October 2003 Archives


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I came across this article on CNet today reporting Federal Trade Commission chairman Tim Muris is recommending: new legislation making it easier to challenge patents directly through the Patent and Trademark Office; and that possible harm to competition should be considered before granting patents. The highlight of the article was this link to an FTC report published this week which recommends an overhaul of the US patent system. Warm and welcome news.

Meanwhile, the Web is all abuzz scouring archives in search of prior art to invalidate Eolas' recent victory in court to which a judge decided that Microsoft had violated the tiny developer's patents. The decision, if upheld, could mean significant changes to the millions of web pages which rely on web browser plug-ins.


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My sister called up on the phone this evening to tell me to go outside and see the northern lights. What I saw is very close to the photograph above (which I snagged from CNN), though it looked more like a vortex swirling above me showering down colored sheets of clouds. It was the most beautiful and the most Star Trek-ish phenomenon I've ever witnessed. I found myself gazing up into the sky mesmerized as the colors shifted, changed and swirled about many miles above me. Truly an awesome sight.


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I just registered for Winter quarter at RIT and I'm looking forward to it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I will be taking the first of the Games Development concentration sequence:

4002-409   Web Site Design and Implementation
4002-434   Programming for Digital Media
4002-501   Foundations of 2D Graphics Programming
0505-449   Music Theory I

A copy of my schedule can be found here.


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I just finished a remake of the classic game of Tetris, which is my latest project for Interactive Digital Media. You play by using the arrow keys to control the falling blocks. The gameplay is fairly close to the original in that you can rotate the blocks with the up arrow key, drop the current block with the down arrow key, and move them left or right. You may select the option to preview the next block, but that will reduce each score to 80% its value. Three levels of difficulty each differ in the rate at which the blocks begin to fall more quickly. I hope you enjoy playing as much as I enjoyed making it.

Game was removed by request of the Tetris Company


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I just finished implementing the scoring for my first draft of the Tetris game for Interactive Digital Media, and that makes it complete enough to play.

You play by using the arrow keys. And presently you must reload the page to restart the game. I will polish it up a bit before it's due on Sunday.

Game was removed by request of the Tetris Company

If using Mozilla and the arrow keys do not seem to function, click the mouse in the content portion of the window where the game is located. That should make the keys work fine.


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I'm working on the next project for Interactive Digital Media. I chose to remake the classic game of Tetris, and it's almost done... so stay tuned. ;-)


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I found the streaming radio stations on iTunes this evening. So I tuned into the XTC Radio station: Excursions into Trance, and turned on the visualizer and am enjoying a little bit of heaven. iTunes is the first Windows media player which has both played and displayed music so effortlessly without any hiccups or artifacts of any kind - even while I launched Photoshop to create a little montage and write this in Mozilla. Thank you Apple.


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Finally!!

I just finished installing iTunes on my Windows 2000 PC because Apple Computer today made good on their promise and released iTunes for the rest of us!! I immediately went to the store and was able to see firsthand what Apple users have been enjoying for several months now. The interface is slick and I absolutely love being able to hear hi-fi samples of the tracks before purchasing.

I sincerely hope that Apple makes a huge splash with this Windows version and that the iTunes software is just the beginning of much more Windows software to come from Apple. It feels so good to use their software again, it's like putting on a nice old broken-in shoe. And I imagine there are lots of other PC users out there that secretly have an affinity towards Apple products.

iTunes! Woohoo!!! Download it here.


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Now that mid-terms are out of the way, I've been relaxing a bit more and finally able to get some serious play time in with Viewtiful Joe which arrived last week. Two words: this game rocks! Totally addicting, fast paced action with awesome special effects (called "VFX") such as Slow motion Matrix style, Mach speed, and Zoom motion... this game has a style all it's own. The characters are laughable and the storytelling is pure mellow drama at its comical best. A highly recommended game for anyone who loves stylishly unique, original games with flair.

I just can't put this game down... "Henshin a-go-go, baby!"


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I failed my Internetworking Lab practical exam today and I'm not pleased. No, downright upset would be more like it, especially after the midterm exam yesterday for which I anticipate receiving a solid A. Instead of giving us the full lab period for the practical, we had to sign up for either the first or the last hour of the class.

The first half was to construct an RJ45 to 9-Pin adapter to use as part of a complex null modem setup to connect two PCs together. There were NO pin-outs or color coding of the wires provided, you had to either have memorized them (yeah, right) or have them written down on the allowed one-sided hand-written 8.5"x11" cheat sheet. I had the correct pin-outs for both the RJ45 and the 9-Pin connector, but the color coding I had was for UTP cable, not serial cable and the RJ45 end was pre-constructed. I thought "no problem" I will use the breakout box and test the cable to see which wires were associated with each pin... after all this is a networking class and networking is all about troubleshooting, building cables and using cable testers. Problem: not enough time to do that.

So the omission of the proper color codes from my cheat sheet cost me over 35 points since the cable was required for subsequent parts of the activity. That doesn't seem even remotely fair. After all, am I being tested for: [1] carrying the correct information with me on the limited one-sided hand-written paper, and [2] whether I can complete the activities in a race against the clock? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to test whether someone has the knowledge and ability to work through a given problem? The circumstances did not provide that opportunity. And I was not the only one who did poorly.

It might be worth mentioning here that I was employed with Nothnagle Home Securities for 8 years as their Systems Manager. During that time I hand-constructed no less than one hundred RS-232 cables very much like the one on the exam.

I wrote Professor Troell a letter of complaint against the format of the practical in hopes that I will be allowed to take it again without time restriction. Should I be allowed that special treatment? Absolutely! ...along with anyone else who felt they could not finish the exam in the allowed time.

I had the same issue several years ago when taking an exam with the Liberal Arts department in a class which required essay writing in an exam. I am a good writer, though not a quick writer. My complaint then was the same as it is now: no one should be tested on how fast they write or perform a certain function, but rather on their ability to deliver the requirements.


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I just finished a project for my Interactive Digital Media class, and I'm calling it "Musica!" as it highlights several of my favorite music artists as well as a few of my own DJ mixes. Complete with nearly 5 hours of streaming audio and a unique Director interface, take a stroll through mi casa de la musica and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Unfortunately, Mozilla and Netscape both have problems with Shockwave streaming audio as I was unable to get it working in either of those two browsers. So, please use Microsoft's Internet Explorer for best results.

Update: Add Safari to the list of incompatible browsers, and only use IE version 6 or above. Well ok, so this isn't the most accessible project I've ever done, but it really is a cool interface if you have the right configuration. And what's up with these browsers not able to support Shockwave streaming audio? It's not like Shockwave is a new thing. I wonder if it has anything to do with Acacia Media Technologies and their nefarious streaming media patent claims? Nah.

Click on the house, or just click here.


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There's more classic Zelda gaming goodness coming to a local Gamecube near you. I just learned from the guys over at IGN-Cube that a bonus disc containing the following games is in the works: The Legend of Zelda; Zelda II: The Adventure of Link; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask; and a demo of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Possibly a pack-in with new Gamecubes, or a bonus for those who pre-order The Four Swords, either way Nintendo is showing determination to consistently deliver the goods!


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Someone asked me recently, "What's up with the 'jay Is' thing anyway?" (well, that's not entirely true, but makes a nice segway into a new blog entry)...

Well, I'm glad you asked. =P

Several years ago, my dear friend Daphne Poulin (though her name has changed twice since then, maybe even a third time by now) worked for a graphic design-advertising-marketing company called Forward Design. I would visit her when ever I could as there was always something exciting happening there. It was Daphne who gave me the nickname "Jay is" since my last name is Bibby. And since she had another friend named Jay, though his last name is not Bibby, she named him "Jay is not". So Jay is Bibby is me, and Jay is not Bibby is not me. Still with me?

The case is sensitive, and that's all I'll say for now except, it is I... and I am.


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"The downfall of communism was due to state control by totalitarians—an attribute embodied by today's commercial software industry far more than by the emergent open-source science of information technology."

From "An open source letter" on News.com written by Joe Firmage, chairman and CEO of ManyOne Networks.


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"Are you Jay Bibby?"

Looking up, I realize the question had come from a fellow Interface Design classmate, though I didn't know his name and yet he seemed to know mine.

"Yes, I am... (?)"

"I had the pleasure of grading your Interactive Digital Media assignment. You did a great job on it, it was really really good... the best of the bunch."

And that was the single most rewarding experience at RIT I've ever had.

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