DAVE'S LIFE ON HOLD

Death or Glory and Other Ordinary Stories

A peculiar nostalgia hits me every time the first hint of snow hits the air.  Some deep ancestral memory wells up and produces this urge to grab an axe, hop in a boat, and go rowing up and down the coast. Is it any wonder I rowed competitively and Kayak for fun. It is truly odd how every year about the time the first snow falls, I also think of chopping firewood, though I've never lived in a house with a functional fireplace.  The only times I've swung an axe has been to cut down a few small ornamental trees. 

What is so ordinary about this sort of nostalgia is it is a yearning for a memory of things that never were.  I'm pretty certain a trip filled with looting, raping, and pillaging up and down the coast of the North or Baltic Seas would not be very much fun at all. You'd be mostly cold, wet, and hungry, with punctuated only brief periods of  stomach churning ultra-violence.  Granted if you got cold and wet enough, you'd probably find any excuse to get punctured by arrows or dismembered by a broadsword a positive boon. 

For the past couple weeks, I've also had this overwhelming urge to write code in Forth. This is a particularly peculiar nostalgia, because I actually did a lot of Forth programming years ago. I also ran across a couple of CDs from before  2000 in which I found a bundle of Forth, Postscript and other things I forgot I had written.  This no doubt sparked the basic desire to revisit Forth in the first place. 

Another thing that ties in this nostalgia is I found a copy of LambdaMoo and my dump of my own LambdaMoo's database!  For those of you who don't know what a MOO is, it is a MUD Object Oriented. For those of you who don't know what a MUD is, it is a Multi User Dungeon, basically a chat server with built in database and text oriented interface for interacting. MOO was cool because in addition to an English like programming model with basic natural language capacities, it also had an object oriented programming model. 

It was LambdaMoo and DikuMUD that really got me into server design. LambdaMoo inspired most of my early work with building realtime chat applications, and rationalized a program architecture I would go on to build at about a dozen companies. When discussing my career, I often joke that I apply game technology to business. In reality, I apply really geeky game tech to business.  If you look at my ConnServer project at github, you'll see the child born out of desire to build a distributed Moo that could be programmed in C++ or Python. It made it into production for 4 games, before getting shelved in favor of the new hotness Jawas (which was much less conceptually interesting but handled server side JavaScript better than Node does today. 

It's funny to think that building these two servers was my life for about 7 years.  Looking back at what Gene and I built on those two platforms, I wish I could devote more time to making them "popular", but the reality is I have more interesting things to do than live in nostalgia. 

So what foolhardy quests are next?