Daily Archives: September 13, 2012

Anyone for a game of pong?

When I look at the Atari Arcade, I get a bunch of gobbledygook but if I click on individual links to individual games, I get an interesting experiment in HTML 5.0 demonstrating old fashioned character-based-graphic style games. Here are the links, but I suggest right-clicking and opening in a new window or tab so you can more cleanly shut them down if you get stuck. In other words, attempting to use the most advanced web-based programming language/markup tool to emulate ancient games is kind of like Dr. Who crossing his own time line and all sorts of bad things can happen.

The Atari Arcade

<ul>
  • Pong
  • <li><a href="http://www.atari.com/arcade#!/arcade/asteroids/">Asteroids</a></li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.atari.com/arcade#!/arcade/missilecommand/">Missile Command</a></li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.atari.com/arcade#!/arcade/superbreakout/">Super Breakout</a></li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.atari.com/arcade#!/arcade/lunarlander/play">Lunar Lander </a></li>
    

    When I was in Middle School, I wrote my own TTY aware Lunar Lander program that ran on a Univac 1108, and later, a version of Pong that ran on a TRS80. What did you do in Middle School?

    More Technology Blog Posts Here

    Atheist Voices of Minnesota, Unplugged

    Have you read, or at least acquired your copy of, Atheist Voices of Minnesota: an Anthology of Personal Stories? Just so you know, it is an anthology of (just like the title says) personal stories of individuals’ journey to atheism. And, those people are writing from a Minnesota perspective. There are a lot of really great stories in the anthology, and a forward by Greta Christina.

    Anyway, this Sunday, at the Southdale Library in the Greater Minneapolis area (just south of the city), at the monthly Minnesota Atheist meeting, there will be a special event involving the reading out loud of portions of the book, by many of your favorite authors. Among the readers, I believe, will be PZ Myers and Stephanie Zvan. Further details are here.

    Although I never planned on doing the reading, I was thinking I’d go to this event, but it turns out that I can’t make it. But I hope you do!

    Best Geek-Friendly Wallpaper for your Computer Desktop

    Fusion Wallpaper
    There comes a time in each person’s life when it is time to change the wallpaper. And the drapes, but we’ll focus on wallpaper here. And by wallpaper I mean the picture on your computer screen that is normally covered by icons and open windows. I came across a few neat individual wallpapers, as well as some good sources, and thought you’d like to see them. Since these wallpapers are from sites run by the artists who designed the wallpapers, it is appropriate that you go to those sites to get them, so here I’ll just show a few thumbnails but mainly talk about topics and themes. You’ll need to click through to see the true quality of these pictures, and to obtain them.

    Most of these are science or nature themes or themes that would be of interest to geeky people like you, and thus the first one I’d like to mention is YourFather (see photo).

    YourFather Wallpaper is available here

    How-To Geek has a number of sets of wallpapers that caught my eye, including:

    • Ocean Waves (totally tubular) here.
    • Rain Forests here.
    • World Maps, including some historical ones, here/
    • Ancient Mayan Ruins here/
    • Auroras here.
    • Coral Reefs here.

    Steampunk Sci Fi
    Two great sources of wallpapers generally, including lost of science and nature stuff, are National Geographic (such as the 2011 best of collection or the space and science collection) and Flickr. National Geographic has mostly nature and science themed, while for Flickr you’ll need to select the right search terms. If you enter words like “space” and “science” you get mostly institutions and buildings related to these topics, which at first seems kind of lame, but then you think, “hey, this is obscure and will thus be very geekily impressive under the right conditions”.

    The geekiest wallpaper on the internet might be here at alphacoders. You may not even be able to stand it.

    Google Image is your friend. Search terms like “best steampunk wallpaper” and “best laboratory glassware wallpaper” will produce results.

    This thing from NASA is apparently real.
    And speaking of Steampunk, check here, here, and here as well.

    And finally, NASA has wallpaper.

    Learn To Code

    My friend Adria Richards on why you should learn to code:

    More details, especially if you are a girl, here.

    Books mentioned in the video:

    <ul>
    
  • Learn to Program, Second Edition (The Facets of Ruby Series)
  • <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593272944/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1593272944&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwgregladenc-20">The Book of Ruby: A Hands-On Guide for the Adventurous</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwgregladenc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1593272944" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321584104/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0321584104&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwgregladenc-20">Eloquent Ruby (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series)</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwgregladenc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0321584104" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1119998956/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1119998956&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwgregladenc-20">Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwgregladenc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1119998956" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></li></ul>