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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tomorrow is gone, time to start really funding NASA

Truer words were never spoke and Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks them perfectly.

The next time you hear someone ask "why are we spending so much money on X rather then problems on Earth". Slap them upside the head.  The Us government spent more on TARP then the entire 50 year budget of NASA. The US government spends more  each year on Health Human Services & and social programs such as Medicare and Medicaid then the entire US defense budget! In short NASA's funding is ridiculously low.

Time to start dreaming again America, time to reach for the stars again. Thanks Neil deGrasse Tyson for pointing that out to us, perhaps someday soon we'll start reaching for them again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dave Arneson = Jef Raskin?

Who and who I hear you ask?

Bare with me before I get to the meat, most people know who Gary Gygax is in the gaming world, but not all might know Dave Arneson. In computers most people know who Steve Jobs was, but probably never heard of Jef Raskin.
Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D
For those wondering and wanting more information on the team that ushered us into the dawn of the personal computing world look here for an excellent site run by Andy Hertzfeld. Andy was  one of the eight Macintosh creators; here are links to some of them from 1983/84 ( Mac creators outakes), you can also find the famous photo of the 8 here.  For more details on the birth of the Macintosh computer please visit here

Jef Raskin had the original idea for the Macintosh, but Steve took the project over and went in an entirely different direction. Sound familiar?As lore would hold it in D&D Dave showed Gary hsi early work and Gary expounded from there. The problem lies in the fact that we will never known how much was Gary's details and how much was Dave's. My gut tells me that it was probably a little bit of both, culled from different sources.

Jef Raskin holding a Canon Cat
I post this with one simple thought: are these two individuals similar in their places in history? In the case of Jef, his side of the story is well known and can be found on the web. In the case of Dave, a sealed lawsuit prevents us from ever knowing one of the crown jewels of the early drama filled days of D&D. Just what balance of ideas led to D&D, and whose at that?

Gary pulled and borrowed from a lot of different sources. I don't fault him for that, as I think that is is his genius. He was able to use a wide amalgamation of varying  material to forge it into a product that was better then the sum of its parts.

In Jef's case he was truly one of the early pioneers in the personal computer realm (although just how much is difficult to tell. Such luminaries as Bruce Horn certainly have different ideas on Jef's contributions. Jef's Mac project is hard to reconsile with what Steve turned out, to whit when free to persue his own muse Jef turned out the Canon Cat. Quite different then the original 128k Mac.

Food for thought and one I'll leave the readers to ponder here, please do a bit of reading on the two men. I'd love to hear whether I'm way off or closer then even I'm thinking.