Mail Chimp

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Some of the reasons I love you so very much



587. Your smile.
586. You're the sweetest girl in the world.
585. SUPERSEXY.
584. Random Declarations of Love Via Text.
583. I just love you.
582. Surprises.
581. Yum.
580. The feeling of time travel and destiny.
579. A peaceful, easy feeling.
578. Niceness.
577. Notes. Lots of 'em.
576. You inspire me.
575. Devotion.
574. Superlove.
573. You love me.
572. You're coming back.
571. You're going to marry me.
570. You make me crazy.
569. You make me happy.
568. You make me feel better.
567. I have always loved you.
566. The way you hold a baby.
565. The way you miss me.
564. You love me despite my flaws.
563. You care about my old family.
562. Rushing home because I miss you.
561. You made me a writer.
560. You're understanding.
559. All mine, forever.
558. You're stellar.
557. You're perfect.
556. And you don't even know it.
555. Ice cream shop.
554. We have the rest of our lives.
553. Inner beauty > outer beauty.
552. Outer beauty = wow.
551. Sweeter than sugar, without all the saccharine.
550. You're still here.
549. Wearing my dreadlocks as I drive my motorcycle into the pool.
548. Permanent marker.
547. Relentlessly, sincerely sweet.
546. My eastern star.
545. I love you, forever.
544. You waited for me.
543. We were friends long before Facebook.
542. You stay even though you don't want to.

541. 0,0,0 = <3 br="br" invaded="invaded" my="my" space.="space." you="you">

428. You moved your kids closer for their own good.
427. Cry.
426. Plead.
425. You make me beg.
424. Coupla yuppies...
423. Single female lawyer who married frozen caveman lawyer.
422. You're my best friend.

380. Who made whom?

14. She said, "Once, in LaGrange..."
13. You rhyme with month - orange.
12. Spending time with you.
11. She said.
10. By zero?

08. Member of the Luxurious Flowing Hair Club for Scientists.
07. You are a love scientist.
05. Cruelest dominatrix in the universe.
04. Please don't leave me.
03. Please don't go.
02. I'm sorry.
01. I love you.
     a) I have always loved you.
     b) I will always love you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cartoon #1 - John D. Christie, III

All of these cartoons were done when my brother was nine or so.

Sunshine of Your Love

Let me be the one who serves you
And holds you in my arms at night
Let me help to ease your burden
Eagerly and without a fight
Let me share in all your love
My every day is a dream
Let me stay and show you
Exactly what I mean
It's always darkest before the dawn
Until your light returns
Hotter than one thousand suns
My love for you doth burn

Egoless

Pride goeth before a fall
And I'm falling still
I ran until I reached a wall
Before I got my fill
Now I find myself alone
Miserable with pain
I pray the wizard fix me up
If I only had a brain

I'm a whore
But even whores can change

Only You


I look at the moon
And I see your face
Every woman's embrace
Leaves me cold to the touch
So much I regret
And am powerless to change
If only I had known then
New days dawn
And we cannot resist the tides
I am helpless in your wake
There is no greater hope
Than the power to make things right

Fairy Tale


 
Artwork borrowed from Greg De Stefano

Once upon a time
There were two perfect girls
In a decidedly imperfect world
They helped an old man learn
How to love
Something other than himself
But now
In his twilight
He realizes
Children cannot substitute
For a perfect, loving wife
 

Gravity

I am drawn into your orbit
As a moth to a flame
Endlessly entangled
Within your central plain
It is your heavenly body
That I revolve around
Bathed in the warmth of your glow
In symbiosis profound


Artwork by John Demarest Christie, III

The Principle of Least Interest

The person who cares least
Controls a relationship
Who dares, wins
Who cares, wins
Who cares?

To the Center of My Universe

It's been said that the center does not hold
And nothing gold can stay
I remain the optimist
And look the other way
Within you, love, I rest my faith
Silently I pray
That with you, I retain life
For another day
Although I don't deserve your love
May it never change
That we may spend eternity
And not become estranged

Infidelity Kills

I ended my life years ago
In a furtive moment of ego-boasting self-gratification
It was hard to break the cycle
But turnabout is fair play
So goes love and war
Now I'm dying, Moe
And I have no one to cling to
Doomed to run my ship aground
On the rocky shores of my own making

Regret

I could cry a million tears 
Beg forgiveness for the thousandth time
But that cannot erase your pain
Or make me forgive myself
You were once my perfect girl
Now receding in the fog
But if I can give as you did to me
Then I shall not die in vain







Artwork by Emily Reagan Christie

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Doctor a Day...

I wish I could heal you
And take your pain away
Not just playing doctor
Kisses as medicine
Let me be the salve
To soothe all your wounds
Do you know what a balm does?

My Juliet


I was ever the fool
There is only one person that matters
And she is you

When I look back on life
I see only my mistakes
Remind me of the good times

You've given me so much joy
More than I deserve
I am hopelessly addicted

There can be no family
Without a loving mother
Help me to be a husband
Worthy of your love

Sweetest

 Sweetest girl
You gave to me
Another chance at life
I fear that I shall lose it all
If I cling too tight
So I try to bite my tongue
And help you on your way
My jealousy
Eats at me
There are no words to say
If only I
Could change the clock
To another place and time
And take you far away from here
To insure that you'll be mine

Beauty


Alabaster skin so pure
Your tresses intoxicate
Ruben spied no form so fair
Finding you was fate
I have but one abiding wish
To hold you in my arms
Shower you with love each day
And keep you safe from harm

Dream


Softly, softly
It is an hour before she wakes
In anticipation
My heart quivers and quakes
Where will you go
Once girl of mine
Foolishly betrayed
The total of my life remains
A debt as yet unpaid

Hope


I didn't mean to take you for granted
But I thought you'd always be here
Faced with the stark reality
It's you I hold most dear
I hope that I can win you back
And be worthy of your praise
When you leave
The nights are black
I long for better days

Aching

 
I can't promise you
I'll make it through
And see the other side
Watching you
Courting him
It feels my heart has died
Still I persist
And vainly hope
That your love holds true
I will give you all of me
I know naught else to do

Mute


Eternity before I see you again
Endless obstacles block my way
Fighting against a raging sea 
Pen in hand, I count the days
Hoping I can set things right
Mending fences I have broken
I work with all my might
Writing words that can't be spoken

Building an Empire


To My Wife, From Jail


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Feral Lover Yours

Catch-23 from "Superlove"

Ultimate Hustle's new hardware/software combo proved to be extremely controversial. Imajination was a fully immersive recreation of the real world via a combination of augmented and virtual realities. It represented a convergence of decades of research in a wide variety of disciplines.

Bleeding edge technology at its finest, Janique beat her nearest competitors to market by years. The division's slogan was "Imagine Ultimate Reality". The product wasn't released until each and every aspect was personally approved by both Chris and Janique. And only they could enter the sim in tandem.

This was a business and design decision fostered by the open-ended, open-world nature of their software. The initial design documents stated simply "Total realism." It was an elaborate extension of "Cumshot or Gunshot", but with a much wider scope.

Imajination was the most elite gaming system ever devised. The end user had complete freedom of movement, and inhabited a virtual world in which their actions were restricted only by their imaginations themselves, and their ability to pay. Only a hundred thousand installations were sold per year, and resale was prohibited. In fact, the system came tied to the most restrictive licensing imaginable.

If you violated the terms of what legal scholars considered the most iron clad contracts in the world, apart from those that governed Forever Foundation, goons would physically repossess your system, and you were banned from ever purchasing another. The contract actually specified goons in the wording, taking a half page to define the term.

On top of the exorbitant purchase and installation costs, access was metered, tied to a bank account that the system owner was obligated to create specifically for billing purposes, maintaining a million dollar minimum balance. Furthermore, the billing agreement, while scrupulously defined, was entirely at Ultimate Hustle's discretion.

In essence, the purchasers were told that they would be billed on a sliding scale according to usage. Upon logging on, you were presented with a single menu option, allowing you to select an experience lasting from one to four hours.

After reaching the four hour maximum, the system would be inaccessible for a twenty-four hour period. Overnight, psychoanalysts and reality technicians would further tailor the environment based on a complex set of input data that was mined from the previous experience.

Aside from preventing the system from becoming a retreat from the real world, the scheduling system insured each venture into the system would unfold properly throughout the allotted session, ending at a satisfying conclusion, rather than abruptly.

The custom installations insured that the end user's transition between the real and virtual worlds was seamless. No matter the scenario, each began in the room where the Imajination hardware was located. The end user sat in a chair, donned a headset, and entered the system. The only apparent difference was that once logged on, you no longer wore the headset.

There were no instructions available, and registered owners were not allowed to communicate with each other. In fact, in an unprecedented legal move, they were forbidden from talking about it publicly or privately. A few scofflaws lost ownership of their systems before the private discussion clause was taken seriously by the year's remaining clients.

Even with the exorbitant costs and no restrictions on usage, there was no instant gratification. Beginners were gently led to discover basic features by tutorial expressed as subtle clues arranged by the installation and gaming techs.

The overarching theme expressed by Imajination was the end user as ruler of the territory of their minds. Ultimate Hustle retained no data on usage, apart from abstracted and anonymized information relayed to the artisans who helped further customize experiences.

This was despite attempts at legislation that would allow government inquisitors to monitor what users did in the simulation. Janique quashed these ill-conceived attempts in short order. Because the only way to gather first-hand evidence of virtual crimes was to commit them yourself.

Early attempts at investigation by the governing bodies of North America and Europe resulted in the arrest of the government agents in question. Janique's code name for the system was Catch-23.

51%

 
The half-moon
Weighs in
At 51%
A little over
Lagniappe
Azimuth
Nadir
Apex
And other lunar baby names
The telemetry is correct
The math is complicated
But between you and I
There's only
A straight line

Regina Long by Emily Reagan Christie


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Radar Love Paperback Now On Sale

I just got my proof copy of Radar Love, and it looks nice! It's 6" x 9", bigger than regular paperbacks, and it's extremely slick and professional looking. The price is even great, $8.69...


https://www.createspace.com/3981415?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026

Properties



My love for you is infinite,
It's true
And all for you
You 
And sand
And stardust
Share a common trait
You're all
Superfine...

Download Hurricane Regina and Perfect Me

Two of my ebooks, Hurricane Regina and Perfect Me,  are available for download from Amazon all this week. They're both already doing pretty well, approaching the top twenty of their respective charts.

Hurricane Regina is an old school style action adventure, with a decidedly sci-fi fantasy bent. In it, I attempt to pay homage to Jules Verne, among others. Robert Heinlein and Clive Cussler were both big inspirations. It's being repositioned as a young adult novella, and it seems to be gaining acceptance in those circles.

Perfect Me is another labor of love. Abject fanboy worship, more than one hundred pages of me declaring my slavering devotion to the words of Douglas Adams. It has a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy feel to it, while remaining more or less distinctly American.

Much to his dismay and horror, I'm sure. ; )

Double Blind Taste Test. I don't know which one is which, either.

http://bit.ly/xY6t05

http://bit.ly/wDBwV8

By all means, download and read them. I would appreciate your reviews, of course. I have to tell you, both of these books kick serious ass. I'm quite proud of them.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Dark Side of the Pixel" Preview


Dark Side of the Pixel

I arrived on the scene instantly, but it was already too late. The blood-red tint lent its color to the area surrounding it. I actually had to look away for a moment in disgust. It just never gets any easier.

"What's the story, Dorian?" I asked my partner. 

"There's no story, really. Just a Japanese Ronald McDonald saying 'Nu-nu-nuuuuuu!' over and over again.

I studied the bleed-through pattern. Single pixel lines, and chroma crawl, too.

"There ought to be a law," I said. "Crank down the saturation on the whole thing."

It was a quick and easy fix, and one we probably used more often than we should. Another routine cycle, with the same old glitches we'd turned over to HQ the cycle before. It was my partner who convinced me to write macros for the situations we encountered most often. His argument was that predictable responses to predictable situations were entirely logical.

I wasn't looking for a meta-argument.

Dorian Grayscale had the ability to see nuances, but I only saw black and white. At the end of the cycle, though, it comes down to what's best for me. In this case, he was right. 

That was why we worked so well together. All that did was get us more work, though. Eventually, we learned to cut corners. Dore and I still got the job done, but we didn't get in a hurry, and tried to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.

I had bigger fish to fry, unbeknownst to myself.

Dorian ran a routine that cranked the gain back in increments of two point five until the bleed was fixed. Somewhere, an amateur video producer lost a tiny bit of creative control, and HQ popped a new work order to the top of the stack as soon as the saturation issue was marked as resolved.

"Tough bits, kids," I said.

It was a cold, hard binary world. In it, we were either zeroes or ones, and the zeroes got shafted on a regular basis. Not me.

My names Ray Tracey, and I'm a digital cop. Well, ex-cop. Now I'm a private investigator.

Okay, I do QA/QC work for corporate, the Color Correction Corps. The 333s, officially. In private, we had our own clique, the Circle Nine Sect. Each team of investigators was composed of three entities, the third of which was Archie, the collection of GLUTs and CLUTs that enabled us to "see" color. More or less.

A lot of the work was routine garbage collection, fixing the errors common to most amateurs. It could be worse. We could be doing audio compression manually, removing frequencies that were above and below the range of human hearing. Demand for our services exploded with the advent of Quicktime, Audio/Video Interleave format and things like that. By the time YouTube was unleashed, the system itself was dangerously oversaturated.

Grizzled veterans of the dark side such as myself were dusted off, sobered up, and enlisted, now matter how terribly our previous careers had ended. Turns out they had never dereferenced our pointers.

Darksiders, as we're called, have complete access, at least as far as we need to handle our slice of the action. We travel across the backsides of pixels, so we can see a lot we're not supposed to, necessarily.

Yeah, there's a backside to pixels. They can't be seen by most, but they're there. It's not exactly a secret, but not common knowledge, either. It's also not for everyone. It's dangerous. While traveling, there are no visual indicators, only memory locations, and random and linear access. Darksiders navigate by Intuition alone when they're on the flipside.

I've seen it all. If people knew about the bugs that governed their daily routines, they couldn't sleep at night. Some of them are huge. There are holes in the source so big you could park a Google server farm in one of them. Few things are more terrifying than stumbling into all that white space.

I was trapped in a loop, once, looking for a missing semi-colon. The good news was, I found it. Or, found where it belonged, rather. I had to file an exception to get thrown out of there. You can't imagine the bureaucracy involved in something like that. I lost track of the nanoseconds I was in there waiting.

Dorian was a good partner. The best. But I was still in charge. Archie called the shots, however.

"Let's roll. We're getting an out of gamut warning in sector 7g."

When we got there, an .002ns jump, Dorian said, "Chief?" One of Dore's best qualities was that he called me chief.

"Yes, Mr. Gray?"

"Given that we have random access where concerns our case files..."

"Yes?"

He expected me to complete his thought for him, while still thinking he'd considered something I hadn't thought of already. It was always the same with rookie partners.

"Why don't we, um, arrive before the occurances? Fix things before they happen?"

"Job security," is all I said.

I never told a new partner everything up front. The fact was, everyone had a signature, a calling card. Just like criminals and coders, you could identify cases I've handled, if you bothered to look closely. In the case of motion video, I usually left a full field at the beginning, containing the error. Not noticeable to the human eye, but the rest of us could see it.

But I didn't do it out of ego. I was trying to send a message to the outside world that the entire system was flawed. It was seriously against the rules, and I wasn't sure if I could trust even Dorian that deeply. If caught, I could be depricated, commented out. Possibly never to return. I wasn't prepared to risk my partner in such a dangerous game.

The gamut warning was a common issue. Someone was trying to print a color that wasn't supported by CMYK.

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black were the CMYK Clique, and nothing went to print without their approval. They were hardliners who took their jobs seriously, and had been with the organization since before forever, it seemed. Users who ignored their warnings did so at their own risk. It often meant wasted resources.

"Analysis?" My method of teaching was to do as little as possible.

"False alarm. It's a garage sale flyer. It'll still print fine."

"So we do nothing."

"My advice," he said.

It was our policy to let minor violations go if the result was inconsequential. Otherwise, we were just bots ourselves. I was about to submit the item as resolved when Spyder Lily, one of my informants cut in via a channel I kept open for tips.

"Tracey?"

"Go ahead, Lily."

"Weird stuff at 2001:0DB8:85A3:0000:0000:8A2E:0370:7334. It might interest you."

I heard the message again in reverse, as she backed out of the channel, erasing her tracks as she went. She was also one of the best, with eyes everywhere. You were never very far from Spyder or one of her subs.

I paused for a Planck length while I planned my next move. The random nature of our access gave me the luxury of waiting. HQ never saw the delays, only the results. It was a Schwabbie I wrote to help keep our response times to a minimum, helping us to shine during quarterly reviews.

The scene she had alerted us to seemed routine and nondescript, a message board posting. It wasn't until I saw a note from her attached to a single white pixel in the lower left quadrant of the display, our usual hiding place, that I began to make sense of it.

The comments helped, but I would have dismissed things without a second's thought, were it not for Lily. They concerned a picture that was posted to Facebook, and the comments revolved around a figure who appeared in the background. According to the photographer, no one had been there at the time it had been taken. Everyone involved was understandably freaked out.

"Reality distortion field," I told Dorian.

"What's that?"

"Noob..." I awaited his indignant response, and when none was forthcoming, continued. "It happens when an A.I. goes wacky. They want more life."

"How can you tell?"

"Look at the pixels."

He ran a series of quick examination routines.

"Seems legit," he announced upon his return.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Airships of Mars


You followed me to work today
On the dark side of the moon
And though you do that every day
I know there is no spoon
It's forks all the way down

Ballast
At the sausagefest
Where we manufacture sweat
For the client
On planet piss

My heart
Keep it with you always
Because without you
I have no need

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chapter Two of 'Terminally Pretty'

The cover I am trying to acquire...


Pet watched the tail lights sail down the block until she was sure he was gone, and then waited another five to see if he returned. Finally satisfied that she could let her guard down a bit, she sat with her back to the wall and exhaled heavily.

A plan was forming. Summer school was coming up, and she could ostensibly stay with a friend for the duration. But to do this, she would have to tell her parents a contrived story about how she flunked out of Algebra II. Not that she had a problem lying to them, but Pet hated to be thought of as weak. Failing a math class, or even pretending to, was humiliating.

However, weighed against a potential summer of unbridled hedonism, it was a relatively small dash of ignominy to suffer through. And maybe there would be a bridle involved after all, she thought. The very idea made her insides hurt in a good way.

A few red-faced moments with her parents in exchange for a much more delicious form of humiliation down the line. It occurred to her that it was odd that people selectively embrace pain, instead of facing it everywhere in its entirety. Disappointing her parents was something she felt to her core. Being beaten and verbally abused felt like feathery tickles by comparison.

As much as she was into cutting, Pet wore most of her scars on the inside.

She decided she would call her mom later and say she was staying at a friend's house, maybe for the weekend. There was still the last week of school to attend. Yearbooks to be signed. A report card to be forged.

She never thought she would make it to graduation. The shock of moving not only to a new town, but a small and drab one, was the last nail in her metaphorical coffin. Pet had been suicidal for the past six months or so.

That was why she saw what had happened as an opportunity. It was finally time live life a little. No matter what happened, she'd be fine with it. Death, prison, murder. Bring it on. It was win-win for her, and that was the only way she played. Even though she was from Vegas, she never gambled. If there was a chance of her losing at something, she didn't even consider it.

That made her a good deal more cunning than her peers in their transplanted home in sleepy Placerville.  Pet had been pissed when they'd gotten off of the plane to find a dusty old monochrome berg filled with dimwits and stereotypes. She almost expected to hear the lonesome cry of an eagle, and see tumbleweeds rolling down main street.

It was not at all how she had pictured California.

The worst part was that she was so alone. Pet had left behind all of her friends, her safety net and support group. She wanted to be back among people like herself. Instead, she went to school with a bunch of kids who wouldn't say shit if they were standing in it.

She brightened a bit when she remembered the emergency care package she had hidden from herself at the bottom of her purse. Today definitely qualified as an emergency.

It was a fat joint of sensimilla, her last, from the only other person in town that she got along with, her gothy overweight pot dealer Kate. It was wrapped in foil, and taped to a cassette case with scotch tape. She went to the altar room and got the boombox, bringing it to the bedroom. Pet lit the joint as she pressed play, and she was instantly transported to a better world.

A world she alone ruled.

The opening strains of Slayer's "Evil Has No Boundaries" filled her ears, and a faint smile danced across her lips. Sleepy from the day's excitement, she climbed beneath the flowered bedspread and smoked with her eyes closed. As she drifted off to sleep, Pet imagined four pair of talented hands grasping her in the dark.

###

Eight Rock Star Programmers You Never Heard Of

Part One. Graphic has nothing to do with article.
Programmers are the musicians of the video game world. Okay, musicians are the musicians of the video game world. BUT, if you take away the music, you can almost safely say programmers are the musicians of the video game world. It's probably best to just say that programmers are the programmers of the video game world and be done with it.

(Note to self: delete the above paragraph)

Much like a band, or in the case of modern gaming epics, an orchestra, there are various disciplines in the fields of hardware and software design. There are the people who provide the all-important rhythms, the deep foundations of the music. Then there are virtuosos who spin code like Stanley Jordan plays guitar. That is to say, with two hands, and very well. Then there are band leaders and conductors.

These guys are way beyond that, in the scheme of things.

They're one-man bands, writing symphonies and performing them on the fly, using math and language to create worlds only some of us are privileged to visit. In short, they are rock stars of the world of electronics.

I realize point oh one percent of you are familiar with everyone on this list. You can nitpick details in the comments section. The rest of you probably maxed out at sort of knowing who Woz was, or will inevitably whine about Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds. The fact that people know who you are talking about negates your argument. Nerd. These guys have done more for the world than all open source software combined, because they spread joy and pleasure instead of hopelessness and frustration, which I believe comes bundled with some Linux distributions, now.


Jaron Zepel Lanier - You're know you're something of an iconoclast when you still have your Well account.

Jaron is a major head. When he was still a pup, he wrote what's widely considered the first really psychedelic videogame, Moondust. It's abstract, and possibly also the first to allow the creation of music in response to video game events. You didn't so much play Moondust as play it.

 

Writing one of the coolest old school games of all time was just a jumping off point for our generally amused friend Jaron. 

 If you look closely, I'm pretty sure you'll find that the entire game was constructed out of weed.

The dude, in the finest Lebowski sense of the word, was in Time Magazine, in the top 100 somethings, FFS. He even wrote a best-selling book, You are Not a Gadget, in case you were wondering about that.

That's enough to qualify for minor deity status right there. But Jaron used the profits from Moondust to develop his own powerglove and VR goggles, and basically took over the virtual world. He makes his own virtual instruments, and has even performed with the Grateful Dead. He takes the whole rock star programmer thing literally.  Oh, do you remember the time he brought down Internet 2?



Rock Star Status: Jerry Garcia.


Guess which one is Leo. The guy in the cape, or
the guy from 'Sprockets'?

Leo Schwab
- AKA Bols Ewhac

If you were to look up look up Leo in a hacking dictionary, he would be in there. Under "hacking".

In fact, his name is synonymous with hacking. And the cool, fun kind, where almost no one ever goes to prison and gets raped as a result.

Back in the days, Leo wrote tons of cool little display hacks for the Amiga. They would, oh, turn your screen upside down, or make it turn to static.  They were a class of cute, technically impressive,  and mostly harmless little hacks that became known as Schwabbie hacks.

Don't believe me? Hacking definition from The Telecommunications Illustrated Dictionary, Second Edition.

He also did 3D animations the hard way. Uphill, on a computer with 512k and no hard drive. Witness "The Dream Goes Berzerk", which managed to top the Boing Ball and Juggler animations that made waves in the young world of 3D motion video. He even attracted the attention of CBS...with an anti-CBS animation depicting their logo being smashed by an axe. Apparently, they said some things about hackers that he didn't quite agree with.

Sadly, then Leo turned to the hard stuff. He began coding commercial video games. I've never really forgiven him for the disk-swapping nightmare that is "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" He was also on freakin' Starcade. Possibly playing against Old Dirty Bastard. Can you say that?

Like most supergenius madmen, he took to wearing a cape and coding graphics drivers, leading to this famous bit of arcane lore: Adventures in Graphics Drivers.

Amiga, Be, Inc., 3DO. If there was a doomed but lovable system out there, Leo has coded for it. And if he hasn't worked for your favorite company yet, be patient. He'll get there eventually. His old web page reads like a snapshot of Internet Archive.

Rock Star Status: Carlos Santana.

 
Not shown: crippling interlace flicker.

Tod Frye
- Tod was the original unknown rock star. He wrote Pac-Man for the Atari 2600. It was sort of terrible. But, to be fair, he wrote it by himself in six weeks, in 4K of memory. And then Atari made more than twelve million dollars off of it.

I don't know about you, but I actually cried in the store to get my copy.


 
Then I cried again when I got home and played it. What the fuck, Tod? The dots are dashes. If you were a WW II telegraph operator, we'd all be dead.


Tod's real claim to fame, if you ask me, and by reading this article, you sort of are, was adapting the arcade game Xevious to the same hardware. If you know anything coding, and the 6502 processor, you know this is impossible.

No one told Tod. He was given the assignment as a reward for his work on Pac-Man. Some say it was in fact a punishment. Legend has it, he went home and smoked a joint of weed, coke and angel dust, and figured out how to do it. Nonsense, you say? Can't be done, you say?

Tod Frye says suck it. He's got weed to smoke.


Rock Star Status: Syd Barrett.




Brad Carvey
- Expect Brad to also be featured in an upcoming column, "Scary Geniuses Who Plan to Rule the World Soon". His movie star brother is listed in Wikipedia as his brother.









Brad was the prototype Garth from Wayne's World. Here is Dana Carvey, parodying Brad, while wearing a Video Toaster shirt:

Not shown: Video Toaster t-shirt.

"What the fuck is a Video Toaster?", you ask, most ignorantly.

Oh, it was just a broadcast TV studio on a card that Brad designed on a napkin with a friend or two. The VT, as people who have grown tired of typing out 'Video Toaster' have long since taken to calling it, sometimes, was owned by every cable station in the country in the 90s.

If you watched TV during that decade, you saw the Video Toaster in action and didn't know it.

You didn't know it, because it was broadcast quality. For $1900. The Toaster and Lightwave 3d, the accompanying rendering software, went on to do work on shows like Seaquest, Babylon 5, and lots of other nostalgic geek shows. In fact, it's still in use today, in various reincarnated forms.




Brad's production company Free Range Digital did the dragonfly intro for the film Men in Black. No, that was not a real dragonfly.  In 1994, he told me he could put augmented reality headsets on the shelf at Wal-Mart for $500 apiece. And he does not talk shit.





Not rock star enough for you? How about being associated with Todd Rundgren's Fascist Christ, the first 3D animation banned from MTV?


Brad was working on a DNA sequencing computer that was the genetic equivalent of a ten dollar car the last time I talked to him. I wonder if I'll be spared when his benevolent reign comes to fruition?

Rock Star Status: Bach. Not Sebastian, either.




Tune in next time for part two:

Jeff Minter
Rock Star Status: Captain Beefheart

Jim Sachs 
Rock Star Status: Cat Stevens

Team Amiga
Rock Star Status: Ozric Tentacles

Joel on Software Joel
Rock Star Status: Tin Machine-era David Bowie.