Grandfathered In, Part 2: I tried to Warner you….

Scatterbrain and procrastinator that I am, I never got around to the second part on the family tree of Chase aka Robots (the first written in January 2021).  The anniversary of a key computer game has finally kicked me out of my laziness.

This is Chase’s second family tree: First Person Shooters.  (This was originally intented to be the third part, but what the hey.)

As mentioned in part one many moons ago, Chase was the impetus for Berzerk, a twitchy maze game from 1980 with walls and robots trying to kill you.  At that time, Silas Warner was trying to create a game about World War II, watching films like “The Guns Of Navarone” for inspiration.  Around that time, he played Berzerk in an arcade and decided to create a slower paced and more puzzle-like maze game where the player’s goal was to escape from a Nazi castle.  Thus, Castle Wolfenstein and its sequel Beyond Castle Wolfenstein came to be.

Castle Wolfenstein was released in September 1981, forty years ago.



More below the fold.

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He’s Gone: Clive Sinclair, dead at (ZX)81

Clive Sinclair has died after a ten year battle with cancer (July 30, 1940 to September 16, 2021).

Sinclair was a prolific inventor, who created the first pocket calculator in 1972 (two years before Texas Instruments), the Sinclair Spectrum computer range which introduced millions of people to computing not just in the UK, but also across Europe and clones in the Soviet Union.  Generations of computer programmers exist because of his affordable computers.  He also invented a watch, an LCD TV, and others.

Kotaku: Father Of Home Computing Sir Clive Sinclair Dies Aged 81

Deutsche Welle: UK inventor, computing pioneer Clive Sinclair dies at 81

Boing Boing: Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940–2021

Engadget: Home computer legend Sir Clive Sinclair dies at 81

IEEE Computer Society: Sir Clive Sinclair (bio, not an obituary)

Some of the obituaries I’ve seen bother me because they keep bringing up the C5 and other failures instead of focusing on his successes and his influence on computing.  This is a man who changed lives without hurting people (unlike, say, politicians).  He deserves more respect than they’re giving him.

Self Owned: TERFs must love serving the patriarchy

The Terrible, Egregious Racists and Fascists (TERFs) prove once again how willing they are to live down to their name, that they are willing to serve and reinforce the patriarchy that their mouths frothingly claim to oppose.

Krystal Jackson was a school teacher in Fresno, California until recently after being arrested for raping a male junior high school student.  TERFs are using Jackson’s arrest to incite hate against Transgender women.

But there’s one slight, teeny-tiny, eentsy-weentsy, itty-bitty flaw in their argument:

Jackson is a cisgender heterosexual binary woman (or “biological woman” as gender hypocritical TERF trash call themselves).  Jackson is an XX person with breasts and a vagina that devoloped in the womb, not through surgery.
The TERF have passed judgement and ruled that Jackson “isn’t a woman, it’s a man with a penis!” because Jackson fails to meet the TERF standards of femininity and physical appearance.
From LGBTQ Nation:
Anti-transgender activists on Twitter are now saying that a woman who committed a sex crime is transgender because, they argue, the alleged molester’s mugshot doesn’t look like a cis woman.

Krystal Jackson, 39, is a teacher in the Kings Canyon Unified School District in California who was arrested this past Friday, accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy three times. She is facing four counts of rape, as well as several other charges connected to the alleged sexual abuse of the minor.

Local reporting has not said that Jackson is transgender or given anyone any reason to believe that she is. And a woman who claims to have grown up in the same town as Jackson said that she is “a cis hetero woman.”

But that’s not stopping anti-transgender activists from insisting that Jackson is transgender. The activists are commonly referred to as TERFs – transgender exclusionary radical feminists. They do not share the same ideology as most of the rest of the feminist movement and work with the religious right to oppose transgender civil rights.

“Does this mean HE gets to be placed in women’s prison??” wrote a Twitter user who goes by “Mel,” referring to Jackson with “he” and apparently arguing under the assumption that Jackson is transgender and should not be housed in a women’s prison. “Yeah, but Self ID is SUCH a grand idea.”

If not for the crime involved, this story would make for hilarious reading, especially while watching TERFs fall all over themselves.  First as they rabidly attack Jackson and spew insults at Transgender people, then as they beat a hasty retreat and try to scrub their facebook and twitter pages after Jackson’s genetics were revealed.  They want to pretend that they never said things that they did and were screencaptured.  And, of course, there are also the most rabid of all, those who still claim “Jackson is a man!” even after the majority of their ilk have run away from the story.
They must all wear coke bottle glasses.  They’re so short sighted that they can’t see what’s in front of them.


Point And Shoot: When politicians incite murder on camera

Gavin Newsom’s victory in Tuesday’s recall ballot was a foregone conclusion – not because “teh elekshun was stowlun!” as trumpkins would claim, but because the only people who wanted the recall vote were the excessively wealthy.  A 63% to 36% (7:4) margin of victory was inevitable, given Newsom’s management of the health crisis and other issues.

Rachel Maddow noted on Tuesday’s show (before the count was in) that Larry Elder’s laughable campaign admitted defeat in the recall vote, claiming they already have proof that the vote was rigged.  Before the vote happened.

At first that sounds like typical republican incompetence, but it was accompanied by words intended to incite violence.  Quoting Maddow, from the above link (Elder’s words in red):

[I]f you do not believe them, if you do not take these claims of theirs very, very seriously, they also want you to know the top republican candidate for governor in California also wants you to know that there’s a pretty good chance that if you don’t go along with this, if you don’t believe it, if you resist, there’s going to be some shooting.

Here is the opening salvo on that part of the website for Larry Elder, republican candidate for governor in California. Quote:

They say that in america, there are four boxes of liberty. The soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the ammo box. We trusted in our elected officials to safeguard that ballot box. However, when those officials, either through laziness or incompetence, allow thieves to steal amidst the dead of night and cheat our ballot box, we can no longer rely on its contents.

Will we now have to fight the California jury box, in the hope that the final box – the one most akin to Pandora’s – remains closed?

If that isn’t an incitement to kill people after losing an election, what does it say?

As it turns out, a murder in Texas last November was a case of this.  A week after Cheetolini lost, a republican shot a married couple for being democrats, murdering the wife and severely injuring the husband who survived.  It was only revealed this week that it was a politically motivated murder.

Husband ‘relieved’ after suspect is charged for killing wife in central El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Daniel Kaufman, whose wife was shot and killed in central El Paso last year, said he is relieved to hear that someone has been charged for the crime.

El Paso police arrested 38-year-old Joseph Angel Alvarez on September 8, 2021.

According to the arrest affidavit, Alvarez conducted the crime because he didn’t agree with the beliefs or political views of the victims.

He was arrested in connection with the death of 50-year-old Georgette Kauffman and the assault on Daniel Kaufmann.

The shooting happened on November 14, 2020, at the 3000 block of Copper Avenue in central El Paso.

Cue republicans claiming that she “voted while dead”.

Don’t Try: Suicide by stupidity, as anti-vaxxer dies

Bob Enyart was an anti-vaxxer, anti-masker, religious fanatic, anti-LGBTQIA bigot and all around reprobate who contributed nothing to the world.  As a result of his own actions (refusing to wear a mask and refusing to be vaccinated), he died after contracting COVID-19.

Bob Enyart, proud ‘fanatic’ who fought virus mandates in court, dies of Covid-19

US radio host Bob Enyart — a self-proclaimed “right-wing religious fanatic” who urged a boycott of Covid-19 vaccines — has died after contracting the coronavirus earlier this month while fighting mask and social distancing restrictions in court.

The 62-year-old firebrand’s co-host Fred Williams confirmed Enyart’s passing in a Facebook post on Monday.

[. . .]

Enyart and his wife had refused to get the jab over false concerns that Big Pharma had “tested these three products on the cells of aborted babies,” he said on his website.

He was also an outspoken opponent of homosexuality and gay rights. On his old show, Bob Enyart Live, the host would “gleefully read obituaries of AIDS sufferers” while blasting the Queen song Another One Bites the Dust, according to Denver news outlet Westworld.

I’m not going to mock him or laugh at his death, but if he felt it was appropriate to play the song after someone’s demise, I’m happy to oblige him now that he can’t do it himself.  And his former co-host certainly won’t play it, falsely claiming it would “poor taste” to play it now.

Self Aggrandizing: Now I don’t have to hear to that Fleetwood Mac song

An amusing item: On September 3, Swedish band Night Flight Orchestra released their second album, Aeromantic II.  One song on the album is called “How Long”, seen below.

Two months ago, I joined a facebook group that fits my interests: Rhiannons Of The World Unite, a group where everyone is name Rhiannon, Rhianna, Rhea, or some variation of the name.  It’s very fun and very friendly.

Many in the group were named Rhiannon because of the Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac song.  That’s not why I chose it; I attended high school with someone who had the name.  I always liked how the name looked and sounded and its meaning, and it suits my UK ancestry.  She and I both graduated in 1985, which means she had the name a decade before the song came out.

Night Flight Orchestra’s song “How Long” contains the name (unrelated to Ace’s “How Long” from 1974).  Now I don’t have to hear that Fleetwood Mac song anymore, I can point people to this one.  There are only two Fleetwood Mac related songs that I like: Judas Priest’s cover of “Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)”, and Walter Egan’s “Magnet And Steel”.  Egan had a crush on Nicks (the song is about her), and Lindsay Buckingham played guitar on the song.

How long, Rhiannon, until the morning comes?

How long, Rhiannon?

I don’t know if I will ever face the light again

How long?

Bring whatever that can help me through the night

It’s nice to have a good song with your own name in it.  I have a friend named Shannon, and the only song I know of is that putrid Henry Gross song.

Bits Flip: How something so miniscule can pose a huge hazard

A quick one, since I should already be in bed:
The latest Veritasium video talks about a problem with computers that we can’t eliminate: bit flips caused by cosmic rays and interstellar particles.  You would think it would be impossible to detect a single bit flip in 64 bit computers with gigabytes of RAM, but he cites several provable examples, some which people have been recorded and documented.  (One of them proving why electronic voting is a bad idea and should always be done on paper ballots.)
There is another way bit flips can happen.  Bits in a computer are not actually “on and off”, charged or no charge.  They’re high and low states of charge, and if an improper charge is in between, a bit can be interpreted as on, off or both.


I Apologize: Excuse my absence

And I know there were factual blunders in my last post that need correcting, even without looking at the comments.

I’ve had several things to write about but not the opportunity.  A combination of work, a typhoon, and a failing refrigerator partly stole my time.  But more importantly, two relatives of Taiwanese friends are not doing well: one with a blood clot from the AstraZeneca vaccine that went to his brain, and one with cancer whose chances depend on experimental medication.  If only money were the problem, everything would be fine.

I do have something to say about Saturday’s 48th anniversary, the 162nd anniversary twelve days ago, and some other recent events.  I’ll get to them this week as time allows.