Tabletop Gaming at Kublacon: An Essay in Pictures

Emily and I swing into the parking lot, naturally finding a spot on the top floor of the Hyatt Airport parking garage. We’d already unloaded luggage, boxes of games for the flea market, and a massive suitcase full of games for playing. We headed into the con area, making our way towards the registration desk. We headed down the escalator to pick up our badges and wristbands. The registration desk seemed quite on early Friday afternoon. The folks staffing the […]

The Body Electric Chapter Excerpt

This is something of an experiment. I sometimes dabble in a little fiction. But my fiction tends to be scenes rather than complete stories. Scenes pop into my head, often connected inside a common fictional world, but the complete story often eludes me. So here’s a chapter one for your perusal. Let me know what you think, and feel free to contribute any ideas in the comments. Dusk descended on the Cupertino foothills. The onshore breeze had already begun cooling […]

Prepping for Kublacon

I’ll be up to my armpits in board games this weekend, attending one of the Bay Area’s best tabletop gaming conventions, Kublacon, held at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt. I’ve been attending this particular con for more years than I care to recount. My two daughters took part in the Kublacon Kids room since they were each five years old, which likely helped shape their interest in gaming. In fact, my younger daughter, Emily, is going to Kublacon with me […]

Eric’s Excellent VR PC Build, More Nikon, and Kublacon!

  Eric needed a new PC to run his spiffy HTC Vive VR kit, so we built one. The parts list impresses: Core i5 Skylake, GTX 980, 16GB DDR4. Eric, David Bryant, and I got together and tackled assembly chores. Along the way, we experience one of the worst case designs I’ve seen in a long time. The Bitfenix Prodigy micro-ATX case may look like its mini-ITX sibling, but it’s an abysmal design internally. Eric discovers PCPartpicker, a nifty tool […]

Loyd’s Somewhat Dubious iPhone Adventure

I am now the proud somewhat sheepish owner of an iPhone 6s+. It all began when my wife, Jan, broke her iPhone 5. The aging iPhone 5 had already been acting finicky, including shortened battery life. It also would sometimes fail to issue an audio tone for notifications, causing her to miss text messages. We initially thought she’d just left it in “do not disturb” mode, but it also happened with the phone in full-on ring mode. So we decided to […]

Can the GTX 1080 Compute?

Sure it does. But how well? Out of idle curiosity, I ran a couple of OpenCL compute-oriented benchmarks on the GTX 1080 and three other GPUs. Bear in mind that this is more quick-and-dirty benchmarking, not rigorously repeated to validate results. The results, however, look interesting and the issue of compute on new GPUs bears further investigating. The Setup These tests ran on my existing production system, a Core i7-6700K with 32GB DDR4 running at the stock 2,133MHz effective. I […]

A Celebration of Pure Folly

By my admittedly rough count, I’ve hosted over 700 PC gaming sessions in my basement lab since I moved into this particular house in February, 1997. I began calling the game sessions “Friday Night Follies” since most of them run on Friday nights. The group ranges between two to as many as nine players, depending on the game played, the mood, and timing. We’ve probably slain more virtual enemies over 700 game sessions that the population of Silicon Valley. Of […]

Ride a Bike, Wear a Helmet

It’s near the end of May, 2016, as I write this. Emily Case, my younger daughter, graduates from U.C. Santa Cruz on June 12th. She’s prepping for graduate school, entering a Ph.D. program in archaeology at Arizona State University. But for a brief time in 2014, I wasn’t sure this would happen. I wasn’t even sure she’d live through a catastrophic accident resulting in traumatic brain injury. She recovered amazingly quickly, and persevered, returning to college the quarter following the […]