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Bullet Sunday 158

Posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from a surprisingly cold and unexpectedly rainy section of rural Georgia!

• Bring on The Hate. Just like Friday night, Saturday evening was a non-stop party on the 11th floor of the Hilton Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. No less than six people were laughing it up in the room to the right of me. People were having sex in the room above me (at least I hope that's what it was). The hallway was filled with drunken douchebags until 2:00am. And doors kept slamming into the early morning down the corridor. Sleep was next to impossible, so I begged the front desk to give me a late check-out of 2:30 so I could (maybe) take a nap and not spend my first day of work as a zombie. I then spent my evening listening to my iPod at full volume. It's at times like this I really hate people.

• As God Intended. I had read about Google's wonderful gift of Free WiFi at major airports across the USA, and was happy to discover that Seattle was among them when I flew out this past Friday. What I was not prepared for was that this was going to be a gift that keeps on giving...

Free WiFi Forever at Sea-Tac!

That's right... apparently Google is going to continue the free internet at Seattle-Tacoma International INDEFINITELY! This is fantastic news, because I stopped paying for internet access at airports once I got my iPhone, but miss being able to use my laptop. Thanks, Google!

• TripIt Social. I think I've mentioned a couple of times how my frequent travels are made much, much easier now that I use TripIt to manage all my travel plans. I simply forward all my confirmation emails to TripIt, and the free service automatically builds my itinerary and keep all my information together in one place. It's brilliant, and has quickly become an indispensable tool. Things got even better when they launched a free iPhone companion app. And I was in heaven when they launched a "TripIt Pro" version which adds flight monitoring and other goodies for a nominal annual fee. Genius!

As I have become hopelessly reliant on TripIt, you can imagine my horror when I found the latest update to their iPhone app crashed every time I launched it. I wouldn't have minded so much if I was using the free version, but I am a paid TripIt Pro member, and expect better. I then Tweeted my frustration thusly...

TripIt on Twitter

Not ten minutes later, somebody at TripIt had seen my Tweet, tracked down my email address, and emailed me a solution to the problem (delete it off my iPhone and reinstall it). Things worked perfectly after that, and then I noticed that there was another update at the iTunes Store to solve the problem. Odds are that TripIt fixed the problem immediately, but Apple's hideously slow draconian "approval" process meant there was a long delay before iPhone users could actually get their hands on it. In any event, way to go, TripIt! it's nice to know that companies are starting to make use of social media for GOOD instead of the EVIL bullshit I've become accustomed to (oh how I hate Twitter spam!).

• Dungeon Master Revisited. One of my all-time favorite games is Dungeon Master, which I played constantly on my old Atari ST computer. It was fantasy role playing at its best, and did an incredible job (for the time) of immersing you in another world for hours of adventure. I spent years trying to find a worthy successor, but none came. As computers got faster and graphics got better, flashy animation and complex battle mechanics seemed to take precedence over gameplay. This wasn't nearly as much fun for me, as I preferred the elegant simplicity of the original. So while I can appreciate terrific games like Dragon Age, nothing that has come out since has been able to recapture those heady days and nights I spent engrossed in Dungeon Master back in the late 1980's.

Until now. Enter Undercroft for the iPhone...

Undercroft for iPhone Dungeon Exploring

Undercroft for iPhone White Wolves Attack!

It's so similar to Dungeon Master as to be spooky, but definitely manages to strike out in a direction all its own. I am having more fun with Undercroft than I've had with a video game for ages, and the fact it fits in my pocket is just icing on the cake. About the only thing I don't like about it is the idea that it's eventually going to end. I can only hope that the developer, Rake In Grass, is game for a sequel. If you've got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can get a taste of the fun for FREE with the Undercroft Lite Demo.

And now it's time to get my caffeine on so that I can stay awake all night long for work. Hopefully my brain will not turn to moosh before the job is done tomorrow morning.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009, iPhone + iPad, Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. kapgar says:

    I never realized that the free wifi at airports was only supposed to be a holiday thing. I was under the impression it was a permanent fixture. Still cool. If they expand it to Chicago soon…

    As for the Twitter customer service, I had a few interactions like that regarding gripes I tweeted. It was great! The only problem is that I now have a private account (so I can keep coworkers out of it) and no one can see me gripe anymore. Also, I’m excluded from any Twitter-based contests unless they happen to be following me too. Bummer. I wish I could go public again with my profile, but there’s too much risk involved.

    • Dave2 says:

      It was advertised as “for the holidays” at major airports. Apparently Seattle gets to keep it free, which is nice.

      Of course, at the rate Seattle is ripping out seats, you’ll have to sit on the floor to use it, but it’s still better than having to pay for it i suppose.

  2. Avitable says:

    I look forward to the day when there’s free WiFi everywhere.

    • Dave2 says:

      Ditto. Airports and hotels that charge for it are especially frustrating, because having access to the internet while traveling is a PART of traveling in the modern world we live in. I am sick of getting nickel-and-dimed for what I consider to be essential services. These places have internet anyway… why not offer them at no charge to keep your customers happy? The cost of all the crap needed to charge for it is probably more of an expense anyway.

  3. whall says:

    Oh please, not another game. I just started playing Dragon Age (my first real “play this game for a good chuck of your life since 7th Guest”) and already it’s affecting the rest of my life. What I really need is a couple level upgrade points to apply to Discipline and a Time modifier.

    • Dave2 says:

      Don’t we all?

      Oh wait… you’re talking about the game there, aren’t you?

      Ah 7th Guest! That brings back memories! I was big into Myst for a while… I think Fable was the last thing that sucked me in though.

  4. A. Lewis says:

    I had not heard of the Google free internet deal…but I had seen the signs in SeaTac and also in Boston. Now I know!
    As for the noisy neighbors…..I have this lovely little trick I play on them at 4am when I get up for work….I call their room, several times. And then I turn the TV around toward their wall and turn it up full blast on the volume when I leave the room. Shame on me.

    • Dave2 says:

      I wish that would make me feel better, but it doesn’t. All noise-revenge does is irritate me all over again because I want my hours of missed sleep back! Why people can’t make their noise in the lounge THEN quietly come back to their room after is a total mystery to me. Guess they like being assholes?

  5. muskrat says:

    you gotta stay up all night for this job? dang. no wonder you keep such odd hours.

  6. muskrat says:

    *epiphany* You’re a cat burglar, aren’t you?!!!

  7. Shannon says:

    Undercroft sounds to me like a collection of Tomb Raider themed under-things.

    • Dave2 says:

      Tomb Raider is a “3-D puzzle-shooter” more than anything else… this is more in the “Turn-Based RPG Fantasy Strategy” mold. I do miss me the Lara Croft though!

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