May 2010


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a groundbreaking engineer
who made an antenna quite queer.
But then the ghosts came
and made Wifi quite lame.
Instead of engineering, he should have just had a beer.

HAIKU REVIEW: Japanese horrors
have ghosts instead of killers.
That’s the big diff’rence.

PEOPLE: Screenplay co-written by Wes Craven. He was slated to direct it, but unfortunately bailed out. Starring Kristen Bell (aka Elle from Heroes, also in Fanboys) and some other minor actors. Hey Compn–it had Brad Dourif too.

QUIRKS: A remake of a Japanese horror movie. And from what I can tell about Japanese horror, it’s not really all that different from American horror. You just substitute ghosts in place of serial killers.

Basically — a computer “virus” rapidly spreads, causing mass suicides. Ghosts in the wifi. They’ll get ya. Basically, once you use your computer and get “infected”, you’re going to die pretty soon. It really reminds me of The Ring in that sense — “see something and then die a few days later”. In fact, Bob Weinstein canceled the movie at one point for being too similar to The Ring.

But then, later, things get really bad. It approaches more of the level of the [non-Japanese-related] horror The Signal. Since wifi is a signal, and hardware gets “infected” by this evil signal, in the end it was a matter of escaping everywhere that the signal could reach — so it went from being more like The Ring to being more like The Signal.

GEEK MOMENT: Seeing someone hang themself with network cable instead of a phone cord. It’s about time.

VISUALS: The ghosts aren’t as visually disturbing as The Grudge. Carolyn still was reminded of The Grudge a lot — but not as much as I was. She says some of the ghostly shapes reminded her of The Grudge twisting; but I disagree. They’re just the standard Americanized depiction of creepy Japanese ghosts, as seen in The Grudge and The Ring.

But what was seen on the computer screens was kind of disturbing. “Do you want to see a ghost?” If my computer spontaneously said that in a way that doesn’t look like it’s coming from any specific application — I’d probably head straight for the power switch. Though if it was someone else’s computer, I’d probably go through with clicking on it to see what happens.

And oh yeah — if I ever have a dead friend IM me… I’m going to freak out a little.

BAD STUFF: It’s not a bad movie at all. There aren’t a lot of characters, but it really picks up at the end. The [highlight for spoilers] non-happy ending surprised me a bit, as I really thought they were going to [highlight for spoilers] succeed at stopping the ghosts.

CONCLUSION: 40% The Ring + 40% The Signal + 10% The Grudge = Pulse. We really liked it compared to most horrors, so it gets 4/5 stars on Netflix. But it’s not super groundbreaking, so it only gets 7/10 on IMDB. Carolyn gave it 8/10 on IMDB. Maybe I’m just not remembering it as good as it was. However, IMDB itself only rates this movie 4.4/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like technological, ghost, or Japanese-remake horror: Here’s another one. And it has a sequel, so if you like this, you might get 2 movies out of it.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Signal. The Ring. The Grudge. If you liked all of those, you’re probably guaranteed to like this.

MOVIE QUOTE: Thin Bookish Guy (Brad Douriff): “The whole freakin’ city is going insane, and we’re acting like it’s nothing. Well, it’s not nothing. It’s something we don’t understand, and it is coming for us.”
Goth Girl: “You’re freaking us out, man.” (more…)

Just so you know the basis of some of my various viewpoints:

Firstly, respect [i.e. dressing nice to get respect in public; "general public respect"] has always been a hilarious concept to me. A system of respect based on the quality of someone’s clothes is simply a social more of formalized superficiality.

Until they come up with merit badges that say something like “Saved a kid from a house on fire”, I’m not going to ever know if someone is worth of ‘respect’ simply by looking at their clothes. All someone’s our clothes tell me about you is that you’re willing to spend money on nice clothes. [Which can be taken several ways.]

Jeans at an interview — different kind of situation. Professional is business; clothes are an investment. [You're buying into their world. Unfortunately, you have to play by their rules.]

But outside of work? Pffffft. I’d *much* rather hang out with the person in sweat pants at Wal-Mart than the person in a suit & tie. [Why the fuck are you all dressed up in a tie to go to Wal Mart? Don't you hate being choked every second?]

And see? The fuckers even have me doing it! I’m saying I’d rather hang out with the sweatpants person, even though that judgment is completley based on their clothes! ARRRRRGH!! I want no part of this system!! It’s a virus!!

I used to be so unware before professional life. 8th grade spirit week I talked to a friend at the bus stop for the entire wait — before noticing he was wearing pajamas [for spirit week]. Too bad we’re forced to notice — by the viral system of superficial competition for this elusive ‘respect’.

Respect by random strangers who only know what clothes you are wearing may feel good, but it means absolutely nothing. It is a hollow, meaningless feeling. Which, when I stop to think about it, is perfect for the general public. People love to be all sentimental and assign meaning where it isn’t — the prime example being religion. But even those who are spiritual and not religious looooove a good hollow statement. So I can see why people would love “general public respect”; it’s another meaningless easy feelgood mechanism.

I, of course, wouldn’t wear jeans to an interview–but only in the same way that I wouldn’t choose to walk through an all black city neighborhood at 2AM. It’s not that I’m racist and hate black people — I don’t. But I’m scared of black racists who hate white people, and more of them are going to be in an all black neighborhood. (Sorry if this seems crass. Race is such an awkward subject.) In a similar vein, I’m scared of superficial people who hate those who don’t meet their standards, because they’re takin’ all this “respect” I’m supposed to have. Therefore I have to be aware, even though I would rather be blind.

I see no reason to bathe or brush my hair or teeth if I’m going to taco bell… ’bout the only way i wouldn’t enter would be if i’d literally just rolled around in shit.

That, however, would be pretty damn funny.

And obviously — if you’re going out to try to impress people at a club, or hanging out with friends, you don’t want to be offensively unpleasant.

But do I need to buy more clothes to win my friends’ respect?

I sure as hell hope not.

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “yeah, I should have just trusted my first vibe, I know right away if i like someone”. I cringe at how many people have based their decisions using clothes.

It’s not like I’m unaffected. It’s not like I haven’t been swayed. But it certainly isn’t going to be how *nice* your clothes are. In fact, if you have a $500 fucking handbag, I am going to think worse of you than someone who appears to be an actual homeless person.

Have you ever heard a conversation sort of like this:  “wah wah i don’t want photos of me drunk online” / “why?” / “some employer may see it and my chances are narrowed” / “Well, do you really want to work for that kind employer in the first place?” And I pretty much agree with that.

Well, do you really want the respect of someone who truly thinks like that in the first place?

I’ve also heard that we are simply doing the rational thing to maximize our opportunity based on peoples’ first impression. Sorry, I can’t just reduce the idealism out of the equation and only think of it in practical terms. That argument is akin to “don’t hate the playa, hate the game”. But you can’t have this game without a bunch of people conspiring to play it together.

And yes, it’s a game. People are wearing costumes to make other people feel certain ways. There is no real substance to these interactions.

Remember that kid who did extra credit and messed up the curve? That is exactly what every impeccable dresser does to society. They mess up the curve. They raise the bar — unnecessarily – for the rest of us. They become the “Joneses” that we all must keep up with. They make us look that much worse in comparison. They cause us to keep less of our wages, as we now have to pay for dry cleaning, pressing, ironing boards, and other things to keep up with their fastidious superficial obsession. They ruin everyone.

In closing, the idea that the general public owes us something for how we dress, or that we owe them something for how they dress — is, to me, just a dangerous dishonest superficial control virus. (more…)

Carolyn: "The big one in the middle was totally hissing at me. " ........ Clint: "ducks hiss?" ........ Carolyn: "Canadian geese do. Those things are mean. Ask Tabbitha."

Tabbitha, on geese:

“I am tickled that my pure and poignant hatred for geese (especially of the Canadian variety) has made enough of an impression on others that it can be referenced in a caption.

Geese are evil and must die. Fucking geese. I spit on you, flying oversized rodents. If only there were flying oversized snakes that could sqeeze the breath out of them mid-air and swallow their twitching goose bodies whole.”

“So many geese. So few opportunities to kick them in the head with my Doc Martins.” (more…)

/yard sale sign/ Things were kinda sparse in our neighborhood Saturday! We did our entire main circuit [we usually miss part of it] in a mere hour, even though it often takes 3 or even 5 hours, and we often run out of time and don’t finish it. We ran out of options, so we took 395 down to Carolyn’s work’s exit [Newington], and got on Rolling Rd. and drove it all the way back to Braddock. BAM! Multiple community sales. Had to take almost every turn this side of Morrisette Rd. Chock full of sales over there. Definitely made up for the lack of ones locally.

Got out around 8:15AM, and went until 11:35AM for a total of 3.25 hours.

Total spent $17.05 plus ~$7.60 gas for 38 miles of driving, for a total cost of $24.65.

We bought 15 items – 20 if you count each wrapping paper separately – for a total estimated value of $192.88, leading to a profit of $166.23.

That’s $51.15/hr as a couple or $25.73/hr per person. And to earn that much after taxes you’d really have to earn $237; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

  • $3.00: cat scratching post, 16″ high, 4″ diameter, (my old one is 14.5″ high, 4″ diameter) (EV:$16)

http://www.petco.com/Assets/product_images/8/800443094747C.jpg

  • $2.80: pillow, leopard print (EV:$25)

http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/kirtamdesigns/no_138.jpg

  • $2.00: shotglass drinking game, Shots and Ladders, (EV:$17)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DH8hIOv1L._SS500_.jpg

  • $2.00: ice bucket, insulated, with lid (plastic inside, metal outside, plastic handle, gold and 1970s looking) (even brand new, it doesn’t come with tongs, though) (same as one on left in the picture) ($19)

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/BkQb5NMo3FBrcKt9ry9ciRziZOjuK2L1ToepAR7t70xLciw1e0JjjYClNBg_A2AuwVcVLndZQB2bDmVG4WTC9cepR0cOm1xe7FfREvlH0aTqECdATqa3JWGthwkru3yyGv3_Mb0onORo8SI6_y0

  • $2.00: MOM DON’T READ: [highlight for spoilers] shoe, glass, filled with beans/liquid (2 @ $1.00 each) – very weird item, definitely not for me! (EV:No clue! We’ll say $10 because there’s 2 of them!)
  • $1.50: wrapping paper, (6 rolls @ $0.25 each) (price tags:$2,$4.50,$2.50,$1.88,1 partial used and unmarked so we’ll call it $1)
  • $1.00: golf, putting green, 2 holes and incline – fun with cats playing too :) (EV:$15, this one isn’t as fancy as this one)

http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/C6Lr3h5ISazxSNYgcZlYYb6cjA-xjQipY-7k8kZP89003hZwSbnwWIaBtlT87U9CnCAdoNYbLSYKDh3HxIzFCv7yEgDR_ADM6j-nWGNgUgb-6x29kpk1ntlwbti1b-BIvuRosaAou1_Ame5ak9v2vfmNW3yErqBu-lDvL1M

  • $1.00: pillow, neck pillow, beads [but firmer than microbeads] (EV:$15, though this one looks just like what we got, and is sold for $50!)

http://s.sears.com/is/image/Sears/09662471000_1244746826833_1244750428489_1244754031172?hei=248&wid=248&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

  • $1.00: leather care gel, Armorall – for our {free} leather couches! ($8)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EAFF9YRGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

  • $FREE: canteen, circular, w/shoulder strap (EV:$8)

http://www.antonline.com/images/049794164208.jpg

  • $FREE: magnet, Las Vegas ($2 price tag)
  • $FREE: book, MOM DON’T READ: [highlight for spoilers] shorthand translation, Third Edition, Balsley-Wanous – VERY old! (in bad condition, but very vintage… Not sure of actual worth, so I’ll just say $1 because it’s a big hardcover book)
  • $FREE: chair (not even at a yard sale, just in front of someone’s house with a “free” sign on it) (EV:I’m gonna say an automatic $5 for being a functional chair with a cushion and a back, even if it’s in bad/ugly condition… It’s kinda like this one, which goes for $56 new)

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/8QLosCVwrIJMJ3yO8cdSXkXlMWwvwd0B072r9c0hTPCm7ATyLShFh_FYn-GHm3y-U4XvpAU9GY9AlbXqRA-vY1NhG1VmvwUBwtXxpUhHDxLBSVJbKN5sTxRtJLzKKjOHuShafzLp_YwM1wgk8b37CUsSk9szmWNjGEeqGPjGKpeiB9LJuLA

  • $FREE: mirror, 36×28 - ALMOST the size we were looking for for putting in front of the shutters that are no longer on a window because of our house addition. Just 1 inch too wide :/ (EV:$20)
  • $FREE: mirror, wooden frame, 43×27 frame, 33×23 mirror – kinda nice on the wall by our non-spiral stairs (EV:$30 — framed mirrors actually tend to cost over $100 usually)

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition.

———————————-

2010 STATS SO FAR:
TOTAL EXPEDITIONS: 6
TOTAL HOURS: ~19.75
TOTAL MILES DRIVEN: ~204.4
TOTAL ITEMS BOUGHT: 95-154, depending on how you count them
TOTAL MONEY SPENT: $281.43
TOTAL ESTIMATED VALUE: $1,704.47
TOTAL PROFIT: $1,421.04
AVG HOURLY WAGE PER PERSON: $36/hr (dropped $2/hr this week)

———————————-

FREECYCLE UPDATE!

Went out 2 days after yardsaling with my biggest freecycle score yet! 1 destination, ~$225 worth of stuff!

It was kind of crazy. I wrote down directions, but forgot to write down the guy’s house number. But I wrote down his cell phone #, even though I don’t have a cell phone. At least I remembered that. I drove around and saw people sitting outside. Explained to them, “I’m getting a TV from someone who’s name I don’t know who lives on this street — see? Here are my directions! — but I forgot to write down their house number, only their cell#.” They offered to let me use their phone. I called, he gave me his house number, and I drove the 5 houses away or so to his house and loaded up his stuff.

20100523: 2010 Freecycle Expedition #1:

  • car subwoofer (powered), Kenwood, 10″, 100W, KSC-WA100 [line in, line out, fuse with "15" on it, 0/180 phase switch, 50Hz-200Hz crossover, input sensitivity knob, No. 11000389] (current Kenwood subwoofers of that type are $170 new)
  • TV, RCA 20F511T flatscreen (screen is flat, tv is huge), 20 inch, s-video input, missing remote – $55 used $130 new, replacement remote = $40
  • EV/PROFIT: $225 – but not counted in yard sale stats

    The TV is pretty huge, dimension wise. It didn’t go where I originally wanted it, which was the purple shelf by our downstairs door, where the SubGenius Arise! video tape had caused my “college TV” to finally melt and expire.

    So instead, I moved the small TV on our refrigerator [only active during parties] to the purple shelf.

    This TV would have filled the top of our fridge perfectly – but then the VCR wouldn’t have had room on our fridge. So we took it upstairs. Replaced the bedroom TV with it, and moved the bedroom TV [with built in VCR] on top of the fridge.

    The only caveat to this is we now no longer have a remote to turn off a TV from our bed, as the remote is missing. I’m thinking we could probably use an RCA remote from an old vcr, and code it to this TV to turn it off. If that fails, we’ll use an X10 home automation appliance module to turn it off.

    So this freecycle caused 3 different TVs in our house to shuffle! Now we’re back up to 6 again :)

    (more…)

    Really? I’ve never heard of that. A relative just posted this:

    Twenty years after I bought my first Mac IIx, f-ing MacPros still don’t have an *eject* button, and still won’t let go of their f-ing discs. In 1990 it was floppies–today DVD. Two cold boots and 10 minutes later, the disc finally ejects. Aaaaarrrggghh.

    Apple users care so much about form over function, that they actually found a way to screw themselves over on basic CD/DVD drives. Wow.

    They don’t have a hole to put a paper-clip into, to force an eject! How stupid! I asked, and the answer I received was, “[no hole...] nothing but perfect sleek aluminum.”

    Furthermore, to add insult to injury — they don’t actually have a traditional eject button either! So PC users get 2 methods of ejection (3 if you count software ejection), while Mac users get 0 methods of ejection (1 if you count software ejection — Mac users can type “drutil eject” at the command-line, but do you think they actually know that?).

    I don’t know about you, but I like having redundant systems. 2-3 methods > 0-1 methods!

    My DVD burner stopped ejecting all the time about 4 yrs ago. A paper clip has to be inserted to force the eject. Software eject wouldn’t work either. I’ve paid $0 more since it happened. But if I was an Apple user, I’d have had to pay to replace it, because there’d be no way to eject the disk, because Apple users would rather have sleek aluminum than something functional.

    Ahh, the cult of apple. Computers as fashion. Form over function. They claim they don’t pay more, but every time I hear of an Apple breaking in any way, Apple users have to buy a completley new computer, or send it in for service. I’ve still never heard of anybody I know persoinally ever fixing their Apple themselves.

    Of course, they still claim it’s so much better. It’s like a person taking their car to a shop telling a person who knows how to fix his own car that he’s wrong.

    BTW, Google Shopping says the cheapest 6X DVD drive for a MacPro is $26. If you remove “MacPro” from the same search, the cheapest drive is $10. More evidence to counter people who say “Macs don’t cost more.”

    Apple was the shit… in the 1980s. (more…)

     movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Hot on the heels of Kicking The Dog, we thought we’d try another low-budget independent film that looked interesting and bad at the same time. Note that this is NOT the same movie as the female-empowerment film “The Smokers”.

    PEOPLE: A bunch of nobodies from a nobody production studio.

    QUIRKS: Extremely low-budget. Kicking The Dog looks glossy compared to this! This literally looks like people took camcorders around. I mean, for chrissakes, re-shoot the scene if a frickin’ train roars by and makes the dialog hard to hear! Jeeeeeeeze.

    VISUALS: A few rotoscoped scenes, like Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly. It helped create the feel of two very stoned people having a conversation. And the ending climax scene was filmed in a cool way, with 4 separate panels showing everyone’s face. In fact, many scenes had the “24-style” multiple-cameras-at-once.

    But other than these gimmicky tricks? No good visuals whatsoever. Urban city. People in parks. Apartments. Nothing special to look at at all.

    MORALS: It’s not cool to rob people. And having to deal with the black market puts you in touch with some real creeps.

    POLITICS: Look at all the crap that happened during this movie… Especially the end. If marijuana were legal, none of this shit would have to happen. And a boring movie like this would hopefully have never been made.

    BAD STUFF: While having its moments of visual marijuana brilliance — like the rotoscoped scenes… It was mostly boring. At times, the audio was mixed so poorly that we could not understand what anyone was saying. It was hard to know who the main characters were, what the plot was, or what was going on.

    CONCLUSION: If this movie could be as good as the last 3 minutes, then it might have gotten a passing grade from us. Unfortunately, this movie was a big fail. I gave it a 4/10 on IMDB — which is about what the average vote is — and a 2/5 stars on Netflix. It’s a rare movie that we wish we’d never watched.

    RECOMMENDATION: Even if you think you have to watch every inner-city urban stoner film in existence… You’re still better off without this. AVOID IT! (more…)

     movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

    LIMERICK REVIEW: The war on drugs is dead wrong.
    It makes criminals out of Cheech & Chong.
    Most violence is by drunks,
    religious fanatics and monks.
    The cause of homicide is rarely a bong.

    PEOPLE: A LOT of nobodies.

    QUIRKS: A sketch movie comprised of 60+ non-politically-correct sketches against the war on drugs, and pro drug use. It is political satire, comedy, and education all at the same time. It is not just pro-drug legalization, but pro-drug use. There’s even one sketch making fun of potheads for being too close-minded to experiment with other drugs.

    They also aren’t scared to play Godwin’s Law. Hitler and Nazis are depicted in at least 2 of the sketches.

    One of the sketches is split up into several parts, and is a voice-over of Reefer Madness-type old films. Pointless, but pretty funny at the same time.

    Another is safety tips for running a meth lab, in the form of a PSA.

    Another features a kid’s parents fighting and being irritable after work. “Maybe it’s time that you talk to your parents about drugs?” Then everyone gets high and stops fighting.

    Now mutiply those 3 by 20 to get the rest of the 60 sketches :)

    MORALS/POLITICS: The War On Drugs is dead wrong, as is prohibiting any consensual victimless activity among adults.

    But anybody with a modicum of common sense should be able to figure that out for themselves.

    BAD STUFF: These guys aren’t brilliant comedy writers. They go for a lot of easy jokes here. If it weren’t for the subject material and political relevance, this movie would come off more like a Troma movie.

    CONCLUSION: Carolyn gives this 4/5 on Netflix, and 8/10 on IMDB. I have to pretty much agree with that. The space left over by the lack of comedic genius is more than aptly filled by political relevancy, and pro-drug goodness. We laughed over and over and over, even though the jokes weren’t the greatest.

    RECOMMENDATION: Anyone who likes sketch comedy of questionable quality (MadTV?) and appreciates some pro-drug politics would almost be given no choice but to like this movie. However, there are a lot of comedy snobs out there who might thumb their nose at some of the easy jokes being made.

    The thing is — these easy jokes aren’t being made elsewhere. This movie gets a “uniqueness booster”. (more…)

    Robocop would totally lose to Predator, Alien, AND the Terminator.

    What about the Crow versus Robocop?

    It could be called Crow Versus Robocop: Crowbocop.

    They _would_ be very mighty, if The Crow and Robocop combined. Especially if they also combined with Aliens, Terminator, and Predator.

    I still think Robocop and The Terminator combining is a losing deal for The Terminator.

    Rambo Vs. Robocop: Rambo.

    Sorry dude… even Rambo beats Robocop.

    Now Rambo vs Predator… Hmmmm… There’s something I’d like to see. Good points, gentleman.

    Mark’s in the market marking markers! (more…)

    Ohhh NetHack… One of the most important and influential (it inspired Diablo, and countless spin offs) PC games of all time. It is basically Dungeons & Dragons for the PC. Yet despite being so influential, it is itself a variant of Hack, which is a variant of Rogue. But it was the variant that kicked ass enough to stick around for over 20 years.

    How I love you, NetHack. How I hate you, NetHack. The only PC game from the 1980s that I still occasionally play today, over 22 years later. The only game I ever played where every letter of the alphabet did something different — for both capital and lowercase. And then some.

    blacklights are cool .. so is nethack 106-0629_IMG
    Carolyn
    plays Nethack in 2002 (VGA tile style).

    The only game I ever opened the EXE file up with with a hex editor and manually paged through the entire binary, reading all the strings of game events, and realizing that I would never, ever experience everything the game had to offer. It was just too much.

    You may change your appearance — from ASCII, to extended 8-bit ASCII, to VGA tiles, to isometric 3-D to proper 3-D renderings — but you are still the same Nethack. The same damned, frustratingly impossible-for-me-to-win Nethack.


    ASCII Nethack.

    Now, beyond the fact that NetHack is an incredibly complex that fills one with a sense of wonder, one has to also consider that this game came to its existence in the great information blackout known as “BEFORE THE INTERNET”.

    Well, there was an internet back then, but the common man did not use it, or even have access to it. I began playing in 1987 or 1988, when the 600K binary file – smaller than a 1 megapixel camera image – took up 6% of the family’s 20-meg harddrive. There was NO INFORMATION back then. You heard things from TV (and they didn’t talk about computer games), word of mouth (nobody cared about computers back then), or BBSes. And BBSes were, of course, a wild west for information seekers. The internet is tame by comparison. You’d fight to get a tiny bit of information, then you’d hold onto it as tight as you can.

    So Nethack was quite mysterious. There were no forums. There was no way to reach the internet. And calling local BBSes, one at a time, dealing with busy signals, leaving messages for the next caller — didn’t exactly yield a lot of info.

    So it was this mysterious game. I never knew that you COULD win until the internet came along. I never really ran into other people who knew about it, or played. Not unless I talked to someone who was as similarly ahead of the tech curve as I was, and those people were few, far between, and had a wide array of interests. Even today, according to WikiPedia, “fans of NetHack consider an ascension without having read spoilers very prestigious; the achievement is so difficult that some question whether it has been or can be accomplished.”


    Extended 8-bit ASCII Nethack.

    When I finally got on the internet, I was the only human being I personally knew to use it until I went to Virginia Tech to study Computer Science. (And no, I wont say how. There weren’t ISPs back then, and I used a modem. People back then used programs to call WarDialers to call every phone number sequentially. I WarDialed for an hour a night some months.)

    I looked hard for the “net” in nethack. I poured over newsgroups, but there still wasn’t much talk about the NET in it. I knew what networking was, and wanted to play a networked D&D game with someone. Obviously NetHack had to be multi-player — it has the word NET in it, for chrissakes!


    VGA tile Nethack.

    I eventually found out there were telnet servers that hosted NetHack. You could telnet to an address (this was way before the web was invented) and play Nethack there. I must have telnet’ed to every NetHack server on the planet. I was positive I would find another person in one of them. It had NET in the fucking name!


    Early GL “barely 3-D” 3-D implementation. More like VGA tiles, but with fancier tiles.

    Even once the web came around, I would, every few years, google around to see if anyone had perhaps developed a port that would let multiple people play at once. I’d think the game much more winnable if Carolyn could be at my side, instead of my cat. But still… IT NEVER EXISTS! NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT IT TO EXIST, IT NEVER WOULD!!!! GODDAMNIT I WANT TO PLAY!!!


    3-D isometric Nethack (Vulture’s Eye). 3-D, but stuck at the same angle, causing things to be blocked from view, even though they wouldn’t be blocked from view in the original version.

    Oh, if only I could go back, and tell young Clint, “This is Future Clint! Don’t look for the ‘net’ in NetHack! It’s a waste of your time!” Or if only I could go back and encourage some of the hardcore developers in the 1980s and 1990s to actually make a multi-player version of this!

    Alas, I doubt this will ever happen. But at least Nethack continues to be played, even today. There’s Android and iPhone versions, but the Android has got to be better. Since every letter capital and lower does something different, it simply would be faster to play it with a real phone.

    Anyway, that’s my sad childhood computer game fantasy story :) It was a FAIL.



    “Proper” (rotatable, can see everything properly) 3-D Noegnut Nethack.

    You can also read people’s Nethack experiences in the Nethack newsgroup, rec.games.roguelike.nethack — especially the official faq. Even today, people will post about seeing things they’ve never seen in the game. That’s just how awesome Nethack is!

    Download NetHack at the official page.

    For more pictures, check out the Nethack tag and Nethack photopool on Flickr, or do a Google Images search for Nethack.



    Very large Nethack – “I said wallet sized, not wall-sized!”


    Very small NethackiPhone.


    Very small Nethack – Better phone implementation.

    20101002 - too many NethacksToo many Nethacks!


    Nethack humor.


    Harder-to-read Nethack humor (click for larger image).


    Nethack humor more people can understand than usual.


    More humor.

    For more pictures, check out the Nethack tag and Nethack photopool on Flickr, or do a Google Images search for Nethack.
    (more…)

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