Interactive Fiction

I have a lot of vices. And one of the few vices that hasn’t led to jail time is software collecting. I collect all sorts of vintage software, but my favorite is interactive fiction, especially the games created by Infocom. Interactive fiction or text adventures, were the precursor to graphics-based games. Like a great novel,… Read more »

Paramount Ranch

Note: I wrote this blog before the recent fires swept through Paramount Ranch, destroying it completely. Westworld is like the best show on TV right now. It’s definitely one of my new favorites. And as luck would have it, I live pretty close to one of their sets, the western set used for Sweetwater. I… Read more »

My New Children’s Book

I met with my editor on Friday, and these were the take-a-way notes for my newest children’s book: The words “lube” and “chipmunk” should not appear in the same sentence, let alone as the opening line from Chapter 1. The local spelling bee you described in Chapter 2 should not end with Charlie Sheen bludgeoning… Read more »

Latest
  • The T-shirt Contest

    So last week I was surfing one of my favorite websites, The Chive, when I noticed a banner announcing a new t-shirt design contest. Now even though I am technically a writer, I am pretty good with Photoshop, so I decided to give graphic artistry a try. I looked at the t-shirts for sale in… Read more »

  • Resistance Is Futile

    Ah, the Borg. Those brutal, yet loveable robotic drones from the fictional world of Star Trek. The Borg, for those of you who don’t follow Star Trek, were a frightening species who went around the galaxy assimilating other races and making them part of their own collective society. The Borg assimilated their victims with the… Read more »

  • The Perils of Time Travel

    Yesterday, I received several comments on my recent blog where I posted some old photographs of the Back to the Future sets. One of the comments was how cool would it have been if Marty and Doc had travelled back to the time of Robin Hood. Ok. Let’s give it a try.   Draft 1… Read more »

  • The Hollywood Sign

    I was working on an article about the Hollywood Sign and had finished all the desktop research I could – the only thing remaining was a possible visit to the Sign itself. I contacted the trust that handles media inquiries for the Hollywood Sign, and they agreed to help me out. This was a remarkable… Read more »

  • The Help Desk

    I just finished writing an article on customer help desks, and after researching six large companies, speaking with their various employees, and examining their methods, all I can say is “sitcom”. If any of these companies hired Charlie Sheen, they could branch out to reality TV and have the hottest new show of the decade…. Read more »

  • We’ll keep your résumé on file

    Email is a great invention, even though it may one day end the long and happy life of the US Postal Service. With the ability to send unlimited letters, to unlimited recipients, and copy superfluous people, the user that seems to truly suffer, is the job seeker. Twenty five years ago, if you wanted to… Read more »

  • How porn killed the Betamax

    You may remember a few years back there was a battle for high definition video. There were two competing formats, HD-DVD and Blu-ray. In North America and Europe, Blu-ray won out, and the less expensive HD-DVD is the most widely used format in China. But before the disk wars, there were the video cassette wars…. Read more »

  • What’s in a title?

    As Rodney Dangerfield once quipped, “I bought a book called How to make it big…it was all about business!” Titles are important. They can make or break a book, a movie, or even a video game. So when it came time to choose a name for my book, I really gave it some thought. The… Read more »

  • Man versus Machine

    As an IT person, the one rhetorical question I hear all the time is “I wonder what Einstein could have done with a modern computer?” Most people think a computer is superior to a human brain. They cite such mundane facts as “the computer always beats the human in chess”, or “Watson (an IBM computer)… Read more »

  • California Law

    As part of my research on California history, I came across some fascinating state laws that are still on the books, even today. I would like to share a few of these with you…. Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results is a $500 fine. Yep. There is nothing worse than sitting down… Read more »