GPF News Archive

First Post Previous Post Next Post Latest Post December 12, 2005


Howdy, gang. I don't know about you guys, but I've been ridiculously busy here behind the scenes. With the comic, work, and the holidays, it seems like everything's going on at once! :) But then again, the holidays are always a wonderful time of the year, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. So in case I don't make another news posts before the end of the year, I'll start off by wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season for whatever holidays you celebrate. As you've probably noticed, we've already decked the virtual halls here at GPF. (I've always like the little picture of Nick with his Santa hat. You can download the image he comes from in the Desktop Backgrounds section.)

That said, here's the meaty news to share:

"How Trudy Stole Christmas!" is Back!: Since Plan Nine's 2000 Christmas Annual is no longer in print and warpKEEN has been down for months, there are tons of new Faulties out there who have never even heard of our little GPF Christmas tradition from holidays past. So I did some digging through old ZIP files and CD-Rs and for the first time, the entire text and illustrations of our holiday poem "How Trudy Stole Christmas!" is finally online! Featuring 19 exclusive illustrations, this parody of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was first published in 2000 for Plan Nine's Christmas Annual. Shortly thereafter, I recorded a dramatic reading of the poem and put the MP3 online under warpKEEN's After Dark section. This repackaging marks the first time the entire project—poem, illustrations, and recorded performance—have been gathered under one roof. And... it's only available for Keenspot PREMIUM subscribers. So if you're a PREMIE, click the link above to enjoy our festive holiday treat. If you're not, think of this as just one more incentive to add to the tons of exclusive GPF content that subscribers already enjoy.

No GPF Holiday Cards for 2005?: While we're still on the topic of holidays, some of you may have noticed (or not) that the GPF Store has been down for several months now. Unfortunately, I've been having some technical issues with the storefront software I purchased, and finding the time to debug the issue has been a hassle. Once I finally figured out what the problem was, I tried to reopen it, only to have all sorts of problems with conflicting Apache configuration file issues. Even though I had effectively reopened the store, it still automatically pointed to the closed message. Although I have since cleared up that issue and the Store is once again open, what all this boils down to is that there's no way I'm going to be able to produce any GPF holiday cards like I've done for the past couple years. I'm sorry if this disappoints anyone, because this is an even bigger disappointment to me. It just looks like the cards will have to wait until next year.

Lots of Site Tweaks and Clean-Ups: I've also been doing some general house cleaning around the site, dusting off cobwebs here and repackaging things there. For example, under our Geeky Games subsite, I finally updated the links in Nick's Virtual Maze to make it easier to find VRML browser plug-ins. Several of you have pointed out that the old links to Cosmo Player were no longer valid (because Cosmo Player is no longer supported or in development), so I did some Googling and found a useful link. Speaking of games, I've also done some sweeping through the Downloads section. Not only have I opened up downloads for the offline editions of "Gandalf's Quest" and "Apocalypse Pete's Exciting Online Adventure!" once again (I removed those some time ago to cut down on bandwidth), but I've also made some nifty installer programs for Windows users to make installing the games easier. (Fret not, those of you free from the shackles of Bill Gates; the original ZIP archives are still available, but they require a little bit more manual labor to set up.) I also decided to remove the download for the Windows 95 start-up screens because, well... it's been ten years, people. Microsoft doesn't support Win95 anymore, and Win98 is on its way out. While I plan to keep the files around for sentimental reasons, it doesn't make much sense to keep them up for downloading.

Final Version of Mandelbrot Madness JAVA! Released: Finally, here's another nugget most of you have probably never even seen. I have finally released the last version of Mandelbrot Madness JAVA!, version 4.0. For those of you who have never heard of this program, it was nifty little programming experiment that I've been working with off and on since college, and which has gone through incarnations in Pascal, C, Visual C++, Perl, and finally Java. It's a handy application for exploring Mandelbrot and Julia set fractals, complete with zooming capabilities, customizable palettes, shareable parameter files, and lots of new bells and whistles not available in previous versions. Alas, I haven't had time to work on it for several years now, and version 4.0 has been cluttering my drives since at least 2002 and has never seen the light of day. So I finally decided to put it out as the final version, declare the project no longer in development, and let you guys play with it if you want. I've even released the source code as GPL for you tinkerers out there. The old 32-bit Windows version is also still available and even has a spiffy new installer, but the Java version is definitely the more robust and feature-rich of the two. I kind of hate giving up on it, but I have far too many things on my plate now to claim that it's still in "active" development.

That's all I really have for now, guys. If you find yourself scratching your head over the current events in the comic itself, make sure to check out the News post from November 6th, which includes a bunch of notes and back references that should help clear up some of the confusion.

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