It Happened to Me

Virtual Bubble Wrap — M.I.A.

Hello, regular readers and visitors from BoingBoing! [BoingBoing referred to this blog in an entry posted earlier today.]

Alas, I’ve taken down the pages on which Virtual Bubble Wrap lived. I’ve been planning to put them up somewhere, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Luckily, I posted a standalone Windows version last year. You can get it from this entry.

Screen shot: Standalone version of Mackerel's Virtual Bubble Wrap.

Although BoingBoing‘s Xeni Jardin says that Cory Doctorow says that I am the father of all bubble wrap game sites, the real credit for Virtual Bubble Wrap should go to its creators, Dave Groff and Kevin Steele (creative directors of Mackerel Interactive Multimedia, where I got my first job out of university) and its first coder, Karl Borst (also of Mackerel). They created it to be part of The Mackerel Stack, an interactive presentation handed on a single floppy disk. My contribution was re-implementing it in Shockwave for Director so that it could be put onto the web.

I’ve probably mentioned it a million times before, but I’ll do it again: Cory Doctorow wrote a elegy for Mackerel titled Burying the Fish. It was intended for Wired, but never made it to print.


I Know All of Those Words, But the Line Just Doesn’t Make Any Sense

I, for one,” Deenster writes, “do not like the idea of being on tv.”

It sounds like English, but to my ears, parses as crazy.

Geek It Happened to Me

It Just Dawned on Me That Bill Gates is Partially Responsible for My First Kiss (and Now I Need a Drink)

Take a look at this screen shot from an old IBM PC game whose filename

was “DONKEY.BAS” (the “.BAS” filename extension denotes that the

program was written in the BASIC programming language):

I will bet that I am the only human being who feels an old adolescent

twinge whenever I see this screen. The reason is that back in 1983,

when I was just shy of turning 16, I was reverse engineering this game

on my friend’s dad’s IBM PC when a girl interrupted me for my first

alcoholic drink and kiss. Had I not been at that machine, that

experience could potentially have been delayed by years (you must

remember that it was 1983, well before the Internet and geek chic made

nerds cool).

Today, I discovered that Bill Gates himself co-wrote DONKEY.BAS. If

Bill hadn’t written that cheesy little demo program, my personal

history would’ve been far less interesting. The girl, you see, was so

much trouble that the rest of the story, I’m afraid, is unbloggable.

Needless to say, the thought of ol’ Bill’s involvement in my first

kiss, however tangential, is a little irksome. I need to do a

double-shot of Crown Royal now.

Photo: Doctored photo of Bill Gates hugging Joey deVilla.

Thank you, Bill…yeeeeesh.

If you want to play DONKEY.BAS or see its innards, check out this entry on IndieGameDev, where I’ve posted both an executable that’ll run on any Windows box (even XP!) and the BASIC source code.

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Starbucks I Have Known

In an article titled Maximum Starbucks Density, Jason Kottke points to a blog entry by Justin Blanton, who used the Starbucks locator web page

and discovered that there are 43 Starbucks branches within a 5-mile

radius of his apartment. He challenged readers to beat that. I can, with 51 branches. The record — a whopping 170 Starbucks — belongs to an area “around Broadway in NYC”.

While looking at some of the locations on the map of the Starbucks near

my house, I got the urge to annotate the map (classifying things

qualifies as a recreational activity in the nerd world). Here’s what I

put together — click the map below for a larger version:



Graphic: 'Muy Muy Rapido Tuesday' icon.

Here’s a sample of a clever comic commentary on copyright by Tony Esteves in his webcomic, Cigarro & Cerveja:

Comic: 'Cookieright' from 'Cigarro & Cerveja'.


The 2005 Bloggies Nominees

Graphic: 'Muy Muy Rapido Tuesday' icon.

The Bloggies site

is still down from having served more than its monthly allotment (the

page shows the dreaded “509 – Bandwidth Limit Exceeded” error). Luckily

for those who want to know who got nominated, Firda Beka of Weblog

Wannabe (a nominee in the “Best Asian weblog” and “Lifetime

Acheivement” categories) has replicated the list of nominees. If you

were interested in voting in the Bloggies but had no idea who the

candidates were, here’s her list, slightly rearranged to emphasize the

category in which this blog appears.

Note that for the first time, two Blogware-based blogs are among the

represented: this blog for “Best Canadian Weblog”, and Tom Reynolds’ Random Acts of Reality for “Best Tagline” (“Trying to kill as few people as possible”) and as the subject of Random Reality Bites, a Guardian article nominated for “Best Article or Essay About Weblogs”. Well done, Tom!

Best Canadian Weblog

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century (vote for it!)

Bacon and Eh’s


Best Meme

A replicating idea that spread about weblogs.



The Grey Album

Is My Blog Burning?

Photo Friday

Best Article or Essay About Weblogs

New Kids on the Blog

Random Reality Bites

Blogs, Bandwidth, and Banjos: Tightly Knit Bonds in Weblogging

How to Blog

Warning: Blogs Can Be Infectious

Best Web Application for Weblogs

Something that helps you publish, make comments, anything that has to do with developing a weblog.


Movable Type



Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog


What’s New, Pussycat?



Best Asian Weblog

Weblogs from Asia, not including the Middle East.

Weblog Wannabe

Noodle Pie

Tokyo Times


Life in Mono

Best African or Middle Eastern Weblog

360 Degrees of Sky

A Family in Baghdad

Subzero Blue

Benn Loxo du Tàccu

Where Is Raed?

Best European Weblog

My Boyfriend Is a Twat

Papel Continuo

Chocolate and Zucchini

La Coquette

Near Near Future

Best British or Irish Weblog

Weblogs from the United Kingdom and Ireland.




London Underground Tube Blog

Best Latin American Weblog



Bibi’s Box

Denken Über

Best American Weblog

Weblogs from the United States.


Go Fug Yourself


Tequila Mockingbird


Best Tagline of a Weblog

Pesky’Apostrophe: “Always better than an unexpected period”

Scaryduck: “Not scary, not a duck”

The Gospel According to Rhys: “Chronologically inept since 2060”

Dooce: “Not your average clenched-cheek sprint to the bathroom”

Random Acts of Reality: “Trying to kill as few people as possible…”

Best Photography of a Weblog

Photoblogs and other weblogs that regularly feature photography.

Satan’s Laundromat

The Narrative

The Snowsuit Effort

Daily Dose of Imagery

Best Non-Weblog Content of a Weblog Site

Many sites contain more that just a weblog. This is for those pages with something extra.


The Soxaholix


The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog


Best Food Weblog


Simply Recipes

The Food Section

100 Cookbooks

Cooking for Engineers

Best Entertainment Weblog


Largehearted Boy



Whatevs (Dot Org)

Best Weblog About Politics

Low Culture



Best Web Development Weblog

Weblogs completely about Web design and development.





456 Berea Street

Best Computers or Technology Weblog

Weblogs about computers and/or technology, other than Web design.



Daring Fireball

Near Near Future


Best Topical Weblog

Weblogs with a definite topic other than the ones in the categories above.

The Policeman’s Blog


London Underground Tube Blog

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog


Best GLBT Weblog

Webloggers in the gay/lesbian/bisexual/ transgendered community.

How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons



Troubled Diva

Hot Toddy’s Toaster Oven

Most Humorous Weblog

Go Fug Yourself

Geese Aplenty


Defective Yeti

Best Writing of a Weblog

Weblogs with great writing, from personal journaling to professional journalism.

Real E Fun

Tequila Mockingbird



Greek Tragedy

Best Group Weblog

Weblogs written by an exclusive group.

Go Fug Yourself


Boing Boing

Low Culture

A Fistful of Euros

Best Community Weblog

Weblogs where everyone is invited to post.


Overheard in New York



Best-Designed Weblog

Karen Cheng

Jason Santa Maria


Best-Kept-Secret Weblog

The best underrepresented weblogs.

Manhattan Transfer

Mixed Media Watch

Susan Mernit’s Blog

Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance Again

He Looks Like…

Best New Weblog

Weblogs that began during the year 2004.

Petite Anglaise

He Looks Like…


The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog


Lifetime Achievement

Webloggers who have been blogging at least since January 1, 2001.

Tom Coates

Ernie Hsiung

Meg Hourihan

Derek Powazek

Firda Beka

Weblog of the Year

This is it: the category for the best weblog overall.


This Fish Needs a Bicycle


Boing Boing

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog



Rejected Wedding Theme #2

Graphic: 'Muy Muy Rapido Tuesday' icon.

Nina Hagen’s cover of My Way. [5.1 MB MP3 file, enclosure].