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Thursday 28 March, 2002
#Mow, mow, mow the lawn
Jeff Minter, one of my old programming heroes, has resurrected his old games company Llamasoft, and I'm excited. After many years working for various console and DVD companies, Jeff is once again writing silly computers games with lots of sheep, goats, llamas and camels. Always something of ungulate-obsessive, back in his 80s heyday, Jeff produced a string of great games for the Commodore 64. Characterised by simple but fiendishly addicitive gameplay, bright colours, noise and lots of hoofed animals, Llamasoft games like Revenge of the Mutant Camels, Sheep in Space and Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge of Time have a place in games history. Even guys like me, who never actually owned a C64 knew how fab Jeff's games were.

And now he's writing new games - and this time I've got the hardware to run it. Yay! While I wait for him to finish Hover Bovver II, I've been reliving the good old days with the help of a C64 emulator (that's right - turn your 1GHz, 256Mb PC into a 4Mhz, 64k C64) and a tape image of Hover Bovver.
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#[linkfarm] The Social Life Of Paper
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Friday 22 March, 2002
# I don't remember when I first read about Eliza, but it must have been some time in 1983 or 84. Eliza, a program written in 1965, talks to you. Well sort of - it emulates a Rogerian psychotherapist. Rogerian psychotherapy is non-directive, that is the therapist attempts to get the client to do most of the talking, without offering advice or opinion. Obviously it's more subtle than that, but that's the gist.

The idea of being able hold a conversation with a computer seemed incredible. How vast and complex a program it must be. Eliza was, for a while, like a programming holy grail. It was simple enough to describe in a sentence, yet seemed impossible to achieve.

In actual fact it turns out to be really rather straightforward and can be written in a just a few lines of code. Here's a version of Eliza written in Python that I bundled up from someone else's initial work. It could do with a bit more polish, but it does the job. If you have Yahoo Messenger, you can talk to it here.

anonymous said Hello [added 25th Jan 2005]
Kost [e] [w] said test [added 2nd Aug 2005]

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Thursday 21 March, 2002
#[linkfarm] Why This May Be the Best Time to Start a Bootstrap Internet Business No Matter What Your Level of Experience
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# This time yesterday morning I was covered in orange juice which the Bean had just thrown up. I like today better.
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Wednesday 20 March, 2002
#[linkfarm] Why Getting Laid Off Is Better Than Building a Proprietary CMS
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Monday 18 March, 2002
#[linkfarm] nR is a java XML repository.
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#[linkfarm] XML - Processing Model Considered Essential
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# Bit of a detox hiccup over the weekend. On Saturday night I zoomed down to Oxford to have a curry with John and Kal and their respective goodwyfs [CENSORED] and Agata. Now curry in itself is not necessarily a detox no-no, so long as you avoid things like panir and lassi (no dairy remember) and naans (no wheat).

I had pumpkin with spinach and some particularly good lemon rice. Yummy, and not poisonous. And, oopsy, a chapati. "That's ok, they're made with chick pea flour", I thought, smugly, to myself. Reading the ingredient list on a bag of chapati flour the following day in Sainsburys confirmed what a certain amount of inner turmoil had already told me. Chapati flour is wheat flour.


planetcutie said Detox diet? Hah, my body is like one of those crumbling houses that's only held together by the wallpaper. If I gave up all my toxins, I probably wouldn't be able to get out of bed at night. [added 18th Mar 2002]
peteychap said You know what'd be really useful? The JezUK recipe page. All that groovy vegetarian stuff you make. Think about it. [added 18th Mar 2002]
dave murphy [e] said Chapati flour is whole wheat, buut chapati's can be made with chick pea flour, justd epends who does the making. [added 2nd Dec 2002]

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Wednesday 13 March, 2002
# A reponse from Microsoft:

Dear Jez.

Thank you for your email.

In response to your query i can confirm that these figures are not availble.

If we can be of any further assistance please feel free to contact us again or telephone the Microsoft Contact Centre on 0870 60 10 100 where one of our advisors will be happy to assist you.

Kind regards

Tony Boyle

smellygit said Did they use a Microsoft spell checker on that then? [added 14th Mar 2002]

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Tuesday 12 March, 2002
#[linkfarm] C++ as scripting language
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Monday 11 March, 2002
# The enema within - My bodily functions had also taken a turn for the truly bizarre. I experienced flu-like symptoms as I started to expel 36 years' worth of toxins with headaches and aching muscles; my nose ran constantly, my eyes were sore and weepy, my ears waxy. I felt like something out of The Omen ... "How could anyone fully enjoy sex when he has up to 15 years of encrusted fecal matter and mucus in his colon?" asked Irons. "HE CAN'T - and HE WON'T. If you want to remain sexually potent for your entire life, start cleaning your colon today. I'm 87, and I still enjoy sex. And if I can at my age, I know you can at your age... so get on with it!" ... Remarkably, without nibbling a single shred of food for 120 hours, the irrigation still washed out huge amounts of gunk. I passed six-inch strips of gristle and what appeared to be large chunks of fillet steak. I don't know how I ever afforded them, let alone swallowed them
smellygit said I Started to read it but it made me want to vomit .... [added 11th Mar 2002]
peteychap said I thought this was about you and your detox diet and was about to suggest you read this article in the Guardian... Interestingly, the piece made me want to try one. Is there still the Colonic Irrigation Centre down the road from you? [added 11th Mar 2002]
planetcutie said Colonic irrigation? You can stick it up your arse. [added 12th Mar 2002]
Yes, the Colonic Irrigation Centre is still there. Shall I pick you a leaflet? [added 12th Mar 2002]
Mick [e] said Why not stick a Hoover up your ase? ;-) [added 28th Apr 2002]
dadoronron 1684 [e] said nice but what aout the crispy bits [added 12th Oct 2008]

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Friday 08 March, 2002
# Remember that Microsoft took February off new work to fix bugs? I'm going to try and found out how many bugs they fixed.

First stop, the Microsoft UK comment form to leave a message.
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Thursday 07 March, 2002
# BMWs hit the road with Microsoft - Microsoft's Windows CE software will allow BMW drivers to navigate, make calls and control many of the cars' other features.
Insert obvious joke here.

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Wednesday 06 March, 2002
#[linkfarm] TCP/IP Internetworking With gawk
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# Started a detoxification diet on Monday. Lots of pulses, seeds, fruit and veg. No caffiene, alcohol, dairy or wheat.

Today I feel bloody awful. I've got a headache, my legs ache, my glands are up and I feel a bit queasy.

Either it's working or it's killing me.

smellygit said How anyone can survive without coffee and beer is beyond me [added 6th Mar 2002]
planetcutie said Bad luck old bean. Or should I say good luck. You're a stromger man than I. [added 6th Mar 2002]

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Monday 04 March, 2002
#[Arabica] Nearly finished the Xerces wrapper. I've got a bit of legwork to do for the Linux build. For some unaccountable reason, Xerces uses unsigned short rather than wchar_t as its wide character type when building with gcc. Makes no sense to me.
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#[linkfarm] Javascript Games
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#[linkfarm] Linux Expo Birmingham
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Friday 01 March, 2002
#[linkfarm] RSSBlog
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# I invented Judge Dredd - 2000AD writer John Wagner recalls how he came up with the comic's ruthless lawman, Judge Dredd
A few years back at UKCAC in Manchester, I helped Pete man his BugPowder stall. We were in a little 'independents' enclave, along with Paul Grist, Chris Staros, Eddie Campbell and others. After a while, a couple of large fellows set out their stall next to us. One of the fellows was Simon Bisley, there promoting Shit, The Dog. Suddenly I realised the other chap, a quieter, older, Scottish chap, was John Wagner. Gak! All around comics-god John Wagner, creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. John Wagner, a writer so good it's not an exaggeration to say he never writes a bad story. John Wagner, a titan here, amongst us minnows.
It should go without saying that we were far too nervous to actually speak to him.
planetcutie said This was UKCAC 98, right? I wasn't nervous, just that I'd never read a Wagner/Bisley comic. But it made an impressive anecdote for a Bisley loving ex-school fellow of mine. [added 1st Mar 2002]
Darren said I met John Wagner and Brian Bolland when I was a kid once at a 2000AD signing. I was a shivering and nervous wreck watching my Dad casually talk to Bolland about parking in London and how he hated the city as Alan Moore signed my 2000AD Annual... As we walked out he said how surprised he was that they were all pretty normal apart from the hippie. [added 1st Mar 2002]
Darren said The above doesn't read right... I met John Wagner, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland at a 2000AD signing... (continues above). [added 1st Mar 2002]

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