Archive for May, 2004

For convenience, $1.00 gives 1 hour

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

I live in Arlington, Virginia (USA), which is a pretty nice suburb of Washington, DC. I’d always wondered how they kept the county going with all of the services they provide, knowing how costly running a county is.

Well, now I know.

4 minutes for each nickel, 8 minutes for each dime, 20 minutes for each quarter. For convenience $1.00 gives 1 hour.

Apparently, Arlington County tricks unsuspecting motorists into paying an extra quarter for each hour. Suckers!

It’s funny… I’ve only found these parking meters on parts of Wilson Boulevard, near Whitlow’s on Wilson. The rest of the parking meters appear to be less shady.

Update 2004-05-26: I just thought I’d mention that my wonderful wife, Katrina (who keeps track of everything for me, including my social schedule, overly vast computer hardware collection, and fashion tips), often joins me for half-price burgers on Monday nights at Whitlow’s on Wilson.

Old Skool Software

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

Today, I was wading through a lot of old computer stuff that I have lying around, and I came across a LogiTech-branded Microsoft Windows 3.1 box, complete with 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks.

Wow.

I did what any red-blooded, nostalgic computer dork would do: I installed it on a vmware instance. Here it is in all its glory.

In order to install it, I actually needed to install DOS 6.0, first. That required me to dig up a box affectionally known in days gone by as my big keg of software. It’s a dot-matrix printer-paper box full of floppies: 3.5″ and 5.25″.

The Keg has some real gems in there:

  • A 5.25″-floppy version of PC-Tools version 7
    note: this is so old-skool that it wasn’t even called Norton, since Norton/Symantec hadn’t yet bought them
  • A copy of a game called Stunts (which was even better than Gran Turismo 3 if you ask me)
  • WordPerfect 5.1 (oh, yeah!)
  • Many old-skool Sierra games (KQ, QFG, etc.)
  • Visual Basic for DOS (you read that right: DOS!)
  • … and much, much more!
  • Legal licenses for all aforementioned software

Several months (or is it years, now?) ago, I was determined to actually get disk images of everything, burn them to a CDROM or two, and defenestrate the whole thing. I live on the 8th floor, so if I do that I’ll definitely get some video.

Anyhow, I got started making images and then I realized that I might never actually be able to get them to run for a number of reasons. First, lots of old copy-protection schemes relied on having direct access to the floppy devices, so many of them just won’t work. Second, many games, etc. required the disk to actually physically be in the drive in order to run, much less install. These days, it’s tough to bring yourself to pay for a floppy drive on a computer, so all this software may go the way of the dodo if I can’t figure out how to get it running.

All this to say that I haven’t yet imaged all of them and littered the street with multi-colored squares of plastic. However, my recent install of Windows 3.11 on VMware has given me the opportunity to image the DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.11 disks and verify that they still work. (I had to image them because my laptop doesn’t have a floppy drive at all — what a shocker!).

Once I get everything onto a nice, small CD, Heather Vargas, my good friend and personal organizer will give me a big, wet kiss on the lips.

Update 2004-05-26: Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of lode runner. W3rd to stunts.

Johnny Come Lately

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

So, it seems like everybody and their brother has a Weblog these days.

I used to think that people that blogged were either full of themselves or actually hadsomething important to say. Most bloggers fell into the category of "who cares".

Now, I understand that blogging is the new way&trade of the web. I mean, you can hardly get a decent position on Google[1] without being mobbed-up in the blogging scene. It’s a friggin’ pyramid schema, I tell you. What’s the first thing everybody does? They get several of their friends interested in blogging, and they all link to each other’s sites. Then, anyone who reads any of their blogs pretty much gets sucked into the whole ring of blogs.

Well, anyway, in an effort to avoid becoming obselete in these heady days of blogs on the intarweb, I have decided to jump in with both feet. I hope you enjoy reading the mindless drivel that I write.

I’ll hit a lot of random topics, but you’ll find that I often return to many of the same things: software development, Java stuff, Politics, and things that generally piss me off. Not coincidentally, these topics usually overlap.

Enjoy,
-chris

References

  1. Friggin’ Brian Vargas’s explosive ammo mutator page is rated higher than my
    explosive ammo mutator
    page. Help me change that, will you? ;)