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Think of something like a short-legged AT-AT walker having fallen for a cybernetic crab, make it purely wind powered, and you have something like the Animaris Rhinoceros Transport. The short video clip (1.6MB MPEG-1), also available locally (304K MPEG-4), must be seen to be believed; bear in mind it's 4.7m (15' 5") tall, and weighs two tons. I expect stego_s_aurus to meet the challenge.

Handy phrase to slip into conversation: "In addition to being listed in the Guinness Book of Records for (32 feet was his record effort)propelling crickets out of his mouth ..."

Delve back into home computing's history, with Computer Chronicles, courtesy of the ever wondrous Internet Archive.

The BBC's released the Infocom Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy game as a Flash page. Meanwhile, BBC Films and HBO have been preparing what looks like an exceptional documentary on The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (5.4MB QuickTime), played by Geoffrey Rush; coming to British screens on October 1st, and already released in Australia.

Want to see what newspaper editors consider important? Try this: "321 front pages from 40 countries presented alphabetically". (Regrettably, it's one of those sites tested only locally, so even if you're on DSL or cable, it's fairly sluggish)

Here's slightly odd music video from FKO (20MB QuickTime), courtesy of Warp Records, reminiscent of a pairing of animation styles from the 30s and the 60s; I can't help but think of that cat from Azumanga Daioh.

New Japanese invention: the breast enlarging ringtone; you can listen to it here (284K MP3). (Ah, the possibilities for a Ring-style movie..) Or maybe this adorable Hello Kitty bluetooth headset?

Pic for the day, from terminotaur. *giggle* And rather a novel piece from Johnathan Rich, featuring a rendered red panda (not at all safe for work).

At last - soon, I'll be able to get some good red panda footage posted, thanks to roohbear and his DV bridge. By way of a simple technology preview, a few seconds of somewhere can be found here (1.2MB MPEG-4). Anyone fancy guessing where this is? Go on, give it a try. ^_^

Some slightly more interesting eBay feedback than usual.

A highly detailed article from Harper's, on the execution of the "Year Zero" economic strategy in Iraq. Recommended reading.

Baghdad Burning, a weblog written by a resident of said city, makes for distressing, personal reading. Although, if you want something gruelling, try the progress of Echo Company, from the Wichita Eagle. Be duly warned. And another weblog - somewhat less substantive - from an Iraqi, Raed in the Middle.

An amusing political song, "The Flop", showing changing one's mind is, thankfully, an attribute shared by other candidates. (Is it not insulting to suggest that forming current strategy and policies, based on all current information, is somehow to their and our detriment?)

A couple neat archive photos: Kerry and Lennon at a peace march, and Kerry watching Nixon announce the cease-fire in Vietnam. And this one really calls out for a caption.. ^_^

Quite a pleasant track to try, if you've enjoyed Daft Punk and Air: I, Monster: "Hey Mrs.", by way of another music weblog, Telephone Thing.

If you're looking for that ideal TV projector, but have been put off by the weedy resolutions available, how about JVC's new 4K2K? It's reasonably bright, at 8000 lumens (2000W), and offers a passable 4096x2160 image. Review units accepted. To go with that, how about these speakers from Kubotek? (I wouldn't link to them unless they were worth it, trust me :)

I crush your head! See, I am crushing your head!

Quote for the day, from mythos_amante: "And my eyeballs are officially dried up little raisins again! Crispy! But it was worth it!"

Aha! This story on Taiwanese military spending claims that pearl ("bubble") tea was invented there. Great stuff.

From a pandagon.net comment: "Mercury, for example, is traded in carboys, which are the carriers in which it's transported. Each holds 76 lbs. of product, which was arrived at by watching how much the average miner could carry."

A little piece from Editor & Publisher on some papers' decision to censor The Boondocks, themed around a reality TV show, "Can A N***a Get a Job?". (Papers were offered the strips "as is" with the three stars, all five letters starred, or a rerun of an old strip)

A fairly amusing little political ad from Oregon (RealVideo stream).

Say hello to the CheTrooper. ^_^

Aha! Finally, Mamoru Oshii's Polish SF film, Avalon, will be seeing a R2 DVD release in the UK on Oct 18 as a two-disc set, including a feature length "making of" and a documentary on the special effects.

World Wind from NASA brings together several layers of satellite information and other data, permitting you to go from looking down on the planet, to zooming in on your home street, and flying past mountains in 3D. Only available for XP and W2K.

But is your life really complete without a USB noodle strainer?

"Hi, prophase." "Hi, anaphase!"
Did you ever get a chance to play the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text game...back on the old Atari floppy disk system?
I'm afraid not.. indeed, while I saw an Atari 400 and an 800 around, I only laid my paws on one of the latter a couple years ago. (Might even still have it.. so many moves!)

But, I think I fiddled with it a bit under a DOS emulator.. never actually pursued it, though. Indeed, probably the last adventures I really took "seriously" were Twin Kingdom Valley, Philosopher's Quest, and suchlike. And, of course, the Adventure.

Ever play any of the Zork series?

Most people never knew about the Atari Floppy disk drive, all they knows is the catridge system. I still gots both ^^
I think I did, either under that emulator (and of course, now, the script interpreter's available for just about every platform around. Given there is/was some variant of ucLinux available for some iPods, probably that too :) or on an Archimedes. But, I never really went far with them, I'm afraid. (Wonder if Myst 4 will even run on my humble systems? Very far from cutting edge now :)

Wish I still had the 11th Hour code kicking around.. would be fun to try bringing that to OS X. ^_^ (And it wouldn't be a stretch to have it run the Clan Destiny data files, either - the engines were pretty much identical)

I need to see if that Atari's still in storage.. ^_^; It did actually come with the (5.25") floppy, too - part of a job lot from Weird Stuff, I think. (One of the various surplus electronics/computing places in the Bay. Usually at least worth a wander around, even if many of their list prices aren't anything too inviting. Their auctions often turned up some bizarre wonders, though)

Unfortunately, I don't think it came with a Star Raiders cartridge. ^_^; (But, the BBC Micro did gain Elite..)
GOds... I need to look through the collection of games again and see which ones are still working. My parents have all the Zork series and then some. Its great classic stuff. Back when you NEEDED an imagination.
Come to that, I wonder how well carts hold up over time? Obviously, there might be some tarnishing of the contacts over time, but beyond that, it'd seem they'd be about as stable a medium as a pressed CD, if not better. Floppies, though.. egh. I didn't have too many problems with 5.25" discs overall, but rather more with 3.5" ones. Consequently, I tended to keep "archival" stuff on 5.25" 40 track discs. (Long gone, sadly. Pity, as they held a stack o' stuff like usenet archives from a few groups, not to mention all the games I had.. :)

I admit, even after all the subsequent adventure games I've enjoyed, the original still has a special place with me. ^_^ Never did find out the significance (if any) of the copy of Spelunker Today, though.
hehehe, sometimes, you can;t beat a good text game.
I wonder if that interpreter would run on my phone? ^_^ (A very simple creature, with an earlier Nokia offering of Java) Seems like text adventures would be ideal for playing on a phone - they'd fit easily, and whilst the descriptions might run for a few screens in some cases, the responses would often only need to be quite short.. someone must have come up with a suitable implementation by now!

(That said, it's mostly with my mother now - I'm not that keen on phones, and she actually needs to be reachable on the move)
eh...text and internet anything on phones is too much of a hassle for me.
Hee! No argument here. (Despite that, when sending a text message, I will not use abbreviations. I prefer the recipient's eyeballs remaining in a non-bleeding condition)

Thankfully, some US carriers are coming around to the idea of flat-rate data plans, and with Bluetooth, it's easier than ever to have the phone act as just a wireless network interface. Gods, I absolutely loved Ricochet.. I could remain connected anywhere, any time, aside from within the BART tunnels. (Including, yes, out at dinner; not if I was with company, of course. Once had a brief three-table chat going, with someone wanting to check the Grateful Dead's site for some new release. This was in Haight-Ashbury, of course :)
hehe, yeah

wow, we really are crowding up your comments section =p Almost like using an IM.

I must run now, but shall talk to thee anon =p

now it IS like an IM ^^

Maybe oddly, I never got into the text-adventure games of any sort, whether Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy or others. I just never had any idea what the options for things to do were (``LOOK AROUND'' ``I only understand you as far as wanting to look.'' ``LOOK DOOR'' ``I don't see that here.'' ``LOOK BEDSTAND'' ``I don't see that here.'' ``LOOK NIGHTSTAND'' ``I don't see that here.'' ``LOOK NIGHTTABLE'' ``You start to look at the nighttable when the Earth is destroyed! The end!'') and it was just too much guessing for the fractional progress I'd make.

You'll note on my muck all the exits in a room are clearly marked, and all the global commands are listed and have help files provided by looking at them.

I still have all my old Atari stuff, including my 1050 and 810 drives. I also still have an Indus GT floppy drive, advertised as the "Lamborghini of floppy drives" back in Analog/Antic (built-in LED readout and flip-top front) - soon to be a Firewire CD enclosure. :)
All I had was Atari, but my dad repaired someones old Commodore, or one of those, it had the monitor (very small and green) imbedded in the system itself.
That would be the Commodore SX-64, still considered a classically cool computer from that time period. I still fondly remember my Commodore 8-bit machines. I wonder if the one I have in storage still works? I need to find out.

You can still play the Infocom games on any system you care to, as the interpreter has been ported to every platform I can think of, and the Java interpreters allow it to go even further. I can play them on my Palm Pilot, for instance. Grafiti for typing is not fun though.

Shame on our favourite red panda for not playing these text adventures to death in his youth! I used to curl up with them for hours, like a good book, probing the depths of the puzzles, doing my best to solve them without looking up any hints!

I recently replayed Starcross when I remembered that I had gotten pretty far, but never actually solved it. Finally, 20 years later, I have made it all the way through. It's still fun! Our video-obsessed society can't appreciate these masterpieces of prose and puzzle and fiction, though.
a few years ago we got the Infocom "Treasure chest" which had over 20 of their classic text Games including the Zork series and Starrcross'd. Its on the 5.20 and 3.5 floppies. Still runs nicely on Widows it seems too ^^
The interpreter that comes with the Lost Treasures of Infocom is actually quite inferior to what you can download from the Net. Frotz and WinFrotz are both much, much better than whatever they managed to throw together on the CD.

Those CD's, of course, are priceless to me. :)

I even have a couple of the game files that did not come on the CD's (such as Leather Goddesses of Phobos) but I can't really remember how I came by those... Oh well. :)
The Infocom Hitchhiker's game is actually up on the BBC website at the moment:


A few little cosmetic tweaks (the odd picture, for example), but it's precisely the same game at heart. I spent forever playing that game on my old Amstrad PCW. =:)
Oh, they've added some images? Coolness. Derived from the TV series, or new work? I'd read they were intending to "update" the game somehow, but when I noticed they'd actually already gone ahead with it (fourth paragraph of this entry), I was quite surprised nonetheless. ^_^

Wai! Amstrad! Yes, I remember their wares.. more or less an all-in-one design, ne? (Computer in the monitor casing) Or maybe I'm just getting hopelessly confused.. it wouldn't be the first time. Though the archetype for the AIO paradigm must surely remain ye olde PET 2001, with that.. famous keyboard. (And then there was Sharp's knockoff, the MZ-80K)