I've read Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and am part way through Quicksilver (Book 1 of the Baroque Cycle), and am blown away by his writings, etc.
We've covered Snow Crash and touched on Crypto in the Book Club, but I'd like to discuss the works of NS in full here.
For those of you who've not heard of him (i hadn't until the book club brought him up), he's a Sci-Fi writer with a difference.
Snow Crash is a classic story which, in brief involves a Sword-wielding Pizza Delivery Hacker battling against a conspiracy involving a virus spreading on the 'Metaverse', and also brainwashing people through a religion.
His other books are less Cyberpunk and more Clean Fiction with some very geek orientated subtilties. His writing style is just amazing, the way he controls the pace, the interludes, the descriptions, the plot, everything.
Post edited 12/07/05 7:47PM
9 years ago
I wrote this for a laugh, and it quite tickled my fancy (yes, you can tickle yourself, if by tickle you mean stroke gently). I blogged it, and also posted this randomly in the bar, and in a thread or two that needed derailment. My apologies if you've seen it before, but anyway:
Last Halloween we had an 'incident'. What happened was we forgot about Halloween. Being religious, we don't celebrate 'fun' occasions, especially ones which promote other people's annoying kids to come and ask for lollies (or candy) at our door. Also because we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, Independance Day, Columbus Day, or any other stupid American holidays (supposedly the British celebrate Halloween too, but this is irrelevant).
Anyway, what happened last year's Halloween was this: we forgot about it. We had a normal evening. In our area we get on average (taken over the last 5 years) 0.75 bundles of kids (if you don't think kids come in bundles just ask my brother) knocking on our door. This evening in question we got one bundle of kids. I didn't answer the door because I have a wife who is perfectly good at answering the door for me. I was also too busy playing video games or something.
So, my wife answers the door to be greeted by one of these kid bundles, all dressed up for halloween. Apparently a black cardboard cone with some stars drawn on with a glitter pen equates to a wizard outfit. For added effect an old sheet makes a cloak. 'Trick or treeeeaaat' they say. My wife quite nicely told them that no, not since the wizards were wiped out in the great pirate-ninja battle we don't celebrate Halloween here. No problems, the kids leave.
Or so we thought. See, they had hatched this terrific plan as a 'trick' because they missed their 'treat'. Approximately thirty seconds (or less) after my wife told them to kindly go away, we heard a 'clunk clunk (a brief delay) donk'. We had a rock thrown on our roof. Maybe two, but who's counting?
I was so astonished I ran outside and shouted to the kids 'hey kids! that was a great trick. you sure showed us how good at tricks you are clever children lol. next year we will be prepared for halloween and your hilarious antics! joo PWND ME!!11'
I also spent the next hour trying to explain to our 3 year old son why there are retarded people who have children and don't know how to be good parents so they let them roam the streets in crappy cardboard outfits begging for lollies and throwing rocks on roofs. My son was upset by the whole thing, so I vowed the next year to be prepared. 'THIS ROCK THROWING WILL NOT GO UN-AVENGED!' i told him in capslocks.
So this year, when the kids (whether it was the same ones or not, i do not know because all kids look alike) came knocking on the door, 'trick or treat' they would say. I said, 'kids i have your treats but i want to tell you the history of halloween before you get them' What could they do but wait? If anything, kids are motivated by the promise of delicious treats. So because I am such a caring member of society I chose to educate the little feral annoying kids of other parents.
'now listen to me you well-outfitted-in-cardboard children and you shall understand many things' I said, telling them the whole history of halloween about how young college graduate wizards would knock on the door asking if they could take out the daughter for an ice cream and soda, and if the parents of the girl told them that no, they don't have a daughter or, sorry, she's out tonight they'd then paint a hexagon on the door (in blood) which meant the evil blood-sucking goblins would attack their house. (Blood sucking goblins are known as 'Hemo-Goblins' - not to be confused with hemoglobins which diabetics and druggies inject into themselves when they run out of crack)
after boring them to death on the doorstep - i would not let them sneak away ('you have not heard the whole wonderful story' i would tell them), i then said 'thank you patient children it is time for your nutritious, tasty, and very economical treats!' and I handed out carrots (i bought a bargain half kilogram bag for 95 cents 'shopkeeper this is the most econonical and nutritious treats ever.'
some children were disappointed when they were not getting sweets, so i told them that because they asked they could have something far better 'you with the carrots miss out on this fine treat because you were too timid to ask' i said, 'but the other ones are rewarded for their complaining'.
I had a GIANT tub of yoghurt. It was $1.50 when i bought it because it nearly was past its use-by date they reduced the price to half price. 'shopkeeper I shall always shop late on Sunday afternoons to get these bargains' I proclaimed as I paided for it in 5 cent pieces.
'Here' i said, placing a giant dollop into the whiney kids' bags, 'have some sweet, delicious, nutritious, and almost as economical as the carrots yoghurt. do not worry that it has covered your jelly beans and chocoloates because now its like a wholesome dip for your other sweets.'
Sure enough, the kids left, benefiting both nutritionally and educationally.
And so, I proclaimed this was the best halloween ever.
9 years ago
A while ago, I wrote a lengthy letter of complaint to the Public Transport People (not their official name), after becoming so irate about missing connecting buses and having just generally ordinary services provided.
To really gripe them, i wrote it badly (intentionally), and ticked a box on the cover sheet saying 'yes I would like a response'.
Here it is in its entirety:
I never did get a response, but services have since improved...
Alright, here is a place for all you who work in the private sector; be it accountant, engineer, lawyer, consultant, tradesperson, construction worker, anybody; to let yourself be known to the community of Red vs Blue. I am personally a consultant for an engineering company.
This thread is dedicated to Bolbol and how nice he is.
He's sponsored a couple of people here, myself included - but that's not all. Nearly every journal I create he takes the time to read and post a worthwhile comment. Not only to me, but most other people in his friends list. He's never been an attention whore, always speaks from the heart, is loaded with humility.
Therefore, i submit that there is none nicer on the internet than he. (Scott may have been the nicest in the past, but he died before i got to know him, so...)
He deserves his own thread as a tribute so here it is.
Anybody know a good way to split video files, particularly AVI files?
Let me explain:
I have a pocket PC. Using 'the core media player' it plays DivX movies. Using a program called 'Pocket DivX Converter', i can creat a 320x240 compressed video from dvd files, etc. These files come to about 200mb (plus or minus).
Now, the problem is the processor on my pocket PC only likes tiny bitesize files (30mb approx), so I would like to split the avi file. I used a program called "Avi Splitter" which was great because it just broke it up (no recompression) in 20 seconds flat.
Because I'm poor, i don't want to be paying for anything so if there's a freeware program available that anybody knows about, please let me know.