Sunday, March 10, 2002

While doing research for my Game Music Week last month, I stumbled across zDoom, an application which allows you to play the original Doom games in Windows with added 3D features . This makes the Doom games (which are all DOS dinosaurs) play at higher resolutions and seem like Quake or Unreal. So when not doing other things these past few weeks, I played through the "official" ninety-six levels of Doom 2. It's amazing that I can remember very little from a Combinatorics class taken two years ago, and yet I still have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the secret zones in the Doom levels. Playing zDoom inspired me to dig up the old deathmatch WADs I created in high school and write about them -- you can find this new section on the Games page.

This past week, I also played and beat Ultima VII Part 2 again, thanks to another helper application which allows both "Voodoo Memory"-based Ultima games to work great in Windows. I think it's still one of the best roleplaying games ever made. Sometime this summer I'm going to archive all my old games on a single hard drive with all the copy protection and DOS bypassers, just for nostalgia's sake. There's actually very few games that I didn't beat at one time or another, and most of those are from the past few years.

I finished the book Effective Java yesterday. Despite the pricey cover charge, it was a really good reference manual. The book is written by an architect who actually worked on much of the Java API, and covers elusive use topics not normally found in Java books. Most books teach you how to code in Java, or show how to use the API, but very few books actually discuss non-class specific implementations to any great amount, and this book fills that gap nicely. Next up is Design Patterns which cover designs and solutions for problems which aren't language-specific.

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