D&D on MS Surface

Of particular interest to psychohist, I suspect, is an attempt to do tabletop gaming on a smart tabletop.


The figurines--optional in regular D&D but great tools here--are "tagged" with dot codes on the bottom. The Surface is able to use its tiny cameras to view these unique codes and determine which character is where on the game grid. This means the game can automatically determine line-of-fire angles and keep track of enemy health.
This really speeds things up. A combat round in traditional D&D can take awhile. Initiative, roll-to-hit, damage, movement, and everything else has to be calculated. The program on the Surface automates all of this. Instead of several minutes, the combat round we tried (in which we killed a couple of weak orcs) took only a minute or two. And it was more fun.
The Dungeon Master (yes, you still need one) uses a PC networked with the Surface to control the game and the environment. All of the functions a DM fills in the traditional game, from generating monsters to mapping caverns, are available here. As a DM, I've always wanted to draw the game map dynamically.

Dana Rohrabacher is wrong!

"If we do nothing, I can guarantee you that within a decade, a communist Chinese regime that hates democracy and sees America as its primary enemy will dominate the tiny country of Panama, and thus dominate the Panama Canal, one of the world's most important strategic points," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) told a House subcommittee on Dec. 7, 1999, as it debated the handover.

From Lawyers, Guns, and Money

I really think this way

Last night I went to sleep promising myself that when I woke up I'd try to catch an earlier train rather than surfing the internet. This morning the following dialog occurred between myself and my conscience:

C: You woke up and started surfing, and now you're not only not early, you're in danger of being late! Sometimes I think you don't know the meaning of self-discipline.

M: That gives me an image of wearing leather and a whip. Yuck.

C: [appalled] You really don't know what self-discipline is!

P.S. I did make my usual train, so it wasn't that bad.

40 years ago today

New York and the whole world was filled with rejoicing 40 years ago today. I am referring, of course, to "Broadway Joe" Namath's announcement that he was returning to play professional football for the New York Jets, a couple of months after his retirement under a cloud of suspicion for hanging out with professional gamblers.

What's that? Something else happened that day?

Things I did not know

Last Thursday my Muslim co-worker and project lead was willing to allow me to work from home because I didn't want to deal with commuting while fasting. (I wound up not doing so.) Today I discovered he holds by a Muslim custom which has him do a dawn to dusk fast every single Monday and Thursday.

Getting what I want the hard way.

For my birthday present to myself, I purchased the Ipod Touch 2.2OS upgrade. Naturally about a month later Apple came out with 3.0, and I've been whining about it ever since. The ipod developed problems recently. Today I took it to the local Apple store, where they gave me a free replacement, thanks to the Applecare warranty extension that chaiya and hakamadare gave me.

The new replacement had the 1.5 version of the OS on it. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how to get the 2.x version of the OS back, before finally stumbling across a chat link in the Apple store. After discovering the chat doesn't work in Firefox (but does in Safari) I talked to an Apple tech. He told me that in this sort of situation he normally puts the OS back in the purchase queue to let me download it, but that he couldn't do that in this case. So he is refunding me the money for the purchase, which co-incidentally happens to be the same amount as the upgrade from 1.5 to 3.0 will cost me. So I get my free upgrade to 3.0 after all. Yay!