Kira also runs her own web hosting company, so if you're looking for a developer-friendly web host, check it out.
It's made by a company called iRobot, which has also built robots to investigate the Pyramids and to help troops in Afghanistan. It's a very neat little device. It's round and flat and has lights on top, and it beeps in amusing ways to report its status. When I turn it on, it goes wandering around, bumping gently into walls and furniture and changing course.
It also does a very good job of cleaning my floors! I wouldn't recommend it for a disaster area, but it has no problem dealing with an ordinary level of tracked-in junk.
It's not perfect; it can get stuck under things, or high-center itself on a rolled-up carpet edge. And a loose cable or cord on the floor can stymie it very quickly. Furthermore, its gentle bumping can eventually knock things over, or open doors . . . it takes a bit of practice to know how to make a room Roomba-proof. But it's worth the trouble.
The designers have also hidden some Easter eggs in the Roomba's programming. When you read the pages, you may see some references to the "dancing robot." These are not explained. But if you tickle Roomba just right, you will figure it out . . .
I'm happy with my useful new toy and look forward to seeing what these people do next. Woo hoo, household robots are REAL!
-- Steve Jackson
The web site will provide news about the ongoing development of the GURPS Online products, as well as give players the chance to provide feedback on every part of their design.
Scott Martins, President of Worlds Apart Production, was enthusiastic about the launch of the new site. "We're looking forward to feedback from other GURPS fans about the implementation of GURPS in online game settings that range from large massively multiplayer persistent worlds to player-created environments and play sessions."
GURPS Online products will focus on tapping the potential GURPS has when it comes to using one common set of rules for a myriad of game settings and genres.
The two initial settings being developed for online play are GURPS Old West and Transhuman Space.
More information on release dates, game content, and other aspects of development can be found at http://www.gurpsonline.com.
Well, now there's Wrath II, an improved version with levels, a scoreboard, special weapons . . . as web time-wasters go, this is one of the best.
-- Scott Haring
Last week the urge for fried chicken came upon me, and I stopped by the local KFC - you know, they used to be called Colonel Sanders', before the marketroids changed the name. Chicken and biscuits with real honey, mmm.
Whoops. Not real honey. The packet was labeled "Colonel's HONEY Sauce," with HONEY in big letters and the rest in much meeker type. And the tiny type on the back showed that the chief ingredient was "high fructose corn syrup" . . . which is sweet, but not honey, and is in fact the substance that many researchers blame for America's flab.
Oh, there's honey in there . . . and also something called "natural honey flavoring" . . . and sugar, caramel, and regular corn syrup. In other words, all kinds of cheap, sweet glop.
So today I thought I'd see if all the chicken places were doing it, and went by Church's. I am pleased to report that the ingredients list on their honey packet has one word: Honey.
Okay; Church's is a bit out of the way, but I think they get my business now. "Honey sauce," feh.
-- Steve Jackson
Chess Variants Online Assistant Editor - Ryan Macklin
So you can expect to see a jump in the quantity and scope of our website photography. Hey, maybe we can get a good picture of the Cardboard Heroes Castles samples when they get in . . .
-- Steve Jackson
Munchkin d20 Player's Handbook
Bonnie and Clyde. Matches and gasoline. Famine and plague. And now . . . Munchkin and d20!
Munchkin brought you the essence of roleplaying. Kill them all and take their stuff! Now the Kneepads of Allure, the Ancient Enraged Plutonium Dragon, the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment, and the Half-Elf Half-Dwarf Super Munchkin Cleric-Thief with the Chicken On His Head have flown off the cards . . . and right into your d20 game!
If you play d20 . . . this 48-page hardback book shows how it should be played. If you don't play d20, feel free to inflict munchkinism on some other system. Munchkin d20 will jazz up your sessions as your characters rocket up in power! This book includes munchkin classes, races, spells, and tips and techniques designed to terrify even a hardened GM! (But don't worry -- the Munchkin Masters will be getting their own book soon enough . . . as will the monsters.) This is d20 the way it SHOULD be played. Munchkin out!
Hardback, 48 pages.
GURPS Deadlands: Varmints
Look out, pardner! GURPS Deadlands: Varmints has dozens of new monsters ready to make your trail ride a trip through Hell! Featuring conversions of all the nastiest fiends and beasties from the original Deadlands game, as well as all-new critters with both GURPS and Deadlands stats, GURPS Deadlands: Varmints will give your posse nightmares for a long, long time . . .
Cthulhu Valentines (Reprint)
Eight cards for those you love in the worst way! Want to celebrate Valentine's Day . . . differently? Your loved ones will appreciate these horror-themed Valentine cards. And if not, you can just build some NEW loved ones. Eight envelopes are included in the set. Each card has an illustration by a different top fantasy artist, including Ashley Wood, Bill Koeb, Jason Felix, and John Kovalic . . . and a macabre but heartfelt slogan. We think Lovecraft would approve. Give them to your friends, or save them to gloat over!
Eight cards, with envelopes, boxed.
-- Suggested by Blake Smith
Justin set this picture up using our new dragon miniatures, Valor & Snarl, and part of a box of Skeletons Miniatures. It's for our wholesale order form, so it's only black-and-white, but it was too cool not to share. You can get Valor now as a stand-alone mini from Warehouse 23 -- the boxed sets of dragons and skeletons are coming soon.
No, really. Check it out if you don't believe me.
-- Scott Haring
The Turriettas were both tireless GAMA volunteers, great game retailers, and wonderful, generous persons. Losing Carol last month was bad enough, but for Dave to follow so soon is tragic beyond my understanding. I knew both Dave and Carol for nearly 20 years, and I'm a richer person for it.
All of us at Steve Jackson Games extend our deepest sympathies to Dave's family and friends.
-- Scott Haring
-- Suggested by Jake Cotter
The planet orbits its sun once every 29 hours, and molten iron rains from its sky. Read more details here.
Some of you may have been using an old and no-longer-optimum URL for the boards. The only correct URL for the Pyramid message boards is http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/login/discussion/. The names and parameters for the various scripts which display groups and articles have all also changed.
If you have bookmarks for particular groups, or for the boards in general, and they don't work anymore, please visit the URL above and re-create your bookmarks.
What is all this in aid of? Stay tuned.
-- Mark Cogan
Frag List Moderator - Frank "Grayhawk" Huminski
Chez Geek Online Assistant Editor - Alain Dawson
X-Bugs Online Assistant Editor - Gordon Kane
"The Internet is considerably older than 20 years -- that anniversary is the cutover date when all Arpanet hosts had to abandon the Network Control Protocol (NCP) in favor of TCP. The Internet Protocol itself was in use well before that; when I joined BBN in 1978, Internet Protocol version 2.5 was in use to monitor and control the Atlantic Packet Satellite network.
"Looking at the old Internet Experiment Notes (IENs) at ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/ien/, I find that the note series started in July of 1977; that's probably the first official notice of the current Internet as a concept. The first appearance I find of the current Internet Protocol (v4) specification is IEN 41, in June of 1978.
"Certainly the Internet was a going concern when I came to BBN in Dec. 1978.
"Personally, I'd put the birth of the Internet in either 1977 or 1978, if it doesn't trace back earlier as a concept inside DARPA. But there were definitely multiple live networks connected by the Internet Protocol at the end of 1978, since I actually worked on the network monitoring software for them . . .
"So the Internet is definitely at drinking age, and would even be able to run for President in a few years."
Happy 20th Birthday, Internet!
This CNN story has more details.
GURPS Uplift 2/e
Of the thousands of races in a galaxy full of aliens, ours is the only one that claims to have evolved on its own, without genetic engineering by a Patron species. With its own new clients -- genetically modified dolphins and chimpanzees -- upstart mankind faces a jealous universe. The ancient Patron clans can't decide whether to enslave the races of Terra . . . or just wipe them out.
The Galactics have wealth, power, and incredible technology. The people of Earth have guts, originality and a handful of allies . . . and they won't give up.
This is the universe created by David Brin for his award-winning "Uplift" series. GURPS Uplift includes complete descriptions of the important alien races, maps and descriptions of the Terragens planets, and rules for creating -- and Uplifting -- new species.
This new edition has been updated to cover the races and developments of the "Uplift Storm" trilogy!
GURPS Age of Napoleon
Once in a great while, one man defines the time in which he lives. One such man was Napoleon Bonaparte, and his ambition shaped the face of a continent. From humble beginnings in Corsica to ignominious defeat in Russia and at Waterloo, Napoleon was the sun around which Europe revolved.
Now GURPS brings the age of Napoleon to life. The book focuses on 18th- and 19th-century Europe, including the beginning of the end of colonialism. GURPS players will find a wealth of roleplaying information about commoners, soldiers, nobles, spies, privateers . . . and revolutionaries. Filled with the superb research which roleplayers expect from a GURPS historical supplement, GURPS Age of Napoleon breathes life into bloody battlefields . . . as well as the equally bloody political intrigue of Napoleon's Europe.
GURPS Traveller: Humaniti
In the far future, mankind has scattered to many worlds and divided into many races . . . and some are very alien, despite their Human ancestry. GURPS Traveller: Humaniti describes 13 Human-descended races from the far reaches of the Imperium and beyond, including the technologically advanced Darrians (with their sun-smashing Star-Trigger), the carnivorous Dynchia, the dour warrior Azhanti, and the aggressive Itharans. Compiled by Loren Wiseman, this book is a valuable resource for any GURPS Traveller campaign.
Transhuman Space: Deep Beyond
The Deep Beyond is the solar system's final frontier. A vast zone stretching from the asteroid belt to the edge of interstellar space, its siren call has drawn researchers, pioneers, visionaries -- and outlaws. Transhuman Space: Deep Beyond includes:
GURPS Blue Planet
Prepare for a compelling journey into humanity's future on a distant planet where life is hard and dying is easy. A world where GEO Marshals enforce the peace and wired mercs patrol deep waters in deadly fighter subs. A place where corporate greed and human desperation ravage an alien ecology, threatening to plunge humanity into a war of survival with an ancient legacy.
Welcome to the world of Blue Planet.
Blue Planet was a groundbreaking, critically acclaimed RPG when it was first released, and it is still a thought-provoking science-fiction classic today. Now, Blue Planet comes to GURPS! Jon Zeigler (GURPS Traveller Line Editor) and William Stoddard (GURPS Steampunk, Steam-Tech, and Low-Tech) combine on this faithful adaptation of one of the most original roleplaying worlds of the last few years to one of the strongest systems ever.
GURPS WWII: Dogfaces
They were the Greatest Generation. When the world itself was in danger, they manned the front lines, drove the tanks, landed on the beachheads . . .
They were the dogfaces.
GURPS WWII: Dogfaces is the definitive roleplaying sourcebook for U.S. ground forces in World War II. Whether it's storming the beaches of Normandy, outdueling German tanks in the Ardennes, or retaking the Pacific island by island, the infantry, armor, and artillerymen of the U.S. Army and Marines were the backbone of the Allied war effort. With the attention to detail and historical accuracy that GURPS is known for, GURPS WWII: Dogfaces gives you all the information you need for roleplaying this vital part of mankind's greatest conflict.
We couldn't do justice to a universe as compelling as GURPS Uplift without stunning miniatures to match. Uplift Miniatures allows you to bring David Brin's world alive with a selection of Chims, Neo-Dolphins and Tymbrimi which should be able to depict almost any situation characters should come across from combat to diplomacy.
Boxed set of six miniatures.
Hellishly cute eldritch horrors . . . eating human souls and strawberry ice cream with equal glee . . . Pikathulhu and his friends! Based on the John Kovalic cartoons from Dork Storm Press' Pokéthulhu RPG, sculpted by Richard Kerr, this parody set is . . . insanely funny. You get a giant Pikathulhu, a small Pikathulhu, four additional small thulhus, and their trainer!
ReMemory: The Art of Bill Koeb
"In these pages you will find the many facets of Bill’s personality and skill - from his initial, sometimes cryptic sketches, to more polished thoughts and full-blown paintings. It’s enjoyable to watch the work progress, to see his thinking process from sketch to finish. What’s more, you’ll discover someone who is thrilled to be painting and drawing, for whom the very act is second nature." -- George Pratt, from the introduction to the book Bill Koeb pushes the limits of mixed media fantasy and surreal artwork. His work spans a variety of styles and media, from covers for DC and White Wolf, to the paintings for the film "The Crow, City of Angels," to editorial illustrations and sequential art. But always there is a common thread: the search for truth and beauty.
Hardcover, 64 full-color pages
No, really. Read the BBC story and be amazed.
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