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Journal Journal: The Commodore 64, now on OSNews! 2

It looks like my most recent article has made it to the front page of OSNews. As usual, the comments got off to a rocky start with the requisite grouch making half-baked arguments. Other than the political sub-thread he started, the comments have otherwise been very positive.

All in all, I think the coverage is kind of cool. Wouldn't you agree? :)

Edit: Almost forgot! One poster was kind enough to provide a link to this little hack. (And I do mean *little*!) Smitty, I think that one is for you? ;)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Are You Keeping Up with the Commodore? 8

In an accidental followup to David Brin's article Why Johnny Can't Code, I share my own experiences with introducing my son to a Commodore 64. The experience convinced me that older machines are just plain better at teaching than modern software and computers. Which would be sad, except that the Commodore 64 is perfectly positioned to make a comeback as an educational toy!

User Journal

Journal Journal: My foes 3

If I've added you as one of my foes, it means one of three things:

1) You're a flaming liberal, and I don't want to waste my time reading your drivel. Grow up, learn how the world and the people in it really work, and become a conservative.
2) You're a self-centered nerd who says things like "I don't like Microsoft, so I don't buy their products, so they will go out of business." Just because you are/are not doing something, Sparky, doesn't mean it's going to affect anyone else. One anecdote does not a data set make.
3) Ur speling and, like, grammar are just, like, bad, and stuff. Go read a basic book on English grammar, so you can learn when to use who and whom, when not to use "you and I" instead of "you and me", and what an infinitive is and why it's so important not to split them.

If you want to know which one of the three landed you on my Foes list, just email me (cor bettw at ya hoo dot com). I promise I won't add your email address to every porn spam page I come across.

User Journal

Journal Journal: New Comment System 14

Well, it looks like Slashdot has a new comment system. If you're a subscriber, you can turn it on by smacking the checkbox at the top of a comments page.

Unfortunately, I give you about 5 minutes before you'll be smacking that checkbox back off. I don't know about anyone else, but I normally browse at +0 Nested. This gives me a clear view of the discussion, and allows me to quickly browse from comment to comment. Anything else (e.g. Threaded mode) tends to require too much clicking.

The problem is that this new scheme is nothing more than uber-threading mode. It allows you to see the highest rated comments, and/or fold up the comment listings of lower-rated comments. Which breaks up the discussion horribly. It might be nicer for people who *like* threaded mode, but for the rest of us it's not particularly useful. Even worse, it doesn't seem to save your changes. So everytime I go to a new story, I have to lower the threshhold to 0! Fixing this problem alone would increase the usablility by 100%.

Basically, it's a nice concept, but I can't seem to take a liking to it. Perhaps if the threading was a little less clunky, I might like it. One thing I hope they *don't* do is make the comments download via AJAX. When I use a laptop, I'll occasionally load a large page of comments and read them on the go. This can be nice for interesting topics that have generated a lot of comments while I wasn't looking.

If anything, I'd like to see the page overflow feature fixed first. The way the overflow works, comments can disappear into the ether if there are a large number of responses to a top level post. To actually see the comments, you need to muck around with the threading/flat/nested settings trying to find a way of displaying the info so that it doesn't overflow.

Final analysis: I love the attempt and I encourage Taco and Pudge to keep trying. Unfortunately, the current version isn't it. What do the rest of you think?

PC Games (Games)

Journal Journal: Top 10 OSS Games You've Never Played 1

When it comes to Open Source games, it often seems like the selection is limited. Sure, everyone has played Tux Racer and Frozen Bubble, but what comes after that? The answer seems to be "not very much." Still, there are a few diamonds in the rough that have gone unnoticed by the majority of gamers. These are the games that you wish you existed, but are nearly impossible to find. In my latest article, I've collected a list of the top ten games that you've probably never played, but really wish you had.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Gold Museum 4

For those regulars who read my posts, I've started a Museum of Gold Coins and Gold Bars that I'll be updating daily for the next 2 weeks. I know many of my "fans" are starting to show interest in coins, and I hope this museum will eventually have enough facts on coins so that one can decipher the real deals from the "collectible" scams out there.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Thank you Mario, but the Princess is in another Castle! 2

After months of work, and several sleepless nights, I have finally moved. All the articles and your comments have been flawlessly imported to the new site. The Blogger.com site will soon redirect to the new site.

Don't think for a minute that my work is done on the new site, though. I have a lot of plans for expanding it. I'll update all ya' all as my plans for world conquest grow nearer.

Peace out.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Stupidity

The recent comment over nuclear power was uninformed and ignorant, it should have been reworded as more of a Homer Simpson-esque joke instead of including any one region of the country, especially my own.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Recent Events

Eh, graduation is less than 17 months from the day of this posting. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Intelligent File Format 9

Today's systems have hundreds of file formats they must support. Wouldn't it be great if we could reduce all the file formats in existence down to a single file format that could be supported across all systems?

My latest three-part article addresses this concept: The Intelligent File Format

If such a concept could be made into a standard, pressure could be put onto Microsoft and other large companies to support the format or lose massive government business. (See the recent pushes for the Open Document Format for a very real example of how this can work.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Have you Meta-Moderated recently? 2

Very odd, I Meta-Moderated earlier today, then this afternoon I get prompted to do so again on the homepage. I thought it was set only to do so once a day. Are there that many moderations being done now, with not enough meta-mods? Too sad, if that's the case.

As much as I gripe about the editors and the way they pick articles, Slashdot belongs (in a very real, if figurative, sense) to all of us. We all need to participate in moderation and meta-moderation for the site to function well. So come one, guys and gals, give a hoot, meta-moderate! Remember, only you can stop unfair moderation!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Latest submission, let's see what happens 5

I just submitted this article, let's see if they run with it:

I'm sure most Slashdotters have heard about the Mohammed cartoon controversy already, but here's an update. Fox news is reporting that gunmen have started storming hotels and apartment buildins in the West Bank looking for potential European hostages. This is on top of the large and loud protests in half a dozen Muslim countries, with protestors chanting "Death to France" and "Death to Denmark". If a little cartoon can cause this much uproar, can the Dar al-Islam (Muslim nations) and Dar al-Harb (everyone else) ever live in peace? Should we have any respect at all for a religion with this much contempt for freedom of expression?"

User Journal

Journal Journal: Flame on! 2

Oh, this is too much. Yesterday, I submit an interesting article about global warming being not-so-global, and it gets rejected. Today, I submit an article about bee flight and make a lame editorial comment about Intelligent Design, and it gets posted to the front page! Global warming, and both the science and politics behind it, are arguably far more important than how bees fly, but the article with the flamebait, anti-religion comment in the submission is the one that gets posted, not the one criticizing liberal beliefs. Sheesh, they're not even trying to hide their bias anymore, are they?

Hey Taco, if you're reading this, maybe you should look in the mirror the next time you want to yell at your site visitors regarding story selection.


Journal Journal: 2005 Second Warmest Year in Over 100 1

The liberal editors of Slashdot keep rejecting my submissions, so I guess it's time I start entering them in my journal, instead. Here's one that was rejected, despite the interest so many Slashdotters have in the environment and the subject of global warming. Guess they don't want to publish anything that will go against the prevailing liberal myth of human causes of global warming:

According to this Yahoo News article, from LiveScience.com, 2005 is the second warmest year on average since accurate records began being kept in the late 19th century. This is significant because it was predicted to be the warmest, showing that the climate data models being used aren't as accurate predictors as some claim.

Also, most of the warming is shown to have occurred in the North Pole. From the article, "It just doesn't look like global warming is very global," said John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Given that the warming shown around the world is still 3C cooler than 800 years ago, I really wish the hysteria about global warming would just go away. Humans, and the rest of nature, have experience far more pronounced climatic shifts than what we're seeing today and not survived, but prospered. Even as bad as the Little Ice Age was, if it hadn't happened we wouldn't've had the large influx of immigrants to America (bad for the natives, good for everyone else), wouldn't've had the French Revolution (bad for the nobles, good for everyone else), and might not have had the Renaissance (since the severe population decline from the onset of the ice age and the Black Death that was fueled by it led to higher wages being paid to the few craftsmen who were left, and hence a higher standard of living for the survivors...I'll try to find the article I read about it but it's not coming up in the first few results so far). So while the climate is changing, we don't yet know if it will be a net boon or not to mankind.

Personally, I'm much more worried about the pending magnetic reversals. Though seeing the Northern Lights in Texas will be quite a sight!

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The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison