Archive for December, 2007

December 29, 2007: 11:40 pm: Technology, Work

Give me enough time off and I’ll go off and do something silly. Like attempt to re-write A Christmas Carol in a modern-day setting.

But if there is enough time after that, I’ll circle back to doing something halfway more reasonable.

And so, I present to you the Buzz Town Wiki

This is our own Wiki for the people of Buzz Town. Here we can create bios for the various citizens of Buzz Town (without risk of violating notability standards), document organizations like TM Analysts, Buzz Air and Space Command, etc.

I’ve seeded it with a few articles, but I encourage you to jump in and add your own. Even add yourself. If we get more than 20 active editors we can graduate from a scratchpad mini wiki to real full-fledged Wikia Wiki just like Wookiepedia. And isn’t that what every Wiki dreams of?

So what do you say Shalin? Dave the psychologist? Tripp? (Are you alive Tripp?) Let’s get some articles on DRM, Perception of difficulty, the chance we’re a simulation, and anything else that strikes your fancy — and relates to Buzz Town.

Maybe even a map!

December 19, 2007: 2:19 pm: history, Technology, Work

Russ Pitts, former Half Price Books Computer Section Manager, Head of Insomnia Productions, Producer of SuBBrilliant TV, writer for SuBBrilliant News, and one-time Line Producer of The Screen Savers, wrote a long, involved, insightful reminscence of his years at TechTV.

This paragraph sums it up:

I laugh now when I hear the phrase Web 2.0, not because I think it’s an inherently stupid concept (it isn’t), but because back when Web 1.0 was barely in its adolescence, The Screen Savers was already pushing the envelope, stretching that bitch at the seams and wanting more. So we created TV 2.0, in which you were part of the show, and even if you never called in, never logged in or sent in an email, watching other people do so, you knew that you could. You knew that we cared. Because we did. It was all for you. Yes, we were having the fucking time of our lives, but we were doing it for you, because we’d been there on the other end of that TV screen thinking nobody understood why these things were so important to us, and we knew how lonely it could be. And we wanted you to know you weren’t alone.

Thanks for that Russ. I mean it. It makes me even more proud to have worked there to have it expressed that way.

Read the whole thing at

December 3, 2007: 6:41 pm: history

I started playing around with, which is a fascinating site for genealogical research. They have tons of primary sources from several countries, including census reports, marriage records, etc. I even found a scan of my Great Grandfather’s World War I draft registration card, in his own handwriting.

One cool feature is the ability to import other people’s trees if you share an ancestor. This can make quick work of tracing some lines. I was able to trace a line form my Father’s Mother back to King Edward of England. In fact, once you can do a neat trick like that, you can take advantage of some enterprising folks tress that include the genealogies of the middle ages.

Back then, any noble worth his salt tried to trace his line back to Roman Emperors. And of course Roman Emperors traced THEIR lines through Alexander the Great to Hercules and thus to the gods.

All of this means, I’m descended from Zeus, and here’s the breadcrumb trail to prove it. Click on the thumbnail to get the full image.

Family Tree Zeus Style