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Odd pet choices
Mar 26th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Your Dreams of Owning a Dire Wolf Can Finally Come True (Sort Of). You?ve been reading or watching Game of Thrones. You?ve lovingly lingered over the descriptions of Gray Wind running into battle with Rob, Summer sleeping on Bran?s bed. You cried for Lady and light a candle every night for Nymeria. And lately, you?ve caught yourself looking back over your lease agreement and wondering if “dire wolf” qualifies as an exotic pet. [Wired News]

I’m more of a cat person. I’m holding out for a sabertooth tiger.

Good Riddance
Mar 19th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

In recent years the amount of money the California state government steals directly from my paycheck had gone up dramatically, far in excess of what they claim for taxes. They do send out tax refund checks, but this was effectively a forced no-interest “loan” to people I loath. I just deposited my last tax refund check from California, and decided to use the money to do something to show what I think of the scum who rule that state. So, I bought 1,000 rounds of 5.56 NATO ammo–a type used by many rifles that they think only they and their enforcers should be allowed to own.

Quote of the Day
Mar 18th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man.

Calvin Coolidge

Secret Cow Level Revealed
Mar 12th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

I came across this amusing paragraph in the Diablo II entry on Wikipedia:

The “Secret Cow Level” is the result of a running joke from the original Diablo that spawned from an Internet rumor about the cows that appear in the game, seemingly without purpose. Supposedly, if the cow was clicked a certain number of times, a portal to a secret level would open. The rumor turned out to be a hoax, but the legend was born, and player after player asked Blizzard about how to access the level.

Long ago I worked for Blizzard Entertainment doing QA, and the product I spent the most time testing was the Mac port of Diablo. At one point I found a bug where the terrain tiles would be missing, leaving a pattern of white lines on a black background where the tiles should have been. I’ve long since forgotten exactly how I made it happen, but as I recall it was easy to reproduce and did involve a portal. By the time I found this bug the PC version of Diablo had already been out for months and the Internet rumors about a “secret cow level” were a source of much amusement (because we knew there wasn’t one).

When I found this bug, the black and white pattern reminded me a bit of a cow’s fur, so I wrote the bug up with the description “secret cow level” as a nod to the rumor. Of course it was fixed before the game shipped, and I’m pretty sure that only four people ever saw it (including me). So there you have it–the true story of Mac Diablo’s secret cow level.

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