"an ology for the new millenium"
Why, it's the vanity site and weblog of Eric Tilton! [*]

Bernie says hello. He'd like to know if you have any wet cat food for him.

Welcome to ology.org! This is the personal vanity site of Eric Tilton and Carrie Jones. It mainly exists so that we can laugh heartily at our clever e-mail addresses (like tele@ology.org). Ho ho ho!

Please wander around, and feel free to enjoy my fine Corinthian web log.

Saturday, March 31, 2001

[Posted 3/31/2001 07:55:03 PM by tilt]
I composed a really incisive, eloquent entry yesterday that talked about thunderstorms, the popularity of games like The Sims (and the sadly tepid sales of great A-list titles like Blade of Darkness and No One Lives Forever), and tied it all into why I'm enjoying Black and White so much. But then I clicked on a link in my e-mail, and the browser window containing my blogger edits was replaced by a story about mad cow disease. And when I hit the "back" button, the story was gone.

Stupid Outlook. Even though I've set the "don't reuse browser windows" setting, they still get reused from time to time.

Anyway, short version: I finished BoD. It was a lot of fun. Not enough people will play it. They should have fucking included strafing keys. I got B&W. It's fun, but slow. I'm currently sad because my Tiger keeps eating villagers and backsliding from the path of virtue.

Oh, and my 3 year old 3Com ethernet card crapped out, so I had to buy a new damn card. Thankfully, they're now obscenely cheap ($25 at Best Buy, so if I'd shopped around a bit, I could've found someone who wanted to pay me money to take one.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

[Posted 3/28/2001 08:01:27 AM by tilt]
Two articles that appeal to the hacker & game geek in me:

1500 Archers on a 28.8: Network Programming in Age of Empires and Beyond
Current Architecture and Potential Approaches to Level Design

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

[Posted 3/27/2001 10:50:26 AM by tilt]
One of the more interesting meterorological aspects of living in Austin is the occassional morning deluge. I've only lived here a few months, but it seems to be a semi-regular occurance that I'll get up to grey skies, cracks of thunder, and sheets of raining pouring out of the sky. I often expect to have Jesus himself knock on my door to borrow a cup of sugar on his way to the apocalypse. Two hours later, though, it'll be the most beautiful, God-damned gorgeous day you've ever seen.

I gotta say, I can get behind that.

I'm finally nearing the end of Blade of Darkness. I had stopped playing it a few weeks ago, because the difficulty level in the last few areas was creeping past my comfort zone, and I'd been concentrating on other games (including the outstanding Fallout Tactics, which I'll no doubt evangelize in a later post). But, last night, I was inspired to play (and due to some ill-timed insomnia, too tired to do anything else). Almost the first thing I did was find the invulnerability cheat, which I used whenever I was in danger of actually getting my ass kicked.

Interestingly enough, it's still fun to play a sword-fighting game when you're invulnerable. The graphics remained outstanding, I still had to solve the puzzles, and the sword fights were still interesting -- just not dangerous. It was like I'd entered tourist mode. The fact that it had been a few weeks since I'd played (and I was ready to move on to another game) helped, too -- I no longer give a shit if the game decides to label my save games as "cautious" or even the (as-yet-unseen) "lame!". I just want to find out how it ends, and see the sights along the way.

I also finally discovered the next to best weapon for the Amazon, which was good. I'd missed about 8 other weapons of intermediate power along the way somehow, so I was trying to fight with a weapon that had an exceedlingly difficult combo that didn't do enough damage anyway. One of the great things about this game is the wealth of well-hidden specials -- unfortunately, there aren't any good walkthroughs, so I've actually had to (gasp!) find them on my own. I even found three of the six super-sword-powerups on my own (although happily I was able to find cheats for the remaining three). I apparently missed a bunch of other cool powerups, like bracelts and such, though.

Don't get me wrong -- I still think Blade is an outstandingly great (if narratively somewhat incoherent) game. It's just about two levels too long, and I finally got tired of how well-hidden most of the secrets were.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

[Posted 3/20/2001 11:11:12 AM by tilt]
Free tacos for America! (If Mir hits the Taco Bell target, that is.)

Monday, March 19, 2001

[Posted 3/19/2001 10:03:24 PM by tilt]
We just saw Chocolat, and it was truly wonderful. It's wonderfully crafted -- everything is expertly in place, but it still feels organic and alive. I especially enjoyed the way it unfolded gently from archetypical fairy tale into a meaningful human story.

Saturday, March 17, 2001

[Posted 3/17/2001 08:32:25 AM by tilt]
After returning to Austin late last night (in true biztrip style, my tickets were purchased on Wednesday, I left on Thursday, and I returned on Friday. These are probably the first full price tickets I've ever traveled on. Good thing the client paid for it!), we stopped off for fried chicken and waffles. Why is Austin better than the valley? It's the food! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm..................

(Don't even get me started about all the opportunities for barbeque overload around here...)

[Posted 3/17/2001 08:21:48 AM by tilt]
Ah, the Valley.

Just a few days after SXSW came to a close, I've jetted off on what is arguably my first Business Trip. We've got a potential big client, and the meeting last week went well, so the core crew have flown out for a little mutual technical butt-sniffing.

It's been a few years since I've been out here. I spent a summer out here in 1997 interning at Xerox PARC, and I came out later in 1998 when Intel had a little get-together of several of the mobile research projects they were funding. I love the energy out here in Silicon Valley -- despite the crazy real estate prices, the dot-com carnage, and the culture wars, it's still a mythic symbol of the hopes and dreams of the computer age.

It was a rush just riding from the San Jose airport over to my hotel, and seeing the familiar highway exits off of 280. Don't get me wrong -- I'm glad I live in Austin (which is superior in many ways, but is starting to fill up itself), but I miss living here.

* * *

This hotel room is totally crazy. It's got an ethernet connection in the room. If I'd only known, I would've brought the ethernet dongle for my Pocket PC.

* * *

How strange. The guy sitting next to me on the plane actually has and uses an Apple Newton MessagePad.

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

[Posted 3/14/2001 02:30:16 PM by tilt]
Several years ago, I wrote a book that nobody read called Web Weaving. It sold respectably; at the very least, it barely made up for the modest advance we got for writing it. (On the other hand, the taxation on royalties often means that writing books on the side is more trouble than its worth.)

About three years after book came out, the royalty statements started to clearly reflect that the north american sales were dead, and the small spurts of sales were coming from overseas. Specifically, I received a check in early 1998 for about $20 -- when I scrutinized the royalty report, I realized most of that came from Thai sales. So I took us out for dinner at the local Thai joint, making the glib observation: "I'm big in Thailand!"

The biggest impact on my life from these far east sales, however, come daily into my e-mail box: about 90% of the spam I get is from the ".TW" domain (and, of course, completely incomprehensible). Some asshole in Taiwan bought one of my books and added my name to his or her spam list. It's very surreal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

[Posted 3/13/2001 12:26:32 AM by tilt]
Still alive. I've been attending the SXSW Interactive festival, which has been a kick. I've been out of the conference circuit for too long.

I just finished "reading" Zeitgeist by Bruce Sterling. (I listened to it via Audible while driving around.) This book is incredible. The whole "narrative" thing (read the book to understand) totally resonated with me.

Friday, March 09, 2001

[Posted 3/9/2001 04:02:42 PM by tilt]
Well, I picked up my badge for SXSW 2001 -- I'll be attending the Interactive track events. Look for me there! :)

[Posted 3/9/2001 09:17:20 AM by tilt]
Is it art if it wasn't explicitly made by a human? My immediate response to this question was, "it's 'found art.'" It's the patterns made by a pendulum as a result of the Seattle earthquake. Very cool.

Most of the pictures I take are of accidents I find in the natural (or constructed) environment; so that's all found art, too, I guess.

Thursday, March 08, 2001

[Posted 3/8/2001 01:30:21 PM by tilt]
I've added a new section to the site: writings. I've also added my first essay for the section, which is my 1997 Paris Travelogue (it's a photo-essay, natch), from the trip I took four years ago as part of going to SOSP16. I've been promising this travelogue for years; here it is, finally.

(I've also debuted the "non-sidebar" page layout, for longer writings like that.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2001

[Posted 3/6/2001 12:01:16 AM by tilt]
Pictures of the "Deluxe Transforming Gundam Wing":

The beast in its full glory

Check out the detail work -- it's even got posable attitude jets

It transforms into a plane!

One more shot of the plane form

I still yearn for a Macross-style Veritech. I used to have one (about four inches high, from Skull squadron, no less!), but it broke. I really wanted the Jetfire mecha from early Transformers. This is about as good we currently can get.

I've been waffling back and forth on getting this particular toy since November or December of 2000, when I first saw four beat-up boxes containing it in a KayBee in Pittsburgh. I initially decided against it, because a) it was $40, b) it was a little goofy looking (and not a Veritech), and c) all of the boxes were beat up. (Just like the box I got today -- I think they are no non-beat-up boxes of this toy). It was also almost Christmas, and I've started to learn my lesson about buying stuff just before the holidays. However, I kept thinking about it (because I've been looking for good giant robot toys for the past five years or so; especially robots that transform into planes), and then I eventually saw the Gundum Wing anime series, and I was completely hooked. So I put it on my Amazon wish-list, and eventually bought the damn thing.

Thumbnail review of the toy:


  • Great attention to detail. The toy has all kinds of little widgets and gadgets and articulation points.
  • It's pretty large and colorful.
  • The robot mode is very cool.
  • There's a do-it-yourself part -- the wings, gun, and shield are all snap-together parts that you assemble yourself.
  • The transformation scheme requires some mastery.


  • The large number of articulation points means that the thing is a little wobbly.
  • The large size makes it difficult to display properly.
  • The plane mode is cool, but a little goofy. The legs, especially, don't really transform away that well. And there's no real landing mechanism.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased. However, the best goddamn giant robot-esque toy (even if it doesn't transform) remains Manga Spawn:

Monday, March 05, 2001

[Posted 3/5/2001 11:57:55 PM by tilt]
From Wired: E Ink: Your Hands Will Thank You (via PocketPC Thoughts). I've been predicting this kind of technology for a while now, and I think I'm even going to get the timeframe right. We like paper, and our workspaces are designed for lighting it and working with it. This kind of technology will be revolutionary.

[Posted 3/5/2001 03:35:58 PM by tilt]
Ha ha! I found the damn GW figure in one last battered, lonely box in the local Kaybee.

[Posted 3/5/2001 11:03:25 AM by tilt]
I'm so depressed. Nobody bought me the 12" Gundam Wing transforming action figure off of my Amazon.com wishlist, and now it's "no longer available." I should've just gone ahead and bought the damn thing.

In other news, I realized recently that my ex took all of the They Might Be Giants albums except for Miscellaneous T, so I've added all of those to the wish list as well.

Friday, March 02, 2001

[Posted 3/2/2001 09:49:48 AM by tilt]
Here's a simple observation: the famed Gordon Moore of Moore's Law worked for Intel. Moore's law, for those who don't know, basically says that every year and a half, computing power doubles. This is widely touted as some sort of astounding factoid, allowing us all to make great predictions about the rate of advance in the industry.

Here's the thing, though. Since Moore worked for Intel, and Intel is the only serious provider of microprocessors (and thus, the company that sets the tempo for processor speed advances), how can anyone seriously call Moore's law anything except a business plan?

For further evidence, see this article on Salon: Geeks declare war on Intel. Guess what? Intel sacrifices technical quality to meet the arbitrary 18 month deadline!

This isn't an attack on Moore; I'm entirely willing to concede that Moore made his observation with the best of intentions, and based on accurate and current data available at the time. What I'm claiming is that Intel has internalized this figure as some sort of holy grail, and has in fact made Moore's Law true by sole virtue of meeting it time and time again as a marketing goal. This isn't a natural law; it's an institutional psychosis. (And believe me, I've heard a fair number of Intel VPs and VIPs give talks, and the truth of this shines out in their discourse.) And the string of problems with Pentium-grade processors over this decade should indicate that there are some serious problems with this approach.

(What really cracks me up, though, is that the entire computer science apparatchik has bought into this hallucination hook, line, and sinker -- every CS talk you hear, especially if it's in the nebulous realm of "systems," will have at least one slide referencing Moore's Law as a scientific fact we can bank on. I'm glad to see that intellectual rigor is alive and well.)

Sorry, this topic makes me grumpy.

Thursday, March 01, 2001

[Posted 3/1/2001 09:18:51 AM by tilt]
From the Onion: Video Game Violence Blamed in Giant Robot Shooting Spree. Tragic.

Ah, the unique character of my newly adoptive state: Sex-Change Deputy to Break New Ground.

(By the way, my car is back in working order again -- I had a cracked radiator! Yoiks. It's still very very much under warranty, though, so it didn't cost me nuthin'. A very inauspicious beginning to my life of car ownership, though.)

See earlier stuff in the archives


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