Thursday, January 25, 2007

Family Tree

Well most people already know about this, because I started adding them, but I found this great program from Net@Night for assembling family trees. I hope everyone participates and puts in as much info as they can, and sends tendrils out. I hope to see this grow, maybe if we are luck we can find a family member who has already done extensive genealogy who will dump ALL of it into the tree.

Who knows how many degrees of family we are from Kevin Bacon?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quotation of the day

Well this comes from someone that I've never met, and thankfully never worked for. Apparently during project crunch time, late into the night this hapless development manager rallied her hardworking troops to work faster with this message of inspiration:

"Programming is just typing"

True Dat

More comic piracy, but truth is told!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How much do you love Heroes?

In the continuing trend of ripping off content I've written for other reasons I present the following. It was an email written to try and win a signed photograph of some of the Heroes Actors, including everyones favourite Hiro. So since I won "Best Pitch" but lost the picture do to contest rigging, I will at least salvage a blog post out of it. Nor do I fear further embaressment, because the CCO already forwarded to the entire company :)

Let me set the stage, first off, my wife and I don't have cable, we usually wait a year and just buy DVDs of the series we like. If a new show comes out we wait and see the reviews, and then give it a try by renting the first disc, but once were hooked we are chronically one season behind. Which of course makes seeing a new show like heroes hard to watch.

Now add to that what at the moment will seem at least someone superfluous information. As a tech geek I have installed many operating systems, including some that were less then polished. O/S2 Warp Beta, Win 95 Alpha, Win 2k Beta, Win XP RC1 and various distro's of Linux (before Linux was cool... Well as cool as Linux can be. :) One can appreciate that any alpha or beta product is risky at best, but when its your OS that is flaky well then your just in trouble. So after my last foray into beta's I gave up and said, "your getting to old for this Geoff, just wait for the release."

So why was that important? Well after hearing some much buzz about Heroes I traveled to the dark corners of the internet and found a Bit Torrent for the show. One episode and I was curious, two episodes and I was addicted. But how oh how was I going to be able to watch this on my big screen TV??? Well I have an XBOX 360, which is a media extender, but you need Windows Media Center edition to use that, or Window's Vista... Well once bitten twice shy, I'm not crazy enough to install Windows Vista Beta, or was I?

Bad drivers, lost data, and one maddening weekend later I Dr Frankenstein'd up Windows Vista and the whole Windows Media Center catastrophe into one smooth roll Heroes casting entertainment center.

That's how much I love Heroes.

Letter to the Editor: "Too Graphic for Kids?"

I sent the following to the editor of the Toronto Star, and I figured 1) I read the Star online so I may never know if it is printed or not, 2) It sounded like something I should put in my blog. I did fact check myself, and it is a pretty short letter (although longer then there requested 300 words,) so while not my largest, nor my best reasoned, post, but its a post, and you haven't got one for a while.

A friend of mine often reminds me of a sign he once saw posted on a beach, the sign read “Parents you are responsible for your children.” In its context it meant that there was no life guard on duty, but neither is there in life.

In this age it seems that we try and place blame and responsibility for our actions, and the actions of our youth, anywhere but where they belong. We see US attorney Jack Thompson sermonizing on the immorality of video games and the violence they sometimes contain. Hilary Clinton beseeching law makers to punish game studio’s for content that they never released (in the case of the Grand Theft Auto ‘Hot Coffee’ modification.) All of this with in the assumption that these games are affecting our youth, all though Statistics Canada (presumably an authoritative source) has reported a drop in both property crime and violent crime every year since 1991 (except 2004.)

As a life long gamer, and a life long non-violent person I have become angry and frustrated (as many of my colleagues and friends) with the brush we are often painted with in the media. Our games have not made us murders, criminal or antisocial; they are just a different form of entertainment, one I personally think to be more engaging and stimulating then passively watching television. I strongly agree that the content in games should be fairly assessed and rated, but only to serve as a tool for parents.

I ask for parents to do for your children what mind did for me, take an active interest in your children’s interest, and you be the judge of what content you feel your children are mature enough to handle. The ratings should act as a guide line for what is in the game, and its up to you to decide if it is appropriate. If you are a parent and you’re just not sure, check online, or ask the staff at a specialty retail store (EB, Microplay etc) they more often then not are passionate gamers who can give you more information, or even show you what the game contains.

In closing to combat all the negative press, two gamers started a charity in 2003 for gamers to give back. They initial goal was to gather toy and cash donations for their local children’s hospital, so that children going through a very difficult time would have something to play with. The response from gamers was so overwhelming that the charity grew each year to more and more Hospitals. This year gamers raise over a million dollars in donations for over 25 children’s hospitals world wide, including our own Sick Kids. For more information about the charity you can look them up at


Geoffrey Peart

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This is just amusing

While screaming at my machine to compile, I came across this on one of my authors sites. For those of you who knew Ben, or those of you have red Jacqueline Carey's novels you will probably be equally amused as I by this superstar combination: Kushiel's Bengals!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Blogger Beta

Well Blogger 2.0 or whatever is out of beta, and I have made the conversion. You really won't notice much of anything on this end, but the editor is much nicer for me. Sadly a number of features are unavailable because I don't host on blogspot, but the one thing you can see is Tags, or labels. They will appear at the end of posts, and will link to an index of posts that share a label. I will have to go back through the archive and label things. So it will take a little time, but feel free to have a look around.

Also I have started a new job, which 9/10ths of the universe already know. I haven't said much a about it, but that will come soon. I also have some interesting pictures from the neighbour hood since it is kind of neat. That will come soon to.

Talk to you all later!