January 1, 2035

Link to www.bloglines.com/blog/taplinb

-------- PLEASE READ --------

In 2005 I began playing with own blog options. I tried Telligent, maintained by ISP godaddy.com, then replaced it with free Web Wiz software from the U.K. Great tools, but I don't want my website pinned to one particular technology, so my latest iteration is at Bloglines. That's where you can find me in the near future.

Also, I will soon be employed elsewhere, after which I suspect this account may disappear.

Ciao.
-Brad

Posted by tapli005 at 5:55 AM

May 17, 2005

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch...

I saw this in the sample pages of a demo server:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat
ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a...

Posted by tapli005 at 1:46 PM

April 22, 2005

Games I have enjoyed

My new boss, Peter, mentioned a few months ago that he has enjoyed Half-Life in the past, so I gave it a whirl, the original version from a few years back. What a great and addictive first-person shooter (FPS)! I want version 2, but it's still around $50 and I don't care to pay that much for a game (yet).

I don't know whether playing FPS games like Quake and Doom will have a nasty effect on my soul or behavior, but by all accounts I seem to remain a pretty non-violent and reasonable individual. That said, an FPS is an awfully cheap and easy way to get the sort of adrenaline rush that might otherwise require talent, coordination, time and money. I could acquire most of that, but few parents have a lot of time and money to burn on personal sports or games like paintball - so I get my adrenaline fix in the basement staring at a tube.

OK, that said, other games I enjoy include Unreal (great for multiplayer), Return to Wolfenstein, and Battlefield 1942. I am about to try Tribes 2 mainly because I want to see what can be done with the Torque game development engine, which is something I intend to learn more about.

I first got hooked on playing FPS games with Quake 1 on DOS, back before I was married and all. I'd replace the game CD with Laurie Anderson's Bright Red, which makes a great background soundtrack to running around in caves shooting at monsters. Similar mood and thrills as in a good horror movie.

I also very much enjoy a good strategy game. I try to play chess with a friend once a week. Computer strategy games I like include Ages of Kings (AOK) and, though this is also more of a bash-em game, Warcraft 3. Warcraft has fairly good gameplay but is particularly impressive in its smooth programming and continuing support for Mac as well as PC users. Love Blizzard entertainment. They also make StarCraft, which is like Warcraft in space, and Diablo, which is similar but I find less engaging (less resource management).

Another computer game I once really liked, but haven't played for years, was Apache Maximum Overkill. Unlike most flying games, this one involved a slow-moving helicopter from which you could sneak up on enemies from a river bed. Great graphics for its day, playing on a 25MHz 486.

Before all this, back when I had an LC3 and 386, I played a lot of Commander Keen (by John Carmack before he wrote Quake), the original Sim City, and the best Mac game of all time IMHO - Lemmings. I loved Lemmings, back in about 1992 or so when I was in another state. I still have a copy of it somewhere. Cute, harmless fun, very kid-friendly.

What else? Kid-friendly games on our iMac include AlphaBaby for our toddler (bang on keys, see family pictures), Double 2 - a la Mah Jong, HangMan, and Solitaire. Kind of a moot point these days with so many kid games online, e.g. Elmo. Our boy doesn't get much screen time; when he does it's AlphaBaby.

Gotta go work now. What games do you like, and why?

Posted by tapli005 at 6:13 AM

December 4, 2004

Thoughts on 12/04/04 (updated 4/22/05)

Let me start by stating that I consider blogging to be a silly activity. If people aren't asking me in person about what I think of the price of tea in Bulgaria, why would they go out of their way to look up my opinions online? The goal of communication is not, curse all advertisers, just to "get the message out" but to initiate thought. If my writing doesn't speak to your own interests in some way, please disregard it. This entry and others will just be a way for me to vent...

That said, here are a few "headlines" in my head right now:

1. Family - my wife and child are healthy and home with me.
We love this life together in our little Saint Paul bungalow.
See www.taplintoys.com for pix of us and some extended
family. The main reason I work every day is to retain this
life, and I avoid working into dinnertime. Family first.

2. Friends - I prefer a few good ones I can really trust and
respect to a crowd, and intelligence over style. Myers-
Briggs had me pegged long ago as INTP -- yes, despite
appearances at work, I am an introvert. Most friends
are very much into technology, science, or math. I'm
a scientist wannabe, lacking the training and focus.

3. Finances - for several years after college I was rather
broke. I remember the pain of that and despise debt.
A recent article (sorry, no citation) noted that nearly
half of American families carry large revolving credit
burdens. No wonder we elect fools who can't count! I
will NOT depend on Social Security for retirement. We
will forego some things to pay off the house quickly.
If I took another tech job, it would be for more cash.

4. Fun - my favorite activities seem to be putzing about
with computers, light reading, vegging out in front of
"quality" TV (an oxymoron?), movies, gaming with a
few former coworkers, water and snow sports, and a
weekly chess game with a friend who teaches math.

5. Work - I more or less enjoy what I do, but it wasn't a
lifelong dream. See www.taplintoys.com/resume05.rtf
for more on that. I sometimes flirt with returning to
law school (after a brief stint in 1999), but four years
of night school and $75k in debt would be murder on
my family, and I can't afford to quit the day job - so
I continue to look for ways to keep the day job fun.

I'm very grateful to my current superiors for making
that relatively easy, and to coworker Dan for trying
to teach me about UNIX and coding. Of course I do
what I'm paid to do, but there's always time to learn.

Gotta go. More fascinating thought processes to follow...

Posted by tapli005 at 4:54 AM