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Strip for 3/31/2001  
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Today's Doodle: click for a larger image

See? There's a happy ending to the love story, after all. Who says you can't find true love through the net?

Anyway, Silent Sil here, trying something new this week. My paranoia has convinced me that my long absences from the news blurbs make it seem like I don't care about the production of the strip, which couldn't be farther from the truth. It's just that I personally hate it when I end up wasting time reading page-long "rants" on the web that disguise themselves as relevant statements, when they're really just self-indulgent exhibitions of the writer's eloquence. While I appreciate the need for catharsis, there is a point where I think it just doesn't serve a purpose anymore. I don't want to subject people to more of that kind of stuff, so when I don't have anything relevant to say...I don't say anything.

Which is why I'm experimenting with other ways I can exert my presence on the page. For example, starting this week, I'll be putting up a kind of "Doodle of the Day" (bear with me here, I'm still in the process of thinking up a cool and permanent name...e-mail me if you have any suggestions) as my personal contribution to the news blurbs. These images will range from random scribbles that I have crammed in the margins of my class notes from the past week, to more polished pieces from my sketchbook or canvases. It'll basically be a peek into the kind of work I do when I'm not putting out Scrubs, which, incidentally, isn't my default style of drawing. It actually took me a while to experiment and simplify my style into the cartoonish look you see now. The temporarily-dubbed "Doodle of the Day"s will also tide me over until I finally get my personal website up, which is at this very moment in the works (really, it is...I'm serious), and will include a complete gallery of my stuff.

So here's the first Doodle of the series...and just to commemorate the inagural entry...I'm throwing in a second one, too. I hope you enjoy them.

marbles and velcro,

p.s.---is this font color too dark for the background? Tell us!

a tribute to Masamune Shirow

And finally... the end of the Cybiko Saga. We've heard all sorts of reports from readers, some loved it, some preferred the random type strips from before. I know we're still experimenting with the best way of strip writing. Storylines are hard to begin to write. But then they get easier. I prefer random myself. Sil like stories. So... we'll continue to mix.

I think the idea of electronics falling in love is really funny. I don't know why. I never really anthropomorphized when I was a kid. Now, I name my Mac "The Beige One" and my PC "Traitor". My MP3 player definitely has no personality, while the PalmPilot is incredibly touchy about such things as neglect. Finally, the trusty TI85 (with Apple sticker) has put up with much abuse and has been pretty good about handling most everything I can throw at it.

My secret calculator shame... when I was in 8th grade, I was taking geometry, because I'd done Algebra already in nerd camp. Since I was taking geometry, I needed a graphing calculator, so I got the at the time top of the line TI82. When I got to high school, I was already used to it and so breezed through WiML's (math contests) with ease and the trusty Table function. However, every other freshman got TI85's which had more screen resolution, onscreen menus and, get this, lowercase letters. I liked programming that TI82. In fact, I had a blackjack game that I was pretty proud to have written. (I was not proud to have written this "guess a number from 1-100" program).

I drooled over those lowercase letters, which made my program seem pretty ghetto. Within weeks, a better one had been found on the Internet and was being passed around. I also lusted after the Arkanoid port that someone wrote in pure TI code, a pretty amazing feat. I mean the language is a couple steps up from BASIC. But I was stuck with my 82, who's only saving grace was the aforementioned Table function.

Oh happy day when I could finally convince my mother that the 82 had developed a bad screen (the sponge on the bottom slowly was creeping upwards due to extreme Wisconsin temperatures and blocking my view of the bottom results) and I finally got the TI85. Joyous joy. But you know what? I found that I missed certain things, like the twice aforementioned Table function. Also, the TI82 could remember the last 20 commands, while the TI85 only remembers 1 (which means that you can't write a ghetto function with a variable and then just modify the variable and reexecute. You need to actually input new values. It's annoying).

But the TI85 did have the majorly cool ZShell which allowed people to write amazingly fast assembly language programs. Necessary programs like... Tetris and Connect 4. I've never needed to get on the Gameboy bandwagon. I've got mt TI85 w/ Tetris! Tetris saved my sanity during NHS tutoring sessions when the kids I was supposed to tutor had no questions for me. My high score on Tetris 4.5 is still 6363, so if anyone has a higher score, please please email me so that I can get motivated to beat 6363.

So, last night was spent LAN partying with my brother and some of his friends. I wish it'd been more of a fragfest type LAN party. Instead, we played Starcraft much of the time. Not quit my cup of tea, but enjoyable nevertheless. The best people to LAN party with must be network engineers because any technical problem, BAM solved. Some things took a little longer but there was never any "Hmmmm, what do we do now?" That was refreshing. I just got to sit back and play, really.

The first week of classes has come and gone and I think I'm really going to like this quarter. No Signals and Systems or Physical Electronics... The only "broccoli" type class I have is Circuits. Necessary evil.

This has been a really geeky news blurb. Next strips go back to dealing with people, so less tech stories, promise.