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The World's Largest Game Of Tetris 117

hax0r writes: "You might be asking yourself: What can I do with 5 months, 10000 christmas lights, a 14 story library, and a Linux box? Why not play Tetris? And they say there are no good games for Linux." There's some QT movies on the site, as well as pictures. The site was slow to respond for me, but if you're patient you should get through.Thanks to Blue Draco for the pix on a fast server.
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The World's Largest Game Of Tetris

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember the robot planet, where the construction crew was moving the tetris piece with the crane. Just as the operator releases the piece, the foreman yells, "No! Don't drop that there!" as four rows of the wall being constructed disappears and the rest drops down.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did you actually visit the webpage? It is not the LARGEST game of tetris, as they say on the page. They even give the link to the one that holds the record (TU Delft, The Netherlands). On another note, MIT has done something similar. They had a VU meter on a building, registering the Boston Pops playing on their annual 4th July concert.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of library buildings!

    Personally, I can't wait till someone 0wns it and uses it say something naughty about the dean.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:11PM (#1128816)
    This has already been done. Check out MIT's Hacks gallery [].
  • Well, the software I used isn't open source.
    I'm using MegaPEG [] LE which came with my copy of Premiere.

    The web server is all open source (Roxen [] on FreeBSD []) if that makes you feel better...
  • by Pathwalker ( 103 ) <> on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:47PM (#1128818) Homepage Journal
    If you want MPEG, I'm running the quicktime files through my converter now, and I'll have them up at [] in a few minutes.

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Sunday April 16, 2000 @11:23PM (#1128819) Homepage
    I had big ideas when I was at University. We did a little stunt where we put posters up telling the residents of the three residential tower blocks to look out of their windows at a given time and "copy": I started flashing my desklamp on and off, and within 5 minutes, all three towers were shimmering with flashing lights. That proves is can be done (we had 20 floors in each tower).

    The problem with using the main lights of a building is that if they're striplights (which is likely) they tend to take a few seconds to flicker into life. I don't fancy playing Tetris with that much display latency...


  • by isaac ( 2852 )
    How's life?
  • >The site was
    > slow to respond for me, but if you're patient you should get through.

    If your ISP runs a proxy, point your browser to it (or tell your personal proxy (e.g. squid) to use you ISP's proxy as a parent). You're not the only one who follows /. through your ISP! That'll save a hell of a lot of bandwidth, especially for pics and movies.
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • Acutly I think he killed him self and his wife and
    sun a few years back.
  • His name is actually spelled "Alexey Pajitnov"

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • The 44 floor triangular tower of Azrieli Center [] in Tel Aviv had a huge millenium countdown animated display. There were rumors that the programmer wrote Tetris for that display but eventually didn't run it. IIRC, the display controller was running Linux.

  • OS X Server [] is a Unix [] box. It's probably running the copy of Apache [] that comes with the OS.

    We've run Apache on an OS X DP3 machine (G4) in-house for videos of company gettogethers, I've gotten 1.4 MBps worth of Quicktime out of it (two movies playing in Netscape (under Win98 yet) at 990KBps and 550KBps.

  • MIT's hacks pages discuss a lot of technically "criminal" activity: trespassing, breaking and entering, etc. Unlike most other anti-authoritarian groups, however, MIT hackers have a well-developed sense of libertarian ethics that extends to their web presesnce. Also, they were the original home to the "MIT Lockpicking Handbook" that you'll find mirrored all over the net - a pretty darn good homebrew guide on defeating keyed tumbler locks. I think MIT has taken it down by now, and they especially don't like the attribution to MIT in the title, but that was already enough to get them included on filtering databases.

    I'm sure there's actual MITers out there that can do the facts more justice than I have, but they haven't spoken up yet...

  • It looks like the lights don't turn on or off very quickly. There is a lot of "motion blur" on the web cam.

    I used to write and re-write tetris games in quick basic, and then C++.. But I havn't for a long time. This project is very inspiring.
  • Is it on the linux console or something? What about the score?

    Tetris without a next piece is pointless... You might say it's "cheating" or something, but consider the following:

    For every piece, there are n possible moves in a given situation, but if you know the next piece as well, there are n^2 possible moves! And only one is the most efficient.
  • That wasn't tetris though just a VU meter
    Cool though had to make for an interesting show
  • They said that they thought of doing it with X10, but that it would have been too slow.
  • I just checked MIT's hacks page, and my company's proxy told me this:

    WebTrack Control List category criminal skills is restricted.

    I guess they're afraid I'll start playing Tetris on our 3-story building...

    Speaking of which, we manufacture barcode printers []. I've been tempted to sneak in a Tetris game with a refresh rate of one frame per label. Maybe it's time for that!

  • umm, try out xanim. I watched it fine in Linux.
  • Tetris, TI's, and School go hand in hand (in hand). I set countless records (not just personal, school!) in ztetris for the TI-85. Great game. Unfortunately, cuz I played it all first semester of AP Chemistry, I got a 56 on the midterm. My bad.
  • The site says "Powered by MacOS X Server" -- it's incredibly slow from the /. effect, but it hasn't crashed. I'm fairly impressed if that's the new Apple standard, I like the idea of a server that just keeps running slower and slower without crashing -- sounds like a *nix box to me. Wonder what web server they are running?


  • Ooh, converter? What software are you using, and where can I get it? (And, more importantly, (*tounge in cheek*) is it open source? Oh well....)
  • I suspect they were being facetious. One dimentional Tetris, while possible, wouldn't be much of a game. :)
  • If you keep reading, you see the following displays were done in addition to the VU meter (after the music stopped):

    `cylon'' scanning light patterns
    IHTFP in morse code
    One-dimensional Tetris

    I'm not sure what they mean by "One-Dimensional", but it was tetris!
  • if you went to U2's POP mart tour, then you saw something very similar.
  • MacOSX Server is a Mach kernel running a FreeBSD based system. The web server is apache.

    For more deets: Mac Os X Server []

    And no, I'm not a great fan of apple, but since I'm supporting a couple of these boxen, I gotta know this stuff.. :)

  • It sounds like you let a perfect opportunity to change the message pass....

  • Inquiring minds want to know....
  • I want to play Pong on the Prudential building!


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Sorry to interrupt this nice article, but this has been done before in the EE dept of Delft University, The Netherlands. It was hosted by the Electro Technische Vereniging and it was held on a 22 floor building. For a few nice shots: h.html []
  • actually the server seems quite peppy to me, and I'm in North Dakota, not exactly a hop off the backbone.

  • "Imagine a Beowful cluster of these babies!"

    Or, at least another one, so you could actually play against someone.
  • According to another post here on /. they have pumped the original music through a large stereo system. He heard it last night and said it was pretty cool. Of course, I guess this post is redundant... Oh, well.
  • It is actually a person playing the game. They have a console of sorts set up where passersby can play the game. They also have a stereo set up that pumps out the original music.

    If I lived anywhere within 200 miles, I'd be over there NOW.

  • by boarder ( 41071 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @07:49PM (#1128848) Homepage
    If I lived within 200 miles of this, I'd over there in a flash. I want nothing more right now than to play Tetris on a 14 story building.

    Seriously, though, the only flaw I saw in their system was the refresh rate. I know when I play, the pieces are moving so fast that their "screen" wouldn't be able to keep up (I'm not trying to brag).

    Are there any Tetris masters out there who have had a chance to play on this beast? I would like to know how well it keeps up with really fast play.

    For reference: I have scored 470,000 points on the Nintendo version and have broken computer versions by playing too fast. There was a version playing on the Internet that kept a global high score list and I was always at the top. I would love to hear some other people's high scores to have something against which I can compete.

  • if you want to see the movies on this site, try the following url instead of the link on the main page. s/ []

  • i live in RI, wonder why I never saw/heard of this!

    also... slow site but survived slashdot, odd

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @05:50AM (#1128851) Journal
    Don't they know there is a patent on Tetris?!

    # 5,265,888 []

  • ...about this whole project, but i just realized that they have litterally millions of these in Asia. Japan, Taipei.

    Props for the tetris part. gotta admit that's cool.

    I only take a drink on two occasions - when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Sunday April 16, 2000 @08:26PM (#1128853) Homepage Journal

    Forget christmas lights! Ya know all them HUGE buildings they have in the city with ten offices per floor on the one side? Well that is begging for a good tetrisizing already! Maybe when ip6 goes hardcore and they give every office light an IP some leet crackers will do this :)

  • If it was slow when Hemos accessed it, the site is just going to Crash and Burn when the full brunt of the Slashdot Effect hits it. Almost pointless to post it....

    Chris Hagar
  • Bad choice of words.
    Signal11 has registered that phrase on /.
  • How old would it make me if I remembered playing Tetris on a TI-994/A(that's right, the home computer, not the calc) in 1989? Heh.
  • You could play quake on this today, using text-mode quake. ;)
  • Actually, this was not encoded with the Sorenson codec, so you can play it using xanim. No need to go to windows.
  • Evidently Steve Wozniak visited Brown to play Tetris ... this from today's Providence Journal:

    Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, and a self-described Tetris master, flew to Providence yesterday from his Los Gatos, Calif., home just to
    see the installation.

    "When I tell people that I'm off to Rhode Island to play Tetris, people think that I'm stupid," Wozniak said in an e-mail exchange with a reporter from his
    plane yesterday afternoon. "I'm not stupid, just crazy."

    The students credit Wozniak with encouraging them to "fulfill our dreams."

    They befriended him in December when he was at Brown on a speaking engagement. Wozniak, who now teaches private computer courses to elementary school students in Los Gatos, said he told the Brown students in December he would return to see the project if they completed it.

    In college, Wozniak was a big prankster, and this project impressed him, he said.

    "This one really takes the cake," he said. "It's such an immense project."

    Even though it's not all that useful, Wozniak said, projects like these, where students press their knowledge, often lead to real products that change the world, he said.

    "Gosh, I think it should be on the cover of a magazine. I've read books about pranks at Cal Tech and at MIT. This is as good as any of them."

    "I'm lucky to be able to see and experience it."
  • by citizenc ( 60589 ) <cary@glidedesign . c a> on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:13PM (#1128860) Journal
    .. that this proves, once and for all, that size does, in fact, matter ;)

    ' CitizenC
    ' WebMaster, PlanetQ3F []
  • by DanaL ( 66515 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:30PM (#1128861)
    Tomorrow, you'll hear of someone running Ghost n Goblins on an NT box running *100,000* Christmas lights.

    Then, Sun will insist that Java is the best platform for this sort of thing and promptly release the Java Christmas Light Interface API :)

  • I just had the same problem. same site blocked, different software.

    I wonder if the stuff does keyword scans (in url) or there is a list that is shared among the blocking providers.

  • Command-Control-Power key
    The other side is crowded. The dead have nowhere to go.
  • Is the computer playing tetris or a human?!

  • Dang it. I just started downloading. Thank you for the warning, Laven!
  • Would it be possible to build a QT->MPEG web server. Using this system a user would visit l-site/video.qt and have returned a video in a more useable format.

    If the system had a good cache (ie it remembered what was linked to by /.) the load on the system would not be too high.

    Software for the server should not be that hard to create, Apple have a QT SDK which looks quite useful and I am sure there must be a (L)GPL MPEG coder around somewhere. Only problem is the system might have to run on Windows (only a proble for some people...).

    I would do this my self but with a slow and expensive to run modem, it would not be much fun.

    Anyone intrested...?

  • Yeah,
    here's a link. gif.html
  • If only that link could've been sent to that 12,000 member ICANN At-Large mailing list.
  • by MattXVI ( 82494 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @07:01PM (#1128869) Homepage
    Now, I'll laugh if Rob Malda does that to the Slashdot home page.
  • Okay, now I've gotta go buy myself a bunch of X10 wireless controllers ( and raid the local christmas-in-April store to set this up on one of the dorm buildings at school. That would be much easier than using custom interfaces, though more prone to error from people messing with their own controllers...

    Wouldn't this just be the coolest on one of those highrise buildings with floor to ceiling windows??!?

    Buy a ton of controllers, buy christmas lights when they're on closeout, charge people a couple bucks a game to play and you'll make your money back within a couple weeks.

    Also, Tic-Tac-Toe, anyone? :)
  • There's a game called, BattleTris, which is a 2 player ver. of Tetris with weapons and stuff, in the Brown CS dept (it was written as a final project). Maybe they should port that to the building. :)
  • Yup

    went over to see some friends in Brussels just before Christmas and they'd turned a bank into a projection screen like this. Red, green and blue lights set up to shine onto screens in front of each window. 52 by 7 display. Not a lot of pixels but given the full RGB and a nice bit of creativity on the part of the artists/ programmers, it should looked funky. Not interactive but a damn fine start.

  • The site was slow to respond for me, but if you're patient you should get through.

    Okay, Hemos. You've been around long enough to know the ./ effect inside out. If the site is slow for you _before_ you post it, what do you think will happen once us masses start attacking it? ;)


  • by edibleplastic ( 98111 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:16PM (#1128874)
    I actually was visitng Brown last night and happened to be walking by the Science Library when they started testing it. At first I thought it was just random lights on the building, but then I was able to make out the individual pieces falling and rotating. All of the familiar l's, straight lines, and t's were there, among the other ones and they were actually playing tetris! It was also really funny because they had a boombox playing the music from the original tetris, completing the experience!

    It looks like they have the basic system down, they just need to work on the refresh rates, because as of last night it was done floor by floor, so if you moved a piece right, it would sort of move to the right line by line. But all in all a very impressive set up!
  • Well, I'm /sure/ I cracked 500,000 on nintendo, and IIRC I cracked 700,00, but I haven't been playing in a looong time.


  • Reminds me of thisUser Friendly strip [] - playing pong with the elevators!

    "The romance of Silicon Valley was about money - excuse me, about changing the world, one million dollars at a time."
  • I agree, but on the bright side at least it's finally been done somewhere, after begging for someone to do it for so long.
  • wow! completely offtopic, but that's some that's some seriously evil stuff goin' on there, in a wonderful way.

    (I wonder where I could find more creepy pages like this? anyone reading this thread know any?)

  • I'm 99% ready to throw out my linux box, does anyone have a Windows version?
  • I just downloaded the three available movies available on their site with the intention of mirroring them to ease their web server load, but after viewing them I changed my mind.

    They are very low quality, grainy movies with pattern tests, a "Hello world" test and stuff. Their site says that were not able to film an actual game yet, so they will post a movie of an actual game soon.

    I suggest everyone wait a day or two until the initial /. effect wears down, and they'll perhaps a Tetris game movie will be online. They do however have a pretty neat live-still webcam that you can sometimes see Tetris pieces here ml [].

  • Whith that slow warning I was expecting to have to wait an hour

  • FUCK YEAH!!!
    Dude my hp-48gx is getting kinda rusty, being with my working on a liberal arts degree, but back in tha day... Used to spend whole days in all of my hs classes "programming" an animation of a moving 3d sine wave or something...

  • If you're playing Z-Tetris on a TI-86, I'm old enough to be your father... Why back in the day... All we had were TI-85s and zshell, and it did us just fine... you whippersnappers today...

  • Yep, I have that one... By the way, if you guys want to see ALL of the FR episodes, as well as all of South Park, FAmily Guy, and a bunch others, go to [] Not spam, I just happen to go there all the time to get stuff I wanna see..
  • What happens when you lose after getting 200000 pts, what does the rocket ship look like? some day linux will be able to play QT, or QT will be replaced whichever comes first
  • ...about what we're supposed to be doing... I used to count the number of times a person said "You should..." in a conversation as a good indicator of the person's spiritual maturity. Of course, it's an inverse measure. (-8

    P.S. Can anyone tell me where today's quote comes from, quoting "McCloctnik the Lucid" suggesting a rock or a club before resorting to magic? Sounds like something I'd like to read/see/listen to!

  • This has been done before by a dutch univerity some years ago. If I remember correctly it was the Technical University of Delft... looked great...
  • I say that next week, they put up TTY Quake and play it. Whoohoo!!!
  • by fluxrad ( 125130 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:20PM (#1128889) Homepage
    This marks a great day in history for the triumph of linux!! Now linux can do everything!!!

    Oh - you'll have to excuse me. i need to jump on my windows box to actually WATCH the movie!!

    Final notice: if your last name is Sorensen, or you have anything to do with QT - i'm coming to kick your ass!!!!!

  • I wonder why The Tetris Company hasn't sued this guy yet since they threaten legal action against everyone who has even a vaguely similar tetris java applet on their web page.

    You mean like this article [] which was posted to /. [] a while back? Bedter is back online, after it was determined that all Elorg and The Tetris Company LLC own about Tetris® is the ® []. All they have to do is take "TETR", "ETRI", and "TRIS" out of the name. Thus, freepuzzlearena [] for Linux, DOS, and Windows.

  • Alexander Pojitnov, the creator of original game must be proud. It's a monument to his brain-creation and it's being built while the guy is still alive. I believe this is an achivement since even the greatest Picasso was not recognize during his life time. Tetris is amazing, like PacMan or the pingpong game (or arkanoid) these are the games that will stay with us forever in one form or another just do to their idea. TETRISTETRISTETRIS~TETRISTETRISTETRIS~TETRISTETRIS TETRIS~~TETRISTETRISTETRISTETRISTETRISTE TRIS~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~ TETRISTETRISTETRIS~TETRISTETRISTETRIS~TETRISTETRIS TETRIS~TETRIS~~~~~~TETRIS~TETRISTETRISTE TRIS~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~ TETRISTETRISTETRIS~TETRISTETRISTETRIS~TETRISTETRIS TETRIS~TETRIS~~~~~~TETRIS~TETRISTETRISTE TRIS~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRISTETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~TETRIS~TETRISTETRISTE TRIS~~~~~~~~~~~~TETRIS~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRISTETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~TETRIS~TETRISTETRISTE TRIS~~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~ ~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~~TETRISTETRISTETRIS~~~~~~~TETRIS ~~~~~~~TETRIS~~~~~~TETRIS~TETRISTETRISTE TRIS~~~TETRISTETRIS~~~~
  • Damn those break tags
  • Now this is one cool implementation of technology. Finally something of true note worthiness from Slashdot after a couple of months.

    Too bad the darn web site is being /.ed right now and I can't get in... Any mirror sites?

    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC []
  • Really? What kind of crazy ass christmas lights do you use that they display text?
  • by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) <> on Sunday April 16, 2000 @08:58PM (#1128895) Homepage Journal
    How about binding a red, green, and blue light together, making each of them individually controllable, and then putting, say, 786,432 of these into a 1024x768 matrix? It could be the world's largest monitor.

    You could read slashdot from a mile away...

  • i never would have kept my sanity through my high school phsyics class had it not been for my ti-83
  • I just logged into the building and used lynx on it to look at the site.

    Is there going to be a port of the X Window System for this display?
  • I think it was a joke. It is a windows version, just not a Windows version.
  • Rumors of Alexey Pajitnov's death have been greatly over-stated.
    (It wasn't him, it was a business associate.)

    Pushed past the brink: Business pressures led Palo Alto exec to kill wife, son and self aminer/archive/1998/09/24/NEWS7742.dtl []

    WHILE HE WRESTLED with the financial difficulties of his San Francisco-based software company, Vladimir Pokhilko watched from the sidelines as business associates and friends readied the lucrative relaunch of Tetris, the world's most popular video game.

    Apparently pushed to the edge, Pokhilko - president of AnimaTek, a San Francisco-based software design company - brutally murdered his 39-year-old wife, Elena Fedotova, and their 12-year-old son, Peter Pokhilko, before killing himself, police said Wednesday.

    A business associate said Pokhilko had been wrestling with company problems brought on, in part, by the economic upheaval in Russia, where 70 of AnimaTek's 82 employees work.

    Adding to those pressures, said Henk Rogers, who helped found AnimaTek in 1988, was a push to get more financing to create software that would yield "Hollywood-type" computer effects.

    "We were in the middle of raising money," said Rogers. "It was nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that we couldn't see past the end of."

    But sometime Monday night, in the family's home on the 400 block of Ferne Avenue in southern Palo Alto, Pokhilko killed his family and then himself, police believe. Pokhilko hit Fedotova, a popular yoga instructor, and Peter, a seventh-grader, with a hammer, and repeatedly stabbed them with a hunting knife, apparently as they lay sleeping.

    Then he stabbed himself once in the throat with the knife, police said.

    "It's unfathomable that someone would do this to themselves and a child," said Palo Alto police spokeswoman Tami Gage.

    A close family friend called police at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, after he arrived at the family home, having failed in repeated attempts to reach the family by phone.

    The pajama-clad bodies of Fedotova and Peter were found in their beds by police. There was no sign of a struggle, indicating they may have been sleeping when they were attacked.

    Pokhilko's body was found in Peter's room, with the hunting knife in his hand, police said.

    Along with the knife, police recovered the hammer believed to have been used in the attacks, and they found a note. Investigators would not release its contents.

    "Not a suicide note'

    "It is not a suicide note," Gage said. "We don't even know who wrote the note or how significant it might be."

    Wednesday, the community was reeling from the horrific incident.

    Flags at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, where Peter was a student, flew at half-staff. And during the day, about 40 of his classmates placed a makeshift memorial of poster board in front of the family house. The poster board carried messages such as "In loving memory of Peter" and was covered with signatures of classmates and teachers.

    Meanwhile, more was learned about Pokhilko, 43, whose firm, AnimaTek, emerged from a partnership formed in Moscow more than a decade ago with Rogers and Russian computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov, who invented the video game Tetris in 1985.

    Pajitnov based Tetris, which entails lining up stacks of blocks as they drop to the bottom of a computer screen, on an ancient Roman puzzle called Pentamino.

    Pokhilko, a Russian clinical psychologist and a longtime friend of Pajitnov's, had been experimenting with using puzzles as psychological tests when Pajitnov first showed him his invention, said Rogers.

    Mass appeal of puzzle

    Pokhilko immediately saw the mass appeal of the puzzle and convinced Pajitnov it would make a great computer game. But in 1986, before the game was published, Soviet authorities demanded that Pajitnov sign over all rights to the game.

    Later, Pokhilko and Pajitnov teamed to create other digital diversions, including El-Fish, a virtual aquarium.

    In a 1996 Examiner interview, Pajitnov said he had acquiesced to the Soviet demand to sign over the rights of Tetris because he feared reprisals.

    "I would have been in prison for sure had I gone directly to Nintendo," Pajitnov said. "I would have had to be a dissident and possibly be cheated for everything anyway. So it wasn't worth it."

    During the 10 years the Soviet government brokered deals with Nintendo, Atari and other video-game makers, Pajitnov lost an estimated $40million in royalties.

    One of those who brokered the largest license agreement was Rogers, whose Japan-based Bullet Proof Software locked in the rights to sell Tetris to its largest market, the hand-held gaming-device industry.

    "That was the biggest market for Tetris," Rogers said. "That's what made the game huge."

    Rights revert to inventor

    In 1996, the Soviet restrictions expired and Tetris rights reverted to inventor Pajitnov, who, at Roger's urging, had immigrated to the United States five years earlier with Pokhilko.

    Rogers had helped the pair open AnimaTek International Inc., a software development company creating computer-generated terrains and characters for the gaming industry. Pokhilko became president of the company. Rogers was the chairman and largest stockholder.

    But two years ago, when the Soviet rights to Tetris expired, Rogers said, he formed the Tetris Co., which bought the rights to the game from Pajitnov, leaving Pokhilko out of the loop.

    Rogers also launched Blue Planet Software, which he said was to publish the next-generation Tetris computer games, including versions that would allow players to conduct Tetris matches over the Internet.

    The new version is expected to be a big hit.

    "There's a lot of anticipation around (the new Tetris)," said Cindy Blair, publisher of the San Francisco-based Game Developer magazine. "It's huge. It's one of the biggest games, ever."

    Btw, you can download the original tetris.exe [].

    For more some background read The Tetris saga [].
  • Regardless of what someone just said about watching the QT files grand under Linux, the Sorenson video codec is still not supported. This is not because of anything to do with xanim, it's because Sorenson signed an exclusive agreement with Apple, so the only product that supports the codec is QT4.

    I e-mailed the main Sorenson support line ( a few days ago about this (after I couldn't watch the LotR trailer), and got a reply from Scott Wheeler ( which said, among other stuff,
    Sorenson Vision has chosen to team up with Apple and their QuickTime product. Because of this, Sorenson Video is only available on supported QuickTime OS platforms.

    If you're interested in QuickTime for platforms other than Mac or Windows, please contact your platform vendor and let them know that you would like them to license QuickTime from Apple. Once QuickTime is available on a platform, Sorenson Video will be there as well.
    I sent another e-mail, asking for (a) a contact in Apple and (b) any indication that there might be a way they could support a free platform. So far, I've gotten no reply to that one.

    I think we should let people know how much proprietary video codecs restrict people, and encourage people to distribute in video formats that don't require us to buy new hardware and/or software to view them. As a start, we could mail Mr. Wheeler, nicely voicing our opinions, and asking him to pressure Apple to make a concession, and let Maark Podlipec include module support for the codec with xanim.


  • I have become convinced over the years that Tetris is the last vestige of the Cold War -- a Communist plot to deprive the West of work-hours. Unfortunately for the Soviets, this evil meme weapon was deployed too early -- had they waited until the Internet was everywhere and nearly every American worker had a computer on their desk, this simple, insidious weapon would have brought our economy to a grinding halt. Then, those crafty Commies would have waltzed in a la "Red Dawn" and done a number on the place, leaving only confused high schoolers to defend us. Viva Charlie Sheen y Jennifer Grey!

    Fortunately, this simple, all-consuming meme has faded with time and been replaced with other workplace-inhibiting memes such as Flash games, e-mail flirting, and frivolous use of Napster. The Communist threat/meme truly is no more.

  • Probably not too many worth mentioning...

    I have seen a game of nethack [] played on the side of a building using an LCD projector... I suppose that you could play many games like that, but the guy playing this one (at night, at a University) was actually getting advice by passers-by...

  • I'll tell you what - part of it was a typo... but I won't rely on that as an excuse. I will humbly thank you for your correction, and adopt it.

    Thank you.
  • well, it's a start. if they were really hardcore, they'd set up some giant speakers and run the classic neverending tetris music at a ridiculous volume in the background.

    and what about two player versus mode? building vs building? they should rig up the other side of this tower, or another one across campus, and get some serious multiplayer action going..

  • by nomadic ( 141991 )
    Now that's just beautiful.
  • RI's so small I'm surprised the whole state can't see it from their window...


    BADDOGGIE, INC., a Delaware corporation,


    Brown University Students,
    Linux Users,
    GPL Licence Subscribers, et al.


    CIVIL ACTION NO. 00-BD-00101010


    YOU ARE COMMANDED to immediately cease and desist all large-scale Tetris game play on the Science Library or any other large buliding.


    Each and every person who produced, received, viewed, downloaded or accessed Slashdot or any other forum in which information concerning large-scale gameplay utilising the windows of a building as picture elements ("pixels").


    Such use of large edifices as display units is a violation of numerous patents held by the plaintiff. Althought the primary Defendants have utilised such methods in an educational environment, they nonetheless violated various US and International Patents held or pending by the Plaintiff, with no authorisation from the Plaintiff to replicate.


    BadDoggie, Inc.April 14, 2000
    123 Anywhere St.
    New York, NY 10013 U.S.A.


    Attorney for Plaintiff April 14, 2000

  • I envision having I-Macs inside of all the windows, rather than lights strung along the building. Have some pulsating I-MAC screens. Actually, that is a pretty scary idea.
  • Thank you for this great honor. It's beyond my wildest dreams to ever be a karma whore-*sniff*-*sniff*. I'd like to thank my computer and it's trusty (although covered with-never mind) keyboard, the old ztetris game on my TI-86 (the only thing that kept me sane in school at times), and most of all the whole slashdot community (trolls, karma whores, ACs, and the others). Without them *sniff*-*sniff* this would never have been possible. I love you all.
  • by maniack ( 146532 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:02PM (#1128913)
    So when can I start playing quake with christmas lights?
  • reminds me of in high school when we spelled out [creative] stuff on the scoreboards. oh well, i never got caught

    Which reminds me of one of my psychology lecturers at university. He was a bit odd. Quiet, withdrawn manner. Always seemed to behave strangely around female students. Never looked you in the eye when he talked to you.

    We had these huge lecture theatres with three-storey high roll-over blackboards. Now, normally there was stuff from other lectures left on the boards. One day, we noticed that every time this guy lectured, it said "Love me" at the top of the boards. This happened three of four lectures in a row, and only in the lectures with this guy. So a couple of us snuck in before the next lecture and hid at the back. Sure enough, this prof. came in 10 minutes before the start of the lecture, wrote "Love me" on the board, rolled it to the top and left the lecture hall. At the start of the class, he came in an taught the whole lecture without mentioning the message, just as he had every week.

    I don't think I ever completed his course. Too damn weird.

  • by refried noodle ( 175580 ) on Sunday April 16, 2000 @06:56PM (#1128926)
    Tetris for buildings is all nice and well, but the record is still set in 1995 in the netherlands by the association for electrical engineering students. check f.html (or the guiness book of records)

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain