Friday's RuneQuest Game

Friday's game of RuneQuest went well - our party of river cleansing adventurers (conscripted by the local river god to clean up chaos slime that was killing fish and disolving river boats) went deep underground and underwater to find the source of contamination. The source turned out to be an evil giant in an amphitheater-like pit of acidic gorp creatures, raising up an army of manlings (Human-like babies with a bad attitude and pointy teeth). A hail of arrows took care of the aimlessly wandering manlings. We exposed the giant by draining his chaos pit with an undine (living water elemental) acting as a pump (imagine a 2m diameter pipe with water flowing at 2m/s). More arrows tipped with poison brought down the giant, and quicklime polished him off (or rather, his skeleton :-). The acidic gorp creatures went down in fizzling piles of goo when quicklime and holy cleansed water were thrown at them.

Oddly enough, the battle wasn't one sided; our fearless hunter was killed (chest imploded and withered in a magical attack) and a few other people were hurt when they started turning into slime (but managed to stop the transformation, leaving a few interesting scars).

Since this is fantasy in a Star Trek sense, the dead hunter was resurrected after a bit of politicking (got the river cult to pay up 4 months of dried fish to the healing temple). The peace loving healing cult was so impressed with his unification efforts (trying to get the whole river community working together) and with previous adventures helping people in distress (rescuing a child abducted by baddies, running a mud shark hunt that captured the huge beasties alive) that he was resurrected without even a scratch. We also got a lot of treasure out of the pit by unexpectedly (to the game master) using the undine to filter out the solids from the muck at the bottom of the pit (heh heh).

Saturday Shopping at Ikea

Saturday was a shopping day. I wanted to get a new chair with big feet that wouldn't make dents in the new vinyl kitchen floor. My mom wanted a sideboard (furniture that holds dishes). That meant a stop at Ikea, where my mom found the sideboard she liked on sale (save $200 if you become an Ikea member for $15). I found an acceptable chair, so my mom bought four because all the chairs have to match. A bit of grocery shopping afterwards turned up some 2L bottles of Dr. Pepper and some really good artichokes. A bit of dirt digging and rock moving finished off the afternoon.

Sunday's Internet Setup on the Amiga

On Sunday, I warmed up with some more digging and rock moving early in the morning (otherwise the basement feels too cold). Then I attempted to read the BeBook, a book about the Be computer operating system (it sounds like a really neat computer system - like the Amiga was in 1985, see for details) written in HTML (the language of the world wide web). Rather than reading it online using Lynx, I decided to download the set of HTML files and read them on my Amiga (thus not tying up the phone line for hours, and maybe being able to view the diagrams). Fortunately the download was only about 2 megabytes compressed. Now for an HTML browser - I tried ALynx, an adaptation of Lynx for the Amiga, found on a recent AmiNet CD-ROM (a collection of Amiga stuff with a bimonthly update CD). It ran and displayed an error message saying it needed a network connection, even though I'm trying to read local files.

Ok, now's the time to dive in and install a TCP/IP networking package for my Amiga. After browsing around, I decided to use the AmiTCP 4.0 demo and the evaluation version of PPP 1.30. Some example scripts (those AmiNet CD-ROMs are quite useful) and a bit of fiddling around with environment settings and boot-up stuff (less than I thought!) got it working perfectly. Hmmm, I thought it would be harder than that. I tried ALynx again and it worked, connecting to web pages on far away computers. Cool! I now have a live Internet connection! It even shows pictures when I select their link (it runs an external program which shows the picture on a separate screen).

A bit more hacking around got AmiTCP running without actually dialing Achilles (my network service provider) so that I could run ALynx and read the BeBook off-line. However, I'll still use Lynx and a terminal program for live WWW browsing because ALynx / AmiTCP / PPP is kind of slow on my A2000 / 8Mhz computer (partly because the demo software is purposely slower than the registered version). Even parsing a local HTML file with ALynx is slower than running Lynx on Achilles's computer system and viewing the text through a terminal program.

Monday Morning

It's Monday now. I'm writing this, waiting for a phone call from the Ikea delivery service, while sipping Dr. Pepper. Yup, this sabbatical is really starting and is already showing results. By the way, my next working day is Wednesday.

- Alex

Copyright © 1996 by Alexander G. M. Smith.