Gary L. Simmons  rev 08/31/2000
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Archived News for the Month of August 2000

New this Week:

8-31: You know I really did have something slated for the Lynx page fans, I was THIS close to putting it up today but the NRA page held a gun to my head and made me gussy it up first. So without wasting any time and making no sudden or "funny" moves, I have created and installed a new and fancy dancy navigation tool on the NRA page in the Extra section. At least the NRA page didn't make me dance. I hate it when that happens. All I can do is that soft shoe dance that Bugs Bunny does.

8-30: OK OK finally I have something for those patient Lynx page fans who have been sending such nice emails. I mean such loyalty and patience should be rewarded, after all, they have been visiting my web site every day for months checking to see if anything new is there. Soooo just for them, I have a really cool... Oh wait! Never mind! I just realized there is another Jason Harper tutorial ready to go! Oops, my bad. This tutorial is on stacking windows. Head off to the Marathon page and click on Forge Tips.

8-29: As promised, I have put together a tutorial on how I did the multiple JavaScript rollovers on the Art page. I know this is supposed to be the information age and all but these days I seem to have one kind of tutorial or another flying out my dusty old wazoo like so many butt monkeys! Crimanently. Anyway, if you are interested in these things, go to the Multiple JavaScript Rollover page in the Web Building section and don't feed the butt monkeys.

8-28: I have decided not to put another Jason Harper tutorial up because I have been getting too many complaints from the legion of ravenous Lynx page fans who want me to spend more time fluffing up that section of my web site......... OH THE HELL WITH THE LYNX PAGE FANS!! I'm putting up another Harper tutorial anyway. Untextured Walls is the subject of this tutorial and you can find it in the Forge Tips of the Marathon section.

8-27: The Art page in the Hobbies section gets a major upgrade in appearance. I have added my first attempt at a JavaScript multiple rollover as a navagation aid to the top of that page. The palette looks a tad big for it's purpose but I am leaving a little room for growth. This thing was fun to do, it all sprang from my weary little pea brain, from concept to artwork. It started out having wood grain from a board I scanned but the file size was way too big even for JPEG, I had to simplify. For you fellow beginners, I will make a tutorial for it and add it to the Web Building page so you can have fun too.

8-26: Just before the robots tending the bio-battery-pod Jason Harper woke up in pulled the tubing from his hairless body and ejected him from the Matrix, Jason managed to dream up this totally unique way to metaphysically poink the nose hairs from the nostrils of Marathon. What the heck did I just say? No matter, just go look at what Jason did in his Texture Flexing tutorial in the Forge Tips page of the Marathon section and you will see what I mean. Life is but a dream.

8-25: The House of Wacks Site Map gets a much needed face lift since its first appearance in January. Not only have some rollovers been added but more importantly, the functionality has been increased. Now you can access almost every page in this site except Hastur's Workshop. Although the complete Workshop is found only at the House of Wacks, the Workshop is treated as though it were a mirror to a separate site (which is what it originally was). The Site Map is for your navigating convenience, site overview, and a good way to get out of the frames I use.

8-24: Jason Harper seems to have more tutorials than Oprah has diets, I dare Durandal to count all the atoms in all the tutorials produced by this guy. Today there is a tutorial showing how to produce a real looking elevator that stops at several floors with all stops exiting through the same elevator door. You Forge wonks know this is impossible just from a knee-jerk reaction. See how Jason can pull the wool over your thighs in the Forge Tips section of the Marathon page.

8-23: The companion stack to HyperStationery, the coveted HyperEnvelope is available for download on the HyperCard page in the Extra section. HyperEnvelope is a customizable archive of business and personal sized envelopes that formats address and graphics for envelope printing. I made this for my nieces and nephews but wound up using it a lot for myself. See if you can make use of it too. This may be the last of the HyperCard stacks I have to share, at least until I find some more of my old stuff.

8-22: The Illusory Bridge... no, not that thing the Battle Cat wanted to build into the 21st century for The Crusade where whales hug trees, folks peddle gasless cars, and we openly cry with one another as we all hold hands waiting for the smores to melt in the manure fired oven. I'm talking about a REAL illusory bridge, the kind Jason Harper fools Forge into believing in. See how Jason makes the impossible seem possible in his tutorial on the Illusory Bridge in the Forge Tips section of the Marathon page.

8-21: Stupid just got better! Which probably means it just got worse to a normal person. My throwaway stack, "Frappie the Frog" is now in the HyperCard archive in my Extra department. Be the first on your block to run this thing once and toss it into the trash can. This only goes to prove my stand that some people should not be allowed to code, unfortunately I am talking about myself here. It is not always a good thing to be right. In other more sane news, my Cray II clone has crunched over 3,000 hours of SETI data. You can see for yourself the sort of horsepower only governments and huge conglomerate corporations could put their hands on in the 1980's on the SETI page in the Hobbies department.

8-20: If you are here for my birthday YOU ARE TWO MONTHS LATE!! You knee biter. If you are here for the next Jason Harper tutorial you are right on time. Today Jason covers the topic of Zig Zag Stairs. If Bungie had decided to levee a tax for each platform used, Jason would be in debtors prison! Check out the platformic carnage in the Forge Tips section of the Marathon page.

8-19: There is a very interesting graphical stack available on the HyperCard page in the Extra department. Aptly named, "Triangles", this stack produces... well... triangles. Sounds boring right? Well yes it SOUNDS boring but when you read how it does it and see the resulting graphics it creates you will be amazed and delighted. This is from something I saw on TV from the 80's demonstrated on a white board with an erasable marker. I said to myself, "Hey stupid, you can do that in HyperCard!" I'm glad I took me up on that, and you'll be glad you downloaded that stack.

8-18: Jason Harper pontificates on what he lovingly calls "The Pedestal Problem". To most of you that probably means figuring a way up onto the dang thing to score on the chick, but to Marathon's Forge map makers this means the infuriating tendency of switches on a pedestal to activate only by weapons fire. His explanation corroborates my experience and I couldn't have expressed it better. Listen to a Forge master miss and poan about it at the Marathon page in the Forge Tips section.

8-17: From the stupid to the sublime. The HyperCard stack "Car Care" makes up for "The Cruel Fairy". Mind you I am not apologizing for The Cruel Fairy, I stand behind my work... that way it can take the bullets for me ::rim shot:: The Car Care stack lets you log your gasoline usage. From this you can determine when it is time to do various maintenance on your car. There is a statistical year end report too, handy for tax time. Programmable and useful, this stack has been in use for about 10 years in this family. Go to the Extra page and click on the HyperCard link.

8-16: Do any of you Forgers out there like to have dental work performed? You are really going to love the new Jason Harper tutorial on how he built the clock tower in his prize winning map, "Missed Island", because it sure made MY teeth hurt to read it. Seriously though, this is a Forge problem solved by using brute force logic then brilliantly applying it to the Marathon engine. I like to say "engine" it makes me sound so technical. Engine engine engine chugga chugga chugga woo wooooooo. Hey Jason, I'm smart too! Jason's tutorials can be found in the Marathon section under Forge Tips.

8-15: Imagine a very drunk and depressed Harlan Ellison who just woke up from a horrific nightmare. Well that was redundant wasn't it? OK, just imagine Harlan Ellison sat down to write a HyperCard stack. The end result would be something like "The Cruel Fairy". Any resemblance to actual fairies, living or dead, is purely coincidental. No animals were killed while creating this stack although 2 were hospitalized for several weeks and one of those will never sit up with little folded animal paws again. I could get an Oscar for this animated stack if only there were a category for "Stupid". Check out the HyperCard page in the Extra department.

8-14: Break out the Windex and clean off your CRT. Better hit your glasses too. Oh heck, spray and wipe your eyeballs while you are at it, you are going to need it! There is an excessively long and exhaustive tutorial up today on the Marathon page. It is the Combination Lock tutorial from the "Missed Island" map. If you start your coffee brewing right now you ought to have a steaming cup on your desk by the time all the graphics load. Just hie thee to the Forge Tips page, click on the Jason Harper tutorials and get thee edge-a-ma-kated.

8-13: Remember Mister Potato Head? Tired of sucking little plastic lips and eyeballs into the vacuum cleaner? Now you can have the same fun without all the hassle of what we computer wonks disdainfully refer to as "physical reality". This thing will keep you busy for hours, but you really should share it with your kids because they will remember these sorts of incidents when it comes time to find you a nursing home. Belly up the the HyperCard page in the Extra department and download the HyperCard stack, "Tubers".

8-12: The Marathon department boasts a new tutorial from Jason Harper's tutorial maps. This one gives an example of how to create what could be called the closest thing to a cut scene in Marathon. This is actually a level that completes itself for you, you just need to sit and watch it unfold. Very clever Jason. Read the write up and download the example map "Heartbeat" and see for yourself how it is done. If you need help customizing it, Jason says to email him. Nice guy. Just click on the Forge Tips in the Marathon department and you will see Jason's tutorials.

8-11: My guy karma is going to suffer for this one. I should have burned it, not unleashed it on the general public. What I am talking about is the high tech electronic nagging device I have created in the form of a HyperCard Stack. You can download this thing but don't tell your husband where you got it. Gals, put on your finest war paint and go to the HyperCard page of my Extra section and download the "Honey Do" stack. Guys... circle the wagons!!

8-10: The Forge Tips page in the Marathon section has a new set of tutorials coming on line. Starting today the first of Jason Harper's fabulous Forge tutorials is now ready for viewing. This tutorial, called "Stacked Walkways", shows you how you can fool the eye, and Marathon into thinking players can walk over the top of sprites ala Hexen sprite bridges. The Forge Tips page is designed to supply the Marathon Forge mapmakers with a butt load of Forge tricks and tips all at ones fingertips. Your input is welcome. The more we share the better we will get.

8-9: You are in luck you diehard HyperCard pattern buffs. Back in the old days I created a utility that transports a pattern, or an entire library of patterns, from one hypercard stack to another. You can create your own pattern library for use in your stacks or just use the library I have provided with over 400 unique and original patterns. This fabulously amazing and mind bogglingly existent stack is at the HyperCard page in the Extra department. Look for HyperPatterns.

8-8: "Standing Guard" a column by Wayne LaPierre, the Vice President of the NRA, is now available for viewing on the Vice President's page. Check out the rest of the material on the NRA page while you are there. Meanwhile, we can all rest easy in the assurance that Rosie O'Donnell's gun toting body guard is looking out for her family and that his gun, like yours and mine, are doing their part in keeping criminals and the crimes they commit in check. Hat's off to Rosie for showing us all that we don't have to be victims and that we can look out for ourselves in the proud tradition of being self sufficient Americans!

8-7: I've got another HyperCard stack for you. This one is called "Stationery". It provides you with graphic stationery borders for spiffing up your letter writing. Not only does it give you access to a small archive of borders, it allows you to create your own and store them in the archive. So trundle on over to the HyperCard page in the Extra department and write somebody some adroit snail mail. Big news on the SETI page today too. I have gone over the 400 mark on units crunched! I read in MacWorld yesterday that the Mac G4 compares to the 30 million dollar 1985 Cray II super computer. Hot diddly dang, I have a Cray on my desk! I wonder how many of Babbage's Engines it would take to keep up with a G4...

8-6: The NRA page is now updated with the latest "Presidents Column". This monthly feature is a hard hitting message from the President of the NRA, Charlton Heston. I have a HUGE amount of respect for Mr. Heston. If you want to get inside this guys head and see what truly great Americans are made of then you should read his speech, "Winning the Culture War" that he gave at the Harvard Law School Forum, February 16, 1999. His leadership in the NRA was a factor in my joining that organization.

8-5: There is a new page in the Extra department! HyperCard, remember that? It is still alive and well with a dedicated core of fanatical followers, rather like Marathon. If you don't have HyperCard then you can download a HyperCard player for free from Apple that will allow you to use the stacks. Everything you need is available from my HyperCard Page. There is only one stack there now but I have created about a dozen that I will eventually present for download. They need to be cleaned up a bit and changed from shareware to freeware.

8-4: Wow it's quiet around here without my niece crashing around the house like a blind cow in the throws of spontaneous bovine combustion! But actually I already miss her soft lowing as she grazes on those chocolate covered gummy bears. Anyway, she is gone now and I have my computer back. I have put it to good use, if you are a chili pepper affectionado, then you will find Michel Friedman's Bird Mouth Chili recipes very interesting. It is on the Chili Pepper Page in the Hobbies section. Look for Franco Bolivian Food.

8-3: We've been pretty busy with our house guest, we went to San Diego this week and I completely abandoned the House of Wacks for lack of computer access. I made up the jokes in the Joke of the Weak that I missed on the first few days of this month and I have a new "Armed Citizen" page up for you in the NRA section. If you missed the first page you can now find it in the archives available from the bottom of the Armed Citizen page.

As usual, the SETI page is updated every Monday and the Joke of the Weak is updated every weekday by 8AM PST. The NRA pages President's Corner, Standing Guard and Armed Citizen are updated each month.
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