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Mike Melanson
Attended University of Colorado at Boulder
Lived in Colorado Springs, CO
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Mike Melanson

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Oh dear. I was just interacting with a web form on the site of a financial institution. It didn't accept my input-- threw an server error. I removed the angle brackets in my message and it works.

Feels like a bit of a rookie mistake.
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I don't think I have ever shared my own NES/SNES collection with this group. That's probably because I don't have it anymore. I took all these pictures 6 years ago before I gave it all away. That's right-- I just gave it all away! :-) I never expected a new collectors' boom as we have seen in recent years.

The collection includes Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior II, all 6 NES Mega Man games, a grey Zelda cart, and a top loader NES.

I await all your lamentations that I could just give this stuff away. :-)
I gave away a huge pile of video games and systems; here are the pictures
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Damn, you had some really good carts in that picture. 
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Mike Melanson

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I finally composed a new blog post. This time, I'm describing a general philosophy for translating game resources.
Want to hack a game but don't know how to start? This post can help you develop a mental model for approaching the task
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Mike Melanson

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Seen at Weird Stuff Warehouse: A software package in an enormous box. The place has 2 copies of this and lots of other similarly enormous software packages. I was curious to know what all that space was for. Fortunately, this copy was unwrapped so I was able to open it up and see exactly what was inside.

It comes with language reference, user reference, design reference, tutorials, and 5 more books that aren't labeled on the spine.

I looked it up and 4th Dimension Database is still an active product. It's 32 years old at this point and is so old that they managed to snare the simple domain name 4d.com way back in the day.

Including +SiliconClassics, who has a group dedicated to showcasing "Retro Software Packages -
Back when software came with ten pounds of manuals."
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I remember the ads for this!
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Mike Melanson

Home Computers  - 
 
Seen at Silicon Valley's Weird Stuff Warehouse today: Is US$300 a good price for a complete IBM 5150 PC?
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I remember working at DataPoint in 1981. We were an IBM VAR (Value Added Reseller). When the FIRST IBM PC came into our shop, I remember saying- "This represents the END of our jobs at Datapoint- nobody is gonna spend $100,000 on a maintenance contract for this thing, and any idiot can service these without training, like on a DataPoint 8800. Our jobs will be eliminated!".

DataPoint lasted another 3 years.
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Mike Melanson

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I spotted these 2 modern pinball machines in a bar in Sunnyvale, California tonight: Star Trek (Limited Collector's Edition?!) and Game of Thrones!

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Both le, noice!
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Mike Melanson

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Brand new frustration dealing with a website form:

I needed to interact with customer service. There is an option to send a secure message through my account page. So I carefully compose the message.

When I submit, it gives me an error that my message contains characters that can't be handled. Since I have no idea which basic punctuation characters might be confusing the backend, and since the form gave me no feedback about the offending characters, I resorted to rewriting the message in old school style.

And by "old school", I mean telegram style. I removed all non-alphanumeric characters except for periods which I replaced with STOP. Hey, the web form accepted it.
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ALL CAPS TOO QUESTION MARK
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Mike Melanson

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I've been helping to translate more old DOS games.
My approach to helping translate the 1994 DOS game "Return to Ringworld" into Spanish
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Wouldn't it be more authentic to have some badly copied sheets of paper with the translation? 
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Mike Melanson

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I was pretty baffled when I saw this Google-branded Dell server at Silicon Valley's Weird Stuff Warehouse today. Why does this exist?

Then I remembered that Google sells Search Appliances to enterprises and this is what such an appliance looks like.
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From the days when the Google logo had a drop shadow.
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I found a beautifully preserved manual for Falcon 3.0, the PC flight simulator from 1991. 300+ pages to understand this game! I was always somewhat fascinated by this game since a friend's family had a gleaming new 486 computer and this was the game they used to showcase its power.

Mostly, I was just fascinated by the opening animation. Now that I view the animation on YouTube, I see that it's mostly a static picture with some 3D/sprite animation overlaid on top.
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+Gregory Eschbacher​ Of course they still make games like that. It's just that the manuals are in pdf format now. :-)

Seriously, I just looked up the pdf manual for Civ: Beyond Earth and it weighs in at 122 pages.
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Mike Melanson

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Fun with Amazon pricing: Either buy 1, or buy a 2-pack for more than triple the price!

Though if you just adjust the single-price quantity to 2, you will get the sane price.
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Mike Melanson

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Did you know that "Bow and Arrow" is the pinball machine you are most likely to see in TV, movies, and music videos?

Numerous productions film at the Pink Motel and adjoining Cadillac Jack's diner. These locations are maintained specifically for filming purposes. I first spied the "Bow and Arrow" pinball machine (look way in the back of this picture) in Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back" music video. I thought it was odd that a 50s-style diner had a pinball machine from the 70s.

The linked page documents some of the productions filmed there. I have most recently see the diner used in a series of music videos for +PostmodernJukebox​.
The latest season of Vanderpump Rules might have been the most epic yet. With Stassi Schroeder making only occasional appearances, I had a fear that the show
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Phear the phlat cap
Education
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    Computer Science, 1995 - 1997
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Multimedia / Linux Software Engineer
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Colorado Springs, CO - Boulder, CO - San Francisco, CA - Milpitas, CA - Adana, Turkey
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