Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ringworld - Wikipedia

Just finished the audiobook for this on YouTube.  Great book.

I read the novel around 30 years ago. The YouTube version of this is a little uneven on quality.  I suspect that it was copied from audio tape. 

I already have listened to the next two books on Audible.  I may listen to them again.  I started with the 4 prequels on Audible and I'm slowly  working my way through the entire series. 

Multiple authors have contributed to the "Known Space" universe that Larry Niven created.  There may be as many as 40 books. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Ordered a new dishwasher

The automatic dishwasher that came with my house has had intermittent problems for months. A few months ago I had a repairman over who told me that the control board is going bad, so I would be better off just buying a new dishwasher.

Paul and I took the dishwasher apart 2 or 3 times, found loose connectors on the control board and got it working each time. I was happy with this arrangement just so long as I could keep it going. However, this time the dishwasher seemed to completely die and we couldn't fix it. I figured out that I could order a replacement control board, but I decided that enough is enough because there could be something else wrong with it and I would be just wasting my money.

So I made getting a new dishwasher my top priority. I have bought appliances from Lowes in the past, so I went there first. I took photos of their display models and prices. They had a "sale" with considerable "markdowns" that ended today, so I felt like I should make some kind of decision today.

I went home and did much research online. I looked at articles on the "best", "most quiet", and "most reliable" dishwashers. I compared prices on the same models from different stores. I could have spent quite a bit more for a Bosh model (most reliable) or even more for the "best" model at $1200. Instead, I went for what I think is a reasonably good GE model (GDT665SSNSS) priced at $550. What I found was that the "sale" price at Lowes was available as the regular price on the Best Buy website with a promotion offering free installation on the GE models, which is a really big deal and one of the reasons I decided to go with that brand.

First, I went back to Lowes because I knew that Best Buy wasn't going to have the model I wanted in the store. Lowes had already taken down their "sale" sign and marked the dishwasher I wanted back up to $900. I asked if they could match the free installation deal, and they couldn't. So then I went to Best Buy, which had a rather limited selection on display, and only one very busy stretched-thin salesman to help me, but I was able to tell him the model I wanted and he ordered it for me. It will come next week.

The Best Buy salesman was nice enough to tell me that if I signed up for their store credit card that I would get a 10% rebate as an in-store credit on my purchase. Of course, I went for that deal.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019


My $74 Rampage cabinet. Took us 2.5 hours to put together. There is nothing on here that I couldn't do on a SNES Classic. However, there is an advantage to having real joysticks. Three of them. I plan on modifying this using a Raspberry PI so that I can play Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Mr. Do with real joysticks. These games are harder to play with joypads because they require quick and accurate movements. I've done most of the work on the Raspberry PI already.

On this table it is a bit too high. I plan on buying the riser which costs $45, but it is frequently available cheaper, so I'll be looking for a sale after Christmas.

I use the Walmart app to check the prices on Arcade1up products. The prices change frequently and items tend to be heavily discounted when Walmart decides to close them out at a particular store.

Fast food apps

I have the Pizza Hut app on my iPhone, plus a few other fast food places. It is a good way to get coupons on the app. I'm signed up to get deals via email with Pizza Hut and a few other places. I got this Super Supreme at half off for barely over $9. Burger King has some of the best deals on the phone.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Re: When I left Salt Lake City

The first time I drove to Salt Lake City, the way I80 works is that you drive through mountains for hundreds of miles. As you approach Salt Lake City you can't see much of anything, but you go around a curve as you exit the mountains and then all of a sudden you can see the whole Salt Lake Valley in front of you. It caught me by surprise the first time.

When I left Salt Lake City

I left Salt Lake City 4 years and 7 months ago today. The passage of time always amazes me, because it does not seem that long ago.

Just before I entered Parley's Canyon leaving Salt Lake City, I pulled my car over on Interstate 80, got out and surveyed what I could see of the Salt Lake valley. I was thinking to myself that this was a very important part of my life for almost 22.5 years, but now it is behind me and my future is ahead of me. After roughly 30 seconds, I got back in my car and drove on. Less than a mile down the road I was in the canyon and could no longer see Salt Lake City.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Atari ST Diamond Mike

Back in 1986 when I was trying to make living writing video games at home, I took a game that I wrote for the Timex Sinclair 2068 computer, which was somewhat successful, and made a better version of it for the more powerful Atari ST computer.  The gameplay was the same, but the ST had better graphics.  I got lucky in that both computers used the same sound chip, which made the conversion easier.

The game was an imitation of another game called Boulder Dash available on other computers.  My version came out on the Timex Sinclair 2068 before the official Boulder Dash was ported to the 2068 computer.  My version also ran better because their version was slow and had scrolling problems.  In those days I was pretty good at writing efficient code in assembly language on that computer.

In 1986 I showed the Atari ST version to a computer club in Columbus, Indiana, and the members gave my demonstration applause. Although I'm proud of the game, the Atari ST version never made any money for me because the publisher went out of business and never paid me anything.  It is part of the reason I had to get a real job.