Showing posts with label computers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label computers. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

RPGaDAY2016: Day 23

Share one of your best 'Worst Luck' stories.

I mentioned this one a couple years ago for "Most Memorable Character Death" but it also falls under best "Worst Luck" since the poor guy was at the receiving end of some truly diabolic dice rolls.

I have played exactly 1 ninja my entire  gaming life.  His name was Oko-nishi (horrible I know).  My lame attempts at a Japanese sounding name.  In my defense at what I knew was a bad name, I made him a half-orc; because I could then blame his orc parent.  It must have been around 1984-5 as I made him using the Oriental Adventure rules.  My then DM and I had worked up a D&D combat simulator on the Color Computer 2 and we plugged him in with 9 other characters.  He was attacked by a Black Dragon (or Red, cant recall) and killed. The dragon kept attacking him and only him.  We had not worked out all the errors. In the end, he had been reduced to something like -70 hp.  My DM offered to let him be ok, or keep him dead. We enjoyed watching it so much and getting the mental image of this dragon jumping up and down on my dead ninja that I felt it was a waste to say it never happened.

I never played a ninja or a half-orc again.

http://www.brigadecon.org/rpgaday2016/


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil

Well this is an unexpected surprise.

I was digging out a bunch of computer junk to get rid of over the weekend and I found my copy of the old Atari "Temple of Elemental Evil" video game.



Back in the day I had installed it on to one of my PCs and played it a little bit and then went on to other things.  That computer died on me and I never reinstalled it.

Now that I have Son of Frankencomputer up and running I think I am going to reinstall this.

Should be fun!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Post 2600!

Why pick such an arbitrary posting milestone?

Well as many gamers my age might recall the "2600" was the part number of the first Atari home video game console.

The Atari 2600 changed how looked at home entertainment forever.



Given the general feel of 80s nostalgia we have here on the Other Side and other related blogs I am a little surprised that the Atari is not mentioned more.  Maybe it could be that unlike some others my age (or older) I always *liked* the idea of computers and video games working with D&D.
I am sure we all (or most) remember this game.


Yeah, it was a weak ass version of "D&D" but hey for the late 70s/early 80s it was the best we had and I played the hell out of it.  I even played again it here just recently (like a month ago) on my Atari Flashback 5.  Yeah I still had fun.

Though some of my most favorite memories of playing "D&D" is playing "Rogue" on my TRS-80 Color Computer 3.


Sure. It wasn't D&D, but it was still fun.  Plus we know that there would not have been any of these games had it not been for D&D.

So yeah while I am looking up old RPG books from the 70s on eBay I have been looking up old computers too.  I have an Atari (and an emulator) but I keep looking at the various Tandy Color Computers too.  With the recent news that Radio Shack is closing I have been thinking more and more about it.

I know it is a stupid idea. I can get emulator and run them on my phone that 1000s times faster than the original machines.  There are even browser based emulators to play the games I liked. But I also have a program I worked on back in the day to manage and run a party of AD&D characters that would be fun to dust off.  I still have the source code in fact.

 For me at least, D&D and computers have always gone hand in hand.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tools of the Trade

None gaming post today.  I have been clearing out a bunch of old computers and software to either get rid of or sell on eBay.

Often times when we write about writing in general and blogging in particular we talk a lot about where ideas come from, how to get more readers or even how much writing everyday is important.  This is all true, and important, but that is not the type of tools I mean today.

Hardware

Look down.  There. See it, it's your keyboard.  What is your relationship with your keyboard?

I blog every day.  I write in addition to that and there is that day job too.  I spend a lot of time with my fingers on my keyboard.  My favorite keyboard is the one I have at home, the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000. It is the silver one and long, long out of stock.  I wrote Ghosts of Albion on it and it is by far the most comfortable keyboard I have ever used.  I never expected to find a replacement for my old beatup Gateway 2000 124 key programmable keyboard, but this one is fantastic.


Here is my main computer, Frankencomputer (I built it from spare parts).  It's not much more than a web-machine and word processor which is what I want when I am writing.  It run Ubuntu Linux and I use Google Drive for all my work. The keyboard is actually worth more to me than the rest of the computer.  If I am going to sit and pound away on a keyboard then it needs to be comfortable to me.

This is my second 6000 keyboard in truth.  I bought this one off of eBay for an ungodly price and still consider it money well spent.  It has the right curve for my hands and can elevate to the right height so I don't get fatigue while typing. Plus it is the same keyboard Weird Al has in his song "White & Nerdy".  A song that is not about me at all. Really. Honest.

Software

I was reading the other week that George R. R. Martin, when he is not plotting to kill every character you love, sits in front of his old DOS machine and types his books into WordStar 4.0.  Piers Anthony once mentioned that back in the day he paid a programmer to reverse engineer his favorite word processor from CP/M to MS-DOS. Laurel K. Hamilton did her first writing on a manual typewriter and still thinks of things in terms of page counts and not word counts.  I am sure there are many more examples, but the point is clear. We get used to something for our writing and we like to stick with it.   Myself, I am an Microsoft Word fan.  I have been using it for years, since version 1.1 and Office 4.3.  I have gotten very comfortable with it and have lost count of the number of hours I have spent in it.

So then am I switching over to Google Drive?
Well while I still use Word one of the things it promised and never really delivered on was real time collaboration.   With the Google Drive word processor I can work with others and see their edits real time. We can chat and discuss what it is we are doing and why.  Plus I have lost count of the number of docs I have lost carting them from one computer to another, either on floppy disk or flash drive. And then when I manage to get it to another computer (say from work to home) I have to deal with whether or not the computer can read the file format and version control.  The only thing worse than loosing a document is to spend hours adding to a draft that is already 3 revisions old.

So how about you?
What are your writing needs? Special keyboard? Software? Maybe it is your best comfy chair.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

#RPGaDAY Day 13, Most Memorable Character Death

#RPGaDAY Day 13, Most Memorable Character Death

I seem to recall talking about this one from other blogfests.

Oh well, it is a funny story and can be repeated.


I have played exactly 1 ninja my entire  gaming life.  His name was Oko-nishi (horrible I know).  My lame attempts at a Japanese sounding name.  In my defense at what I knew was bad I made him a half-orc.  It must have been around 1984-5 as I made him using the Oriental Adventure rules.  My then DM and I had worked up a D&D combat simulator on the Color Computer 2 and we plugged him in with 9 other characters.  He was attacked by a Black Dragon (or Red, cant recall) and killed. The dragon kept attacking him and only him.  We had not worked out all the errors. In the end he had been reduced to something like -70 hp.  My DM offered to let him be ok, or keep him dead. We enjoyed watching it so much and getting the mental image of this dragon jumping up and down on my dead ninja that I felt it was a waste to say it never happened.

I never played a ninja or a half-orc again.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge, Day 11: Favorite Playable Race

Day 11: Favorite Adventure I Ran

So many here as well.  Since I am limiting it to D&D I think I am going to say Ravenloft, I6.  I have run it a number of times and each time it gets better and better.  Plus it is a lot of fun and I love all the gothic horror trappings.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge, Day 10: Craziest Thing

Day 10: Craziest Thing that's Happened that you saw

I have shared this story in the past, but it was too funny not to share it again.
I have played exactly 1 ninja my entire  gaming life.  His name was (horrible I know) Oko-nishi.  My lame attempts at a Japanese sounding name.  In my defense at what I knew was bad I made him a half-orc.  It must have been around 1984-5 as I made him using the Oriental Adventure rules.  My then DM and I had worked up a D&D combat simulator and we plugged him in with 9 other characters.  He was attacked by a Black Dragon (or Red, cant recall) and killed. The dragon kept attacking him and only him.  We had not worked out all the errors. In the end he had been reduced to something like -70 hp.  My DM offered to let him be ok, or keep him dead. We enjoyed watching it so much and getting the mental image of this dragon jumping up and down on my dead ninja that I felt it was a waste to say it never happened.


Friday, July 12, 2013

ShadowRun and the Deep Web / Undernet

I was talking to my wife last night about ShadowRun in hopes I would have a review ready for you all today.

That didn't happen.

Instead she distracted me with something she had found out about the Deep Web.



I still want to get a ShadowRun 5 review up soon.  It is pretty cool.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The OSR of Computers

I am of the age that my involvement in RPGs began at the same time as my involvement in the burgeoning home computer market.

Indeed, my games were from TSR and my computers are from TRS. As in the old TRS 80 and Tandy Color Computer.

Most of my first attempts at programming were ways to help, improve or other wise supplement my D&D experience.  This went on for a number years. In fact I upgraded past (ie got rid of) my CoCo3 right around the same time I moved to 2nd Ed AD&D.

It should then be no big surprise then that while I am trolling eBay for old RPG materials I am also looking at old Color Computer stuff.
Which is really dumb.  I have owned at least three or four of these things over the years.  I have computers sitting in my office unused that are 1000s of times better every respect.

Yet. Here I am. Looking at these toys off my youth.

Maybe an emulator is the way to go.  I have a computer I could rebuild I am sure.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Selling my Soul to Google

I am very active on Blogger.  All my RPG related email goes to my Gmail account.  I use Google Analytics to track trends on my blog.  I own an Android phone and tablet.  So I am pretty sold on this Google idea.

Well this weekend I found the one thing my gaming life needs more than anything else.
I discovered the new Chrome Book.

It runs the new Chromium OS and uses all the same tools I use now for my RPG work.
Not only that, but last week I began a new RPG book.  No surprise there.  But this deal is that this is the first time since 1989 that I have started one on something other than Microsoft Word.
I was an early adopter of MS Word. The first copy I ever bought was Word 1.1 for Windows, I quickly upgraded to 2.0.  I have tried other software.  I had used many others before this; PC Write was a big one for me. I spent untold hours in front of a screen using WordStar. I even, briefly, tried WordPErfect (and hated it).  I would guess that in the last 23 years I have spent about 30,000 hours using Word.  That's about 5-6 hours a day. Work really adds to this number since everything I do there is in Word.

Last week I started a new RPG book in Google Docs.  I have used Docs before for other things and even have written a number of things for work or pleasure in it.  But I usually started them in Word.  So this is a big deal for me.

This new Chrome Book would give me all the tools I am using now.  Sure I have a laptop and a computer.  The computer is in my office and not portable.  The laptop is for work.  My tablet is great, but not great to write with.

I like the idea of having a separate RPG computer to hold all my PDFs and works-in-progress.
Now if I can only get one for Christmas!




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