Oops. My bad. The current poll had a glitch in it which
made anyone who voted for
Bullwinkle vote instead for WWF superstar
The Rock. Yes I
know- big difference! Now I understand how the woman
who designed those disasterous
ballots in Florida must have felt :P. I reset all the
poll results to zero, so unlike the American
presidential election, we can try it over from scratch.
Meanwhile, our friend Enrico from h07
is providing a new freeshell service.
I've tried it and it's pretty cool- you can access all
the utilities you'd expect from a remote Linux shell.
According to the guidelines, however, no
"script-kid language (username:I4mH4x0r etc.)"
accounts will be allowed- heh, can't argue with that! If
you could use something like this, go ahead and
apply for an account.
Finally, did you know that Wil Weaton, the kid who
played Wesley Crusher
TNG), has his own
much as everyone (including I) hated his character, he
seems like a cool dude. In his
FAQ, to the
question, What do you think of
The only thing that I really hate is the theme song...I
suspect that the composer is going to be the new holder
of the "Most Hated Person In Star Trek" title...if she
calls, I'll hand over the badge to her...I know I have
So he knows how
he was. That's cool. Now if only
Wang would put up a self-deprecating site like this :P.
Oh, and props to Wil for having links to
bbspot on his
page. One of us, one of us...
Well, our suspicions were right. The majority of our readers are male
according to our
But the big surprise is that we have more
female readers than we thought (22%)! That's good news. Thank you for
responding to our silly polls. We try to keep it interesting and
interactive, so if you have any ideas for a poll, tell us about them.
I also noticed that we got some entries in our
guestbook from France
and Italy. Welcome! It amazes me to see how far and wide Hackles can
reach with the Internet. Otherwise, you wouldn't know we existed over
here in North Carolina with our crazy computer ideas. Thanks to all of
you who continue to read Hackles. I put some new images on our
"Link to Us" page. Give 'em a gander :)
Jen and I are going to our respective parents' homes for
Thanksgiving week. I will try to post Monday's strip
from New York, but we make no guarantees! We should be
back on schedule starting the Monday after Thanksgiving
(November 26). Thanks for reading our crazy comic, and if you
celebrate Thanksgiving, have a happy one!
Last weekend we saw
play at a small club in Raleigh. Man, they rock. And it's so much nicer
seeing them play in an intimate setting. Blue even
caught J. Robbins for a one-on-one, laid back,
What more could you ask for?
My brother posted
some pictures from his recent trip to
Apple Anime Fest. I've always wanted to go to an anime
con, but could never make it to one. Maybe it's because
I'm subconsciously afraid of all the
But at any rate, he got to hang out with the
actors from one of our favorite animes,
Slayers! I was
pretty jealous. Yes, I admit it, Tod and I are big
Um, where are you going? Wait, come back! Oh, nuts.
I wrote a random comic
link generator yesterday. It started out as a
simple exercise in
pseudo-random numbers using the
shell. Then I wanted to try making a bash-based
script, for kicks. I ended up with a kludgy, but fun,
script that Jen and I are finding addictively clickable!
The pool of comics that it chooses from is truly a
grab-bag. I pretty much put every comic I could
find in the list, whether I read it or not. As long as
the page wasn't full of pop-up ads and didn't
crash my browser, I stuck it in there. Doubtless the
list will continue to grow as I find more comics. Sure,
it's risky viewing a comic of completely random
quality- it's kind of like russian roulette- but heck,
the danger is half the fun! So go
Oh, and if you like retro arcade games and/or
do click here.
You won't be sorry! (And I apologize if this is one of
those links that everyone already knows about- I'm a
little out of the loop about these things. I found out about the
Your Base craze probably a month after everyone else
got sick of it :P).
I just want to take a second to plug b-side.org, a new
indie-rock website created by our grumpy friend Blue.
It's a Slashdot-styled affair where people can post
reviews, opinions, rants, and the like on
or not so favorite, bands.
Last I checked, Blue had posted a
on the Superchunk show we
saw last week- and true to form, he had very little positive
to say :P
He's looking for contributors, so if any of you are down
with the punk
rock, feel free to get
Happy Halloween! Last year Jen and I bought a ton of
candy for those loveable trick-or-treaters.
The problem was that not a single kid showed up at our door,
and it took us forever to eat all that candy ourselves.
So this year we made sure to buy only
candy that we
like... so when no one shows up for Halloween
again, we'll have an excuse to pig out! It's the perfect
There's this big, spooky webcomic crossover event
called Fright Night
III. We're not participating in it this Halloween,
but it does look like a very cool idea. Go
check it out!
I admit we've only seen a couple episodes of
but I'm sorry to say we both think it is pretty lame so
far. From the shlocky theme song (reminiscent of
Bolton), to the agonizingly slow pacing, to
horrible acting, this show had us shaking our heads in
disbelief. It is possible that we coincidentally saw the two worst
episodes to date, but I still expected more from this series.
I mean, couldn't they at least try to make the
characters a little original? The cold, logical,
is an obvious rip-off of
of Nine (but much less charismatic). And what would
a Star Trek series be without the
eccentric doctor? Enterprise gives us
a Denobulan doctor who tries to fit this role, but isn't
quite wacky or alien enough to be interesting. And the
rest of the crew just seems bland and poorly-defined,
compared to other Star Trek rosters we've seen.
Not to mention the plots had us literally fighting to stay
awake. I'm not kidding.
*Sigh*. Maybe it will get better with time, but then
again, I don't know if we'll be tuning in again to give
it another chance.
We went to see Superchunk
in Chapel Hill last night. It was the first show of
their American tour, and we had the best spot in the
house- right in front of Laura's bass rig... mreow!
Few things in life are better than a female bassist, I
always say. I do prefer their older, more rocking songs
to their newer stuff (isn't that always the case with
bands?), but they always know how to pull off a fun,
high-energy show nonetheless.
Some of you may have noticed that our last few strips
look smoother than normal. Well, it's because we finally
bought a state-of-the-art scanner to replace the
ancient Microtek contraption we'd been using (it scanned
at a maximum of 72 dpi!). The
difference in image quality is truly astounding. The
only problem now is that the higher-quality images take
a lot longer for Jen to work with on her 233 MHz
computer. She could literally surf the web for
5 minutes waiting for one area to bucket-fill in
the Gimp. So... we
ordered a new 1.2 GHz Athlon for her, and are now
waiting for that to arrive. Sheesh, cartooning is
sure getting to be an expensive hobby!
We'd like to thank all of you who've linked to us, put our
comic on your web page, or told others about
Hackles. You see, Jen and I are pretty horrible at
self-promotion, so most of Hackles' publicity comes from
word of mouth. Our readership keeps growing each week, and
we owe it all to you- yes, you!
Lately, we've had a lot of new readers from Germany,
thanks to Enrico Kern, our friend from the
h07 Open Source
group. They've featured Hackles as the comic strip for
the group's Think
Nerd portal, which has been getting us a ton of hits.
It looks like a very cool website, although Jen and I
can't understand German to save our lives ;-). Thanks,
Other German sites have started linking to us too:
Der Linux Guide,
FunControl, for example.
We are seriously considering learning the language, just
so we can read all these web pages.
It is an interesting fact: even though we're
American and our comic strip is written in English, most
of our readers seem to live in non-English speaking
countries. I don't know why this is, but I think it's
very neat. Jen and I are always amazed at how well our
audience can read and write in English- It is a constant
reminder of how language-limited most of us Americans are.
Alternately, maybe it just proves that Hackles readers
are super-intelligent :-D.
I finally finished reading Neal Stephenson's novel
which my friend TJ gave me for X-mas. Excellent stuff.
For the record, any book that has
Turing as one of its characters is bound to be
interesting to me ;-). I'd recommend it to any hacker,
especially anyone interested in cryptography (anyone
who has time to read a 900+ page novel, that is).
Stuff like this makes me realize that for all our
computer knowledge, even we coders tend to have a
relatively shallow understanding of the technology we
use. For example, I use
shell every day, but how much do I really know about
the underlying encryption algorithms? Not a whole lot,
although reading books like this at least makes me
feel a little smarter...
Stephenson also wrote a very good hacker essay a while back,
the Beginning was the Command Line. Like all the
stuff he seems to write, this essay is pretty darn long,
but well worth the read, IMHO.
In sadder news, my brother's apartment in New York was
broken into shortly after the WTC attack. The thief
stole a ton of his stuff, including his
which contained virtually all our vacation pictures.
Ironically, this act of evil happened while Tod was
out doing volunteer computer work for the
Red Cross relief
effort. File this under "when bad things happen to good
people." For what it's worth, we're proud of him. It's
been a very, very tough month.
What a horrible day. If any of you reading this have
lost family or friends in today's atrocities, our hearts
go out to you. Myself, I feel lucky that my brother, who
lives in NYC, made it through the day unharmed.
It seems almost ridiculous to post a funny cartoon
on a day like this, so we created a
special strip as a
tribute to the victims of the horrors that took place.
Take care everyone.
Hello everyone! Drake and I are back from vacation. We
had a fun and relaxing time. Our digital camera turned
out to be very cool and we used it extensively to
capture snapshots and short movies. Once we transfer the
data (4GB worth!) from Drake's brother's laptop, we will
post them for anyone curious enough to
look at them. They will be good reminders to us of the
fun we had, while we transition back to our daily
Jen and I are going on a much-needed vacation this
coming week with my brother and parents. We will be
frolicking on the glorious beaches of
Hilton Head, South Carolina, watching the bluefish run
and the giant crabs scurry about. Since fish and
crab watching is such a time-intensive activity, we won't
be updating any strips until we get back.
We just bought a new digital camera from Best Buy
(you know the drill: "No, for the 10th time, I do not
want to buy your extended warranty plan, just give me the
stupid camera!"), so maybe we'll come back with a
bunch of pictures. Since my brother is bringing along
his PlayStation 2, I suspect that many of those pictures
will be of me and him playing video games while Jen rolls her
eyes in disgust. Hehe.
strip, we received an email from our Belgian reader
Ronnie who offers hope for the lonely Linux geeks out there:
Torvalds found geek-loving
girlfriends, so keep looking- they are out there!
True, true. I consider myself pretty lucky to have found
Jen, and I can't even claim to have invented Linux, nor
do I possess a
beard. And if that's not enough inspiration for you
lovelorn geeks, then maybe
will do the trick.
See you all after next week!
We'd like to thank one of our readers, Enrico, who wrote to
us and mentioned that he'd been following Hackles since
the third update. Wow, how many people can say that? I can
probably count the number on one hand- even if it was
missing a couple of fingers! When we first
started the comic, I'm not even sure how anyone could have
found our site, much less found it interesting enough to
revisit. We're going to throw out a
link to Enrico's
h07 Open Source developer
group. It looks like they've been working on some very
neat utilities- download some now!
What else? We saw Requiem
for a Dream this weekend, and it was a mind-blowing
experience. I normally don't like "drug addiction"
movies, because I don't find it entertaining to watch
junkies ruin their miserable lives for an hour and a
half. This was different though, because the filming
really made you feel like you were on whatever
drugs the characters were taking (hey, it's like using
drugs without any of the nasty side-effects!).
And speaking of trippy, it was strange but cool to see
Wayans in a dramatic role.
Oh, and the new
record comes out in September. We'll be counting down the days :P
Our August 8th
strip is the 50th cartoon we've posted! Hurrah!
Time to reminisce: It all started back in March... Jen
threw me a simple idea, "wouldn't it be cool if we did
an animated cartoon together?" I responded, "That would
be fun, but we don't know the first thing about
animation. Let's see if we can make a regular comic
first- we can even post it on the Web!"
This was before I knew about the
wealth of comics
already available online (I think I actually believed I
came up with a novel concept!). We decided to give it a
try, just for kicks, and it eventually became the
most fun and rewarding hobby we've done together. Of
course, this whole endeavor would be a lot less fun if
no one read Hackles, and we appreciate all of you who
take the time to visit us once in a while!
My computer decided to celebrate our 50th strip by
completely dying on me. How nice! I thought a bad power
supply was the culprit, but after purchasing a
new one, it became apparent that this was instead a CPU or
motherboard problem. So I decided to go for broke and
buy a new 1.4 GHz Athlon CPU and a fancy ABIT motherboard -
hey I might as well get a better computer for my
troubles! So now everything is working, and I have to
say, my computer absolutely rocks! I've been
compiling source code frivolously, just to oggle at the
sheer speed of my new machine. Geek heaven.
First of all, thanks go to everyone who has linked to
Hackles on their website! Our readership grows a little
bit each week, and we appreciate the support. Just for
fun, here are the top three sites (in terms of number of
hits they bring us):
- WebComics -
a cool comics portal.
- Burn All
GIFS - where they have a Web comics
are going GIF-free blurb, using a logo that
Jen created for the occasion.
- Exploding Dog's
red robot page - which links to our red robot
Recently, I've been sent some frivolous URLs, which I
will presently share. Thanks to Blue, I now know what our
website looks like through the eyes of a
pokemon. Behold, Hackles in glorious
Next my brother sent me a funny multi-media
of some video game called Summoner.
Anyone who plays D&D, or at least knows people who play
the game, should get a kick out of
(you'll need Quicktime to
see it- I generally don't link to stuff that doesn't
work under Linux, but this was too entertaining for me not
to mention). Lastly, Phil from my work showed me an
link- from the same people (person?) who brought you this
kung-fu masterpiece, comes a fun-filled
(space bar reloads the gun, for those who don't read
Chinese. Again, sorry- this di Again, sorry- this didn't work for me in
Mozilla/Netscape under Linux, but I had to mention it).
Geez, it should be illegal for Flash to be this much fun.
So anyway, I decided to take a brief break from reading
computer books, and actually read some normal people
books. Well, sort of "normal" - I went to the bookstore
and came back with a couple seemingly random selections.
The first was
a Nice Day, the autobiography of
hardcore pro-wrestler Mick Foley (unlike most
autobiographies, this was actually written by the book's
subject, not by a ghostwriter. Anyone who thinks that
pro-wrestlers are an ignorant and illiterate lot should
take a look at this) and Bruce Catton's excellent
War. I just finished both books, and I have to say
I had a blast. Or maybe I've just read so many dry
computer books lately that I'll find anything