Category Archives: geeks

The Dice of Generations


When it comes to geek “cred,” you either have it or you don’t have it. When I was a kid, there was no such thing as “geek cred”. That’s because the very concept of receiving peer social approval by being able to intelligently speculate on the origins of Boba Fett or recite Monty Python sketches verbatim was only rewarded by a very select crowd, and this was lore spoke of in hushed tones, hurriedly while we were looking over our shoulders to make sure nobody was listening. Lest the jeering start.

Kids these days don’t know how good they have it.

So.. when I reference these objects, I’m sure there will be people in the readership of this blog that are going to recognize them. They will know their origins. They will sigh wistfully at the rounded edges, the scratches, the almost vanished grooves where numbers used to be.

It is altogether fitting you should be wistful.  These are the very first commercially available D&D dice, designed specifically to play that game.  I’m not sure of their provenance, but it is likely they were manufactured around 1980 or so.  Sure, they are (technically, an Octohedran, a Dodecahedron, a cube, a pyramid and two Trapezohedrons, but to an earlier generation, these were the spiff.  Dice MADE to play D&D with.  They were a huge hit.  Everyone who played had a set.  So what if they were crappy dice?  So what if the ink had to be reapplied with a drafting pen, until the edges got so warn and rounded you weren’t sure if it was worth repairing?  So what?  These were D&D dice.  These opaque beauties weren’t much to look at but this is “how we rolled” when we were nestled in Jay’s basement, or my basement, or Pete’s house.  I never got rid of mine, but I did put them in my old 16mm film can, and stored it on top of a bookcase in my study when we moved into our last house in 2000, and there it stayed undisturbed.  When a tree fell on my house last October, we had a flooded basement and had to pitch everything.  Including my bookcases and tons of gaming stuff.  I didn’t give it any thought, but the can (and everything else in my study) was gone.

(going back in time for a moment): Many years ago, my son, then in 5th grade, came home all excited.

It’s this game we play at lunch time, dad.. one person sort of navigates with words, the other people kind of go through adventures, by calling them out and then we draw maps… it’s really really fun!

I realized my son was describing Dungeons and Dragons to me.  His very first game of it.  I had never pushed him into playing, or even really talked to him about RPGs.  He wandered there all by himself, and thought he was cool because of his great discovery.  He’s played D&D on and off since then, not every week but on a semi-regular basis.  Now that he’s out of high school, he’s got his first job at a Summer Camp for scouts, as a blacksmith.  I recently got an urgent call from Garrett.  There’s no internet at camp, no cell reception, and he’s bored and so are all the other young men down there.  Would I send him the D&D 5 edition Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s handbook?  I was tickled, and said, sure, why not, I can think of worse diversions.  Then I texted him back– “need anything else? Do you have dice?  You need special kinds”  He texted back.

“Got that covered. I found this when they were tossing all your stuff in the rollaway”

And he sent a picture of a little steel film can, full of crappy D&D dice from circa 1980.  And a few of the sturdier, cooler Lou Zocchi dice, too, from the same period.   I was speechless.   I realized, then, that these were the dice of generations.  They were kind of rounded and old and probably needed a re-inking, but my son, by himself, had wandered into the same hobby I had loved when I was his age.  He was having the same kind of fun we did back then, with paper, pencils, a good DM with some imagination, munchies… and a can of crappy old dice.  Some things don’t have to be the latest and greatest, when you have an imagination.

He texted me later asking “Hey, I didn’t ask, I just saw them throwing stuff out and the can rolled out.. it is okay for me to use these?  We don’t have a game store near here” I texted back… “Of course it is. That’s YOUR dice collection, now.”


Postscript: Garrett sent me a photo of him setting up for a D&D 5th edition game at the Summer Camp he works at. Note the little 16mm film can full of original TSR dice goodies, still giving good service, 40 years later.

Game Night, Heroic Aleworks, Woodbridge VA


Courtesy of Meetup.com’s thriving Northern Virginia Pavilion group,  I received notification of a game night at Heroic Aleworks in Woodbridge, VA.   I had been unaware of this location until quite recently (through meetup, in fact), and wanted to give it a try.  Now, I like craft beer, and I like it a lot.. but not on a Thursday night during the work week, so I just limited myself to one sampler glass and a cold brew coffee.  Besides, I had my son (who is not 21) with.  I like this place.. the atmosphere is somewhat self-consciously nerd chic, with some obvious geek cultural references–



This was just fine with me and my son. The people there were very friendly– basically a handshake and my name was enough to start a tab. this place hearkened back to a friendlier, kinder way of doing business.

Most importantly, Heroic Aleworks has a keen awareness about the intersection zone between geeks who drink craft beers and other geekly hobbies, like comics, movies, and boardgames. The fact that they know their crowd this well and cater to it, has earned my instant customer loyalty.

Garrett and I got there late– not my fault for once, he has classes until 6, so we were to get there at a little after 7, southbound traffic and all. Heroic is in a light industrial area, like a lot of microbreweries are nowadays (there are two of them in two similar facilities less than a mile from where I work). Thus, food can be a little problematic.

We had time for one short-playing game. I brought a few choices along with me, a mixture of two to four player short games. We ended up choosing STEAM TORPEDO: FIRST CONTACT, by Iello. I had played this at the demo booth at HISTORICON 2014 at Fredericksburg, VA, and not all the way through. I thought it was good fun, and idly put it on my Boardgamegeek.com Wish List– not for any motive beyond my own “remember this one and get it later” reasons. My Secret Santa for 2015 ended up getting it for me, and there it has sat, on the shelf, unplayed, mocking me.. “I’m steampunk.. I’m naval.. I feature shooty things… PLAY ME…”

Tonight was the night!

It turns out Steam Torpedo is a light and fun little non-war game. It reminds me somewhat of an older game called RED NOVEMBER. That is mostly a thematic comparison. Both games feature submarines, steampunky settings, and frantically running from compartment to compartment to avoid disaster.

That is pretty much the point where the comparison stops. In Steam Torpedo, you use a series of tiles to create a custom submarine built up of modular components that do things.. shoot at the other sub, make your sub go, defend your sub, and fix your sub. Crew tokens make this stuff happen, and they do it by moving from compartment to compartment.

Complicating everything is the fact that each compartment is rated for structure and oxygen points– a finite amount of oxygen. Once you run out, your ship is done. Every TURN, you remove ONE oxygen from your ship.. somewhere. Every time a ship takes damage.. the target captain puts a damage marker (red) somewhere. Once you start using up the structure points for a compartment, it goes away (not in the physical sense– it ceases to function)

We ended up finishing the game about ten minutes before the event ended at 9 PM.  I pulled off a victory– not from any obvious tactical superiority on my part, it just worked out that Garrett’s design for a sub had more weapons than mine, and mine had more “fix your damage” compartments than his.   Thus, I was able to man both a “sandbags” station AND  a “welding station” to absorb most of the incoming physical damages.   I discovered since you have a finite amount of crewmen, it really doesn’t matter if you have a gigantic array of weapons.  You can only man some of them at any given moment.  So if your opponent has systems that allow his/her sub to avoid the initial onslaught of incoming points, gradually, the balance will shift and as they start taking out your systems in response with their one or two weapons that can activate, and you will be in a bad way to respond.

This event was a lot of fun– I like the location quite a bit but will probably have to leave early to get there in time to have something stronger than a sampler glass.  The folks there are very friendly and I like the decor, the root beer, and the way they cater to their crowd.  Good times!

I encounter the Google Street View mapping Guy.


Departing for work this morning, I saw something whizz by my car going up the hill at speed.  White cars are common, but that complicated mast arrangement.. it could mean only one thing.. a Google Street View Mapping car.  I jumped in the car thinking I’d lost the car in the morning traffic, but lo and behold! right around the corner:

Click to embiggen.  It’s Joe the Google Map guy!

It’s not every day of the week one encounters a Street View mapping vehicle, so I stopped and said hello..
Joe (I think his name was Joe) says he drove all the way from California to my neighborhood in this vehicle. Not my first choice for cross country cruising comfort!

Oh sure. Everybody LOOOOVES the car. Cant’ get enough of it. Nobody wants a picture of the driver!! What am I, chopped liver?

The driver joked that everyone wants to know about the vehicle doing the photography, and nobody cares who the driver is. I assured him that had I even a reasonable amount of time, I’d be spellbound listening to his tales of mapping America. Actually, I really was pretty interested.

Wave for all your fans, Street View man! Don’t take a picture of that overturned trash can in my driveway!

I wish I had had the time to have him run through the process with me, I think Street View is one impressive project, myself.

Gaming Year in Review, 2013 and counting


Summary in a short sentence: 2013 was a good gaming year, by and large.

Boardgames

Image

I played more of what I already own, sold off things I didn’t play any more and acquired a few more, but not so much as to break the bank.  Here are my acquisitions for 2013.

  • GMT Command and Colors Napoleonics, Austrian expansion (Secret Santa)
  • GMT Command and Colors Napoleonics, Russian expansion (P500)
  • GMT Pax Baltica (P500)
  • GMT Rebel Raiders on the High Seas (P500)
  • GMT Iron and Oak (P500)
  • FFG Gearworld (birthday)
  • DG Struggle for the Galactic Empire (flea market)
  • GMT Cuba Libre (Secret Santa)
  • DG Congo Mercenary (Secret Santa)
  • Stronghold Code 777
  • Brotherwise Boss Monster
  • Catalyst The Duke (and expansions)

I did not, as I did in earlier years (2011), purchase even one boardgame from closeout bargain places like Tanga.  I came to the reluctant conclusion that most of the time games are being farmed off to a discount mill for a reason.

I continued to back one “boardgame”, UP FRONT, on kickstarter.  I purchased (but did not back) two kickstarter projects, The Duke and Boss Monster.  I’m very happy with both games.  Additionally, I backed a card game (of sorts) on Kickstarter, The Shindig Machine.  Otherwise, I pretty much stayed away from Kickstarter in 2013.  I haven’t been burned, not quite yet, but I’m also getting very tired of the non-stop bombardment by companies shifting the financial risk onto the shoulders of consumers.  Boosters and rewards mean very little to me– if the basic product is good, I can wait until it’s a commercial product.

Game Play of Board and Card games was pretty steady in 2013, and I attended four conventions and several boardgame meetup.com events during the year and had a lot of fun.  I did not attend any specifically boardgame themed conventions, such as Origins, GenCon, WBA, or smaller local ones like PresCon.  I am not a tournament style player.

Miniatures

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Miniatures gaming really commanded my attention in 2013, and most of my investment and creativity.  2013 was the year of the finished projects for me.  Two major miniature game designs I’ve been tinkering with for almost a decade, a fantasy naval game called BIG DANGED BOATS (15mm scale) and a man to man fantasy Wizard Dueling game in 54mm scale, THE MAGI, hit the table in 2013.

On the very near horizon are a 1:600 Cthulhu Monster Invasion VSF game (THE GREAT CTHONIAN WAR), a man to man game set in the Napoleonic Wars in 54mm (AT SPEAR’S POINT) and possibly a pulp SF game set in a Spaceport bar in 28mm scale.

I also played several other games, historical and non-historical, at various venues– hobby shops, the Gaming Camp I run in August and at four conventions– Fall IN!, Cold Wars, Historicon and the Williamsburg Muster.

I’m really enjoying the creative high of designing and painting and constructing right now, so miniatures probably is the hobby area that had much of my attention this year.

Digital Games

Image

I remained a big proponent of digital stuff this year– especially now that there are such a burgeoning amount of releases for portable platforms like Android and Ipad.  I tend to purchase boardgame conversions for the most part.   I’d be hard pressed to say what I liked the most, considering the glut of releases at the very end of the year that were available at Black Friday prices.  I just haven’t played everything yet.  So far, however, I’m giving high marks to DRIVE ON MOSCOW (Shenandoah Studios), SAN JUAN the port of the card game by Ravensburger Studios, and the relatively newish LORDS OF WATERDEEP (Playdek) all of which have commanded my attention.  I’m also giving huge high marks to JOHN TILLER software for porting many of the unique turn based wargames he has become famous for in the Windows domain into Android this year.. for insanely great prices.  The interface might not be the greatest but these are games that have been commanding top dollar from Matrix games for almost ten years now, it’s nice to have this alternative– especially for real, turn based historical wargames.

Trends

Audio Podcasts down: I listened to fewer game podcasts this year– as some of them have grown to gigantic commercialized networks that are constantly shilling for kickstarter projects, their subsequent output has shot through the roof, and I have to be very selective about what I’ll listen to any more.   Two of my favorites have drastically reduced output– one as  a result of tragedy (Gameopolis) and one because of career changes (I’ve Been Diced), and I’ve become a bit more diverse about what I’m listening to on the commute these days.    Likewise, I’ve given up on Stitcher and just use Itunes Podcast app because you can fast forward through the advertisements and stuff you don’t want to listen to with it.

Youtube Up: I’ve watched more Youtube game reviews of games because the visual element appeals to me.  So many people are getting into the act now, I like the diversity of game reviews on youtube more than audio.

Meetup.com steady state:  I’m still gaming with smaller groups via Meetup.com, but almost always at public hangouts.  I guess I’m shy.

Summary (the End)

I didn’t buy as much and I designed and played more in 2013, and that’s a big win win for me.  I had fun bringing projects to the table this year and they were well received.  I still love games and gaming, and have since I was a kid.  The hobby continues to amuse me.  It was a good year!

Video

Men who stare at Goats; Goats who stare at games. It’s all good.


Now, this here is one excellent Kickstarter update. David Malki is the mind behind WONDERMARK.COM, which, if you haven’t visited, you really ought to right now and come back later, because some foundation is required to appreciate Mr. Malki’s humor. Wondermark is simply outstanding– Victorian, Whimsical, Surreal. Malki has also penned (or co-penned, I forget) THE MACHINE OF DEATH, a collection of short stories about a machine that can predict the exact consequences of your death, and will tell them to you on a cryptically written small card. The funny premise of the book was just how complicated the writer has to get to create a situation where one perishes by “a stampede of owls” or “strangled by eels”… Anyway, Malki and friends decided to get into the game business about a year ago and wanted to create a semi-storytelling game of ‘creative assassination’ where Players play cards (similar to the cryptic ones in the stories) and explain how that kind of death would transpire. Or at least, I think so, it’s been while since I’ve seen the original proposal.

I’m happy to see it’s funded and now coming back from the printers! And to make the deal even sweeter, David Malki himself is taking the first copies of the game to arrive in the States to a local farm to have goats stare* at them. I’m not sure how that improves the actual quality of the game itself but there’s a part of me that regrets not kicking into history’s first goat-certified game. Oh well, enjoy it, everyone!

* Probably a backhanded reference to by Jon Ronson’s book.

Animated Stereogram from Washington DC, 1922, looking down PA Ave from the Treasury


A little matter of historical interest. When you take an old fashioned stereogram picture, and animate it between left and right rapidly, you derive a rudimentary
Three dimensional effect. Fascinating!

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Courtesy of NYPL Labs Stereogranimator.

GADGET review: FLIPS Audio


I haven’t reviewed a gadget in a month of Sundays, so it is high time we got back in the groove around here.

This weeks’ interesting item is the FLIPS audio headphone.

FLIPS

FLIPS in flipped out mode

The premise behind the gadget is simple.  You are interested in a high quality sound experience for your portable audio or home stereo system.  But you are also interested in turning your Ipod into a stereo for an impromptu party or back deck gathering.  Do you lumber out a giant set of speakers?  Carry an extra set of capsule speakers, maybe?  No need!  The FLIPS will do both things for you.  Wear the FLIPS as a set of excellent high range noise-cancelling headphones, and when you want to bring the party out, you simply rotate the speakers around in the headset for a set of 40mm speakers with excellent range and realistic bass and treble.  I was fairly impressed by this.  I’ve had the FLIPS for about 3 weeks now.  During that time I’ve used it to routine play audiobooks during my commute, music out loud from my Ipod and streaming audio and video.  The FLIPPED side of the speakers are not going to replace a home theater unit any time soon, but they are impressively loud and can fill up a room with sound.

FLIPS, normal side

The Normal “UNFLIPped” side of FLIPS.

The important feature to note is that the FLIPS phones definitely have a safety feature.  A 40mm speaker blasting into your eardrum wouldn’t be pleasant.  So the FLIPS people have a noise leveling feature that reduces the sound to safe audio levels while wearing it in the normal, unflipped orientation.  I call it wearing Indoor Voice, wearing Outdoor Voice.

The sound is great on these headphones in either orientation.  I do a lot of audio book listening (though my Ipad) during drive time, but don’t have an auxiliary jack in my car’s stereo system, which sucks.  I was using a single capsule speaker which can be very tinny sounding and it fades quickly as it loses charge.  The FLIPS phones (flipped) make an excellent alternative to driving around with noise cancelling headphones, which the local police frown upon.

Summary: An excellent innovation, and an excellent, high end set of headphones.  Great for impromptu gatherings and improvised, on the spot social gathering.   I am enjoying these quite a bit.

TACTICA RTS: Another Real IPAD Wargame done Old School Style.


Given the urgent nature of some of Jason Waggoner’s comments in previous posts on the subject, I need to check out a new Ipad-only wargame from a company called Waggoner Industries for the IoS system. The game is called TACTICA RTS. Honestly, I can’t afford an Ipad 2 right now, but I mean to get one at some point. So I really have no idea of what the game is like as there isn’t a video on it yet. I’ll append this post when there is. What I’m seeing from the screenshots I personally consider very encouraging. Check this out:

Wow! A Wargame!

WOW!! this is a REAL Wargame!

I don’t mean to gush, but doesn’t this look Tactics II done again as an Ipad wargame? I like it! The best part of the mix is that I would be considering this game to be an engine of sorts. It won’t take much to plug in historical OOBs and Scenarios to this game– I strongly suggest that Waggoner Industries market a “wargame construction set” of sorts for this engine.. A module for creating OOBs, a simple tile based map editor, and a way to play them PBeM. You can create a whole wargaming community with this thing if you want to put the work into it.

I’m enthused.

To get a copy of TACTICA RTS, visit the APP STORE on ITUNES. If you’re an old grognard type like me, GO BUY THIS THING, so the author will be encouraged to make more of it. Maybe with historical, not generic, scenarios. And how about some support for the Itouch? Spread the love, baby.

I try out World of Tanks


And keep getting killed!

“World of Tanks” bills itself as a Massively Multiplayer Online game, and I suppose it is, at that.  The installation disks for this game were flying all over HISTORICON 2010 but I never got around to installing it.  Recently I saw an ad for it again and I downloaded it on a whim.   After about half an hour’s experience, I can say definitively that:

A) it is multiplayer and online (with a European server and a North American servver).

B) I wouldn’t say it was that Massive, but it is good clean mindless fun.

Essentially you start off playing the role of a very junior tanker in the armies of Germany, America and the Soviet Union early in some fictitious “other” World War II.  You drive around and go on missions to kill other tanks, earning points to make a bigger, sexier and more lethal tank yourself.  That’s about it!

Like any noob jumping in to a game knowing nothing about it, I found myself mercilessly slaughtered right off the bat time and time again.  I’m getting the hang of it though, Run and hide as soon as a battle starts.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and get a lucky angle on someone.

I’m enjoying it so far, it looks good and runs well on my Vaio.  Not sure what the staying power of this game will be.. yet.  Until then I’m misternizz on World of Tanks, should you desire to toss some cordite and steel my way.

World of Tanks

The Sorry End to my "T-1 Cunningham" five minutes into World of Tanks

World of Tanks Beta:

http://game.worldoftanks.com/

Game requires a client to play.

Ah, Memories…


This requires some attribution credits. The original sequence is Stormtrooper Scrapbook on the microkosmic comic blog. I think the original is hilarious by itself, but there’s something about the schmaltzy slide animations… maybe the Carpenters in the background, playing “We’ve only just begun…” yeah, that’s the ticket.

DIRECT LINK for FB users.

Drupal: The Card Game


This appears to be a real product from a Swedish outfit called Cloudberry Games. It’s hard to tell with that famous slapstick Swedish humor, but I think it might actually be a real thing. So this is a geek-cred game using a geek hobby as a form of expression. A very odd circular concept here.

Basically this is a counting and matching game with a very thin veneer of theme.. but hey, if it gets you there, have fun! I know Drupal developers will be snappin’ it up like hotcakes.

Launching the new Apple Ipad


Steve Jobs is going to run into trouble with these acronyms. I already have trouble distinguishing between IPod and Iphone, IPad is just going to add another confusing gizmo term out there.. should have stuck with Mac Tablet, Steve. There’s something about Ipad that sounds almost… menstrual.

If you’re not a Luddite, you know that the big Ipad launch is happening right now, as I type. The following pictures are copyright 2010, Gizmodo, from the live streamcast of the Ipad Product launch. The pictures were captured from Gizmodo’s streaming video and are used strictly in accordance with fair usage standards.

Jobs working the Crowd

These events are almost like rock concerts.. here we have Steve working the crowd

What is this Ipad thing? What are you, some kind of monk? It’s the new portable/handheld/PDA substitute/Reader/media player/Smart Tablet/whatsis.   If you have heard me rhapsodize about the Ipod Touch I got for Christmas, think of the same thing, only writ large.  Why is it a good thing? Well, you might like the fact that ITouch and IPhone operating systems all run the same operating system– and the apps that work on them will work on an Ipad as well. The new Ipad, we are told, is a revolutionary new product that will take aim at Netbooks, mobile devices, smartphones and laptops. All at once. Along the way, it will cure AIDS, solve world hunger, end global warming, and finally fix that stubborn Middle Eastern thing.

Relative sizes of gadget thingies...

Compared to an Iphone and a standard Mac.

The Ipad will be big– not as big as a desktop or conventional laptop, but about as big as a pad of paper, lettersized, more or less. That’s MUCH more readable than the Iphone, not quite as good as the stretch flatscreen I’m using right now as I type.

That's some tablet!

Check out muh PAD, ace..

What will it do?  Pretty much anything and everything an Iphone can, for starters.  With a much larger, tablet sized screen:

The high-resolution, 9.7 inch LED-backlit, IPS display on iPad is remarkably crisp and vivid. Which makes it perfect for web browsing, watching movies, or showing off photos. It’s also been designed to work in any orientation — portrait or landscape. And because it uses a display technology called IPS (in-plane switching), it has a wide, 178° viewing angle. So you can hold it almost any way you want, and still get a brilliant picture, with excellent color and contrast.  — The Apple Website

Look! A typewriter, too!

It will do the productivity stuff you sort of assume it should do.

All the standard Ipod and Iphone classic stuff you would expect is incorporated, it plays music, video, takes dictation, has access to the Apps store, blah de blah de..  I don’t for a second think these aren’t valuable features, but really, the IPod Touch I just got for Christmas does all that, as well.  That shouldn’t be that impressive.  I’d be more impressed if it were a solid, functional substitute for a real laptop.  It isn’t.  The Ipad, in this generation, fails on a few key points.   No USB, no expansion memory, touch screen keyboard (I’m sorry, I’m not doing well with a touch screen keyboard and these giant banana fingers– it’s not the same as typing at a keyboard).  I would not want to actually write with an IPad for protracted periods of time, personally– touch screens are fatiguing after a while. because you have to be certain where your fingertips are going all the time, whereas I can type on a keyboard with my eyes shut.

The Ipad will connect to the Internet via Wireless and 3G, but not direct ethernet:

Wireless

With built-in 802.11n, iPad can take advantage of the fastest Wi-Fi networks. And it’ll automatically locate available Wi-Fi networks, which you can easily join with a few simple taps. iPad also comes with Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, which lets you connect to devices like wireless headphones or the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

3G

iPad will also be available in a 3G model, with super-fast data speeds up to 7.2 Mbps.3 So if you’re traveling, or you happen to be somewhere that doesn’t have a Wi-Fi network, you can still get a fast connection for surfing the web, downloading email, or getting directions. — From the Ipad Website

Like the ITouch (or Ipod Touch, I can’t figure out if “ITouch” is official or not), the IPad will come in various sizes and flavors, priced to move.  this was the most meaningful slide in the presentation for me:

Now we get to the meat of it!

NOW we get to the meat of it. Not a bad set of price points, really.

Surprisingly, considering some of Apple’s past launches, I was not goggling in Sticker Shock on this one.  These are very reasonable prices compared to laptops in the main stream market right NOW.  A bit pricey compared to netbooks, for the most part, but it does appear to be a leap forward in technology from where I am sitting– but technology to do what?  Office documents? Writing? Editing digital movies?  Processing digital images?  Making presentations?  Definitely not.  There are far easier to use and more affordable platforms for those tasks– including lower priced netbooks.   Where the Tablet (excuse me, IPad) will certainly shine is when it is compared to cheaper netbooks is in the rapidly accelerating market for digital book readers and the ever present market for web browsing.   This gizmo will handle both tasks swimmingly– it sports a much bigger sized web browser space than an Iphone or most Netbooks, and it is sized roughly twice as big as a Kindle.  Indeed, it is the latter application that I think Apple is gambling on– that the Ipad will be a Kindle-killer.  We’ll see.  I rather like the Kindle/Sony E-reader electronic paperwhite display for reading with, and I have yet to see the Ipad’s new screen to see if it’s better or worse.

At the end of the day, this sort of sums it up for me, courtesy of G4G Interactive:

Being Smug about your Ipad

Yeah, I'm hip.. and I know it.

Will I buy one?  I’m tempted despite all the hype and hoo-haw.  I like the e-reader application of seeing an entire page on the tablet.. yet, I find I  might be limiting myself to trying to make a glorified toy work the way I need to work when I’m using a laptop.  Of course, I can pick up some of the accessories like a keyboard and a hard shell case.. at which point, it’s a laptop!  Huh???

Funny, they don’t look so vintage to me.


Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

A Passle of Vintage Palm pilots sent to WIRED magazine. Oddly enough, I’ve had three of the ones depicted here, and they all gave great service until the day they gave up the ghost.

One Thumb to Rule the All


A pretty nifty little snippet on Mike Phillips, a disabled gamer who has found new movement, of sorts, through the outlet of massively multiple online gaming (MMORGs) such as Warcraft and Second Life. Mike will soon be featured on the THIS AMERICAN LIFE radio program.

Top 10 celebrities who play World of Warcraft


Out of more than 11 million players worldwide, some of these people have got to be famous. So here, in no particular order, is a top ten list of Warcraft-playing celebrities.

read more | digg story