Star Trek: The Animated Series Online

When I was a kid grow­ing up in the eight­ies, in a very rur­al part of the coun­try, my expo­sure to Star Trek was some­what lim­it­ed. I was too young to the orig­i­nal series that much, opt­ing for Lost in Space reruns if they were on, instead. How­ev­er, when Nick­elodeon began show­ing reruns of Star Trek: The Ani­mat­ed Series
, I was very much into it.

Unlike the orig­i­nal series (and, for that mat­ter, sub­se­quent ST series), this show had very alien-look­ing aliens1. Though some of the sto­ries were cribbed almost line for line from the orig­i­nal series, some oth­ers were new and even more fan­tas­tic than any­thing with live actors. My wife is a die-hard ST: The Next Gen­er­a­tion fan and I’d ven­ture most folks either go for the orig­i­nal series or TNG. The Ani­mat­ed Series has always been my favorite.

So I’m very excit­ed that CBS is stream­ing all of the episodes on StarTrek.com.

Decent ani­ma­tion, good sto­ries, and voice act­ing from the orig­o­nal series stars (includ­ing, the won­der­ful James Doohan as Arex as well as his more famous char­ac­ter, Scot­ty)

I just watched the first episode over lunch and I can’t wait to watch more with the fam­i­ly. Giv­en the very dif­fer­ent bud­getary con­cerns of ani­ma­tion, where spe­cial effects are cheap but each frame costs a lot, the show has lit­tle move­ment in any giv­en shot but the shots are often dra­mat­ic. In fact, rather than look­ing as dat­ed as one might expect, much of the show looks like a mod­ern flash-ani­mat­ed series for those very same rea­sons. The sto­ries are excel­lent; on par with a good sci­ence fic­tion nov­el and with less tech­no-bab­ble than many series in the genre suf­fer from2. Though

  1. I have read that part of this was Gene Roden­bury’s desire to nev­er cov­er the actor’s fea­tures. He seemed to feel that a more real­is­tic por­tray­al of an alien’s emo­tions and facial expres­sions was more impor­tant that make-up and pros­thet­ics. Admirable, though there is absolute­ly no rea­son to believe that alien species would express things in the same way as us (or even have the same emo­tions or log­ic), giv­en that pret­ty much no oth­er species on Earth does. []
  2. The jar­gon used in the first episode is actu­al­ly all pret­ty sound sci­ence and very lit­tle of it is just science‑y sound­ing filler. []

Printing in iOS With Your Old Printer

The fea­ture that I (and I’m sure, many) was most look­ing for­ward to in iOS 4.2 was print­ing. Apple adver­tised this as one of the main fea­tures and, hav­ing used Bon­jour to con­fig­ure many a print­er in the past, I looked for­ward to actu­al­ly being able to use it. Bon­jour is Apple’s near­ly-zero con­fig­u­ra­tion util­i­ty for shar­ing resources (most­ly print­ers) among com­put­ers on a net­work. It is one of the best exam­ples of Apple’s it just works mot­to. If you’ve nev­er tried to con­fig­ure a print­er on a net­work then you can’t real­ly appre­ci­ate the spe­cial lev­el of Hell from which this lit­tle tech­nol­o­gy saves you.

Not hav­ing any print­ers makes my iPhone sad.

So, despite this, I was upset that Apple had all but canned print­ing in the final release of iOS 4.2. Oh, sure it works with a hand­ful of new HP print­ers. How­ev­er, I was­n’t real­ly inter­est­ed in pur­chas­ing a fan­cy new print­er when I have an old HP that works just fine, thank you very much. I am hold­ing out hope that this is a mat­ter of not releas­ing the fea­ture until it real­ly does just work. Regard­less, it seems like a half-baked way to put a fea­ture out there. I had even told friends that they should con­sid­er buy­ing an iPad because print­ing would becom­ing soon. I’m not look­ing for­ward to explain­ing the rest of the sto­ry to them (as they are not real­ly techies and are like­ly to sim­ply blame me).

For­tu­nate­ly, there are a cou­ple of nice mac util­i­ties that can at last bridge the gap for our house­hold (an OS X com­put­er which is on and shares a print­er): Fin­ger­print by Col­lo­bos and Print­opia by Ecamm Net­work. I down­loaded a copy of Fin­ger­print (free sev­en day tri­al which allows you to ensure it works with your net­work & print­er). Open the appli­ca­tion, select my shared print­er, and then print from my iPhone 4.

That’s it.

The Fin­ger­print util­i­ty win­dow. Not real­ly much else to show here, actu­al­ly.

Zero con­fig­u­ra­tion. It sim­ply uses Bon­jour to tell my iPhone that there is a print­er avail­able. I select that print­er and set the num­ber of copies I want. All oth­er set­tings are just the default for the print­er (so, no grayscale print­er, for exam­ple). I can also save to my desk­top or Drop­Box fold­er in .PDF file for­mat, which is great for sav­ing and shar­ing things which I don’t real­ly need tp keep a hard copy. Fin­ger­print even includes the capa­bil­i­ty send it your print job to iPho­to, which is a nice touch. In fact, that is how I trans­ferred all the iPhone screen­shots for this post.

Note: Appar­ent­ly, Print­opia does all these things as well (minus the iPho­to bit) for a cou­ple of dol­lars more, so I chose Fin­ger­print. How­ev­er, Print­opia is nice in that it is added to the Sys­tem Pref­er­ences pan­el instead of being a sep­a­rate appli­ca­tion.

The print­er options screen and print­er selec­tion screen once Fin­ger­print is run­ning on any machine on the same net­work.

Fin­ger­print is $7.99, which is a lot cheap­er than a new print­er and eas­i­ly worth it for our house­hold to have this fea­ture. The appli­ca­tion has in-app pur­chas­ing and licens­ing if you decide to pur­chase and they accept cred­it card or Pay­Pal.

We still do print things from time-to-time and hav­ing that abil­i­ty on our iPhones (and iPad, some­day… right, dear?) is awe­some. Because Apple may nev­er release this for just any old print­er. They real­ly aren’t known for sup­port­ing lega­cy hard­ware, after all.

Here’s a video of how sim­ple print­ing in iOS is, once it works:

Print­ing in iOS 4.2 using Fin­ger­Print from Jason Cole­man on Vimeo.

Dark Sun Worldwide Game Day Recap

While I might not be the strongest believ­er in fate, I hap­pi­ly rec­og­nize and accept serendip­i­ty when it occurs. I had signed up for the lastest Dun­geons & Drag­ons World­wide Game Day — to get play­ers famil­iar with the new Dark Sun Cam­paign Set­ting sup­ple­ment — with my local gam­ing group. As it turns out, I went to the wrong of the two venue address­es list­ed on the page. As luck would have it, there was anoth­er group there play­ing the same adven­ture (it is world­wide, after all) who had a seat for one more per­son. Not want­i­ng to let me sched­uled after­noon of gam­ing go by (thanks, Angela!), I jumped in.

It can be a mixed bag when going to a game table blind, but gen­er­al­ly it is a good expe­ri­ence. This was a great expe­ri­ence. The indi­vid­ual run­ning the table had loads of give­aways and free drinks arranged for play­ers. The group I was gam­ing were friend­ly and eager to play off one anoth­er dur­ing the four five1 hours of gam­ing. I missed the chance to play with some old gam­ing pals of mine but mak­ing new friends is always fun for me and these are guys I hope to roll some dice again with soon.

WWGD Dark Sun

The ambush­es just kept com­ing in this adven­ture. Dark Sun is a place where elves and tem­plars are trou­ble, and we kept run­ning into them.

As for the adven­ture itself, it was a good one. Sure it was the typ­i­cal “You’re in a bar togeth­er in the vil­lage and are approached by some­one offer­ing gold to find some­thing … ” but it did cap­ture some of the ele­ments that make Dark Sun a unique set­ting and offered some nice oppor­tu­ni­ties for role play­ing. As a mat­ter of fact, I a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to ham it up when my char­ac­ter lept into the dark pit ahead of the group and them climbed back up to report what he’d seen. I’d have glad­ly done so with­out the promise of real-world reward, but I got vot­ed best role-play­er of the ses­sion and won a set of con­di­tion cards for it.

D&D Condition Card Set

Thanks to the group for vot­ing me to get these cards; which I will be using in every game from now on in 4th Ed.

So, enjoyed play­ing Dark Sun enough that I’m going to (lit­er­al­ly, as soon as click the Pub­lish but­ton) go pick up a copy of the Dark Sun Cam­paign Set­ting book. It’s like Dune meets Mad Max, but with d20s and I can’t wait to play some more.

Dark Sun Campaign Setting

Update: No, I was­n’t using “lit­er­al­ly” in a fig­u­ra­tive sense.


  1. As it turns out, Dark Sun can have some addi­tion­al ran­dom encoun­ters due to the nature of the set­ting. We end­ed up run­ning an hour lat­er than sched­uled but it was no less fun and my ter­rif­ic wife enter­tained the kids with­out once call­ing me to ask where in the hell was I at. I’m not sure I’d have had that kind of patience in her shoes, and she’s awe­some for being so cool about it. And if you think I’m just try­ing to score some points; I can assure you she nev­er reads this site. []

Steam on the Mac

While I think it’s great that Steam is final­ly avail­able for mac users, I’ve still yet to ben­e­fit from it. I first bought Por­tal about two years ago and played it via Boot Camp on my iMac. It was just as won­der­ful as every­one said it was and I had a great time. Some time lat­er, Par­al­lels 4 allowed me to play it on a vir­tu­al machine. No longer need­ing to reboot was nice but the video was still a bit chop­py. I would have nev­er made it past some of the lat­er lev­els if it had been that way in Boot Camp. For­tu­nate­ly, Par­al­lels has only got­ten bet­ter with gam­ing and Por­tal looks and plays great on my iMac.

Portal On My mac

Iron­i­cal­ly, a year and a half lat­er, Valve releas­es Steam for the mac and gives Por­tal away for free to every­one. Okay, that’s not the iron­ic part; that’s actu­al­ly real­ly awe­some of them. The irony is in that I can’t play Por­tal on Steam for the mac because my video card does­n’t meet some as-yet-unknown sys­tem require­ments.

The Cake *IS* a Lie

It’s pret­ty clear this dia­log box has­n’t been updat­ed for the Mac port. Yes, there is a link there for “Show Min­i­mum Require­ments …” and no, it does­n’t do any­thing.

That’s right. Valve does­n’t know what the sys­tem require­ments are and I can’t find them any­where on their store/site/steam/labyrinth. But they know that my mac can’t han­dle it. Except that it has been play­ing this same game for over two years.

Let’s face it: my iMac isn’t that new. It’s over four years old now and is on it’s sec­ond video adapter. But, it still works fine and the video adapter is far from being a poor one1. So I can under­stand that it might not be able to play every game; espe­cial­ly not the lat­est. But Por­tal isn’t a new game. Por­tal is was released three-and-a-half years ago and it did­n’t real­ly push the lim­its of PC gam­ing hard­ware then.

The real issue in all this actu­al­ly has lit­tle to do with Por­tal. I’ve already played it through three times over2. My issue lies in the fact that I have no way of known what the sys­tem require­ments are for a game. I would­n’t even know if I could play it at all until after I’d bought it. Even then, the mes­sage is so cryp­tic as to be use­less. Is this some­thing that is a true lim­i­ta­tion or is it as arbi­trary as hav­ing a “white list” of hard­ware? I don’t know, but I’m not going to spend a pen­ny on a game until I know for sure I can play it.

Not that I have any time for gam­ing any­way, mind you.

Update: I did find some sys­tem require­ments at the bot­tom of the Por­tal prod­uct page. I sus­pect I just did­n’t look there (despite it being the obvi­ous place). As you can see, I did find some mixed mes­sages. The clear­ly state that Mac requires a GeForce 8 card or bet­ter, which is both unfor­tu­nate and still con­fus­ing. In the mean­time, I down­loaded the demo for Torch­light, which plays just fine on my mac (if a bit slug­gish when a lot of ene­mies are on screen). I’m hooked and will cease to com­plain about Por­tal.

Update 2: I just down­loaded an update for Por­tal. I now get an error mes­sage with data for my OS and graph­ics card. The link to min­i­mum sys­tem require­ments for the game also now takes me to the prod­uct page sys­tem require­ments sec­tion.

There have also been a num­ber of reviews and news pieces for Steam on the mac which have point­ed out that a lot of my issues are due to the fact that Mac OS does­n’t take full advan­tage of the graph­ics hard­ware (poor­ly writ­ten or old­er dri­vers) when com­pared to a Win­dows machine. This par­tial­ly explains my issue. How­ev­er, the vir­tu­al machine does­n’t have native access to the graph­ics card (as evi­denced by the fact that the graph­ics card is dis­played as a “Par­al­lels Graph­ics Adapter” and not the actu­al card. Still, Par­al­lels does taught bet­ter graph­ics sup­port and I have no doubt they have squeezed every ounce of per­for­mance they could get out of Win­dows for VM gam­ing pur­pos­es.

On a some­what relat­ed note, Steam for mac seems to not play very well with Spaces on my iMac run­ning OS X 10.6.3. It seemed to leave pop-ups, tool tips, or some­thing on oth­er Spaces when it was­n’t in focus, and would then try to jump back to those at odd times. I final­ly had to turn Spaces off just to pre­vent me from scream­ing at my com­put­er any more.

  1. It’s an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT []
  2. That 6 hour fig­ure you see above does­n’t real­ly seem cor­rect to me; I’m not that fast of a gamer. []

Archaic Iconography

In many com­put­er appli­ca­tions1, you’ll find a tool­bar which con­tains a save tool & icon. Almost with­out fail, that icon is of a flop­py disk (most close­ly resem­bling a blue 3 1/2″ flop­py). But why not a com­put­er hard dri­ve (though those often end up look­ing like sar­dine tins in small icons) or a reel-to-reel tape? It is inter­est­ing that we sort of all agreed on one slice out of our tech­no­log­i­cal his­to­ry to agree upon as the stan­dard for sav­ing data. Of course, the irony of using this for to exe­cute a save com­mand is that very few com­put­ers today have a flop­py dri­ve at all and using these as a pri­ma­ry method of sav­ing pre­dates even the 3 1/2″ flop­py itself.

I’ve often won­dered if I’ll have to show my kids a old flop­py disk to explain the his­to­ry of the icon. That is, assum­ing I can even find one around here. When I did my Spring clean­ing last year, I had to bor­row a USB flop­py dri­ve from my father-in-law since I did­n’t have a com­put­er handy to even read those disks. Regard­less, I believe the icon itself will be large­ly abstract to them; though I don’t doubt they’ll learn to rec­og­nize what func­tion it rep­re­sents imme­di­ate­ly. They will become sym­bols more than direct rep­re­sen­ta­tions, which isn’t a bad thing in of itself2

Sim­i­lar­ly, you might find a old phone hand­set rep­re­sent­ing calls or phone func­tions and a snail-mail enve­lope for cre­at­ing or check­ing e‑mail. These, too, are out­dat­ed (or near­ly, in the case of the enve­lope) tools to rep­re­sent their dig­i­tal replace­ments.

But then, what icon bet­ter rep­re­sents sav­ing data? Or mak­ing phone calls? Or send­ing mail?

  1. This is most­ly a Win­dows and Lin­ux GUI con­ven­tion. You’ll occa­sion­al­ly find it in Mac appli­ca­tions, though most­ly in those writ­ten by Microsoft. This is because in most Mac appli­ca­tions, the file-lev­el com­mands are only found on the menu bar and not in a win­dow tool­bar. A lot of web appli­ca­tions use a sim­i­lar icon, as well. []
  2. Pret­ty much all let­ters, num­bers, and oth­er sym­bols all had more con­crete mean­ing at one time. Take, for exam­ple, the octothor­pe/pound/hash/crosshatch/number sym­bol (#). Accord­ing to The Ele­ments of Typo­graph­ic Style, this was once used in car­tog­ra­phy to rep­re­sent a vil­lage. That is, it was a sym­bol for a town square sur­round­ed by eight fields. The fact that we have so many dif­fer­ent names for this sym­bol is indica­tive of its many mod­ern uses and that we have all but for­got­ten its orig­i­nal, more lit­er­al mean­ing. []

Using Location Based Social Networking Sites

As I’ve become more and more attached to using Twit­ter, I (like most every­one else) has enjoyed adding more rich infor­ma­tion into tweets. I per­son­al­ly love includ­ing links to a pho­to, which essen­tial­ly ren­ders a tweet to a cap­tion (Arguably it also adds a 1,000 words or so to your actu­al tweet length). I have also been try­ing to use some of the loca­tion-based social net­works on and off for a cou­ple of years now, most of which seem to thrive based on their inte­gra­tion with Twit­ter.

First, we had BrightKite, which — while an attrac­tive site — was try­ing to do too much. Foursquare and Gowal­la both seem to be restrict­ing them­selves to I was here and did this1.The val­ue I see in these is to add some loca­tion con­text to a tweet (rather than the game of Foursquare or Gowal­la, for which I could­n’t care less). It also pro­vides a way for any addi­tion­al data I wish to add to be made avail­able to oth­ers if they hap­pen on the same spot.

That being said, it is very annoy­ing to me that these two meth­ods for adding infor­ma­tion to tweets (images and loca­tions) aren’t real­ly inte­grat­ed bet­ter. After strug­gling for the bet­ter part of 15 min­utes to add a Flickr2 pho­to to a Foursquare post, I fig­ured I’d like­ly nev­er try that again.

Twit­ter + Foursquare + Flickr = headache

Per­haps it could be argued that hav­ing mul­ti­ple URLs in a sin­gle tweet is a bit much infor­ma­tion for a sys­tem that was built around min­i­mal­ism. To that end, I at least try to pro­vide enough infor­ma­tion in the tweet itself to make it of some val­ue. I almost nev­er just use the default “I went to [blank]” text in Foursquare. If it is worth post­ing, it’s worth let­ting oth­ers know why I did it. This is how I choose to use Twit­ter. That is, let­ting any­one inter­est­ed in what I think know what I’m doing and why it is of val­ue. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it just does­n’t seem to be the inten­tion of many of the ser­vices on Twit­ter.

  1. It’s no coin­ci­dence I use the past tense here. One of my issues with putting my loca­tion online, in real time, while doing some­thing away from home is best explained by the site PleaseR­obMe. While I don’t wor­ry too much about actu­al thieves track­ing my where­abouts via the web, I find it best prac­tice to lim­it who knows where I am and when. Thus, I gen­er­al­ly post to Foursquare just after I’ve left. I’m just cagey like that, I sup­pose. Some feel this abuse of Foursquare is cheat­ing the game. To those I would point to above and remind them that shit = not given. []
  2. Despite Flick­r’s adop­tion of their own URL short­en­ing, it has been poor­ly adopt­ed by Twit­ter, its clients, and its ser­vices. The lack of inte­gra­tion there real­ly puts a damper on my inter­est in using these as well. Why must I use Twit­Pic (less attrac­tive and inter­est­ing to me) when I already am a long-time Flickr user? []

TiVo Releases Biggest Update in a Decade

In some­thing of a sur­prise to me, Cole­man-Dyer house­hold favorite TiVo released a updates pret­ty much every­thing today. Pri­mar­i­ly, they showed off their upcom­ing DVR hard­ware, called TiVo Pre­miere. I have to say, it looks very slick:
The new hard­ware is a small­er form fac­tor and has a very stream­lined look. What’s more, the new remote there may look just like the TiVo XL remote, but it has a slide-out key­board (sim­i­lar to many pop­u­lar mobile phones). This allows you to enter text in search fields, but also can be used to quick­ly fil­ter your “Now Play­ing” list. And speak­ing of the inter­face, it has been com­plete­ly over­hauled to match the look of the Flash-based TiVo Search beta that was includ­ed in the most recent ser­vice update. They also added the fea­ture that I most want­ed: playlist pro­files.

I’m real­ly excit­ed to see that Tivo, despite years of ques­tions regard­ing their future, is still work­ing to remain fresh and keep their top spot in the field of DVRs. (Both images from GDGT)

Portal Gets a Mysterious Update

Also in the sur­prise-to-me-release cat­e­go­ry, Valve released a rather strange update to their 2007 hit Por­tal today. Though not much in terms of game­play was added, the ever-present radios placed through­out the game now seem to have some sort of sig­nif­i­cance. Car­ry­ing the radios to var­i­ous points with­in the lev­el unlock a new game achieve­ment. What’s more, the radios begin to broad­cast var­i­ous sig­nals such as Morse code, data trans­mis­sions, etc. Some very crafty gamers have found that this is actu­al­ly a rab­bit hole lead­ing to a out-of-game alter­nate real­i­ty cam­paign. Por­tal remains one of the most amaz­ing games ever and if this is the how Valve choos­es to start a mar­ket­ing cam­paign for a sequel, then this bodes well for the future of the game. Here are a cou­ple of screen­shots I took while explor­ing some of the new game fea­tures:

Updat­ed: It looks like Por­tal 2 is offi­cial (this Decem­ber) and it is like­ly com­ing to the mac, too.

What It Says and What It Does

Ars Tech­ni­ca reports that the FCC asked the pub­lic how and if the term “broad­band” (as in inter­net con­nec­tion) should be defined, after it had pro­posed that “basic broad­band” as sim­ply 768kbps to 1.5Mbps (as in con­nec­tion speed). They also seemed to think that this should be based on the actu­al speed that providers have, as opposed to what they claim in adver­tise­ments.

Sad­ly, the providers had a few issues with this. Main­ly, they’d like to define what is broad­band based on nom­i­nal speeds, not the actu­al speeds they pro­vide. They argue that it is com­pli­cat­ed to deter­mine actu­al speed (nev­er mind that there are count­less sites to assess your cur­rent con­nec­tions speed when a pro­vid­ed wants to sell you a dif­fer­ent ser­vice). Even worse, they don’t want to have the def­i­n­i­tion tied to any appli­ca­tions (that is; video, tor­rents, gam­ing, VOIP, etc.). That way, if they decide to con­ve­nient­ly turn off a ser­vice on their pipeline, they can still call it broad­band.

So what if you can’t actu­al­ly do any­thing with it? It’s still fast! Well, in the­o­ry, any­way.

Some Nerd Treasures in the Attic

Pile of Old Disks

We’ve been in Spring clean­ing mode here around the house. Angela went through our old file cab­i­net, comb­ing over records for the past decade plus. We also both chucked most of our papers and files from col­lege. That alone end­ed up being ten box­es to take to the doc­u­ment shred­ding & recy­cling place.

In the process, I end­ed up with a rather large pile of 3.5″ flop­py disks to get rid of. I decid­ed to go through them and copy any files before we had them destroyed. Of course, we actu­al­ly don’t own any­thing with a 3.5″ flop­py dri­ve! Even my old lin­ux box in the garage only has a opti­cal dri­ve. For­tu­nate­ly, Ange­la’s dad has a USB flop­py dri­ve he was able to loan us.

So, in the process of going through some of the disks (many of which includ­ed pro­grams for obso­lete oper­at­ing sys­tems), I man­aged to find a few gems:

  • Lots of pho­tos from around 1998–99, when Angela and were first dat­ing and she was going off to phar­ma­cy school in VA. It prob­a­bly goes with­out say­ing, but we’ve aged a bit in the past decade.
    Our first ever big date, almost 11 years ago.
    Our first ever big date, almost 11 years ago.
  • The first help doc­u­ment I ever wrote for soft­ware. It was for a DOS pro­gram called Plane Frame & Truss (PFT, for short, because file­names back then could­n’t exceed 8 bytes). It is writ­ten in a very snarky voice; prob­a­bly not some­thing I’d try and repro­duce in my cur­rent writ­ing (okay, maybe here):

    How to use Dr. Noel Tolbert’s Plane-Frame-Truss Pro­gram (PFT)
    By Jason Cole­man

    First of all, PFT is not user-friend­ly, regard­less of what Big-Dad­dy-Tol­bert may say about it. How­ev­er, if you are using PFGTAB (the qua­si-graph­i­cal ver­sion), sim­ply read every­thing it tells you until you are more com­fort­able with the pro­gram. The ques­tions the pro­gram asks are not always clear at first, so take your time with them.

    How PFT works: (This is more-or-less from the horse’s mouth)

    This will cov­er, for the most part, how to use the graph­i­cal inter­face, PFGTAB. You have to be at an MSDOS prompt, and not sim­ply in a Win­dows Shell. In a win­dows shell, you can only run a pro­gram once, and then the shell more-or-less quits, and when using PFT, you actu­al­ly have to run two pro­grams con­sec­u­tive­ly. That’s one of the many non-user-friend­ly fea­tures of PFT.

  • The first pro­gram I ever wrote in Visu­al Basic (or any­thing that had a GUI, for that mat­ter). It was a pro­gram for Advanced Mechan­ics of Mate­ri­als grad. lev­el course which would deter­mine the stress­es in a curved beam mem­ber under a spe­cif­ic load­ing. It was­n’t exact­ly any­thing very use­ful (unless you need to design clamps for a liv­ing), but it also did­n’t look too bad for a first attempt:
    Curvbeam.exe's screen.
    Curvbeam.exe’s screen.

So we found a few nerdy trea­sures from our past lives. That’s one of the fun things about clean­ing out so much of that sort of stuff: you find the things that real­ly mean some­thing and can put them some­where you can access, instead of buried in a tomb of junk.