This is BrainLog, a blog by Dan Sanderson. Older entries, from October 1999 through September 2010, are preserved for posterity, but are no longer maintained. See the front page and newer entries.

May 2010 Archives

May 31, 2010

Remote-control helicopters look like fun. They can go up, down, front, back, and side to side, just like a real helicopter (watch through to the demo):


May 28, 2010

Not enough Lost? Wake up every morning to the Dharma Initiative Alarm Clock:

I can't believe this is an actual thing you can buy for $49.99. I'd pay that much for the retro keyboard and green screen alone.

Update: Heh, of course it isn't. I wasn't fooled for a second. Not exactly sporting of ThinkGeek to include this item in their June paper catalog, which is where I first saw it. Nor is it entirely sporting that they have an active "buy" button on the page, though clicking on it does give them good data on whether a crazy prank could actually be a marketable product.

May 26, 2010

The latest version of the LittleDog Robot:

Big Dog gets smaller, smarter. I'm just glad it's on our team. It is on our team, right?

May 23, 2010

Manufactoria, a game about state machines. Pretty good for a game in the "programming" genre, though a little bit too much like my day job at the moment.

That lovely excerpt of symphonic music is coming from the game. Unusual for a web game.

Google-doodle Pac-Man now has a permanent home. I love this thing to pieces.

I jokingly asked its creator what happens when you reach level 256, and he said, "Only one way to find out!" Now I want to devise and document board patterns for Google Pac-Man.

May 22, 2010

Martin Gardner has passed away at the age of 95. A personal hero of mine.

May 21, 2010

OMG OMG! Today only, the Google logo is a playable Pac-Man game, in honor of Pac-Man's 30th birthday. Click "Insert Coin" for single player, and click twice for multiplayer (WASD and cursor keys). Remember coins?

May 18, 2010

Why We Turned Microsoft Office into a Game. Danc continues to explore and evangelize this compelling premise.

Lies, damned lies and statistics (aboud TedTalks):

The TedPad.

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Drive, by Dan Pink, animated by the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA):

More RSA animated presentations.

Drive, by Dan Pink on Amazon.

May 15, 2010

This Portal for Mac update includes a fix for the black portals. Steam auto-patches games, so all you need to do is restart the Steam client and wait and the fixes will be downloaded and applied.

May 14, 2010

So you've downloaded Steam for Mac and have taken advantage of the fact that Portal is free for a limited time to finally try this awesome little game. If you've never played Portal before, you might not notice that there's a slight problem with the Mac version's portals. You're supposed to be able to see what's on the other side of the portal through the portal. This is both a fun visual and an important tool in solving some puzzles (though I believe without it the puzzles are just harder, not unsolvable).

The black portals on the Mac are a bug, but an easy one to work around. Start the game in "windowed" mode, then go back to full screen. To do this, set the game launch options to include -windowed. (Source.)

PC users: Portal is free for you too!

May 13, 2010

Steam for the Mac already has many great Mac games for purchase and download. Too many good ones to list, but I'll mention Tales of Monkey Island Complete (which you can get cheaper and with another game in this sale pack) to remind me to buy it. —Oh wait, I can just buy it right now. *click*

May 7, 2010

At long last, a complete version of Metropolis has been found and restored, and will have a limited run in theaters and a DVD release this year.

The cumulative result is a version of "Metropolis" whose tone and focus have been changed. "It's no longer a science-fiction film," said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. "The balance of the story has been given back. It's now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old. The science-fiction disguise is now very, very thin."
May 4, 2010

The Spiderman Show intro implemented entirely as a CSS3 animation.

Super Mario Crossover. Thorough implementation of Super Mario Bros. that lets you play as Mario, Link, Mega Man, and other Nintendo 8-bit heros.

It took the author over a year to make, and is his first game. An interview with the author.