4.30.2001

My computers

Only a fellow computer geek will understand why this list is special. Computer folks get nostalgic about their old machines like women do about prom dresses (I suppose), and to actually play with one of these hunks of silicon again would be a dream. These are the magical boxes that gave me the job and obsession I have today.

Apple iBook

As you can see, I was raised on Macintosh, so to speak, but I haven't really used one in several years, until now. I must confessed I was lured by the iPod commercial - I simply had to have one of those sexy devices in my pocket! So, I actually bought an iBook just to be my MP3 warehouse for an iPod. I also hooked up a wireless router, so I can use my cute little iBook to surf the web while I kick back on the couch, plus I'm really enjoying using Mac OS X (which is so much fun). Guess I'm bi-sexual again when it comes to computers.

Dell Dimension XPS R350

I finally bought a PC when I needed one for a contract with The Michaels Group, and quickly realized it was actually cool to be on the majority side of the OS war. I've never had any severe problems with it, starting on Windows 95 and moving to 98, and it's serving me right now to build this web page! However, 350 MHz is just too damn slow - I'll be buying a new PC soon.

Power Computing PowerWave 132

I bought this powerhouse Macintosh clone all by myself for the reincarnation of my design business as Paradiddle Design, solo this time. It paid for itself fairly quickly with earnings, and continued to serve me when I moved to Austin and started with The Michaels Group doing lots of 4th Dimension programming. However, when I finally broke down and bought a PC, I realized just how slow it was and stopped using it.

Apple Macintosh IIsi

My development group at CITGO used Macs, so they actually bought me this wonder to use at home. During this time, I was a full-fledged Macintosh developer, going to conferences in San Jose, trading emails with Apple employees in Cupertino, and I even got to speak at some conferences. To be truthful, I used this machine mostly for moonlighting - Cheri and I started 1:05 Design on this one and made lots of logo design money.

Atari 800

Dad and I bought this one together to discover the wonderful world of software piracy! We were both Intellivision addicts, but when we found out I had a friend who could get us tons of games for free, we were sold. We explored lightning fast 300 BPS modems and learned why disk drives are better than tape drives. I also wrote lots of games myself, including one that was published in ANALOG Computing magazine - I made $600 in one shot while still in high school, so that was the start of my career.

Space Assault

After Dad and I purchased the Atari 800, I began reading programming magazines and writing games right and left in Atari Basic. One cool feature of the Atari operating system was called Player-Missle Graphics, which allowed you to create cool sprite animation (I even did a presentation on this kind of programming for a class in high school). My best game was called Space Assault, which was similar to Missile Command, but who cares? I sent the code to my favorite magazine, ANALOG Computing, and several months later they published it! I received a check for $360.00, which was huge money for a kid, and with dollar signs in my eyes, I decided then and there that software was the life for me! In a way, the pages you see here are the beginnings of WEBmikey, because I might not be building web sites today if I hadn't made that money.

Space Assault / Cover

ANALOG Computing, Sept/Oct 1983 - Space Assault was featured on the cover!

Space Assault / Table of Contents

The table of contents included a screen shot of my game in the lower right corner - in the same column as Pole Position!

Space Assault / Page 1

I had to write a cheesy backstory for the game, as well as provide a list of my variable names. How organized!

Space Assault / Page 2

Look at that lovely code! GOSUB was totally essential in Atari Basic, since routines near the top of a listing actually ran faster.

Space Assault / Page 3

More code - the best part is reading my instructions screen in the second column.

Sinclair ZX-81

I wanted this 16K monster so much that I made a cardboard keyboard so I could practice typing before it arrived. I pretty much learned BASIC beforehand so I could start writing exciting programs right away (like making a black dot move from one side of the screen to the other). A fun machine, except when it would shut down from overheating.

4.28.2001

Blow : 4 of 5

While Traffic was about the effects of using, Blow is about the effects of dealing. Johnny Depp is incredible - there are two fantastic tear-jerker sequences that he pulls of easily. The costumes and sets of the late 60's/early 70's are perfect - right down to the washed out film that makes the whole movie look like a shoebox of old Polaroids. There are some really fun times in the film, and of course, terrible times, too, but nothing as depressing as Traffic. The story is actually fascinating - you never think about how cocaine was brought to the US - it just seems like it was always here.

4.25.2001

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol 3 : 4 of 5

Although Evangelion is certainly old school when it comes to animation style, the story and characters are so compelling that it's easy to see why this anime is one of the most popular. Immediately after finishing volume three I was itching for the next DVD! Now that Asuka is on the scene, there is much more development between the child pilots and how they interact and react to their dangerous missions. Each episode is very stand-alone, however - I don't see much of a mystery behind the plot, except for the question of what the heck are these monsters called "angels" and why are they attacking? (By the way, Asuka is so kirei.)

4.22.2001

Haiku

Long evenings of youth
Frisbee flying overhead
In California

4.21.2001

Jedi Apprentice 11: The Deadly Hunter / Jude Watson : 3 of 5

Before I say anything else, I hate two-part stories in a book series! If you want to do a long story, just write a long book! I guess I can cut Jude Watson some slack, since these are Scholastic books for young readers. But if you've read WEBmikey for long, you know I love this series (I'm not alone either - tons of Star Wars adults anxiously await the release of each volume). Anyway, the first half of this story is really promising. The action takes place on Coruscant, so we get to see the Senate in action along with the seedier side of the planet. The antagonist is a female bounty hunter with an electric whip - yikes! Qui Gon is kidnapped at the end of the book, so it's time to speed-read the next volume!

4.16.2001

Easter with Chris & Eliza

Yet another free meal at the famous La Cava/Loyola party pad - includes racy hot tub pics!

View photos: Easter 2001

4.15.2001

Veruca Salt / American Thighs : 3 of 5

I was originally drawn to Veruca Salt for two reasons: they're named after the beautiful little mega-bitch in Willy Wonka, and The Seether is a fantastic song with creative lyrics. Their style isn't my typical taste, but their girlie harmonies are really cool. Anyway, I decided to finally buy a CD after hearing most of the tracks via Napster - not as good as I had hoped, but there are some nice tunes (Forsythia comes to mind). It's better than the radio most of the time, anyway!

4.10.2001

The Day Jobs: Mopac Bounce

Now that Matt is in Japan, the fabulous Day Jobs are no longer swinging. Near the apex of our earth-shattering career, we were featured on Austin Music Network and performed four songs. Here is the famous Mopac Bounce, written by Dae Kim.

Watch video: Day Jobs / Mopac Bounce

4.06.2001

Waterlogged : 3 of 5

For his fifth film, Bruce Brown decided to edit together a "greatest hits" flick (so he could take another year to finish the classic Endless Summer). Having already watched the source material recently, this was basically a bunch of repeats for me. Still, Bruce does a nice job of putting together the best parts (and some of the corniest parts) into a fairly cohesive narrative. It's even more fun watching 60's surfing styles after watching modern surfing competitions on ESPN - it's amazing how the sport has evolved so quickly.

4.05.2001

The Endless Summer : 4 of 5

Growing up in California and listening to the Beach Boys, I've always loved the ocean and watching surfing on TV - for some reason it just makes the day seem better to see people braving the waves. This is the definitive surfing movie (documentary), full of non-stop surfing around the globe, great photography, and fun music (my new band plays the theme song!). The narration is absolutely hilarious as a bonus, with corny jokes and dated cultural references that will keep you laughing.

4.03.2001

Dogma : 4 of 5

I'm a mild Kevin Smith fan, but I really wanted to see Dogma just because the story sounded so cool. I really enjoyed this movie - all of the extended conversation about religion and spirituality was so funny, although when it tried to get too serious it was a little over the top. Jay and Silent Bob were great at injecting the stupidest comments at the right time (much more interesting than in Clerks), but Alanis Morrisette as God was silly to me - they could have used any goofy girl for the same effect without making me groan at the sight of her.

4.02.2001

Dick : 2 of 5

The trailer for Dick looked kind of interesting at the theater, though nothing I would actually go out to see. All in all, I'd say this plot is too silly to really be enjoyable. It tries to be clever (the directory even says they wanted to make people think the Watergate scandal really could have happened this way), but just isn't believable - if they had just gone for ridiculous on purpose (a la Airplane or something like that), I think I would have enjoyed it more. This is the first DVD I've rented with a "Making Of Featurette" that's only four minutes long - guess that shows the incredible depth of the filmmaker's art on this one.

4.01.2001

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid : 3 of 5

Certainly not the best Steve Martin movie (my favorite is The Man with Two Brains, but The Jerk is a close second), but still a nice effort at making a film noir spoof using classic movie footage. They could do a much better technical job today, but the combination of Steve's dialog with old movie stars is still pretty clever. The plot is kind of a jumble, but that's OK, since there are a few total gem lines that are worth waiting for (including the "adjusting your breasts" gag and "Can I use her underwear to make soup?"). Unfortunately, there are also some jokes that miss, like the 30 seconds of pouring coffee grounds into a pot to make his "famous java".

E! True Hollywood Story: Jar Jar Binks

Finding great parodies is part of the joy of web surfing, and this parody of the typical E! "dig for the dirt" biography featuring "Jared Binklestein" is one of the absolute best (maybe even better than Troops!). This film is pure quality - well shot, well edited, and full of both obvious and inside jokes (haven't you always wanted to see Natalie Portman smoking and yelling "Who's my bitch"?). The impersonators are great, and the guy doing the voices of Jar Jar and Yoda is fantastic! As a bonus, we get to hear Darth Maul speak in his "real" voice. This site will direct you to another site that actually hosts the film - watch it now!

Visit site: E! Jar Jar Binks

Musashino : 5 of 5

Until recently, my favorite sushi has been at Ichiban, but everyone in Austin consistently says that Musashino is the best in town. Thanks to Chris and Eliza, who took me there for my birthday, I can join the crowd in their opinion - Musashino really is incredible. There are lots of little bar areas to sit, which is great since the place gets crowded fast, which only reminded me of Japan. We had some really great miso, then several rolls filled with some very fresh fish - I don't think I've ever had such fresh salmon, which was a completely different taste and consistency than the norm. I had a nice beer and got to hear the waitresses sing Happy Birthday to me in Japanese, too, so it was a special experience.