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Old enough to want to and fool enough to try

By Mark W. Kaelin Editor ·
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Another geeky activity my Dad won't understand

by Mark W. Kaelin Editor In reply to Old enough to want to and ...

So it begins. Like the <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5247-6257-0.html?id=1383826">The Trivia Geek</a>, I have been resisting the urge to blog. Consequently, I don't really have a plan of action for what will be written in this, my first blog.

I'll guess I'll start with a brief introduction: I'm a 43-year old editor for TechRepublic. I've been editing for various publications and Web sites for 20 years. My editing expertise has always revolved around the technical. My leisure time is often spent in the virtual worlds of computer games. My first computer was a Commodore 64 and I was once the proud owner of a PCJr. I'll let that soak in for a bit while I get back to work.

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Another geeky activity my Dad won

by rpalin In reply to Another geeky activity my ...

Ah...The Commodore 64. I can almost hear the 5 1/4 floppy grinding away now. The harmonic whir of "Flight simulator" as it crept it's herky jerky way across polygon shaped landscape...Ah those were the days. I'm gonna bust out the cassette player and hook up the Timex Sinclair after I get done with this game of Intellevision.:-}

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Another geeky activity my Dad won't understand

by billh In reply to Another geeky activity my ...

<p>Ok, here's my first reply to a blog - so I guess we're all stretching today....</p>
<p>While I resisited the initial PC offerings, as  aDEC employee, I purchased a VT100 terminal with an embeded PDP-11 processor and and a tape drive (TU58?) to load the RT11 O/S.  15 minutes later that baby was booted and ready to respond to any command line whos proper syntax you could conjour.</p>
<p>Things have really changed as I sit in front of one of my 5 PC's running Windows XP Pro with such a variety of software that could challenge anyone (or take on just about any problem).</p>
<p>Dont' know if this is a one time deal for me, but it was fun while I typed...</p>
<p>Bill</p>

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Another geeky activity my Dad won't understand

by trule In reply to Another geeky activity my ...

Ah, the Timex Sinclair. My brother (now an electrical engineer) bought one. We had endless hours of fun playing with the thing - he even bought an external case with a real keyboard, bumped the ram up to a whopping 128k, and had the printer.

The Timex is what told me I really wasn't interested in Assembler. Too much trouble.

....and here I sit in my house with a 10 year old mac 8500, and 5 year old imac with 768 meg of ram, and a Mac Mini with hald a gig of ram.

Well, then there's the Mac Classic with 10 meg of ram I use when teaching piano.

My, how times have changed - and it didn't take that long, either!

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I'm still lurking

by Mark W. Kaelin Editor In reply to Old enough to want to and ...

I just received
a friendly prod about the lack of activity in this blog. I've always been more
comfortable lurking on online communities as opposed to actively participation,
so regularly scheduled blogging is not likely to happen. However, I really
should be participating more since I spend an inordinate amount of time creating
content for TechRepublic anyway. Just between you and me, lurking in the
TechRepublic community has paid off in <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5171-22-1029239.html">article and/or download ideas</a> many times
in the past few years.


That fact
makes me wonder if I can get even more inspiration if I ask for ideas directly.
I have recently been asked to develop content that will help you more efficiently
use Microsoft Office. I'm secretly expanding that mission to include ideas for
improving efficiency using any office suite (Star Office, Open Office, etc.)


What
frustrates you in an office suite? Is there some feature you wish someone would
explain to you in depth?

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Coined the term weblog, never made a dime.

by Mark W. Kaelin Editor In reply to Old enough to want to and ...

One of my
many RSS feeds lead me to this article on Wired Magazine:


<p><a href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.07/posts.html?pg=6?tw=wn_tophead_5">http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.07/posts.html?pg=6?tw=wn_tophead_5</a></p>I'm not
sure what I am supposed to glean from it. While it is sad that that a pioneer
of the Internet like Jorn Barger is having trouble making ends meet, it seems
that he has no one to blame but himself. He apparently wrote progressively more
cryptic and incoherent blog entries over the years and that drove away readers?okay
I'll keep that in mind.


But the
article's implication that Mr. Barger's plight is a "sign of the
times" seems a stretch.

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The final beam out

by Mark W. Kaelin Editor In reply to Old enough to want to and ...

While I'm not
always sad to hear about the death of a cultural icon, in this case I
am. James
Doohan, better-known to Trekkers as Scotty, the ship's chief engineer
from the original Star Trek series, died this week. He was 85.


<p> <a href="http://news.com.com/2061-10802_3-5796651.html">Newslink</a></p>


Not many
television/movie characters, not even in the formidable Star Trek franchise,
can claim to have a common turn of phrase forever associated with them. Someday,
when they figure out how to overcome the currently perceived laws of physics to
make it possible, there will be a transporter machine that will whisk away travelers
from planet to space and back again. I believe when we get to that point the
common command to the operator will be "Beam me up Scotty." I hope
I'm alive to see that day.


<p> </p>


Goodbye
Scotty ? thanks for making life just that much more pleasant for so many.

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The final beam out

by quantumetrics In reply to The final beam out

A great many people in our profession were inspired, as kids, by Scotty. I was one of them ...

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Making movies in unconventional ways

by Mark W. Kaelin Editor In reply to Old enough to want to and ...

I am a
dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying geek of long-standing and I am going to prove
it to you. I play games on the PC, which is not all that geek by itself.
However, one of my favorite genres of computer games is the massively multiplayer
online role playing game, also known by the acronym MMORPG, which isn't really
more efficient or easier to pronounce.


<p>I've played
and or beta tested games ranging from Everquest to Asheron's Call to Dark Age
of Camelot. Most recently I have been adventuring in the World of Warcraft with
about 4 million other people around the world. Besides the normal RPG activity
of fighting and leveling your character there is a small group of dedicated
individuals who record a visual record of their exploits, edit that "footage"
and make a movie out of it.</p>


Surprisingly,
some of the movies are actually pretty good, exhibiting real talent. The twist
is that the movies are not about the game; the game is just the conduit for the
visual. I don't think these movies will win Oscars in the near future, but
there is something appealing about individuals using sophisticated animation
that they can control as they play the game to make what are essentially
independent short films.


It is just
another instance of creative individuals finding ways to express themselves
using technology in a manner it was not originally designed for. I've included
a few links to some of my favorite movies made in this manner. Keep in mind
that the majority of the visuals were taken from actual game play. Sometimes the
movements don't quite fit with the scene, but you'll get the general idea.


<a href="http://dlx.gamespot.com/pc/worldofwarcraft/moreinfo_6127702.html">World
of Warcraft Rise of the Living Dead Episode I</a>


<a href="http://dlx.gamespot.com/pc/worldofwarcraft/moreinfo_6129691.html">World
of Warcraft Rise of the Living Dead Episode II</a>


<a href="http://dlx.gamespot.com/pc/worldofwarcraft/moreinfo_6127151.html">World
of Warcraft Lost Movie</a>

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30 new free SharePoint applications - are you interested?

by Mark W. Kaelin Editor In reply to Old enough to want to and ...

I came
across a news item first reported by Mary Jo Foley in her <a href="http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1843543,00.asp?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535">blog</a>
Microsoft Watch. She reported that Microsoft published 30 new and free <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sppt/wssapps/default.mspx#itdevteam">SharePoint
applications</a>. I have edited several <a href="5263-6257-0.html?id=3268665&tag=download">downloads</a>
over the past week or two that list <a href="5264-1-0.html?query=10%20things">10 things</a>
you should know about the enterprise applications and servers Microsoft has in
their software portfolio.


The
surprising thing, at least to me, perhaps not to Microsoft, is the popularity
of these services ? especially SharePoint. According to my colleagues who
attended the TechEd conference recently, SharePoint was actually being used for
practical tasks by real people.


The 30
applications listed on the Microsoft page all seem like reasonable endeavors that
someone somewhere wants to accomplish. The question is, will you use a free
SharePoint application, one that you will have to modify and configure to fit
your situation, or do you prefer to start from scratch and build it yourself? Or,
perhaps a better question, what are you using SharePoint for ? I'd like to
know?

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