Friday, March 25th, 2011
"where wizards stay up late"
So Iíve been reading a few books around here, but decided to finish up "where wizards stay up late" since I was close. Itís a book about the origins of the Internet, starting with Bob Taylorís idea of connecting different defense computers together (not creating a network to survive nuclear attack) and ending with the ARPAnet being taken down, connecting old nodes to the NFS backbone.
The book is a great read for anybody interested in computer history. It covers what it took for BBN to put in the first nodes that made up the network. The challenges the ARPAnet faced with uncertain protocols. The work done by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn to write TCP/IP, showing a dedication to a cause that they felt just had to be done, completing it in their spare time. Does a dedication like this even exist now days?
The really cool thing about the book is it covers Will Crowther and the work he did at BBN as a programmer working on the IMPs. The book even talks a little bit about Adventure, the game that he wrote at BBN and left on the network. Don Woods, working at Stanford, found it later that year, getting in touch with Willy at Xerox PARC, asking him if he could work on it. The rest is history.
This book was a great read, helping to tie in some of the people that would go on to PARC, helping me get a bigger picture of the early years that formed the world that we live in today. As the book says, computers will have as big a role in the 21st century as the telephone did in the 20th.
Currently Playing: Rift
Saturday, March 19th, 2011
"A Rift Opens Up"
At the beginning of the month, Rift, a highly anticipated triple A MMO, launched; practically flawless. The game ships with plenty of content: enough quests that will carry you from 1 to 50, six crafting profession - three harvesting, Rift raiding in guilds or open public groups, and a number of classes for each of the four archetypes. Thereís just an incredible amount to do, in a game thatís well thought out and designed to keep you busy for hours on end. Thereís no reason to doubt that this game is going to give WoW some competition.
But instead of WoW it should be compared to DAoC. A game that broke incredible ground in Realm verses Realm play, something that Rift is already looking into implementing. The PvP here is amazing. To me itís clear that this game is drawing on all of the best, and making no bones about it. Theyíve taken from Everquest, DAoC, and WoW, creating a beautiful game designed for High Definition play; and one that runs incredibly smooth with no lag at all, running under ultra settings on a medium grade computer.
The only real problem with the game during the first few weeks was the login queue. It could take up to two or three hours to get in, giving people something to bitch about. But it was the guild that decided to stay with the heavily loaded server, and once people got through the starter area, the queue dropped off and is now practically non-existent.
The game turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I didnít want to get back into another fantasy game, but everybody in my clan had moved on, so, if I wanted to hang with the guys I had to download it. Now I find myself leveling my toon in my spare time just to keep up with them instead of working on interactive fiction. It kind of sucks, but itís also cool to run with a bunch of guys that like to joke around and have a good time in Vent. And the game is designed to level fast, so it wonít be long until Iím back to ATS, working on whatís looking like the last phase before my game hits beta.
You know, you gotta take a break every now and then - D
Currently Playing: Rift