Atari Label Maker

It’s a Friday, so I thought I’d post a something cool, albeit off topic. I came across a little site yesterday called Atari 2600 Label Maker, which as the title suggests allows you to create labels for Atari Cartridges. Simply upload an image, type some text, and the site does the rest. As an example, I uploaded my avatar and made up the game name “Gnome Hunt”. I think it’s pretty awesome.


Give it a try and send me a link if you post your label.

Antique Typewriters

I saw this on boingboing the other day and thought you all might be interested.  There’s an excellent website dedicated to old typewriters called The Classic Typewriter Page, whichincludes typewriter facts, how to restore typewriters, and plenty of links and pictures.

I have to admit there is a certain romance in owning and writing on one of these beautiful machines.  I think I make too many mistakes for writing on a typewriter to be practical, though.  I did learn to type on an actual typewriter, though.  I wonder if they still teach “typing” in High School?

I think my favorite is the 1935/1936 Royal.

Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic For Free

I was cruising through Vertigo Comics site the other day and came across their Vertigo #1s site, on which you can download .pdf versions of some of their comics for free. It really is a cool idea and a good way to find new reading material. On that site I found Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic for download (since it is Vertigo, the comic is for Mature Readers, whatever that means).


I read on Gaiman’s site that there have been comparisons drawn between The Books of Magic and Harry Potter (The Books of Magic was released first). For example, The Books of Magic are about a kid who wears glasses, does magic, and has a pet owl. In reading the first twenty pages of the book, though, I think the similarities are mostly superficial.

Here is the wikipedia entry for The Books of Magic.

Anyhow, I figured all of you Gaiman fans would be interested in this. Enjoy!

Answers – Part 3

SzélsőFa asked me a bunch of questions, so she gets the entirety of Part 3 (thanks SzélsőFa) :

1. why ’struggling’

This made sense at first, because I was struggling to write anything. I have gotten over this to a point, though I still struggle to finish projects. I think I’ll be struggling at least until I finish writing a novel, at which point I’ll be struggling to sell the novel!

2. why writer at all, that is, are you a writer as a profession or is it a hobby or an objective, an in between?

Why write? I tackle this a little bit in my About section. I write because I love reading and would love to be able to create worlds and make people’s day a little bit better with my writing. I would say my writing is a hobby, which makes it my only hobby that costs no money.
3. re: Nsync: Do you really listen to THAAAAT? or was it just a joke? 🙂

Yeah, that was just a joke. 🙂 I really don’t listen to that type of music. I’m more of a classic rock/rock/alternative music person.

4. which genre you prefer to read and which to write in? are they the same or not?

My preferred genre switches I guess. Right now I’m on a Fantasy kick, which follows a Sci-Fi kick I was on. I prefer fiction that takes me to another place, rather than fiction about every day life. If the book makes me laugh, that is even better.
5. is there a second/third/and so on language you master to the point that you read literature in it?

Like most Americans, I’m only fluent in one language. I have studied Spanish a little in High School and College and can understand some of it written. I’m lost listening to someone speak Spanish though.

I do know several computer languages, though. Does that count? 🙂
6. which European author(s) have your read? (I suppose that would be a long list, but name those you liked. And those you did NOT. WHY?

Well, I enjoy reading Terry Pratchett, as well as George Orwell (loved and was disturbed by 1984) and Jules Verne. I’m sure there are others. I don’t always notice where a writer is from, so I’m sure I’m missing some.

7. have you read anything (poetry/drama/novel/etc) by a Hungarian writer? How did you like it?

As far as I know I haven’t read anything by a Hungarian writer. Suggest something and I’ll check it out. I’m always excited to find new fiction sources.

8. fav. poets?

I can’t really say I have a favorite poet because I don’t read too much poetry. I guess I have read and liked Robert Frost. I’m also a fan of Edgar Allen Poe and his poetry.
9. do you write poetry as well?

I don’t write poetry at the moment, although who knows what the future brings.
10. what do you think about shorts (like a 250 word limit piece) are they easier or harder to write, than a loooong one?

I find shorts easier to write than say a novel, because I’m not a very wordy writer. I think I’m pretty good with coming up with short little stories and I need to grow into longer works.

11. am I asking too much?

12. what do you do when you are intellectually tired?

Probably surf around on the Internet or read a comic book.

13. do you care about gmo food?

I had to look this up, so I guess the initial answer would be no. That said, the whole concept is kinda creepy. I guess I would be more likely to be ok with genetically modified plants such as corn, rather than genetically modified animals such as cows or pigs.

Well, that’s all for our little Question/Answer experiment. I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing. You definitely know a little more about me. If you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask.

Answers – Part 2

Also, what’s your preferred beer or leisure beverage?

My preferred beer currently is Samuel Adams. Just a great taste. If I’m buying a case for home (lasts me a month at) I usually go with Sam Adams. They also have their selections of Seasonal Beers. Yum.

If I want to pay a little less money, but still want a good beer I go with Yuengling Lager, made right here in Pennsylvania. If you order a Lager at a bar here, Yuengling is what you get by default.

Have you read anything by Jules Verne? If so, which book and what did you think of it?

I was required to read The Mysterious Island for a Physics course I took in college. I had trouble getting into the book initially, as Jules Verne tends to go into a lot of technical description that can wear on me a little. However, I stuck with the book and enjoyed it enormously. I’m so glad I finished it. I also started reading Journey to the Center of the Earth, but got distracted by some other book. I need to get back to it.

What line of work are you in?

I’m a computer programmer/database administrator in my day job. This includes web programming (creating reports for use on the web, not “look and feel” stuff), as well as writing queries and designing databases. The neat thing about my job is that I get to tinker with new technologies and then teach them to my co-workers. I work for a university, though, so I don’t get paid what I could in industry. However, I never have to worry about my “company” going out of business or about getting laid off.

Do you ever think of eventually trying to focus on writing as a career?

If I could make as much money writing as I do in my current job, plus cover health insurance, I would definitely consider writing as a career. Who would want to work from home, imagining things all day, creating new worlds. Unfortunately the reality is that bills need paid, food needs bought, etc.

The closest I’ve come to making money writing is starting a technology blog with adsense revenue with Mike. We have started gaining an audience (over 1000 hits yesterday), but the money isn’t exactly rolling in (about 55 cents for me so far). Still, it has been an interesting challenge. These posts I wrote there were pretty funny : Classical Gamer and Top Five Toughest Opponents in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.

That’s all for today. Look for the third and final installment tomorrow.

Writing Contest Update and Reminder

I hope everybody is working on their entry for the writing contest at Small-Town Big-Shot.  I’ve been working on mine the past few days and I’m pretty happy with it.  Remember, the deadline is September 1st.  Also, I was reading the rules for the contest and I made a mistake the first time.  The 750 word count is a minimum, not a maximum, so all you wordy people can write as many words as you want, as long as you write at least 750.  Good luck!

Answers – Part 1

Thanks again for the great questions. I was worried no one was going to ask anything and I would have to make up questions. It turns out, you all asked some good ones. This should be fun. Here is part 1 of your interview:

  1. Why the Ottawa Senators?

    You are probably referring to the Ottawa Senators logo I had on this blog for a while. This stems from a friendly wager I had with Cavan during the first round of the playoffs, when his Senators were playing my Pittsburgh Penguins. The deal was we would support the other team if our team lost. Well, the Senators beat the Penguins, so I had to support Ottawa the rest of the playoffs. Hence the Senators logo.

    I’ve been a Penguins fan since the early nineties. The reason for that is that I’m from the middle of Pennsylvania, and we have two hockey teams in the state: the Pens and the Flyers. My dad is from the Pittsburgh area and we have always followed teams from Pittsburgh. I play in an adult hockey league every fall, so you will soon be reading posts about how much pain I’m in from being out of shape. OK, enough about hockey.

  2. Do you often get headaches/migraines? Are you a big baby like me when it comes to them?
  3. I don’t get migraines, as far as I know the definition of migraines. I do get a pretty severe sinus headache, nausea about once every couple months. This isn’t very often, but when it happens I do go into shutdown mode. In fact, I started developing one yesterday, but had a cup of coffee and that helped, for whatever reason. Caffeine withdrawal?

  4. Actually, who is your favorite NSync member?
  5. This is a pretty funny question. I’m really a fan of boy bands in general, but I guess they do make some catchy music. And by catchy music, I mean music that embeds itself in your skull for eternity. If I had to pick a favorite member of N’Sync I would have to go with Joey Fatone, because he seems to have a sense of humor and was in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding (I’m 50% Greek).

    Just for the record, my least favorite N’Sync member is Justin Timberlake.

  6. And if you could only listen to 3 CDs for the rest of your life, what would they be.This question is just so difficult, it’s evil. I’d probably have to bring some of my CDs I’ve had for a while, because they’ve held up to my changing tastes.
    • Weezer: The Blue Album – every song on this album rocks.
    • Queen’s Greatest Hits Volume 2 – again, you can listen to this whole album without skipping a song. From We Will Rock You to I want to Break Free, this one is excellent. The only song missing is Bohemian Rhapsody.
    • The Offspring – Smash – this album meant a lot to me in my anti-establishment phase. Plus, listening to this album gets the blood flowing, and that’s always a good thing.
  7. Who is your single favourite author of all time? No cheating and choosing more than one person.

    Hmm. favorite author of all time? I bounce around on this one all the time. I guess right now it would have to be Terry Pratchett, because I really enjoy the mix of humor and SciFi/fantasy in his books.

    I place more stock in the story, rather than “good writing”. I do like the occasional “literary” novel, such as Of Mice and Men or To Kill a Mockingbird, but overall I just want to be entertained. I would also say that Neil Gaiman is gaining on Pratchett for the title of my favorite author.

Check back later for part two of my Answers.

Ask Me

First of all, I would just like to say sorry if I haven’t commented on your blogs the past few days.  I’m attending training for my day job, and haven’t had access to the web as much as usual.  Things should be back to normal next week.  Thanks to all of you who have stopped by and commented here lately.  I really appreciate it.  It lets me know people are reading this little site.

Anyhow, I’m not sure what to write about, so I thought I’d do a little experiment.  In the comments of this post, why don’t you ask me something you would like to know about me.  I’m still trying to keep things a little anonymous here, so I may not be able to answer really personal questions.  I won’t be offended if you ask, I just might not answer.

So, go ahead and ask me whatever you want.  Favorite movie?  Least favorite book?  Favorite member of N’Sync?  Writing questions?  Life in general?  Anything you were wondering about me, just go ahead and ask. I’ll then write them all up in a post with some answers.

Sound like fun?