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Comment: Re:One of my earliest multiuser gaming experiences (Score 1) 146

by Gondola (#46714697) Attached to: Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

It was a typo, of course. I've typed "darth"-something many more times than "dart"-something else in my life.

'80 was probably too early. I would have been single digits. It was probably more like '84-'85 maybe? I remember some people had personal channels they would use, like some dude named Greg hung out in channel 32 I think?

I guess it would be kind of weird and wrong to ask what your username was? I can't even remember mine for sure; it might have been Warewolph, or The Hoodlum. Both awful handles that I discarded soon afterwards.

Comment: One of my earliest multiuser gaming experiences. (Score 3, Insightful) 146

by Gondola (#46703867) Attached to: Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

Back in the day, I knew people that could provide me with magic phone numbers that would allow me to dial anywhere in the world, for free. Imagine that, right? I was only like 13. Statute of limitations and all that. This was in the 80s I guess.

Anyway, I remember we used to somehow dial into a Darthmouth mainframe and from there we could do a couple things. They had some kind of multiuser Zork (or Zork-ish) text adventure that you could play. I tried it a couple times but I couldn't get into it at the time, even though I loved Infocom games.

The biggest appeal was getting into the chat system. There, we could chat with what I assume were Darthmouth college students. "JOIN XYZ" I think was the command from the main menu.

There was this cool VT display of who was in the chat, so you could tell how many people were there. I used to chat with these people all the time. It was great for a precocious 13 year old who couldn't talk with his peers because his vocabulary and worldview was greatly expanded from theirs. How unfortunate that my social skills were so backward at the same time.

The details are a bit foggy, but I'm sure with some conversation with some of the same folks who used to chat there, I could dredge up those memories. Anyone remember chatting on that system?

Comment: A few things no one else has mentioned yet. (Score 1) 531

by Gondola (#46381317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

* Launchy: I switch from my sitting desk to a standing desk throughout the day. Instead of using a glitchy duplicate Start button, I use Launchy to run things. Now I don't use the Start button very often anymore, even when it's on the screen.

* Dual Monitor, for duplicate task bars. It's glitchy, though. Crashes a couple times a day, but at least it's not a destructive crash. I should write an AutoHotKey script to restart it when it crashes...

* AutoHotKey: There are a few things I use this for, and it really comes in handy to do those little things that make life easier, like cheating in Cookie Clicker. Actually, its primary use for me is to move all my windows from my 2-screen sitting desk layout to my 1-screen standing desk layout with a simple key combo. But, it comes in handy when I need to quickly automate any repetitive task.

* KeyNote NF: It's a hierarchical note-taking app like Evernote used to be. It's lightweight and intuitive to use, although I'm still looking for something that works with mobile and web that isn't heavy like Evernote is now.

* LICEcap for capturing GIFs easily, cleanly, with a small-ish file size. Better than GifCam, and GifCam is pretty great.

Comment: Free, small, accurate mapping data? (Score 1) 32

by Gondola (#44487857) Attached to: Using Zillow's Creative Commons Neighborhood Boundary Data For the U.S.

I've thought about creating a social game that integrates real world data for creating instant communities, but every mapping solution I've looked at requires you to host hundreds of gigabytes of image data, or purchase views after X number of free queries per month. As an independent developer, neither of those is practical for me.

Is there a truly free-as-in-beer map database that actually looks good at, say, a 10-mile radius zoom level that doesn't consume hundreds of gigabytes?

Comment: ASUS P8P67 problems with Marvell (Score 1) 138

by Gondola (#37280878) Attached to: Battle of the SATA 3.0 Controllers

Just purchased an ASUS P8P67 motherboard for a brand new Core i7 2600k install; my first new PC in like 5 years. I chose the P8P67 because it had a good assortment of SATA 3 and USB 3 ports for expansion. I had a DVD burner and 3 SATA drives to put into it; I like lots of storage.

I hooked up the drives, putting my brand new WD Caviar Black 1TB SATA 3 hard drive in the first SATA 3 port, and started installing Windows 7. It seemed to take a long time. The installation finished and I started installing all the usual utilities, apps, and games that one has to install on a new PC. I noticed that my system kept pausing, however. I would try to install something, and I would get frequent hourglass pauses, and sometimes the system would seem to lock up for up to 20 seconds at a time.

Eventually, I looked into the system log and saw that there were a bunch of errors coming up every time this happened; disk unavailable, and a driver name. The driver was for the Marvell SATA controller.

I moved that drive to one of the Intel SATA 3 ports (the other drives were not on the Marvell ports) and I have had no problems of that nature in the three weeks since then.

So, basically two of my SATA 3 ports, one of the primary reasons I chose this motherboard, are of no use to me.

Oh, funny fact; my older system had an ASUS P5N SLI motherboard. Marvell SATA chipset. My and I had both problems with that controller too (identical systems.)

Comment: Re:smart (Score 1) 149

by Gondola (#36735400) Attached to: Why SOE Decided To Cancel <em>Star Wars Galaxies</em>

Instead of lowering the price to license, it would make much more sense to *increase* the license price for SOE because SWG was going nowhere. Why have a powerful property giving bad impressions and diluting the marketplace for the new game? Lucas is motivated to make his IP look good with a successful MMO, so he'd want to give it the best chance by killing off the crappy implementation: SWG. Fans go to ToR, SOE gets to shut down servers that are already on life support, and everyone's happy except the few people that actually liked SWG.

Comment: Automated price adjustments aren't new (sort of) (Score 1) 147

by Gondola (#35946386) Attached to: Amazon Automatic Pricing Lists Book At $23M

In EverQuest, an MMORPG that predates WoW, people have been using third-party software to automate many things for years, including selling items in the Bazaar (marketplace.)

Due to common errors in logic, it was fairly easy to spot, and somewhat easy to exploit, these scripts. The scripts would re-price their items based on other items for sale, either to lower the prices to just below the lowest price, or raise them when competing items were sold and theirs were the only items of that kind for sale.

I know this isn't real currency, but I think it's interesting to see the parallels.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch