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Comment Tux Paint "Plus" (Score 1) 147

Someone released a package of Tux Paint for Windows labeled "Tux Paint Plus", suggesting that it was somehow better. Upon further investigation, we discovered the "Plus" was simply a browser toolbar it injected without asking.

OTOH, I'm now utilizing OpenCandy to help "monetize" the project (read: pay for my coffee addiction and business cards to hand random parents at the park). At least it's (1) optional, and (2) I control which apps it suggests to users when they invoke the Tux Paint installer. (And no, there are no ads in Tux Paint itself -- it's not "adware"... I've come up with the term "adverstaller" in my attempt to describe it.)

Comment I run my own show! (Score 1) 422

I went to Vintage Computer Festival a few times, and when it stopped happening on the west coast, I started running my own, much smaller, very Atari-oriented Atari Party out near Sacramento.

Last weekend I took the train down to California Extreme to play some old video games (and my 4yo likes the older pinball games a lot). I wish Classic Gaming Expo weren't back in Las Vegas, or I'd go to it.

Plus, I still read comp.sys.atari.8bit on Usenet over an SSH connection to my ISP's shell server. :)

Comment Tux Paint (Score 1) 742

Being its creator, I'm a bit biased, but Tux Paint is geared towards younger kids (and it's also fun to help them play with it, if my wife and our nearly-4yo are any gauge). Run it fullscreen, and check the options to make it safer (disable or limit printing, turn off sound to keep parents sane, even an option to disable the quit button).

And yes, despite the penguin, it runs on Windows (and Mac).


Submission + - To Apple, 1-Station Radio Apps As Bad As Fart Apps ( 1

Bill Kendrick writes: Radio magazine has pointed out that as of this month, single-station radio iOS apps are being rejected because Apple considers them "spam" (and apparently specifically compared them to fart apps). Jim Barcus, author of the letter to Radio and president of DJB Radio Apps, finds it ironic that apps cannot mention other mobile platforms (e.g., Android), yet "radio stations have to be forced to have its competitors on the same app."

Comment No cut/paste? 1983 called; want their tech back (Score 1) 319

I just used copy-n-paste three times while composing a TXT msg to a friend yesterday. (1) Restaurant's hours that day, (2) Restaurant's street address, (3) Restaurant's website's address (in case she wanted more info). I admit, it was tedious to switch back and forth between browser and message system, and copying text is a bit annoying (though a trackball cursor control helps a lot, since otherwise I'd have to use the touchscreen... I miss styluses :^( ) But I cannot imagine trying to "TYPING" all that crap manually, using the on-screen keyboard!

As much as my Android phone pisses me off (early dev model w/ old OS and slow hardware), I can't imagine the hoops iPhone or Windows users have to go through. (And my old phone was a 'high-tech' BREW handset, which is just a complete joke compared to any of these 'smartphones.' My web browsing and navigation was done the old way: call up someone who was at home in front of their computer and ask them to read stuff to me. :) )



Comment Won't SOMEONE think of the CHILDREN!? (Score 1) 619

Oh wait! I've spent over 7 years doing just that, IN MY SPARE TIME:

Now, if someone would hire me to do it full-time, so I can keep putting food on my family [sic], I _might_ stop working on it in my spare time. (No guarantee, though.) I guess even more important is: who is this Ted person, and why do I give a crap? I've got literally millions of children to worry about. :^P

Comment Re:Beat me to the punch! (Score 1) 199

"a little caricature of Carter that is placed throughout the book"

Man, just like "Atari BASIC: XL Edition" that I learned a ton of BASIC with as a kid. It had "Kilroy" (as in "... was here") throughout it.

I vividly remember reading some of that book while on a trip to the department store with my mom. In fact, not only do I still HAVE that book (surprised? don't be... I was the "Atari vs Dell" guy on Slashdot the other day), it's on the shelf next to me, and just yesterday I happened to grab it when I responded to one of those dumb chainlettery things on Facebook ("grab the closest book, open page X, type sentence Y as your facebook status").

This is starting to freak me out. ;)

Comment Beat me to the punch! (Score 1) 199

About 5 years ago, I was lamenting the apparent lack of programming books aimed at children. I posed the question "what would be a good modern language for kids to learn?" and almost every response I got was "Python." So this is perfect! Too bad I didn't get the chance to (1) learn Python, (2) write a book, (3) get it published. ;)

Comment My example: Tux Paint (Score 1) 309

We've got a "Help Us" page ( ) that explains how contributors can help in all sorts of ways (code being only one). We keep the latest translation files online for easy download (no CVS needed), along with stats on how complete they are.

One of these days I'll get around to finishing the asset management web application I started working on, to make it really easy for graphics-oriented folks and photographers (and just folks who find usable PD and Creative Comments artwork) can collaborate.

Comment Re:8bit colour? (Score 2, Interesting) 253

Switch into GRAPHICS 9 mode (16 shaded bitmap mode). Use a Display List Interrupt (DLI) to change the colors down the screen. You can arrange it to get a nice grid of 16 hues of 16 shades == 256 colors!

The paletted colors were actually only out of 128 colors. (16 hues of 8 shades)

More useful, though, are some of the software-driven tricks for drawing more colors on the screen. One simple one interlaces between 16-hue and 16-shade pixel modes, combining to give you any of 256 colors (albeit a little washed out), anywhere on the screen. In glorious 80x192 pixel resolution. (Not a typo)

Or cycle between 3 16-shade modes, one Red, one Green, one Blue, and you get 4096 colors, anywhere on the screen. (Or do it at higher horizontal resolution and get 64 colors or 8 colors.) There are GIF and JPEG viewers for Ataris that have been around for _years_ that use these modes.

Even fancier tricks give you 30 shades of grey at 160x192, some obscene number of colors at 160x192, etc.

In fact today (before this post appeared on Slashdot), someone contacted me about the character-set (you know, "font"? :^) ) driven multicolor text mode I came up with a decade ago that let me do cell/tile-based graphics and get 13 colors on the screen. (Simply toggle the font at each Vertical Blank Interrupt -- no need for Display List Interrupt tricks.) I wrote a puzzle game with it.

Anyway, he pointed out that those huge-pixel (80px across) modes can be "applied" to any graphics mode (try GRAPHICS 2:POKE 623,64:?#6;"abcd"), and therefore a similar frame-flickering trick could be made to get lots of large, multi-colored tile graphics on the screen.

Lots of stuff you can get ANTIC and GTIA to do; a few of which are 'artifacts' or 'bugs', but all consistent across the platform. :)

(Heh - I wonder if a single person will care about that braindump I just presented.)

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