Do Not Pass Go

''There's a reason bored and board are homonyms,'' said my best friend, Art, one evening as we sat (two super-sophisticated twelve-year-olds) playing some game in his basement. (He may have been unhappy because he was losing.) Was it Mille Bornes Or Stratego Or Monopoly Or something else entirely I confess, I don't remember. I simply recall hopping some little piece of plastic shaped like a pregnant bowling pin up and down a series of colored squares that told me to do dumb things like go back...

The Game of Big

I've invented my own board game to continue down the road with this particular metaphor. In the sense that art mirrors life, the Game of Big Bux mirrors life in Silicon Valley, where money seems to be spontaneously created (generally in somebody else's pocket) and the three big Money Black Holes are fast cars, California real estate, and messy divorces. There is luck, there is work, and assets often change hands very quickly. A portion of the Big Bux game board is shown in Figure 1-1. The line...

Looking at File Internals with the Bless Editor

Very fortunately, there are utilities that can open, display, and enable you to change characters or binary bytes inside any kind of file. These are called binary editors or hexadecimal editors, and the best of them in my experience at least for the Linux world is the Bless Hex Editor. It was designed to operate under graphical user interfaces such as Gnome, and it is very easy to figure out by exploring the menus. Bless is not installed by default under Ubuntu. You can download it free of...

Kates File Management

Kate makes it easy to load existing files into the editor window, browse your session working directory, create new files, rename files, and move unneeded files to the Trash. The primary mechanism for file management is the sidebar on the left side of the Kate window. Absent other plugins that use it, the management sidebar serves two functions When in the Document view, the sidebar displays the documents associated with the current session. You can click on one of the document listing lines to...