Line Rider

Today’s time-waster is Line Rider, a simple little Flash-based toy that marries a colorblind Microsoft Paint with a physics engine. Its astoundingly simple: you draw a line, then hit “play” and a little man on a sled rides that line, his red scarf flapping behind him. I confess it didn’t take me too long before I was designing death traps designed to fling him about more than I was trying to actually keep him seated.

Ramadan roundup

ok so this time I have a good excuse for not posting! the first week of fasting is always the toughest 🙂 The funny thing is that I’ve found myself thinking about adding a food category to the blog (primarily a paean to Chipotle). But food blogging during Ramadan would be just masochistic, so it will have to wait until Eid.

There has been a lot of stuff going on though. Galactica season 3 starts soon, and there have been online “webisodes” at that have a very interesting prequel storyline to the season that really delves into the resistance fighter mentality – with our own sympathetic and loved characters making decisions that we would normally decry. It’s odd how I am willing to give a fictional character more slack and make excuses for their behavior that I condemn in the real world – like strong weapons in a shrine. Of course the Cylons are Evil Incarnate (or are they?) so the universe of Galactica is more black and white (or is it?).

Also the Intel Developer Forum is going on and has all sorts of awesome, sharikou-head-exploding stuff like 80-core chips, roadmaps to 45nm processing, and laser FSBs (from Day 1 alone). Anandtech has probably the best coverage. Yesterday during Day 2 they also talked about the Santa Rosa platform, one of my particular interests. One tidbit I’d missed earlier: the FSB clock frequency will also be adjustable, to further improve power management. Right now on the new Centrino platforms running Yonah/Merom, only CPU clock speeds adjust, but the FSB runs at full all the time. And there are even cooler innovations to reduce power that I won’t spoil. The promise of all-day computing gets stronger and stronger.

Shamus’ “DM of the Rings” comic is awesome. I almost choked with laughter at the whole “Leggo my ass” thing. It reminds me of Summoner Geeks – but better.

And Sugar is still losing to a demented penguin. Oh, the humanity!

Chronon v0

The game-masters at Eyemaze have released a new game, Chronon:

Chronon version 0
click to enlarge

The premise is much subtler and complex than previous games (of which Grow Cube is perhaps the most famous). Time – as represented by the timepoints along the top, is not as linear as it appears. In fact there is even a hidden timepoint that is critical in solving the game.

As is typical with Eyemaze, you are dropped into the game without any clues other than the visual ones. There’s no backstory, and no means of interaction other than pointing and clicking. In some ways it’s like the Myst genre, only served in bite-sized pieces and with cartoons rather than photorealism. You just start playing, and puzzle out things the way you would in the real world – with some liberties, of course (cases in point: a milk plant? Trees with zippers?).

That said, Chronon is still very much in beta and the author mentions the difficulties they had in crafting such a complex game.

As usual, I am also interested in how kids (specifically, a certain now four-years old girl) would react. I can report that my daughter likes Eyemaze a lot, though she has yet to really make the larger leap in terms of relating cause and effect within the games to the real world. Hence she doesn’t have all the tools an adult would have in figuring out the context for some solutions. However she really likes the simplicity of the interface – drag and click and what not, and things happen. It’s uncomplicated. I think that these games have genuine educational value and as a result I plan to drop them a donation in support.

And if you find yourself cursing my name three weeks from now, just remember that it was Steven who got me hooked on Eyemaze in the first place, so PWL to him, not me 🙂

How about a nice game of Chess

Shamus inspired me to add a Games category to the blog. I’m not much of a console guy but I think that geek culture gaming is a broad field, encompassing old-fashioned PC games, arcade games, and even AD&D and Magic: The Gathering. So there’s plenty to talk about. But in the meantime, let’s inaugurate the category by mentioning the fantastic website,, which offers online versions of every classic game you can think of, including chess, battleship, othello, Go, and more. Check it out, I am user “abde” if you want to invite me for a match.