[Babylon 5]

Nathan Mates' Personal Info Pages

Nathan Mates's .plan webmirror

This is an experimental setup, designed to reduce system load on visi.com's finger server machines. My .plan should be attached below, but up to 4 hours out of date, as the mirroring to a webpage is done only every 4 hours. I'd prefer people used this webpage, as it's less system intensive, and I certainly don't expect to update the .plan more than a few times a week.

Plan links

Updates in the past few weeks
Updates from March 2002
Updates from February 2002
Updates from November 2001
Updates from October 2001
Updates from July 2001
Updates from June 2001
Updates from April 2001
Updates from March 2001
Updates from February 2001
Updates from January 2001
Updates from December 2000
Updates from November 2000
Updates from August 2000
Updates from July 2000
Updates from June 2000
Updates from May 2000
Updates from April 2000
Updates from February 2000
Updates from January 2000
Updates from December 1999
Updates from November 1999
Updates from October 1999
Updates from September 1999
Updates from August 1999
Updates from July 1999
Updates from June 1999
Updates from May 1999
Updates from April 1999
Updates from March 1999
Updates from February 1999
Updates from January 1999

Login name: nathan    			In real life: Nathan Mates
Directory: /home/nathan             	Shell: /bin/tcsh
Job: Network Programmer, Battlezone 2, developed by Pandemic Studios
http://www.pandemicstudios.com , published by Activision
http://www.activision.com [Note: in this, I am *NOT* speaking
officially for either of those, I'm only speaking for myself.]

Note: this .plan should be automatically mirrored to my personal
webpage at http://www.matesfamily.org/cgi-bin/plan.html about every 4
hours.  I'd prefer people used the web page, as it's a lot less system
resource intensive than constant fingering. The downside is that the
webpage is up to 4 hours out of date, but really, I hope I won't be
spending lots of time with constant .plan updates.

The fingered .plan should only have about 2 week's worth of content in
it; archives are done by month, and lined in from the webpage of mine
referenced above.

1/13/04: Star Wars Battlefront has an official site now:

12/9/03: Star Wars: Battlefront has been announced:


5/27/03: Congrats to Wil Stahl (BZ2 designer) and the Full Spectrum
Warrior team. They're nominated in 4 awards categories by the official
Game Critics of E3:

Best of Show
Best Original Game
Best Console Game
Best Simulation Game

   [See http://www.e3awards.com/nom.html for list of all categories,
nominees. Results announced June 10th, 2003.]

5/6/03: Ever wondered how big starships really are?
http://www.merzo.net/index.html has a great collection of ships, all
scaled to the same reference, and comparable.

4/28/03: Meta-reviews of Star Wars: The Clone Wars/XBox at

4/25/03: Clonewars/XBox reviews at

3/19/03: And another Clonewars/XBox preview at
http://xbox.ign.com/articles/389/389910p1.htm (will be for general
consumption soon)

3/11/03: See http://xbox.ign.com/articles/387/387832p1.html and
http://www.gamespy.com/previews/march03/clonewarsxbox/ for
some previews of Clonewars/XBox.

2/5/03: http://www.lucasarts.com/press/releases/64.html has a press
release about Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the XBox this spring.
Funny enough, that's what I'm working on.

[Side note: deliberate "misspelling" of XBox, with 'B' capitalized, is
intentional. Just because some upper-manager at Microsoft couldn't
figure out how to get MS Word to accept a word might just have mixed
capital and lowercase letters doesn't mean the rest of us have to
suffer with something that looks *wrong* to me. After years of
programming, and a little German learnt in middle school, I think it
is *RIGHT* to put caps in the middle of a word made from smaller
components-- for example, GetPlayerController() in code is *much*
easier on the eyes than Getplayercontroller() as Word would mangle it

1/29/03: Neat little shareware game for PCs full of mindless
shoot-em-up action: http://www.pompom.org.uk/STpage1.htm

1/24/03: All wars are created equal? Hardly. That's been known for
thousands of years. See http://www.instapundit.com/archives/002945.php
for good commentary.

1/10/03: Star Wars: The Clone Wars for PS2 meta-reviews (with links to
all the reviews) :

12/31/02: Looking for a way to start the new year right? Try these
spoofs on Lord of the Rings, as done by other authors/directors/etc.


12/20/02: And some PS2 reviews for Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
http://ps2.ign.com/articles/380/380855p3.html (editor's top 10 list)

10/28/02: Some of the first reviews of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
are out (for the Gamecube version, which is the first out)

8/30/02: Offical site for Star Wars: The Clone Wars has launched.
Please visit http://www.swclonewars.com/

8/22/02: Star Wars: The Clone Wars is getting closer. Preorder here.
or at your favorite retailer...

(Gamecube version)
(PS2 version)

   Note: ebworld.com expects both versions before Christmas, so get
both as a stocking-stuffer :)

8/6/02: Reading http://www.bluesnews.com/ for today, I noticed a
review of Fallout 2. For the Mac. I enjoyed the game when it first
came out in 1998 or so. The initial version was DANG BUGGY. Subsequent
patches cleared up most of that. 4 years later, it seems to have been
moved to a Mac. The review at
http://mac.ign.com/articles/366/366478p1.html was a typical review,
except for this bit:

     Like most games being released now, G4 is the best way to go. On
     our 500MHz G3, the game ran okay, but scrolling and load times
     improved dramatically when we ran the game on a 500MHz G4. Owners
     of older machines that haven't upgraded to OS X will be out of
     luck also, as Fallout 2 runs only on OS X.

   Look. I didn't play it on a 500Mhz box when it first came out;
200Mhz is more like it. Macs *claim* to be really fast. I suspect
those claims are a huge load of hype, but even still, this kind of
system requirements show the programming was a joke, really.

7/29/02: YACWP (Yet Another CloneWars Preview)

7/23/02: More Clonewars previews:

7/16/02: An update to a link I posted here some years ago:
http://www.chroniclogic.com/noflash/index.html . Pontifex is a
great bridge-building game.

6/6/02: (Copied from a big public posting I wrote, might as well
archive it for a bit or something. In 6 weeks or 6 years, I might look
back and see how much I got things wrong, but why not.) The context is
a discussion of India and Pakistan possibly throwing nukes at each

[Disclaimer: I spent 9 years in Pakistan growing up, so I do have a
bit of experience when I speak here.]

The leaders of India and Pakistan both know that if nukes are used,
then they are out of a job. Sure, they'd probably physically survive
(bunkers and all that), but their countries would probably not. Thus,
it is in their personal interest to keep this conflict down-- the
pause before fighting right now is to see what bribes, err, incentives
the international community can give them to keep the fighting down.

That sorta begs the question: if the leaders are opposed to nukes,
who's in favor of them? The answer to that should scare you: Al
Quaida, and Hindu nationalists. After they had their butts kicked in
and out of Afghanistan, many of the Islamic militants went to
Pakistan, and joined the nearest other war their friends are involved
in: Kashmir. Their grunts have no other useful skills in life other
than fighting, so they would rather do that than do something
productive like building a nation. The leaders of Al Quaida would
*love* a big war (even if sub-nuke) between India and Pakistan,
because the world's attention would be off of them and onto the
conflict. [And, they see a decent chance of taking control of Pakistan
during/after a war, even if it's nuked.] In short, they're a cancer on
the world that wants to cause problems so they can benefit.

Kashmir has been a thorn in both countries side for decades, and it's
partially the fault of the British, but not in the way liberals would
like you to believe. British imperialism was the *BEST* thing that had
happened to the area-- they brought in a good solid civil service,
technology, and wiped out some very bad parts of the local culture--
thugees ('thugs' - our name comes from them, and describes them), and
suttee (forcibly burning a widow on her husband's funeral pyre). I
knew many people in Pakistan who said "It was better under the
British" - the British have a sense of fairness and honor sadly
missing from the current rulers. [Other British colonies like Hong
Kong (until swallowed by the ChiComs), Canada, Australia, and the like
show that the Brits can and did transplant the better parts of their
culture successfully.]

So, what is the fault of the British in Kashmir? Short answer: in
their "liberal" "enlightened" (hah to both) rush to "free" colonies
after World War II, they left *far* too quickly. They ruled most of
the area for about 150 years. However, they packed up and left in
under a few months. They did not arrange an orderly, safe, or good
transition to the local government-- they (stupidly) believed that
those in power would do a good job. [Fatal flaw of liberalism:
assuming people are good by default. Humanity is buggy and rotten to
the core. We *will* screw things up.] The Brits allowed Kashmir, an
80% Muslim province, to go with India, because the ruler was a
Hindu. Bad move-- Pakistan invaded almost immediately, but lost.

India can not really allow Kashmir's independence. Despite all the
myths about it, India is more of a grouping of moderately independent
states, and Kashmir is just the most vocal about it. If one state gets
its independence, a lot more will try. Some would say those states
should never have been part of India proper; that's partially the
fault of the Brits, and completely the fault of India since
independence in that it didn't make every state feel welcome. However,
when you have a nation goverened by essentially feudal rulers, they're
going to treat everyone like their serfs.

Right now, India would love to try and pull an "Israel," like they did
a few weeks back where Israel smashed up terrorist camps in Janin, and
walked out. Things have been much quieter since then in Israel (no
daily bombings, and Arafat is seen as a sellout and irrelevant by his
own people). India *knows* where the terrorist camps are, and would
love to smash them, and walk out. They're not as well trained as the
Israelis are, and would probably do a much messier job in terms of
loss on both sides. Pakistan would be miffed at such an incursion, but
these militants are not in favor with the president-- he'd love for
them to just up and disappear.

So, where does this leave us? I see nukes as a last resort by either
side only-- the militaries know that once they're used, they're
toast. Mutual Assured Destruction is whined about by people scared of
nukes, but I believe it's what kept Korea and Vietnam to conventional

Even if nukes do go off, the full effect on those of us well away from
the conflict would be *minimal* at best. Fallout would dissipate
within days to weeks, especially with the monsoon season about to
hit-- it'd move any stuff still in the atmosphere onto the ground. It
would be a great tragedy (I can bet people I know and places I've been
would die), but it would stay local. And, the reminder of a real
tragedy would make the next idiot thinking of setting off a nuke think
*very* carefully.

5/28/02: We're number 3! We're Number 3! [Of all games at E3, just
behind Warcraft 3 : http://tech.msn.com/IP/e32002.asp ]

5/24/02: Screenshots from The Clonewars, avaiable at
http://www.gamespy.com/e32002/gcn/clonewars/screenshots.shtml .

5/21/02: Ever wonder what music I create games to? See
http://www.matesfamily.org/workplaylist.txt . That's a shortened list
compared to my full collection (at home), where all the classical
titles are. I've also got more HD space at home, than on my work box,
so if a song/CD at work annoys me, it gets zapped. [There's a lot of
individual tracks deleted from within the directories, but you can't
see that from the list.]

   Most of the directories listed are owned by me, ripped and
converted by me. Requests for copies will be summarily denied. A
number of them are freely downloadable from http://www.mp3.com/ - I
suggest looking up The Echoing Green (synthpop), PlastikRecords,
Level.9, Non Revanche, Antidote, Indikator, Deepsky, DreaMusic,
Simulator, System 22, TranceJax, Christ Collective, and Paragon Null,
just if you want a few downloads. Most of those fall into techno/
noisy styles, but there may be some things you'll like.

5/20/02: Took a while, but a real nice review of Triple Play 2002/Xbox:
I think the wait for this review was worth it, as it is evident that
this reviewer actually played the final release of the game based on
several statements contained within. A lot of polish went into the
game in the last month of development, both in the technical and
gameplay parts, and it's nice to see specific things we changed
mentioned in this review. 

5/17/02: Finally, the official previews are going up now:

5/6/02: A little news from the first public showing of Clonewars:

5/1/02: Get your pre-orders in:
   Remember, buy early, buy often. :)  [And buy the PS2 version (my focus)]

4/25/02: Link below was yanked. Try http://www.lucasconsoles.com/
instead for part of the info.

4/25/02: The veil of secrecy starts lifting...

4/14/02: Fun video clip (not for bird lovers)

4/4/02: ArmyMen RTS PC Demo is out. 44MB, available from
http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=86892 and probably many other