The Midnight Writer - May 1998
by Mike Lloret
I don't have a great deal to say this month, because I haven't been using (or abusing) The Brute that much since I wrote the last column; I've been busy, both at work and in preparing for my house move.
I have at least a temporary solution to the ISP problem I mentioned last time. I contracted with ODN, which has a reasonably inexpensive arrangement and will have a Kumagaya access point by April 30, two days after the move. Meanwhile, GOL has just opened an access point in Urawa, which is a lot closer than the Kashiwa or Tokyo ones, and may allow me to use AreaPlus and get online using telehodai. Once the move is done and everything is set up, I'll be better able to judge what combination of services will do me the most good. I should be able to report on that for the next issue.
I should also be able to report on how I will have adapted to less separation of my computer from the rest of my life.
In my current ("old", by the time you read this) house, the living/dining room, kitchen, and bath are on the first floor, and the bedroom, computer room, and library/storage room are on the second floor. A cablecar bell calls me to meals, and I can choose whether to watch the bedroom TV (the main one's downstairs) from my computer desk by sliding a fusuma open or closed.
The new house has two bedrooms and a fairly big living/dining/kitchen, but one of the bedrooms will become a library/storage room and the computers - two systems with lots of peripherals on a large table-top resting on two desks - will have to go in the LDK, along with the main TV and stereo and whatever dining table I end up with. It takes little imagination to foresee potential problems: multi-tasking has a dark side, too.
On the positive side, everything will be pretty much within reaching distance, and I won't have to go downstairs to make a new pot of coffee. Another plus is that with the computer in the middle of the room, I won't have to work on cables/connections in constricted spaces anymore. Check in next issue to see what I've discovered on this topic.
Any of you who are interested in role-playing games may want to visit my website at http://www.balefire.com once in a while over the next couple of months. Among the things that are being added is a play-by-email roleplaying game. The setting up for a test game using the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons(r) rules/system is almost done, and it should be interesting to see how it works out. The webmaster for my site, who will be doing map design and other graphics work, lives in Indiana, while the Dungeon Master (who builds the world and the scenario, and who referees) lives in New Zealand. I'll be running a character, as will someone on the West Coast of the U.S., and probably someone on the East Coast, as well. Working out how to post moves and their results within acceptable time frames should be very challenging. When a viable system is developed, it'll be opened to the role-playing public.
Next issue, I expect to have more news about how well or poorly I've settled into my new physical space, and maybe some more information on changes in my corner of cyberspace, as well. Stay tuned.
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