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Archives for October, 2008

google out-of-print book deal

I wouldn’t have thought that anything could get me more excited today than learning that Harmonix had gotten the rights to make a Beatles game, but then I learned that Google now has the right to sell copies of out-of-print but in-copyright books. I am extraordinarily surprised, amazed, pleased by this. Books have been very […]

living code

Today’s Nature of Order experiment: see what the characteristics of living structures might look like when applied to software. Many thanks to the Agile Open California participants who helped me think through this; I’ll have a later blog post that talks about agile and living processes. Levels of Scale This is certainly present in the […]

liesl’s grandmother’s brownies

I can hardly turn down a direct request for a recipe, so: Liesl’s grandmother’s brownies. If you like this, I have several other dessert recipes that are worth trying. (Or ask me for Betsy cookies, or for our standard chocolate cake recipe.) Make sure not to stint on the beating time, it’s important. (Just be […]

rock band vocals

When we last left our humble narrator, I was making my way through the Rock Band drums. I made it all the way through on Medium, and a fair distance on Hard. But all the skills aren’t there yet: in particular, my foot has a harder time sight-reading than my hands (should have practiced organ […]

random links: october 19, 2008

I trust you are all aware of The Big Picture? I thought this one was particularly beautiful. And unrepresentative, in that the pictures are all taken from a single source, the Earth from Above exhibit. My favorite video game business analyst giving an exegesis of a recent Nintendo interview. The backlog as a map. I’ll […]

deus ex: final thoughts

We’ve finished the VGC playthrough of Deus Ex; what did I learn from the experience? Well, one thing that I learned is that a lot of people have a lot more to say about the narrative and world of the game than I do. Which made reading through the discussion a lot of fun! And […]

vgc: deciding on game 3

If you’re interested in participating in the Vintage Game Club, but haven’t felt like joining in either of the first two games, now is your chance to change that: we’re discussing possible choices for game 3 in the forum right now.

shadow of the colossus as living structure

When I finished playing Shadow of the Colossus, I was impressed by it, but no more than by several other games from around the same time. Then at some point, perhaps a year and a half later, I was browsing the web and came across a picture of the game. And I gasped, I shuddered. […]

christopher alexander on xp

I was making my way through The Process of Creating Life last night, and was rather surprised to see Christopher Alexander mention XP! Here’s the quote (p. 198); emphasis and ellipses in the original. This chapter was first composed as a lecture to the computer science department at Stanford University. After the lecture, I had […]

creating life

I’m only a sixth or so of the way through The Process of Creating Life, but the ideas there are really getting my brain racing today for some reason. He gives these beautiful little examples of evolving living structures step by step: looking at those, you (or at least I) say: What a great paradigm […]

agile open california 2008

Agile Open California 2008 was yesterday and today; like last year, it was a wonderful experience. I’m a bit too tired to post much now, but the bare-bones report: It started off a bit slow: in a corporate building (which was perhaps more functionally laid out than last year’s, but sorely lacking in sailboats and […]

rock band drums

As previously threatened, I tried out the drums in Rock Band today. And they’re fun! But mysterious. It turns out that skill in playing plastic instruments does transfer, at least to some extent: I started on Medium, and I was passing the songs fine. For the first few songs, my leg hurt like crazy; then […]

brain age 2

Not much to say about Brain Age 2. The formula is the same as in the original; if forced to chose, I probably like the new challenges a bit more, but not enough to make a difference. (Speaking of which, how do non-piano players do on Piano Player?) And I’m not nearly as into sudoku […]

the rock band guitar

When I last discussed Rock Band, I’d remembered the existence of the solo buttons, and thought I should give the hardest songs a try that way. So, the next weekend, I put down my GH3 guitar, picked up my Rock Band guitar, and gave Flirtin’ with Disaster a try. It took a while to get […]

random links: october 2, 2008

Achilles’ Phat Lewtz, on the Iliad and MMORPGs; huge amounts of fun from Roger Travis. Jordan on David Foster Wallace. My heart sank when I saw that Retronauts episode 49 was almost 3 hours long. But it’s all about the Dreamcast, including a great segment with Tycho, the best three hours of podcast listening I’ve […]