Article Archive

Returning to Facebook

8 July 2014: 30 Second Summary After having quit Facebook in 2010 I've decided to return. Whether I like it or not, Facebook is one of the best ways to stay connected with friends and family and that's more import ...

A Study in Daily Life in 2009

30 June 2014: 30 Second Summary Warning: navel-gazing ahoy! Continue reading if you're into the topic of life tracking and don't mind some self centered egotism. Otherwise, please return to your regularly scheduled ...

The Minimum Successful Day

15 June 2014: 30 Seconds on a Minimum Successful Day What are the most vital things you can accomplish in a day and still consider it a "successful" day? If you were to look back over your entire life, day by day, ...

A Letter To Myself 30 Years From Now

21 April 2014: Who says time travel isn't possible? I can listen to George Orwell, Mark Twain, or my father any time I want as long as I'm able to read. Today I'm going to engage in a bit of time travel myself and m ...

Articles on Jobs, Technology, and the Future

17 March 2014: Evernote has given me a great way to archive my favorite articles. Looking back over 2013, I find a few themes in the articles I felt were worth saving. These themes surround the changing state of job ...

Experiences Running A Small Kickstarter

31 January 2014: 30 Second Summary All of the following advice is a single datapoint in a large sea of experiences. Treat it as such. Get as much of your project done before you even begin the Kickstarter. Money isn' ...

Mike Shea's 2013 Annual Report

1 January 2014: A Year In Review by Looking at Data The following is an analysis of various sources of data matched up with my four daily life goals: Create, Relax, Love, and Health. The data sources include blogs, T ...

Widgets and Generators

27 December 2013: While we seem to be fascinated by the idea that physical robots are stealing our jobs, software will increase the gap between corporate profits and individuals trying to earn a living . We built educa ...

Harry Potter and the Goddamn Chamber of Secrets

5 December 2013: I love Harry Potter. I love our yearly tradition of watching all seven (eight?) of the Harry Potter movies on glorious Blu-ray every Christmas. I love the whimsy. I love the wide-eyed wonder. I love t ...

A Gamers Manifesto

21 October 2013: Why? Sometimes it helps to have a motto, a flag, or a set of principles upon which a group can agree. This document is an attempt to define one's core principals for being a gamer. They are a set of i ...

Nexus 7 FHD Review

6 August 2013: 30 Second Summary The Nexus 7 full high definition (FHD) tablet is the best high-DPI tablet I've used and I wish Apple had an iPad Mini this good. These days the tablet we choose has less to do with t ...

Visiting Ireland

13 July 2013: Top Tips for Visiting Ireland Follow Rick Steves' Guide to Ireland. Pack light. Join a bus tour or get someone else to drive. Hop from town to town instead of traveling from a single central location ...

I Was Wrong About PC Gaming

16 June 2013: 30 Second Summary I believed that dedicated gaming platforms were superior to gaming PCs. I was wrong. While previous consoles wallow in eight-year-old computing hardware and new consoles threaten to ...

Your Personal Digital Archive

7 June 2013: 30 Second Summary If you can't hold a complete copy of your data in your hand, you don't own it. If your data isn't in an open format you can open in multiple applications, you don't own it. Big comme ...

Technology Predictions for 2023

19 May 2013: On my 40th birthday I had some fun looking back at blog posts from ten years to see what was on my mind and what I thought of the future. Apparently I was into Matrix Reloaded in a big way; boy was th ...

Why I Don't Have Comments

7 May 2013: 30 Second Summary Fifteen years ago it was important to include a comment system in a website or blog if you wanted to build a community. These days, websites are no longer the hub of your community, ...

2012 Personal Year In Review

15 April 2013: "I didn't mean to take up all your sweet time. I'll give it right back to ya one of these days." - Jimi Hendrix, Voodoo Child Reading someone else's personal 2012 year-in-review is about as interest ...

Repeatable Success

1 April 2013: "If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." - Carl Sagan My good friend Dave the Game wrote an excellent article entitled Get Bit and the Tabletop Effect descri ...

Taming the Monkey Mind

16 March 2013: "Monkey Mind: A Buddhist term meaning 'unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable'." - Wikipedia: Monkey Mind "Had he been a Manni holy man ...

On the Attention Economy

2 March 2013: In the article Attention Shoppers!, Michael H. Goldhaber describes the future currency of a world of unlimited supply: attention. Attention is a limited resource and, just like money, we have to consi ...

Tweet Threshold

27 January 2013: 30 Second Summary News, blogs, and social networks demand more and more of our time to process an ever-growing torrent of noise and separate it from the stuff we really care about. Tweet Threshold is ...

Ignoring Inboxes

24 January 2013: 30 Second Summary For the sake of this discussion, consider an "inbox" any place new commitments, whether they be messages, packages, or any other source of "stuff". There are three ways to deal with ...

The Schedules of Benjamin Franklin and Hunter S. Thompson

12 January 2013: Benjamin Franklin Hunter S. Thompson 5:00 AM Rinse, wash, and address Powerful Goodness! Contrive a day's business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study, and breakfast. ...

E-Book Publishing Tips

22 December 2012: If you find this essay useful, you can give back by picking up the Amazon Kindle version. Contents About This Essay Why e-Publishing? Publishing an E-book in Ten Minutes A More Detailed Process Writ ...

Packing Light

22 September 2012: Last updated 30 May 2014. Over the past three years I've become obsessed with packing light when travelling. I've tried a whole bunch of different clothes, accessories, and techniques for travelling l ...

PC vs. Console Gaming 2012

19 September 2012: Note on 17 June 2013: My opinions on this topic have changed drastically since I originally wrote this. Take a look at the article I Was Wrong About PC Gaming to see how I feel about it in June 2013. ...

Computer Generated Creativity

3 September 2012: A friend of mine recently asked me what I thought about sending machines to Mars instead of human beings. I replied that the conservative in me is fine sending machines because its so much cheaper. Th ...

A Better Twitter Workflow

8 July 2012: 15 second summary According to trend analysis, if you want your tweets to be read, post them at 2pm EST. Use tools like HootSuite, Bufferapp, Tweriod, Tweet4Me, and Tweetbot to build a workflow that l ...

My Moleskine GTD System

9 May 2012: Note: This article has been updated from the original version written on 1 October 2009. For many years, Getting Things Done has helped me manage the chaos of everyday life. GTD has made me happier, m ...

Where are my VR Goggles?

7 May 2012: 30 second summary Though cyberpunk books like Ready Player One show us a world in which we all live in virtual reality, current trends suggest that physical immersion isn't important to us. Instead o ...

The Creative War Against Getting Things Done

26 April 2012: 30 second summary Across the web, creative types have described Getting Things Done as too tweaky for the creative process and too regimented for simple peace of mind. Creative people spend too much t ...

Why I Quit Playing Draw Something

16 April 2012: Three weeks ago I began playing Draw Something. Two weeks ago I quit. I quit for two reasons: First, I have enough inboxes. I don't need another app with a little red number in the corner demanding my ...

Sennheiser PX 100 II iPhone Headphones

16 March 2012: 30 second summary It's really hard to find a good set of iPhone-compatible headphones. After much searching and testing, I found that the Sennheiser PX 100-II on-ear iPhone headset had the best mix of ...

Five Tips to Thrive in Corporate America

12 March 2012: Tips from a 15 year vet Last Saturday, on 10 March, I hit my 15 year anniversary with my company. A co-worker, who probably didn't know what he was getting into, was kind enough to ask me for my "old ...

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Shysters

1 January 2012: 30 second summary Though 70% typical self help bullshit, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People still contains a few tools that help focus and direct one's actions towards their most important goals. Whi ...

Kindle Touch Review

26 December 2011: 30 second summary If you're shopping for a Kindle, pick up the 4th generation non-touch Kindle for $80 from Amazon. With a small size, light weight, simple interface, and nearly disposable constructio ...

Pueblo: Python Markdown Blog Software

15 December 2011: Updated 19 March 2013 I have significantly updated Pueblo since the last version. The main differences include using the Jinja2 module for HTML and RSS generation and switching it over to a library in ...

Talkers and Doers

5 September 2011: 30 second summary There are a lot of talkers in the world. Everyone has an opinion and a voice and seems incapable of not using it all the time. There aren't, however, a lot of doers. There aren't a l ...

Rebuilding Sly Flourish, No More Wordpress

18 August 2011: 30 second summary I rebuilt Sly Flourish this week into a set of static HTML pages generated from articles written in Markdown processed by a small 100 line Python script. The site is complete HTML5 w ...

The Value of Creative Work

31 July 2011: 30 second summary Our creative work holds value and only one person decides what that value is -- you. When I decide to do a new project, it must meet one of the following criteria: I get paid a reas ...

A Brief Review of OSX Lion

22 July 2011: For an in-depth review of Lion, read John Siracusa's massive OSX Lion review. It's worth at least skim reading and matches a lot of my thoughts. Instead, in this brief review, I'll focus on the things ...

Summer 2011 Backup Strategy

21 July 2011: Note: My backup plans have changed since I wrote this. You can read about my new procedures in the article Your Personal Digital Archive. 30 Second Summary Having moved to a new iMac, my backup strate ...

Focusing Like a Doctor

10 July 2011: Pardon me for channeling some Seth Godin this evening. When it comes to focusing on our primary job, whatever job that happens to be, we could do a lot worse than mimicking the performance of a doctor ...

Moleskine vs. Omnifocus

24 June 2011: 30 second summary For some unknown reason, I'm jonsing to try Omnifocus, the online GTD system of choice for Mac users. That said, my own Moleskine-based GTD system works just fine already. There are ...

Planning Only One Step Out

12 June 2011: 30 Second Summary A lot of different organizational systems, business, and people love to plan things out. They have stacks and stacks of bullets of things that need to be done to get to an outcome. F ...

Self Help Addiction

26 May 2011: 30 second summary There's no doubt in my mind that David Allen built a multi-million dollar company selling a book about a system that most people never actually use. That doesn't mean the system does ...

Simplifying Getting Things Done

22 May 2011: 30 Second Summary A good "Getting Things Done" system, like a good user interface, can only get better when there is less of it. Getting Things Done captures so many people because it is a relatively ...

The Death of Libraries

12 May 2011: 30 Second Summary Almost overnight book publishing moved from shipping a limited quantity of physical books to locations all over the world to digital distribution of data across the internet with a m ...

Getting Published in Gaming Panel Recording

5 April 2011: On 3 April 2011 I had the chance to discuss independent publishing at the SynDCon gaming convention in Maryland. It was co-hosted with Matt James of Loremaster, Dave "the Game" Chalker of Critical Hit ...

Why Rebecca Black's Friday is Awesome

25 March 2011: 30 Second Summary Rebecca Black's video, Friday, is awesome for one big reason - she didn't have to ask anyone's permission to make it. This video required no intervention by an army of suits in some ...

You Are Responsible

8 March 2011: 30 second summary Ultimately, each of us is responsible for dealing with the situations in which we find ourselves. We have a lot more control over our lives than we think. It's easy to assign respons ...

Addressing Critics of DM Tips Ebook

2 March 2011: Sometimes you just happen to be surfing around with Bing when you pull up a six month old review of your own ebook that, how shall we put it, is quite critical of your work. That's what I found today. ...

Why I Don't Follow You on Twitter

18 February 2011: 30 Second Summary Don't worry that I don't follow you on Twitter. I'm weird. My my obsession about my attention results in strange archaic guidelines for those I follow and those I don't. Whether I fo ...

Experiences Publishing my Latest eBook, Running Epic Tier D&D Games

14 February 2011: 30 Second Summary I finished a new eBook, Running Epic Tier D&D Games, to go along with my previous D&D book, Sly Flourish's Dungeon Master Tips, and I learned a couple of new things this time ...

Replacing Google Reader with Twitter

28 January 2011: 30 Second Summary I'm weaning myself off of Google Reader to use Twitter exclusively for discovering news. While removing Reader simplifies my typical online apps to just Gmail and Twitter, I worry ab ...

Can We Live in the Cloud?

27 December 2010: 30 seconds on living in the cloud We're getting closer to being able to live in the cloud. Today we have excellent cloud-based services for email, online document storage, music subscription, and phot ...

Surviving the Fall of the Cloud

18 December 2010: 30 second summary While the whole cloud isn't likely to disappear, never trust any single cloud with your data. Like any backup system, store your data in two places, either two clouds or, ideally, bo ...

Computing Principals of My 27" iMac

28 November 2010: 30 seconds on Mike's new computer I'm getting a 27" iMac next week. I love my mac but I've crudded it up a bit more than I like with things like Parallels, VMWare, and Adobe's shitty products. To ensu ...

Accept Ignorance

8 November 2010: 30 second summary Our attention is finite and thousands people are trying to take it from us. So why do we constantly seek out new ways to apply our attention to things that don't matter? Something in ...

It's Not All About You

24 October 2010: 30 second summary You don't matter. No one cares about you or the minuscule details of your life. Stop creating things just for yourself and start thinking about what value your creation gives to thos ...

Productivity Tips: Batching, Filtering, and Pipelining

4 September 2010: Thirty second version Batching is the processes of grouping activities by common characteristics like location and doing them all together, like a grocery list. Filtering is the process of removing or ...

Kindle 3 Review

28 August 2010: 30 second review At $140, the third generation Kindle is finally cheap enough to pick up without a lot of worry. It's super light weight, beautiful to look at, feels very rugged, and fits in nicely be ...

Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad

22 August 2010: I've been spending a lot of time watching three excellent TV shows recently. There seems to be a shift in one-hour dramas over the past few years. Since the Sopranos, we've had a lot more grittier sho ...

Writing and Publishing an E-book

10 July 2010: 30 Second Version Write your book. Don't worry about formatting and editing. Just write. Edit your book. Recruit friends to edit it. Edit it again. Edit it a final time. Wait for your cover and any i ...

Self Publishing and the Dying of Old Gods

26 June 2010: 30 second summary With Amazon's 70% royalty on Kindle books, there's never been a better time to be an independent writer and publisher. With royalties like this, an author only has to sell 10,000 boo ...

Writing Another Book

5 june 2010: So I'm a good ways into writing another book. Actually, the words are all done and I'm going through my second round of personal edits and Michelle is halfway through her first round of edits. It's a ...

Facebook Suicide Note

20 May 2010: 30 Second Summary So I'm leaving Facebook so I can consolidate down to my blog and Twitter. This video and South Park episode are probably better than any description I can give. I don't like supporti ...

My Likes Are My Property

27 April 2010: One Minute Summary Facebook's new "like" system is another method for Facebook to capitalize off of my attention. I don't mind this too much but I mind that I can't get my own micro-content back OUT o ...

Logitech Harmony One Review

19 April 2010: One Minute Summary Home theater systems are hard to buy, hard to set up, and hard to use. Luckily the Logitech Harmony One remote solves one of these problems. With a sleek feel, simple setup, and som ...

The iPad Press, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

3 April 2010: I'm sitting here with my window open waiting for the UPS truck to drop off my iPad. In the mean time, like a lot of the tech folks, I've been swimming in iPad text. I guess I shouldn't be amazed at th ...

No Comments

7 March 2010: For fifteen years I've dealt with comment boards on various sites I've run and my patience wears thin. About five years ago, when I rewrote the software for Mikeshea.net, I made a conscious decision n ...

Sakura Pigma Micron Review, My New Favorite Pen

20 February 2010: One Minute Summary While I've been a huge fan of the Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen for many years, I have now switched completely over to the Sakura Pigma Micron needle-tip pen as my favorite dai ...

How A $160 HDMI Cable Can Actually Look Better

23 January 2010: A month ago when I was buying my new TV, I couldn't help but gawk and give the poor salesman at Best Buy some crap over the $160 "Chocolate" HDMI cable they were selling. To his credit as a salesman a ...

Evernote and Long-Term Data Archiving

18 January 2010: I've been having a lot of fun with Evernote over the past couple of months. When one manages to build it into one's workflow, it really is an amazing ubiquitous capture device. The long-term survival ...

Assassin's Creed 2 Review

15 January 2010: Note, this article was originally written by me for publication to the RPG website Critical hits. This holiday season I had the opportunity to play through all of Assassin's Creed 2. Dave gave me the ...

Top Five Home Theater Tips, 2010

9 January 2010: So I've gotten back into Home Theater technology a lot recently. I rebuilt most of my home theater system over the past couple of months. I replaced my beloved Yamaha DSP-A1 with an Onkyo TX-XV 707 - ...

Happiness

29 December 2009: "We have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing." I'm still fascinated by Dan Gilbert's TED presentation and Colbert Report interview discussing the human ...

Televisions, Home Theater, and Happiness

26 December 2009: I recently spent a great deal of time and energy researching the purchase of a new TV and I found the whole experience to be painful and irritating. My Mitsubishi still runs nicely and looks good but ...

4eBlogs Feed Problem

13 December 2009: Somehow I managed to hose up a .htaccess redirect on MikeShea.net that ended up redirecting subscribers of 4eblogs to my MikeShea.Net feed. If you're reading this and expecting updates on the latest 4 ...

Evernote, the Eternal Operating System

12 December 2009: So I'm trying Evernote...again. I've tried it and dumped it before but I seem to keep coming back to it. It continues to show up as I search for the thousand-year archive of one's digital self. If you ...

State of Video Game Consoles, 2009

1 December 2009: 30 Second Summary It's a great time to be a gamer. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are the best consoles we've ever seen. Of the two, the PS3 has the best bang for the buck with built-in wifi and Blue-ray DVD. W ...

Time Management: Is this 15 minute activity worth $5 to me?

10 November 2009: Life is short. Time is the only commodity we lose and can never gain back. We all know this and we repeat the mantras to ourselves all the time, but few of us actually live like this. I see and hear p ...

Social Network Saturation

26 October 2009: Social networking has been good to me. I stay in touch with old friends. I find many new ones. I share my interests with those who are as passionate about it as I am. Lately, however, I'm beginning to ...

Daily Checklists for Lifelong Goals

30 July 2009: On the Blog of Tim Ferriss, Chad Fowler wrote an interesting article called Are you Better Than Yesterday which got me thinking about lifelong goals and the tracking of these goals every day. Back in ...

Improved Packing List

6 July 2009: Back in March I wrote up my packing list for a four day trip. Since then, I got bit by the urge to pack even lighter. I've made some purchases, learned some things, and have my overall packing list re ...

Reducing Clutter - Think About the Outputs

12 June 2009: For a long while now, I've been on a kick to reduce things in my life. Everything from methods of communication to the crap I carry around in my brief case, I'm constantly trying to see how I can cut ...

Why Star Trek Sucked

11 May 2009: I'm going to try to keep this short so I stop wasting people's time. The new Star Trek sucked and it's sickening to see how much everyone else liked it. J.J. Abrams has built a career out of pulling t ...

Three Tips For Twitter

25 April 2009: Sly Flourish, my new web project, is doing well. I have a defined topic. I have clearly established rules for the site. I'm getting visitors. I'm happy with it. As well as the site has been going, how ...

SlyFlourish.com and Web Publishing

10 April 2009: Merlin Mann and Jonathan Gruber gave a talk at SXSW that inspired me into action. They said some things that I'd been kicking around in the cobwebs of my brain for some time about web publishing. Thes ...

The Lesson of Battlestar Galactica, Don't Change Your Characters

23 March 2009: Warning: This post contains spoilers. The final season of Battlestar Galactica is a great lesson to storytellers everywhere. If you're going to build a character-based show, a show whose story flows o ...

Dungeon Delve Review

20 March 2009: The minute I heard about the Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Delve product, I knew it was the product for me. While I have a nice weekly D&D game with five to six players and four hours of play time, ...

Review of Pyramid of Shadows

7 February 2009: This review is intended for Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters. It will contain spoilers. If you plan on playing through this adventure, stop now and go read some Penny Arcade instead. Pyramid of Sh ...

Review of the Manual of the Planes

1 January 2009: After my happiness with the Draconomicon, I looked forward quite a bit to the Manual of the Planes. Who doesn't want to read about the powerful and dangerous outer worlds? Who doesn't want to find out ...

Review of Draconomicon

1 January 2009: What would Christmas be without a fine tome filled with horrors buried in the deepest darkest depths of the known worlds? Pretty lame, if you ask me. Lucky for me, I was the proud receiver of Draconom ...

2008 In Review

31 December 2008: I thought it'd be nice on the last day of the year to recap the fun things in my life and maybe even post some resolutions. Probably the biggest thing this year was finishing a life-long goal of mine ...

Dwarven Forge Caverns Review

28 December 2008: Every time I open a new box of Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles I am always surprised how much I love them. All concerns about the price, all concerns about the "investment", all concerns that my money wou ...

Seven Swords Finished

8 December 2008: After thirteen months of work, I have finished my first novel, Seven Swords. You can buy Seven Swords from Lulu or read it for free on the web. Thirteen months ago I sat down with an empty notebook an ...

Fallout 3

3 November 2008: is the best roleplaying game I've played in years. It's better than Fable 2 in many ways, though the two have such divergent settings and stories that it is hard to compare them. However, unlike the o ...

Fable 2 and Buying Incomplete Unfinished Games

26 October 2008: Fable 2 is the best true fantasy roleplaying game I've played. I could argue that games like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Knights of the Old Republic have the same character depth, but Fable 2 spends nearly ...

World of Warcraft and the Addiction of Task Lists

28 September 2008: Jonathan Blow, the game designer behind one of my favorite games this year, Braid, had a few interesting things to say about World of Warcraft. In an interview with Gamasutra, Blow called World of War ...

Two Years Getting Things Done

18 September 2008: I had lunch today with a friend who had recently gone through a formal Getting Things Done class. He's become my new "GTD Buddy", a concept I quite enjoy. He had some excellent questions I really enjo ...

Chrome and the Nation of Google

14 September 2008: Another browser? Do we really need another browser? I think all of us asked this question, including those within Google, so they developed this online comic book on Chrome to explain exactly why. Of ...

Five Ways to Gain Back Time

20 August 2008: Today I went to the Hair Cuttery and got a haircut at about 11:45am. The place was empty and, as I sat down, the stylist said "It's good that you came when you did. At noon or twelve fifteen the place ...

Gencon 2008

18 August 2008: The older I get, the more I return to the things I enjoyed as a younger man. Never is this more the case than on my now yearly pilgramage to Indianapolis to Gencon, the largest fantasy / science ficti ...

Braid

13 August 2008: I'm a big fan of independent popular art. My enjoyment of a movie is a simple equation of the quality of the movie divided by the cost. Thats why I so hate movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. It wou ...

Dwarven Forge, 3D RPG terrain

5 August 2008: You know you're beginning to fall too hard into D&D when $100 a set for 3-D dungeon pieces seems reasonable. You really know you've hit heroin-levels of addiction when you look in your dining room ...

My Front Lawn is an Inbox

28 July 2008: Three weeks ago I went to throw out our trash and realized someone had put out a half-sized refrigerator in the community space in front of our townhouse. I narrowed my eyes at it but promptly forgot ...

The Dark Knight Review

24 July 2008: I need to learn to enjoy things more. I don't know what part of my psyche, lifestyle, or personality forces me to pick things apart, dissecting butterflies and pulling off their wings until all that i ...

Seeking Copy Editors for Seven Swords

17 July 2008: I just received the nearly final cover for Seven Swords from the artist Dragonsnail. I'm eager to finish my third draft and begin the process of putting together the first printing at Lulu.com. In ord ...

The XML Life Feed

12 July 2008: The Short: Subscribe to my new aggregate Life Feed for my latest blog, twitter, flickr, netflix, amazon, shared google reader items, and evernote updates. The Long: Like Leo Laporte, I'm a "joiner". ...

Planet Hulk Review

6 July 2008: I just finished reading the Planet Hulk graphic novel and I loved it. While mainstream America watches the Hulk once again throw tanks through the air while soldiers shoot at him, I read about the hul ...

Stephen King's Duma Key

5 July 2008: I just finished reading and it's the best book he's written since "The Dark Tower". The characters are as rich as you would expect in a Stephen King novel. The story is clear and direct with a strong ...

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Review

3 July 2008: Dungeons and Dragons has been a staple in my nerd pedigree since I was 16 years old. I've played on and off since high school, playing D&D 2nd edition and D&D 3.5. For most of this time I was ...

Orcs and Elves on Nintendo DS

22 June 2008: I just finished Orcs and Elves for the Nintendo DS, a turn-based roleplaying game originally built by Id Software for cellphones. A port of a cellphone game doesn't sound very appealing but I gave it ...

Why Computers Still Suck

19 June 2008: Note on 17 June 2013: My opinions on this topic have changed drastically since I originally wrote this. Take a look at the article I Was Wrong About PC Gaming to see how I feel about it in June 2013. ...

I am Legend

1 June 2008: I had just about gotten over my Will Smith hatred ever since ID4 and watching I Am Legend pushed me well over it. I Am Legend is an excellent science fiction movie with great acting, a great story, an ...

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull - Piece of Shit

26 May 2008: Warning: This rant contains spoilers. I may have given George Lucas $38 bucks yesterday to see "Crystal Skull" but it is the last $38 he's going to see from me. Why do we insist on giving this madman ...

Seven Swords Soundtrack

26 May 2008: I love to build soundtracks for the stories I write. I've been tweaking a Seven Swords soundtrack ever since I started pondering the story about two years ago. I always wanted to write a story that co ...

Grand Theft Auto IV, Awful

15 May 2008: A late-night GTA Rant Grand Theft Auto IV is full of buggy, twitch gameplay where the total skill involved comes from managing to control whatever terrible twitchy-ass vehicle they want you to drive i ...

Grand Theft Auto 4, Good, Not Great

10 May 2008: The current state of objective video game reviews is pretty sad. A lot of games not worthy of such high ratings end up with 95 and 100s on metacritic through a mixture of hype groupthink, good marketi ...

The Surplus of Time

3 May 2008: Clay Shirky wrote an interesting article where he compares three periods in history and how it affected those who lived through them. First was the industrial revolution: "The transformation from rur ...

No Country For Old Men

27 April 2008: I listened to the Cormac McCarthy audiobook of No Country about three years ago on a recommendation by Stephen King. When I heard the movie came out and when the reviews all came back positive, I had ...

Portal

26 April 2008: I've had about a half dozen games sitting on my shelf almost totally unplayed since Christmas. Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Mario Galaxy, Half Life Orange Box were all among them. A few I kept, and ...

Hillary and the Death of Video Games

23 April 2008: I hate Pennsylvania. We never hear anything about these people and all of a sudden they're the pivoting point in the future of the world. Then they blow it by voting the wrong way because of out-of-co ...

Name of the Wind

20 April 2008: I just finished reading "" by Patrick Rothfuss. I've been reading it bit by bit over the past few months, enjoying the warm taste of it a little bit at a time right before bed. It is the sort of book ...

Five Ways to Present Better

31 March 2008: I have to present often at my job. I've been doing it for a lot of years now but still, when called upon, I feel that feeling of dread deep down in my heart when I hear I have to present. I had to pre ...

Fane of the Forgotten Gods Dungeon Tiles Disappointing

22 March 2008: I was really looking forward to ripping open my two sets of Fane of the Forgotten Gods D&D Dungeon Tile sets. The Dire Tomb sets really re-invigorated my love for Dungeon Tiles after the disappoin ...

The Ultimates Volume One and Two

15 March 2008: I am embarrassed to admit that my love of comic books started with G.I. Joe. I didn't break out of that horrible trend until I was resurrected with The Watchmen and The Dark Night Returns. I read the ...

D&D Experience Live Blog

28 February 2008: I'm just about to head out to D&D Experience in Crystal City. This is a four day D&D event with the first public play sessions for 4th edition D&D. I'm going to be liveblogging the event w ...

Seven Swords Movement, Stephen Covey is Crazy

24 February 2008: I received my second set of sketches for the cover of Seven Swords, my first novel, thanks to Dragonsnail, who did the cover to Vrenna and the Red Stone. The cover looks excellent so far, with a detai ...

HD-DVD is Dead

17 February 2008: I'm always on the losing side. First NBC pulls my two favorite shows off of iTunes, lowering the value of my Apple TV, and now I find out that my HD-DVD player is obsolete at less than a year old. Wal ...

My 2008 Backup Procedure

12 February 2008: Note: My backup plans have changed since I wrote this. You can read about my new procedures in the article Your Personal Digital Archive. I've tried a variety of backup procedures over the past few ye ...

Obama vs. The Phobocracy

8 February 2008: Today a quote worthy of George Orwell: "...the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil i ...

Today a quote worthy of George Orwell

6 February 2008: "...the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal ...

Dire Tombs D&D Dungeon Tile Review

3 February 2008: When I played D&D back in college, we used to draw out what was going on on a sheet of paper. We'd argue about whether one could flank a dragon in a small room or whether the fighter could get pas ...

An Early Review of D&D Miniatures 2.0

21 January 2008: In mid January 2008 Wizards of the Coast released the Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures 2.0 Rulebook. This retooled table top miniatures game is our first official look at the way Dungeons and Dragons 4 ...

2008 Macword Predictions

13 January 2008: When I first started getting into Apple again, after twenty years away, I subscribed to a half dozen Mac enthusiast sites using my trusted Google Reader. Three months later I took them all off. Why, y ...

Notes from 4-Hour Work Week

1 January 2008: I've had Tim Ferriss's book, 4-Hour Work Week, on the back of my toilet for the better part of four months now, reading one or two pages at a time. That's about the right place to keep it. Overall I l ...

Back into World of Warcraft

30 December 2007: Last weekend I decided to spend a little more time in World of Warcraft. I've been paying a $16 a month fee with very few hours logged into it and thought it was time to either begin playing again or ...

Sennheiser PX 100 Headphones

18 December 2007: Not an hour ago I realized my Shure E-210s have a tinny warble in the right ear. Of course, I can't find the receipt and the cost to have them repaired is $50. Serves me right for spending that kind o ...

Beat the HD DVD Format War, Don't Buy Movies

12 December 2007: As the former author for Liquid Theater, I should care a lot more for the HD DVD format war than I do. Only a couple of months ago did I plant a flag on one side or the other by buying an HD-DVD drive ...

Deadwood

2 December 2007: Quite often I am behind the curve on good TV shows. I missed most of Babylon 5 until the third or fourth season. I didn't pick up Battlestar Galactica until near the end of season 1. I didn't get into ...

Say No to Gift Cards, Give Cash

1 December 2007: Somehow in the past five or ten years, gift cards have become one of the more popular gifts in the country. Even though they work strictly to generate profit for a single company, people still insist ...

Seven Swords Complete, Live Free or Die Hard Review

25 November 2007: Today I finished writing a novel. I wrote a 50,200 word novel in twenty five days. Seven Swords is a story I've had kicking around in my head for over a year. Having it finished, lying upstairs on my ...

Seven Swords = 44,000 words, Amazon Kindle Sucks

22 November 2007: I'm at my mothers house tonight and full on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and two slices of pumpkin pie. I brought my book with me and wrote eight pages on the plane and another t ...

24,000 words, Jebu, Desert of Desolation

12 November 2007: I hit 24,000 words today in my novel "Seven Swords", thats just five pages away from being halfway done. Here are a few things I've learned over writing 24,000 words in 12 days: Ten pages, 2,000 wor ...

14,000 Words and Counting

8 November 2007: The Seven Swords rolls on. This month is National Novel Writing Month and, since day one, I have met my goals and have written the first fourth of my novel, the Seven Swords. I'm at 14,300 words right ...

OSX Leopard Initial Impressions

27 October 2007: Apple released Leopard yesterday, their latest Mac OSX operating system. After work I thought I'd drop by the Tyson's Apple store and pick up a copy. I never expected a return to iPhone day, but that' ...

D&D Ravenloft Campaign, 4E Stuff, Hunting for a Puppy

21 October 2007: I have two D&D games next week - two of them. Over the past couple of years I've gotten back into table top D&D in a big way. Now I have two ongoing playgroups, one that has been together for ...

Grindhouse, Death Proof, Planet Terror, Shure SE 210 earphones

20 October 2007: Last night Shell and I screened "Death Proof" the Tarrantino Grindhouse flick in our reference theater (Gods, sometimes I miss Liquid Theater). I seemed to spend most of the movie wondering if I liked ...

Writing a Novel in 30 Days

12 October 2007: Lately I've been reading "No Plot, No Problem" by Chris Baty to prepare for my own writing of "Seven Swords" in November. While lacking some of the strength of better books on writing like Stephen Kin ...

Halo 3 Review

11 October 2007: The Halo franchise likely single handedly saved Microsoft's attempt to dig into console gaming and we're better off for the success. Halo accomplished many things within a single game. It proved that ...

The Personal Responsibility of Hacking an iPhone

6 October 2007: Earlier this year I tried my best to break away from commercial software and commercial products to build a home media system on opensource software. I failed. I wanted a box for my TV, a computer sys ...

How GameStop Screws You

29 September 2007: From my senior year in high school to my senior year in college, I worked at Babbages, a small software store. I liked my job and I liked the store. Since then I've always had a soft spot for small vi ...

Writing my Novel in November

28 September 2007: Over my two-week uber-vacation in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland and beautiful Bermuda, I contemplated something that I've been contemplating for over a year now - writing a novel. I've written a lot of fi ...

The DaVinci Code Sucks

19 September 2007: The French police cryptologist girl who first saves the main character is actually the "Holy Grail", which is actually the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalyn. There, I just saved you two and a half ...

Metroid Prime 3, The Fountain, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Spook Country, The Wire Season 3

14 September 2007: Personality spam is a hard thing to spread. I have a little list on the side of my website with the latest things I've read, played, listened to, or watched. I doubt any of my four readers bothers to ...

Stranglehold

13 September 2007: I got into John Woo movies about twelve years ago after seeing a lot of references to his work from movies like Desperado and Lethal Weapon. John Woo's original Hong Kong action movies are the best in ...

No More Heroes

7 September 2007: Two weeks ago negotiations between Apple and NBC broke down. It looks like NBC shows, including two of my favorites; Heroes and Battlestar Galactica; will no longer be available through iTunes. For ne ...

Bioshock

2 September 2007: is a great game. The graphics are solid, the story is very good, the action is intense, and the customization taps into the instinctual male nature to tinker with crap. However, it concerns me when I ...

NBC Removing Heroes from iTunes

28 August 2007: This morning I received word that NBC will no longer distribute shows through iTunes. This includes my favorite series of last year, Heroes. Removing Heroes from iTunes is a mistake. Last year, after ...

Gencon and 4th Edition D&D

15 August 2007: Shell and I head over to Indiana tomorrow to Gencon, a huge gamer conference. There are already a lot of rumors and some clues that Wizards of the Coast is going to announce Dungeons and Dragons 4th E ...

Visions of Sterling

12 August 2007: 12:24pm EST, Vienna, VA. Reading Bruce Sterling always puts me in a weird mood. I just spent an hour in my cheap Ikea Tullsta armchair reading "Dispatches From the Hyperlocal Future", a story written ...

The Fountain, Excellent Science Fiction in the Age of Transformers

9 August 2007: It's easy to look at Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, and Underdog and pronounce the death of American film. There never really has been a golden age, though. There have always been a torrent ...

One Year Getting Things Done

25 July 2007: One year ago over a six month period I bought a house, moved out of an apartment, helped my girlfriend move out of her house, got married, went on a honeymoon, and began leading a twelve staff-year ef ...

Eight Ways to Lifehack with Binder Clips

22 July 2007: Ahh, the binder clip. This simple three-piece hunk of metal, originally built for the single purpose of binding paper together, has more uses than one can count. Today we look at eight ways the simple ...

Weekend at Shore Leave

15 July 2007: Michelle and I spent this weekend at Shore Leave, a Star Trek fan-run convention near Baltimore. I always leave these events with a big smile on my face. It is a rare thing to hang around with so many ...

Liveblogging From Shore Leave

13 July 2007: I'm liveblogging from my iPhone at shore leave, the Baltimore Star Trek convention this weekend. See my pics and comments at my flicker iPhone site. ...

24 Hour iPhone Review

1 July 2007: Three months ago I wrote my opinion about the iPhone and described how the fault of a convergence device, a device that packs many different functions into a single device, do all of its functions mor ...

First Post With iPhone

29 June 2007: So here I am. Sitting on my couch, listening to Hendrix and blogging from my new iPhone. Not too bad, but I feel like that guy who plays WoW with his thumb. Even typing this entry has sped me up consi ...

In Line for an iPhone

29 June 2007: Yes, I am a hypocrit. I am in line, in position number seventy or eighty or so, for a brand new iPhone. I snuck into the Apple store to write this. Send help. I cannot be stopped! ...

Process Google Reader Items GTD Style

22 June 2007: The more I use Google Reader the more I love it. Today I realized that the way I process Google Reader items is the same way I process my inbox in my system for Getting Things Done. Here is a way to p ...

Disappointing Apple Keynote Speech - Where's my New iPod!

12 June 2007: Like the thousands of other sickening Mac fanboys, I sat and watched Macrumor's streaming lifeblogging of Steve Jobs's keynote at the WWDC this week. What would he announce? Surely we'll hear about th ...

Simplifying Dungeons and Dragons

7 June 2007: One of the great joys in my life recently has been my ability to continue in one of my favorite nerdly pursuits, playing tabletop Dungeons and Dragons. I've been playing D&D since I was sixteen wi ...

Sensationalizing Privacy Issues with iTunes DRM-Free Music

7 June 2007: Below is a letter I sent to the Free Times in response to their article on privacy concerns related to iTunes DRM-Free music. They are only one of at least three hundred news articles, according to Go ...

Stereos, Music, and Hi-Fi

2 June 2007: A few years ago I was into home theater systems in a big way. I subscribed to Stereophile and Home Theater Magazines, glossy rags that spent more time showing you six figure home theater systems than ...

Getting Things Done with a Moleskine Cahier

24 May 2007: David Allen's productivity system, Getting Things Done, can be daunting at first. When one hears that the initial collection of a disorganized system can take days, many people stop right there and go ...

Freedom is Slavery ^H^H^H^H^H^H Authority

7 May 2007: "Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do" Rudolph Giuliani, Excerpts From Giu ...

Four Things I Hate About Apple

7 May 2007: PC World recently posted a controversial yet impotent article entitled Ten Things We Hate About Apple. The controversy involved an old time editor who left when the new lead editor, a veteran of MacWo ...

My Switch to a Macbook Pro

6 May 2007: A couple of months ago I dipped my toe into the water by buying a Macbook. I loved it so much that I sold it on the Ebay and bought a Macbook Pro. The Pro had double the ram, a faster processor, a muc ...

Five Reasons the Nintendo Wii Is a Piece of Crap

27 April 2007: For four months I've lived a lie. I talked about it. I wrote about it. For a brief time I even played it. But it was all bullshit. The Nintendo Wii isn't the next generation in home entertainment, it' ...

Anatomy of a System for Getting Things Done

22 April 2007: I have followed the path of David Allan's Getting Things Done for nearly a year now and, as disturbingly nerdy as it sounds, it has changed my life. I find myself handling more projects, gaining more ...

The Nintendo DS: Video Games For The Rest Of Us

19 April 2007: When I first bought my Xbox 360, it took me over an hour from the time I opened the box to the time I had my first game loaded. When I recently bought my latest PC, it took me over four hours to get m ...

Kurt Vonnegut's Short Story Rules

14 April 2007: From Kurt Vonnegut's writing collection entitled Bagombo Snuff Box, here are Kurt Vonnegut's rules for short story writing: Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not fee ...

Guitar Hero 2

7 April 2007: is the best role playing game I've ever played. It makes me want to buy a costume and LARP as Keith Richards (no, I'm not going to snort my dad, but THAT, my friends, is a rock star). A friend of mine ...

Google Reader

7 April 2007: For the past few years I've gotten almost all of my web news through RSS feeds. I've built them, parsed them, aggregated them, archived them, and subscribed to them. I've used local client RSS readers ...

Update on the Electronic Media War

2 April 2007: I remember clearly the day I found out that the Circuit City DIVX monstrosity, a bastardized DVD player that required a phone line to dial in and determine your rights to watch a DVD every time you pu ...

MacBook Backup Plan

25 March 2007: In my constant struggle to see how far my obsessive backup behavior can go, I decided to take another look at how I back up my data in my new MacBook inclusive world. I had started simply enough. I ha ...

Quick Review of Apple TV

22 March 2007: So I've had my Apple TV for four whole hours and here is my initial review. I'll save you stumbling through my own worthless review and point you to an article Walt Mossberg's Apple TV review in the W ...

300, Crackdown, Gray Wolf, Count Zero, Cold Stone

18 March 2007: Another wonderful weekend came and went. Here's the skinny. We saw 300 on Saturday. I was initially scared away by the 53 Metacritic score but everyone around me couldn't stop telling me how good it w ...

Personality Spam

17 March 2007: The internet is a funny place and Web 2.0 is making it even funnier. We're all part of this vast network of constant communication. Most of this communication is machine to machine. Hell, ninety perce ...

My Take on the iPhone

15 March 2007: In the cyberpunk novel Mona Lisa Overdrive, a young daughter of a Yakuza boss is given a small black box as a gift. It is very plain but obviously very expensive. She activates it with a single button ...

Three Weeks with my Mac

13 March 2007: It's about sixty degrees today and the strange time change shift lets me sit outside and write my first article from the deck of my new house on my new MacBook. I've never owned a personal laptop befo ...

Battlestar Galactica Begins to Fall, Heroes Stands Up

7 March 2007: Battlestar Galactica is starting to suck. Ever since leaving New Caprica, the show has begun to meander and blunder its way around the story focusing almost entirely on deep religions and philosophica ...

The Dangers of Digital Rights Management

4 March 2007: What is DRM? Digital Rights Management (DRM) is copy protection for newer forms of media, most often distributed electronically over the internet. Music, TV shows, and movies sold over the internet o ...

Apple TV, Google Reader, Markdown, TextWrangler, Hominids, Crackdown, Kadin, Gray Wolf, Podcasts

4 March 2007: I've been up to a bunch of different things over the past couple of weeks. After two weeks, I'm still in love with my Macbook. It's the way computers should be. I spend a lot of my time working on my ...

My first 24 Hours with my Apple MacBook

18 February 2007: A few weeks ago I became determined to wean myself off of Windows. I started with a new Ubuntu installation on a spare disk in my PC, switched to Kubuntu when I realized that Kubuntu included a lot mo ...

My Two Year Plan to Switch from Windows to Linux

9 February 2007: I've had it with commercial operating systems and their focus on supporting the needs of the media conglomerates instead of their own customers. I've had it with buggy windows code and expensive Apple ...

Five Ways to Improve Ubuntu

4 February 2007: For the past two weeks I've used Ubuntu to do nearly all of my computer-related tasks. Aside from three major applications: World of Warcraft, Everquest, and iTunes; it does everything I want it to do ...

How My Mother and Father Met

23 January 2007: Back in the very early 1970s both my mother and my father worked at Playboy; my father as an editor for the Playboy forum or Playboy advisor (where he and Bob Wilson got all of the kooky ideas for Ill ...

A Weekend with Ubuntu

21 January 2007: What do we really do with computers? How do they improve our lives? What benefit do they serve? Why do I need Windows XP or Windows Vista to do any of those things? Can Ubuntu do them? Yes. In my work ...

Favorite Podcasts

18 January 2007: Radio is dead. Long live podcasts. After living with Tivo for about two years and now exclusivly watching TV shows downloaded off of the web, it only makes sense that I do the same thing for radio. Af ...

The Downward Trend of Computer and Software Design

15 January 2007: This article about how Microsoft handles digital rights management in Windows Vista makes me want to either grab a pitchfork or jump out a window or both. Last night I spent an hour manually rebuildin ...

Gaming Systems of 2006

3 January 2007: 2006 was a big year for electronic gaming. Microsoft produced enough Xbox 360s that anyone who wanted one could get one. Nintendo released the Wii. Sony released the Playstation 3. The Nintendo DS con ...

Six Ways Big Business Screws You

28 December 2006: Nothing becomes so clear during the holiday season as the way big business is screwing people. This is their season. This is the season when all that poor management the rest of the year can be replac ...

Nintendo Wii Review

5 December 2006: There is no logic or reason for many of my actions. If I had known how badly I would want a Wii, I would have pre-ordered it months ago and walked in on day one. Instead I found myself outside a Toys ...

George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire Series

25 November 2006: There are few heroes in "Game of Thrones", "Clash of Kings", or "Storm of Swords". The few heroes we meet often directly suffer because of their honor. Villains are plentiful, but even the villains so ...

Why Lost Sucks. Will Battlestar Follow?

12 November 2006: From Never-Ending Stories: How to fix shows like 'Lost.': "There is, however, a simple solution: Change the format, or at least reimagine it. When it so-called arc shows, we need something between a m ...

D&D and Other Things That Have My Interest

1 November 2006: I'm spending a lot of time on general D&D stuff including building a quick-play template for PC Gen for the NPCs in my campaign. I built the template around the most excellent quick-play character ...

Battlestar Galactica

25 October 2006: 99% of television, books, movies are crap. Every so often, however, we get some real beauties, some real gems. Stephen King's Dark Tower series, George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones, Shane Carruth's P ...

Five Ways to Get Things Done

5 October 2006: The Summary: Five ways to Get Things Done. Immediately perform any action that takes less than two minutes. Build and manage a single "inbox" and keep it separate from your projects and action lis ...

Robert Anton Wilson Needs Help

2 October 2006: Every so often my father's work comes to me from weird angles. Today I read a very sad article on Boing Boing that Robert Anton Wilson, the co-author of Illuminatus with my father, Robert Shea, is in ...

An Introduction to Getting Things Done

23 September 2006: Many of us live our entire careers with three main tools: a notebook for jotting down bulleted notes, a calendar to tell us where the hell we should be, and a daily to-do list written out every day an ...

Getting Married and Getting Things Done

29 August 2006: I'm getting married this weekend! On Sunday I will be the proud and lucky husband of Michelle Barratt Shea. It's been a few crazy months for us with a new job for me (same company, just a new customer ...

How to Defeat the RIAA: Buy CDs, Rip to MP3, and Wait for 30gb Mem Sticks

17 August 2006: It dawned on me over the last few days that the end of the RIAA isn't political or revolutionary. Technology put the RIAA into the box they're in and it's technology that will eventually crush them. W ...

Neil Gaiman on Plotting and Handwriting Stories

6 August 2006: I watched a video of an interesting talk by Neil Gaiman (requires IE...booo) who visted Microsoft's Research Labs to talk about Anansi Boys. He had this to say about plotting out stories: "I have done ...

Build your own Memex

5 August 2006: In 1945, just after the end of World War 2, the scientist Vannevar Bush wrote a paper called "As We May Think". In this article, Bush describes a machine called "Memex", a machine, essentially a serie ...

Tips for Preserving your Data

27 July 2006: I continue to obsess about archiving data. I'd probably be better off writing a journal like a normal person. I have a great notebook and I have a great pen so why would I bother to try the same thing ...

More on XXCopy

25 July 2006: I received this note from someone with a lot of experience using xxcopy in real world environments. I am reprinting it here with his permission: I am an IT Administrator for a multi-location automoti ...

Mike Shea's Backup Plan 2.0

20 July 2006: Note: My backup plans have changed since I wrote this. You can read about my new procedures in the article Your Personal Digital Archive. After a hard drive crash on Sunday due to a power failure, I l ...

My Personal Backup Plan

14 July 2006: Note: My backup plans have changed since I wrote this. You can read about my new procedures in the article Your Personal Digital Archive. For a while now I've become more and more obsessed with my per ...

Hidden Features of Google Desktop and Wasting Time with ObjectDock

9 July 2006: Google Desktop has a feature I like a lot and hope to wire into my system. If you have Google Desktop running, you can hit "control" twice and it will bring up a search box in the center of your scree ...

Critical Programs for "Getting Things Done"

6 July 2006: I love the idea behind the Google Pack, a collection of useful applications that "makes your computer just work". I subscribe to Don Norman's concepts behind the "invisible computer", a computer that ...

Infrant ReadyNAS X6 RAID Array with a Streaming Media Server

5 July 2006: I've been spending a lot of time looking into backup and archival stuff the past couple of days. I noticed that Mark Pilgrim switched off his Mac and bought a Lenovo ThinkPad T60p Laptop (so did Cory ...

My New House, Lacie Mobile Hard Dive, Simplyfing Life, Paper Organizers, iTunes TV, Brain Age, Gray Wolf, Fountains of Paradise

25 June 2006: After two months of mental, physical, and financial work, I am officially a home owner. I now live in Vienna, Virginia - the third best place in the country in which to live. I went from a 690 square ...

The Philosophy of Google Desktop

19 June 2006: Every so often I get sucked in to new gadgets and widgets. I find my mind spins and whirrs like a little wind-up robot as I fiddle with tiny floating windows. What are these things? How do they improv ...

Xbox 360 Review

31 May 2006: Three weeks ago, for my 33rd birthday, my fiance once again proved herself to be the most fantastic living being by taking me to Best Buy and buying me an Xbox 360. I ran both hot and cold for the 360 ...

One-Time Pad Generator for Moleskines

22 May 2006: Since reading Cryptonomicon, I have been fascinated with cryptography in World War 2. It took little time until I began reading all about one-time pads, a theoretically uncrackable pencil-and-paper en ...

Xbox 360, Cryptonomicon, Uniball 207

15 May 2006: Two days ago my fiance (yep, I'm getting married!) bought me an Xbox 360 for my 33rd birthday (buy me presents). It is a lot better than I expected. I hope to write a longer article about how it meets ...

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully in Ten Minutes

8 May 2006: The following is an excerpt of an excellent article by Stephen King. You can learn much more about Stephen King's writing style in his book On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft. "THAT'S RIGHT. I know it ...

A Quote from Cryptonomicon

2 May 2006: Here's an excellent quote from Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon", a book I highly recommend even though you will likely need a pickup truck to carry it around. Here's the great quote: "The room contai ...

History of Violence

14 April 2006: A isn't a great movie, but it has a few things in it that really hit the mark. There are actors in this movie that are better than the movie deserves, including Ed Harris and William Hurt. The movie ...

Pelikan M-1000 Fountain Pen Review

31 March 2006: Let me get this out of the way quickly. There is no justification for a $300 pen. Even if it's a $500 list pen you got from Malaysia for $300, it's still a $300 pen and $300 for a pen in the days wher ...

V for Vendetta

26 March 2006: What greater irony is there than a movie about the fall of a totalitarian society built on fear and censorship released by an organization built on fear and censorship? We have a movie where the hero, ...

Top Fifty Movies

11 March 2006: Here are my top fifty favorite movies as of March 2006 The Godfather 1 Blade Runner The Godfather Part 2 Dr. Strangelove Amadeus Elizabeth Jaws Goodfellas Notorius The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Rai ...

American in London

26 February 2006: I'm in London this week and I thought I'd write up my experiences. 26 February 2006, 6pm GMT, 1pm EST. I began my trek across the Atlantic with a bit of cross-culture comaraderie with a Brit I was sit ...

Published in Lycanthrope

16 February 2006: I just received word that the anthology book, Lycanthrope, has been published. This book, published by Comstar Media and edited by Jennifer Andersen, contains my short story "The Bear", the story of ...

Lifebackup, Memory Hole, Memex, My Life Bits

6 February 2006: Over the past month or so I became very interested in the concept of saving one's entire life into data. It's an abstract concept, I know, but something to which I think we are getting closer and clo ...

Fountain Pens Under Forty Bucks

1 February 2006: I've received a few emails from people looking for a fountain pen without the fancy pen price tag. Here are a couple of recommendations. I would start with a Lamy Safari fountain pen to see how you l ...

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review

25 January 2006: I love fountain pens. I love their history, I love their simplicity, I love the way they write. I first learned about the Lamy 2000 from Neil Gaiman who called it a "novel writing pen", although I be ...

Finished Vrenna and the Little King, NSA Wiretapping Stuff

23 December 2005: After a heartbreaking event of losing nearly 3000 words of my latest story due to clicking "discard" in my Gmail client window where I often type up stories (and this very blog posting), I finally sat ...

More on OpenDocument, RTF, and File Format Longevity

20 December 2005: A note from a reader: "One last question, this is about the different formats you use for your stories. What are your feelings about the RTF file? It's long been my choice for saving documents with sp ...

RSS vs ATOM, Vrenna and the Little King

14 December 2005: I haven't paid much attention to the Atom vs RSS wars in the world of XML syndication formats. I generally used RSS 2.0 for its simplicity, extensibility, and ubiquity. Most everyone seems to use RS ...

Vrenna Second Draft Finished, The Bear in December, OpenDocument, jEdit

22 November 2005: I have officially finished the second draft of Vrenna and the Red Stone and Other Tales. I still have at least one final set of large edits to make and then a full copyedit before I'll be pleased enou ...

Shadow of the Colossus, Big Gamer's Don't Cry, Vrenna Update, Nintendo DS

7 November 2005: Based on very high reviews, I picked up Shadow of the Colossus for PS2. It's interesting how the best games for a console seem to come out just as we start thinking about the next generation consoles ...

Lost

1 November 2005: In Ray Bradbury's novel, Farenheit 451, Guy Montag's wife watches a TV show that has random people speaking nonsense to one another with an ongoing musical chord growing in the backround. Every so of ...

More on Leather Moleskine Covers, Python Scripting, Dynamic Notes, Firefly, Vrenna and the White

24 October 2005: Today I received another shipment of Renaissance Art Leather Moleskine covers. This time I got two of the small wrap journals with some plain pocket Moleskines and a larger traditional leather cover ...

The 10,000 Year Clock

20 October 2005: Slashdot and my friend Dave told me about the 10,000 year old clock built from the Long Now Foundation. I love the list of principles they have: These are the principles that Danny Hillis used in the ...

Renaissance Art Leather Moleskine Covers

13 October 2005: Fifteen hundred years ago Christian monks from St. Pachomius stored their leather-wrapped books in sealed jars to hide their library from the wrath of Athanasius who considered such works heresy. Fif ...

New Weblog Software and Process: The Mike Shea Content Management System

8 October 2005: As we already know, I have been quite obsessed with the idea of saving digital data in some sort of archival means. About two weeks ago I also came to the conclusion that my URLs, generated from Mova ...

The Digital Dark Age: Technology, Copyright, DRM, and the Loss of Human Knowledge from 1965 to 2005

25 September 2005: Do we sit on the chasm of a dark age? Has it already begun? In 1000 years will history look back to this period and see nothingof who we are, what we wrote, what we listened to, and what we watched? I ...

More on Long Term Data Archiving

24 September 2005: I became fascinated with the challenges of preserving our knowledge, probably some psychological arm-wrestle with mortality but whatever, I'm having fun. There was a good article in Fairfax Digital ca ...

Everything I Learned about RSS, Page Parsing, and Newsfeed Syndication

14 September 2005: Today I took down a section of my website that I've hosted for nearly six years, my Newsfeeds section. I did it for a variety of reasons, but one big one is that it used up about 200 megs of bandwidt ...

Wikipad, the Ideal File System, iPod Nano, Pens, Depths of Darkhollow, World of Warcraft, Vrenna Book

8 September 2005: Here's a little bit of a scattered braindump today. I found a neat little program on the web called Wikipad. It is a wiki-style notepad that lets you link words to child pages and spawn a great netwo ...

No Country for Old Men; Carrie; Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town; Foundation and Empire; Xenocide

31 August 2005: Update and a Quick Note: I've been to New Orleans four times in the last five years for conferences and trips. A couple of years ago I went there with my family for Christmas. I ate beignets at Cafe ...

Evil in Fiction

26 August 2005: Roger Ebert has an interesting review of a horror movie (in the pure sense of the word) called "Chaos" along with a public dialog he had with the director and producer of the manipulative ultra-gory s ...

How Massive Online Games will Change the World

16 August 2005: I read two really interesting articles on Massive Online Gaming recently. The first, A World of Warcraft World, talks about ten things we will see in our lifetimes because of Massive Online Gaming. ...

Chronicles of Riddick: Excellent SF in the Dark Ages of Hollywood.

10 August 2005: Pitch Black fell into a category of movies I like to call "Good Bad Science Fiction". They're not great SF but they're fun and they touch on some of the elements we see in the best SF like Blade Runn ...

Some free SF this morning: The Concrete Jungle by Charles Stross

8 August 2005: Charles Stross won the Hugo award for the novella, The Concrete Jungle. He released the story under a Creative Commons license so you can read it for free or email it to your friend. Charlie Stross ...

Bill O'Reilly: "ACLU and the judges that side with them are terror allies."

5 August 2005: "There is no question. The ACLU and the judges that side with them are terror allies." Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, 25 July 2005 Can no one stop this thug and the bullshit biased "news" station that pr ...

How Spammers Will Destroy the Internet

2 August 2005: Yesterday I received a bill from pair.com, the host that hosts all five of my websites. The $100 bill was for bandwidth overage charges. On a typical month I send out a total of about 12 GB of data ...

SF in Movies podcast, Eternal Sunshine for a Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman, Batman Begins, Pilot Vanishing Point

29 July 2005: I listened to a very interesting Podcast (a podcast is a fancy new way to say "a recording of someone talking") on science fiction in modern movies (large mp3). Science fiction veteran, Harlin Elliso ...

The Digital Life - Mike Delves into PVR Software

27 July 2005: I've been a huge fan of the Tivo even though some days I feel like it controls me. Recently my Tivo started making funny noises (never a good sign) and I realized it was time to consider the future. ...

Letter to the New York Times Re: Senator Clinton's Attack of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

18 July 2005: I sent the following is a letter to the New York Times today. Re: Senator Clinton Demands Review of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Dear Editor, In Northern Virginia the penalty for selling alcohol to a ...

Three Reasons War of the Worlds Sucked

2 July 2005: An essay by Michael E. Shea Halfway through War of the Worlds, during a very convenient slow conversation scene, I ran with legs crossed to the bathroom. I remarked to my girlfriend, who also got Spe ...

Bob Shea Website

29 June 2005: Today I registered and built BobShea.net. This is a tribute and preservation website for my father, Robert J. Shea, and his work. Thanks to a friend of my father's, I was able to get a hold of the di ...

A Review of Five Journals

23 June 2005: I love journals. I love opening up a blank book and running my hands over the grain of the paper. I love surfing the internet seeking new and high. I love thinking about the great potential of a bl ...

Publishing my Short Stories

21 June 2005: Cory Doctorow released his latest book, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, a bazaar fantasy novel about some really strange stuff. Cory Doctorow is one of my favorite authors whose books I'v ...

Summit, Fan Faire, iPod Shuffle

8 June 2005: Tomorrow I head to Las Vegas for the SOE Fan Faire for Everquest, Everquest 2, Star Wars Galaxies and a bunch of other games. Like previous gatherings, I bring along Loral's Evil Agenda and a new Lor ...

2005 Hugo Nominees, Total Recorder for Audio Books, Archiving Data Notes

2 June 2005: The 2005 Hugo nominees have been posted. Nearly all of the Novellas, Novelettes, and Short Stories are available to read right off the site. I had two obsessions this week. First, I found out how I ...

Good Free SF: Matrix Second Renaissance 1 and 2

26 May 2005: Still depressed about how much Star Wars Episode 3 sucked? Ready for some good free SF? How about you give the Matrix short films Second Renaissance 1 and 2 a look. These two ten-minute anime films ...

Revenge of the Sith review - bad bad bad

24 May 2005: Last night ended the twenty eight year wait for the last Star Wars movie and it ended on a sour note. Saying Revenge of the Sith is better than Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones is like saying ...

Episode 3's mixed reviews, Sith leaked, DRM fails

19 May 2005: Today is the day we can finally sit back and say "yeah, I saw all the new Star Wars movies and they all sort of sucked." The reviews have been mixed. Metacritic currently gives Revenge of the Sith a ...

Selling In-Game Resources for Real Money, Read Anda's Game

6 May 2005: Ever since Sony Online announced Station Exchange, a service that would facilitate the out-of-game sale of in-game resources such as characters, equipment, and in-game money, the Massive Online Game c ...

2004 Nebulas, Reading, and Writing

5 May 2005: The 2004 Nebula awards came out last night. Here's a list of the winners: Novel: Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold Novella: "The Green Leopard Plague", Walter Jon Williams (Asimov's Oct/Nov 2003 ...

Quoted on Wired

20 April 2005: I got quoted on Wired today in an article on SOE's new plan to facilitate the selling of items, money, and characters in Everquest 2. The article is called Sony Gets Real on Virtual Goods. Here's my ...

Letter on Video Game Violence

12 April 2005: Here's the note I sent to Hillary Clintion, Rick Santorum, Sam Brownback regarding the statement Hillary Clinton made on video game violence: Seventeen thousand people died in alcohol related deaths i ...

Sin City, Wikipedia, God of War

8 April 2005: I saw Sin City last weekend. It's a great movie with a few qualifiers. If you've read the three graphic novels it's based on; The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard; you've seen ...

Hillary Clinton - Enemy of Free Speech

30 March 2005: Looks like I'm voting republican in 2008. This article in the Australian has some very alarming statements: "NEW YORK: Violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto, in which players peddle drugs and ...

Method Writing

25 March 2005: I saw a good example of this in The Magnificant Seven the other day. Our heroes led by Chris Adams (Yul Brynner) get surprised and trapped in the village by the main Mexican bandit chief, Calvara. I ...

Sin City, King's "Colorado Kid" pulp novel, Flickr and whats in my pockets, the fall of the G2

18 March 2005: Sin City the movie comes out on April 1st. Robert Rodregez, director of Desperado, directs it. Benicio Del Toro, Mickie Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Elijah Wood all star in it. Frank Miller, the write ...

Quentin Tarantino Handwrites his Scripts, More on Handwriting Stories and Books

17 March 2005: More and more I find great writers talking about the advantages of pen and paper over asshole computers. Here's some propaganda from the Papermate website: "It's a little known fact that Quentin Tara ...

Mike's Rollerball and Fountain Pen Review

12 March 2005: Note: This article was originally written in 2005 and has been updated twice since then in 2007 and 2010. Over the past year my pen obsession grew from the Pilot G2s at the grocery store to the finer ...

Censorship on Moleskinerie

11 March 2005: Moleskinerie posted a pinup picture the other day that got some of the elitist snobs uptight. Here's a copy of the post I made: Michael Jackson's face on the front page of every US newspaper is porno ...

Asimov, Clark, Game of Thrones, Namiki Vanishing Point, More Lovecraft, Cars and Floyd, Eternal Sunshine, Forgotten, Magic Cards, Writings, Dragons of Norrath, EQ2 Bloodline

9 March 2005: Time for a quick Mike Shea life dump. I finished reading a few Asimov and Clark books including The Hammer of God, and Foundation. Hammer of God is one of the better books on the theme of asteroids h ...

Caster's Realm: Class, Equipment, and Encounter Balance

3 March 2005: There are few Everquest topics debated as heavily as class balance. Though the term itself is nearly meaningless; you cannot balance sixteen classes without them all looking exactly the same; the ter ...

allofmp3.com, get legal mp3 albums for about a buck

15 February 2005: This is going to sound like an advertisement, but it's legit. Last night I ordered about five albums including two Vangelis albums and Pink Floyd's The Wall, and about half a dozen singles including ...

More on Noodler's Ink

31 January 2005: Here's a note I sent to the creator of the great Noodler's Ink: I received my first two bottles of Noodler's Ink and I love the stuff. Not only did it survive my battery of tests but it writes better ...

Citizen Fred's Book

27 January 2005: Here is my Moleskine-inspired bad science fiction story: Citizen Fredrick Joseph Abergale stared at the object sticking out of the dirt hill. He had worked on this trail for six hours now and it was ...

Noodler's Ink - the Pilot G2 killer

26 January 2005: Yesterday great joy arrived at my apartment door in the manifestation of two 3 ounce bottles of Noodler's black fountain pen ink. Now I love fountain pens but I also love knowing that my written word ...

Moleskine Killer?

14 January 2005: Here's a thank-you note I sent to Renaissance Art on my new purchase of a 216 page Large Leather Journal from their fine establishment. Just check out the craftsmanship. No, it won't kill my Moleskin ...

The Nuclear Ramjet Armageddon Weapon and Publishing Tips

12 January 2005: I read about Project Pluto over on Boing Boing and read a full article about Project Pluto in Air and Space Magazine. This thing is far too cool. I have to find a way to fit it into a short story. ...

How I Write and Authors who handwrite novels

4 January 2005: Last night I finished a short story called "Vrenna and the Red Stone". I seem less frightened of writing stories with gratuitous sex and violence for some reason. Perhaps I've been reading too much ...

Winter Reading

29 December 2004: I just finished Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. I loved Rendezvous with Rama when I read it about a month or so ago. Both are short reads but packed with some of the best science fiction ever pu ...

Writing Tips

25 December 2004: Here is a full list of writing tips in text / HTML format instead of the normal PDF sheet: Orwell's Rules Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print ...

Create Your Own Terror Propaganda News Headline

16 December 2004: This CNN article has my favorite opening paragraph that I've read since our government decided to try to scare the shit out of us every single day of our lives. "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Terrorists may seek ...

Writer's Resources on the Net

15 December 2004: I love the internet. I hate the internet, too, but times like these, I love it. Every so often, as we jump from resource to resource, digging through flash movies and bloated graphics, we come to so ...

Mike's Moleskine Hacks

7 December 2004: Updated 9 May 2012. It's been eight years since I wrote this so I decided to go back and add some updates. I kept the original text but added some insights from eight years later. 43 Folders, an organ ...

98.8% of FCC Complaints are from a single evil organization

6 December 2004: This Media Week article reveals that 239,000 of the 240,000 complaints all came from the Parents Television Council, an anti-first amendment activist group. Here's a quote from the article:"The numbe ...

Lovecraft, Writings, Everquest 2, Moleskines and Pens

23 November 2004: I always seek to make this page easier for my vast four readers so today I eliminated the "reading, writing, playing" section over on the right. I'll just tell you about it here instead. This will l ...

New Writing Tips Page for Moleskines

18 November 2004: I built a new Writing Tips PDF. Print each page on one side of a piece of paper and then cut that piece of paper in half (I used the "fold, lick, fold, lick, tear" method). Fold each half twice and ...

Copyright Law is Flawed

17 November 2004: Link drew his gleaming white blade, runed in an ancient script unspoken for thousands of years. He slashed hard at Gannon, tearing open the demon's bloated belly. Black organs and ropes of intestine ...

Lying Election Maps

14 November 2004: Right-leaning extremist, Vic Fraenckel, posted this election result by county map on his propaganda site, Readerless Blog. I believe the point of the map is to show just how large a majority voted fo ...

MPAA leader's comments need an R rating

4 November 2004: Here's a quote from the Dan Glickman, insane head of the MPAA: (Yes, I removed the "Republican friendly" part but it still hasn't prevented Vic from being a neo-nazi fascist. It also didn't make his ...

Vote

1 November 2004: Kerry ...

Good Season for Consoles

27 October 2004: It's a good season for console gaming this year. While online play hasn't shown much improvement; you still need to pay for nothing to play Xbox Live and the PS2 has little in the way of good online ...

Everquest 2

25 October 2004: Everquest to arrives on November 8. This press release has some details. I don't know how I feel about EQ2 yet. I played the beta for perhaps twelve hours total, not nearly enough but the Omens of W ...

Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire

18 October 2004: is perhaps the best television interview or debate I've ever seen Stewart is a master on the Daily Show and I just bought his book on CD to listen to in my car. Here are some of my favorite quotes: ...

Fight Ashcroft's War on Technology

13 October 2004: The head of the Ministry of Love, John Ashcroft, announced a new War on Technology in the form of an Intellectual Property Task Force. Here are a few of my favorite quotes: "Intellectual property the ...

My Grandmother the Snake Slayer

6 October 2004: My 97 year old grandmother wrote this letter to the El Reno City Council and the local paper: October 4, 2004 Mr. Doug Henley Chairman El Reno City Council Dear Sir, It is really with regret that I a ...

We Live in Oceania

29 September 2004: Read Orwell's 1984, the most important book ever written, and tell me how blimps full of cameras floating over Washington DC isn't a hair away from the helicoptors peeking in our windows. George Bush ...

Do Not Buy Star Wars

21 September 2004: Han shot first. Han always shot first. I don't care if Lucas decided to twist Star Wars to fit current day social acceptance, Han was a bad guy who found redemption. Don't buy Star Wars on DVD. Do ...

30 Second Reviews of Hell Boy, Jersey Girl, Hero, and Shaolin Soccer

16 September 2004: Hell Boy is another example of a good movie ruined by dialog. Watch Hell Boy and imagine how much better it would be if Hell Boy's dialog was limited to only the bare necessities. His conversation w ...

The Good Wife's Guide

7 September 2004: I love seeing how the world changes. I love seeing how things were just fifty years ago and comparing them to how different they are today. James Bond films are one of my favorite barometers of soci ...

2003 Hugo Awards

5 September 2004: The 2003 Hugo awards are out. Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls won the full-length book award and Neil Gaiman, author of Sandman, American Gods and Coraline won the short story award for a Cth ...

The iMac G5

2 September 2004: Don Norman talks about the way computers should be in his book, The Invisible Computer. He discusses how computers should fade into the background and do only the jobs they are designed to do. We ar ...

My Letter to the RIAA

28 August 2004: Here is a note I sent to webmaster@riaa.com, the only email address available to send comments to the RIAA. Since the RIAA website has no way for me to contact the RIAA on any other matters than the w ...

Inappropriate Books

15 August 2004: I wrote a comment on Moleskinerie's article on the inappropriate D&D book. I thought I'd share it here. I plan to wax political here, so please bear with me. I don't usually like to bring politic ...

Fox News = Republican Information Ministry, D&D books = Weapons of Terror

11 August 2004: The most disturbing news I read today comes from one of the best sources of news today, BoingBoing.Net: "Thanks to the [Republican National Convention], there are mandatory bag searches happening on t ...

Doom 3

10 August 2004: Last night I finished . This game is well worth the $50 and has some of the best graphics and shock moments I've seen in any game. It isn't without flaws, but there is no doubt that it is one of the ...

Mike's New Shuttle Computer

8 August 2004: Personal computers suck. I accept that into my heart, but that apparently didn't stop me from buying a new one. My latest machine, like the one before it, was built mainly to play Everquest. It serv ...

Politics and Technology News Bites - Mike Gets a New Computer

3 August 2004: Business Week reports that the Justice Department considers Peer to Peer networking a threat to national security. Secretary of Justice, John Ashcroft, ordered libraries to destroy books not appropria ...

The Village, Trust No Movie

30 July 2004: I used to be "the movie guy" around the office. I kept up my little DVD review website. I came up with all sorts of wacky movie rules. I used to watch about four movies a week. Now I seem to have ...

Cry Wolf

21 July 2004: Since September 11th 2001, the Homeland Security Advisory System raised threat levels from yellow "significant risk of terrorist attacks" to orange "high risk of terrorist attacks" five times. As mea ...

Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Camera

14 July 2004: Need a new reason to vote for Kerry or support the ACLU? Read this account of a man detained by DHS agents for taking photos at a park. I know of two other people personally who were approached by a ...

The Black Eyes of the Future

12 July 2004: In order to escape the shackles of technology, the buzzing beetles of cell phone earpieces, the comforting humming of the Tivo, and the four monitors that surround me like massive glass-eyed beasts, I ...

Murder My Tivo

9 July 2004: "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity" -Albert Einstein I have four monitors on my desk at home. One is my Everquest monitor, two of them hydra off of my In ...

Spiderman 2

6 July 2004: I saw this weekend and regardless of what critics say, this is far from the best superhero movie. Dr. Octopus is a fun villain except like almost every other super-villain, he's crazy. He has no cle ...

Kung Fu of the New Order

1 July 2004: "At last I am free! You there, Mr. "President". Prepare to feel my Screaming Twin Viper Fang!" "Fiendish desert devil! You cannot defeat my Yellow Toothed Eagle's Claw!" "Be careful, my western friend ...

Sony's Ashcroft Walkman

1 July 2004: Copy protection hurts sales. Look at this new Sony Digital Walkman and then read this quote. Would you buy one? "As with Sony's other players, the NW-HD1 plays songs in the company's proprietary ATRAC ...

News Bits

24 June 2004: Dick Cheney told Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy to Fuck himeslf. That's not very Christian. Republican lawmakers are trying to outlaw Xerox machines and tape recorders with a law they don't understan ...

Politics and Computer News

24 June 2004: Dick Cheney told Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy to Fuck himeslf. That's not very Christian. Republican lawmakers are trying to outlaw Xerox machines and tape recorders with a law they don't understand ...

The Death of Thought

4 June 2004: I'll be away this weekend at the Everquest Guild Summit in San Diego. I'll be pitching an Evil Agenda of communism and socialism; I'll be asking for more single group content, more opportunity for be ...

Farenheit 9-11, SOE Guild Summit

4 June 2004: I'll be away this weekend at the Everquest Guild Summit in San Diego. I'll be pitching an Evil Agenda of communism and socialism; I'll be asking for more single group content, more opportunity for be ...

Terrorist Almond Poisoning!

24 May 2004: The US killed 45 people a wedding party. Don Rumsfeld outlawed camera phones in military prisons. That should stop those embarrassing prison photos from hitting the front page of every newspaper in Am ...

Vote for Kerry

17 May 2004: The more I sit down and think it over, the more questions pop into my head. I feel like a 10 year old who is just beginning to understand all the crazy stuff he sees on television. Here are my questio ...

Rumsfield Visits Iraq

17 May 2004: "IRAQ - After meeting with U.S and coalition forces on Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld enjoyed some recreational time with the young men and women of the U.S. marines. He started by showing ...

Gibson's Playstation 3, Writings, The Journals of Loral

11 May 2004: This guy's been smoking too many pages out of Neuromancer: From these nuts and bolts, Chatani then launched into some rather grand predictions for the future of Sony's game console efforts. Movies, ...

Van Helsing Review

8 May 2004: My two hours of Van Helsing cultivated a quote in my mind: Computer generated action scenes are the adverbs of movies. Like over-use of adverbs, computer graphic effects in a movie like Van Helsing at ...

Monsters

4 May 2004: I read an excellent short story called by James Patrick Kelly. It's a short story and available for free from a web-zine called Infinity Plus. Jim Kelly has MP3 audio versions of his fiction, perfe ...

Outlaw Pants, Fancy Pens are Crap, Mercs in Iraq, Orwell on AOL, Comments are Back, Stickler's Unite!, Fight the FCC

23 April 2004: I joked with a coworker today saying that he should work on legislation to outlaw his daughter's midriff shirt since he appeared to no longer have control over the situation. Today I got home and foun ...

The Life of Mike Shea

21 April 2004: Time for a real life blog entry. I hate to say it but it appears that LiquidTheater is all but dead. I'll keep the site around as long as possible, resorting to static HTML if I need to, but for now i ...

Highwayman and other readings

19 April 2004: I finished R.A Salvatore's The Highwayman last night. Here's the review I posted to Salvatore's message forum: *** Minor spoilers **** The story shifts and turns taking bits and pieces from stories r ...

Most Useful Piece of Paper

16 April 2004: I created a one-sheet writers reference in PDF using Open Office. Print this on one side and a map of Middle Earth on the other and you will have the perfect piece of paper to stick into the back poc ...

PS2 Final Fantasy XI Massive Online Game

5 April 2004: Last week Square released the PS2 version of Final Fantasy XI. The game costs $100 for the game pre-installed on a hard drive and requires a network adapter ($40), a keyboard ($20sih), an internet con ...

Illegal Piercings, Spam Comments, Hard Drive Treasures, Cliches

25 March 2004: If you're a woman, your body is no longer your own. While the topic may range from comical to disturbing, the president being set here is that women cannot do things to their own body because people l ...

Lysenkoism, Angle Grinder Man, Zero Tolerence, Bush's Fake News

17 March 2004: There is an interesting write up of an address given by science fiction author, Bruce Sterling. He uses the term "Lysenkoism" which I had never heard. It refers to a "scientist" during the Lenin / Sta ...

Stalin's New Army, Tom Delay, Passion, Mike's Reading and Writing

15 March 2004: Fifty years or so after World War 2, Stalin's last army invades Western Europe! I am an interface junky. A while back I tried a wacky controller for my PC called the Nostromo N50. I tried it for Everq ...

Stern, Card, Mario, DHS, Violent Fat Swedes, GTA: SA, Bush, Oscar

2 March 2004: Citing subjective judgments of "indecency" and using meaningless beaurocratic terms like "zero tolerance", Clear Channel yanked Howard Stern off of their stations. This is but a taste of what the FCC ...

Bird Flu, Massive Online Gaming, Stalin, Jesus, Ashcroft, Neo-Nazis

25 February 2004: I have a new Mobhunter article, Who Is Loral, Anyway. According to the Mike Shea Threat Levels the Bird Flu Epidemic is a worthless news item. 22 people in Asia have died of the Bird Flu. During this ...

An Novice's Guide to Writing

21 February 2004: We all love our little Moleskine notebooks. We all know that the notebook is worthless if it has no words in it. Many of us want to write, whether it is fiction, a travelog, a journal, poetry, or just ...

Bush, Everquest, Bad Toys, Disney, FCC

11 February 2004: The rats are leaving the sinking ship. Is it me or is my blog sounding more and more like Michael Moore's? Vote against Bush and win the War on Terror. Watch the Daily Show and read The Onion for the ...

Suing Breasts, Ratchet and Clank, Everquest Expansion and Champions of Norrath, Political Rants

6 February 2004: We are one idiot lawsuit away from the destruction of the first amendment. A woman is suing Janet Jackson's breast. Will she sue her own mirror too? I defeated Ratchet and Clank, Going Commando two da ...

War on Terror, FCC Attacks Breasts, Leiberman falls, Disney is Evil

2 February 2004: While five hundred deaths doesn't bother me, considering Great Britain had three million casualties in World War One, this excuse for a 2.4 trillion dollar budget was disturbing: Our nation remains ...

Final Fantasy XI, Everquest, Quick News Bits

29 January 2004: It's daunting to hear that they've reached one million players in Final Fantasy XI. In March they will be releasing a $100 Playstation 2 version that includes a pre-installed hard drive. Players from ...

Return of the King Awards, Moleskine musings, John Rhys-Davies, Iraq deaths, Democratic Candidates

26 January 2004: Proving that all is not lost in Hollywood, Return of the King won four Golden Globe awards including best director and best drama. Those positions are usually grabbed up by snobbier pictures like Mons ...

Duel screen Gameboy, Applauding the Continuing Fear in America, RSS on My Yahoo

21 January 2004: Nintendo has announced their development of a Duel screen Gameboy. It sounds like a good evolution for the portable market. I know I would love multi-monitor support for desktop games like Everquest. ...

Moleskinerie and a Pen Update

18 January 2004: For every obsession there's a blog. At least that is how one person refers to Moleskinerie, a blog dedicated to the strange lives of people in love with little faux-leather bound black pocket notebook ...

Kids arrested for "Terrorist" thoughtcrime, Champions of Everquest for PS2 looms near, New Console thoughts

13 January 2004: Two kids were arrested for talking about and writing about violence. They had no weapons and made no actual violent moves but they face a 15 year felony sentence for "Terror". Thoughts and writings ...

Prince of Persia: The Sands of time, Ratchet and Clank Going Commando, Medal of Honor: Frontline

13 January 2004: I had the opportunity to play three excellent Playstation 2 games over the last week. Two of them I completed and one I have just started. Here are three mini-reviews. The top of all three was Princ ...

Today's Plague: The Flu

8 January 2004: Ten to twenty percent of the US population gets the flu. 114,000 people are admitted to hospitals and twenty thousand a year die from it. (source) I'm within the first statistic, having been home fr ...

Mike Shea's Threat Levels

31 December 2003: Every day we are bombarded with new threats. Constant "orange alert" updates, stories of exploding cell-phones, and huge congressional deliberations on mad cows brainwash us into feeling that we are ...

The Spin: Mad Cow, Terrorist almanacs, and the Patriot Act 2

30 December 2003: Mike's most interesting news reporting: Despite constant CNN coverage, not a single American has died from Mad Cow disease. Seven hundred thousand Americans die every year from heart disease, however ...

Things I got (or bought myself) for Christmas

29 December 2003: Here's a list of things I received or bought for myself for Christmas: Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook 3.5 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on Playstation 2 Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando ...

Dungeons and Dragons

16 December 2003: On Sunday I had my first D&D game in ten years. I was the dungeon master, and had to come up with an adventure pretty much right out of my pocket. Our players were all new to 3rd edition rules as ...

Mike's Top News

11 December 2003: For a few months now I have maintained a hand-written RSS news syndication feed called "". This feed represents the interesting news articles I have found and read and think others should read. Rath ...

Great Season for Console Games

6 December 2003: It seems when the systems are about two years old, the games start to get really good. This season is no different. There are piles of highly rated games for both the Playstation 2 and the Xbox. Pe ...

The Best Super Mario 3 Player Ever

5 December 2003: There are only three people in the world that know the difference between you and I, but I'm one of them - Gerald Lambeau, Good Will Hunting I must have played Super Mario Brothers 3 for weeks when I ...

Pen Update

30 November 2003: I broke my Sensa Stylist pen over Thanksgiving trying to stick in a refill that was too big. With my favorite pen broken it was time to shop again. I picked up four pens in the last week and two of ...

Moleskine Notebooks and Archival Ink Pens

20 November 2003: My obsession with Moleskine notebooks, fancy pens, archival quality paper, and archival ink is bordering on dangerous. Regardless, I think I have found the perfect combination of low-tech materials to ...

Thoughtcrime - Guilty of Intent

17 November 2003: From Sniper Suspect Muhammad Guilty of Murder - AP The jury deliberated for 6 1/2 hours before convicting Muhammad of two counts of capital murder. One accused him of taking part in multiple murders, ...

The Dark Tower

14 November 2003: I haven't yet mentioned it but over the past couple of months I have been re-reading the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Rather than hammer through the books, I bought all five of the books includ ...

Technology with a Life Span, Pen and Ink

5 November 2003: Nothing lasts forever. Our thoughts, accomplishments, passions, loves, and lives are lost as our physical machines we call bodies finally fall apart and die. We ignore this, attempt to prevent it, a ...

SSX 3 480p, Indiana Jones Widescreen Woes

22 October 2003: I will be writing a full review of SSX 3 on Playstation 2 but I wanted to post this quickly since it makes a big difference in my choice. The Playstation 2 version of SSX 3 supports both 16x9 widescr ...

Kill Bill Part 1

12 October 2003: I saw "" earlier today. I feel like a different person. I know how tacky that sounds, how childish, but that movie did something to me. To see a movie that unbridled, that free to do whatever it wa ...

Current State of Console Gaming

9 October 2003: The Xbox, Playstation 2, and Game Cube are excellent single player consoles for a great price and with many high quality hit games. All three consoles fail to deliver anything above what consoles had ...

A Study in Emerald

1 October 2003: This is a short story written by Neil Gaiman. It won a 2003 Hugo Short Story Award. One can find, download, print, and read the PDF of "" from Neil Gaiman's website. ...

Disney Moviebeam screws customers, Xbox Still Sucks

30 September 2003: The Disney "Moviebeam" has to be one of the worst ideas ever. Pay a rental fee for a player, pay a fee to start up, stream badly digitized copies of bad movies down to your player, pay more than the c ...

Microsft == Big Brother, Laptops, Trio 600

24 September 2003: "chat isn't safe" - Geoff Sutton of Microsoft after MSN disables unmoderated chat rooms due to "pornography and sexual predators". Microsoft's position sounds so Orwell-like that it isn't even funny ...

War is Peace - Freedom is Slavery - Ignorance is Strength

17 September 2003: Dulles airport - phoneblogging - I've started rereading Orwell's 1984, a book I haven't read since I was 14. It brings new feelings to terms like "Patriot Act". Oceania exists today in places like N ...

Mexico a major disappointment, New Newsfeeds, Wired on Wireless Gaming

15 September 2003: I don't have the heart to write much about this, but Once Upon a Time in Mexico was a major disappointment. A bloated script with more twists and turns than Gone with the Wind and characters with no ...

People Vs. RIAA, Powerpoint sucks, My Yahoo, Stalk Angelina Jolie with Newsfeeds, Wired on Apple and Online Gaming

2 September 2003: The article, Lone file-swapper takes on recording industry has my favorite quote of the day: The recent efforts of the music industry to root out piracy have addressed a uniquely contemporary problem ...

The Future of Massive Online Gaming

31 August 2003: For three years I have spent almost seven thousand hours as Loral Ciriclight, cleric of Tunare, in the massive online game Everquest. I've met dozens of people that I now consider close friends. Eve ...

Autolink Movable-Type Plugin

29 August 2003: Today I built a movabletype auto-link plugin. This plug-in will let me write blog entries with content automatically hyperlinked either to exact sources or to a general Google "I Feel Lucky" query. E ...

Mobile Google: All Knowledge in your Pocket

22 August 2003: One time I picked up a girl by quoting Shakespeare to her over email. She wasn't real swift on internet technologies and at the time Google wasn't yet a verb. Needless to say she broke up with me a sh ...

Bloglines, mobile, informed viewers hate bad movies, Walmart pulls games but not guns, Blackout, Baby Brado

21 August 2003: The article RSS Hitting Critical Mass mentioned a web-based RSS reader known as Bloglines. While I've been mainly been using my home grown Merovingian, Bloglines is an excellent server-based RSS reade ...

First Mobile Post

15 August 2003: Only took about 5 minutes per word! The irony is that I have three computers and 1mb ethernet in front of me...but it's the concept of moblogging that matters. ...

AOL Translater, Madonna's sucky 'American Life', Lawyers suck, Accessibility = Usability, KOTOR beat, John Woo's Paycheck, Tivo and Netflix

12 August 2003: Perfect for EQers wishing to go to the other side, the AOL translator seems to work very very well. I picked up Madonna's American Life CD. Overall it is lousy, self loathing, self absorbed crap but t ...

EFF, Babylon 5, Gameboy Advance SP, Books on CD better than Audible.com

30 July 2003: You may have heard my rant that corporations with unlimited political power and unlimited legal funds and no concerns about individual rights are worse than any government oppression. I decided to ac ...

Massive Online Gaming, Orwell, Tyranny of Politics, Rodriguez, Portable PS2, Gameboy?, Firebird

28 July 2003: There is an excellent article on Game Girl Advance on the problem with voice in massive online RPGs. He brings up a good point. Bringing our real voice into a fantasy game forces a reality into our fa ...

Indiana Trip

25 July 2003: Last night I posted 71 pics from my Indiana trip to my Photos section ...

Star Wars Kid, Yahoo Buzz

25 July 2003: Thank god there was no internet when I was a kid and I had no access to any sort of video camera or I would be the next Star Wars Kid. I am always interested in what the rest of the world finds intere ...

Star Wars KOTOR: Xbox messiah?

24 July 2003: Some positive reviews of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic have been showing up. Game Girl Advance noticed that it was the first time an Xbox game has showed up on the top ten list of Gamefaqs n ...

Megacorps rule America

21 July 2003: The megacorps rule America. Cable companies, satellite providers, media empires, those that control data and those that control the transfer of this data rule our world with a tyranny not seen since ...

Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic

18 July 2003: I'm in Indiana this weekend which gives me a chance to get away from the control center and try some other stuff out. Last night's big hit, aside from the cheesefries is Star Wars Knights of the Old ...

CSM on EQ, EQWire gets 1000 hits, Indiana Trip

15 July 2003: I never expected this but the Christian Science Monitor has an excellent objective article about Everquest. Here's a quote: In a way, role-playing may be a sort of rite of passage, a substitute for h ...

Machinima, Oceania, Mozilla, EQWire.com

9 July 2003: No budget PC-based animated movies: Perhaps we can kill Hollywood after all. No producers, no ratings, no company editors, just you and your film. Here's a Free Copy of Road to Oceania, an article b ...

This week's reading

1 July 2003: Road to Oceania by William Gibson on NYTimes.com Edward Tufte's Cognative Style of Powerpoint is worth every penny of the $7 cost. Perhaps Dvorak keyboards are not as good as we think. Are old style c ...

Interesting Reads

26 June 2003: RIAA wages war on America Fantasy Vs. Reality George Orwell's Six Rules of Writing Google AdSense: Yes, I've sold out to "the man" ...

George Orwell's Six Rules

26 June 2003: Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. ...

iPod Music Player

24 June 2003: In 1982 my father wrote Shike on an Apple IIe personal computer. The book did well, the royalties supporting our family for a number of years including the purchase of a brand new Plymouth Voyager mi ...

Hulk = teh suck, New $19 games for PS2

23 June 2003: I saw The Hulk yesterday afternoon and was pretty disappointed. Like Gone in 60 Seconds failing to have a car stolen (aside from the opener) for over an hour, you don't actually see the hulk until you ...

Everquest Accessibility

18 June 2003: This article on video game accessibility is a great read. Video games have very poor accessibility for those with disabilities. If you think about it, the very idea that you have to be 12 to 18 year ...

Poster Hangers

18 June 2003: Hanging a poster is a pain in the ass. There are no standard frames at 27 inch by 40 inch and many ready-made frames are too big. Professional framing runs up to $100 a poster and you cannot switch ...

RA Salvatore's The Demon Awakens

17 June 2003: I finished reading The Demon Awakens, the first of RA Salvatore's Demonwar series. I've been a R.A Salvatore fan since high school, reading The Icewind Dale Trilogy a few times including quite recent ...

Video Game History

16 June 2003: Gamespy has a wonderful article on The Top 25 Dumbest Moments in . It's a lot of fun to see how dumb things were. It is not so fun to realize I bought into a few of them. The Gameboy Advance may be ...

The Ideal Game Console

6 June 2003: Looking back at my article on Why Computers Suck, it was obvious that over the last few years my views have changed a bit. They haven't changed that much, however. Computers still suck and game cons ...

Animatrix Released on DVD

3 June 2003: The Animatrix DVD has been released. Buy it. ...

William Gibsons Talk to the Directors Guild of America

2 June 2003: The following was copied from William Gibson's personal weblog. I have copied it here for archival redundancy as I think it may be one of the most important speeches ever given on digital technology ...

Passion

1 June 2003: This is a short story I wrote as an exercise from Stephen King's book, On Writing. Dick couldn't move. The TV droned on about Paris Hilton, gay marriage, and Atkin's diet trends but Dick didn't hear i ...

Politics and the English Language

1 June 2003: Originally written by George Orwell in 1946 Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious ...

Excellent Matrix Reloaded review

21 May 2003: This Matrix Reloaded review is probably one of the best looks at the movie I've seen. Do not read it if you haven't seen the movie yet. It made so much sense that I skipped the "things to be wrapped ...

Favorite gun

19 May 2003: I am probably too old (thirty on this last Saturday) to have a favorite gun, but Matrix Reloaded gave me a new one. The Glock 18 is a fully automatic 9mm handgun with a 31 round magazine is my new fa ...

More Matrix, More newsfeeds

16 May 2003: Saw Matrix Reloaded last night. I definitely need to see it again to see how much I like it. It is an excellent movie, if it can even be called that. Our society is so wrapped around it, that it al ...

Enter the Matrix, Movie-based video games still suck

15 May 2003: Don't be a stooge like me. Don't buy Enter the Matrix. It is proof that the "video games based on movies suck" rule is alive and well. Today I finally finished this game, and while there were momen ...

E3 News, RSS Po'tal

15 May 2003: Lots of E3 goodness. Slashdot has been keeping a good log of the hot games they got their hands on. Here's some reviews of Xbox, Playstation 2, and Game Cube games. With the release of the new Playsta ...

Matrix Xbox, PS2 progress

12 May 2003: I was interested in the new Matrix game even before I heard it was 1080i HDTV. I found this quote off of an interview with the ETM developer on EB Games. And then on top of all of that, we added a hac ...

Enter the Matrix 1080i High Def!

11 May 2003: As if I didn't have enough to smile about with Matrix Reloaded coming out on Thursday, it would appear that the same day the Xbox version of Enter the Matrix will be coming out. A posting on the AVS F ...

EQOA Expansion, Xbox Live Pricing, Extreme Elimination

7 May 2003: Looks like there is already an expansion for Everquest Online Adventures in the works. While the idea of a MMORPG console game really excites me, without voice support it is just too hard to play on ...

Xbox Media Center, Google API, Matrix Renaissance Part 2

6 May 2003: Another article about Xbox breaking out of gaming. They spew forth the same garbage about "media centers" instead of gaming systems with rumors around a new Xbox Live update. The idea of using the Xbo ...

Semantic Web

30 April 2003: I rebuilt my Everquest Links Page using CSS and non-presentational HTML. I tried my best to add symantics wherever I could, mainly embedded in <div> tags. I am not sure if this is really the r ...

Mikes Briefs

24 April 2003: There's a good article on ExtremeTech on Krazy Keyboards. I have a great interest in new input devices as the 130 year old keyboard interface drives me nuts even if I do type 80 words a minute. The Da ...

Future Display Technology: Progressive Digital

22 April 2003: An article in Widescreen Review by professional video snob, Joe Kane, had me thinking. He has always been a proponent of progressive displays instead of interlaced ones, saying that 1080i displays are ...

Things that Grabbed Mike's Interest

20 April 2003: 17" Viewsonic HDTV LCD monitor with a 1280 by 768 resolution widescreen display. It could be the best way to watch HDTV on your desktop, or even better, the best Xbox monitor. A bit pricy at $900 ...

Video Game Ban

19 April 2003: Washington State is banning video games. The $500 fine for selling a "violent" video game to a kid under 18 will result in large stores like Walmart, Sears, and Toys R Us to discontinue selling the g ...

Mike's News Briefs

18 April 2003: Here are some interesting things I've been reading about: RSS 2.0 is getting a lot of interesting exposure. I've upgraded my own site to support a MikeShea.Net RSS 2.0 feed and even built an RSS 2.0 p ...

The Giant Leap in Technology, the Tivo

15 April 2003: About two years ago I stopped watching television. I didn't kick the habit completely. Shows such as NYPD Blue, The Shield, and ER kept me coming back, but I missed more episodes than I watched. TV ...

Impressing Myself

8 April 2003: I was fixing up some articles on Liquidtheater.Com and read something I wrote about Fight Club almost three years ago. Sometimes I impress even myself: "Why is it that when we try to hold a movie or ...

Game Addiction

6 April 2003: If people think games are addictive now, wait 10 years. As resolution and framerate increase it will be harder and harder to tell the difference between real life and a virtual one. All the technolo ...

Pioneer self-tuning receiver

1 April 2003: I found out from a post on Home Theater Forum that there is a Pioneer receiver with a self-tuning feature. The Pioneer VSX-D912K Receiver has DD-EX, DTS-ES, 6 x 110watt amps, and MCACC (Multi-channel ...

Home Theater Equipment interests soar

31 March 2003: There has been a huge lag in good movies recently but this hasn't stopped me from getting all interested in home theater equipment. There has been a couple of interesting technical developments. Tex ...

PS2 Wirless Controller and Keyboard

19 March 2003: I've been playing a lot of Everquest Online Adventures on my PS2 and impulse bought a Logitech cordless PS2 controller (Amazon Link) and Logitech cordless USB keyboard (Amazon link). Since EQ require ...

Neuromancer Revisited

16 March 2003: I started reading William Gibson's Neuromancer again. This was the book that defined social technology for me as a kid and it's amazing to read it again, 15 years after it was originally published. It ...

The Portable Entertainment System of 2010

13 March 2003: Seeing the new folding Gameboy Advance SP and playing Everquest Online Adventures got me pontificating about what game systems could, or should, be like seven years from now. There are some core techn ...

Internet Censorship

10 March 2003: This article on Online Smut Prohibition shows how agenda-wielding politicians will use our current focus on terrorism and homeland defense to push the thousand year old argument against porn. Yes, it ...

Animatrix, Matrix anime

9 March 2003: intothematrix.com is hosting two of four video shorts of Matrix spin-off anime. The first two, The Second Renaissance Part 1 and Program are both excellent. Lots of blood, some nudity, and some seri ...

The Lost Tapes of Robert Shea

7 March 2003: I've had what can only be summarized as one of the most surreal moments of my adult life. While writing up my biography I ran across a fellow who is selling three audio tapes of my father, Robert She ...

EQOA + Net Adapter for $40

6 March 2003: Thanks to G-ster, I found out that EB Games is selling the PS2 network adapter and a copy of EQOA for $40. ...

Everquest Online Adventures Review

5 March 2003: I've now been playing Everquest Online Adventures for about three weeks. I've been putting an average of an hour a day, usually when I get home from work. Some nights I skip it all together and some ...

Opinion on war with Iraq

26 February 2003: Imagine you are picked up for speeding and in arguing over the ticket, the cops take you into the station. They decide you look like a suspect from another crime and decide it's time for an interroga ...

John Perry Barlow

26 February 2003: , Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, probably has The best who-am-I homepage I've ever seen. He also had a very int ...

More Online Gaming Pontifications

23 February 2003: For the last week I've been putting time into Everquest Online Adventures. I have a level 13 ranger named Tarlin on the Ferran's Hope server. Like any first generation game it isn't perfect but it is ...

Opera 7

16 February 2003: I downloaded and installed yesterday. It's a 3 meg download for one of the best web browsers I've ever used. It is standards compliant, includes mouse gestures, is built around tabbed browsing, and ...

Max Payne Xbox Review

14 February 2003: Next to Halo, Max Payne is the best single player game on Xbox. Excellent graphics, excellent sound, a great story, and wonderful action all tie together an excellent classic game. Add in the fact th ...

Creative Nomad Muvo 128meg MP3 player

10 February 2003: With my new addiction to mp3s still strong, I purchased a Creative Nomad Muvo solid state MP3 player. It's about the size of a cigarette lighter, has 128 megs (about 21 mp3 files) and cost $150. It ...

Max Payne on Xbox

6 February 2003: In my frustration over the game about saving the world by throwing coke cans, I went out and bought another action game, Max Payne. It's an oldie, but it got excellent reviews and only ran $30 from ...

More Newsfeed Stuff

28 January 2003: I wrote a new newsfeed app called the Google to HTML newsfeed script. It can take in any query and return the top ten results for that query in my standard newsfeed format. I also changed the output ...

Mechassault Top Game on Xbox

24 January 2003: After playing a slew of different games and demos for the Xbox, the one game I keep coming back to is Mechassault. It has the short-attention-span requirements met, it is an excellent multi-player ga ...

A couple of Xbox Problems

22 January 2003: It occurs to me that the Xbox currently has two technical problems. Bad alias artifacts and a lack of HDTV content.I picked up Panzer Dragoon Orta last weekend. It's a fun shooter with some excellen ...

Short Attention Span Xtreme Xboxing

19 January 2003: Brad Myers of the BAM web empire had a good tip. Instead of spending your hard earned cash buying a game you won't play for more than 10 minutes, buy Xbox Magazine and play the demos instead. For $1 ...

Headphones, MP3s, and Car Stereo

17 January 2003: I received a pair of Koss PortaPro headphones today. They are surprisingly small but sound really good even without an external headphone amp. They are lightweight, fold up nice and small, and sound ...

Splinter Cell Part 1

16 January 2003: I picked up Splinter Cell for Xbox today. The pro reviews were sterling, the consumer reviews unbounded, Brad Myers gave it "best game ever" and Matt Baker's review was "...... .... ... ...." a si ...

Web Page Authoring Checklist

15 January 2003: I've recently become very interested in proper HTML markup and decided to write up a checklist that one must follow to write a good multi-platform future-proof html page. ...

Top ten Shameful Games and Worst Covers

12 January 2003: Gamespy has two very entertaining articles, Top Ten most Shameful Video Games and Top Ten worst Video Game Covers. Both articles are a lot of fun to look at and remember. Who can forget the horrors ...

Music in 2003

9 January 2003: Since my Everquest addiction had taken over my main machine, over the last year I have built and kept up a second box I like to refer to as my "multimedia" box. This machine handles all my music and d ...

Loralciriclight.com to MovableType

5 January 2003: I spent this morning moving all of my content from LoralCiriclight.Com over to MovableType. The transition wasn't as hard as I thought. In about two hours I had moved over 40 HTML pages from their s ...

Mechassault for Xbox

2 January 2003: I picked up Mech Assault for Xbox Live. Both the professional reviews and the consumer reviews couldn't quit talking about it. My short review, it is a blast. Although Xbox Live is a royal pain in ...

Xbox Internet Play via Gamespy

2 January 2003: Gamespy is offering Gamespy Arcade and Xbox Tunneler. This client software runs on a local PC, one connected to the same network as your xbox. You can browse through all the current players and sess ...

Halo Review

1 January 2003: Halo on the Xbox is the single best FPS I have played on a console. Excellent graphics, great DD5.1 sound, a good story line, and excellent levels and action. The weapons and bad guys are a bit limit ...

Blogging for Blog's Sake

31 December 2002: One of the things I find interesting about blogs is how much time is spent talking about blogs, formatting blogs, symantic blogs, and structured blogs. The amount of time being spent talking about th ...

Forced XHTML and Accessibility

30 December 2002: Now that I've ripped headlines from just about any news site, I have a new evil project in my head. Forced accessibility and webstandards. Almost all sites on the web post bad HTML. They have naviga ...

The Content Ripper

30 December 2002: Already started on the content ripper. Here's an original Roger Ebert Review and here's the ripped version of that same review. Another example, an article about a new J.R.R Tolkein book and ripped ...

The Two Towers

24 December 2002: I have seen the new Lord of the Rings film, , twice now and it gets better each time I think about it. So much wonderful imagery, so many details, such great acting and camera work. It is proof that ...

Switched to Movabletype

19 December 2002: You've surly noticed a significant change in the MikeShea.Net homepage. I decided to move over to a new web-based blogging tool called Movabletype. While it requires a local install on some kind of ...

HTML Styleguide

19 December 2002: Dug up an old HTML Style Guide by Tim Berners-Lee. If you're new to the web or even an old hand who thinks that Frontpage and Dreamweaver are the way to make web pages, this article is for you. This ...

Initial "Two Towers" Review on CNN

17 December 2002: CNN movie reviewer, Paul Clinton, had this quote in his Two Towers review: "The epic legend of "The Lord of the Rings" continues -- and the second installment, "The Two Towers," is an utter triumph." ...

Google Labs

13 December 2002: Google seems to be releasing a bunch of new hot ideas all at once. Froogle is a giant online catalog. The 2002 Year-End Google Zeitgeist is a collection of the most popular search trends over the la ...

Freshen up your HTML skills

6 December 2002: Bored at work? How about freshening up on some of your ancient HTML skills by visiting the W3C homepage. Try validating some of your homepages and updating them to XHTML 1.0 Strict. Learn how the W ...

The Mike Shea Systems

24 November 2002: Seems I'm on a bit of a computer upgrade binge. Built a mostly-new system. I took my old parts and built a secondary multimedia box as well. Here are the vital statistics: Primary Everquest Box: P ...

All Things Nerdy

9 November 2002: Wired had an article on Online Gaming Economics that is pretty interesting. Talks a bit about how to keep supply and demand in check in an online MMORPG. Good read. Both Fellowship of the Ring Speci ...

Game Systems on the Net

16 October 2002: Internet based consoles and games will not work for another five years. I've come to that conclusion based on the following realities: High speed bandwidth is too rare, too expensive, and too diffic ...

Tekken 4

7 October 2002: shows the wonderful graphical potential of the Playstation 2. With excellent graphics, gameplay, and a solid fighting engine, takes the lead as the best fighting game at home. What makes it so suc ...

Playstation 2 Mayhem

4 October 2002: A while back I wrote an article describing in terrible english Why Computers Suck. In an attempt to break away from the horrible usability, terrible performance / processing power ratio, and tragic p ...

Mike's Empire Consolidates

3 October 2002: Today I have officially combined my horrible Blog and my horrible web portal into one nice single horrible website. You may notice a new page format, lots of grey, a LOT more headlines on the right h ...

Google News

29 September 2002: Had some fun today while messing around with Google's new News Headline Search. I built a small script that accepts any query you can give it and sends back the top ten results from a search from the ...

"Don't raise your hand to

22 September 2002: a child. It ain't worth it." Madelyne Gorman Toogood, the CNN Videotape Beating Mom ...

Everquest Planes of Power is

9 September 2002: Everquest Planes of Power is but a short month away. While I still log a fair amount of time in - just broke 200 days - I can't help but feel that a change is needed. The Cleric class got a huge boo ...

On Writing

29 August 2002: One of the only hobbies I have that wouldn't result in a swirly in any normal high school is writing. I don't have any illusions about any future career or even making a dime for a written word of mi ...

Among my other nerdy pursuits,

19 August 2002: Among my other nerdy pursuits, I am a die-hard comic book fan with very select tastes. I really only read stuff done by Frank Miller including Ronin, Sin City, 300, Hard Boiled, and some Electra stuf ...

Finally beat Warcraft 3. Great

9 August 2002: Finally beat Warcraft 3. Great game single player and I bet the multiplayer is just as good. The MP version just doesn't excite me as much.Everquest is still going strong. I went to the Boston Fan ...

Lots of dorking with the

28 July 2002: Newsfeed section of the Mike Shea Web Empire. I wrote a whole new Page Caching system, rewrote the RSS parser from scratch, and wrote a whole new Custom News Portal. The RSS parser is far simpler no ...

Just when you may have

26 July 2002: thought Everquest was getting boring they release a new user interface and a new bazaar system. The user interface (here's a ui screenshot) is excellent offering a lot of customization via XML. Witho ...

Warcraft 3 kicks ass. The

21 July 2002: Warcraft 3 kicks ass. The single player version not only is great fun but has an excellent story too. Neverwinter Nights' lack of an adventuring group ala Baldur's Gate is probably it's downfall. I, ...

IGN is offering Free Everquest

18 July 2002: IGN is offering Free Everquest Accounts. The account includes a 450 meg copy of "Classic Everquest" which is basically the old world by itself without the three (soon four) expansions, although that ...

In Indiana this weekend eating

12 July 2002: friends out of house and home. I picked up Warcraft 3 last night, I'll post how much I like it later. Real Time Strategy meets RPG. We'll see, but the reviews are good. Their official site has som ...

I've started a pack of

7 July 2002: all my new Neverwinter Nights modules all in one handy zip. This way, as I create and modify the modules, they can all be downloaded from the same URL. Right now there are two modules. One is The Th ...

Though Everquest hasn't let up

5 July 2002: at all (33 AA points and counting), I have started to put together my first Neverwinter Nights module called The Thousand Orcs. The whole concept came from the cover of a new Salvatore book of the sa ...

I picked up Neverwinter Nights

20 June 2002: I picked up Neverwinter Nights last night at Best Buy. You can buy Neverwinter Nights from Amazon as well. I played through the first prelude of the single player game than played through it again i ...

Here's a pretty funny bit

18 June 2002: o' webertainment. It's a take off of Mystery Science Theater 3000 doing the comic strip "Dark Dungeons" an old Christain Fundimentalist anti-D&D comic strip. Here's a pretty funny snippit, take ...

Legacy of the Drow

8 June 2002: Finished reading and started The Silent Blade. All excellent books, but I can't seem to hammer through them like my man, Bonez, who finished the first trilogy in about a week. I also found out that S ...

Just when you thought it could't get nerdier...COMIC BOOKS!

8 June 2002: I've picked up The Dark Knight Strikes Again issues one and two. the sequal to the greatest graphic novel ever written, The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller, author of Sin City, Ronin, and 300, conti ...

BAM!...KICKING IT UP A NOTCH!!

30 May 2002: has some pics of my trip out to Vegas. It includes the worst picture of anyone ever taken by anyone ever in the history of anything. Is it a bloated dead corpse? A new poster for Blair Witch 3? Or ...

Readers Guide to R.A. Salvatore

20 May 2002: Icewind Dale Trilogy $14 Dark Elf Trilogy $14 Legacy of the Drow trilogy $19 ...

Attack of the Clones

18 May 2002: I saw yesterday, you can read all about my experience as well as find a lot of interesting links at my Star Wars Episode 2: article. The short? It's good. Books R.A. Salvatore, long known to me thro ...

More Web Stuff

12 May 2002: I spent a piece of the weekend messing with both my new Mike's Nuke Site and some Newsfeed stuff. Using XML SOAP that I stole, I was able to hack in a Google Search into the nuke site. I also built a ...

Web Dev Stuff Portals are

10 May 2002: Web Dev Stuff Portals are all the rage, but I would still take a simple site like PHP Nuke over the big million dollar ones. I even set up a version to screw around with. It has a lot of support and ...

Ebert's Movie Books

28 April 2002: I am enjoying Roger Ebert's 2002 Yearbook. Not only are there reviews of 600 movies, but the essays in the back are highly entertaining. I have copies of I Hated Hated Hated this movie which I haven't ...

Home Theater

26 April 2002: Looks like I went and caught the home theater upgrade bug. Now I am thinking of all those fancy Dolby Digital EX / DTS-ES movies I have rotting away under the tyranny of a po' folk's Dolby Digital sys ...

Everquest Anxt I dont know

25 April 2002: Everquest Anxt I dont know whether to laugh or cry. Not only has the Playstation 2 version of EQ: Everquest Online Adventures been announced but it appears that Everquest 2 is also in the works for t ...

What is it with movies

20 April 2002: having no solid conclusion anymore? Both Ghost World and You can Count on Me build up some great characters and then let them all trail off into a fuzzy grey mess. By the end you have no idea what ...

Thank God there is still

17 April 2002: a little sense left in our complicated and ignorant society. If the virtual child pornography law had passed, it would be a short step until books like Romeo and Juliet could be banned. The scary th ...

The new TV came!!

13 April 2002: The new TV came!! It is beautiful. I saw Ghost World as my first flick, not the greatest but it was pure. System is all tuned, room is clean. A perfect little screening room... ...

Speaker Cable Stuff Violating my

5 April 2002: Speaker Cable Stuff Violating my own rules for speaker cable, I bought a pair of Monster MCX-1S speaker cables with two sets of banana plugs and two ets of spades. While I don't believe deep down ...

Ordered myself a Mitsubishi 55819

2 April 2002: 55" HDTV last night. For $3450 I get the display, delivery, and a five year in house warrenty. I am very excited. Look forward to a review of the monitor in a couple of months once I have given it a g ...

Playstation 2 Review

6 June 2001: In my article on Why Computers Suck I talked about the advantage of console machines over traditional PCs. I also described the requirements for my ideal console, the one that would change our world o ...

Why Computers Suck

15 May 2001: Note on 17 June 2013: My opinions on this topic have changed drastically since I originally wrote this. Take a look at the article I Was Wrong About PC Gaming to see how I feel about it in June 2013. ...

About Mike Shea

20 May 2000: Updated 25 May 2013 Michael Erik Shea is a writer, gamer, and technologist living in Vienna, Virginia. Mike is the son of Yvonne Shea and Robert Joseph Shea, author of Illuminatus! and other novels. M ...