Archive for May, 2007

The Gamer Test

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

The Gamer Test: How much of a gamer are you?

Score one point for everything you can answer “yes” to. Technicalities count. (Warning: spoilers exist below!)


1.I’ve played a game.
2.I’ve played a game continuously for more than an hour.
3.More than 4 hours.
4.More than 12 hours.
5.More than 24 hours.
6….and it wasn’t an MMO or MUD.
7.I’ve discovered a bug in a game.
8.I’ve modded a game.
9.I’ve created a game.
10….that runs on something without a keyboard.
11.I know who Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Molyneux & Will Wright are.
12.I’ve met one of them.


13.I’ve owned a PS3 or PS2.
14….an Xbox 360 or Xbox.
15….a Wii or Gamecube.
16….a Windows PC.
17….that I upgraded for gaming purposes.
18.I’ve owned an N64 or Playstation.
19….a Dreamcast or Saturn.
20….a Nintendo DS, DS Lite, GBA or GBA SP, or PSP.
21.More than one of the same type of machine.
22.I’ve got my console chipped.
23.I’ve bought an import game.
24….and learned Japanese to play it.
25.I still have an original Gameboy.
26.I once bought a console and I only ever had one game for it.
27.I’ve owned an arcade machine.
28….and multiple boards for it.
29.I’ve owned a SNES or Megadrive/Genesis.
30….an Atari ST or Amiga.
31….a Neo Geo, Turbografx-16/PC-Engine or other “minority” console of that era.
32….a Colecovision or Intellivision.
33….a Vectrex.
34….an Atari 2600.
35….a MAME PC.


36.I’ve played Quake.
38….Half-life or Counterstrike.
40….Command & Conquer.
43….Sim City.
44….a Civilization game.
45….The Sims.
46….one of the GTA series.
47….Ultima Online.
49….World of Warcraft.
50….a Final Fantasy game.
51….a Super Mario Bros. game.
52….Super Mario 64.
53….a Pokemon game.
54….a Legend of Zelda game.
55….a Super Mario Kart game.
56….a Street Fighter game.
57….Dance Dance Revolution.
58….Guitar Hero or Beatmania.
59….a Castlevania game.
60….Gran Turismo.
62….Space Invaders.
68….TIE Fighter.
70….Grim Fandango.
71….a “Gold Box” Game.
72….an Infocom game.
73….a MUD.
75….Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Gaming Culture & Age Bias 🙂

77.I cried when Aeris died.
78….gasped when Samus took off her helmet.
79….bawled when Floyd sacrificed himself for me.
80….solved the Babelfish puzzle.
81….escaped the Goblins’ dungeon.
82….cursed when the bat flew off, leaving me facing the red dragon with nothing but a key.
83.I have maxxed out my level in an MMO game.
84….with multiple characters in the same game.
85.I’ve seen Tron.
86….The Wizard.
87….The Last Starfighter.
88.I’ve attended a games conference or expo.
89….dressed as a game character.
90.I’ve stood in line at midnight to get a new console.
91….a new game.
92.I’m on first name terms with the guys at my local game store.
93.I’ve completed a game.
94….in a single sitting.
95.I’ve “clocked” a game.
96.I’ve repaired a joystick.
97.I know what lag is.
98….what mipmapping is.
99….what attribute clash is.
100. I think games these days are too easy.

Google's NDA: not evil, eh?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

ValleyWag: This NDA never existed.

Google's NDA:

  • Forbids the interviewee from disclosing that they interviewed or signed the NDA, and anything about the offer. It even forbids mentioning Google anywhere ever again!
  • Forbids any kind of reverse engineering, etc. of Google technology. No exception for reverse engineering for the purposes of interoperability, expressly allowed under the DMCA.
  • Stipulates that Google must be notified when “confidential information” is required to be disclosed by judicial order, with no allowance for the fact that such notification may itself be illegal.
  • Remains in effect (practically speaking) for ever.

IMO, interviewees should feel free to alter NDAs and employment contracts to ensure they are fair for both parties. It takes two to agree a contract.

IME, altering or querying the contract is not really detrimental to your chance of employment at a tech company: chances are that the person making the hiring decision is far removed from the person who actually wrote the contract. And in practice, most companies don't have a process for dealing with amendments – so changes are either accepted on the spot, or swept under the carpet with a “we'll get back to you” – and neither way does it hinder the hiring process. If the person actually doing the hiring wants your skills, they are going to be pragmatic about it and probably have little respect for the contract. I know several people who actually ended up never having an employment contract because “we'll get back to you” never happened. But they still get a paycheck.

About that HD-DVD AACS key…

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

In a stroke of genius, the guy(s) over at posted the key on a webpage with (almost all of) the key in its web address. Why didn't they include the 56-88-c0 on the end? I don't know. But what this means is that the takedown notice sent to Google, a matter of public record and posted on, itself contains almost all of the key by referring to this page.

Microsoft bought me dinner last night

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

I think I bent the Microsoftie’s ear a bit about eBooks, DRM and open source. But in fairness, I was provoked by a colleague…

Yes, I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu.