Sep 132015

Pandemic is a cooperative board game, where you fight together to save the world from four different viruses. Since the game turned out to be quite popular, several expansions have been released.

Here are the best prices for the game and the current expansions, delivered to Denmark:

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294.95 kr with shipping, in stock!
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Pandemic: On the BrinkPandemic: On the Brink
294.09 kr with shipping, in stock!
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Pandemic: In the LabPandemic: In the Lab
298.00 kr with shipping, in stock!
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Pandemic: State of EmergencyPandemic: State of Emergency
264.00 kr with shipping, in stock!
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 Posted by at 11:54
Oct 292012

These are the coins of New Zealand, at least the normal ones, which have been in circulation since 2006. These normal, boring coins are minted by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. These are not the coins we are looking for.

No, these are also not the coins we are looking for. though the New Zealand Star Wars coins do come pretty close to their latest collectable coins. The above coin with the droids has a denomination of $2, and is legal tender. No, the latest offering firmly places New Zealand on the map of Middle Earth:

Yes, that is right: Hobbit coins, and legal tender too! Buy them here, today! At the same time, you might want to get your hands on the Pikachu coin as well:

Straight from the small island nation of Niue. And yes, Niue is a dependency of New Zealand, and they are using Reserve Bank of New Zealand as the minter of their coins.

 Posted by at 20:40
Sep 252012

A few years ago I ran into the Cursor*10 game online. The whole idea of using time travel as a gameplay element appeared at first to be quite new and interesting. Not since figuring out what a RTS was, by playing Dune 2 on my Amiga 500 have I seen a whole new genre of game mechanics. At least, so I thought.

For those who have not yet tried Cursor*10, the idea is to get to the 16th floor by clicking stairs. You have about 10-15 seconds. But once you reach floor 8 (see picture above), you realize that the game is not that easy. Here you have a button you need to hold down in order for the next stair to appear. But how can you both hold down the button and simultaneously click the stairway? This is where the time travel comes into play. Once your time runs out, you start over on the first floor. But the movements and clicks you just made with your first try are repeated by a ghost cursor. The illusion is that you have traveled back in time to  the start of the game, but now there are two instances of you.

If you, with the first instance of your cursor, go to the 8th floor and hold down the button for the remainder of the time, this first cursor will then repeat the exact same movements while your second cursor gets to use the stair. Easy! In total you get 10 cursors (hence the name of the game), and you are going to need them. The hardcore version of the game requires you to click a lot of items on each level in order to reach the maximum amount of points. For the lazy people, here is a video of the solution. For the cheaters, here is one using the tabulator key to select items in flash instead of clicking on them.

The time travel feature used in Cursor*10 is called chronocloning in Achron, a newer RTS featuring extensive time traveling. In this RTS, you are not only playing on a normal map with only spatial dimensions, but you are also utilizing the temporal dimension. You can travel back or forward in time, and give your units orders or cancel earlier orders. I have not yet tried the game, but I think that the mechanics are going to need a bit of getting used to. With proper chronocloning, you can take a single unit and send it back in time several times, so at one point on the timeline, the same unit will be present multiple times. That is what I call a one-man army. The Wikipedia article gives a very good overview of how the game works, but to get a quick grasp of it, there are several videos at Youtube.

Looking again at Wikipedia, there is a nice list of games featuring time travel as a gameplay element. Looking through it, I find that an old favorite adventure game Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle is on there. Of course that counts as a game featuring time travel as a gameplay element, how could one forget such a wonderful game?

Speaking of adventure games, the genre has recently been revived a bit, now with ports of the first two Monkey Island games to the Xbox360. Yes, I bought them. Yes, I played them. Yes, I even played them again with the old graphics, just for the sake of it. Really nice to have speech on the games after so long time. Also, check out Telltale Games, they have made quite a few adventure games lately. They even have some of the same people on board who made the golden age adventure games. If nothing else, just buy something from them to enjoy their down-to-earth webshop process. A quick teaser: The mail you get when you buy something from them contains the following words: “We love you! Why? Because you bought some stuff!” .. “Now you are our favorite. Don’t tell the others!”.

Back to games with timetravel in them. Go play Chronotron, now!

 Posted by at 18:57
Apr 062012

A new site has appeared online: Dead Bunnies. The famous comic book now has a home on the interwebs, with all the glory, gory details and background information on the popular Dead Bunnies. Visit it today, visit it now, visit it forever. See the sights and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on the way out.

 Posted by at 12:45
Nov 152011

The annual International Obfuscated C Code Contest is open again, and you can submit your weird program coded in C, that only you understand, all the way to January 12th, 2012 – the contest closes at 12:12, of course.

Some cool winners from the previous years include 2006/hamre, which shows a nice source file layout. Also of note is the very funny abuse of the contest rules in 1994, which produces the world’s smallest self-reproducing program: The source is empty, and when the compiled program runs, it prints out nothing… exactly matching the original source code. The contest rules have since 1994 included a blurb on not trying to beat the record for the world’s smallest self-reproducing program.

The most beautiful program I have seen on that site so far, must be 2005/anon. Take a look at the code. Note that constructs such as do, if, switch and case have all been redefined to some weird series of parentheses.  Reading the explanation of the code tells you, that almost no normal C-constructs have been used at all. The only variables are argc and argv. The code calls main() recursively a few times, in order to get more variables on the stack. Then it abuses the allocated stack as a variable space. Logic is implemented only by short-circuiting boolean expressions, and almost reads like a functional programming language.

On the subject of abusing C code, don’t forget the magnificent Duff’s Device. Amazing abuse of the C standard by an assembler programmer- but hey, it works!

I should probably also mention the Underhanded C Contest, where contestant compete to create normal-looking programs, which actually have backdoors hidden in them. The very best example of this is this story, where a Trojan horse is inserted into the C compiler itself, which is then removed from the source. Every time this “patched” C compiler is compiling the “login” program on Unix, it will insert a backdoor into the compiled program. But the kicker is, that if the C compiler compiles itself, it will insert code into the compiled program, so that the new C compiler will still insert code into itself and the “login” program – without having these instructions in the source. I urge you to read that story to understand more about security and Trojan horses.

Oct 232011

Ever wondered which pen to choose? Wonder no longer, Which Pen Is Mightier is here to help you decide. Pens are reviewed and scored based on several categories, including writability, comfort and just how good they are at entertaining you during long meetings. Yes, pens are the best tool for entertainment when you are bored at a meeting. Most pens can be deconstructed, and the best can be turned into fun projectile weapons. Fun, fun, fun.

Oct 232011

Great site! Only rule is that the content may only be created while drunk. This leads to quite a bit of inside jokes and content which is not understood by anyone the day after. Rarely updated, but when it is, the new content is always pure gold!