, kids: Shambler pee and gunpowder don't mix.
If you haven't been to Flamethrower's Place, He's been on petrol in the Ion Storm warz. Sorry, I can't resist a really bad intercontinental pun.
Also over at the Weakly Web, Defrag is conspicuous by his absence in the “hosted sites” column. Wha' happened, dude? Oh, and it seems Pile wins the ticket to nowhere; he still hasn't updated. Careful, Tikki got a little shambler pee on it before I wrestled it back.
Friends rail internet
Tons o' mail today. An online friend who will remain nameless for now is starting a new Quake page. More news when Mr. Nameless lets me post.
Another online friend, the Omnipotent Tikki God, found a rune in the ashes of the Quake Beach house that allowed the beach house's ashes to reconstruct themselves into the old Beach House, which Tikki says he'll update as soon as he gets his FTP working right.
Also, believe it or not, a newbie alerted me that I missed a real important server command; I went to look for it in the Server page and it (blush) wasn't there. This will be fixed, like, right NOW!
As well as more than the usual number of suggestions and compliments. Anybody who says the Quake community is dead needs to put that hash pipe away for a while.
Fragfest can't escape Game Complex's shotgun
It looks like I'll be joining the web Gypsies. Seems the Game Complex wants a unique Quake page, and have had their eyes on this one, according to Nacho, who wants me to move over there. It would be nice not having a “url from hell”, as Flamethrower put it. There are one or two negatives; there are all those folks with links to here (“WHAT? I'm still linked to that damned Fragfest? WTF, I'm fixing that RIGHT NOW”). All in all, it seems like a good deal. I'll keep a “doorway” here for you folks who have it bookmarked so I won't just drop off the face of the internet like Captain Immy, Lag City, and the other web Gypsies did when they moved. Here's a thanks to Nacho and the Game Complex for wanting the Fragfest!
The Weakly Web will be down for a while while Mr. Avatar “works out a small personal issue” (like improving yer golf swing, dude?)
Kudos for the Evil one for telling us instead of just letting his page rot. SO, I guess there's a new “Ticket to nowhere” contest on!
crash, Immy, and all the other permanently dead sites are ineligible. Let your page go without an update longer than Evil Avatar and you may win a no expense paid ticket to absolutely nowhere!
BitchX is ineligible for two reasons. First, “she” almost never updates anyway, and second, well, she's a bitch.
Meanwhile, Evil's hosted sites (Flamethrower and LamingInsider) are still open for business. In fact, Flamey updated today.
UPDATE: Spew hasn't updated, but I'm sure Desiato will in time to lose the contest. Meanwhile, Yello did. Something. I think. Hey, Kneel, where'd ya hide that damned Fragfest link? Ya want me ta bust yer starvatron again?
Evil and Desiato gib ticket
Evil Avatar and Desatio, fighting like a cat and dog to keep from winning the ticket, have tied for the ticket to nowhere. Desatio (I'm speling that wrong, ain't I? damn!) Desiato is in Chicago. Being in Illinois, he's already in Nowhere (Springfield is the capital of Nowhere). God knows where Mystery Man Evil is.
Anyway, they tore the ticket to shreds trying to get the hell way from it; both have posted. So I guess I'll have to get a new ticket.
Desiato has two new shows, one talking about banner ads. He got rid of his (it was a pop-up geocities thing) about the time I got mine. Oh, you haven't seen it? It's WAY down at the bottom of the page. Go ahead and click it, I won't make (or lose) any money on it. I get a gig of space for having it there. Pretty good deal, I think.
OOPS, gimme back those ticket pieces, boys; Planet Ho Slap wins the no-expense paid ticket to Nowhere. Along with their fabulous no-expense vacation, they also receive absolutely nothing. Sleek, modern transportation provided by the contest winners. Congratulations, ya hos!
UPDATE: Desiato did yet ANOTHER new show last night, and mentioned the fragfest AGAIN! Next time I get to Chicago I'm gonna hafta buy him a beer! For now, I think I'll just post a GREAT BIG Spew logo.
Gameplex frags new gamer's page
For the last month I've peen privy to a new page that looks good, and have had to keep under my hat. Last night I was informed via icq that I could mention it, but not give out the url yet (because the real url doesn't work yet). It may be up by tomorrow. If it is, I'll give out the url then.
Speaking of icq, I was on it quite a bit last night; something has gone wrong with an unknown driver and Quake is hosed on my machine. While I was there, Neil (Yello) popped by and told me to have a look at the front page of his Katalystic Media page, so I did. Thanks, Neil!
Unfortunately, it seems to be down right now. Neil told me last night that the internet was messed up all over England. It seems to be a world-wide thing, since some Canadian sites were down yesterday as well.
I suspect it's Yello's Granny's fault – I think she got him the wrong tube for that starvatron and it's overloading the CIA's big pukatron machine over here in the U.S.
Ho Slap does a back flip into the lava
You guys tryin' to start another contest?
Beach house can't escape Arsonist's Flamethrower
No, not Flamethrower, who updated today (and you'll be tripping on your own grenade if you don't see it now), A flamethrower.
Word has reached the Fragfest that an unidentified group of arsonists have hatched a plot to destroy Tikki God's Quake Beach House. The beach house, rumored vacant since November, houses a large store of cordite, TNT, plastique, dynamite, one or two small nuclear devices, and a shambler.
The authorities have suspected the beach house of harboring fugitives, but word at the beach house is “Joost hasn't been here since September.”
The mayor has been trying to have the house condemned since its appearance, but can't get the housing inspector past the BFG and shambler. When informed of the plot, the police whipped out a large urn of coffee and several hundred donuts and threw a party.
I dropped by to ask if the beach house was indeed going to be torched, and why.
[beach house] Who is it, man?
[Fragfest] It's Steve
[beach house] Steve's not here
[fragfest] No, I'm Steve
[beach house] Steve's not here either.
[Fragfest] Hey, Tikki, open up!
[beach house] Tikki's not here.
[Fragfest] Dammit, Nacho, open the fraggin' door!
[beach house] Shambler, get the door, man
So I think I'll drop by tomorrow and use the window instead.
Nacho can't escape Granny's Shotgun
I met a strange old woman as I was trying to get in to Tikki's beach house (see yesterday's post), a charming elderly British lady who informed me “Those feckers can really burn 'em down. Blimey, I wish me Neil would buy that bloody much!”, and I have no idea who she was or what she was talking about. I assume she was selling ordinance, since she said something about how many shot guns Nacho took.
I didn't see the shot guns, Nacho must have had them in the gun rack already. The smell of lamp oil, candle wax, gunpowder, Incense, and something I couldn't put my finger on hung in the air. I opened a beer.
It seems the beach house isn't “scheduled” for “demolition” after all. Instead, it will be the 1999 Slipgate Central. On March 9th, a sign will be hung outside proclaiming “Haste does not bring success”, and a fireworks display will be set off – inside the beach house. In the ordinance room. Thousands of Quake sites will have a “search for Quake” combo box that will lead to Tikki's “Haste does not bring success” sign.
Three trucks loaded with frankfurters and marsh-mallows are scheduled to arrive at the beach house by next month, as well as tankers carrying rum, tequila, and beer.
Tikki will be moving in to “Nacho Extreme (because all the other pages have extreme in the title)” as a reviewer. Nacho Extreme is the mystery page I referred to, housed in the penthouse of the Game Complex. It's still not done. Nacho says, “Okay, the site will be up eventually. But, being the lazy ass I am, 90% of my time is being taken up by this: If you want, let people know I'm lazy, but have a treat in store for them. Btw, I think tikki is gonna set the beach house on fire.
“Also, the game I'm playing is getting better. So, I won't be stopping till I finish. =)”
Volume 3 of the Fragfest Real Audio show has been finished since last weekend. I've kept from putting it up since (a) I mention Nacho's page which was supposed to be done last weekend and (b) Spew is supposed to have show 100 tonight. Desiato (whose bodyguard is heard in the Fragfest's show) said last week show 100 would be something special – and Hulka, his host, has been down all week. So we haven't seen show 99 yet, and 100 may be delayed. But I'm posting show 3 anyway. As the old English lady would say, “feck it”.
Update: Hulka's is back up, and it looks like Desiato got the Wednesday show up, #99. 100 should be up tonight. Go hear Spew tonight.
I made an animated graphic of Tikki God's Quake house that didn't do anything until the visitor clicked a link, which triggered a massive video explosion that left Joost Shuur's “Slipgate Central” as it looked when it came down. I emailed it to Tikki, who posted it on March 9th.
Oct 23, 2014
Yello frags grannies
I received this ransom note yesterday: “Yet another delightfully strange update.............
“I'm keeping your granny.........
And on the subject of Yello grannies, Desiato says he doesn't have a bodyguard, and may have show 100 done by Monday.
The Game Complex has been missing since last week. This ransom note was finally posted:
“Please stand by as Gameplex undergoes reconstruc-tion.
“In the weeks to come, we will be able to offer the latest from the gaming industry, accompanied by exclusive previews and reviews.”
Yello frags Neil
Yello, questioned about the disappearance of Neil Katalysmic, denied responsibility. Actually, it was his granny that did the denying, saying “Tsk tsk, that boy's totally irresponsible.”
And regarding disappearances, Tikki was heard to say “Hey, what's with Gameplex, you heard anything?”
Harry Houdini was dug up for questioning and later released. Police are now looking for a gentleman named “David Copperfield”. It is not known if Mr. Copperfield is a suspect in the disappearances.
The Game Complex, Kneel, Nacho Extreme, Spew's show 100, and clan sites that registered with gamespyder are all still missing. Yello, in possession of some sort of Timewarp substance, amulet, or device, claims he is not responsible.
AAAAAAGH! I can't upload! Somebody must be time-warping at gameplex; updates will be at [a site that no longer exists] until it's back up.
Windows trips on his own grenade
I've spent the entire day trying to get Windows fixed. The Gameplex problem has been resolved. Sorry for any trouble.
...oops, it's not resolved. My apologies to all of you.
Gameplex's net admin informs me he's got a bit of a mess over there; he has my sympathies. Meanwhile, any nooze I find will be at the famvid address for a while.
Fragfest joins the game
I'll bet you thought I was going to use that ticket myself! Gameplex has been having some technical problems, so if you don't see an update, go to the old address at [old address].
Meanwhile, Desiato and Kneel are trying to wrestle the ticket away from me. Desiato is busy (according to his page) getting his ass kicked by his new job. Yello still denies responsibility for Kneel's disappearance, but has kidnapped yet another granny, Desiato's. When questioned, Desiato's bodyguard replied, “Look, mate, I'm responsible for guarding his body and I'm NOT responsible for yours.”
Yello frags Kneel
In addition to Grannies, Yello admitted today to kidnapping Kneel Katalystic, and says he may release him. He has also kidnapped YOUR T-shirt, and demands that a ransom of (I think) $25 U.S. for delivery of your shirt be sent to:
Gimme Back my Yello shirt!
26 Claverham Park
Yello plans to buy out Planet Quake with the proceeds.
He also accurately misquotes PQ's “So you wanna be a web guy, huh??? Well think again loser boy!!” article (twice), has some quack 3 screen shots you don't want to miss, and has a GIANT interview.
Kneel frags Yello
In a stunning move, Kneel escaped from Yello's clutches, wrestled his weapon (a banana, I think) away, and kidnapped Yello. Yello had a backup weapon (a moldy dish rag), and each is keeping the other at bay, arguing about who is kidnapping who (or is that “whom”? Whom cares, anyway?)
At any rate, the new Kat page may be back as soon as this weekend. Regular contributors are Yello, Kneel, Tron (3d Gamer's Edge), Morgan Parry (TenFour), Desiato (Spew), and Tom Cooney (I think “the Grin Reaper”, but I'm not sure). I may contribute something once in a while if I can get my muse to stand still. Kat's new page is big and unfinished, and I have no idea how they're going to pull it off by this weekend. Maybe they'll use Yello's overcooked Puntyum 3 timewarp processor and force hundreds of alternate Ben Siskos to do the work.
The new page will have, among other stuff: Editorials, Articles, Interviews, Game Reviews, Girl Gamers, Top Ten, Audiocadia (real audio? dunno, the link led to “AOL”, er, “404 file not found”. I said it wasn't done), Mod Reviews, Cheat Codes (blood 2 was up), Files, free Advertising for us po' folk that can't afford Planet Quake, Links, Give aways, Stumble Throughs, and a weekly column by the captive Yello, who Kneel now has trapped in a bottle.
Flamethrower joins the game
Flamethrower, in danger of starting another “ticket to nowhere” contest, updated today, saying “There simply hasn't been ANYTHING that I could give a rats chuff about going on.” He also says, “MIDWAY vs GT – If anyone (ANYONE) at Midway or GT would PLEASE write in about the spat I'd LOVE to hear from you. SHIT, if *anyone* has *any* rumours or interesting news, please let me [Flamethrower] know!!!"
He also has a cool new link button.
Illinois State Government frags Y2K problem
It seems the State of Illinois has reached Y2K compliance. This email forwarded from a friend in government reached my desk this morning:
“Y2K Date Change Project Status
“Our staff has completed the 18 months of work on time and on budget. We have gone through every line of code in every program in every system. We have analyzed all databases, all data files, including backups and historic archives, and modified all data to reflect the change. We are proud to report that we have completed the ‘Y2K’ date change mission, and have now implemented all changes to all programs and all data to reflect your new standards:
“Januark, Februark, March, April, Mak, June, Julk, August, September, October, November, December as well as: Sundak, Mondak, Tuesdak, Wednesdak, Thursdak, Fridak, Saturdak.
“I trust that this is satisfactory, because to be honest, none of this Y to K problem has made any sense to me. But I understand it is a global problem, and our team is glad to help in any way possible. And what does the year 2000 have to do with it? Speaking of which, what do you think we ought to do later this year when the two digit year rolls over from 99 to 00? We'll await your direction.”
Fragfest frags Arcadia
When I got home from work last night, a rather large blanket was thrown over my head and I found myself in a large burlap bag, bouncing around as if in a truck. I could hear a pair of giggling, cackling old women, but couldn't make out what they were saying. I feared the bag was on fire, as I smelled something similar to burning burlap, only sweeter. Eventually the jostling stopped, the bag was removed, and there was a blinding light in my eyes. An obviously fake German accent (actually it sounded like a Brit impersonating a Spaniard) spoke. I feared it was Todd Porter looking for Flamethrower. “Nya ha ha, we have you now, Meester Frogfast.......... There is no escape............. you WEEEELL tell us what you know...........”
I tried to tell the voice that I didn't know who Flamethrower really was, but was silenced. I hadn't expected the Spanish Inquisition.
“Nobody expects the SSSSSSpanish inquisitionn-nnn................”
After being being shown the torture chamber with its devious devices, including a “soft pillow” and a “comfy chair”, I relented. And tried to think up some convincing lies, since I didn't have a clue as to the truth.
It wasn't Porter after all, and he couldn't care less who Flamethrower really was. It was actually Kneel on a “recruit-ing” mission. Since I have a low tolerance for soft pillows and couldn't bear the thought of the comfy chair, I agreed to his “request”. Especially since he was armed with a bowl of raspberries.
So now you'll see me in a weekly column titled “The Electric Gamer's Weak End Hell Hole” at Arcadia. The first edition of the column may be up by Thursdak (which would be about four days early).
The following is the first of the articles, which wasn't posted at my site, but at Arcadia. More Fragfest follows this article.
Dec 12, 2014
The Electric Gamer's Weak End Hell Hole
Hi folks, thanks for stopping by the hole.
In this first installment I'd like to thank some folks and kind of explain what I intend to accomplish here.
First, I want to thank Neil and the rest of the Kat crew for the opportunity to spout off, and everyone else for giving me a reason to. I especially want to thank Micro$oft for writing the OS everyone hates and everyone is forced to use. I want to thank my daughter for grudgingly giving up the computer so I can write this meaningless little piece of drivel, my other daughter for not stealing all the cookies, and my wife for not kicking my ass. And the cats for not pissing on the floor and scratching the furniture. And the elderly people next door for not calling the police.
The purpose of this page is nothing short of changing the world. Okay, scratch the last five words of the previous sentence.
Where in the hell am I going to come up with some content to entertain you folks? Simple: I'll just steal it, or ramble on about nothing and we'll just pretend it's content. I mean, come on, you're not paying and I'm not paid. Hell, you read that “Dear Minx” thing, which is even more meaningless than this, and she (I think he's a she) gets paid for it!
Since you haven't hit the “back” button (or the “get me the hell out of here” button) yet, you're probably wondering who the hell I am and why you've gotten so loaded that this is entertaining. The second question I can't answer.
As to the first, I'm Steve McGrew from the Springfield Quake 2 International Fragfest, which isn't a lan party, just another Quake page. I played my first computer game in 1964 -- and broke the computer (they were easier to break then). I put lots of quarters in Pong, Space Invaders, Pac Man, and other primitive games. I put enough quarters in Pac Man games to realize that those little dots the pac man eats are quarters. I still have Duke Nukem 2D volumes 1, 2, and 3. My gaming philosophy is “Realism? Screw that, if I want real I'll shut the computer off.” Those Nascar games where you have to check the damned tires and get speeding tickets coming out of the pits bore me; gimme a motorcycle, a chain, and some cops to whop ass on and I'm happy. Give me a BFG and some newbies to splatter and I'm even happier.
My first computer was a Timex, which I wrote a version of Battlezone for in hand-coded assembly. I never tried to sell it, I just liked the game and there weren't any games for that computer. The new games are too complex for any one person to write in less than ten years, so I just buy them now.
I'm not in the gaming business, except as a consumer.
Life is too silly, and with too many stupid coincidences for me to believe that there is no God, or that He has no sense of humor. The other day when Kat opened and Planet Quake published my “So you want to be a webmaster, too” editorial (same day), I was ICQing Neil, and I made one of those lame “15 minutes of fame” jokes. About fifteen minutes later, I got a message from a fellow telling me how much the writer liked “my” old “White Trash” page.
It wasn't my page. There are at least six other Steve McGrews on the internet, and the one with the “White Trash World of Steve McGrew” page actually has had his “fifteen minutes”, at least in a minor sort of way; he's a stand up comedian who lives in California, works in Vegas, and has been on Cable TV (comedy channel and a few others). Of course, that's not quite as bad as my friend Robert Blake, who also shares a name with someone who has had considerably more than fifteen minutes (and drinks a bit more than the Robert Blake on TV).
Here's a clue – if you see a pig on the page, it's not mine. If you see me on TV, it's not me. If you see a Strogg squishing Sonic the Hedgehog, uh, okay, I guess I have to admit to that.
If you want to file a lawsuit, file it against the other guy. He has money.
And no, Todd, I'm NOT Flamethrower. I'm not even British. Go talk to Queen Elizabeth, she lives in the same country as him (Aha! A clue!)
In closing, here's the “tip of the week”: How to keep from being a loser.
Find a time machine (Yello might loan you his overcooked pimpyum III) and go back in time nine months before you were born, hand your father a condom and your mother a box of birth control pills. That ought to fix things.
Se ya at Tokay's Towers.
Asylum frags Old Man Murray
You might not have noticed this newish site buried in the links section. Maybe it would be more prominent in the Quake Asylum where it probably belongs (still too clean. Cuss a little, Marvin).
Murray claims his site to be the “official game site of the US Postal Service” and says, “Think about it: gun toting maniacs navigating the same tired route over and over again picking up and dropping off items. Have I just described quake players or mailmen?”
Right now (but maybe not tomorrow, this is the internet) he has a comparison between John Romero and Oscar Romero.
BTW, Murray says, “How do you like us now that we're pretty much in charge of the post office, Blues? Ignore us now and you get no mail, baby. You and your little friend Redwood.”
I know I'm scared! Uh, wait a minute, I have direct deposit and the bills and junk mail come by... HEY, MURRAY! Ya know what yer momma told me?
Update: Murray says via email, “We're working to increase the amount of swearing.” Since he also says he's working on a links page, he won't have to, since he'll have a button.
'nother Update: That boy's fast. In his news section today, he not only used every cussword in existence, he even made up a new one! You will now find the old fart in the Quake Asylum, complete with straitjacket. And when he finishes his links page, he gets a front page button.
Fragfest can't escape Kneel's... comfy chair?
The (ouch) interrogation has been (ooh that hurts) completed, and I was allowed to go about my “business”. Why anyone would want to read an interview with me is beyond my comprehension, but if you do, there's one over at Arcadia (or will be very soon).
Also, if you can't get enough of my drivel here, Kneel has posted the first of my weekly “Weak End Gamer's Hell Hole” columns (also at Arcadia), where I actually get to write about something besides Quake and Quake people, places, and things, and don't quite manage to.
When I got home today, I found Gameplex completely gone! And so was the Fragfest! Until I rebuild the structure over here, the internal links at the top of the page won't work.
I haven't got a single email from anyone at Gameplex, and everyone on my ICQ list connected with Gameplex is offline.
Host gibs Fragfest
I was about to write, “It appears that gameplex is gone, as in ‘won't be back’,” when I received an ICQ informing me that ugn3d (gameplex's host) got a new, unnamed owner. The new owner dumped gameplex and all the sites that gameplex hosted. Gameplex will be moving to a new server and will get their own server later.
So, I don't think the Fragfest will be moving from this address unless I die or change ISPs. I've had too much of being hosted; the short URL isn't worth it.
Fragfest joins the game
My apologies to all the folks who have been trying to access the archives (Old Strogg's Home earlier than mid January), and who have run across dead links and broken graphics in the other Fragfest pages.
I apologize also to my link buddies for putting up with a site change to gameplex and back.
I also want to apologize to Neil, who is still waiting for that “Silicone Drive” banner I promised. Considering how long it's taking, I'd better make it extra pretty. Guess I'd need to have the Quake Guy wear a little lipstick.
Speaking of Neil, he really wants the Fragfest over at katalystic.com, so [dead site] will soon get you here. The “url from hell” will remain working from now on, though.
And thanks to Flamethrower, for changing the link back to the “URL from hell” before I even knew gameplex was shitbombed!
Shinola frags Steve
“Psst, buddy, wanna shoeshine?”
“Uh, I'm wearing tennis shoes.” He flashed a goneplex logo.
I put my tennis shoe on the, uh, whatever you call that thing you put your shoe on to get it shined. I slipped him a five. “Whaddya know?”
He looked at the five. “Not Much. You're not going to like it.”
I slipped him a ten.
Twenty dollars later I was still wondering whether or not to believe it.
It seems that someone had planned some sort of party for later this month, and had so much alcohol and explosives for the fireworks display, most of it had to be stored somewhere else.
A spark from a stray smoker caused the demise of an entire city block.
“So where does gameplex fit it?”
“Gameplex? Who's gameplex?”
If you know anyone who would like a nice, shiny pair of sneakers, I'm giving these away.
UPDATE: Two emails from two guys, the first reading “Don't jump to conclusions”, and the second saying “that shoeshine guy is lying, and btw he gives you a crappy shine.”
One year ago today, the “haste does not bring success” sign went up. In honor of the occasion, I am not going to post today. Huh? I did? Oh, never mind. BTW, you missed the fireworks. Oh, and I think there's a new Weak End Hell Hole posted at Arcadia.
The following is that article.
The British are coming! The British are coming! (Quick, hide the gin)
My perception of those folks “on the other side of the pond” is even more skewed than that of most Yanks (Yes, Billy Bob, to an Englishman you're a “Yankee”. So put that shotgun down). You see, I've actually met hundreds of British people while I was doing time at Walt Disney World, where I spent five years helping empty the world's pockets and bank accounts.
The rub is, the only British folks I met were filthy rich. It costs a shipload of money to jet across the Atlantic just to ride some stupid carnival rides. I never met any of the ruffians that riot at European soccer games, because they can't afford to go jetting across the ocean just to see an imaginary rodent. Probably wouldn't want to unless there was a soccer game (or “football”, as everyone in the world but us calls it).
Most Americans (this includes Mexicans and Canadians) get their impressions of the British on TV. That means Monty Python and a few other British comedies, including CNN, where you see the British Parliament and their silly wigs and costumes. How anyone in British government can keep a straight face is beyond me.
Until I “met” British folk playing Quake (everyone in Europe must be gamers. Over here, we're a tiny minority), my impression of the British was that they were absolutely the politest people on the face of the Earth (and the Japanese, renowned for their manners, are the rudest). From what I saw, Eric Idle's portrayal of an Englishman in National Lampoon's European Vacation not only was accurate, but understated. If you would have walked up to any one of the British gentlemen (“gentlemen” is also an understatement) I met in Florida and deliberately stomped on his foot, he would have apologized profusely. This is not the tiniest exaggeration!
I always wondered how in hell the British ever won a war, let alone took over the world (“sun never sets...”). My picture of an Englishman in combat: “Oh, my, terribly sorry, old chap, I seem to have put my blade right through your kipper. I think I have a handkercheif... So sorry... Oh, I seem to have speared your friend as well. Terribly sorry. Here, let me help you into that chair. Oh, my, you seem to have stopped breathing, are you unwell, sir?”
Or more like, “Oh, terribly sorry, I seem to have gotten in the way of your sword, how clumsy of me. Oh my, oh, my, I seem to have gotten your carpet bloody. Oh, please pardon my language. I must apologize, I feel slightly..... *thump*”
I never met a Basil Fawlty until I started playing Quake, years after leaving Disney. You would probably think he's American until he uses a British manner of speech. “Basil” will often rudely chide you for being, in his opinion, rude. He will then say something using nearly identical language in another level. And here I thought Basil was fiction! I never thought I'd see the day when I'd see the words “bloody fucking bot using camper, you suck! You bloody wanker American asshole, blow me, you whore.”
Yes, the real paradigm shift came in Quake, where you simply cannot tell an American from a Canadian from an Englishman (or woman). That is, unless he/she says “eh”, “bloody” (more obscene than “motherf*****” in Britain, a slur on the Queen), or “y'all”.
I miss Flamethrower's real audio show. “Basil's” comments were typed; Flamethrower is the only Brit I've ever heard (audibly) using foul language, and I really got a kick out of it. For all I know, Basil could be an American (or Chinese) masquerading as an Englishman, whereas Flamethrower's accent is unmistakably British.
Blimey, it's late, eh? Y'all have fun. Adios, por este dia. See ya at Tokay's International Tower.
Jazz Jackrabbit can't escape Dad's shotgun
“Hey Dad, did you know you were famous?”
Daughter Patty ran across some of you guys playing Jazz Jackrabbit 2 yesterday. Talk was about her Quake-crazy dad, and the fellows asked for a name. When she said “Steve” they said “mcgrew? From the Springfield Fragfest? No wonder you're so good!”
Actually, Patty's butt-kicking sk1llz are her own, and if I ever played that rabbit game I'd probably get my sorry old butt stomped pdq. My own Quake sk1llz are waning, what with all the work, having the flu, getting used to the new config, campers, bots... let's see, what other lame excuse can I come up with for sucking...
Yesterday, in addition to being the one year down day for Slipgate, was Patty's birthday. So, thanks for giving her a cheap thrill.
Hey, thanks for coming by! Now, where'd I put that shotgun?
I'm sure you don't mind a bit, but yesterday was this year's record low visitor count (so far... shudder). Not even half a gross (and I hate days when the Fragfest isn't totally grossed out).
I sent an email to Old Man Murray asking him if he's seen my missing visitors. No response from the Postal Terror, so I think he's got 'em. I'll have to send Nacho over there with a few sticks of dynamite.
When I went to GamePlex, a few of you got lost. When gameplex suddenly disappeared from the face of the net, the counter dropped like a rock. It was up to half normal earlier in the week when Planet Quake and Yello gave a link (thanx, guys!), but it's just me and you loyalists now. Do me a favor, write Blue asking “hey, whatever happened to the Springfield Fragfest?”
I'm about ready to put your picture on a milk carton.
Nacho joined the game
Nacho, fellow victim of the evil IGN and their de-struction of gameplex, told me last night that Nacho Extreme is almost ready to post. Gameplex has a server, but still doesn't have their domain, so Nacho is posting at his old Arsonist haunts.
I'll give you the URL as soon as he has it up.
Quake 2 mod sank like a rock
The newest Quake 2 mod, “Unpronounceable Sword Thang” (as Yello puts it), weighing in at 35 megs (Canadians are laughing and thumbing their noses at Yanks and Brits) was released last night, and soundly trashed by the reviewers at Planet Crap.
To quote my daughter, “Nya Nya Nya Nya Nya, I know what the logo means in Japanese and you don't.” Actually, I'd tell you, but “I can't post because it's not perfect yet” Nacho went to a lot of effort to figure it out, and he'll need a few visitors when he opens.
A big thank you to Neil for the p1mpage on yesterday's Yello page (which is where the “sword thang” link takes you). Judging from the counter, quite a few folks said “hey! A real link!”
UPDATE: Nacho Extreme is open!
W2K frags Q3A
Micro$oft president Steve Balmer told PC Week (vol 16 #11) that the beta of windoze 2000, code named “Godot” (but not by Microsoft) will be out in April, and the final release will be “when it's done”. Id executives did not comment on the use of their trademarked lie.
Speaking of which, Balmer also told PC Week “Microsoft has always... acted both legally and ethically”. The article did not disclose if he then went to his plastic surgeon to have his nose shortened to its normal length.
Windoze 2000, AKA “Win Zero”, is not the same program as Q3Arena, also code named “Godot”.
Microshaft is also scheduled to release a new version of its slow as molasses internet exploiter web browser tomorrow. Netscape released its Netscrape Navigrater browser last week, which crashes as often as previous versions. Sources say Netscape only crashes under certain circumstances, like when it's running. The new Netscape fixes the “windows spoofing” security bug (see 2/19/1999 post), and its price was slashed 50% to $0. Rumor has it Microsoft's free browser's price will be slashed 50% as well, to remain competitive.
Both browsers are still overpriced.
Microsoft is releasing its Windows CE OS for cell phones in Germany, meaning you Germans will have telephones that crash with blue screens and have to be rebooted frequently. They defended their use of the OS in autos, saying autos were crashing long before computers were. NASA officials were not asked if they would risk their astronauts' lives by powering shuttle computers with windoze. They did not answer “No way, are you stupid or something?”
Team frags Murray
Nacho was out of dynamite, so I assembled a crack Quake team... wait a minute, an expert Quake team (wipe that grin off yer face) to go over and play CTV (capture the visitors) with that evil old man and his two insane boys (three if you count Marvin). Yello brought his overcooked p1mpyum spacetime distorter. Desiato brought his bodyguard. Hulka brought his whole fraggin' army. Tikki was going to bring a Flamethrower, but some guy wearing a t-shirt that said “I'm Todd, I'm Godd, worship and ph33r” on it kept pestering us, saying “who are you? who are you?”
Gestalt wasn't home, but thanks to Joost we found him at the Planet Crap Bar and Grill, and he brought his assimilation equipment.
Blue and sCary refused to take sides, saying the fight would be too unbalanced. Of course, some of us are a little unbalanced already.
The HoSlap and the X-Bitch were, as usual, nowhere to be found, the wooses. Levelord was too loaded to walk, so stayed behind. Good thing for us, too, since he's in cahoots with the old man. He also keeps trying to squirt water at our Flamethrower, screaming “Snot funny! Snot funny! Bad bad bad!”
We could have used more firepower. The place was a fraggin' fortress and was hard as hell to get in. Good thing for us hell is easy to get into.
In the end, we got some visitors back. Unfortunately, many of them had died or gone insane in some weird experiment involving an oak sword, a bald Native American, a Mexican, and a mental hospital. Not only that, but most of our equipment was jammed up with thousands of postage stamps, which are Murray's primary weapon.
So now you understand why Yello skipped a post or two – he was busy trying to get his p1mpyum back in order. That stamp glue is hell!
BTW, if you stop by Murray's, tell 'em where you surfed in from. And tell him to get that links page up!
I would like to thank the above mentioned linked folks (my apologies if I've missed you) for helping get back some of the missing visitors, especially Yello (who posted a plea for you all to come back) and Flamethrower (who had the link changed before I knew goneplex was history). There is still a very large shortage of visitors, since so many died or went insane, so please send any extra you have by.
Yello joined the game
Tikki joined the game
Yello, who took the brunt of the damage in the visitor rescue, has enlisted the help of a house cat, a pocket knife, and certain chemicals, and has nearly freed himself from all the stamps. Word is he will have a new post tomorrow.
Tikki, who lost the keys to the beach house again (last fraggin' November), has made 3 updates but was unable to post. He's trying to pick the lock with his ticket, so will soon have an update, maybe tomorrow.
Quick updates frag Sunday
First, a thanks to my link buddies who have changed their links. The couple who haven't yet, I understand, it's a P.I.A. and I apologize for being a web gypsy for a while. I'm staying put now.
Also, Neil has posted the latest Gamer's Weak End Hell Hole over at Arcadia. I want to thank Yello for going to great lengths to get my traffic back up.
Oh, Yello, when I was feeding the grannies, one of them bit me. Has Tim's had her shots?
The following is the “Weak End Hell Hole article.
So you want to be a webmaster, too, part three or so...
How to have people actually come and see your page
Actually, “How to have people actually come and see your page” isn't exactly what this week's topic is about, but I needed a title. I plan to ramble on about close to nothing, as usual.
Since you're here, I'm going to take a wild assed guess that you're a gamer. Since you're a gamer, your page is probably a game page. Since you have a game page, that makes you part of the “hard core gaming underground” (phrase stolen from the Flamethrower interview. Don't you just love that phrase? Makes you think of the Weathermen or somebody).
So if your page is about floral arrangement or something... well, this might still apply, but wtf are you doing here in the first place?
The first thing you need to do is steal Yello's overcooked pimpyum 3 for a little time warping. Go back in time a few years, kill Blue and Joost, and open “Blue's Quake Rag” and “Slipgate Central”. You can then fly around the world (or at least California) and go to all the geek conventions (live animals... yum); lan parties; and beatdowns, beatups, and beatoffs. Since you'll be Joost, you won't have to post “boycott Planet Quake” at Planet Crap every other week, you can just shut the fraggin' place down. Of course, since you'll be Joost, you (or any other sane gamer) won't want to.
Speaking of California, please heed the “no smoking” sign as you enter the state. If you are driving over from Britain, you will pass through Illinois, unless you take the long way through Japan. While driving through Illinois, please heed the “smoke your fraggin' lungs out because we need to collect as many of our ridiculously high taxes as possible” sign. Or, if you go through Kentucky, the “screw tobacco, smoke our illegal #1 cash crop instead, just don't let us catch you” signs.
If you can't get hold of Yello's machine, you have to think of some other way to get your site seen. The first place you should go is the gaming search engines. All the hard core gamers know about them. Of course, they never go there, since they already have their favorite sites bookmarked.
The next place to go is Yahoo.
After Yahoo rejects your site, register it daily with them just to give them the extra work of rejecting it again. It'll serve 'em right, the bastards!
Then drop by Infosuuk. Your gaming page will be listed number 45067299, right after the 500 pages p1mping lion and elephant poaching. If yours is a Quake page, it will be listed after the 1000 Italian earthquake sites. If you have an UnReal site, you will be listed after the 798 pages devoted to United Nations fishing. This, of course, will get you lots of traffic.
The above assumes you have good meta tags; otherwise you'll be listed dead last.
Putting “flamethrower” in your meta tags is sure to get 200 hits per day from Todd Porter and the Ion staff alone. This week's hint for Todd: His name is not “Charles, Prince of Wales”. Or maybe it is? You don't know, do ya?
Another way to get visitors is to put “sex! sex SEX child porn PORN pr0n nude nood noodz n00dz” in the meta tags; this will get traffic from the FBI and the German authorities. Another hint for Todd: He's not Larry Flynt, as not only is Mr. Flynt not British, Flamethrower doesn't have pictures of ugly nudes on his page.
Putting the name of every substance in pharmacopoeia in your meta tags is sure to get hits from the DEA, FBI, CIA, and Kieth Richards.
Another way, assuming you're young, is to tell all the kids at school you posted their sister's diary. If you don't mind a little blood leaking from your nose, tell them you have their mother's picture scanned from the cover of Crackwhore Magazine.
Be sure to put “free” in the meta tags, unless you're charging for your lack of content. This will bring in the world's losers.
Beat Thresh in a game of Doom and win John's sports car. If they know who you are, they'll look for you.
Do what I did, and have the same name as six other people who have pages. All their friends will come by looking for their page (No, the “white trash world of Steve McGrew” wasn't mine, nor was the University of Utah page).
This stuff goes in cycles, but talk lately has gone from “hits” to “unique, qualified visitors”. Folks, I don't know about you, but this is not what I want. If I have 1000 hits, I'd rather it be ten people who come by a hundred times each than 1000 people who loaded the page, said “Christ, this page sucks” and hit the “back” button, never to return again.
To this end, if I may be allowed to be a tiny bit serious, get your page listed on other little pages. Save Blue's and Planet Quake (unless they host you) for when lightning strikes and you come up with that once in a lifetime killer content, like Carmak misaddresses mail to Loonygames and sends you an interview by accident, or you have developed a mod or a level that not only doesn't suck but stands out from the rest. Blue isn't going to post “The Springfield Fragfest has moved to Katylistic”, but if it's a slow news day and he's in the right mood and in a hurry to catch a learjet, he might post “The Springfield Fragfest has posted Quake Christmas carols”. Especially if he's had a few eggnogs too many.
No, that's a “once in a blue's news moon” occurrence (unless you're Neil or Desiato). Try to find pages in your own league, other guys who want traffic as bad as you do. What I usually do is post a link, p1mp 'em on the front page, and mail 'em. For all I know, all my visitors may be link buddies checking to see that their button is still there. Twenty times a day each.
If you do happen to strike gold and come up with content Blues and Planet Quake both think are newsworthy, which is best? BLUES. No doubt about it. Last December Gestalt posted news of the Christmas carols, and I enjoyed a greater number of visitors the rest of the week. Blue's posted the same news a week later, and the traffic more than tripled. Furthermore, most of the visitors kept coming back! BUT, a Planet Quake posting is nothing to sneeze at, and I was and am grateful to Gestalt and Joost. Yay, Planet. Boo, boycotters (the losers).
A Planet Quake news posting is better than a Planet Quake article, but again, don't sneeze. BTW, trash talk around the net that the Planet only p1mps their own hosted sites is completely false (as those who actually go to Planet Quake know).
Have fun with your site, because that's what it's for. Make some friends, because fun and friends is all you're going to get from it (what more do you need, ya greedy bastard?) Now, if only I could prove myself wrong and quit my day job... I can dream, can't I?
See ya in the lava pits. Stay cool. Or “kewl”, as the k1dz say these days.
Tikki joins the game
Tikki God's Quake Beach House is (gasp) back.
After trying since November to beat Bitch-X's record for the longest length of time without an update, it dawned on the young Tikki that he could die of old age before breaking Bitch-X's record.
After losing his keys down the barrel of a BFG (don't ask), he used his “ticket to nowhere” to pick the lock to the beach house.
The fireworks display has been canceled, as someone had apparently stolen all the fireworks. Upon discovering that the fireworks had disappeared, he was heard to mutter something about grannies and ordinance.
Yello frags pinball guy
A special thanx tonight to Yello, for the bandaids, whiskey, and antibiotics (I think they were antibiotics)... and the new handle.
At least, you younger folks can assume “Iron Balls” has to do with prowess at pinball. Even if you ladies know better.
Mr. Hanky melted
It's a month after the goneplex bombing and I'm still wiping pieces of Mr. Hanky off the Fragfest.
I just discovered (and fixed) that the links from the console page went to goneplex. Sorry. If you run across any more Mr. Hankey stains, please let me know.
Matt and bill can't escape, uh, what's that thing, durn when I was younger my memory was better...
Matt Sefton and crash, webmasters who are dead and living at the Planet Crap Retirement Village, talk about the good ol' days when they had to drag their web sites barefoot, through the snow, uphill, both ways; back when beer was a nickle per keg and gas was so cheap they would pay you to take it off their hands, over at The Beauty of Madness.
And if I'm not mistaken, that was the longest sentence I've ever typed.
Tikki can't escape Planet Quake's BFG
Tikki God was assimilated by Planet Quake late Friday in a move that stunned and shocked onlookers. Said his shambler, “[text deleted]!”
Says Tikki of CTF mod writers in this massive flag burning, “they're lazy sons of bitches who can't think up something original or don't want to waste the time having to create a whole new mod.”
Under the assimilation, he has updated his page with a rant about Paul Steed, who does Planet Quake's Dear Mynx column this week.
`eNtiTy frags Tikki
Response to Tikki's editorial stolen from Planet Quake's mailbag: “That was probably the worst editorial I've ever seen published on PQ... Why would PQ post this? I should do the next editorial...”
Do it, dude!
I think Tikki was probably expecting this. I imagine the juiciest mails are in his mailbox; he seemed amused by it in a recent email.
Think empty v will do a CTF vs Deathmatch Celebrity Deathmatch?
Yello can't escape Phone company's GFB
My British friend Neil (AKA Yello There), who has gone out of his way to help bring my visitor count back to its pre-gameplex levels, is in a bit of a bind.
From discussions at Planet Crap, my understanding is that phone companies in the UK would use a gun, but don't have to. It seems they charge by the minute, making a call next door a long distance call. According to Neil's latest post on the Kat com page, Neil's internet expenses are eating him alive, and he will be forced to cut back drastically.
In short, he needs some extra income to shovel more money into the greedy bastard phone company's pockets. So if you are running Planet Quake, WarZone, Blue's, Telefragged, or any other profit-making internet venture; have an internet storefront and need a “store clerk” or all around internet/PC guy; and can possibly hire Neil for a part-time telecommute that doesn't necessitate his traveling to California LAN parties, please send Neil an email. I, for one, look forward to hitting the Yello There page every day, don't you?
Planet Quake folks (Mark? Davo?) especially, you talk a good community talk, lets see ya walk the walk and hire Neil! Oh, and I'm sure he'd go to any beatdown or LAN party you sent him a Concorde ticket to.
You folks in the UK, revolt against your damned phone companies! How many other good game pages have not been posted because a talented Limey can't afford to get on the internet? How many Brits can't we frag in a Quake game? Bring civility back, let English people play online!
I got a note from Tikki, who reports the ordinance is still piling into his in box. He has sent a response to the PQ mailbag and answered most of the less unintelligent mail.
Gestalt, who swore a mighty oath never to return to the Planet Crap Retirement Village, was dragged kicking and screaming back there by his children (several hundred thousand of them).
Gestalt is retiring from his post at Planet Quake after serving continuously for the last fifty years. After giving him the obligatory watch, PQ staff strapped it on his wrist and fired several rockets at it. “Gestalt takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” one observer was heard to say.
Gestalt is keeping his second job at The Coven.
Yello joined the game
Yello There disappeared last Saturday night with a cryptic “Problems with (security issues) of the database. More news to come...” (From Kneel and Marlin Productions)
Worried Yello fans have been flocking by the Fragfest looking for Mr. There. I'm happy to report that he resurfaced April 1st with apologies all around, and an explanation of “Gremlins folks....feckin Gremlins with knives and boots and pointy cutty devices.....damn the things!!!!!”
I heard from more sordid (i.e., American) contacts that someone was going to steal his overcooked p1mmpyum III, but grabbed Yello's supply of electrons. Word is the electrons were found outside a window.
Nacho frags Dallas
I got an ICQ from a latop in a motel in Arizona last night. I wasn't in Arizona, Nacho was, with an unfinished trip log attached. Not to Nacho, to the ICQ. Here is an excerpt: “8:45am : Stopped at Burger King for breakfest. I order the hash-browns, to my dismay it was actually full of potatos.” [sic]
You'll see the whole log over at his page sometime in the foreseeable future.
4/4/1999 [all sic. Sic sic sic!]
Hulka frags visitors
Hulka's Army, on a humanitarian mission, rounded up a bunch of cold, tired, hungry, lost, and very confused refugee Fragfest visitors for us last Saturday night.
The visitors have been missing since goneplex was destroyed in a surprise raid early February. It is still not known who carried out the raid.
Old Man Murray was absolved of responsibility, since it was shown that he doesn't have any visitors; in fact, the visitors rounded up in the raid on his stronghold last month weren't kidnapped after all, but had wandered in looking for not only the Fragfest, but any frags they could scrape up. Two of them, in fact, were the two he can call his own, and will be returned.
I apologize to Chet for the shotgun noogie, and hope his hair grows back. I'll return the mail sorting machine shortly (after I mail a few letters).
It is now thought that Serbia had something to do with the goneplex attack. NATO is bombing the Serbs in retaliation. A few bombs are also being sent to Saddam Hussein just for being a Strogg. Serbia's leader is also suspected of being Strogg.
The Fragfest visitors who remain missing are now presumed dead. Services will be held as soon as Shaithis (or crunchy or whatever the hell he's calling himself this week) issues a funeral permit.
I also want to thank Tikki for the visitors he stole from Planet Quake (who has more than enough and won't even miss them), most of whom (at least CTF players) are busy using Tikki to roast marshmallows over. Oh, and one of these days I'll update that graphic...
Flamethrower frags Elephant
In “update and content shock”, here's an update to today's earlier post – Flamethrower may have given away his chances for a “ticket to nowhere” for quite a while.
He has yet another update, and it's a fraggin' monster (still loads faster than the Fragfest;) completely knocking his yesterday's post off the page.
In it, he mentions having “the most disturbed readership on the web” (excluding kiddy snuff pr0n and sCary's). It seems someone wrote him that Capt. Immy was back (um, I think somebody sent me an email about that, too...) and says “I want his funny assed shows back.”
Me, too; that phone prank wasn't it.
He also has folks sending him some pics you better see quick before somebody makes him take them down!
This is just the beginning of it, if you're a flamey reader get your ass over there. If you're not, I think Planet Quake has news of some mods...
Moon frags Blue
Last month saw the second blue moon this year. I'm told this only happens about once in about every 40 years.
This one was a doozy. Since the blue moon, Blue's missed an update (the news frame was down), Yello missed a day last week (this may not be moon related, as there were other issues at work, like granny Yello's “medication”, which had Yello so confused he had a mixed breed German shepherd confused with me when everyone knows I don't carry a hooked staff), Murray missed an update, and I damned near missed an update last week too, as I was sick as a dog Thursday and Friday.
Stranger than missed updates and nearly missed updates were the updates from those often in the “ticket to nowhere” contest. Tikki updated 3 days in a week (unheard of!) and has had a weekly post for three weeks running (a new record, I think). Flamethrower topped Tikki by updating three times in a twenty four hour period, one of which was a (must see) monster. Further proof of last month's blue moon was that Blue's actually mentioned Flamethrower Sunday! If he mentions the Fragfest you know Christmas is near.
But the real proof that there was a blue moon, aside from the fact that the TV weather manikins said so, was a real, actual, update from Bitch-X.
This, of course, was covered by everybody, including Blue, Flamey, Murray... hell, it would be easier to list those who didn't note this remarkable occurrence. In fact, Murray has even instituted the “BitchX Tracker”, where dead president Martin Van Buren burns in hell whenever BitchX updates. If you are wondering what in the frag Van Buren has to do with the Bitch, so am I. You have to remember, though, that Murray's is the official game site of the US Postal Service. Consequently, there are tons of glue-filled postage stamps laying around, and you know what sniffing glue will do to your synapses!
Qidz can't escape Level's BFG
In lieu of the nonexistent Adult Quake nooze, here's a little Rabbit (Quake for Qidz) nooze.
Patty says her Lego level is done, and there's nothing more she can add to it. So since I haven't showed her how to FTP and she hasn't got her page quite ready yet (what's posted is still “coming soon, bookmark now”), you can download it here for your qidz or younger siblings.
You need this file. You may have to right-click and “save link as” if your browser thinks it's a text file. Save it in the Jazz Jackrabbit “cache” folder. From what she tells me, to use it you have to have the registered version and start a server, or have the registered version and join a server that is using the level.
She has been playing the level all week, and says she already kicked one qid for language and will ban him next time (I think he said “semprini”).
In other places around the web:
The Planet Quake “Quad Ho” contest had a winner, and Lowtax scrounged up a t-shirt for the wiener and the business end of a BFG for the losers.
Yello There has gone to an “every other day” posting, since he's still having problems with the British Robber Baron Phone CompanyTM.
Nacho is still missing and presumed intoxicated.
Tikki says he will have a rant this weekend about the Kentucky Id lawsuit. Hulka posted a link to this rant about the same subject at 3dNexus. This is one of those maddening sites that would be real good “if only”. Its design is unique and well crafted, the authors use spell checkers and actually know how to speak English, and there is actually some content. However, the rant starts out with a warning for those who are offended by language, the main page has a mildly sexist cartoon figure – and its message board has a warning that you will be banned for being offensive. WTF? “Do as I say, not as I do...”
Dead President Martin Van Buren isn't burning in hell over at Murray's, meaning BitchX is still camping (reports are that Murray's son is still a pussy; see illustration and story from yesterday).
Slobby Dan MiLotsaBitch still hasn't returned to his home on Stroggos from Yugoslavia.
The lost Fragfest visitors seem to have found their way home; Welcome back! If you want milk and cookies, Blues has the cookies and Planet Quake has the milk.
I still need you to send in some Quake nooze.
Nooze can't escape drought's blaster
Nothing new you can't find at Blue's (who is Quake Only today) or Planet Quake. Damn, everybody but Flamethrower is in the “ticket to nowhere” contest today!
Well, Immy updated, but since a) he doesn't do Quake any more and b) his stuff is really sucking lately, the “r.i.p.” will remain next to his link on the links page.
So send in some nooze! I may not be Blue's, but Patty's rabbit page is solidly in the middle of the Jayde topsites list for games (and #1 on their Springfield list) and she doesn't even have meta tags; the only way anybody would even know about it is here or the Jayde directory.
Everybody frags ticket
Hot on the heels of everyone's update frenzy earlier this month is a dearth of posts. This means, of course, that the “ticket to nowhere” contest is back on! As usual, the winner receives a round trip no expense paid trip to absolutely nowhere. No expense is spared (or paid) for this traveling extravaganza.
The contest, of course, is a race to the update finish line. Last one there wins.
First out of the gate was Spew, riding the speedy steed “My new boss boss hates me”. Also first across the finish line, he began updating almost regularly again; the latest was Sunday.
Coming in a close second to last was Nacho Extreme, on the two wheel supercharged “cross country race to what seems like nowhere but everybody has a swimming pool”. After two or three weeks of inactivity (traveling, unpacking, finding an ISP, ogling women, and drinking), he updated with details of his travels and travails (among, of course, various and sundry remarks about the PC gaming scene).
Seeming to close in on the finish line is Yello There, riding the British Telecom Robber Baron bus, as his Yello Trike has a flat tire. Oh, I’m sorry, he’s British so it’s a flat tyre.
Having not been updated since Friday, there may be a post by the time you read this.
Close behind Yello is, um, er, uh... me; I'm late with an update to the Weak End hell hole over at Arcadia. There are actually a couple of weak ends finished and ready to upload, but what with my wife's going back to college and my daughter's love for Jazz Jackrabbit, I practically need a BFG to get my hands on the PC. Speaking of PC, I also get dragged in to the daily fistfight over at the Planet Crap Bar and Grill way too often, and try to beat LPBs at Quake 2 (and usually get my ass kicked in the process) too much. I promise to upload the hell hole in a day or two.
Way, way behind and in the lead is Planet Wank, citing “real life”. Like nobody else has one. No word as to what aspect of real life is hindering his page.
Riding a B2 stealth bomber is Old Man Murray (official gaming site of the U.S. Post Office), whose server seems to be down as often as not lately; I don't know if he's even in the contest, as I haven't been able to get to his page lately.
Flamethrower, with six month's worth of posts in less than a week, has been camping at the finish line since before the contest started, and won't win the nowhere ticket for quite a while.
Of course, BitchX and Pile; er, Old Maid X are per-manently disqualified for cheating. BitchX only updates during a blue moon, and Pile only updates when BitchX does. Why no link to those pages? Simple; they look exactly the same as they did the last time you saw them, and will the next time you see them. Never seen them? Don't worry, they'll look the same when you finally do.
“How can I get into this contest,” you're asking yourself? Simple. Have a fairly good Quake or PC Gaming page that I actually know about (it doesn't matter if no one else has seen it, drop me an email), that is normally updated regularly, and let it rot. Posts to Planet Crap, guest articles and guest editorials at other folks' pages don't count as updates.
You could win the no expense paid ticket to Absolutely Nowhere!
Void where prohibited, and prohibited where void. Taxes and all other expenses are the responsibility of the winner. Close cover before striking. Do not use near fire or flame. Not a step. May cause discoloration of urine or feces. Keep out of the reach of children and stupid adults. No animals were harmed in the creation of this contest (except for lunch).
The following is the article posted at Arcadia.
So you want to be a webmaster, too, part three or so...
Quake and the price of “fame”
This came up last month when Flamethrower was interviewed by a site whose url I have misplaced (sorry).
Flamey was asked about his anonymity, and answered to the effect that he was afraid of being seen as a publicity seeker when he first started the “Flamethrower” thing, so used the nick and kept his real name to himself. It turned out handy when Todd P. started hunting for him (let's see, there are only four BILLION people in the world...)
On the other hand, when Captain Immy started Pointless Audio, he published not only his real name but his photograph, as well. He stated on his page that he started it to become famous. LOL!
Myself, I never gave it any thought. Celebrity never impressed me. It always amazed me how absolutely stupid the people I worked with at Disney got when someone famous came by. I just saw celebrities as people with a hell of a lot better jobs than I had, and consequently had many pleasant conversations with famous folks while my coworkers were making asses of themselves acting like demented puppies.
I had a few unpleasant conversations with some, too. It seems many of the the “kinda famous”, especially professional golfers, would get irate when you didn't recognize them. How in the hell should I know who a damned golfer is? I hate golf!
The ones anybody would recognize anywhere seemed grateful when you pretended not to know them. Some denied being who they were (“hey, guys, if he says he's not Dan Aykroyd, he's not Dan Aykroyd”). Some took pleasure in discussing their work, as long as you didn't act as if you were speaking to God Himself (“That was Buddy Hackett? Nah, it wasn't”... “Sure it was, look at the credit card slip”... “Wow! Cool! You met Buddy Hackett!”... “Cool? You're a dumbshit, leave me alone.”)
The first thing I noticed when playing Quake (actually, when lurking as an observer) was that literally everyone had handles, or “quake names”. No one used their real name. Never one to go along with the crowd, I decided to go by the handle of “Steve”; in other words, screw handles, I'll use my damn name. When I started my Quake page, I didn't have the choice of anonymity, as the web space was on my ISP's server, meaning my user name (my last name) was both directory name and email address. Kind of hard to remain anonymous under those circumstances. I would have had to close my account, open a new one, and move my other pages. It didn't matter, I hadn't thought about it.
Amusing when a month or so later, “Steve” became a popular Quake name. I wonder how many Steves were really Bobs and Sallys?
I never saw myself as ever becoming famous for anything, at least after I discovered how bad I suck playing guitar. Especially for a web page. The most I ever expected was to get an occasional person stumbling through. When I would get an email, my reaction was always “Wow! Somebody saw my page!” Updates were more or less weekly, and when a couple of weeks went by without mail, I wondered if I should bother updating at all. I got an “invisible” hit counter, telling myself that I would only update on a day I had visitors. I was quite surprised at the numbers reported, and have updated daily since.
I was thrilled to have so much traffic. If my numbers dropped that low now, It would be depressing.
Last October I got together with a few other webmasters to throw a Halloween night “Dig up the Quake dead” IRC chat party. I got an email from a fellow who saw its p1mp page, saying “I'd really like to get in on this. Do you have to be famous to get in?”
I usually don't laugh at my readers' letters (I laugh at Gestalt's readers' letters), but I made an exception in this case. If only the famous were invited, even the “kinda famous”, the only people there (who weren't) would have been Robin Williams, Conan O'Brien, and one or two others.
Neither Carmack or Romero would have been invited, let alone Joost or Gestalt. Well, maybe Oscar or Caeser Romero, if they've died playing Quake, but not John. They're not famous! I sure as hell wouldn't have been allowed in.
Don't believe me? If you are in school, ask a teacher or another student who John Romero is. If you aren't in school, ask a coworker. None of them will know who John Romero is unless they, too, are a gamer! John Romero is not famous. Thresh is not famous. Bastard isn't famous, At least outside the hardcore PC gaming community.
Nevertheless, there is a certain amount of notoriety within the gaming community. I've had so many irons in the fire and stuck my fingers in so many pies, from Planet Quake to Planet Crap (to Arcadia, etc.) that I have become known, At least somewhat, within our little “Hard core gaming under-ground”, as we were called in the Flamethrower interview. I've had one-time links from Evil Avatar, Planet Quake, and even the “famous” Blue's News (thank you, Blue, for the traffic).
Famous? Maybe kinda, within our little community. That's kind of like being “kinda famous” among people from Dupo, Illinois (the third string high school football quarterback's brother).
Immy – you're still not famous. So start your show back up and this time don't take it so damned seriously. Flamey, uh, better not tell us who you are. Todd's still out there.
See ya at Tokay's, Conan.
Ticket frags slowpoke
Flamethrower crossed the finish line again, lapping everyone in this one lap race several times. He has Nacho's Flamethrower – The Movie banner where his logo normally resides, and a long email from an EA employee posted. Will EA Survive? Drop by Flamey's for the details.
Yello There crossed the finish line with a real link to twelve year old Patty's Rabbit page, causing her to do back flips and pleas for me to mail Yello with her thanks. Hopefully we will not need muscle relaxants to remove the grin from her ears.
Also, they do not have tires in Britain as was reported yesterday – U.K. residents use tyres instead. There is also a gasoline shortage, but fortunately there is plenty of petrol.
Murray, with a sardine on his B2 bomber's radar evasion electronics, showed up on radar just across the finish line for several seconds until “Eric the Cat” disposed of the fish.
That leaves Planet Wank and the Weak End Hell Hole as the only two contestants left, and the hell hole's Internic is ugly and its mother dresses it funny will be uploaded about five minutes after this is.
So enjoy your vacation, Mr. Wank! Be sure to send us a postcard!
The following is the Hell Hole article from Arcadia.
Internic is ugly and its mother dresses it funny
This isn't as much of an issue to me as it used to be. I used to think that the hellishly long url I had was keeping visitors away. I mean, everyone from ZDNet to Internet Day told me so.
The move to goneplex and the short, easy to type and remember url showed me differently. Traffic dropped after the move (they weren't half the p1mps my present host is).
The fact is, nobody types in many urls. They click on a link, whether from a search engine or a link buddy's page. The only people who really need an easy to remember and type url are those who promote their sites through other media, like print or TV.
Nevertheless, internic is still stupid and evil. Actually, the fact that one entity can have more than one domain is evil and stupid.
People with tons of money make tons more money buying up every name in the phone book, especially trademarks. You want Pepsi.com, Mr. Pepsi? Sorry, Mr. Coke already bought it. If you want it, they'll sell it to you for five grand or so. Oh, that's right, they're a competitor. You ain't gettin' it, buddy.
Would someone please explain to me why this is allowed?
Someone should hammer out an international treaty (they did it for drug laws and name extensions, e.g., www.m5.uk or www.cia.us) making it not only illegal but impossible for any corporation to own a domain, or for any person to own more than one domain. Bastard already has planetquake.com, and if he doesn't, GSI could sign it over to him. Iacocca could hold ford.com.
It could be argued that a corporation could hold one name to keep the name's owner from holding the company hostage, but corporations are heartless and have soulless lawyers that care for nothing but protecting their bottoms; er, bottom lines at all costs (nuclear war or our company going out of business? FTW, the company comes first! World peace puts us at risk of a takeover? Screw world peace!) and know the law well enough that they need no gun to rob. Call each division a company and make it legal. There are always ways.
These same lawyers can write contracts that insure that if the url's owner leaves the company, he must give the domain to someone else in the company.
There is something else I'm ignorant about. Why does it only cost ten bucks to register a copyright in the US forever, but registering a domain for two years is a couple hundred bucks?
And why is the British telephone company not required to use a gun when they rob my British friends?
Ticket does a back flip into the lava
Proud ticket to nowhere record holder Tikki spoke before the assembled audience of old and mostly new faces at the Planet Crap Bar and Grill yesterday at the “Kill Whitey” auditorium. Waving the flaming ticket high, he said a few words about gay Nazis and attempted to hand it over to the new holder, Planet Wank.
Wanker was nowhere to be found. Security was sent to check the Real Life annex where Mr. Wank reportedly was, but to no avail. The only soul in the room was the very inebriated Yello There, who was muttering something about “mcgrew spiked my drink.” His drink was a very ordinary English Gin and Tonic in a nearly empty ten gallon glass; it seems the gin and tonic had been spiked with a few drops of tonic water. Strange, since it was the first I had seen of him all night. The bartender confided to me that it had been he who had watered down Mr. There's drink, as he had already finished six. I asked for a can of beer, and he served me a pony keg. Cheap bastards and their small beers! At least it was cold.
We asked Nacho if he had seen Wank as Nacho drifted past riding a strange smelling cloud of smoke a foot or two below the ceiling. His only remark was “Damn, I love this job. Anybody got a lighter?”
Flamethrower then pulled out a shiny new Electronic Arts Zippo and toasted everyone. The pyrotechnics reminded everyone of the swimming pool, so the Lava Room was searched. There at the bottom of the lava was Wank, who refused to come out, insisting his real life lay at the bottom of the glowing cauldron.
Tikki strapped the ticket to a rocket and launched it into the bottom of the pool. Several other members of the crowd cheered, and also threw and shot various forms of ordinance in, including the elderly crash (also a speaker in the “Kill Whitey” auditorium). crash threw a very old fashioned ax and chainsaw at the pool.
Murray and sons, hopped up on stamp glue, then walked through screaming obscenities at Blue, saying “keep yer goddamned charity, ya rich bastard! We don't need your damned ‘community!’ I don't want yer damn suitcase full of money! Hey Flamey, gimme a dollar!”
Fellow Arcadian Morgan (not the Morgan from Ziff Davis), also speaking at the auditorium, attempted to disarm all the Yanks, who proceeded to laugh at him.
By the time the police arrived, everyone was gone except Wank, Yello, and Nacho, who were all unconscious in the Real Life room. Luckily, Murray had left his B2 invisibility gear behind and the three were undiscovered by the authorities. This was exceedingly lucky, as the police were all Serbian.
There'll be a new Weak End Hell Hole posted over there this weekend. While I'm mentioning updates, Nacho updated late (real late Monday night); Tikki is trying to get his ticket back, and since twelve year old daughter Patty finally cleaned her room, I'll mention that she added links to the Fragfest and Yello There and posted profuse thanks to Yello from her Rabbit game page for the real link he gave her. She said she would have linked Nacho (who she is losing to in the Jayde topsites list), but he sometimes uses “dirty words” and has a picture of a teletubbie's bong on his page.
Following is the Arcadia article.
Mainstream reporters are fraggin' ignorant
U.S. educators aren't much smarter
Ignorant or just evilly apathetic to the damage they cause? Both?
As I write this, yesterday was Chernobyl (AKA CIH) day. As I was uploading the Fragfest yesterday, my wife had the local news on in the kitchen. “You have to run your antivirus software today,” she said.
“I ran it yesterday, we're clean.”
“No, the lady on TV said you have to run it today.”
I explained how you had to have downloaded and run an executable to catch CIH, and it was too late if you had the virus anyway; the PC wouldn't have worked.
“No, they said you get it in your email! You got lots of email today!”
The TV lady was obviously confusing CIH with Mellissa, which I can't catch since I use neither Outlook Express nor Word. I tried to explain this to Becky. “No, she said anybody can catch it.”
In exasperation, I replied “What the [expletative] does some damned TV news anchor know, anyway?”
“No, she's not the news guy, she's a computer expert.”
Yeah, and I'm the fraggin' king of France. An “expert” whose credentials were never given is spreading misinformation about computer viruses! Of course, even though I've read a shelf of books about computer viruses, taken loads of college level computer courses, built PCs from scratch using spare parts, programmed in hand coded assembly, successfully supported users via email about hardware and drivers I haven't seen, and my paycheck comes from my EDP skills, I'm not an expert. You see, I'm not on TV. What's makes me less of an expert is she not only knows me, she's married to me.
Later in the evening I stopped the remote at CNN while channel surfing. There were the tearful funerals, followed by nameless men and women in business suits at desks in front of bookshelves. Wow, suits, desks, and books, these people must really know what they're talking about. All were decrying the violence in videogames. Long, bloody shots of Doom, Duke Nuken, Quake, and Quake 2 were shown. Snuck in while the games were being splashed (literally) on the screen was a one sentence voice over, very easy to miss, that stated that scientifically controlled studies had shown that violent games had no effect on anybody, adolescent or adult. The announcer then came on with more interviews of nameless, non-credentialed suits saying how the games' ratings need to be better and how parents should be careful what games they let their kids play.
Meanwhile, the idiots who teach our kids are mandating counseling for any high school student who has ever played Quake or Doom, outlawing black or long coats, and suspending kids for having a nail file while doing nothing whatsoever about the kids who are giving kids with PCs, brains, or unconventional views hell. In fact, according to some kids who wrote to slashdot, they are encouraging the shallow preppie conformists to give them (you?) hell.
They have instituted a strict dress code at my daughter's school; half of her clothes are now either too loose or too tight. She says they've even banned a lot of speech at her school. So much for teaching kids the constitution!
What a bunch of dangerous morons. No wonder the world is going to “hell in a handbasket”, as my Grandpa used to say before he was killed in an industrial accident. Speaking of industrial accidents, they kill about five times as many men in the U.S. as intentional violence. Car crashes kill about triple as many as intentional violence. More minors die here from playing with matches than guns, about 3 times as many.
Yeah, lets outlaw guns, then there won't be any, just like there isn't any cocaine. Yeah, that's the ticket. Doesn't matter that legal firearms are almost never used in crime, like the Crips and Bloods get their Ouzis from the local gun shop, like Gangstas hold FOI cards. (As a slight disclaimer, I have to add that I don't own a firearm, although I did quite a bit of hunting with my dad when I was a kid.)
Which brings us to that other bugaboo, drugs. Thank God none were found in or on those kids, or there would be the Reagonish war on drugs (which begat crack cocaine) heating up again with its concurrent rise in violent crime.
Of course, the one kid should have had drugs in his bloodstream – he was being treated and medicated by a psychiatrist for mental disorders. Why the hell isn't that damned quack losing his shrink license?
Come to think of it, our politicos aren't any smarter than the dolts anchoring the TV news or the morons teaching our kids. God help us all!
PS: ya got the 6a11z to post this at yer school? NOT a good idea...
Smurf frags particle accelerator
I got another note from the dopey smurfer today, who is a physics major; the thought of the smurfer near a particle accelerator is scary. He confides that “At first I was gonna hit my reload button 1 000 000 to show Patty who's got more hits. Then I realized that she could do that too. (damn those double-edged swords). So instead you and your PR spin doctors (namely Patty) have convinced me. Meet the warmer, cudlier face of The House-O-Bitchin’.”
He did, too. Not only is the link button changed from Aerosmith's Steve Tyler french kissing a smurf's butt to the simpler one shown, he's changed his Quasi-XXX Gallery to a Quasi-YYY gallery.
It's turning into a pretty good game/humor page; you no longer have to be over 57 to get in.
Bad news from across the pond; katalystic.com's host is giving Neil a very hard time about the amount of server space we're using, and says Arcadia is closing shop soon.
Some of the Fragfest downloads may be broken for a day or two; I'm doing what I can to lighten the load on the Kat server by deleting everything except the nooze page and one or two containers.
Meanwhile, if you have the Fragfest's Kat address [defunct] bookmarked, you might want to change it back to [older defunct URL] just in case.
crash joined the game
Yesterday was mail day, it seems. My box was stuffed when I got home from work, and no sooner could I answer one than two more would pop up. I finally gave up, leaving the rest for today.
I mentioned a couple of days ago that I had lost the late crash's new address; actually, it's somewhere on that big-assed links page, but since it doesn't say “crash” it might as well have been dropped into a black hole. The venerable crash dropped a note cluing me that he had respawned at GA-Source. I might even break my own rule and put it at the bottom of the page without a return link so I can find it, as I have always enjoyed reading crash's stuff; his Q2 page was one of the jewels of the web. Naah, I'd better not...
He said in his note that his old level review page is not only dead, but buried, as he doesn't even have the password any more. So drop by his new page! The crash is dead; long live crash.
He mentioned the ticket; since crash's old page was officially pronounced dead by Dr. Kevorkian last December, it isn't eligible any more, but his new one is. All he has to do for the coveted Ticket to Nowhere is let the new page rot, and the chance of that happening is about equal to my chances of winning the state lottery – and I don't buy lottery tickets.
Of course, BitchX has been disqualified for cheating (he/she/it only updates when there is a blue moon), as well as Pile, who only updates when he sees Martin Van Buren burning in hell over at Murray's.
Nacho, in the running for the ticket, also dropped a note by. Seems he has a temperature of 102F and has to write a paper on some dead German he calls “Gaydolph Shitler”, so he has a chance for the ticket if his fever doesn't break.
Nacho had Patty saying “WooHoo!” when he mentioned that he has such fond memories of Jazz Jackrabbit 1 he's linking her Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (Quake for qidz) page.
He suspects that Tikki, who has the largest ticket to nowhere collection this side of Stroggos, has lost the keys to the Beach House again, which would add to his huge collection. Update: no, the keys are locked up in his shambler's cage.
Tikki says it may be a month before he updates due to some “real life” stuff he detailed that I won't go into here.
It was pointed out to me by one of the half dozen people who gives a frag that it's been a long time since I did an RA show. True, but I made a few minor changes to the page (and a new show is in the works).
Of course, speaking of Real Audio, the ticket could always go to Desiato, who hasn't updated in nearly three weeks and still has a link to the Fragfest's “404, gameplex ain't here no more, dude” page, and still hasn't given Nacho that link he promised. Maybe even if he does a new show, his links page will win the contest.
So it looks like a tough race. if you have the 6a11z to stick it out and are willing to lose most of your visitors, you can win the Ticket to Absolutely Nowhere. No purchase required (well, you may have to buy a PC, an ISP, and some server space). Offer not good on Stroggos; void wherever else local laws prohibit not updating. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use near fire or flame. Shirt and shoes required (pants optional).
Hell Hole died
I have another Weak End Hell Hole ready to post, but we're having some space problems at katcom (which is why Arcadia may be making a visit to Dr. Kevorkian), and I don't want to aggravate the problem.
I'm not sure what I will do with the Hell Hole. For now, I'm mirroring it at my paid famvid space probably by this weekend in the “Old Stroggs' Home”; I don't know if there will be any more new ones posted.
I deleted the Quake theme from katcom last night. I'll have it moved over to famvid space, maybe tonight. The Fragfest just ain't the same without the music.
I'll have those downloads (Quake 1 and 2 patches) and RA shows back on line by the weekend.
BTW, if anyone needs server space, Family Video here in Illinois gives you “unlimited internet access” including email and web space for $12.95 per month. I don't know exactly what “unlimited” is, but I probably have close to 100 megs on their server now (the Quake 2 demo is 40 megs) and they haven't complained. Of course, you would have to be in Chicago or Springfield for dialin, and you can't run any paid banners. They are serious about this, too; I put a Barnes&Noble commission search clickthrough on my “McGrew Page” last year, and they deleted my page! You can be sure I took the B&N banner down before I uploaded it again.
For a “commercial” account they get $30 per month.
If any of you go there for server space, would you PLEASE tell them I sent you (and tell me you told them), as they'll give me a month free for every person I refer. Right now that thirteen dollar bill every month isn't easy to pay; I've had a string of “real life” lately (veterinary and human medical bills) that has drained my wallet. I don't know who is more unfortunate, folks in Britain who pay for phone calls by the minute but have universal health care like everybody else in the world, or us in the US who have cheap dialin but have to pay an arm and a leg for insurance, which usually only covers 80% or so of the king's ransom the doctors and hospitals charge.
Oh, and if you're looking for a CD or strategy book...
There was one more Hell Hole article written, but it was never posted. Here is the article, which was written in 1999 but never published before now.
Is Quake a killer – or are the mass news media killers?
Last year, a 14 year old boy in Tennessee murdered his mother with a butcher knife, took some guns to school, and murdered some kids. It was one of roughly a half dozen such murders of and by middle class white teenagers. This particular one played Doom.
Money hungry lawyers took advantage of the grieving parents of the slain children and convinced them that Doom was to blame, and convinced them to file suit against Id. Why not sue the murderer? Simple: He is only fourteen, and has no money. His mother can't be sued – even if she had money, she's dead. If the lawyers want to collect their thirty pieces of silver, they not only have to find a scapegoat, they have to find a rich scapegoat.
Id has lots of money.
The lawyers hired an “expert” witness, an ex-marine who used Doom to train marines to storm buildings, using a custom level. Having his fifteen minutes of fame, he calls Doom and Quake “murder simulators”. (As one wag said, “hey! he shot me from above! How'd he do that??”) Never mind that in Doom one is shooting at blue flying balls, red devil things, goat-looking monsters, and zombie things. Never mind that nothing in Quake 1 looks very human. Never mind that in Quake II we are “killing” alien cyborg creatures from Stroggos, not people; that we are rescuing humans. Never mind that if Doom had anything to do with it he would have used a chainsaw instead of a knife. Never mind that if this ex marine thinks Doom is a murder simulator, he must think marines, himself included, are murderers.
This year there was another such murder in Colorado. This time, it was on a huge scale. Two boys with a small arsenal of firearms and several large and small bombs murdered a dozen people and wounded several more. They were also Doom players. The mass news media, most particularly the TV news media, had a field day. They hadn't had so much sensationalist fun since O.J. Simpson got away with murder.
The politicians got into the act, all decrying the violence in video games. A senator from Colorado stood before the U.S. Senate with graphs and charts – and an audience of two, not counting the cameras, decrying these horrible games.
The day 13 people died by gunfire in Colorado, 30 people in the U.S. drowned in their own bathtubs, as they do daily. Countless died on the highways. Children burned to death that day playing with bic lighters, as they do daily. As Sgt Hulka pointed out in his web page, the next day 25 people were killed in one drunken boating accident – should we ban boats?
I got email from teenagers all over the U.S. the following week. Some feared for their safety in school. One high school Quake player also plays sports, and “ain't very nice to some of the nerds,” he worried. As I pointed out to this young friend I've known online for a year or so, school is still one of the safest places you can be, as long as it isn't in the inner city, where gun violence has been going on since that bloody “Ms Pac Man” game. While 12 kids died in that Colorado school, hundreds were dying out of school by gunshots, car accidents, falls, fires, and all manner of ways there are to die. None of the thousands of other high schools suffered any fatalities or injuries at all.
Even though FPSes are played world wide, the U.S. is the only place kids are being blown away in school (with the possible exception of Yugoslavia).
Since Doom was released, the incidence of youth violence has decreased yearly. It could be argued that FP Shooters cause a DECREASE in youth violence. I know after a bad day, a good game of online Quake puts me in a better mood!
So why this spate of school shootings? It's simple. Out of the countless kids going to school, sooner or later one mentally unbalanced young man was bound to snap, lose it, go insane, and kill someone.
The rest did it for their fifteen minutes of fame. Police call these “copycat killers”. If the first had not been not only reported, but hyped out of all proportion by the news media, none of those that followed would have happened. Those 13 students and faculty at Columbine would be alive today.
The lawyers are going after the wrong targets. They should sue the news media, who are no more protected by the first amendment than the folks at Id.
Arcadia did a back flip into the lava
I got a note from Neil last night; the server problems aren't from lack of space, they're from the amount of data transfer (downloads and lots of traffic, but Neil says mostly downloads). Arcadia's suicide is the result of “lack of interest”. Apparently, the Weak End Hell Hole has been the only part of Arcadia that has been updated regularly. It's a shame, too; when a big interview was posted, Arcadia would get quite a bit of exposure. Of course, Desiato hasn't even been updating Spew lately; I don't know what's up with the other guys.
Smurf's page (now on geoshitties; change your book-mark, sCary) noted the humorous irony of my post about Blue breaking Smurf's server: “See you on GeoCities, Steve! Mwahahahahaha!” ...but the Fragfest is the (cue spooky music) page that wouldn't die! Not only does Neil assure me that katcom isn't going anywhere, I learned my lesson from the goneplex incident. Everything except the realaudio and two patches were mirrored on my own space.
I'll have them back on line this weekend if I can wrestle the mouse away from my college-going wife (durn those perfessers).
As to the Irony of the Smurfer, the true irony is not only is 12 year old Patty no longer Blue compared to Smurf even though her traffic is way up (crash mentioned “McGrew's daughter” over at the Planet Crap Bar and Grill and Yello gave her a real link), I'm not even Blue compared to Smurf any more; judging from his counter, he's kicking my ass! (his counter read 200 before Blue, which is less than I get in a day) Not only that, but according to my counter, one or two of you may have found the Fragfest through Smurf's. A thanks to you folks for dropping by, and also to Marko for sending you.
Blue's made it look like Smurf's rail gun explanation was so technical you would have to be employed by NASA to understand it, so I gave thought to translating it to English, but it really couldn't be any simpler than Smurf's explanation. The only really technical part is the math equations, which basically boil town to “the harder you throw something the faster it goes” and “the more electricity you give it, the harder it throws the slug”.
Pretty good for a former student, huh Marko? That half of a guy's brain isn't even supposed to work!
Nacho joined the game
Playing the Ticket to Nowhere contest like he plays that drinking game, Nacho made an, um, update...
This leaves the Quake Beach House and Spew. My money's on Tikki...
They sat silently huddled around the casket. Someone whispered “I really wanted that ticket.” A second voice answered, “But you didn't have to kill him for it!”
A moan came from the casket. “It's miiiine.................” the corpse groaned.
“Sorry, 'fraid not,” Dr. Kevorkian piped up. “This stiff died from natural causes, I didn't even have to help. Much.”
“What did he die from?"
“Neglect, apparently. Nobody cared.”
“Well, he still gets the ticket.”
“Afraid not, Tikki and Desiato are beating him again. Tikki's the only guy alive that can beat a corpse in a death contest!”
“Besides, since he's dead, he's inelegible.”
“Oh, man, the poor stiff...”
World Peace tripped on its own grenadine
Battle-bruised, bleeding, and bone weary, I dropped by the Planet Crap Bar and Grill for a beer and a shambler 'n cheese sandwich the other night. There is usually plenty of action over there; lots of mean drunks, webmasters, game developers and promoters, gamers, *cough* journalists, and other assorted folks the mainstream (gag) journalists call “bad people in trenchcoats”, even though you would get laughed out of the place if you came in wearing one. I mean wearing a trenchcoat, not wearing a journalist; it's okay to wear a journalist there.
The discussion's topic was “Thank God I can't go to E3 and even if I can don't call me no fraggin' journalist even if I gots a stinkin' press pass!”
Nearly 200 people were there when I showed up. I was looking forward to a good old knock-down 'n drag-out bloody mess on this one. I mean, the place usually makes empty v's Celebrity Deathmatch look like a hippie love-in. I was expecting “Bastidz won't let me go, hey, I gots 300 hits so far this year, ain't that mass media journalism?”
Instead of the usual troll beatings, knifings, and other mayhem, the place was... well, different. Folks were swaying to and fro in time with the singing and laughing. George and Steve (one of the other Steves that show up there) were singing the old tune “I'm uh print jurnelest en eye kin rite good an yer not,” and everybody else was singing “Thank God I'm not a journalist, Hallelujah.”
Sgt. Hulka stood up on stage and sang the old love song, “Booth Babes, ain't no other reason...”
I was shocked. Fearing for the safety of the world I commented on this highly unlikely turn of events (I mean peace at Planet Crap, not Hulka singing about booth babes, Hulka really likes booth babes).
Andy reassured me. “See those guys hiding under that table in the back corner?” Indeed, the websters who would have liked to scream out “IM A JURNLEST EN I'M PISSED” were laying low, lurking in the corner.
I'm not going to E3, but a young friend with a pass and a fake I.D. promises to be reporting on Q3Arena for the Fragfest from there. Just remember, no news here, but you get nooze here every day. If you want news, go see Larry King.
Yello joined the game
Yello made the first big update in a long while, and promises, with Arcadia's death, that “normal service” is resuming. Uh, whatever “normal” means, I can't find that word in my dictionary, must be a British thing...
And hey, I thought I was doing him a favor leaving those TV dinner tins, there must be five bucks worth of aluminum there. Sorry about that stain on the carpet, though, but there are surely enough empty beer cans to cover its cleaning.
Beach house and Spew can't escape ticket's grenade
With Spew and Tikki God's Quake Beach House on life support, web sites are waiting in line for their chance at the coveted ticket to nowhere. Desiato and Tikki are both stubbornly refusing to give up the ticket.
So, for the first time ever, two tickets are being be-stowed at the same time!
That's right, folks, Desiato and record ticket holder Tikki each receive a round trip, no expense paid Ticket to Absolutely Nowhere! They are both boarding the luxury stroggship Real Life for their fantastic cruise to nowhere. Enjoy your vacations, boys!
It's likely finals week at the Dopey Smurf's House o' Bitchin'; newbie webmaster Smurf (a physics major who has explained the Quake rail gun's workings to all of us in terms everyone but Blue can understand) is trying for his first chance for the fabulous trip to nowhere. It's uphill all the way; neither Tikki or Desiato have updated since before Smurf started his page.
Would you like the no expense paid ticket? Let me know about your page, and let it rot!
Ticket tries to escape Smurf's shotgun
I got a note from that blue fellow last night. No, not Looneyboi's partner, the note was from Mr. Smurf. “Hey, I ain't nowhere!” No sir, Mr. Smurf, you're not. At least not this round. Some of the fellows you're up against are professionals. These are major league “ticket to nowhere” players; one of this round's winners holds the world's record, and is almost as good as that cheater BitchX at not updating, without even cheating.
The other winner, a dead rock star in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, should give you hope. He went for literally months trying in vain to not update, without success. Week after week he would produce not one, but three Real Audio shows.
Then, after nearly a year of trying, he finally got his first ticket, only a few months ago. This is his second.
Since present ticket holders are ineligible, that means the two best non-updaters are out for this round. You would think it would be a piece of cake, like going for a home run record with both McGwire and Sosa laying off with broken legs, but since the two best are out this round, nearly everybody is trying for it; the sheer numbers alone make it hard.
On the subject of professional ticket guys, the last winner, Planet Ho Slap, still hasn't updated. Dr. Kevorkian is looking in to unplugging the respirator and administering “medication”. The baby in the Pic of the “week” is still proudly showing off its middle finger.
Mail frags fragfest
I love getting mail. I hate getting these:
“could u please please send me the full verson of quake 2 or send me a site where i can download it from please i will do anything”
First, Quake 2 is nearly half a gigabyte, not counting the music. Second, don't you think Id should make a few bucks off this great game? Third, forty or fifty bucks isn't much to ask from someone who would “do anything”; mowing two or three lawns ought to net enough for a copy.
The next time I get one of these I'm publishing the sender's name, and not just the note and ISP's installation floppy.
Sorry if I seem a bit irritable; I'm trying to quit smoking again. Gotta pay for the hardware to run q3a somehow!
BitchX joined the game
BitchX is Apparently begging for a chance for for-giveness for cheating, and wants to get back in the “Ticket to Nowhere” contest. This is apparent from the fact that not only has Martin Van Buren burned in hell two separate times since the two present ticket holders have updated, there was not only one, but two updates to the Bitch's page yesterday! Normally, the Bitch only updates during a blue moon, or when the hit counter (now over half a million) stops turning.
The first update was a rumor that Todd Boy was getting canned from Ion. The second was a retraction of the rumor. My guess is we'll have to watch Flamey's page for the truth.
Flamethrower, having used up the grace points he earned last month, is back in the contest. So is Smurf, Nacho, Spite (whose PC died an agonizing death)... Hell, just about everybody but Planet Quake, GA-Source (Who Nacho is reportedly going to write a column for it called GA-RPG), and Blue!
BitchX's rumor of Porter's canning (not caning, as he does not live in Singapore, although some would like him caned) is not the only false rumor about Turdd Partly. The rumor that he mistakenly shot and wounded John Lennon's favorite band, Harry Nilsson, was also false. Actually, it was John Lennon who was shot and killed by a wanker who was not in any way connected with FPSs or any other games. In fact, the closest thing to an FPS at the time of Lennon's death was Ms. Pac Man.
If you want to enter the Ticket to Nowhere contest, you have a LOT of competition! Drop me a line and let me know where your page is.
No animals were harmed during the creation of this contest (except for lunch).
Smurf should have used a smaller gun
Dopey Smurf's House O' Bitchin', apparently incon-solable over the fact that the (ex?) cheater BitchX is now eligible for the Ticket To Nowhere, has dropped out of the contest by updating.
Better luck next time, Dopey!
At my urging, he's also contributing to Q3A Central.
I felt a little bad about not being able to help Q3A Central out with a column, but I have a hard enough time coming up with content for the Fragfest. The only way I could do the column at the late Arcadia (R.I.P.) was that I could write about stuff that wasn't Quake (Yeah, you're thinking, “but why would you want to”).
If you've been to Smurf's, I think you'll agree he's going to do a good job.
Also if you've been to Smurf's, you know that he wants some hiphoppers to do the music for Q3A. Didn't we have that problem with Screamer 2? I always put the Screamer 1 CD in when I played Screamer 2. My vote is for Metallica to do the music for Q3A, as 90% of their music fits Quake, anyway. Plus, they ROCK!!
To paraphrase Led Zepplin's Boogie With Stu, “I don't want no tooty-fruity lonely hip-pop, come on baby lets rock rock rock!”
E3 frags Nacho
Happy to at least beat Smurf in the ticket contest, but knowing he doesn't stand a chance against BitchX, Nacho updated last night with, uh, unusual E3 news, as well as the usual Nacho Insanity.
Oh, don't miss his new sponsor, “Star Wars” brand Viagra.
BitchX tripped on his own grenade
Martin Van Buren burned in hell Thursday over at Murray's (Blue's antilinkus site of the month, official game site for the Anarchist party, and official game site of the U.S. Postal service).
Apparently still feeling the effects of last month's blue moon, BitchX actually updated two months in a row. Too bad what he/she/it posted wasn't entirely accurate. Kind of like my news about the joystick (boy, do I feel stupid).
Since the Bitch (why does Levellord think she's funny, anyway? Is it the drugs?) has updated, it's time for – you guessed it – another Ticket To Nowhere contest. Already.
Planet Wank is ineligible this time, since the ticket holding Wanker still hasn't updated. The Bitch has been permanently disqualified for cheating, of course. Also, as you know, retired corpses like crash are also ineligible (although crash now has duties at another game site; I'll have to dig out that url so he's eligible again).
Even though Flamethrower hasn't updated since the “What the frag am I supposed to type here” post, he lapped everyone so many times during the last contest he's resting comfortably at the finish line, safe from the ticket for at least this contest.
So far, there aren't many contestants this time around, and in fact it may turn out that nobody actually acquires the coveted ticket. Record holding ticket winner Tikki is late, as usual, but will probably update soon enough to avoid winning. Nacho was only a little late, posting late Monday night. I expect he'll post again this weekend. Yello, having been run over several times by the British Telecom Armored Truck, has been updating sporadically, but since his posts have been at least weekly, he's not really in the running. Desiato (Spew) hasn't updated since the week before last, but I expect he'll update this weekend, also blowing his chances for the ticket. He still has the Fragfest's goneplex URL listed (404, what an interesting Fragfest page) and owes Nacho a link.
This leaves – your page? Do I even know you're there? You can't win if I don't know about your page. Face it, with half a million Quake pages and God knows how many game sites there are, chances are I don't know you're there. Drop your url my way, then don't update. You could win the no expense paid ticket to absolutely nowhere!
Void where prohibited. Taxes, beer, gasoline, med-ication, legal fees, bail, and all other expenses are the responsibility of the winner. Kid sites, pr0n sites, and kid pr0n sites are ineligible. Sites that suck (like those in the PC Magazine top 100) are also ineligible. Trenchcoat mafia sites need not apply. Cosa Nostra Mafia sites can do anything they damned well please or your kneecaps are history. Keep away from children and stupid adults.
Yello swallowed Granny's rocket
Yello, Tikki, and Desiato have been either MIA or AWOL for a while. I dropped by the Beach House looking for Tikki, and there was a sign on the door, “gone shopping for ordinance” or something like that, so I trekked over to Yello Spires looking for him.
I called Desiato first, thinking he might be there, but was rebuffed by his bodyguard, who was really pissed off that Desiato's body was missing.
As I approached the old castle, there was a strange green glow coming from the windows. “Hmm”, I thought, “usually it's a blue GPF before things crash.” There was an insane cackling coming from within.
Nobody answered my knock, but it was unlocked, so I gingerly cracked he door open. “Anybody home?”
There was Yello, suspended about a foot below the ceiling “HELP!” he yelled. “No, wait! Save yourself!
“Aha!” an old voice creaked. “Where's that bong?”
I tried to tell her that Bong was all the way in Lithuania.
“No, you retarded moron,” she replied redundantly. “I mean...”
I felt my feet leaving the ground and fired off a few rounds, which zoomed around crazily as if they had minds of their own. I was able to reverse-rocket jump my way out of there, wishing I had remembered to bring a grapple.
Yello's on his own this time, folks; the grannies are way beyond Quake, and being the only person outside Yugoslavia that hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie I'm out of my league over there. I don't know what kind of force they've cooked up, but it's stronger than a quad rune.
I hope Yello's okay. I don't have a clue how he's going to get out of this one!
Green and orange with purple polka dot h4x0rz swallow U.S. government page’s grenade
ZD reports that in retaliation of the FBI's busting a bunch of teenage h4x0rz and taking their parents' computers (If the FBI took my PC my qidz would be grounded until they were 40), more government web sites have been cracked, including the Dept. of the Interior. Or crack smoked, or something like that.
Also, the h4x0rz are warring among themselves; Global Hell (gH) and M4st4rz 0f D0wnl04ding (MOD) are calling each other silly names. The 10z3rz!
A Microsoft employee also had his computer equipment confiscated by the FBI and fired by Microsoft. The employee was fired, not the computer (although lots of us would like to fire windoze); the employee was accused of hacking government computers. Hell, considering the Justice Dept's lawsuit, I'm surprised Bill didn't give him a raise; probably would have if he hadn't got caught.
White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said, “I think it's less fun when the authorities catch up with them and these people are prosecuted.” Well, perhaps less fun for the government, but maybe there will be fewer ttypos on the Fragfest (I'm blaming all typoos and misspelings on h4x0rz).
Speaking of hackers and crackers, here's where you can find out if your coworker (someone who orks cows) is a hacker.
Ticket tries to escape mail's grenade
I would have thought folks would be tired of the Ticket to Nowhere contest by now, but judging from my mail everybody wants one. There seems to be a little bit of misunderstanding about the rules, however. “Ticket ru13z?” Hmm...
First, present ticket holders are ineligible. That means this round neither Tikki or Desiato can win, since it was a two way tie last time.
Second and most importantly, dead pages are ineligible. That means that though GA-Source is eligible (right, like crash would let GA-Source rot), crash's spq2 page isn't. In order for a page to win, it has to have been updated at least once since the previous round.
Winners receive, as usual, a two way no expense paid ticket to absolutely nowhere. Taxes, gasoline, food, and drugs (prescription or otherwise) are the responsibility of the winner. All other expenses are also the responsibility of the winner (unless some loser wants to give 'em a few bucks). Void where (duh!) prohibited. The Fragfest and all assignees are not responsible for any damages or costs. Other irresponsible persons may also not be responsible. Not a step. Contents under pressure. Caution – filling is hot. Close cover before striking (card carrying Union members can ignore that last rule). Inhalation of vapors may cause severe brain damage, if applicable. Not inhaling can also cause brain damage, as oxygen is necessary for continuation of respiration. Bill Clinton did not inhale. Keep away from children and stupid adults. Pants are optional. Anyone caught cheating may be banned from future contests. Page must cover Id, Quake, or Quake's ancestors in some way, shape, or form (e.g., Blue's is eligible, but Pokemon world isn't. Dallas Observer and New York Times may be eligible under certain conditions). You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. No smoking in most public buildings in the U.S. You are not required to wear a helmet in the state of Illinois. Rules are subject to change without notice.
Tikki tripped on his own grenade
I finally saw Tikki, who was heading back to the beach house from ammo shopping after his adventures in “real life”. I had been starting to wonder if the FBI had taken his computer.
I almost didn't recognize him at first. He looked like he was dressed for a Steppin Fetchit lookalike contest, in rags and blackface.
“Wow, man, wtf happened to you?” I asked.
“Ordinance blew up prematurely. Took out my hard drive, too.” Heh, that's what you get for smoking while carrying explosives. He should write another editorial for Planet Quake so folks would send him more free napalm in the mail.
He started laughing hysterically when I asked if his hard drive had been backed up. I didn't ask, but I expect he may have an update soon, perhaps this millennium. As he's not eligible for a ticket this round, there's no reason for him not to.
Fragfest tries to escape Blue H4x0r's rocket
...and apparently succeeded (but the m4st3rz of dumb-azz are still replacing Fragfst text with typpos).
Blue mentioned the Ticket to Nowhere Friday, and didn't even double my traffic. It was actually down yesterday (but so was my counter for part of the day). Sheesh, anybody else posts “woohoo! (or boohoo?) Blue mentioned us and the hits are rolling in!” He mentioned Murray last month and Murray called him everything but a white boy (which inspired Blue to p1mp him again, saying something like “If I'd only known how easy it was to make Murray mad...”
Murray was strangely silent about Blue's p1mpage of his electric chair contest.
Dopey Smurf informs me he is instituting the I broke Dopey's server award, and the first recipient is undoubtedly Blue's News. Hey, I want one of those! So do me a favor, each and all 200 of you go over to either Smurf's or Q3A Central and hit the “reload” button 200 times apiece so I can get Dopey's award.
Beach House ate Tikki's Rocket
The longest string of trailers I ever saw behind a semi-tractor pulled up and honked as I was crossing the street. There sat Tikki behind the wheel.
“Whoa, dude, what's in all the trailers?” I asked him.
“Explosives, what else?” he said, as he lit up his strange smelling cigar. “Hop in, I'll give ya a ride.”
“Watcha gonna do with all that ordinance, man?” I asked as he wheeled out.
“Fireworks display at the Beach House on the fourth of July. Think I got enough?”
“Enough?? Are you crazy?”
“Yeah, you're right, I'd better get a few more loads. Where you headin'?” he asked as he flipped his ash (and a big orange ember) out the window.
“Uh, right here's good. See ya.”
That's one fourth of July display I'm not going to miss!
Yello joined the game
Yello has apparently been extricated from the ceiling at Yello Spires by promising his granny half of a “Ticket to Nowhere” if she would let him down. He posted his first update in a month yesterday. Granny Yello is presumably in Nowhere enjoying Yello's half of the ticket.
Flamethrower is still missing in action. My guess is he's in a pub or a beach somewhere in southern Nowhere. Probably with Yello's granny.
Desiato joined the game
Word from Desiato is Spew has a new RA show posted. His site's not exactly glued back together all the way yet, but give him a break – he's been dead for quite a while now.
More news of Desiato's death can be found in the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where a lot of Quake handles come from. Desiato spends time in the restaurant there.
Mad Scientist and Sued tries to escape ticket's super shotgun
Talk about begging for a Ticket to Nowhere! Dopey Smurf's House O' Bitchin' is only two months old and not even old enough to crawl or hold a baby bottle yet, and is dying from neglect. It's gone nearly half its short life without an update. Smurf has been putting all his efforts into Q3A Central and another gaming domain I'm not sure is open yet. He also seems to be suffering from shortage of the muse, as his Camping Guide is also long overdue.
Meanwhile, Old Man Murray, battle weary from the legal wars (w4r3s?) hasn't updated in several days. Murray is also in the running for the ticket.
As usual, Blue's News, Planet Quake, and sCary are all nearly tied for last place, updating several times a day each.
This round has a bonus prize. In addition to the fabulous Ticket to Nowhere, the winner also receives a box of invisible voracious mutant lab rats. Not knowing where to get voracious mutant invisible lab rats, I asked Dopey Smurf. Smurf has a double major in both physics and some kind of experimental drug thing, and works in a medical research facility. What is the best way to mutate lab rats to become both voracious and invisible?
Professor Smurf explains, “Ethidium bromide is ex-tremely caustic, and causes point mutations on contact. Radiation ain't bad, but it's so difficult to find a decent ray gun these days.
“My favourite is ethidium bromide water balloons dipped in Plutonium :)
“But really, to make lab rats that are not only invisible, but also voracious, the three treatments need to be combined. I have been working on exactly such a treatment. However, we have also been having a lot of trouble with making the rats voracious, the invisible part was easy.
“Finally, I discovered that if the rats underwent a so called ‘Mrkobrada Anterior Occipital Surgery’, the voracious-ness factor increases three hundred fold! It's a fairly simple procedure where a LASER gun is attached to the rat's head, and connected directly to the brain. In effect they shoot everything they see.”
Thanks to the Smurf for the info; the mutant invisible lab rats are growing in the Fragfest's labs now. At least I think they are, I can't see them; They're invisible. The lucky winner will not only receive the coveted Ticket to Nowhere, but the invisible mutant lab rats as well. The rats are fun for the entire family, especially Kenny and the baby. The ticket is automatic, the rats will be emailed.
Also a thanks to Smurf for letting the Fragfest use the electrical generation equipment from his rail gun or we wouldn't have enough power for the lasers.
Update: Murray's has been updated with something about Eric getting arrested; it has something to do with prostitution and involves John Romero. This means that Dopey Smurf's House O' Bitchin is the proud owner of a brand spanking new Ticket to Nowhere. He will receive his rats by email. Congratulations, Smurfey! Enjoy your vacation!
Golf Course tries to escape Dopey's BFD
I got a postcard from Nowhere last night. I thought it might be the long missing Flamethrower, who has been vacationing in Nowhere since the last contest. Nope, it was from Smurf, who only got his ticket a few days ago. Smurf says,
“Hehehe, who knew Nowhere is so nice?
“I just finished another round of golf yesterday, in the Middle of Nowhere. I also promised Spite I'd finish the blasted Camping guide yesterday, so I was ridden with guilt as I shot my triple bogeys. Nevertheless, with a steady supply of beer, it was still enjoyable, and now I am glad I sacrificed myself, not updating all those long weeks, it really is worth it.
“Maybe I'll take some nice pictures...
“In any case, thanx for the ticket... :)
“So I came by Q3A Central, saw there's a new poll up, I wrote this one. Give Andrew a nick name. I figured he needs a fearsome nickname, being a wimpy Aussie, something as bad as ‘Steve’.... So in any case, I wrote the poll as a joke, I didn't figure Spite would put it up, which leads me to conclude that Spite doesn't really know what ‘fellatio’ or ‘cunnilingus’ really mean. Someone should tell him?
“And just for the hell of it, that's what I voted for.... We'll call Andrew ‘FC’ for short... The possibilities are endless :)
“In any case, it looks like there won't be any golf in Nowhere tonight, it's raining. I'll go and get drunk and play bingo. Hmmmm.... Bingo....Old women....(*The Smurf starts to salivate uncontrollably*)... (*The room quickly fills up to ankle height in drool*)... (*Soon it's up to his waist*)... Holy salivary glands Batman! They're out of control!...(*The saliva level reaches the Smurf's neck. He quickly grabs the nearest scuba equipment, property of Nowhere Resorts*) Blub, blub... Fu.. Blub.... I just can't stop drooling! Damn that Bingo, and those sexy old women!...Hmmmmmm... Blub...Old women... Blub...Shit there I go again!..Blub...Blub...Somebody save that puppy!...Too late, it's drowning! Oh shit! That's sick....Blub blub...Must...rip...out...glands...(*SPLOOOOOOSH. The Smurf is left without his salivary glands*). Phew, that was close. I almost wiped out Nowhere off the face of this Earth.... My mouth is kinda dry. Oh look! There's the bar! Later”
King Edward Hospital
Experimental Therapeutics Division
Spite has been waiting for Smurf's “Camping Guide” for Q3A Central for a while; so long he's about ready to take down the camping poll (isn't a camping poll what holds up the tent?). So, true to my word, I'm stealing his camping poll before Smurf gets back from Nowhere with the camping guide. I've changed a couple of questions to keep Q3A Central readers from getting too bored with it.
Fragfest frags ticket
Did ya miss me? I drove to nowhere to put enough pieces of computer back together enough to get on the internet.
I haven't got the modem to work on the new PC, let alone see if that TNT is any faster than the one built in. I imagine my inbox is stuffed, but I can't get to it yet.
7/1 & 7/2 no update. 7/3/1999
H4x0rz frags H4x0rz
I warned you about the weekend hacker convention, DEF CON, where Cult of the Dead Cow were releasing their “Back Orifice 2000” crack tool.
was hacked by a group called the ADM Crew.
GL Setup tried to avoid download's shotgun
There is a new GL Setup program out here. They have asked that the new version not be mirrored, so that link will take you to their site. The older version is still on the GetQuake page.
GL Setup, a 33 meg download, makes sure you have the latest drivers so Q3A runs correctly. Before I ran GL Setup on my machine, the levels looked like the inside of Yello Spires when his granny had Yello trapped on the ceiling with that Jedi mind shit.
If you have run an earlier version and Q3t is horribly beautiful, you probably don't have to run it. At least as long as it doesn't look like granny's been there.
List can't escape Drive's rocket
Sgt. Hulka's hard drive's autopsy showed no traces of alcohol. What caused the crash was that it shouldn't have swiveled its head around to look at those two disks. Let that be a lesson to you men! Maybe some of you women, too.
The poor old drive didn't CD tree, and the drive and its occupants all perished.
Hulka's mailing lists were among the dead. So if you were on (or want to be on) one of the Sarge's lists, you need to drop by there and help his list respawn.
Funerals for the hard drive and mailing lists is Saturday. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Frag the Strogg Foundation (heh, or just send it to me).
Clan Undergrounds frags l33t
UND^ynohtnA from Clan Underground sent word of their list of l33t jumps. What's so l33t about them? UND^ynohtnA writes, “Be warned! These jumps are only for those extremely well versed in the arts of strafe/cir-cle/double/rocket/bfg jumping... (Clan Underground accepts no liability, etc etc.).” Which leaves me out. Any l33t d00dz out there wanna try these out?
He also wonders where Yello has been. Me too; I haven't heard from Yello in quite a while, and his page is 404ed. Guess I'll have to round up a troop of l33t rocket jumpers to go looking for him..............................
I've been getting mail from folks wondering where the hell Yello is. After getting a note from fellow Arcadian Morgan, I decided to drop by Yello Spires to see what was going on. Since that Quake II racing game (that uses the Quake 3 engine and probably won't be finished until Quake V is in the bargain bin) isn't yet available, I had to walk.
This isn't easy, as England is about six thousand miles from here. If you're not from the states, the distance from America to Britain is even longer, about 10,000 kilometers. And that's the shortcut; you have to swim across a five thousand mile saltwater pond. Beats the hell out of going through that cold assed Russia (or what we used to call Russia) though.
I set off early, and it was past noon when I finally got there.
Yello Spires was gone! The whole thing, even the dirt and plants. Curse Paramont for using the Quake engine for those Star Trek games; I think the Borg got him.
After Morgan's first note, he sent word that he had contact with Yello and that Yello was supposed to mail him and probably me with info about wtf was going on. That's the last I've heard.
If the Borg got his granny too, I pity them. You should see what she did to those poor Strogg!
Pulse frags ticket
As promised, Sgt. Hulka, who has never had a ticket to nowhere (poor guy!) gave away that Quake Con ticket, to Pulse from QuakeFiles, who, judging by the winning entry posted at Hulka's, needs a new computer more than a ticket to a lan party. A ticket to Quake Con beats the hell out of a ticket to nowhere any day!
If you're wondering why the Sarge gets so much p1mpage here and you don't, well, he mails in nooze. So if you want your page p1mped, send some email! I don't care if you're Blue or Joe Momma (link is to last year's interview with Joe). If it's nooze, I'll post it.
Old Folks frag Tea
Ah, yes, the good old Planet Crap Retirement Home. So many Brits were there the other day they decided to hold a tea party.
Grandpa Nacho and his grandson Neil were there. Nacho, who wrote to remind me “I like, updated and stuff. Neil and I are both pissed the site was updated like 2 days before the T-Buffer thing” and impressed all with his scholarly words of wisdom.
Andy, who was supposed to supply the tea, never showed up.
Yello joined the game
Maybe it is a communicator. Yello mailed me from “something really square where the women are really ugly” and says his granny dropped by the cubular domain he was stuck in demanding her water pipes back. Apparently none of the Borg survived, and Yello is on his way back.
“I think I let a few people down quite badly (I feel like dirt Jay) and ignored all of you........... SORRY..... I hope to make a return within the next month.
“I intend to reopen Arcadia........give it a respray and relocate over there............Yello will only be updated once a week but I'll be able to supply Quality over quantity.....
“I don’t know what happened over at Marlin but I really do owe those folk a lot........if not for them then Yello would never have erupted into our ‘Collective Consciousness’.........
“Congratulations To Guff and crash who seem to have gone on to bigger and better things...hurrah guys.....”
Everybody's in the running for the ticket. Yello has been accounted for, and will be back under the katylistic label, since Marlin melted.
Quake Central (The “Daiktana of Web Pages”) has yet to open its doors (although I gave you all a key to the side window earlier), making them the first site to be eligible for a ticket before opening.
Smurf's (AKA “Kenny's”) is on life support waiting for the voracious mutant lab rats (damned things ate the spel ckehher) that Rudolph keeps eating before they're fully grown.
Tikki's place washed away in the explosion on the bridge, but some of the beach has resurfaced, and I saw Tikki carrying sticks and dynamite that way.
But the site that should get the ticket is Planet Quake. They have a big, expensive, high-traffic site with a ton of people working on it, some of whom are being paid to do it – and yesterday morning there was only one news post, and one from Saturday. Considering so many of the smaller to medium sites are one man or one woman operations that update at least weekly without fail, PQ should get the ticket for being so lax over the weekend.
The only thing is, Flamethrower still has the ticket, and he's nowhere to be found. Or in nowhere to be not found. Even Tikki, who's known Flamey for a whole lot longer than I have, asked if I'd heard from him.
So, sorry folks; no more ticket 'til Flamethrower brings it back. Lowtax, you can start your daily multiple posts again, 'cause the ticket is missing and you can't have it yet.
Fragfest did a back flip into the lava
The date on yesterday's post is only half accurate. I wrote it yesterday, but I was stuck real close to nowhere unable to post it. So there actually was a post yesterday, but there isn't one today. Send some nooze!
God frags Crap Planet
Last weekend and a little before, all the good little gamers, publishers, designers, webmasters, and just about everybody except the trolls went to church. Specifically, the “Planet Crap Church of Holy BS”. Uncle Jeetsus and his disciples were there.
The topic had nothing to do with gaming. It was about the new Kansas law that mandated evolution teaching not be mandated. The fact that it was not gaming related was not the only thing different; never have I seen the place so civil. Not only did the trolls go back to sCary hell, but there was little name calling or animosity, and none until over 350 musings had been posted.
The last I saw, the count was 392 posts (Wednesday night). Thursday night, Planet Crap was down. I checked again at work, and it was still down. Either there were so many posts it broke the board, or God was having a little fun with the atheists and agnostics, who would have not gotten the joke, anyway. Since you can't get there right now (which is why there's no link, although by the time you read this it may be back up) here's a nutshell version. This is, of course, not entirely accurate.
“No he doesn't.”
“What about the Hindus?”
“God is a rock He big banged together.”
“Id is God.”
“God is a woman.”
“God doesn't exist.”
“God exists but you don't.”
“Forever is a REALLY long time.”
“If you divide an apple between no people you have an infinite number of apples?” (I had to have that one explained to me via email by someone who was thinking more clearly and has a lot funner job than me, and I appreciated the heads up)
“Did you hear the one about God and Ireland?”
“I'm agnostic and you're not going to change my mind!” “I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore (I think)”
“You prove it.”
“Are we there yet?”
“Math is too hard.”
“So is a rock.”
“God is a rock.”
Like I said, that's the Reader's Digest version. Either God or Evolution caused Planet Crap to go offline sometime Thursday night.
After being so outspoken about the matter for the last two years, it was bound to happen – my PC was hacked for real. Last night I ran my oldest daughter Leila off the computer, and it was acting strangely. When I went to restart it, windows gave a message “There is still 1 user connected to your computer. Are you sure you want to disconnect?”
I guess I should give credit to Microsoft for at least that.
When the machine restarted, there was no boot drive. An emergency floppy revealed that all the files and subdirectories in my root directory had been moved to a directory named ViruX, which I assume is the hacker's handle. Once I get this thing back on-line I'll get with Symantic to be sure it isn't a virus masquerading as a hacker.
Luckily I know my way around DOS. Unluckily DOS doesn't support long file names, so I was forced to reload windows instead of just moving the files back.
I've taken the GetQuake page off-line until I can ensure the downloads are clean. I will not email anyone any attachments. If you get an email from me with an attachment, DO NOT OPEN IT. Please send the attachment back so I can forward it to the proper people.
Sorry for the trouble, folks. I'll get the GetQuake page back up as soon as I can.
Script kiddies frag eggs
Thanks for the kind notes of sympathy I got from you folks yesterday. As Morgan pointed out, it could have been a lot worse.
I felt like someone whose house had been egged, just glad the vandals hadn't burned it down. By the time I posted yesterday morning, all the egg had been cleaned off (except the egg on my face).
Actually, I felt like the guy whose garage collapsed from shoddy workmanship after he cleaned the egg off his front porch, and the contractor's lawyers, Johnny Cochran, F. Lee Baily, and Perry Mason had written a clause in the contract that says “not responsible for damage caused by shoddy workmanship”. Maybe the clause isn't legal, but you still won't win a lawsuit.
After I cleaned up the mess (a couple of hours) and updated, I went to work trying to get the Quake machine on line. It took most of the day, and still isn't on line!
The modem that works just fine in the win95 machine I'm typing on right now just won't configure in win98. It finds a “33.6 faxmodem,” but when I try to tell it what driver to use (the one on the cd that came with the modem that win95 has no trouble with) win98 says isn't the right driver! I got it to where it would log on to my ISP, but neither Netscape nor IE would work, let alone Quake. Zoom's site doesn't have any new drivers for it.
My wife is working this weekend, and I was looking forward to some online Quake on the new machine.
So, if you script kiddies have to crack somebody's machine, leave me alone. That mean old rich guy down the street is a much better target!
And, if you think this is going to stop me from speaking out about cybervandalism, you don't know me very well. If I find out who you are and where you live, expect the FBI to take your parent's PC away. Even (maybe especially) if you live in Columbia or Australia; my government doesn't take kindly to crimes against its citizens.
MPs frags AWOLs
Planet Crap and Quake Central are still AWOL. The Military Police are out searching.
Flamethrower is reportedly out looking for Carl Sagan. No word as to when he will return.
Illinois Governor George “Oneterm” Ryan is rumored to have said that if Lowtax shows up in Illinois he'll raise him again.
Reports are that numerous novelists have been hacked. Not their computers, but their novels. The hacker is said to be Reader's Digest.
Major Futcup has been promoted to General.
And, reports are that AOL is the “short” version of aWol. America Offline had no comment, saying they were “busy”.
Ryan was indeed a one term governor, and went to prison for bribery after he was voted out of office.
Dec 5, 2014
I spent the weekend on a search-and-rescue mission in Nowhere (well, Marissa, Illinois, about as close to nowhere as you can get) looking for the long absent Flamethrower, but all I saw there were in-laws.
Those search and rescue missions can be treacherous! 8/30/1999
H4x0r can't escape Army's BFG
Teenaged hacker mindphasr (AKA Chad Davis), founder of the h4x0r club Global Hell was arrested Monday for hacking pentagon computers. He's allegedly the guy that defaced the US Army's page.
That ought to teach the little pest! One down, a zillion to go.
Here's a real audio report from ZD.
Also, I found out why I was targeted. Not only have I spoken out against the vandals, but have made fun of them. They didn't seem to mind my blaming typos on them, but the nooze item from July 12 pissed them off.
I didn't notice until today that the HTML was changed in that item for real. They cleverly added a line and the words “transfer interrupted” and deleted a large chunk of text.
The item was about a “h4x0r war” where two groups were calling each other names and one hacked the other's web page. I strongly suspect it was someone from on of these two groups, most likely the one that was hacked, as their name is gone from the item both on the server and my PC. Pretty sloppy, fellows.
You can ruin my PC but you can't hurt me. However, when I find you, I'll sic Janet Reno and her gun toting arsonists on you. Ph33r!
Now if I could only find some fun nooze...
Ticket to Nowhere Died
Looking through the archives, the last several people to win a ticket to nowhere liked Nowhere so much they never returned. Among those missing are Planet Wank (MIA), Flamethrower (MIA), BitchX (MIA), Tikki, whose Beach house was swept into the sea in a giant explosion, Spew, who returned briefly from Nowhere (also from a coffin) and is now MIA again, and Smurf, who also won a box of invisible voracious mutant lab rats that he hasn't received yet since Rudolf keeps eating them.
Smurf also returned briefly, long enough to take Q3A Central to nowhere with him. Q3A Central (AKA Quake Central) is the only page ever to win the ticket before it went public.
It's no wonder everybody wants one. Smurf wrote from Nowhere, “Hehehe, who knew Nowhere is so nice? I just finished another round of golf yesterday... with a steady supply of beer... Oh look! There's the bar! Later”
So in order to preserve the safety of the members of the Quake community, the Ticket to Nowhere must die before Quake itself, along with everybody else, winds up in Nowhere basking in the sun fragging No One.
This raises a few questions. First, what do I do with the tickets? (Don't tempt me!)
Second, when the ticket is dead, the Fragfest will need a new contest. But what?
Third, who's on third?
Fourth, how do we lure the MIAs back from Nowhere?
Since you guys are used to asking me questions instead of the other way around, this is a contest – the “Contest contest”. It has a real prize, the rare (most existing copies are pirated) Turing tester Artificial Insanity. You can't buy one; you can only get a legal copy from the Fragfest.
All you have to do to win is answer the above four questions. Best answers (IMO) win the prize. The contest is open for an undetermined amount of time; the fat lady sings when I say it's over. Answers will be judged on humor and originality. Anyone with 48 chromosomes who can send me an email can enter (meaning no Stroggs allowed). Enter as often as you like. No purchase necessary. Taxes (if any) are the responsibility of the winner. Void where (duh) prohibited.
Artificial Insanity will run on any computer capable of running DOS. More details about Artificial Insanity are available at the above link.
There may be a later version of Artificial Insanity that will incorporate computer speech and speech recognition (not guaranteed). If there is, the winner will receive a free upgrade to the later version when it is out.
May the best human win!
Dopey Smurf joined the game
Back from his summer vacation in nowhere, Smurf, confusing me with John Bye says “I figured, hey, the beer is getting stale, and I haven't washed my underwear in three months, why not come back? (Plus that industrious Steve bastard revoked all tickets).” He's posted his “Contest” contest entry, and invited my recent uninvited guest into his Dopey Smurfdom. “Please, someone hack my computer! What, am I not good enough for little pieces of hacker dropping???”
CPU frags PC
I'd tell you Dopey Smurf updated again, two days in a row after missing three full months, but I think that converter board came and I'll be way too busy.
Nacho frags pr0n
Neil wrote a couple of weeks ago fearing Nacho Extreme would join the swelling ranks of MIAs. I wasn't worried; the Japanese cartoon chicks is just this month's smiley. Nacho does that when the muse escapes him.
Nacho wrote this morning, “I updated... It's offensive and ugly, but it'll do for a while.”
And yes, it's a “kinda” update. Apparently he's been swamped by mail asking for Kilcreek pics (Smurf probably has writer's cramp now), so he's posted Kilcreek (big bare fake b00bs and all), Romero, Hefner, and a photographer, none of whom is wearing a stitch of clothes. And one figure has something in his mouth.
Put that Vaseline down, boy, this is a bit more “artsy” than the playboy thing.
And, when the muse harvest comes in (with a higher price for a smaller quantity as it does every year), Nacho's dry spell should end. Meanwhile, if you live in Arizona and have a stash of some good muse, Nacho would like to hear from you!
Rats swallowed Smurf's rocket
The Dopey Smurfer has been updating fairly regularly. Earlier this week he lambasted me for my slowness in getting his invisible mutant voracious lab rats to him, and I have to apologize. Rudolf the parasite seems to like lab rats even more than he likes shambler. Plus, the invisibility has been a slight problem, but the new equipment is (crossed fingers...) working, for now. It shouldn't be too long now, Dopey, as long as that damned parasite doesn't get loose again; they're about half grown.
The rats will come with a stern warning not to let them loose on your web page, as they have been eating h4x0r droppings and have acquired a taste for internetics. Some say similar creatures were responsible for Slipgate Central's demise, although Joost maintains that it was assimilated by Planet Borg.
I may give him a copy of Artificial Insanity just to make up for making him wait so long, especially since Neil (the only other entry so far) is beating him in the Contest contest.
You can't escape Hulka's BFG
Sgt. Hulka will have his shoutcaster “pumping out some massive metal tunes”, he'll be abusing privates in a Quake server, plus have contests, prizes, and all the laughs you've come to expect from the Sarge.
It all starts at 9:00 central (7:00 on the west coast, 10 on the east, about 3:00 tomorrow morning in Europe) tonight.
Drop by the Bootcamp, or risk court martial.
Typo virus frags Fragfest
Nope, those typos sprinkled through the Fragfest all week weren't hack attacks, they were caused by a virus.
Not a computer virus, a biological one. I've been sicker than an overdosed crackwhore all week and my brain isn't exactly all there. I cleaned up a bunch of them yesterday, but my lungs (and by extension, the brain they supply oxygen to) is still fragged.
Maybe one of the h4x0rz will drop by and fix a few typos for a change?
Rats frag Smurf
Believe it or not, the invisible mutant lab rats are on their way to Smurf's Place. I sure hope he keeps them away from his page!
Dopey Smurf trips on his own grenade
Against all advice, warnings, and cautions, that Dopey Smurf (who probably likes to drive around with McDonald's coffee between his legs) has not only put the box of rats on his page, he's positioned the release catch there. Whatever you do, please don't go to Dopey Smurf's House-O-Bitchin' and release the rats!!
The “rat attack” was actually real. “Dopey Smurf”, who was studying medicine and physics, had a job in a laboratory that used lab rats, and they often bit him and always scared the hell out of him.
He had told me that he was graduating and going to pre-med and thought it best to lose the site, so I came up with the invisible lab rats. He loved the idea.
In March 1998, the month before The Springfield Fragfest went online. “Slipgate Central” went offline. It was a search engine for Quake sites and it had everybody listed. On March 9th, its front page was replaced with a yellowish background with a Strogg holding a sign that read “Haste does not bring success”. The title bar on the browser read “Down for maintenance”. It never returned.
I had a lot of graphics editors and software tools that had come with hardware I’d bought, and it was easy to make an animated GIF of invisible rats eating his page. I posted an HTML file with an IMG tag that sized the GIF 100% of screen size and mailed him the url to access it.
The GIF was a screen shot of Dopey’s page in the first frame, which sat there for a few seconds before the rats ate it.
The rats left behind Joost’s “Haste does not bring success” page. Unfortunately, the GIFs it was constructed of are missing or I'd have a screen shot of the half-eaten page.
Oct 20, 2014
H4x0rz frags ZD
Following in Dopey Smurf's footsteps, Ziff Davis invited hackers this morning to crack in and break their stuff. They seem to want hacked more than Smurf; ZD is offering $1,000.00 cash to the l33t h4x0r who can pull it off. Lots better than the 56k “Modem from Hell” I donated for his contest. Go to the link listed (ZD's, not Smurfs... Ok, go to Smurf's, too, just be sure not to release the rats) for more details.
Planet Crap sank like a rock
At last look, Planet Crap was still offline, now going on two weeks. I'm not optimistic.
About a year ago (actually a few months less if I remember right) I ran across the gamer's dream page – a simple layout with gaming topics listed; no ads or other clutter. Each topic led to a page unlike all the other me-too message boards, with all responses listed straight down, no “million clicks” to get to each response as most boards have.
The topics were topics rabid gamers (like you and me) would want to discuss. The discussions were interesting, informative, often hilarious. What's more (and likely because of of the aforementioned discussions), the folks that posted were by and large names the rabid gamer (if no one else) would recognize.
That was part of the magic. You would see Joost, Flamey, crash, Hulka, Yello... folks like George Broussard (hope I spelled that right, George), Katherine Kang... Somehow the word about Planet Crap never got out, only being p1mped by guys like Desiato, me, Flamey, etc.
Earlier this year they redesigned it, adding a few nice flourishes like the ability to add links to one's post. The number of topics grew, the number of posts per topic grew.
Then it caught sCary's eye. That was the beginning of the end.
Suddenly everyone knew about PC. The number of posts grew humongous.
And sCary's trolls started trolling in. Since PC never edited, censored, kicked, or banned anybody, the trolls were a very large nuisance. People started threatening to leave. One or two did.
Then KAK had her chess contest (did anybody ever win?), and Planet Quake indelicately used the British word “shagable”. The contest was discussed in PC, and of course the trolls were even more indelicate than Planet Quake, using the more military term for “shagable”. And Ms. Kang was there. Those of us who posted regularly apologized profusely to her and then left.
Quite a few stayed gone for a while. I did. PC had been too addictive to stay away from for too long, though. When I came back, one of the two worst trolls was gone, and the other was nearly human, posting as intelligently and civilly as his small brain and genitals would allow.
PC was never the same again. It started breaking regularly, especially under the weight of 300+ and 400+ post topics. Then Andy quit, and there have been perhaps three updates in the last month and a half.
And it has been down for well over a week, its last topic about the forgettable AOL's CIO getting canned. Who cares?!
I hope they come back. I hope they have some decent topics; there could have been several since they were down, what with Naughty Naughton, the internet turning 30, Hotmail and other MS woes, slashdot selling out...
I miss 'em. Otoh, if you can run PHP from that shiny new host that has kept your site closed for two months, you should start a replacement for Planet Crap NOW.
We need it. I mean, WarZone's board? SCary? Get real!
Dopers can't escape eBay's shotgun
eBay yanked the sale of a huge stash of Dutch reefer yesterday from their auction site, even though hemp is perfectly legal in Amsterdam.
Bids were over ten million dollars before bidding was canceled. A picture was shown of a very large pile of white packages and three people. The people were not reportedly for sale.
The two DEA agents who set up the deal had their faces blurred in the picture, possibly in an attempt to make you think the pile had somehow magically gotten you stoned without actually smoking it. Heads from various government agencies were heard to remark, “Wow, man, far out!”
I got the new machine pretty much done over the weekend, with a new 13 gig drive, and put the Zoom 33.6 modem in it (the 56k is still up for grabs in the hacker contest).
Oddly, after formatting the new drive, loading windows, and just copying files from the other drive, Jazz Jackrabbit worked without reinstalling. Strange, since its initial installation had cluttered the hell out of the registry.
So Patty got to play over the net first, since I have to reinstall Quake.
Patty has always considered herself a top notch jackrabbit shooter, bragging a couple of weeks ago that she had beaten Cliffy B (unlikely, since he's one of the guys that worked on that game). After she played yesterday (first net play in weeks), she said, “Boy, did I suck”.
So since average is about as good as I get in Quake, when I get in the arena you're gonna kick my ass! Watch for “Kenny”...
UT frags Fragfest?
ynohtnA writes with a few interesting questions and observations: “Springfield Fragfest is dominating the level?” Nah, Blue's, PQ, and ten thousand other Quake sites are kicking my ass. I have Joe Moma beat, though.
“You gotta admit that since Q3Test appeared the Quaking community has, er, atrophied. Yello, PlanetCrap, FlameThrower, Spew, Bong, Tikki, even BitchX have gone.”
Well, Yello has promised to come back from his adventures with the Borg (it's what he gets for overcooking that p1mpium III) although I'm starting to wonder. Planet Crap? Gee, I miss 'em. Will Hulka's forums be the new PC?
Flamey disappeared for quite a while this time last year, maybe he'll be back. Bong hinted that Q3A may bring him back. Tikki's busy with fresh-air sports, but don't be surprised to see him turn up on Nacho's page. As for Bitch-X, when hasn't “she” been gone?
“Will you start covering UT now that it is starting to get the respect it deserves?” Hmm, good question. What do you folks think? Should I? It is a Quake engine game. Let me know what you folks want from the Fragfest!
mcgrew trips on his own grenade
It seems the Fragfest has been a great source of misinformation the last couple of days. I've been redfacedly answering lots of mail. Oops...
First, in Monday's “Tripod pages frag pennies”, the amount I said Tripod pays is incorrect. A reader checked, and informs me the price is one buck per thousand.
Second and more important, Uh, *grimace* (duh) Unreal has its own engine.
Excuse me while I log on to a Quake server and type while everybody gibs me...
Winners can't escape Insanity's BFJ
Neil and Smurf were the only two entries in the “contest” contest, so I decided to award the prize to both of them.
About his copy of Artificial Insanity Smurf wrote, “I honestly believe that you have reached the epitome of computer gaming!
“Okay, Okay, all joking aside, I thought it was hilarious. I opened the e-mail yesterday, just before going out. At first, I pressed the F1 key, and then it said something like ‘Hello.’ Then I typed to it, and half the stuff actually made sense! Hilarious shit! In any case, I now see that you were a programming force to be reckoned with in your young days :)...”
Neil has been busy as a beaver (busy as a h4x0r'z momma's beaver, which is real busy) and I don't think he's tried his copy yet, as he writes, “Call me a lamer if you must but I havent figured out base 64 encoding...”
At any rate, congratulations to the two winners of the contest contest! And speaking of a h4x0r'z momma, nobody has entered the “Hack Dopey” contest yet. I may add something to open it to non-h4x0rz.
Plagiarist can't escape Copyright's BFG
As I was surfing through the Bootcamp last night, I noticed a new feature – cheat codes for about every game except Quake (get 'em here 'til Sarge posts some, I told him he could lift 'em from here if he wants).
I also saw a banner for a new dogpile named mamma.com, and did my usual search for the Springfield Fragfest. There were about fifty links, some not pointing here.
One of the links was to “Omega Man's Quake 2 page”. Thinking somebody had thrown me a link, I decided to check it out to see if it was good enough for a link back.
There were links to all the sites that don't need one (Blue's, etc) but not to here. Puzzling. I searched the page for “springfield”, and imagine my surprise when I saw “Springfield Fragfest” right in the middle of this guy's collection of console codes. It read, “Connects you to a network or internet game. Example: CONNECT 188.8.131.52:27910 connects you to the Springfield Fragfest (or used to)”
In fact, the whole damned thing was word for word out of the Fragfest's Console page!
Uh, in case you haven't been paying attention, there is a copyright notice at the bottom of each page here. That means that you can't steal my stuff without my permission.
If you're going to “borrow” stuff, the very least you can do is ask and give credit where credit is due!
It's possible he lost the url when gameplex died; I wrote him and set him straight.
If you want to borrow something, fine, but at least ask, fer chrissakes! ...and I don't care if you don't get any traffic, give me a link anyway!
Web site died
OMG, I'm turning into Todd Porter and Ford!
The Plagiarist (prolly the same dumbass that hacked my PC, and I think the hacker's back) lost his page.
I wrote the guy last week, and told him if he was going to steal my stuff (and someone else's; the section following what he stole from me I've seen somewhere before) the least he could do was ASK first. I have yet to turn down anyone who asks me to use Fragfest content. Those who asked or were offered were all civil enough to give me credit and a link.
I never got a reply. So I wrote his host, talk city (the virtual cardboard refugee camp) and told them to remove the stolen material, and that since they placed ad banners over that stolen material I was going to charge them for its prior use. Their reply would have been funny if it didn't piss me off so much, they were obviously as intelligent as the dumbass they hosted.
Here is the exchange, his response and my responses back:
Hi there Steve
Thank you for your message. I have looked at both of the pages you reference here. While I see similarities, they are not exact.
The entire console command section is identical, word for word, down to even leaving in the name and i.p. address of the server I used to run! Look again.
And, from what I can see, this is not copyrightable information.
You can not copyright information, only its expression. I suggest you read the U.S. Copyright act of 1978, or better yet, have your lawyer explain to you why it is copyrightable and why you are not allowed to post it without my permission.
Do you actually own a copyright to any of this material?
Did you not see the notice at the bottom of the page?
Finally, it appears you do not charge, or demand any sort of identification for using the material.
I do not allow its use without permission. Again, have your attorney explain the law to you.
I will forward your mesage [sic] on to our legal advisor.[sic]
I urge you to do so. Please have him or her contact me.
I sent the reply Monday, and the page was 404ed Tuesday afternoon. The lesson, kiddies, is if you want something, ask first, fer crissakes! Some people's parents must not o' taught 'em nuttin!
I ran across Ynohtna the other day. He was digging a hole in the desert. “Whatcha doin'?” I asked him.
“Looking for Yello.” Damn, I haven't seen him for a long time.
The dirt stirred under his shovel. “Hey, I think I found him!” Nope, it was Neil holding a backhoe (a small one).
“Damned thing caved in on me,” he said. What was Nacho doing? “Looking for Desiato and crash.” crash dead? “I dunno, you never can tell with that guy. He changes URLs more often than some people change pants.”
“Seen Tikki?” I asked. “No, but just keep digging,” he replied. Tikki hasn't had an update since late Spring. “He's officially dead?” Ynotha queried. Nacho replied, “No, he killed the doctor before the doctor could autopsy him, so there's no death certificate. Besides, I think he wants to go out with a bang. He's looking for more fireworks.”
The dirt stirred some more, and a large number of hungry looking, dirt colored rats (transparent where the dirt didn't cover) scurried out and ran away. A dopey looking Smurf jumped out.
“Hey, you found Yello!”
“No, I just miss him. The bastard lied when he said he was coming back!"
You don't need a shovel or a backhoe, even a small one, to dig up the Quake dead. Just tell them about the Halloween night IRC party after you blow them away with your BFG. And be sure to show up, or we'll sic Smurf's rats on you!
Nacho frags BFBackhoe
I was strolling through the swamp looking for a light snack (shambler is in season and very tasty if you cook it right) and fell into a huge excavation. I landed on top of a giant backhoe. “WTF???”
“Hey!” It was Nacho.
“WTF??? I redundantly repeated again.
“I'm still looking for Flamey.”
“I don't think so, I think I'm digging up a volcano”. The ground trembled. There was the odor of brimstone and burning muse. Of course, it could have been Nacho's pipe. A noise came from under the backhoe.
“Bloody... ucking... damned... hell...”
“SHIT!” Nacho shouted. “I dug all the way to hell looking for him! Let's get the frag outta here!”
I never did get that shambler sandwich, nor did I find Flamethrower. Like I said a couple of months ago, though, I'll be real surprised if he doesn't pop up somewhere soon.
Grave Robber frags some dead guy
Will we see Desiato Halloween night? I don't know; he wrote earlier in the week, and I asked him to join us when I wrote back. He's been working 12 hour shifts and hasn't been on line much. Nacho tells me Sgt. Hulka will probably be there, since he isn't going to Texas to kill Blue after all. Flamey? I haven't heard from him in months. Yello? I don't know; I left him an offline ICQ message weeks ago with no response. I hope so but doubt it. Will the PMS ladies be back again this year? I won't know until Sunday night.
Who will be there? Me, Nacho, Smurf, and Ynohtna for sure. Ynohtna signed up to be a sponsor, but doesn't yet have a page to sponsor with, but will probably be an admin.
Who won't be there? Well, here is a list I'd be surprised as hell to see: Thresh, John Carmak, Blue, Conan, Robin Williams (he quit playing Quake after going through a 12 step program), and David Grossman are sure no-shows.
If Conan shows up, Nacho promises to pass out.
Other than that, your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for sure, I'm tired of looking at that 56k modem sitting on the desk in front of me. If Smurf isn't hacked by Sunday night, I'm giving it away at the party.
It's a 56k HSP micromodem that fits a PCI slot, and comes with a CD with software and a little installation pamphlet. Not a good gaming modem, but it should be fine for Grandma's email, you can give it to her for Christmas.
What you'll have to do for it is as up for grabs as the modem itself. Smurf has suggested it go to the person who pulls the most outrageous prank at the party, which would fit the hacker thing somewhat.
If Blue shows up at the party, the modem's his if he wants it. After all, he executed a “Smurf attack” (denial of service by overloading the server) on Smurf last spring when Smurf wrote the Rail Gun piece. If Randy Pitchford shows up and Blue doesn't, well, he's the runner up so far, since he instigated a Smurf attack on Blue's plan tracker last week when slashdot used Blue's tracker as a link to the Pitchford ZD rant. Randy has apologized for his Smurf hack on Blue in a later plan.
It won't be hard to hack in to the party; the IRC server and channel will be posted on the Quake Dead Info Page, here, and likely at the other sponsors' sites.
Miss it, and you're dead. Uh, show up and you're dead, too.
Some Dead Guy was popped by Shovel
Okay, so “Shovel” is a stupid Quake name. Never mind that, bring yours, and a few beers (Nacho can bring some of his killer muse), to the dead party TONIGHT!!! 8:00 PM Central, I'll post the channel this evening.
It's likely we'll give that modem away and you'll not have to hack anybody or any body.
If you don't show up we'll talk about yo' momma!
Some Dead Guy tries to escape from Shovel's BFG
This is fraggin' hard to figure. Last year I got 1/10th the traffic I do now. The other sponsor last year, Quaker Refuge, did better but still only got 1/5th what I do now. Plus, Nacho and Smurf (Smurf never showed up) sponsored this year, and they are getting as many visitors (I think) as I got this time last year.
On top of that, Sgt. Hulka, who did join the party posted news, and his counts are much more respectable than mine.
Still, nobody I don't already know showed up. Last year's was a rousing success.
If you missed it, you missed it. There was news about a prominent gaming personality that I can't post, and news about a project that I also can't post. Also some words about some absent people's mothers that I can post.
Last year's log was uncut, but this year's log (which I'll post later today or possibly tomorrow) will have to be cut due to some things that were said that can't be divulged. Sorry; you know I'd tell you if I could.
Nevertheless, I had a good time. Will there be a third annual Dig Up the Dead? At this point, I don't know.
You can expect the log to be posted over at Nacho's, too, Tuesday at the earliest.
Washington Middle School can't escape Springfield Frag-fest's BFG
Does your mom know you're playing Quake?
I noticed from the new stats that a few people had surfed in from famvid, and remarked that there must be a couple of Quake players in Springfield after all. Patty told me, “yeah, some kids at school play Quake and read your page all the time. They don't believe you're my dad.” Huh? “They don't believe you're old enough.”
Surprise! I'm older than you think. I'm so old, I was a beta tester for dirt.
They never did get all the bugs out.
World can't escape Y2K's BFG
Run for your lives!! Find cover!! The end is near!! Proof? Planet Quake's new mail crew, Spyke and Hellchick, have produced a letters column and didn't flame or put anybody down!
At least nobody coherent...
They even helped a few folks out with serious answers!
About the world's end, hellchick said, “GameSpy3D is the best program available. Use GameSpy3D for all your server-browsing needs. In fact, GameSpy3D cured my psoriasis, saved my marriage, AND cleaned my bathroom! And I'm not saying that just because they pay me. Honest.”
Well, okay, maybe she wasn't talking about the end of the world...
Santa frags Quakers
I get letters asking “where can I get the Kenny skin? Is there a Santa skin? Is there a nude female skin?”
Well, now you have your answers, as well as the infamous Quake Christmas carols. No, Rudolph doesn't have antlers – that's a newbie's view of Rudolph pictured.
I hope Dad or Mom or Wife or Husband or some other Santa drops that box full o' Q3A under your tree. If they don't – frag 'em!
Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas! What, I wasn't? Durn. Next year I'm saying it in January, assuming there's any electricity.
Nacho frags BFG
Nacho's Japanese school girls sent some nooze: Nacho says he should have a real update in a couple of days. “Expect something different.”
While I'm mentioning Nacho, I want to publicly thank Nacho's host and my friend Sgt. Hulka for being the first to post news of the Christmas carols.
Thanks also to Pappy from Planet Quake for posting news today.
Also to Splatter World (also in Denmark), and to PFactor who posted news in sitepowerup.com's message boards.
Also, thanks to anyone else whose URL didn't show up in my stats. Drop me a line, please!
Nov 10, 2014
Murray tries to hide from slashdot's BFG
Surfing by slashdot yesterday I was shocked, SHOCKED, to see Old Man Murray emblazoned across slashdot's headlines.
Shocked and jealous. Getting slashdotted means having millions of nerds visit your site. Getting slashdotted has brought servers down!
Shocked because slashdot is “News for Nerds”, and the high school dropout, crack smoking, glue sniffing Chet and Eric (their words, not mine) are the anti-nerds. Chet and his brother Eric would be the first in Kleibold's gun sights if they were going to school at Columbine instead of dropping out.
They're also more full of shit than Yello There ever was. Funnier bullshit than you'll find here. The bastards!
This time they regale us with tales of being surprised by a free copy of Q3A from id, accidentally installing it while trying to make pirate copies, and discovering their copyrighted “Marvin head” in Q3A and suing id.
The copyrighted Marvin head you see here sits on Flamethrower's server, good luck finding him to sue!
Slashdotted! Damn, since that love child Loonie started working at Blue's I can't even get news of the carols posted there, let alone /., even though the Quakers in Denmark love them. Meaning, of course, Blue hates the Danes.
BTW, here's a Blue's News secret: the “gun” in the Blue's header illustration is really a Strogg hand fliping Nacho the bird.
Naughty Naughton tries to escape prisoner's BFD
In other cheerful yuletide nooze, Patrick Naughton, arrested for infoseeking underage sex, was convicted of child pr0nography and faces up to ten years of gay prison sex.
The jury was hung (oops, poor choice of words) on the main charge of crossing state lines to have sex with a little girl.
Patrick Naughton was credited with the programming language Java, and after the hung jury he made a plea deal, working with the FBI for a year and not serving any prison time.
Nuts can't escape fruitcake's BFG
Don't buy a fruitcake; here's my favorite recipe.
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 gallon whiskey
Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large, fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Try another cup. Turn off mixer. Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity Next, sift 2 cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window. Check the whiskey again. Go to bed. Who the hell likes fruitcake anyway?
Pirates can't hide from id's BFG
“Avast, Maytey, thar's a ship on the 'orizon.”
“Shiver me timbers! Id, Cap'n?”
“Arrgh, naw, bloody Unreal Tournament. No fun; they'll be agreeable just ta keep us from hurting their passengers.”
“Cap'n! Thar's another! It's the HMS id!”
“Aye, now we'll have some blood, boys! Cap'n Carmak'll fight us tooth and nail! There's a man. E'll give us a bloody bit of fun! But 'e knows we'll get 'is code -- and 'is women! Fire a shot across 'is bow, mate.”
“wtf?? Bloody 'ell, wot's 'e doin?”
“No! No! Cap'n, No! E's killed 'is own passengers! Shit! ....And 'es set 'is boat on fire, they've thrown the booty overboard!”
“Bloody 'ell! Bloody fraggin' 'ell! Damn, it! AArrgh, turn 'er around, after the Tournament.”
Fragfest tries to escape Y2K's BFG
So far there don't seem to be any Y2K related problems (except the flu). One of these computers has been acting up all week, but they're not Y2K related.
Happy new year, all! I hope I don't get called in to work tonight, as I plan to be WAY too drunk to be much help.
This never happened. Understand, soldier?
“What's your name, soldier?”
“Robert Waring, Sir.”
“Sir?? Soldier, I work for a living! You will address me as ‘Sargent’, or ‘Sgt. Hulka’!”
“Yes, si... Sargent.”
“You look really happy with that chainsaw on the back of DOOM II stategy and SNES Doom guides. Who's your CO? Never mind... Waring, this never happened. Understand?”
“Yes si.... yes, Sergent.”
“The real interview is at PcRe-view.net. Now, get over there, Private. Doubletime!”
Bob Waring, pictured, is the fellow behind Sgt. Hulka's Boot camp and author of some game strategy guides.
Nov 10, 2014
Dopey Smurf joined the game
“Ow! Watch that shovel!”
“Hey, whatcha doin?”
“I can't see a thing”
“Ok, it's up. Pheeeeewww!”
“Waddya expect, it's been buried for months! Give me that fire hose and those jumper cables. Be careful with that vial of recombinant DNA.”
“Hey, how do you tell the sex of a chromosome?"
“Simple, pull down its genes. Now, put those headphones on that corpse.”
“Who is it?”
“I dunno, some blue guy. He is dead.”
“Blue... Yellow... damn, there sure are a lot of dead colored people around here lately.”
Yes, gaming's only surviving necromancer, the Spring-field Fragfest (AKA Dr. Frankenstein's), has not only dug up the rotting corpse of Dopey Smurf's House O' Bitchin' but managed to make it breathe. Not only breathe, but curse... and link to a dirty picture. And post the scholarly essay Gene targeting by homologous recombination: a phenotypically-based approach to determining gene function in vivo (obviously a little punch-drunk from his medical studies).
He also posts a recent photo of the hacker that d-Smurfed those big commercial sites.
Some corpses never die.
NSA blasts privacy
Researcher Jeffrey Richelson says he has proof that Echelon, the NSA's project for intercepting all kinds of private communication, exists. Next time you call Grandma, say hi to the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA, too, although it doesn't look like they'll hear you (unless you use certain trigger words, like “AK47” or “Allah”).
I heard it on the internet
You'll only succeed if you never try
'cause the lies are all true and the truth is a lie
Heroes don't matter and cowards are brave
China is free because freedom's a slave
The Pope isn't Catholic and evil is good
Iron's not metal and trees aren't of wood
Big isn't large and little's not small
The floor is a ceiling, the ceiling's a wall
Cats live in water and fish never swim
You always should buy all your stocks on a whim
Winter is warm and the Summer is cold
The aged are young but their babies are old
Fire ain't hot and water ain't wet
I heard it on the internet
FBI frags Clinton
Sources report President William Jefferson Clinton was arrested yesterday and charged with pandering, prostitution, soliciting a prostitute, possession of kiddie pr0n, and breaking into Hustler Magazine and Activision Software computers.
Coincidentally, all thirty FBI agents who were sent to the White House to arrest him committed suicide on the way there.
Video game heroine Laura Croft was found dead in her Pasadena home Thursday, authorities told the Fragfest. Medical examiners were not sure of the cause of death, as the body was badly decomposed and appeared to be partly eaten.
Police call the death “suspect”.
Blues frags AOL
In a surprise move yesterday, the popular PC Game site Blue's News was acquired by AOL. Sources estimate the street price to be several million dollars. It was subsequently revealed that it was actually a police sting, and AOL was arrested for possession of a prescription sleeping aid.
In a move that surprised no one yesterday, MTV, also known as “empty v”, played twenty four hours of bland, insipid programming no one with an IQ over 30 would watch, punctuated by three actual videos of foul mouthed rappers who empty v mistakenly referred to as “rock”.
Nobody is reportedly investigating.
Apple frags Penguin
Apple executive Steve Jobs yesterday told a group of reporters that Apple's next computer would forgo its own proprietary operating system and use Linux instead. “We're tired of being known as a bunch of pansy ass pussies”, Jobs said. “It's time we show the world we can be whores, too.”
In fact, years later Apple did replace its operating system with a home-grown BSD distro... and here that was supposed to be a stupid April fool’s joke!
Bugs frag MS
Sources report Microsoft produced a piece of software last year that contained three thousand programming errors. Microsoft engineers scrambled to rectify the situation. “We're sorry this happened,” a Microsoft spokesferrett said. “Our customers are used to a much higher bug level than this, and I'm afraid we've let them down terribly.”
The software was recalled until more bugs could be installed.
Bush frags oil
The Texas statehouse admitted yesterday that oil man and Texas governor “Shrub” Bush used his influence with the oil industry and his father's influence with the Arab oil producing states to produce less oil and jack up the price of gasoline to cause runaway inflation in the US and assure him a job as the next president.
When asked why the Bush camp admitted to this, they replied that it has been discovered that his rival to the White House (at www.whitehouse.com), Al Gore, doesn't actually exist, and is in reality a wooden statue carved by Andy Warhol in 1957.
“It don't matter, bub. We ain't got no competetion. Y'all try ta prove it. [expletitive] with us and they'll never find your body.”
Canadian Cops frags Dopey Smurf
Dopey Smurf was arrested Wednesday in his Canadian laboratory for last month's Distributed Denial of Service attacks against high profile web sites, after admitting to Canadian Royal Mounted Police he had committed the crime.
Smurf says he accomplished shutting the sites down by repeatedly hitting the reload button on his web browser.
Fragfest lauded for recycling efforts
The National Association of Garbage Haulers and Landfill Owners And Dealers gave the Springfield Fragfest its “Recycler of the Year” award for its efforts in recycling. “The Fragfest has done a wonderful job of keeping smelly old jokes out of our nation's landfills”, a spokesfly told reporters at a news conference at Three Mile Island yesterday. “In fact, its webmaster comes to at least one of our landfills daily looking for jokes and news,” he said. “They use stuff over there nobody else would touch, jokes so old and rotten even middle aged old farts haven't heard them.”
In addition to recycling old jokes, The Fragfest will be working toward electing a new joke to the White House this November.
Blues News, Stomped, Wired, Ziff Davis, and Tele-Fragged all tied for the organization's “Recycled News” award.
April means the Fragfest starts its third year. I started a retrospective, The Worst of The Fragfest. The first half is finished, covering April 98 to 99 – stuff so old and bad it isn't even in the archives any more.
It's also a good time to break some bad news to you – you're old. I mean OLD. You're ancient. You're a child of the twentieth century still alive and creaking along in the third millennium.
Meanwhile, the children of the new century can't even read, the snot-nosed little losers!
I was going to post a whole pile of community nooze that's been stuffing my mailbox for a couple of weeks, I may later today. Think I'll take a little nap firzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Blue's Quake Rag can't escape Dane's super shotgun
This was posted at Blue's yesterday.
Competitions [Blue-7:06 AM EDT - Post a Comment]
True Gamers has a write-up of LAN Arena 4 that took place this weekend in France (thanks dEOS).
Revision 2 of Preliminary Seeds for Razer / CPL Tournament are online, as they continue to refine the seeds for the upcoming $100,000 tournament.
The Springfield International Fragfest Worst of the Fragfest Part 1 article is online as they head into their third year of operation.
How 2 Win at Coret Facility is a UT CTF strategy guide.
Looks like Blue's News has started the “See who can give mcgrew the most traffic” competition. The standings?
Long term, probably Hulka's Bootcamp, including his Drill Instructors Nacho and Flamethrower; Hulka almost al-ways posts stuff I send, and I usually get a visitor or two from the Lynxsafe page. Nacho has a prominent, permanent link, and Flamey did have last year, plus he had that nice posting last month.
Joe Manio's is right up there, as he gets quite a bit of traffic and has a very positive writeup about The Fragfest in his links section.
For one shot deals, it's hard to beat Blue's, what with all the traffic he gets, but it IS done. Example? Last Christmas Blu... I mean, Looney declined to post news of the Quake Christmas carols, but Planet Quake didn't decline. The Danes saw the news at Planet Quake, and between the three Danish sites that posted it, they blew Blue's and Planet Quake away. Kicked their asses, in fact. Royally. They weren't just one time, either, the traffic kept coming for a month!
Wanna play? send your traffic over here. Uh, I'm talking to you, slashdot!
Who fragged MPAA?
HackerNews.com reportedly reports (according to un-reliable sources) that the MPAA's web site has been experiencing “problems”. The MPAA suspects some sort of “smurf”, or denial of service attack.
Of course, it could be a bad router or Microsoftware or something.
If you need (but why?) to get to the MPAA site and it's down, try fuckingmorons.com.
Napster tries to escape Metallica's grenade
Irony frags drums
Metallica should have used a smaller gun
When I was a kid, old farts often called rock stars “goddamned commie bastards”, and they were often right.
Not any more.
Napster, first in trouble with the RIAA (Really Ignorant Aging Assholes), then expelled from colleges world wide for hogging bandwidth, is now being shot at by Metallica's lawyers.
Ironically, U of SC, Yale, and Indiana U, who are reported to have “tried to deal” with the Napster thing, have been sent “cease and desist” letters by the same lawyers.
WTF??? Drummer Lars Ulrich ironically said it was “sickening to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather than the art that it is.”
Napster users who are shocked by Metallica's crass commercialism say it is “sickening to know that Metallica's art is being sold as a commodity rather than freely distributed like the art that it is.”
“Free Speech for the Dumb?” Even musicians do Orwellian doublespeak now.
Napster's acting CEO said “We regret that the band's management saw fit to issue a press release, and to file a lawsuit, without even attempting to contact Napster. Many bands who have approached us learned about Napster and how to leverage what we offer [and] understand the value of what we do.”
Napster's lawyer Laurence Pulgram said “This action raises the same copyright issues as the lawsuit filed against Napster by the recording industry in federal court in San Francisco. The complaint reads like it was written to inflame the press and intimidate universities rather than to present legal issues to the court. It is also hard to understand why plaintiffs, a group located in the San Francisco Bay Area, saw it necessary to file a separate action in Los Angeles.”
I doubt I'll add to my already too large Metallica CD collection. They apparently already have too much of my money, as they're spending it on goddamned lawyers.
If I deliberately run you down with an SUV, are you going to sue its manufacturer?
I hope none of you believe that Bill Gates deliberately and single-handedly caused yesterday's stock market crash to make the DOJ look like villains while making him the messiah of commerce.
Actually, what I believe happened is that I closed on a house yesterday. Just one too many transactions for one day.
On top of that, TheFragfest.com is on line and working. One too many dotcoms, even if that one never was designed for commerce.
The final skewing of the statistics that caused the whole thing was I bought Unreal Tournament, and they expected me to buy Quake 3 Arena.
I also believe that President Clinton did not have sex with that woman!
Rocket can't escape shotgun's BFG
I just haven't felt like updating, sorry. I haven't even turned the computer on. I could use the “real life” excuse, but I've had a real life all along. Hey, if Flamethrower's page can stay the same for a while, so can mine.
I have notes from all sorts of folks to post, they'll be up ...uh, some time. Also, there are a few folks with questions, I'll get back to you guys. At least if I have time; I'm still unpacking, And Springfield sucks worse than Windows.
I inherited a mess in the alley behind my new old house from what looks like two owners ago, and the damned city writes me a citation before I'm even all the way moved in.
Welcome to the neighborhood, buddy. Have a nice little housewarming gift, sucker.
So for those of you who missed their daily Fragfest fix, my apologies.
Oh, and Brandon Reinhardt is moving to DNF. Oh, you heard that already?
5/24/2000 No updates 5/21-5/23/2000
Fragfest frags sponsor
Desiato mentioned at spew2 last week that he would never run a banner, and I salute that decision. As he says, there needs to be banner-free sites. In fact, I'm raising a glass of Dickens' Hard Cider to Desiato in salute to his integrity and to our new sponsor.
The fragfest welcomes Dickens' Hard Cider, and you know that no matter how much they threaten to cut off the power because I bought too big a house I would never take money from someone with a crappy product. So why do I wholeheartedly endorse Dickens'?
It's great stuff! When I'm cuddling with my wife I like nothing better than a good hard Dickens' Cider. She loves my Dickens' Cider!
Is your wife cranky? Nothing cheers a woman up like a Dickens' Cider. Are you in a foul mood? Having your Dickens' Cider is as relaxing as can be! Ladies know their man wants his Dickens' Cider.
You won't find your Dickens' Cider at a restaurant. You won't find a Dickens' Cider in the grocery. So how can you get your Dickens' Cider? Drop by the Dickens' Cider page to find out!
Congress frags phones
No update yesterday in honor of those who volunteered then gave their lives for their country, and especially those who were drafted and had their lives forcefully taken by and for their country. The draft is evil and wrong. When will we stop it?
Yes, I served, and no, I wasn't drafted.
Speaking of stupid damned wars, a century after the US Congress passed a three cent per month telephone tax to finance the Spanish American war, they finally got around to repealing it last week. The tax, that is; I don't think the war was ever repealed.
The tax savings are huge. A year's worth from the average phone bill will almost buy you a pack of chewing gum. No doubt they'll be talking about how they slashed taxes in their re-election campaigns this year.
The lady with the Dicken's Cider was not amused. “You told us you had no traffic!”
She pointed to the glass. “This was supposed to be a tax dodge. We thought we were throwing our money away. Instead, it seems every man in the world now wants his Dickens' Cider.” She fiddled with the Dickens' Cider a little.
“Hey,” I said, “my traffic is way down, I've only had a 200 visitor day once this month!” She poured a large glass. That was a BIG Dickens' Cider.
“When you said ‘no traffic’ I thought you meant NO traffic.”
“How much traffic can you stand?”
“Ten visitors a day, tops.”
I told her about Dopey Smurf, who I'm sure is dying to get his Dickens' Cider ads, and Old Man Murray, who can't get enough Dickens' Cider. So the Fragfest is now again sponsorless. Now where am I going to come up with that $12.95 every month? That's over fifty cents a day!
Thank God they repealed that three cent phone tax!
Man Bites Dog
In the “too weird to believe” category of non-game nooze, the State of Illinois website reports that a politician actually kept a campaign promise.
Legal staff say there are no laws against politicians actually not lying, although “we have never heard of such a thing before.” One political scientist, pondering the possibility that political not-lying may catch on, went quietly insane and was hauled off to the local sanitarium.
Further investigation by The Fragfest revealed that the politician did not actually in fact “keep” the promise; things just worked out that way, despite his efforts.
Artificial Intelligence died
...and apparently, the real thing has, too.
CNN reports that “Scientists have developed an electronic circuit that mimics the wiring of the human brain.” “Great!” you say, “those Strogg would be funner if they weren't so stupid.”
There are problems, though. As to gaming, this is hardware only.
The biggest problem is that these folks are clueless. CNN says “Research suggests the brain is able to do digital and analog computing at the same time.” The fact is, though, there is NO digital component to the brain, and the brain has no “circuits” that an electrical engineer would recognize.
The brain is an electro-chemical “device” that is more chemical than electrical, and likely has countless and uncountable quantum components; thought probably takes place all the way down to the subatomic level.
No one knows what makes a brain think, or even has the slightest idea. Few if any neuroscientists even realize how much of what they consider “thought” doesn't even take place in the brain, but in the rest of the central nervous system.
Dean Buonomano, a neurobiology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, says “even simple circuits are useful in demonstrating how biological networks operate,” as if he has a clue about how electrical circuits work. It isn't his field! What's more, neuroscience isn't an engineer's field. No matter how much a technician thinks his circuit is like a brain – it's not.
Time to reintroduce Artificial Insanity?
No he didn't, he just retired and moved in over at planet crap.
Cold Beer fragged mcgrew
I feel sorry for anyone not old enough to do their music listening in a bar.
Joe S. Chool has to buy his CDs for eighteen dollars each, and spend over a hundred dollars for concert tickets, where he idles in his car for an hour parking, is herded into a large building where the band looks like mice on the stage, where he is searched like a criminal on the way in, crowded shoulder to shoulder with hot, smelly people, where he has to pay the price of a case of soda to drink one can, and then idle away another half tank of gas coming home (after perhaps paying the price of an Armani suit for a t-shirt).
When you're old enough you can walk down to the corner bar, order up a beer, kick back and relax or get up and dance. Might cost you ten bucks to get you and your date in the door.
We saw the Jungle Dogs Saturday night. Bought two of their CDs for five bucks each. No record industry to jack up the price. Here's an MP3 sample of what we heard.
Needless to say, the only drawback is the hangover. Sorry about not posting yesterday.
Ticket to nowhere died
I have ONE left... and I'M using it.
Twenty five years ago today, the evil that is Microsoft reared it's ugly head and headed its ugly rear, and the world has never been the same.
Crap: You're under arrest
“Planet Crap thought police, bub. Your name and URL?"
“Okay, Mr. Watt, what's your URL?”
“What am I being arrested for?”
“Gratituotituous tituous p1mping. Offering yourself up to us. You bastard! We want your girl friend, fag!”
“Huh? What do you want with HER??”
“And your mother. And yer sister.”
“Oy. 'OY! 'oy there, moyte, leave 'im alone!”
“Wot's all this then? 'Ooh are YOU?”
“You oin't pullin' that on ME, copper, I didn't even post me URL. Shove off, son, before this 'ere copper arsks yer ta bend over.
“If you 'ave to know, the nayme's Flamethrower. Oy sweah, first you blokes fry 'appy Cow and now you're working on The Joker.
“Oy theah, we didn't fry 'appy cow, she peed on an electric fence. Get back here, Joker!”
“SHOVE OFF, son, don't listen to this copper. And don't expect me to come to your defense next time.”
“We only have ONE rule 'here at the crap...”
“Yer got a RULE? God DAMN, after Seth Kreig tries to get crash fired for informing him that he's a fagin' commie and gettin' some air head kicked off the internet for saying he likes to butt rape little boys and you have RULES?”
“Yeah. Yer can pimp, just not yer own site.”
“Oy'm DIFFERENT. Oy'm above the law. Oy can do whatever I want.
“Now SHOVE OFF before I run you in.”
Bird brain melted
“If you're so smart how come you ain't rich?”
I thought you had to be intelligent to get into MIT, but apparently you only need good grades in high school and a decent SAT. And maybe a rich daddy.
According to an AP story in USA Today, Irene Peppenberg, a visiting Associate Professor of Animal Behavior there, says “Parrots are very social creatures. In the wild, they live in flocks.” So when people buy them as pets, they get bored and lonely and start chewing off their feathers, screaming, and generally acting like nut cases (much like I might do if stuck in a goddamned cage).
So a research assistant, Benjamin Resner, came out with the brilliant idea of teaching them to use a computer so they wouldn't be bored!
They have made a joystick with a hole in the handle for the beak, and the report says they are working on “Interpet Explorer”.
So, if you are green and have wings, a peanut sized brain, and are in a cage – are you up for a game of Unreal Tournament?
H4x0r frags fragfest... again
Actually, he or she didn't get into my server (yet), but not for lack of trying. Nice try with the fake login/password dialog box, though.
When I said the other day I had a message for hackers, I was NOT referring to crackers. I said it was easy; that means you DON'T have to break into anything. Please remove your Trojan and then stay out.
They really made a mess of the old P120, thanks a lot Mr. Anonymous Coward. I'm sure you did it out of incompetence, not maliciousness, or you would have left an easier to read message. Leave my registries alone, damn it! Especially if you can't muck about in them without hosing them.
Whatever is in my computer you want, email me and if it's legal and practical I'll send you a copy (NOT an ISO of UT, sheesh!). Want an MP3? No problem, write and ask.
Meanwhile, I'd appreciate it if you let me know how you got your Trojan in.
Dopey Smurf still wants to get hacked, go play with him.
I'm going insane
Weird Freddie[x?!] wants to know if I post all my mail. Um, no. I only mentioned this one as 3 people asked this week. What kind of other mail do I get?
Here are a few of the kind of note that I don’t post:
“Thank you again for entering the Offspring One Million Dollar Giveaway Sweepstakes!”
Screw that, mail me when I've won!
“Dear Steve, No need to stress out over mall parking, lines, and crowds this holiday season. Relax and shop hassle-free at CDNOW's new Holiday Gift Center.”
Jees, I ran your damned banner...
“UNIVERSITY DIPLOMAS Obtain a prosperous future, money earning power, and the admiration of all.”
“A SPECIAL OFFER FOR YOU:TO COST EFFECTIVELY INCREASE YOUR PROFITS! How To Reach Thousands of Prospects Every Month!”
“Diplomas from prestigious non-accredited universities based on your present knowledge and life experience. No required tests, classes, books, or interviews.”
Non accredited? “Joe's College?”
“How would you like to take all of your credit cards, reduce or eliminate the interest, pay 70% less per month, and pay them off 70% sooner?”
Who do I have to kill?
What is a “mad scientist”? A researcher with a new Pentium IV computer. Probably even a madder gamer, who would blame software manufacturers before Intel.
Intel has admitted that early shipments of its new P4 chips to PC makers included the wrong piece of software code. The bad chips have been recalled.
Microsoft frags Linux
Craig Mundie, senior vice president of the company named after its founder's sex organ, laid into the open source movement again.
He called it a threat to security (LOL!) and a threat to intellectual property, and blamed the recession on it (not mentioning energy prices and our oil man president).
Mundie stopped short of calling for the outright legal prohibition of Linux, although it is a good guess that Redmond would like to see all red hats outlawed and their wearers jailed.
Redneck Rampage joined the game
YEE HAW! Thet good ol' boy... oops, caynt call 'im “boy” 'cus he black. Sorry, pardner, dint mean to ruffle yer feathers. Kin I buy ya a beer?
Enneyhoo, Ol' Charlie Pride... all us cuntree folk love ol' Charlie. Yep, got all his wreckards, some is so scritched ya caint hear 'em no more. Any way, I heered ol' Charlie jest made a new wreckard so I went down to the wreckerd store. I bought me one of them there new wreckards, yew know, the little silver ones, and the durned thang wouldn't play. Dang thang dint have no Grooves on it. So I took it back to the store, an' tol' the guy his wreckard was DEEfectDAVE. The guy said “Well, heck, Billy Bob, din't yew know? They changed these here things 'bout fifteen or twenty years ago. Ya gotta buy a new wreckard player for 'em ta work.”
So I went down to Sears and got me a new wreckard player. Dang, these wreckard players is a lot cheaper than they used ta be. Eeny way, I took it home and the dang thang STILL wouldn't play. I was scritchin' my head real good over that one, I'll tell ya. No damned wonder them wreckard players is so cheap, they don't work too good.
My nephew Homer knows awl about them thar new electric thangs, so I calls him up and told him what was going on.
“I heered about that,” Homer said. “Yer wreckard player ain't broke, and yer wreckerd ain't 'zackly broke neither, it's copy protected.”
“It's what,” I asked?
Homer 'spained how they was these thangs called “seedy burners”, and this thang called “napster”, and how the wreckard companies was 'fraid nobody would buy their wreckards no more 'cuz you could get the music off'n the internet fer free and make yer own wreckard with it in a hour or two, so they buggered up Charlie's wreckard so it wouldn't work in a 'puter.
“Well, It won't work in my brand spankin' new wreckard player, neither.”
Homer sez I got too good a wreckard player; the cheap ones work fine, but the expensive ones ain't as good, at least as far as Charlie's wreckard. Charlie's wreckard thanks the 'spensive ones is 'puters, so it jest shuts up and won't sang a note.
“Do I have to take that wreckard player back ta Sears and get a cheap one with little speakers thet sound like sheeit?”
“Naw,” he says, “I'll make ya a seedy, I got Charlie's new wreckard off'n eye are see already.”
Cookie Monster died
I'm PISSED. I just went to do a cleaning out of my cookies file on the old machine (the one with the modem), and was shocked to find a cookie from thefragfest.com!
WTF?? I didn't put that damned cookie there!
I have two ads, neither of which has produced as much as a damned dime, at the bottom of the page. Mmm, make that did have.
Some cookies are completely benign; Sgt. Hulka has one that lets his page greet you by name when you enter his site. Planet Crap, among others, has one that holds preferences. Some sites have cookies that hold passwords.
What totally bothers me is nobody asked me if it was okay to serve cookies from my site, and nobody told me they were there, and I have no clue what they are doing. Perhaps they are being used to tell the difference between a repeat visitor and a unique click; but at any rate, they should have told me. I take my readers' privacy seriously and do NOT want to be a help in profiling surfers.
So both ads are gone; the only remaining ad is a public service ad, which I know serves no cookies because I put just a graphic and a link (and the organization being advertised doesn't even know they are receiving my charity).
Only the “traffic jam” ad has any scripting. My counter service uses a clear gif (web bug), but “thefragfest” isn't part of what they do.
If the cookies remain, I'll have to find/make a new counter.
I must apologize to my loyal readers. Please delete this cookie from your computer!
DSL Joined the game
The coincidence never stops!
I have been trying to get DSL for... well, over a year now. No go; the SBC/Ameritech monopoly keeps getting in the damned way.
This has been particularly annoying, since Hanson, a business D$L provider, is two blocks away, and Cityscape is four blocks away. Cityscape claimed that they couldn't provide service because they were in a lawsuit with their upstream provider who had declared chapter something. Hanson wants a zillion dollars.
So I have been bitching about it. Here, on the news-groups, message boards, elected officials; to anybody who will listen and quite a few who won't.
So this politician, Dingle, and his partner Barry are “acquired” by Ameritech and try to pass a bill solidifying the monopoly. The Dingle-Barry bill gets opposition from guess who – the politicians who have been purchased by SBC's smaller rivals, who have ganged together to buy a little influence of their own.
So now there are TV commercials for and against both sides; if you listen to both sets of commercials, you won't get broadband, your phone will stop working and the communists will take over. And think of the children!
So now that both sides are trying to pass their laws, either of which will probably mean a monopoly for somebody and gouging-high prices for everybody, guess what? My wife got a phone call from Cityscape yesterday saying I can get DSL now!
Um, no I can't. I mean, gee, thanks, guys. I'm kinda broke right now. GW and his oil buddies have me in the fraggin' poorhouse!
Master of Metallica
End of Napster's days,
I'm the source of its destruction
Veins that pump with beer,
sucking music hear
Leading on its deaths construction
Taste beer you will see
more is all you need
Napster killing you
obey your Master
CD burns faster
obey your Master
Master of Puppets is pulling your leg
Twisting your arm and smashing your keg
Blinded by me, you can't hear a thing
Just type my name and you'll hear me sing
Enter my name and you'll hear me scream
Labels you will pay,
never let you play
Napster's death becoming clearer
everyone can see
snorting cocaine on a mirror
more money for me
how I'm robbing you
Label is Master
CDs burn faster
obey my Master
Napster's a Puppet I'm pulling its strings
twisting your mind the radio sings
nothing but me, you can't hear a thing
Just call my name, 'cause I'll hear you scream
Download my name and you'll hear me scream
Napster, Napster, Where's that song that I've been after?
Napster, Napster, promised only lies
Laughter, Laughter, All I hear is Lars' laughter
Laughter, Laughter, laughing at my tries
“Nothing's worth all that,”
Metallica just spat
all their rhymes without a reason
Never ending craze,
Napster's numbered days
now its life is out of season
obey your Master
CD burns faster
obey your Master
Napster's a Puppet I'm pulling its strings
twisting your mind and smashing CDs
Blinded by me, you can't hear a thing
Bearshare's the name, now you'll hear me scream
Type in my name and you'll hear me scream
McGrew joined the game
I dropped by Old Man Murray's last night. It had been a while since I went by there, but they haven't been exactly updating daily lately. Anyway, I get about a third of the way down the page and I see this bit about “Harley McGrew's Anarchy Online”.
The Fragfest? Nope, no link to here. There was, however, a link to Lum the Mad (like Lum doesn't already get traffic figures to make me green with envy).
Before I vainly hit Lum's I read the OMM bit. Eric was ranting about how massively multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (I bet if I would have abbreviated like everybody else it would have saved somebody some bandwidth cash) get crappier with every incarnation. He then went on to talk about this McGrew game and how it was so bad that even the simulation of the simulation wouldn't simulate.
Yes, I once owned a Harley Davidson motorcycle; in fact, it was my first of two bikes; the Honda is still in the garage mostly intact, although it has been twenty years since it was started. (Wanna buy it? I'll take a grand, it's an antique now, a one owner thirty year old motorcycle!)
The Harley wasn't a “real” Harley. It had the Harley Davidson name on the gas tank and the back of the seat, but it was actually a two stroke 125cc Ducatti that Harley was importing from Italy at the time (they may still, I don't know).
I searched the Lums page; no mention I could find.
So I did a Google search on “Harley McGrew's Anarchy Online”. No results. “Do you mean ‘Harley McGrew Anarchy Online?’ ” it asked stupidly.
“Harley McGrew Anarchy Online” yielded two hits, one in PDF and neither about Anarchy Online or with any mention of any McGrew.
So I have no clue WTF OMM was ranting about.
However, I was never known as “Harley McGrew”. As far as I know I'm not related to Harley McGrew. So whatever Eric was madly spouting about, it's not MY fault!!
Speaking of McGrews, when I put up my first web page I got an email from a fellow out west. “Hi, I'm Steve McGrew, too!” it read. Seems like there is a professional comic in Vegas or somewhere who stole my name. Damned identity thieves, this guy is about ten years younger than me. Oh well, not his fault, blame his parents. Besides, who could blame someone for wanting to give their kid such a cool name?
Anyway, being a comedian he of course had a web page. And being a redneck he intelligently put it on AOL where it was guaranteed to never be seen by anybody; at least, nobody he hadn't emailed. The URL is way too long for him to tell his audiences for them to remember.
It was a funny page; I bookmarked it, but the bookmark went away during some electronic catastrophe some time later. I couldn't find it again. Neither, it seems, could other folks, who would occasionally write saying something like “Great Quake page but what ever happened to your ‘World of White Trash’ page?”
I'd write back explaining that there are at least a half dozen people in North America on the internet named Steve McGrew and thanks for complimenting the Fragfest but the White Trash page wasn't mine.
Anyway, the other night while trying to find out who my great great grandfather was I ran across comedian Steve McGrew's web page.
That isn't my fault either.
I wonder if his nickname is “Harley?”
Doper was cut in half by Marijuana's shotgun
Wired (still trying hard) reports a new computer virus – the “Marijuana virus.”
The virus (worm? trojan?) puts a pot leaf in your system tray and sends you to marijuana.com which oddly enough, makes this page and wired now like “Marijuana” since it, too, will send you there (if you click the link).
Understandably, people are PISSED. But according to Wired, the folks at Marijuana.com didn't write Marijuana. And Marijuana isn't making them laid back or mellow, either, as the people who have been affected by Marijuana are setting flame to Marijuana's message boards.
Some of them have been launching smurfs. Is a denial of service attack against a hemp site a “dopey smurf?”
The viral worm started as a trojan that pretends to be Ganja Farmer, where you defend your reefer crop against DEA agents in helicopters. The trojan was named “Weed Farmer” and only contains the virus itself, which, when run, infects everybody in your address book. That of course assumes you are stoned enough to run Outlook Express and also stoned enough to click that system32.exe file that came from your granny with the subject line “check this out!”
After your computer is infected, clicking the leaf in your tray launches what Wired calls a “mini-diatribe on why marijuana should be legalized in North America,” and a dialog box comes up twice a day telling you it's time to get high.
It isn't likely Ashcroft's cronies wrote this, as they would have made it more destructive, or at least emailed your reefer sales customer list to the FBI. Unlike the “Stoned” virus that circulated back in the stone age, this one is only annoying, not destructive.
It should make Mr. Ashcroft smile, though, as it has certainly made the people at marijuana.com a bit un-comfortable.
Speaking of weed, CNN may not be full of gamers but it must be full of dopers, or at least a bunch of people who rode the short bus to school because they were “high on life”.
CNN says “People in developing nations could soon be using modified Linux game consoles equipped with satellite links to help them learn about vital health issues.”
Some people make way too much damned money. The idiots at CNN are a few.
Where in the HELL is someone in the third world, who makes maybe a thousand dollars a year, going to get the cash to buy a game console? Yeah, right, Kombotoni can't feed his family but he's going to buy Unreal Tournament and a console to run it on! Never mind that the console costs a third of his yearly income and that copy of UT costs a month's pay.
Not only that, he's going to rent a high speed satellite link to do it. Look out modem users, here comes the third world to frag your ass!
Meanwhile the landfills are filling up with 486 ma-chines, all of which are capable of internet access. You can pick them up, modem, monitor, everything included, for fifty bucks or less.
The “digital divide” is another Liberal hoax, folks. Yes, whites and Asians use PCs more than blacks and Hispanics. Want to know something? Those blacks and Hispanics don't have a computer for the same reason my dad doesn't have one – they don't want one. Even when only counting upper income folks, a rich white person buys three PCs for every PC his rich black friend buys.
And maybe not in Uganda, but here in the land of the free the poor can go to the library to do their scholarly computer research. Unless, of course, they are researching AIDS or breast cancer, in which case what they are looking for will be censored.
Of course, we in the US aren't the only morons when it comes to economics. Just look at Britain's The Economist, who argues that not only are the world's poor too poor, that even if there were no poor the world's “inequality” would be cause for alarm.
WTF kind of communist crapola is this, huh? Maybe the Brits (or their fourth estate) would rather live like a 12th century king than a 21st century pauper, but not me – the 12th century king had no medicine, no refrigeration, no air conditioning, no motorcycles, no video games, no TV, no radio. The American poor live better than King Arthur. If I can live better than a king of old I won't begrudge Britain's Queen her fortune, nor America's Gates his.
The article cluelessly states “But notice the strange ‘missing middle’: relatively few people live in countries with average PPP incomes that fall between $5,000 and $11,500. If incomes were measured using actual exchange rates, the range from poorest to richest would be much larger.”
This is backwards, folks. If incomes were measured using “actual exchange rates” there would be less disparity. However, those exchange rates themselves are bogus. The only difference in price between a Pepsi bottled in America and a Pepsi bottled in Uganda is the taxes charged by the Ugandans.
TheFragfest forgot to breathe
TheFragfest.com has been hijacked.
Patty started a new rants page (I only helped a little, honest, she's starting to get better) and when I checked it out I see... a link to the Fragfest. Hah, probably trying to get me to link back (well, okay).
So I click the link – and it takes me to a page with a bare-chested woman being kissed and groped by another. Toward the bottom of a page is another woman licking something... egads, Patty, where did you link????
I check her code for typos... theFagFest.com? Nope, the url is right, only the page is wrong. Damn!
My apologies to all of you who may of been shocked... oh yeah, I forgot who I was talking to. Never mind.
your rights was squished
BMG should have used a smaller gun
and their customers are pissed off.
BMG has stupidly announced that they “will work with security technology provider SunnComm to create copy-protected CDs”.
Stupidly, because if they had quietly introduced it they wouldn't have all this commotion.
Stupidly, because you can't listen to digital audio. There is no such thing as digital audio. All audio is analog, and the digital data on a CD have to be converted to analog to be heard. And any analog sound can be recorded or sampled. Then converted to MP3.
Stupidly, because less than a week after these CDs hit the stores a crack for it will be available. It won't matter that the crack will be illegal under the DMCA; the laws don't keep people from smoking crack, why would they keep people from using a crack?
Stupidly, because honest paying customers will buy the CD, see that they can't rip it to MP3, return the CD to the store, download the MP3s and burn them on a homemade CD in anger.
Stupidly, because it's the kids (yay kids!) doing most of the yelling – and the kids are their bread and butter for the next fifty years. They are begging for a boycott, and many are already calling for one.
Stupidly, because this just may get that obscene, rights-busting monstrosity called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act into the mainstream, where Joe Analog Six Pack TV will take notice and realize that their congresscritter has been bribed by the industry, and may vote the vermin out of office. After that happens, so much for that “campaign contribution”.
Stupidly, because when Napster lived, CD sales soared. Since its death CD sales have leveled off. Jees, the inability of some people to get a clue amazes me. You've heard the phrase “If you're so damned smart why ain't you rich?” I'd say these people are so damned rich, why ain't they smart?
If I ran BMG, all BMG CDs would have videos of at least half of the songs, all of the songs would be posted on the BMG web site in MP3 format, and the MP3s would already be on the CD.
What do you get when you cross a record company executive with an MP3? A lawsuit!
Boy, the quality of the fragfest just keeps going down every century. Damn.
Thursday's post had a bad link; I spelled yello.asp Yello.asp. Damned picky computers.
I posted it hurriedly, which is no excuse but is the reason. As I was checking it today, I noticed that Yello had a link to the fragfest on that page (which is likely why I saved it).
My host at the time was Gameplex. Gameplex's main guy, “fireball”, got assimilated by Planet Borg, and Gameplex disappeared.
We futuristic beings in the 21st century seem to have wisely “fecked things up” in our futuristic, orwellian way so that fragfest.gameplex.net now points to a squatter's nest; er, “domain reseller” of mostly pornography.
So depending on their randomizing program's mood, you may wind up at any of two dozen different porn sites if you click the link to the Fragfest from Yello's page. I'm sure someone is going to be amused by this...
Hippie Gamer: Like wow, man, this Max Payne is some good shit. Like, wow look at the colors, man...
Once again... uh, what was I going to say?
Like uh, man, uh, oh yeah, ZD Down Under says that “PC games linked to learning problems”.
From the grammatically “correct” headline I'd say they're no stranger to Pac Man either!
They say, gee, I can't figure this out...
Um, er, uh, I think they're saying we're a bunch of dumbasses?
They quote some Japanese researcher as saying “There is a problem we will have with a new generation of children - - who play computer games - - that we have never seen before.”
I leave their idiotic double hyphens in the quote, as well as the incredibly bad English they have translated this Japanese sentence into.
“The implications are very serious for an increasingly violent society and these students will be doing more and more bad things if they are playing games and not doing other things like reading aloud or learning arithmetic.”
Let's see now, kids who were five when Space Invaders came out were... Oh gee, what's 2001 minus 1978 minus 10? Where's my calculator, that's just too hard to figure on my fingers. MOM!!!
Well, DUH again!
Of course, the intelligensia at CNN take it a step farther and say that kids who play computer games get holes in their brains and schitzophrenia, and that's why gamers all take guns to school and shoot their classmates. Gee, the math on that is so hard, let's see, a hundred million school aged gamers and six of them shot somebody? Total? While six teenagers have died from heat stroke while practicing football?
Gee, I wish I hadn't played all that Quake so I would be smart enough to figure out what percent that was.
Percent? Did I say percent? Rats, now they won't let me on the short bus and I'll have to walk.
Being a journalist causes brain damage. Or the other way around...
The Guardian says “...the level of brain activity was measured in hundreds of teenagers playing a Nintendo game and compared to the brain scans of other students doing a simple, repetitive arithmetical exercise. To the surprise of brain-mapping expert Professor Ryuta Kawashima and his team at Tohoku University in Japan, it was found that the computer game only stimulated activity in the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement.”
In other words, you use a different part of the brain to play Quake than you do to compute calculus equations.
The more honest than American journals The Guardian also added this little tidbit – “Kawashima, in need of funding for his research...”
Oh shoot, don't ask me, I'm just a stupid gamer.
News media can't escape Dopey Smurf's BFG
In an escalating war of web site attacks, a denial of service was successfully launched against every single news organization in the US this morning.
The DDOS was accomplished by having two airplanes fly into the World Trade Center in New York City. Within minutes of hearing it on the radio, millions of people were simultaneously logging on to their computers at work to get “better information”.
When the sites didn't immediately come up, they “dopey smurfed” by repeatedly hitting their refresh and reload buttons.
“Amazing,” one security expert said. “Who would have thought that the world's news organizations would be brought to their knees by someone who doesn't even know how to use a computer?”
Service was restored in a half hour or so. The FBI is investigating.
URL from hell disconnected
Max Payne died
Three years ago, Flamethrower posted his last Real Audio show on Planet Quake. In that last show he mentioned the Fragfest, mostly because of my involvement with Nacho's “Slipgate's been down for six months” IRC party.
“This is the fucking url from bloody hell. I defy anyone to try to type that into your browser,” I probably misquote Flamethrower as saying, since I didn't actually get out the MP3 and listen to it today and this is from memory...
Evil Avatar did type the “url from hell” into his browser, and successfully. He emailed me telling me he found the site through Flamey's show, liked it, and was giving me a plug. That was the first day the Fragfest ever got more than a hundred visitors. I was ecstatic about the voluminous traffic, although later got depressed when traffic dropped to twice that. Such is life.
Anyway, the Springfield Fragfest has been at www2.-famvid.com/mcgrew/quake/index.html since its birth 3½ years ago.
Nacho's host Fireball, at gameplex.org, wanted to host the Fragfest. Nacho kept at me, and I finally relented. This was after the Fragfest's first Christmas, right after the first of its insanely popular Quake Christmas Carols were posted and I was getting lots of traffic.
Gameplex closed; I had to move everything back to the “url from hell,” where a forwarding page had been put up.
Neil (of “Yello There” fame) had opened up his katal-ystic.com and Arcadia sites, and like everybody else at the time wanted to host the Fragfest. And post a weekly column. Neil is a friend and a real nice guy (except for his awful habit of getting stoned on “herbal tobacco” then stealing grannies from poor unsuspecting webmasters who he lures into his lair) so I said “yes” to both requests.
Neil had bandwidth problems; in that light, hosting the Fragfest wasn't the best move in the world. This time I had left everything except the front page mirrored at the old site, so it was a matter of minutes to delete all the patches, pages, and files and redirect the links to the pages at the famvid site.
Alas, katylistic was the first dot-bomb in a snowballing cascade of web venture failures, spurred more by Neil's failing health than his failing wallet. Soon, it was 100% back to the old, long URL and the Bush DotCom recession had begun.
About that time I registered theFragfest.com and bought a house.
So through all the moves, the Fragfest never completely moved out of its old space at famvid. Until now, theFragfest.com has held a container which holds the real page, at the old URL from hell. The new domain never got much traffic; the old URL is OLD, and well established, and comes up in the first page or two when you type “quake” into about any search engine.
But WOOHOO! I got DSL hooked up and running. I no longer need famvid's $12.95/month dialup service. I'm going to miss all that web space they give me, though. So will you.
One of the changes will be, at least temporarily, the “Get Quake” page of game demos and patches will disappear. No point in uploading that Max Payne demo...
The archives will be down for a while, too. After I let my famvid account lapse in another month or two, I'll have a total of eight megabytes to play with, three at Ameritech and five at register4less. That leaves out any big files, and it leaves out the nearly four years of monthly archived pages.
I'm still getting settled; I have yet to tell anyone about my new email address, for one thing. I haven't figured out how to get Netscape to change the mail to there (I don't have the name of the mail server).
But they told me I could have a static IP address, meaning I can slap some junk parts together and build an antique web server. When that happens the Get Quake site will come back, as well as the archives.
The hard part is firing up a browser and FTP instead of Gamespy with this fast-ass connection...
Pardon the mess, we're having a war, sorry
No, Nacho's shambler didn't show up and piss on everything. I have nearly the whole site moved over to my new domain hosts, and what's left is the heavy furniture – the big files in the Downloads section, the number of files in the humor section, etc. These and a few others are going to have to go in a (shudder) IIS server on my home network. At least until I can get a more secure box set up.
Anyway, right now some pages are supposed to be pointing to the old famvid servers, and most of them don't work in Netscape; some error of mine I'm sure.
At any rate, please 'scuse the mess. I'll try to get things cleaned up as soon as I can.
Max Payne can't escape SBC's BFG
Link buddies died
It doesn't look like I'll be hosting that Max Payne demo after all; or any other demos, either. It looks like the Quake patches and demos will go away as well.
I called Ameritech asking how to go about getting that static IP address, even though I still haven't been able to get Linux to run on that old 486 (probably can't see the CDROM). The answer was “no problem – it's an extra fifteen bucks a month.”
Um, no thanks, dudes. I don't make any money off this place, and when I say none I mean NONE. Zip zilch zero nada. I'm already paying too much for this little hobby. I'd do the paypal thing like Hulka but he's only made seventeen bucks toward his new gun so far. That would cover what, one month and a beer at a bar?
So I have to apologize to all my faithful readers who have depended on the Fragfest for their Quake patches and demos. My space allotment will soon go from “unlimited” (I have 200 megs stored at the famvid server) to five megs. Not much room.
I went to visit my link buddies to email them with the new Fragfest address and discovered to my horror that they were all DEAD. All but Joe Manio and a couple of portals, and even Quakeport has stopped updating its list.
So I'm just killing the links section altogether. I'll leave Joe's link at the Console page and at the Newbie page, and if Hulka ever gets it back up I'll find some way to link back to him and Cow and Nacho (even though Hulka's old link to the Fragfest went to fragfest.gameplex.net, which is now owned by spamming porno squatters).
Oh, the MP3s will be going bye-bye too, so if you want one you'd better get them before famvid closes the Fragfest presence down; I just paid for a month last night, so you have at least that long.
Your Hard Drive tries to escape RIAA's BFG
No, it wasn't your little brother that deleted that “Free Speech for the Dumb” MP3, it was Hillary Rosen. Now she wants her hacking to be legal. Um, actually she says it's already legal.
The RIAA's paid crackers, as well as a few misguided unpaid volunteers, have been busily breaking into people's personal computers in order to delete files.
Wired now says they are lobbying to get this practice legalized! They point to This site for the details.
Wired says “If the current version of the USA Act becomes law, the RIAA believes, it could outlaw attempts by copyright holders to break into and disable pirate FTP or websites or peer-to-peer networks.”
I have news for the RIAA; they are felons now, albeit unindicted felons. They can put Mitnik in prison for hacking the phone company, why can't they put the phone company in jail for hacking Mitnick?
Oh, I seeeeeee... money talks, bullshit walks.
I am a copyright holder. I hold an ISBN number, having registered Artificial Insanity with the US Copyright office.
I forbid ANYONE with any connection whatsoever to the RIAA, including anyone who has ever corresponded with any RIAA member, from having a copy of Artificial Insanity unless they pay a required ten million dollar fee. According to the RIAA's rationale, I should now feel free to rummage through anybody's computer I want looking for illegal copies of that program (which, by the way, I have available for free download for you non-RIAA members).
Rather than go through the trouble of learning how to break into computers (although I'll probably soon have to learn anyway since I'll need to know how to secure one) I'm just going to call on the l33t army of h4x0rz that read the Fragfest looking for those Unreal hacks to do it for me. Do it for fun, do it for glory, do it for the Fragfest. Do it for your country. Do it to piss off Lars!
Wired says that the RIAA thinks that this law legalizes RIAA hacking. I think the RIAA wants to be Bubba's Biyatch at Folsom. I don't see anything there that says anybody can break into anywhere. But hey, they have the high priced lawyers!
We are looking for evidence, folks. We want evidence that the RIAA has been breaking into private computers. If you find tangible evidence that will stand up in a court of law that they have broken into my computer, there will be a reward – in fact, I'll split any after-lawyer proceeds with you 50/50.
Speaking of melted
USA Today reports that a whole bunch of people who own stadiums and Clear Channel Communications are going to make a shitload of money off of the war in the name of charity.
They say (and I misquote) “Last-minute lineup changes are likely for Saturday's ‘Drivel for New York City’ at Madison Square Garden and Sunday's ‘United We Stand: How Much More Money Can I Make Off This Tragedy?’ at Washington's RFK Stadium and the ‘Cunt Tree Freedom Concert’ in Nashville's ‘Gay’ Entertainment Center.” They add (and this isn't misquoted, only taken out of context) “...with purses and coats searched and such items as backpacks, briefcases, coolers, duffel bags, luggage, packages and containers banned.” Which means they can gouge you for food and drink.
Don't expect many water coolers.
Here's your chance to be overcharged for tickets, drinks, and everything else to attend an insipid, lowest common denominator show so the greedy bastards who own the stadiums and the equally greedy bastards at Clear Channel can rake 90% of the proceeds for “overhead” (just like the United Way does) and say they're doing a good deed.
Me, I'm going to see a local band this weekend, and I plan on drinking myself nearly unconscious before getting my ass kicked playing Classic Quake. I may even start a server so I can pass out without being kicked for camping.
Mailbag was squished
I got a bunch of mail addressed to email@example.com yesterday, even more than to webmaster@ or nooze@; it seems a posting I made at Ziff Davis at lunch struck a nerve with a lot of folks.
One of the folks writing was a ZD editor who asked if I was me; I'm glad I'm not a paranoid, although if I were a paranoid I probably wouldn't publicly say things like “...None of them are patriots. Ellicon and McNealy are especially sleazy for trying to cash in on peoples' terror (which, btw, should NOT exist. Have a backbone, folks!)”
But since I do, some letters worry me a bit. But no flames today, one fellow even wrote to say “you rule!” (Which would scare the hell out of me if I had any sense...)
At any rate, thanks for the notes! You do realize, of course, that if you keep inciting me to open my stupid yap...
Sorry for the complete and total lack of any kind of update, and if you've written I apologize but can't get to my mail account. I'm barely on the internet at all. Or network.
It started with a seized up CPU fan. This should have been easy. It wasn't.
I have been a long time customer of a west coast electronics dealer who sells parts and computers. I just buy parts. I always got excellent technical support, never (well maybe once) got put on hold, never had any snafus of any sort.
I also used another supplier in Florida who was dirt cheap compared to the west coast outfit. I waited on hold, though, and their tech support people were “by the checklist” morons for the most part that didn't know their ram from their ass (or their goat). But they were cheap.
They also sold me a box of parts with an accursed, possessed by an evil demon modem thrown in for free – if you can count giving up your sanity as “free”. Before I ever put in the modem from hell I had to send the motherboard back three times, after exchanging the PII to celeron conversion board.
This computer never went a week without a lockup or a crash. Then I removed the modem and it worked. All the time.
Want a modem? I tried to give it away to some needy hacker but nobody bit.
Anyway, after the modem and motherboard from hell I swore off that cheap crap from Florida, especially after buying the network cards. Two rings, less than two minutes total and a crossover cable was on its way. Turned out that without a hub you need a crossover.
The CPU didn't go so smooth.
I wanted to replace the 400mz celeron with a 500 PII, since the mobo will run up to 500mz and the bus is selectable between 66mz and 100 mz. So I dialed tech support to get a non-sales opinion on what chip to get.
Sales answered after a couple minutes of hold. I thought they were tech. She didn't have answers to my questions about the CPU but transferred me to tech support. He agreed the PII would be the way to go.
Only trouble was, they didn't have one. Well, they had one but didn't have a fan for it. The sales lady said she'd look for a fan since surely they didn't have a fanless chip and would call me back. Then I had to run some errands, and of course she called back when I was gone.
We played phone tag for two days. By that time it was Friday. My wife was on my ass hard, because she's going to college and has a paper due and can't remember her network password at school and the network admin is always gone and every other excuse she could think of to not do the paper and have it be my fault.
Tuesdays my wife has no classes, which coincidentally coincided with two day Fedex.
Fedex dutifully delivered the package – to my old house. Or tried to, as I had it sent COD. I had taken great pains to make sure my supplier had my new address, and they sent it to the wrong place anyway!
I drove down to Fedex to pick it up. The CPU installed with no problem.
The OS was quite a bit less of a “no” problem, as Windows wouldn't boot. I finally got it into safe mode and restarted it, and it couldn't see my CD. I wanted to burn some compilations for Thanksgiving travel in my newer van.
Uh, yeah, the old one broke and I traded it. Gremlins.
Anyway, Windows couldn't see the CD. I replaced its old and fraying ribbon cable, and it still didn't work (didn't expect it to but hey, I had a new cable laying around and it could have come loose...)
So a new Windows install it was. DOS thankfully saw the CD as long as I had a driver for a different CD loaded (the burner has no DOS drivers).
Installing Windows wouldn't do it. I had to DELTREE the Windows directory and start from scratch. Reinstall everything.
The network was up and running, everything smooth, and I installed the DSL software.
No DSL. No network either. The celeron computer can see the older one, but neither one can see this one. And no DSL.
I got the dialup number from Ameritech and am finally uploading stuff I wrote weeks ago. At 33.6k.
I would have had the annual Quake Christmas page up on Saturday as I have traditionally done the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but thanks to the gremlins... Anyway, I imagine as long as the gremlins don't come back I ought to get the Christmas page up this Saturday. I may even have a new Quake Christmas Carol MP3 in a couple of weeks but I'm not promising.
Coincidence joined the game
Last night I penned yesterday's ranting post, uploaded the Fragfest, opened it to make sure it uploaded and didn't suck in any one browser more than another, and started clicking links.
I hit Old Man Murray's first. Yep, no update since last year, nearly a month ago. If I was still holding the “ticket to nowhere” contest, those guys would have a stack six feet high by now. They used to have a link on their page with Martin Van Buren's picture on it, and when BitchX updated, old President Van Buren (OMM's patron saint) would burn in hell so everyone would know when he/she/it updated. Actually, I'm pretty sure BitchX was a he, and I think I know him but he ain't admitting it.
I'm about to steal that picture of old Martin and put it on the Fragfest so Van Buren can burn in hell when OMM updates. Few things are less funny than a month old joke.
So next I thought I'd see if Hulka.com was back online. My hopes weren't high (but neither was I, as I only had one beer left and I'm too broke to buy more).
Hulka had updated! Petty quick work, all things considering. And there on Hulka's page was a picture of a Creed album cover.
So I opened Notepad and added to the post “PS – I just got back from the new and improved Hulka.com. He's back! Oddly, there is an (almost) emo album cover on it...”
No, don't bother correcting me, I know they're not really emo (the voice isn't high enough and they don't suck enough. Almost enough...)
Hulka had a pseudo-random link to a news page about Creed selling lots of their crappy CDs last year, I'm not sure why. I thought I would make a post on his message board about it... but you need to register to post. So I registered. “There should be an email with your password...”, the page said.
So I checked the mail. I had written the Sarge offering any help with getting his site back online and asking him to let me know when he had a new host; there was a note from him saying just that!
So by now you're wondering wtf the point to this post is. The answer is – none. I just thought the coincidence was really weird, my gaming rig is defragging right now, so I felt like posting without actually having anything to say.
So now that I've wasted a minute of your precious time, go on over to Hulka's. That's where I'm headed now. I'm sure he posted, I'm sure it's much less pointless than this post, and I'm sure Chet and Eric are both too high on crack and paint thinner to have posted. Somebody send me an email when they update, okay?
And what the hell ever happened to BitchX?
Ameritech was fragged by... hello? Hello?
So far the DSL is working great. Wish I could say the same about the bill... or the phone itself.
First the bill. The Ameritech salesman on the phone had offered different plans; I chose the hundred dollar self-install with the open ended fifty bucks per month no contract plan. I would owe a hundred and fifty the first month and fifty forever, or until I switched to another provider (or decided DSL was too expensive, or got fed up with Ameritech, or...)
The first bill came with a two hundred dollar charge.
I called their billing department. After arguing with them for an hour they decided I was talking to the wrong company! See, there are several companies within the company or some such nonsense... I'm still trying to get it straight.
My wife Becky had been fed up with them a long time ago, but we were locked into their phone service since, well, they were the only game in town. When they offered DSL I had a hell of a time convincing her. She hates Ameritech like Bin Laden hates us.
Anyway, the other day I get a call from MCI who wanted our phone service. Long distance cheaper than ATT (who we were using) and they had local phone service, too. “Go for it,” I told them.
They got back a few days later saying they couldn't switch because I had a digital line in the house. Apparently Ameritech made them think I had a T-1. Noooo, I told them, it's just straight DSL through the same wire.
Ameritech doesn't want to lose me as a customer, but they could give a shit about my service. Typical monopoly, I can see these guys in Chapter 7 in a year or two now that they have some phone competition.
I got a letter from MCI welcoming me to their service. Puzzling, since they said they couldn't sign me up.
A call to them informed me that I still had the hated Ameritech for local but they switched my long distance, and I had no complaints about my long distance company!
I told the fellow that if they wanted my long distance business they were going to have to give me local, too. They said they could, since I don't have the T-1 that Ameritech told them I did.
Then, days later, Becky logs on to her school. She calls her friend. Later that day she tries to use the phone, and it has no dial tone. Calling my phone from a cell phone gets a busy signal. So she calls MCI, who says they still don't have authorization for local service.
So now there are wisps of steam trickling from her ears and various objects she looks too hard at start melting. I got the hell out of there, down to the basement to see if the internet was still up.
Yep, DSL working fine.
Back upstairs, she says Ameritech wants $75 “to check our lines.”
Nope, I tell her, there's nothing wrong with our lines. They worked fine in the morning, the computer is on the internet, and I haven't changed anything. Ameritech's screwed up somewhere.
The next morning the phone came back on; I picked it up, and there was a dial tone.
Two hours later, she told me, an Ameritech service truck rolls up. She shooed him away.
“They better not try to charge me that seventy five dollars!” she warns.
Um, if I were them I damned sure wouldn't. Cable modem is looking better all the time...
McCoy: He's dead, Jim
Several years ago, before PCs were not nearly as com-mon in the home as they are now, a friend of mine asked of my computer, “but aren't you afraid it will explode?”
He was a Star Trek fan, and in the old 1950s and 1960s science fiction and spy shows, computers all had a nasty habit of blowing up. All one had to do to these TV or movie computers to make them explode was shoot them, with either a ray gun or a police revolver. Some TV and movie computers would blow up if you “pressed the wrong button”; one episode of the 1960s TV show The Prisoner (“I am not a number! I am a free man!”) had a computer that could answer any question. The bad guys, who had imprisoned the hero, a spy who had resigned his post, wanted to know why he resigned. Of course, before the bad guys could ask the computer “Why did number six resign his post?” the intrepid number six offered that he had a question the computer could not answer.
He typed in to the Remington electric typewriter and fed the paper into the computer, which, of course, promptly started smoking, sparking, and ultimately blew up. The question was simply “why?”
Similarly, in an episode of Star Trek, Spock makes a computer explode by asking it to figure the value of p to the last decimal place. Of course, any time a Star Trek computer was fired on, whether by a Klingon or Federation phaser, and no matter what civilization designed and built the computer, it would explode in a grand display of fireworks.
I had to explain to my friend that this was all nonsense, that early computers from the early 1950s used thousands of vacuum tubes, requiring high voltages, which could throw showers of sparks and bright purple flashes with the characteristic “pop!” if there was a short circuit in its 120-240 volt circuitry but would not actually explode, and that modern computers ran on three to twelve volts and wouldn't even get a spark from a short.
I had to explain to my friend that the only explosions were in my games; that the computer itself here in the analog world was safe.
Along with the matter transporter and faster than light travel, the exploding computer was one of those things relegated to science fiction.
New Scientist reports that they have found a way to make silicon explode on demand, either by shock, as with that .38 caliber police special or by electrical signal.
“This machine is stolen and will self-destruct in ten seconds.”
New Scientist says “For instance, the American spy plane impounded by China last year could have used it to destroy its secret electronics systems.”
They add “In a stolen mobile phone, the network would send a trigger signal to the part of the chip containing the gadolinium nitrate ‘detonator’, triggering the explosion... and detonate it at will.”
So not only is Star Trek's computer to blow up, its communicators will too! I can see in five years when these bozos have the anti theft circuits in phones. Drop your phone now and it might break. Drop it in five years and it might take your leg off!
Of course, the new viruses in ten years will not just reformat your hard drive; the kids will be writing viruses to make people's computers explode in their homes!
Doncha just love science... Personally, I'm hoping someone with a little common sense will have a talk with these educated morons and explain that just maybe, exploding computers ain't such a good idea after all. Just maybe the US Government might be more concerned with bringing its spy plane crew home alive than exploding its electronics; they could have blown the plane up with conventional explosives, or even driven the thing into the ground, but they didn't.
When my cell phone explodes the manufacturer better hope it takes my head off, because if it doesn't I'm suing the shit out of the morons!
Beam me up, Scotty.
Retarded Penguin joined the game
I'm sure to get hacked (or at least flamed) after posting this, as the Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, Wiccans, Atheists, and every other Operating System High Priest will have a holy war against me but here goes anyway...
First off I'll dismiss the Apple guys. I don't care how stable, secure, and easy to use Apples are, I can't afford one! Not only that, I hate the hardware. They have Apples at my daughters' schools, and they have some tiny monitors (I realize they will work great with big monitor$, though), teensy keyboards (I have fat fingerasd), and some have these stupid round mice that would have my arm in surgery after a couple of hours.
The games mostly suck too. I liked the old IIe, though...
Microsoft has been pissing me off more and more over the years, and the final insult was Windows XP. Nothing but hype; “the most stable Windows Ever!” Is kind of like saying the new 4x6 monster truck is the most “fuel efficient monster truck ever” – it's meaningless.
XP wants 256k of RAM. Er, uh, I mean 256 MEG of RAM... Since the cause of Windows crashes is and always has usually been memory leaks and programs not giving memory back, any time you put those humongous amounts of memory in a Windows machine it will be more stable.
On top of that, a new install of Windows is always stable unless your hardware is crap. Tell me how stable XP is when it's been running without a reboot for a year.
All of my programs work fine in 98, and there are reports of hardware not working properly or at all with XP. Of course; legacy hardware won't all have drivers yet, if ever. So why should I “upgrade” at a hundred fifty bucks plus the cost of a new hard drive plus the cost of insane amounts of memory? Plus the cost of replacing anything that doesn't have supported drivers?
The following was handed to me by a Microsoft lackey at a thing my employer made me go to last year. This list is supposedly the ten best reasons to upgrade. Here they are, and why they aren't compelling at all. Any typos (besides the deliberate one above) are the fault of my OCR program; this was scanned.
“Windows XP Professional Top 10”
“There are hundreds of compelling reasons to get Windows XP Professional-these are the 10 at the top of the list.
“1 Windows Messenger
“Windows Messenger is the easy way to communicate and collaborate in real time on your computer. You can see the online status of your contacts and choose to communicate with them through text, voice, or video with better performance and higher quality.”
The telephone is enough of an annoyance! Besides, if I wanted an IM program I'd want one that actually could reach most people, and Microsoft's ain't it. This is one place Microsoft has no monopoly; AOL does. If you want to be interrupted by every Tom, Dick, and Harry you've ever or never met while trying to get something done on your computer, install AIM or ICQ. Windows Messenger is much better than AOL's two offerings – because nobody uses it, therefore nobody will bother you on it. No thanks, Bill.
“2 Remote Desktop”
“Remote Desktop allows you to create a virtual session and use your desktop computer from another computer running Windows 95 or later, giving you access to all of your data and applications even when you're not in your office.”
I'd say “Remote Desktop allows crhackers to create a virtual session and use your desktop computer from their computer, giving them access to all of your data and applications even when you're not in your office.” Hell, why not use PC Anywhere, or even BackOrifice? No thanks, Steve, but would you do the Monkey Dance for us again?
“3 Wireless 802.1x Networking Support
“Wireless 802.lx Networking Support provides support for secured access, as well as performance improvements for wireless networks.”
If you buy the hardware, it will likely have software for any OS. On the other hand, I don't have wireless, so why would I want its stupid drivers taking up that RAM? Because I'd have 256 meg to waste?
“4 Remote Assistance
“Remote Assistance allows you to have a friend or IT professional who is also running Windows XP remotely control your computer to demonstrate a process or help solve a problem.”
Funny, MS alleges “hundreds of compelling reasons to get Windows XP” and they repeat #2 in #4. This is the same lame feature as “Remote Desktop!” Are they stupid or do they think their customers are? See what I mean about Microsoft being insulting?
“5 Policy-based Desktop Management
“Policy-based Desktop Management (IntellimirrorR technologies) allows group policies and roaming user profiles, simplifying desktop and user management for IT admin-istrators.”
Your corporate LAN is likely to be Novell rather than Microsoft, and it already has much more powerful network administration tools than any version of Windows. I'll go more into detail about this later. But at any rate, since there are only two machines on my network and only one could be upgraded to where it would run XP...
“6 Multilingual Support
“Easily create, read, and edit documents in many different languages.”
Which is different from any other operating system, including DOS 1.1 because...? WTF are these goons blabbering about? Is there a universal translator built in or something?
“7 Dual View
“A single computer desktop can be displayed on two monitors driven off of a single display adapter – a particularly useful feature for laptop users.”
Okay, I can see the utility of this – in a very limited number of circumstances, like with an overhead projector. But this is one of their top ten compelling reasons? Seems to me that this (and #2 & 4) is proof that MS is really stretching to find me a reason to upgrade!
“8 Encrypting File System
“Encrypting File System provides a high level of protection from hackers and data theft by transparently encrypting files with a randomly generated key.”
This could be useful too, but it makes more sense to me to encrypt only sensitive files, not the whole file system. If the whole file system is encrypted, one bad byte could trash your entire hard drive! Coupled with Windows' lack of any kind of backup facility (except a CD burner) this scheme sounds like a real loser to me. Plus, I can see Microsoft building in back doors for their and government snoops. PGP makes much better sense!
“9 User State Migration Tool
“The user State Migration Tool can migrate your data and settings from an old computer to a new one.”
And about the only reason for its necessity is that to run XP you'll need a new PC! Okay, I'll be nice... if your whole shop is XP and if you don't have Norton Ghost (and why not?) it could come in handy... but isn't a “compelling reason to upgrade”.
“10 New Task-based Visual Design
“Get to your most commonly used tasks quickly, thanks to a cleaner design and new visual cues.”
Er, um, wasn't that Windows 95 selling point? Wasn't it also 3.1's selling point? Having to relearn a new interface is a compelling reason to upgrade?
So it seems that XP is being rammed and rammed hard by Microsoft. No more DOS; that old copy of Wolfenstein won't run; neither will any of your other old DOS games. And soon the new XP programs likely won't run on 98.
Then there's “product activation”. Everyone tells me that they had no problem with it; but none had to use the phone to do it, and I'll not likely forget the one time I called Microsoft tech support for a DOS 6 problem; their memmaker program trashed my machine. I spent two hours mostly on hold, on a long distance call (on my dime) and Microsoft's rude and ignorant employees didn't solve the problem, but blamed other software vendors and other hardware vendors.
In desperation I called the motherboard vendor, JDR, who knew of Microsoft's memmaker bug and had a workaround. I spent five minutes on the phone with their knowledgeable and polite tech guy, and in ten minutes the machine was working. Microsoft blew goat dung!
I think that was my first nudge away from Microsoft.
The next nudge was when I had to upgrade, yet again, because all of the new games were for Windows 95. How many times was I going to have to buy their God damned operating system? How much of my money do they need?
Now the final nail in my relationship with Microsoft's coffin: XP. Couple their demonstrated (with that one phone call) incompetence, rudeness, and arrogance; with the (later) DOJ lawsuit they “campaign contributed” their way out of; with all the security holes, the worms, the trojans, the viruses, all of which they of course blame on somebody else; these people don't know the meaning of the word responsibility. They take responsibility for nothing and answer to no one. If you have a different experience, I don't want to hear it. Let this be a lesson to young, budding businesspeople about how to piss off customers and lose business!
But they want the ability, with Product Activation, remote desktop/remote assistance and an encrypted file system, to completely render all my programs, data, and even hardware completely useless, after they have demonstrated their arrogance and contempt for me!
What are they thinking? More importantly, what are all these people buying into it thinking?
So I've been looking at the alternative, which seems to be...
The Penguin. After twenty years of Mostly Microsoft, it's about time I learned to administer Unix. The penguin says he has the answer. Even the Astroturfers at ZD point to the Penguin and say “See! We don't got no monopoly!” (which is a lie, as you will see).
Since I'm not wanting to trash my file server/game machine, and no way in hell would I do much to my wife's that she doesn't ask me to (it's an old 120), I ripped into my daughter Patty's old 486, with her blessing. She never uses it anyway; no network or internet support, really little hard drive, all the games that run on it are ancient...
My first attempt (last fall) was Corel. We're using Word Perfect, since wife Becky's school had standardized on it (but Microsoft has since bribed it into switching to Word) so it was a good first choice. I downloaded the entire ISO over a dialup modem! Took two weeks...
It didn't recognize the CD (I think?). It hung up on the first screen after rebooting into its “rescue floppy”. I gave up for a while.
A little research and a DSL line later and I decided to try Red Hat, which everybody on the net seemed to think was best. It, too, couldn't read the CD; or at least, that's my theory (or “guess”). It hung at the boot floppy's splash screen, too.
I laid it down again until a couple of weeks ago, when I came across an old hard drive laying on a shelf in the basement, an old 170 mb Western Digital that came out of an antique IBM (I think).
The game rig was open, as I had just replaced a bad fan and burned up CPU chip. It was only a matter of moving the drives' jumper, plugging it in, and telling the computer's cmos to find it, then install Linux.
Mandrake, the internet reported, was the easiest to install.
Not on a 170 meg drive it isn't! In fact, just like Corel and Red Hat, it will NOT install on this hard drive that happily ran Windows 95.
But the Linux geeks are always talking about how bloated Windows is and how you can install Linux on a single floppy! I guess Microsoft guys aren't the only ones in Jon's “Pathological Liar's Club.”
So I tried Coyote Linux. It does, as advertised, boot from a single floppy.
It also does absolutely nothing but turn your computer into a router/firewall! Actually, with an old box and a few spare network interface cards you could probably save a few bucks with this. But it wasn't what I was looking for.
Next up was Tiny Linux, which is a project to get a usable Linux on a single floppy. It, too, works – kinda sorta. I can log in and list its files, but not a whole lot else. I'm chalking that up to my ignorance of and inexperience with Unix. But so far, no luck at actually getting Linux to run on a 170 mb drive.
So wanting to migrate away from Microsoft, I look for something that will help me learn Linux without re-partitioning my hard drive. I found it!
Phat Linux runs from a DOS/Windows directory kind of like Windows uses a file as a drive for its compression.
It takes up a CD sized chunk of your hard drive, and helped teach me the basics of logging in, changing passwords, adding users, trying out various graphic desktops, etc.
However, it isn't 100% compatible with the other “Linuxes”. For example, the “man” command isn't on the path, and the manual entries are sketchy at best. Other commands seem to work differently than what all the docs I've read say, and some seem to be missing. It might just be my own ignorance.
In fact, that's the most infuriating thing I've found about Linux: the people who built it are really bad at communicating in English.
I bought a 1000 page book on Linux, about fifty pages of which are actually useful. The rest either attempts to teach me stuff I already know, or assumes I know something I would have had to already be running *nix to know!
I've found better information on the internet; but that, too, is greatly lacking, even the best of it.
For example, now that I had Phat loaded, I should be able to plug that 170 mg drive in, reboot, and go Linux Quaking on it.
Nope. It was infuriating; during its boot sequence you could see that hdb was mounting, and if you tell it “ls /dev/hdb” (ls=dir, or list files) it returns “hdb,” but if I try to md or cp (make a directory or copy a file) it tells me it can't find the device!
I'm thinking... I don't really understand this thing's file structure. More research...
I run across something that tells me that Debian is the most customizable, and you can get it on a smaller drive. Of course, these days a “smaller” drive is about as big as my biggest. But I download the ISO anyway, and am able to successfully load Linux on that 170 mb hard drive!
Of course, I haven't yet figured out how to actually do anything useful with it.
When they say Linux isn't “ready for prime time,” believe it. I'll eventually get it running usefully, and I have little doubt I'll be able to eventually replace Windows with it, but there's no way in hell your Grandma is going to get it installed and running – unless your granny's last name is Torvalds.
There will be more posts on this subject, stay tuned...
In #3, I have no idea if Linux had wi-fi or bluetooth then, but I put kubuntu on a laptop several years ago. The wi-fi was built-in in Linux and “just worked”, but you need an install CD from your ISP to connect with Windows. Likewise, I bought a bluetooth dongle, which required a CD installation and reboot in Windows, but with Linux all I had to do was plug the dongle in.
In #7, Note that Linux had not only had this this feature first, but you could run two monitors with two cards. I discovered Mandrake, and Linux was easy after that.
Car's OS was fragged by Bug's Bunny
“Hey, you got a new car! Pretty nice! I see you're sticking with the same manufacturer.”
“Well, I liked the old one. I've always been happy with Microcar's autos.”
“Your old one was only two years old, if you liked it why did you buy a new one?”
“The manufacturer said I should upgrade. Besides, this new model has a cassette instead of an eight track. Wish it would play the other four tracks though...”
“Why didn't you just buy a new radio?”
“The manufacturer welds them in, and wires them so the car won't start if you take it out. Besides, the radio wasn't the only reason to upgrade.”
“Ralph Nader says the old one crashes too often, but you know that nut. I've only had that old one one crash six times, and I was never in the hospital too long. But Microcar says this model is much more stable and hardly ever crashes. It's supposed to be more secure, too.”
“Why did it keep crashing?”
“Dunno, something about the spark plugs interacting with the steering system, I'm no mechanic. My mechanic tried to explain it to me but these mechanical things are just too complicated. He says if I'd defrag my pistons more often it wouldn't crash, you get much more stability with a fresh tuneup. But I just said ‘the hell with it’ and traded it in.
“In fact, I'm taking it in to the shop right now.”
“But it's a band new car, it needs a tuneup?”
“No, there's a ‘feature’ that keeps the door lock from working if you drive it more than six miles. I'm going to get the patch kit.”
“I thought you weren't mechanical?”
“Well, they say this one's an easy fix and I can't afford another repair bill.”
“Won't they fix it under warrantee?”
“What warrantee? This is a car! The EULA says they bear no responsibility for anything. I just hope I don't get in trouble with the law applying this patch.”
“Yeah, they weld the hood shut, and under the DMCA, opening the hood of your car is a felony if it's welded shut. You can go to prison if you get caught, even if they are tacky little welds that come apart by themselves.”
“Boy, cars sure are weird. I'm glad my computer isn't like that, I'd never get any work done!”
Hard drive from hell died
I was home sick last Friday, and when my wife came home from school she had a new hard drive she picked up at Circuit City, a 40gb Maxtor.
I couldn't get the damned thing to work!
My old 400mz machine still plays all the new games, and with a little more memory would play them in XP (assuming I wanted to throw away another hundred dollars on a new OS I don't need). Plus, Becky's laptop is the first whole computer I've bought since I purchased a used IBM XT in 1987; I've built from spare parts since.
I didn't know that older (in this case “older” means about three years) BIOSes couldn't handle drive sizes larger than 30gb. I had run across the same problem years ago while trying to install a huge (for the time) half gigabyte drive in a 386; then, the limit was 512mb. The Seagate I had bought then had come with software to overcome the limitation, and it had worked flawlessly.
I can't say the same about the new Maxtor!
I fought with that thing all weekend; its workarounds wouldn't work around. This on top of a defective installation floppy!
It made Windows freeze at the desktop; then after a Windows reinstall, it was still hosed. Nowhere in the printed documentation was it mentioned, but I finally found a work-around deep inside one of the installation/test programs that involved lying to the BIOS.
Bingo! It booted into Windows with no problem!
But the drive wouldn't work. So I rebooted into DOS and did a high level format; the software was supposed to have done it but didn't.
It booted into Windows and the drive worked!
I rebooted; it still worked. I copied a half dozen gigabytes of data from the laptop to the new hard drive in the old PC, which it read with no problem. I rebooted again.
All the data were garbage (and all your base are belong to us).
I wrote over the garbaged-up data several times and low level formatted the drive one last time, then boxed it up for Becky to return. The new 30gb Western Digital is supposed to get here from JDR Monday afternoon.
In other broken PC news, Rob Lemos (the Linux guy) writes in ZD News of the “Organization for Internet Safety.” This new outfit is supposed to keep your PC secure.
Microsoft is at the helm. This, of course, means that your data will not be secure. When Microsoft talks “security”, they are talking about Microsoft's security, not yours. They don't give a rat's ass about your security, they care about the security forty billion dollars brings and they're not going to let security holes in their software screw that up for them.
Lemos reports “The group springs from discussions between Microsoft and a handful of security companies on the responsible reporting of software bugs, known as vulner-abilities, that affect a business' security.”
To hell with business security; let Microsoft and Sun worry about their own bottom lines. I don't want to wait for a damned patch to some buggy program some incompetent “programmer” hacked out, I want to know about it now, so I can take the offending piece of crap offline until a patch or workaround has been sorted out. The way I look at it, there is a 50% chance a good guy will find a hole first (assuming there are as many good guys as bad guys, which is doubtful). That means half the time the bad guys have found the hole first.
Meaning that the bad guys have a way into my machine while the good guys are working on a patch, and only I am kept in the dark.
People, this is not the way it should be done. If you find a hole, tell the software house about it and then scream it from the rooftops. Very Loudly and with venom. Let the world know how absolutely shitty a company has to be to allow their customers to be compromised like that, and let ME know that there is a hole in (say) Opera, so I can switch to IE; or if there is a hole in IIS so I can switch to Apache (wait a minute, IIS IS a hole).
If it turns out that I like the “alternate” piece of software or hardware better than the original vendor's, then, well, tough shit! Microsoft security is meaningless to me. I'm worried about MY security. And if I unplug the thing, the only way you can hack it is like the Feds do: with a battering ram.
The guidelines this group is hacking out should spell out clearly that a vendor, when notified of a hole, should immediately tell all of its customers about that hole, and recommend that they shut off the offending service, software, or hardware.
Don't hold your breath.
Hard drive from hell Part II
The new Western Digital came Monday. There was no documentation, no installation floppy, no cable.
Now, I've been buying computer parts for a long time; the first hard drive I bought quadrupled my IBM XT's drive to a massive 40 megabytes, a thousand times smaller than the latest upgrade bought. Of all the hard drives I've purchased (mostly Seagate), not a single one was without a floppy with diagnostic and/or installation software, documentation, or a cable.
I wasn't happy. I logged onto WD's web site. After fifteen minutes of fruitlessly searching for some kind of documentation, I gave up and called their tech support, an 800 number. I still hadn't taken the drive out of its anti-static bag. I had thoughts of shipping it back.
WD answered their phone pretty quickly, and I was on the line with a helpful, courteous fellow that seemed to know what he was talking about. WD, it seems, ships drives to OEMs without docs, floppies, or cables; the ones you buy at Circuit City are boxed up pretty, with the goodies all inside.
He agreed that their web site's navigation was a mess, but knew the URL to the BIOS setup info, but said I probably wouldn't need it. He gave me some tips, including an undocumented jumper trick in case the PC locked up because of a higher capacity than the BIOS supports.
I could have saved my dime; the drive went right in with no problem. FDISK and FORMAT and it was done.
I understand that with XP you don't even have to do that, XP does it for you. Not that that would be worth a hundred dollar purchase.
SO, I was all set to pen a rant about Western Digital, but no rant is needed. I'd recommend them.
I would urge them, though, to redesign that web site.
Fair use was squished
Reuters and the rest of the mainstream news media would like for you to believe that they are impartial and unbiased.
They're not. Nobody is. Not even me. But you knew that, right?
Reuters posted a “news” story (at least I don't call my opinion pieces “news” for God's sake, it's nooze, dammit!) quoting a movie industry flak as saying “Our content must be protected from unencrypted, illegal file sharing... We're in the process of raising a generation to think that stealing is okay.” Nowhere in the story was there any semblance of balance. Nowhere in the story was there the tiniest hint that maybe this guy's opinion was the utter bullshit it is. Nowhere was the existence of an opposing opinion mentioned at all!
I don't believe the industry believes its own lies. The RIAA certainly must be aware of the organized boycott against its wares, but it deliberately avoids mention of said boycott when it says patently stupid things like “the current downturn in record buying is Napster's fault.” Of course, sales soared during Napster and plummeted with Napster's demise and the onslaught of the boycott against mainstream CDs (Keep buying those indie CDs), but reading Reuters or the RIAA's own (unlinksd here) site you would think we were still in a good economy and that there was no boycott.
Millions of people will see the Reuters article with its disingenuous opinion presented as fact. Only dozens will see this piece. Okay, maybe thousands if you count people who will see it after it's archived, but that's still a tiny drop compared to Reuters' ocean.
The fact is that a generation is being raised to in-correctly believe that sound waves can be owned, that bits can be controlled, that capturing numbers that flow through your own computer in your own home is somehow “stealing”.
The law in my state says if unordered merchandise is put in your mailbox, it's yours. As long as the supplier can produce no signed order form, you are not stealing, he is giving you a gift.
“But,” the flak would likely retort, “the person who sent you those bits, those numbers, those sound waves, did not own those bits.”
Why not? They bought many of them at Sam Goodie's or WalMart. Others were given to them. Nearly every single song or movie on Bearshare or Kazaa was bought and paid for by the first person to open its folder to the world.
Furthermore, the pieces that were not opened to the public by someone who bought a copy were put there by the original artist. Only the established (many talentless but still filthy rich) musicians don't want their tunes traded – because If I've never heard the song, there is absolutely NO way to sell me the CD. And for all but the elite few let past the RIAA gatekeepers, nobody gets on the radio.
No, stealing is stealing. If I steal your car, you have no car. If I steal your CD, you no longer have that CD. You may be able to play the CD's music, even at CD quality if you ripped it to wav, but you can't play the CD, or enjoy its cover art or liner notes. It's GONE, unlike swapped, “stolen” music.
It pretty much pisses me off when a thief and con artist like ANYBODY in the music or movie industries rails against the “theft” of something that was never stolen in the first place!
In the end, by calling file sharing “theft” these amoral people who would guard our nation's moral fabric are confusing young people about what is and what isn't theft, so in fact are themselves helping raise a generation of thieves who won't stop at taking the bits, but the plastic the bits are stored on as well.
Theft deprives someone of property. We should expect our news organizations to understand the meaning of a five letter single syllable word, but nobody ever accused any journalost of having an excess of neurons.
The linuX files part II (or is it 3?)
Yes, the newest game I've been playing lately is Linux.
So far I have it fully installed (kinda) and running (mostly, I think).
Linux is most definitely NOT “harder than Windows”. There seems to be a bit of nonsense regurgitated by people who haven't even tried Linux.
One is that it's more like DOS than Windows, and you have to use a command line and memorize a bunch of arcane commands.
Nope, I haven't seen a Linux command line since I installed Mandrake 8.1. I could if I wanted to, but so far there's been no need.
I discovered a “Mandrake Control Center” (actually, it was an icon on the desktop) that configured my DSL pretty much automatically. Windows won't do that; you have to run SBC's program to make DSL work in Windows.
When I said “kinda sorta” working, I mean I haven't got the local network working. But that's more Windows fault than Linux.
It's set up to use DHCP, which is a dynamically configured host (which, in fact, is what the acronym for this protocol, “DHCP”, stands for). The Windows network is set up with a static IP address for each machine, and I don't want to have to reconfigure every machine on the network whenever I want to switch from Windows to Linux or back on the DSL computer.
So far, there have been no nasty surprises; I imagine I'll need Samba or something to get the networking right.
CRAP, as soon as I said that the cursor jumped to yesterday's topic on this XP laptop. Plenty of nasty surprises in Windows.
There are a lot of things I've discovered about Linux that have no Windows counterpart.
I have an on-board video chip, which I superseded with a TNT card. When installing, it asked me if I wanted to choose one, or just use both. You can't do that in Windows!
When I first bought Windows 95 I set it up to not use a password; it wasn't connected to any other machine. When I got WWWed, I had to enter a password again. With Windows you have to password in. Linux figures it's possible this isn't a corporate machine, and lets me configure it to enter the password for me (and without need for a command line) so not only do I not have to remember a password, I can use a super strong one I could never remember If I were forced to! I can plug in the PC, pour a cup of coffee, and have Netscape or Konquerer (or any of half a dozen other browsers installed by default) open Spew or Sgt Hulka's for me without as much as touching the mouse, let alone the keyboard!
When it boots, it checks the atomic clock at a university and sets my PC's clock to within a millisecond. The other two computers are always off by a minute or two, as you have to log in to the atom clock manually with them, so they only get set twice a year.
But perhaps the nicest thing is I don't have to reboot to make a change take effect.
One down side to Linux I've found is – it's a damned good thing you don't have to reboot. It takes forever to get to its desktop.
One more thing – no damned registry! WooHoo!!!
Note: modern versions of Linux boot as fast as it takes Windows 7 to come out of hibernation.
Oct 24, 2014
Holy crap I was fragged by weird hit counter company
Now, like I said, this is a free service, so I don't expect the best from them. It's not like I get paid for hits, so an advertising-supported “free” service, even if imperfect, works for me. It's not like they sold me a five hundred dollar operating system...
Anyway, this time instead of serving stats it feeds me a page that says I need to copy and install its new code. Only three lines as opposed to the very large block it had before, great! So I replaced the code.
Tonight I sat down to fix the archives, which have been broken for a while. I've been not only meaning to fix them, but was planning to highlight them this month, as April is the Fragfest's 4th birthday. I just didn't get around to it... er, I haven't been posting much either, have I?
When I pulled up the Fragfest I was horrified to see a damned cheesy little stinking banner at the very top of the page, even before my own logo! Egad!
SO, I moved the 3 new lines down to the bottom of the page and checked it.
The weather went from cold to hot, so I'm down in the basement doing this for the first time in a few months. I open Netscape to finally check those stats, only to find that ICDirect stopped working with Netscape entirely.
I think I'll look for a new counter. At any rate, I apologize for the cheese (if anybody's still there...)
Alice joined the game
About 20 years ago, frustrated that otherwise serious researchers and scientists seemingly thought they could program a computer to think, (without, of course, understanding what “thought” actually is; nobody knows that) I wrote a simulation that appears to think, in order to completely debunk the fools and those fooling them who think computers can think.
I wrote Artificial Insanity in less than 20K (that's Kilo, not mega) bytes; smaller than modern viruses, that ran on the Timex TS-1000 tape driven computer. I later ported it to a Radio Shack computer, then an Apple IIe, and finally ported it to MS-DOS.
The DOS version's source code is still under 20k (I didn't change the algorithm, only the syntax for the different programming language) although compiled into an .exe it takes about 400k, still tiny by today's standards, as far as simulation software and games go.
As I mentioned, I did it in response to “Elijah” and all the other similar programs that attempt to fool you into thinking they can think. As far as I know, mine is the only one that is NOT claimed to actually posses intelligence. None really ARE intelligent, I'm just the only one not making the claim. Debunking the claim was my reason for writing it.
Another thing different about Art from all the other intelligence simulations is that I wanted it to be fun, yet annoying. Kind of like playing Quake on a 28.8 against a bunch of LPBs. So I made it a smartass.
Also, for example, I added little things like a routine that occasionally runs that, instead of answering the questioner, asks if he or she wants to play a game. Of course, most folks consider Art a game anyway (although like the Sims, you can't win or lose). Any negative response to “Do you want to play a game” loops back to “Do you want to play a game?” When the hapless player finally gives up and answers “yes” in exasperation, Art answers “you lose”.
Art cost a friend of mine a keyboard. A friend of his literally destroyed it playing with Art, typing as hard as he could.
I ran across yet another program that claims to think like a human the other day.
The “Alice Bot” is basically your typical Elijah-like program: BORING. As boring as small talk with the dumbest, most boring person you know. Alice is a lady. If she was a whore she might be fun, but I digress.
I wondered what would happen if Art had a conversation with Alice. Alice has a web based presence, so I didn't even have to install it.
I was expecting Alice to choke. I expected Art to kick Alice's ass.
I fired up Art and logged in to Alice (you dirty minded...)
Here is the transcript. Art's responses are in bold, Alice's are in italics. Alice starts: “What is your name?”
I should have asked Art, but I answered this first question for him, and type in
I like art very much too, especially the contemporary stuff.
Are you for real?
Yes I am real AI
Whatever gave you that idea?
My brain uses AIML to format responses to your inputs, but I don't have one for that.
Look, I'm good, but I'm not a Cray
Good in what sense? That is interesting: unknown said he m not a cray. [sic]
Art doesn't require you to hit “enter”. It takes a period, question mark, etc as the end of the sentence and answers, so here it stops at the question mark. All that is input is “Good in what sense?”
A piece of junk
Are you talking about an animal, vegetable or mineral?
Can you put that another way?
Let me think. OK I will put it there.
Heh heh she said...
The situation calls for more scrutiny.
Tell me more.
What do you think?
I think a lot of things.
What makes it so obvious?
Looks Greek to me.
Really. it is?
Look, I'm good, but I'm not a Cray.
Good in what sense? Do you mind if I tell other people: unknown said he m not a cray. [sic]
(Entered second question into Art)
I'm glad your [sic] impressed, unknown.
This is what you human types call a joke, right?
At this point, Alice froze for two full minutes.
You don't say.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Some people say "“your guess is as good as mine”.
How should I know?
Either from your senses or from pure reason.
I don't think so.
Why do you disagree?
Thanks for explaining it.
How simple can it get?
What is it to you.
I don't know but it's ugly.
What makes it so ugly?
This time Art pauses...
Not a thing?
Never mind that, I think I'm in love!
Oh well thanks for trying to explain it to me anyway. That is “Not a thing?” Since when? Tell me about the object of your affection.
Okay, one question at a time, lady. “Since when?” was typed in.
The best time possible for the occurrence of the action.
Tell me about the object of your affection.
Not that often.
It really doesn't make any difference.
What doesn't make any difference?
I think so.
I think so too.
At this point I hit the big red switch in horror...
The transcript of the two AIs is, in fact, real, silly as it is.
Microsoft: All your base are belong to us
Microsoft should have used a smaller gun
Remember Intel's ill fated identification feature that would rip all your privacy away?
Well, this time it's Microsoft's turn to try and ram this down our throats, with willing partner AMD and with Intel grudgingly coming along for the ride (they remember the beating they took with their similar ploy).
ZD Net says “On Monday, Microsoft took the wraps off its project, code-named Palladium, to design new hardware and software that could better guarantee the security of user data and let companies control data that they ‘own’ while on a consumer's PC.”
Nobody but ME owns ANYTHING on my computer. WTF are these morons blathering about?
This scheme, lyingly called “trustworthy computing” is in reality a “digital rights management” operating system that puts Microsoft, Sony, and Time-Warner in control of the computer you will be paying for.
I say “you” because I, for one, will have nothing to do with any machine with this crap loaded.
Microsoft is touting this as “security”. As I've said before, Microsoft doesn't give a rat's ass about YOUR security. They are concerned with Microsoft's security, which depends on incredibly huge revenues.
This is MS Passport in hardware.
Most of the mainstream sites swallowed Microsoft's story and reported it as being about YOUR security, of making YOUR computer into a “lock box” where vandals and thieves couldn't reach. Of this, Bruce Schneier, author of Secrets & Lies, Digital Security in a Networked World is quoted by Wired as saying “The odds are actually zero this will be secure.”
The name “Palladium” comes from the statue of Pallas Athena, protector of the ancient city of Troy, according to legend. Also according to legend it was destroyed by invaders. Also according to legend, Troy was home of the inventors of the “Trojan horse”, which makes “Palladium” a fitting name, indeed, since it will put outside interests in control of YOUR computer!
Thankfully, Linux has become every bit as easy as Windows at everything except connecting to computers running windows, and at (very unfortunately for us gamers) playing games.
I hope they get Wine polished before MS's “trust-worthy” Paladium DRM OS comes out!
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I pledge this allegiance of my own free will.
I am offended as an American that anyone would force another to make this pledge under duress. I am doubly offended that a child should be forced to take this pledge under duress.
It is un-American to make a person state that which he or she does not believe. And if these sacred words are just parroted, with no love for country, just mumbled because one is forced to, it cheapens them when I make the pledge.
This offends me deeply.
I was originally going to post this (well, a very similar post) on July 4, and in defense of the court's opinion that putting “under God” in the Pledge violated the Church and State separation. My thinking was that being forced to pledge an oath to a nation “under God” when one believed in no God, or many gods, cheapened my expression of love for both God and country. But I got to thinking more about it.
The Declaration of independence mentions God. The Constitution mentions God. So just what do they mean by “God?”
God is the creator.
If you are Christian, Muslim, or Hebrew, you have no problem with this.
If you are an atheist, then you believe that the universe is a big accident, created by random chance. In this case, random chance is what is meant by “God”. Personally, I think that is the most foolishly unbelievable thing anyone could say, that all this around you, including your very consciousness, “jest growed”. But if that is what you believe, than the accident that created the world is God, at least as the Constitution and Declaration put it.
If you are Buddhist, Hindu, or another pagan religion, how does your religion say the universe was created? Well, that is what is meant by “God”.
Simply put, God is the creator. Whatever or whoever caused the universe to exist is, for the purposes of the constitution, “God”.
So I've changed my mind. The appeals court was wrong. Let's hope the Supreme Court will rule against them.
But please stop forcing people to pledge their allegiance to my flag. I love my flag, my country, my constitution, and I don't want them cheapened like that.
Brain waves was squished
The Mainichi Daily News reports that “Prolonged time playing video games could cause people to lose concentration, get angry easily and have trouble associating with others, a Japanese professor's research has suggested.”
Damn, this really makes me mad! I'm pissed! This is, uh, er, um....
Where's my gun? I'm so mad I forgot what I was going to say...
Einstein can't escape Apple's grenade
Apple has introduced a computer that their advertising says “runs faster than light”. Do “edit-> search” for “faster-than-light” on the linked Apple page, which I ought to cache since... well, they have this new fast processor...
So I ordered one just to see how it worked.
It arrived two weeks before ordering it, so I didn't order it and got my shiny new Power Mac with its faster than light processor for free!
I discovered some other weird effects using this proc-essor. For one thing, it weighs a LOT when you turn it on, so much that it dented the table and bent the legs. Yes, Einstein was right about speed affecting gravity.
So I decided to do a little experiment. I cut the power cord (the computer bounced a full six inches when I shut it off) and reversed the power's polarity. Being household A/C that shouldn't have had an effect, but it did. When I turned it back on, it flew upwards until it ran out of cord, and when it yanked its plug from the wall it of course came crashing down.
So I took it out to my van and plugged it into the cigarette lighter. Viola, flying car! This was great!
And it's a fast flying car, too. It handles like a flying pig when I'm flying, though, as you can only steer it by moving the front wheels with the steering wheel, and the wind drag helps steer.
Of course, once I left the atmosphere I was screwed. No air, no steering. Darn it! Darn it to heck (sorry, I already used this month's allotment of swear words discussing politics).
I discovered that I could steer with the gas pedal, with the slight variation in voltage caused by the imperfections in the car's alternator affecting the voltage supplied to the Mac, and thereby affecting its gravity.
I, uh, got it going TOO fast. Not only was the computer itself traveling faster than light, the car was getting dangerously close to it.
As I crossed the lightspeed barrier I saw Yello and ten thousand alternate Siscos. Yello asked about granny and promptly vanished in a puff of green smoke. Curious.
But past the lightspeed limit, the universe seemed to shrink to a pinpoint, which was angrily chasing me. Which was a very silly thing for it to do, as I wanted to get back inside it. It was kind of like my wife when she's mad at me.
That thought kind of unnerved me, so I freaked and pulled the key out of the ignition.
I found myself holding the phone getting ready to place an order for a Mac.
WTF was I thinking? I can't afford one of these! I put the phone down.
Thank God for Einstein. I'd be paying for that damned computer until Hell froze over.
At least I got my month's allotment of swear words back. Oh, uh, if you notice some strange things going on with your clock, I guess that's my fault...
Stupid Strogg Jokes
How many Stroggs does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Stroggs are too big to fit inside a light bulb
Why did the Strogg quit smoking?
The Marine ran out of grenades
Why did the Strogg cross the road?
Stroggs cross everybody, especially if they have a stupid Quake name like “Road”
How can you tell if a Strogg has been at your computer?
It says “Intel Inside”
How many Stroggs does it take to wallpaper a room?
It depends on how thin you slice 'em
A space marine walks into a bar with his pet shambler on a leash.
“Do you serve those slimy damned stinkin' Stroggs in here?” he asks the bartender. The bartender replies, “Yes, sir, we don't discriminate, we serve anyone.” “Good”, replies the marine, “I'll have a beer, and my shambler will have a couple of Stroggs.”
How is a crakhor like a computer?
You can't really appreciate it until it goes down on you
You know you're wearing the wrong skin when
-You're wearing the Southpark “Chef” skin or the PC Gamer “Coconut Monkey” skin and your clan is playing against the Cool Cocks clan
-You're wearing the “nudechick” skin and your clan is playing the PMS clan
-You're wearing the “cow” skin and your clan is playing against the (0W601z
-You're wearing any female skin (esp. crakhor or nudechick) and your clan is playing against the Drunken Old Bastards Clan
-You're wearing a Homer Simpson or a Kenny skin (Doh!)
-You're wearing the “Waldo” skin and you're not a camper
(there could be certain tactical advantages to wearing these skins under these circumstances...;)
-everybody else says “hehe” whenever they frag you
You know you need a new computer when
- you see the phone cord icon while playing single player
- you shoot at a Strogg and real smoke comes out of the PC
- Flamethrower grabs a fire extinguisher whenever you visit his site
- your voodoo card starts making dolls
- the quake guy scratches at your screen screaming “Let me out! Let me out!”
- you see a 5 ¼ inch floppy sticking out of Tokay's Tower
- it says “Intel Inside”
- it doesn't say “Intel Inside”
- you get it unwrapped and plugged in
Where have all the campers gone?
Lag time passing
Where have all the campers gone,
Long time ago?
Where have all the campers gone?
Blown to fragments, every one!
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Video Games You Can Play At The Office
...in fact, are required to
The object of this game is to fit a three page document on a 1.4 meg floppy. The deluxe version is loaded on a network file server with the bonus “try to type slower than the screen” game.
Try to print and perform rudimentary calculations before the next completely changed version comes out and leaves you ignorant again
Harder than playing Quake on a modem against Thresh on a T1. The object is to learn a complex programming language called “visual basic” with no manuals and only one day's training, which does not even mention “visual basic”
Try to send a message across town and have it get there before the post office could deliver it
Many games within a game, including “what are all these buttons”, “Where's the stupid start menu hiding”, and “If I'm not supposed to touch this control panel thingie why is it here.” Also included: the “Hey! My screen's blue” game
Thresh's Quake Bible leaves out one important chapter:
Genesis (because Sega sucks)
so here it is:
In the beginning was Pong. And it was a void, without substance and without form. And it sucked.
And on the first day IdApogee said, “Let there be fun”. And IdApogee created Commander Keen. And he saw that it was pretty good, at least for the technology of the time. And he gave it away as shareware.
And On the second day IdApogee created the Duke, and the Duke said, “Damn, I'm good”.
And the Duke and the commander saw that they were ega, and killed the energizer bunny. And IdApogee said, “Why has thou killed the bunny?”
And Duke said “Come get some.”
And Keen said “But we were naked, and had no 3D.”
So Id banished the Duke to the store shelves, without 3D.
And Duke and Keen begat two sons, Wolfenstein and Doom. And Doom slew Wolfenstein, and Wolfenstein's blood seeped through the prison floors and was drunk by the earth. And a mark was placed on Doom's head, and Id said, “let no man slay the Doom; ye shall know the Doom by the mark on his head. And ye shall know the mark by its name, and its name is Doom.
And Doom begat Quake, and civilization as we know it came to
Following is the Christmas page.