You’re not Sid Meier

In this gamasutra article, they describe what it’s like to work at Firaxis with Sid Meier, creator of the Civilization computer games. The article basically states that he’s a genius and everybody else relies on process. It doesn’t sound too different than where I work. I’m going to really miss Steve.


Friendly? Check. Librarian? Check. Yenta? Check plus.

Check out Stacy’s blog: The Friendly Library Yenta. She’s blogging about libraries, information, and pop culture. You should check it out.

Write once, use everywhere

Why can’t I have a single identity on the web? I like the fact that I can log in to Paras’s blog with my gmail account. StackOverflow allows me to use an open id (also provided by Google). But most web sites require separate and duplicate information. I can understand some sites like wizards or boardgamegeek wanting to be their own social platform and so intentionally don’t play nice with each other. But why I do have I once again upload my avatar jpg to evite? I don’t care enough about their service to go through that hassle. Man, would it be nice if it just did it…

I am in fact a rock star

According to the great reporting from the folks of Engadget the Rock Band people have made $1 billion off 40 million tracks. I guess I am guilty of contributing to their profit by just today buying Pearl Jam’s Ten for twice as much as I paid for it ’93 (totally worth it). What I take issue with is Paul Miller’s assertion that people who rock out in front of their tv with pint size plastic instruments are deluded.

When I’m wailing away on the drums I know I’m only performing for my friends and not thousands of screaming fans. I play because it’s fun, and yes, it’s easy. Far easier than playing a real instrument. I took guitar lessons for years and never got good at it because it requires constant practice. While it takes a lot of practice to get good at Rock Band, it’s not the same level of endeavor.

They say it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to be really good at something. You know what? I have a job and I can’t put in 10,000 hours in front of my computer AND 10,000 hours in front of an instrument. There’s only so many hours in a day. A professional musician can put in the time to be good because that’s their job. The same goes for an athelete, actor, etc. I’m a programmer. I bet Eddier Vedder wishes he could lay down lines of MATLAB like I can, but he doesn’t have the time to be an expert; he’s too busy making music. You see, to him, I’m his rock star. I’m okay with that. When I finish Programmer Hero, I’ll be sure to send him a copy.

I’ll take my precious free time and “cheat” to simulate the rock star experience because that’s what I enjoy, not because I’ve deluded myself into thinking I am a musician. But, like everybody else, for the things I put in the hours to be good at, I am in fact, a rock star.

Post for Paras

So here I am updating. Turns out WordPress’s dashboard is indicating that I have whole bunch of posts that I never actually published, so I’ve been updating even more infrequently than I thought. I won’t post them now, though; they are not timely. Also I regularly update at least one of my blogs, but its generally not the same one each week.

TVs at the dentist’s office

Today I got my annual teeth cleaning/dental checkup. My dentist’s office (factory?) is quite decked out technologically speaking with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos. One new thing they had this time is TVs in each cubicle. This was oddly distracting as I was more interested in what the survey was saying in Family Feud than what the dentist was saying, and actually found his interruptions quite annoying. But it got me thinking, the TVs were on the wall which are hard to watch when someone is hovering in front of your face with suction tubes and picks and whatnot. Why not put the TV on the overhead light or on the front of the dentist’s glasses shield? It could have a screen on the outside of the glasses for the patient but be one-sided so the dentist could get an unobstructed view of your maw.

Maybe I should patent it.

Tuesday’s Law and Order: SVU blew

Finally got around to watching SVU on my DVR. The episode started off strong with a taxi driver dropping an AIDS baby off at fire truck. It proceeded downhill from their with underwhelming performances from competent actors, predictable writing, dialogue that I would expect from a B 80s police drama. My left toe could have predicted the course of events. I couldn’t even force myself to have sympathy for the victims or care the principals’ actions. Even the “surprise” ending was trite and predictable. I hope they don’t put this one into rotation on USA. I want the old DA back.