Happy 40th, Blake’s 7

Forty years ago today (Jan 2, 1978) the original episode of Blake’s 7 was released. 40 years. Where the heck has time gone.

This is a show that was the definition of “low budget”. It didn’t get much more low budget than B7. However, if you could get past that (a lot couldn’t) there was some great characters and stories. It was a show that was not afraid to kill its own lead characters, something that’s not that common in TV. Of the original cast, only two stuck around to the final episode, and in that last episode EVERYONE was (seemingly) killed off. [Read more…]

Saturday Night Live & Lorne

I’ve been a Saturday Night Live fan since it started.   I was 10 years old when it started in 1975, and I actually started watching it back then. Now, you can’t blame my parents for that.  My parents divorced around this time, and my mom was wiped all the time from working.  So I would stay up late and watch TV, and discovered this.

Have watched it pretty much since then – through all the ups and downs.   Even the horrible 1980 season.  The four or five years that Lorne Michaels wasn’t there in the early mid 80’s.  Through all the positive and bad over the years (the season with Anthony Michael Hall was awful).  Anyway, now that SNL just wrapped their 42nd season recently, it does make me wonder about the long term future of the show. [Read more…]

Shadow Warrior Turns 20

One of the last old school Apogee/3D Realms games was released 20 years ago today.  On May 13, 1997, 3D Realms released the original Shadow Warrior to the world.  The very anticipated next game from the makers of Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior followed in much the same path as Duke Nukem 3D did.  Over the top weapons and action, and an even more over the top game hero.

This article isn’t one that will go into the nitty gritty of game development, just a few fun memories of people, events, and things relative to Shadow Warrior. Here’s a quick look back at the second major Build game we released 20 years ago today. [Read more…]

Wolfenstein 3D Turns 25!

May 5, 1992.  That was a date that forever changed the landscape of PC gaming.  That was the day that id/Apogee released Wolfenstein 3D v1.0 – a full quarter century ago.   In 2017, not many people need a history lesson on Wolf3D, but it was the 3D shooter that redefined what was possible on PC tech 25 years ago.   The public had seen nothing like it, and it took the industry by storm when released. [Read more…]

New Domain Name

This is a short, admin type message.  I’ve moved my blog.  It’s been on joe.siegler.net for ages, but I went and registered one of the new domain name extensions for it.   If you are seeing this, it is on its new home: http://joesiegler.blog.  The content is all the same, just the site URL is different.

For the most part, I view the newer domain extensions as silly, but the .blog one worked for me, so I jumped on it.   If you happen to find any errors, or anything that still refers back to joe.siegler.net please let me know using the “email me” link at the top.


The Story of Rise of the Triad

I’ve written about Rise of the Triad many times on this blog before.  I will write about it again.  I loved my time working on that game, and I have a ton of fun memories of the people who were on ROTT with me.  But that’s not why I’m writing.  I’m here to mention a very cool new Youtube video that just came out today about ROTT.   Titled “The Story of Rise of the Triad”, it’s a half hour look at the game, where it came from, some of it’s quirks and whatnot.

It was created by Peter Leigh, aka “Nostalgia Nerd”, and I very much enjoyed it.  Hell, he’s the first person to do a ROTT look back that went so far as to include a clip from Red Dwarf showing “Sebastian Doyle”.  One note about that.  The Red Dwarf connection was unofficial.  The Doyle was my own addition. As created, Tom called the character Sebastian Krist.  I added “Doyle” after the fact.  :) [Read more…]

So, you want a website, eh?

I’ve been doing websites a long time.  First ones I ever put online were back in the summer of 1995, almost 22 years ago now.  In all that time I get asked a lot about doing websites for people.  Those who know the Internet and know how it works have a handle on what that request actually means.  But most do not.  To that, I decided to write an article I’ve been meaning to do for awhile called “So, you want a website, eh?”  It lays out the various parts of what actually having an using a website comprise.  Partially because so many I run into don’t know this, but also so I can point to this and say “I’ve already answered that.  Please read this” (saving myself from explaining it yet again).  So here goes… [Read more…]

Turning 20 in 2017

I worked on many titles in my years at Apogee/3D Realms.  As I age, I realize things are getting old.  I looked over the release list for 1997, and noticed that several titles (a couple of them notable) will turn 20 years old this year.   I don’t think I’ll do huge history pieces on all of them, but I’ll definitely say something for sure on at least the first and last ones on the list.  :)

This is what turns 20 in 2017:

  • May 13th – Shadow Warrior
  • May 25th – Duke Nukem 3D Mac
  • Nov 16th – Duke Nukem 64
  • Dec 8th – Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown
  • Dec 12th – Balls of Steel

It just feels like yesterday when I wrote the 20th anniversary article for the original Rise of the Triad.  Duke Nukem 3D turned 20 last year.   I turn 52 later this year.  Where’s time going, dammit?

Dropbox Linux Command Line

On my web server that I run several sites (including this one), I wanted a relatively cheap backup option.   My host will offer me a backup option, but it’s more than I wanted to pay, so I looked into a few other options.

I settled on a combination of freely available domain backup software (Webmin), which does a nice job of backing up my domains, but if the entire computer tanked, I’d lose them too.   So I opted for Dropbox Pro, which comes with 1TB of space for $99 a year.   It copies off the backups to Dropbox, which has the added advantage of syncing them to my local computer at home too.  It’s worked nicely – and still works to this day.

The Dropbox command line client for Linux will sync stuff – it will sync everything.   This is a problem for me because the total amount of space I use for my server backups is less than 100Gb.   That leaves 900Gb I could use for my own personal backups, which I’ve wanted to do.   I can’t do that because the Dropbox client syncs everything.   Given my server has something like 250Gb of space on it, if I started using all that 900Gb, I’d quickly fill up my web server and cause problems.  Now, the client can be told to include or exclude directories, which does work.   When normally operating, I have it syncing just the one directory that contains the aforementioned server backups.

Here’s the core issue here, and the reason I’m posting.   I want to use that extra 900Gb of space, and whenever I add a new directory on my local computer, it goes to my server.  I cannot exclude it from the Linux command line “selective sync” until it exists.  I’ve been through the help for the command line sync several times already.

I do not know a way to tell the Linux Command Line Selective Sync function to ignore *ALL* directories – including future/unknown ones, and sync “JUST THIS ONE DIRECTORY” no matter what.  Basically a whitelist feature.

If someone knows how to do this, please – let me know.  It would solve a lot of problems.   Given I already pay for Dropbox annually, I’d rather not have to pay someone else (Google, Apple, Amazon) to have cloud services I can put whatever I want on.

If you know a way around this, I’d be really happy to know.

UPDATE: After posting, I found this blog post, which appears to indicate what I’m trying to do (whitelist) doesn’t exist.   They offer a cron script option, which I might be able to look into.   There is another idea of my own, which is to create a directory on my local machine, get it listed in the “exclude” on the server, and then put anything else I want to put in there in THAT subdirectory.   Clumsy, but it could work.

History of PC Sidescrollers

Several people I have called friends, or have just worked with in some capacity speak in this really awesome documentary on the making of PC Sidescrollers. Several of these games I had a small hand in working on back in the day. One of my all time favorites even gets a mention here, “Monster Bash”.

Check it out – I love LOVE LOVE the history here. When you’ve finished watching, go help support a new sidescroller – Interceptor/3D Realms’ own Rad Rodgers: http://kck.st/2cDwhgk