Hackman's Realm

Major news which isn't so new anymore:

The first preview demo of the BOTS prologue has been released. Game artists are still very much needed for this project!

I'm also running a game music recognition contest. The prize up for grabs is US$100.

With that taken care of, here's the rest of the site...

Welcome one and all to Hackman's Realm, a website which is basically about nothing.

I've put up a Site FAQ. This FAQ contains questions that actually do get asked frequently. No, really, honest.

For more than five years, this part of the site declared that it was "heavily under construction". That was true back then; However, those days are gone. At this point, I feel like I have done about as much with this website as I ever wanted to do, and although I will still add occasional updates to it here and there, it will likely remain as it is indefinitely. Certainly, if you (or anyone else) feels that something should be added or changed, I will try to accomodate their suggestions. However, I feel that I have done and written about most of the interesting things to do with computers that I was ever interested in. Thus, I don't have a whole lot left to write about. Enjoy the site, folks, and I'm still open to your feedback, so if you have anything to say, let me know.

Having said that, here's what passes for content on this website:

Basic C For everyone just beginning C, hey, here's a cute little introduction to the language.

Java Java is becoming a very important programming language. Come here to find out why (and for a cute picture of some beans).

JavaScript A language which people confuse with Java, even though it's not the same. It's scripty.

BASIC If you have never done any programming before, skip the C and Java and try BASIC. If you've always wanted to program computers but never gotten around to it, right now is the perfect time to learn, and BASIC is a great language to start with.

Pascal An intermediate-level programming language which is good for hobbyists, but not serious programmers. If you're programming for fun, though, check it out.

Assembler (Assembly language) The lowest-level programming language there is on a PC. If you really want to know how to directly control your computer, and if you have already programmed before (assembler is definitely NOT for beginning programmers), check it out. It's a rewarding experience, for those who have the patience.

LISP "The mother tongue of AI", or a has-been? You decide, but you can't decide until you learn it.

Perl The new-generation programming language, for those who want to write CGI, or just have a good time studying what could be the next big thing. Or not.

Python A relatively new name which may be the best choice for your first language.

Introduction To Object-Oriented Programming

CGI Common Gateway Interface, the industry's first solution to the problem of web sites being able to send information to the user, but not vice-versa.

HTML Everything you need to know about the industry-standard page-description language of the Web.

XML A data-oriented approach to HTML.

SQL The industry-standard database query language, SQL is not really a "programming" language, although it may be of interest to programmers.

Verilog The more easy-to-use of the two hardware description languages in common use.

Programming the Win32 registry

Games Everybody's favorite part of computers! After all, who REALLY cares about being "productive"?

Games that embody the spirit of creativity, exploration, and experimentation with computers

Cyberpunk Games A small list of computer games of the cyberpunk genre.

Solution Guide to Castle Adventure

Timeless Game Design A response to Bateman and Boon's book 21st Century Game Design.

A list of the games depicted in the PIX folder on the Game Empire II CD

Frank's Adventure songs Text file listing the songs used in the Frank's Adventure series of Flash-based Hentai adventure games (since I couldn't find a similar list anywhere else)

And also because I couldn't find a good summary of this anywhere and I use this information so frequently, here's a list of Default flight keys for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Getting A Perfect Zero-Kill Count In Iji

Classic Flight Simulations A list of flight sims which have been notable throughout the ages.

Flight/Aviation A few bits of information on how to fly.

Radio-controlled (RC) flight

Technical Games A handful of games with an engineering/scientific bent.

Books A short list of books I've read, along with my reviews.

Hacking This section is not about the illegal kind of hacking; Rather, it's about the noble kind.

The Only Good Time For Music Was 1993-1996

Soundgarden Tribute to the now-defunct group (and a link to a much more thorough site).

Alanis Morissette Yes, the singer.

The Headstones Another music page, as small and badly-done as the two above.

My favorite songs A small list of songs which, in my humble opinion, stand out from the crowd.

An explanation of the lyrics to Laibach's song "Tanz Mit Laibach" Again, just because I couldn't find something this complete anywhere else, and I thought it was interesting.


An Introduction To Electronic Music Synthesizers

Downloads Downloads! Files, what every true Web-head lives for. Not much selection but it's a start. :)

RFCs Some RFC files, just in the off-chance that you can't find them anywhere else.

Linux commands and files A quick reference for those just beginning with Linux.

What MS-DOS Can Do That Linux Can't

PC Procedures Commonly-performed PC procedures, and instructions for them.

Info Bites Small, miscellaneous bits and pieces of info, mixed into a jumble.

ICQ Spam A look at one of the most annoying things about the wildly popular program.

Good Computer Buyer's Guide A document of my own authoring, which basically specifies what to look for when buying computer equipment.

My own glossary of computer terms and list of computer books.

The Nature Of The Internet Backbone A small text file which is sort of exactly what it sounds like.

This file is by far the best introduction to Win32 programming I've seen yet. It's written by Stephen Haunts, a CS student at university. It was formerly available on his website at http://www.cs.herts.ac.uk/~sh5ai/win32_1.txt, but his site seems to have gone down, so the file lives on here. Note that if you've never written a Windows program before, even this relatively gentle introduction may be a bit overwhelming for beginners, so I've gone ahead and written a short companion text file to this which you might want to read alongside it: A very high-level view of the process of creating a window in Microsoft Windows

The Evolution Of A Programmer is a semi-humorous text file showing how people at different stages of development write "Hello, World" programs, ranging from high school to "Master Programmer" to "Chief Executive". Although it seems funny, there's a dark truth to it: The more experience people have with writing complex programs, the harder it is for them to write simple, readable program code.

Know Your Unix Sysadmin is a humor file on identifying the type of person who runs your Unix network. It's pretty funny sometimes, and you might learn a few Unix command-line tricks while reading it.

The Adventures Of Hax0r Man Some horrible stories which I wrote. They're an acquired taste.

Why Engineers Don't Write Recipes and The King And The Toaster are other humor files which effectively illustrate aspects of the information engineer's mindset.

The Language List 1.9 is a list of just about every programming language ever created. Certainly every major one, and plenty of those minor ones which three people in the world have heard of. An interesting reference, although I suppose the usefulness of knowing about obscure programming language could be questionable.

The Commandments Of Computing get broken every single day.

What A Computer Is (And Isn't) For

The Joy Of Computing

Open-ended computer ideas

Not-so-open-ended computer ideas

An Introduction To Data Files

The iMac Page A little jab at everybody's favorite paperweight.

Why Windows XP Is Bad I can't stress this enough.

Setting Windows XP Straight After A New Install

Setting Windows Vista Straight After A New Install

A Eulogy For The Macintosh (a.k.a. Why Macs Are Bad)

Technology for technology's sake? or, Why I became impractical

The Laming Of Computer Technology Another of my pessimistic complaining articles about stuff that's going wrong. This is most of the major reasons why I hate the direction modern computer technology is taking.

The Laming Of Computer Technology (End user's perspective) Yes, folks, you can read another burst of me complaining about the laming of computer technology, this time from the viewpoint of the end user.

Questions which should not be answered by tech support people

"Demo Scene" Coding Vs. "Real" Coding Yet another of my silly writings on the technology scene.

What You Need To Know About Computers And yet another still.

What REAL "Computer People" Need To Know About Computers

A self-test for computer people

The Idea Of The Personal Computer Is Dead

A Lament On The Loss Of Computer Engineering And Engineers

Why It's No Longer Possible To Have A Computer Job More recent than most of my other writings here. This is basically me giving up.

Hey! "Computer" jobs have nothing to do with computers! This one is rather long and rambling, but it's some kind of magnum opus or something. It marks the potential start of a fundamental shift in my life. Or maybe not.

The Computer Industry After A Decade Of Loss (written in January 2009)

The Efficiency Of A CLI My take on why CLIs are good.

The Script Kiddie A fictional story I wrote about a script kiddie who becomes a hacker.

#computers IRC Chat Log A re-creation of a chat I had on IRC... Check this out and see how I kicked some op's butt, and got kicked for it. =)

Firsts in a computer user's life A retrospective list of milestones in the long road to computer guruhood.

Top 10 Most Over-Used Computer Words Of 1998. This is a little list I've compiled for all you who got sick of the year's buzzwords. :)

Myths of the computer world

Foolish things people think about computers

Controlling external appliances with a serial port The fruit of my efforts to figure out a simple way to control things with a serial port.

Project 3D, another side-project, this one dealing (as you might guess) with programming 3D graphics.

Classic personal computers, and the advantages and disadvantages to becoming a hacker/guru of them

The First Great Z80 Project At last! For anyone who ever wanted a step-by-step guide to building your own tiny toy computer, this is all you need to get started making a single-board computer built around the classic Z80 CPU.

The Second Great Z80 Project An extension of the first Z80 project, this one essentially adds an LCD display so you can make graphics.

The First Great 6502 Project At last times 2! A fully-functional 6502 single-board computer which derives from the Z80 projects above.

The Second Great 6502 Project A 6502 system plus an LCD display. With this setup plus some RAM, you'll be all set to start making single-board, 6502-based systems that actually do something.

Socket programming Sending and receiving stuff via TCP and UDP in C.

DNS The Internet's system for resolving names to IP addresses. C code for creating DNS queries and responses.

A case study in making a raw IP socket Now it can be told! The full story on how to make a raw socket using C, and calculate your IP checksum!

Fighting spam: Cure worse than the disease?

An Introduction To Programming With ATA And ATAPI

A program in assembler to play MIDI notes using the FM chip on an AdLib-compatible sound card

Playing raw sound effects directly on a Sound Blaster

Making sound with the Apple II computers

Making a Kickstart disk for the Amiga 1000 using only a PC-compatible

How to tell whether your CPU is running in real mode or protected mode

How RAM works

Compiler design

CPU design

Human-Observable Computer Logic (HOCL)

Farewell to the megahertz myth

The stupidest keyboard I've ever seen

Fading CD-Rs

Cisco stuff A bit of information on Cisco(TM) networking products, mostly routers.

A Brief History of Neato Elito A tribute to the greatest hacker parody group of all time.

Click here for a small text file I wrote of the "hacker parody" genre. (The original plan was to start a group in the grand tradition of great hacker lampooners like Neato Elito, but that died because I would've been the only member.)

Links Yes! I finally put up a links section. =>




An introduction to designing printed circuit boards (PCBs) with gEDA and PCB


Urban geography

What to look for in living space


A brief list of the most important commands in YACAS, with examples



Molecular biology

Semiconductor basics

Artificial Intelligence/Artificial Life

Writings A collection of small papers I've written, most of them disturbed and depressing... :)

Why Information Science Is Real Truth

Non-accredited university or college degrees

Getting A Computer Engineering Degree In Silicon Valley

Click here for a small MPEG file about how to take out your tensions when your computer isn't working right. I don't actually recommend you try this on your own computer, but it makes you feel better just watching this when things go wrong. (Or at least it has that effect on me.) Apparently this gets spammed onto Usenet a lot, but since I don't use Usenet I just happened to be lucky enough to find it on another website.

Click here for that now-infamous company picture of Microsoft Corporation as it existed in 1978.

A list of files that come with Windows 3.0

Click here for a nifty little grey-scale bar which purports to help you adjust the brightness of your monitor correctly. And click here for a cute little LED bar animated GIF. In a similar vein, here's a picture of a line of resistors. Any of these might be useful as a horizontal separator on a web page.

E-mail me

Or, talk to me on ICQ# 20371510. I haven't put one of those "Online/Offline" status indicators yet, but suffice it to say that I'm usually online, except when I'm not.

This site is best viewed with a Web browser.

This site was entirely made with a pure ASCII text editor.

This site is 100% Lynx compatible! All images have ALTs! And there's no Java or JavaScript, not even in the Java or JavaScript sections!!

Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW Logo

In fact, in case you haven't heard of it, there's a website called The Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW, which is nice because it's about making Web sites which will work with any browser. And yes, that inludes Lynx, which I like, not because I have any love for Lynx (it's a weak, graphics-incapable browser), but because I find JavaScript to be so idiotic that given the choice, I'd vote to have it outlawed. If you want more, read my JavaScript rant.

No animals were harmed in the making of this Web site, except for myself.

About me

WARNING: I have officially determined that this website sucks. I deny any responsibility for damages which may be incurred by visiting this sucky site. Surf this site at your own risk.