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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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