Friday, March 14, 2008


Why Geeks should make good conversationalists but don't

Being a networking sort of techy person, I find it "funny" (in a "funny but you wouldn't understand" sort of way) how geeks don't always do conversations in the same way networks do.

Years ago I learnt all about TCP/IP and CSMA/CD where the CD means collision detection. If a computer tries to send data at the same time as another, there is a collision and the machines detect this. As a result they back off for a short time before trying again.

When you're down the pub you can see this in the "real" world. A topic of conversation ends and the group all try to raise a new subject. Normally every body stops for a random period before starting again. Sometimes you find someone that hasn't read the RFC and keeps talking.

At times like this the "listeners" (not necessarily their choice) should really switch to the Dark Side and start a DoS (denial of service). Maybe by putting our hands on our ears and going "lalalalalala". But we don't and so suffer in silence.


Monday, March 10, 2008



Opportunities in my job for visiting customers have been pretty thin on the ground - only two in 2007 and one of those was in-house. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear about a request coming in to deliver a workshop.

"Novosibirsk? I'm sorry, where exactly is that? Oh, really? I see..."


Saturday, March 08, 2008


The Waitrose racetrack

There I was happily packing away my shopping when some kids in a white car try out their leet skillz along the delivery road beside the carpark. Smash, bye-bye 5 mph road sign. Quick reversing, leaving front bumper and number plate behind and then away back into traffic. Lovely people round these parts...

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Everybody's favourite EGG

Penny Arcade Tribute

Dork Tower Tribute

Order of the Stick Tribute

xkcd Tribute ("A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language."

Goblins tribute

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Rolling in his grave

It's weird when people that you've always known of but never known die. Today Gary Gygax passed away at his home in Wisconsin at the age of 69.

I only ever met him once, back in 1984 at Gamesfair where he kindly signed my Monster Manual 2, but he has had a significant impact on the most recent thirty years of my life.

I remember the early days of Dungeons and Dragons played at Portsmouth Grammar School, at the city library and on the bus home; the never-missed Saturdays at the Buckland community centre ("Did you see Live Aid?" "Don't be silly, it was on a Saturday!"); Dragonmeets and GamesDays; sessions with student friends in my tiny room at Uni; games at the Ukrainian Club where I would be unable to remember what happened the previous week but never too drunk to play ("Newcy Brown, please." "From the fridge?"); and now the circle returns with new student friends who weren't born when I started playing.

Gary Gygax helped create a game that gave people a new way to use their imagination. All the work I put into my gaming time today has been nurtured and inspired by what he - and the many thousands after him - have written and drawn and published over the years.

Does it matter that he had to leave TSR in 1985 or was responsible for the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series? No, not really, because he had by then achieved a mythic quality beyond what he actually did day to day.

Maybe if he had not created D&D back in the 70s, some other game would have grown from the fertile wargaming roots. That may well be true but doesn't matter as he did help make it happen and I grieve that he has gone.

[[Thanks to Penny Arcade for the title]]

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