Archive for January 2012

An email from Stardock

As you may know if you’ve been reading for a while, I’m a gamer.  Have been pretty much my whole life.  In fact, it was the prospect of creating my own video games that first got me into programming.

A while back, I purchased Elemental, the latest game by Stardock, a company with a reputation for making high-quality games and for being a lot more ethical than many gaming companies.  Their Sins of a Solar Empire was the best-selling game of 2008, for example, even though they refused to put any DRM on their software.  (So much for piracy destroying sales!)  They’re also the guys who created Impulse, a Steam competitor that ended up getting bought by GameStop last year.

Elemental, unfortunately, was not a high-quality game.  The basic concept was decent–not exceptional, but not *bad* either–but the game itself was a slow, crashy, bug-ridden mess.  Several patches over the course of several months eventually got it to a mostly-decent state, but in no way did it live up to expectations.

They just did something that does a lot to redeem them in my eyes.  I woke up this morning with the following letter in my email: Continue reading ‘An email from Stardock’ »

The worst thing about SOPA

Have you heard of the Golden Mean Fallacy?  I would link to the Wikipedia page, but they’re blacked out today, so here’s an excerpt from its description:

…a logical fallacy which asserts that given two positions there exists a compromise between them which must be correct.  [It] implies that the positions being considered represent extremes of a continuum of opinions, and that such extremes are always wrong, and the middle ground is always correct. This is not always the case. Sometimes only X or Y is acceptable, with no middle ground possible. Additionally, the middle ground fallacy allows any position to be invalidated, even those that have been reached by previous applications of the same method; all one must do is present yet another, radically opposed position, and the middle-ground compromise will be forced closer to that position.

I added emphasis to a very important part of the explanation.  All you have to do to make something bad look good is come up with something even worse to compare it to.  And given the human capacity for imagination, that’s not such a difficult task. Continue reading ‘The worst thing about SOPA’ »

Job opportunities at WideOrbit

Just thought I’d throw this one out there.  My employer, WideOrbit, is currently hiring.  We’ve got multiple development positions open for both Delphi and C#/Silverlight skillsets.  (SQL experience, especially with MS SQL Server, really helps too.)  At WideOrbit we build industry-leading software for managing broadcast media.  If you live in the USA, there’s a pretty good chance your favorite station is running on WideOrbit software, and we built it in Delphi.  (Mostly.)

Our development office is in Lynnwood, Washington, (about half an hour from Seattle,) and on-site work is preferred, though some exceptions do (infrequently) get made on a case-by-case basis.  It’s a good location, right across the street from a major mall (plenty of places to go for lunch!), with good pay and working conditions.  The office has a friendly, engineer-centric culture, and it really helps that the manager is a former coder and the boss still is one.  No pointy hair here!

Only those who know what they’re doing need apply.  The developers take an active part in the interview process, and we’ve got really high standards.  We understand that the only way to develop good software is with good developers, and we try hard to make sure that that’s all we get.  But if you’re good and you can demonstrate that you know what you’re doing, you’re likely to get an offer.

If anyone’s interested, send me a resume at and I’ll see about getting you an interview.