Wednesday, March 31, 23:40 CST
Depressingly enough, it seems that User Friendly, Segfault, and Be Dope have all shut down for the duration of their legal troubles.

*mutter* damnable lawyers *mutter*

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 31

Sunday, March 28, 23:02 CST
I ordered a copy of Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 on CD last night. I'm looking forward to upgrading, downloading some stuff from the unstable tree, and finally having a reasonably up-to-date system.

I've been playing around a bit with LiteStep, a Free shell replacement for Win95/98/NT. This one is easily worth the 1.58 meg download, even if all you do is play with it for a while and say "cool" before going back to the standard taskbar 'n desktop.

Ok, Jon Katz on Slashdot is finally getting on my nerves too. This piece contains some excellent criticism, though it takes some unwarranted cheap shots (and not just at Katz). IMO, Katz is quite capable of making some good points - he just tends to miss them himself. And his growing tendency to self promote while trying to define and please a culture he doesn't really understand is grating. Of course, I suppose that applies to a great many people...

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 28

Friday, March 26, 20:36 CST
Hmm... Missed a week or so there.

And then, a cloud of blackest stupidity descended over the land. Yes, User Friendly (among others) is under legal attack by a certain Massive Evil Corporation. (No names have been named, but I'll give you one guess as to the most likely suspect.)

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 26

Saturday, March 20, 16:45 CST
I finally saw the first 2 episodes of Red Dwarf VIII last night on a local PBS station. They seemed decent, but I'd agree with the theory that the first 3 were intended to be a single ep.

Probably too early to say, but this season looks like it'll be pretty good.

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 20
tags: topics/tv

Wednesday, March 17, 22:38 CST
Hmm... Seems like there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to mention.

There's all sorts of nifty new stuff over on Slashdot. Customizable pages with sidebars for various news pages, comics, and so forth, filters for content, modes that are easier for low-end/text browsers to deal with (there's a shocking idea).

It's amusing (though not surprising) that Slashdot has managed to become something that none of the over-hyped commercial "portal sites" (hate that word) have - it's relevant, useful, and just generally cool.

Speaking of alternatives to over-hyped portal sites, I've been quite impressed with the Google search engine, and the Open Directory Project has come close to replacing Yahoo for me. If I could think of any topic I'm particularly knowledgeable about, I'd become an editor...

Most likely I'll think of the stuff I wanted to say here when I can't possibly do anything about it. Probably around 8:23 tomorrow morning, as I sit in English wishing I were still asleep.

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 17

Sunday, March 14, 21:23 CST
Happy Pi day, everyone. I shoulda posted this at 1:59... Ah well. :)

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 14

Saturday, March 13, 15:15 CST
Well, the Episode 1 trailer rocked. Easily worth the $4.25 admission.

I only wish I could say the same for Wing Commander. Unless he somehow lost all creative control (yeah, right), I find it hard to understand how Chris Roberts could have produced something this painfully bad. The sheer waste...


I think I'll go deturbo the 'ol p75, boot into DOS, and fire up a certain 9 year old game for a while.

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 13

Friday, March 12, 12:03 CST
Ahhhhh, spring break. How a single Friday off can constitute spring break, I'm not entirely sure, but I can't really complain.

I'm leaving shortly to see Wing Commander, and more importantly, the new Episode 1 trailer. I'm not holding out much hope for WC at this point, but it should be worth it.

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 12

Monday, March 8, 12:29 CST
Woo! Another snow day...

I just finished reading The Magic of Recluce, by L.E. Modessit, Jr. It's a fascinating book - takes place in a well thought out world, with a magic system and rules that actually make sense, and while it uses some standard fantasy elements, what it does with them is new. I'm going to have to read the rest of this series.

Modessit's style is different as well, takes some getting used to. He's fond of sound effects; every couple of pages there's a series of yee-ah's, wheeee...uhh...'s, click's, etc. Sometimes it's effective, sometimes it's just annoying. And the dialog tends to trail off, which, come to think of it, is the way I talk and write...

Monday, March 8, 1:21 CST
Whoops, messed up the date on that last update. Fixed now.

I saw October Sky Friday night. Good flick, although it did get me thinking dark thoughts about the space program again.

They ran a trailer for The Mummy, which looks very impressive, at least in terms of visuals. There was also one for The Matrix, which has Keanu Reeves in it and looks cyberpunkish... Despite which, I'm intrigued.

Stuff I've read lately:

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 8
tags: topics/reading

Thursday, March 4, 0:53 CST
Ok, so maybe a little text calendar wasn't the best of ideas. Unless maybe it could be auto-generated by a script of some sort...

One of these days, I'm really going to have to learn Perl.

I scanned the back of my history notebook and came up with an 800x600 image I've been using as a desktop background. The file's huge, it's ugly, and I probably should have converted the yellow-brownish color of the notebook to something other than blue. At any rate...

[history.jpg (~340k)]

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 4

Wednesday, March 3, 0:12 CST
I just got the April issue of Analog. It's quite good from what I've read so far. The editorial is thought provoking... Talks about balancing the need for intelligent decisions in government with the need for everyone to have some say in such decisions, and comes to the unsurprising conclusion that we just have to have a well educated majority. Considering the alternatives, I'd agree, but...

(Cue Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in the background.)

Let's face it, widespread quality public education isn't arriving any time soon, much as we might wish otherwise. All we can really expect is more crushing bureaucracy and institutionalized BS. And I have my doubts that anything can be done to turn it around, aside from relying on other sources of education.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a student.

Speaking of SF 'zines, the most recent story over on Papyrus is probably the best yet published there.

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 3

Monday, March 1, 21:13 CST
Well, it had to happen sooner or later. MST3K is coming to an end. One of the best shows of our time, and an inspiration for anyone who's ever made fun of a bad movie. An island of intelligence in a sea of mediocrity. It's going to be missed.

But that's not what really hurts.

What really hurts is that the unspeakable bastards killed Crusade. We'll get the 13 episodes that've already been produced, and that's it, barring the kind of miracle we all know isn't going to happen. (See AICN.)

It's hard to fault the Sci-Fi Channel; at least they tried to get ahold of the series. TNT, on the other hand... I find it hard to see any other explanation than "Well, it wasn't moronic enough for our target demographic, and JMS just wouldn't dumb it down enough".


On a pleasant note, there's finally(!) a new episode of Daemonsong up. And it only took 3 months this time. If current trends hold, the next one should be out in just under 2 months. ;) (Seriously, it's a decent ep, and I imagine the next one will be out considerably sooner.)

Hmm... What if I put a little text calendar like this one:

     March 1999
 S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
    1  2  3  4  5  6
 7  8  9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

On this page, and linked the individual days to their specific updates? Perhaps I'll do that tomorrow...

Moved all the February updates to the old updates page.

p1k3 / 1999 / 3 / 1