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4/10/2002 nightDrake

Update: We woke up to find our server in Germany had been disconnected, and so Hackles was down all day :-(. I moved the site to a new server, and if you can read this, then the DNS has propagated successfully. The h07 team (our former hosts) are working through some troubles, and Jen and I hope that they get back on their feet soon. Phantom and the gang have been some of our strongest supporters, and their coding projects and free services provide a great benefit to the geek community. Good luck guys.

Meanwhile, some of the data from the old server is lost, at least for now. The poll results are gone, as well as the last couple weeks from the guestbook :-(. Please feel free to vote, and to sign the guestbook if your entry is missing. Also, some of the scripts on this site may not yet work correctly- we will test everything once hackles.org resolves. Sorry about the interruption, and thank you for your patience!

 
4/10/2002Drake

snook head Hooray! I got the Java/UNIX programmer job I wanted, so I'm in a pretty good mood. I just finished filing my taxes too, so that helps. Jen and I went to the local spring arts festival this weekend and, to celebrate my good fortune, bought a snook fish sculpture (pictured left). We hung it over our kitchen doorway. Fish are cool, and supposedly make for good feng shui too...

Speaking of fish, if you like underwater documentaries, make sure to check out the BBC's Blue Planet series, narrated by David Attenborough (he's the man). Our buddy Al introduced the DVDs to us, and the two discs we watched were some of the most gripping nature footage we'd ever seen. Absolutely mind-blowing stuff, especially the crazy creatures found in The Deep.

May 5th is the second annual Webcomics Awareness Day. We participated last year and it was a lot of fun. If any of you readers are cartoonists yourselves, and you want to join in, read this FAQ and sign yourselves up.

Our friend Steve sent us this link of good, dumb fun. Now that is what Flash was born to do. Long live Strong Bad!

I saw this interesting article in the Linux Gazette about writing your own (minimal) Operating System. That's definitely something I want to try for kicks, but I'm too immersed in teaching myself XSLT right now. *Sigh* so much to learn, so little time...

That's it for this update. Well, one last thing: Our hits have been steadily rising lately, and we've received a lot of nice email & guestbook entries from you guys. It really makes everything worthwhile, and we want you to know how much we appreciate all the feedback you folks have given us! Thanks.

 
4/1/2002Jen

Hey, guess what Sunday, March 31, 2002 was? Hackles' one-year anniversary!! No, it's not an April Fool's joke. It's hard to believe that 365 days yielded 145 successful updates. Thanks are in order for our fans who still enjoy reading our crazy comic and sending us such nice letters of support. Drake and I are glad to be a part of your days and nights at the computer.

We agree with the majority of you, on our last poll, who would rather stay put behind your computer rather than use one of the various handheld devices out there. Yet Drake is playing with the idea of someday getting a fancy handheld Linux gadget. New toys are invented every day!

On the food front, Drake and I decided to give the BK Veggie a try. I don't know about other countries, but Burger King has just started having a veggie burger on their menu here in the US. There were visible signs of carrots and rice in it, but the overall taste was like... stuffing. You know, bread crumbs and spices. Not so bad, but I won't be running back for another really soon. Besides, we always debate which is better, to be a vegetarian who avoids corporate burger places at all costs, or to support the one effort a burger place makes to bring a vegetarian alternative to the masses.

On that same visit to the local BK, I got one of those cool-looking blue frozen drinks that is supposed to taste like blue raspberry. Well, unfortunately it really tastes the way those cherry-scented urinal/toilet cakes smell in public rest rooms. Why do they often use artificial cherry flavor for unpleasant things like cold medicine and urinal cakes? Ugh, maybe it's not the best place for a quick dinner.

We were hoping to have posted some pictures from our move by now, but we misplaced our digital camera in the mess of moving. So as soon as we find those pictures, we'll post them in our photo gallery section. Stay tuned...

 
3/18/2002Drake

Hi folks. We've been so busy doing house stuff (Lowe's loves us), that we haven't had time for much else. But we are slowly settling into our home and battling entropy wherever it rears its ugly head. At least now we can crawl into bed without climbing over a mountain of boxes, so that's progress.

Jen and I saw A Beautiful Mind this weekend with a couple friends. It was very good, especially considering who directed it. I wasn't sure if Russell Crowe could pull off the nerd act, but he did a splendid job. Next, I really want to see Resident Evil. Yes, I realize there is a very good chance it will suck, but still...

If you need your daily penguin fix (and who doesn't?), here's a link to some cool 3D Tux wallpaper. I'm especially fond of the one that depicts Tux sucking the juice from an XP drinkbox. The movie on that page is pretty neat too.

 
3/4/2002Drake

Well, we finally moved into our new/old home. So far, Florida is a bit rainier, colder, and gloomier than we counted on, but I have faith it will return to the sunny, utopian paradise we remember so fondly.

The moving process wasn't as idyllic as I anticipated either. Of course not. Moving always sucks, and I was silly to think it would be all Waffle House and fun. Without going into detail, we underestimated about fivefold the amount of stuff we needed to move, and ended up renting a large and expensive UHaul, barely arriving at our house in time.

Still, it's great to see our old friends again. And our home is starting (slowly) to shape up. I'm especially psyched about the new office/reading room, which Jen single-handedly covered in a nice, cozy carpet (pictures soon!). Right now though, the house is mostly a maze of boxes, music equipment, and ethernet cable. Navigation through our home is not for the weak of heart. I think there are a couple of visiting friends still lost in the mess somewhere.

However, the important news is that cable modem service has been successfully established in our home. Almost unbelievably, installation on my Linux box went without a hitch (how often does that happen?), and our home network is making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Booyah.

It wasn't easy, but Jen and I are proud to have served up regular helpings of Hackles without interruption during our move (thank you cron). Now that we have Internet access again, we don't plan to break this streak. At the moment however, we are tired and drained. We'll catch up on our pile of email, both Hackles and private, after a well-deserved sleep (if we can find the bed in this mess). As always, thanks for reading our silly comic. ;)

 
2/18/2002Drake

Change is good. Jen and I are moving to sunny Gainesville, Florida, to live among the palm trees and gators. We actually lived there a few years ago (and loved it), but moved to North Carolina to seek new adventures. After my company went bust here and my band broke up, we decided to return to our home and friends in Florida. It should be fun.

Meanwhile, we have a couple weeks of packing and moving stuff ahead of us. We're actually taking a few insane, 18-hour road trips to move our huge collection of crap there (hiring movers is for wimps!). There's something that just feels right about long road trips through the American South. Maybe it's all the Waffle House hash browns and grits we'll be eating...

I wrote a cron script to handle updates while we're out, so Hackles should continue uninterrupted. And isn't that what's really important?

 
2/10/2002Jen

Hello everyone. Just a quick update.

In comic news, Tariq De Vore of Ban the Basics posted the fan art we made for him. It's a cool comic featuring a bunch of smart kids, so check it out!

Today Drake went with me to a cool place called The Last Unicorn. It's the magical 5-acre dwelling of Gaines Steer, a wonderfully eccentric dreamer, who sells antiques, stained glass windows, and wrought iron decor, like fences and medieval-looking gates and tables. If you are ever in the Chapel Hill, NC area it's a neat place to visit.

 
2/8/2002Jen

Well, it appears from the last poll that the majority (63%) of our voting readers concur with our belief in alien life. In fact, some of you may agree with Ronny, our pal from Belgium who thinks they work at his office ;). Thirteen percent are unbelievers and about a quarter of the voters just aren't sure.

Our friend Steve in Atlanta sent us this really funny penguin video. We laughed quite heartily at it.

Today is my birthday :). Drake bought me the new book by Scott Adams. You may know him as the author of Dilbert, but he's got a cool non-comic book out called God's Debris, A Thought Experiment. We first became intrigued by his philisophical views in the 14th Chapter of The Dilbert Future. You may not realize it, but this guy has some interesting things to say about life, perception, and physics.

Stay tuned for our comic anthology, due (hopefully) around the end of February!

 
2/1/2002Drake

Jeez, the last four movies we watched haven't exactly lifted us out of our winter blahs. They ranged from mildly bleak to mind-numbingly depressing- which is normally fine- but this was getting too much :P. On the other hand, we'd like to thank everyone who emailed us over the last couple months- that really did help cheer us up! Anyhow...

Have you ever seen those web pages filled with garbage email addresses? The idea is to give email harvesting robots useless data, thereby polluting the mailing lists that spammers sell to each other. I thought it was a cool idea, and decided to write my own scripts for doing that. They are just quick-and-dirty perl programs, but I had some fun. Feel free to use either script for your own site.

I actually spent more time designing my nutty robot logo than writing the code. What I realize now about my robot, that I didn't while drawing it, is that it looks suspiciously like the first dancing robot in Scott McCloud's "Robots Love to Dance" improvisational comic. Sorry Scott, I think my subconscious mind ripped you off!

Speaking of Mr. McCloud, if you are at all interested in cartooning, I suggest you read his book Understanding Comics. I picked it up at the library the other day, thinking it would be a fun read, and it ended up blowing my mind. It contains some sharp insights and theories about comics, as well as a lot of interesting history. Plus, Scott tells his story with a passion that is infective. I finished the book feeling really jazzed about this hobby that Jen and I do. Hey, that's more exciting than most books I read.

What else is new? We made a new banner design for anyone who wants to link to us (It's the bottom banner with the Slashdot colors)... pretty snazzy, no?

 
1/17/2002Drake

I found this page of links where one may opt out of annoying pop-ups from various ad servers. It even includes the supremely evil X-10 company. I really hope this works...

Phantom has been hard at work, handling the layout and lots of other stuff for our upcoming Operation Helpbook book. It will be titled Caffeine Frenzied Coding Party, and will basically contain our year 2001 comics, plus an exclusive mini-adventure we wrote for this collection. It will be available around the end of February in both print and a cheaper ebook form. As I mentioned in a previous post, 100% of the profits go toward fighting children's cancer, so we're really happy for the chance to do this.

We updated most of our character page images, since they were starting to look dated. Our characters have changed quite a bit since the beginning. Preston looks less lumpy and menacing these days. Hazel lost some weight, while Boss Dog gained a bit more heft. Even though we rescanned Marcus' picture at a higher resolution, we used the same drawing as before- it's just funny to see him so pissed off. :)

What we think is super cool is this review here. Roberto Muenich gave our upcoming book a whopping 5 out of 5 stars! Thanks, man! However, since we can't really understand German, we sent the page through the wonderous babelfish translator and came up with this interesting review:

"The book is sharpens, after the e-Book version plays I even with the thought me the factory still as book to add. to 50 pages a little however all the strips on it distributed are many sound. Hackles - Caffeine Frenzed Coding party is in each case entfehlenswert so well to laugh could I already for a long time no more."

Thank you, babelfish.

 
1/9/2002Drake

Happy New Year folks. For us, 2002 is starting out... cold. Brr, Jen and I can't stand snow! Most of our friends from the South get excited when they see it, but we grew up in the bitter wastelands of New York state, and snow has lost its appeal to us... Anyway, here are the first 2002 photos- spent at friends (and my former co-workers) Phil & Linda's intimate New Year's gathering. I ate like a pig and then ran around with a pair of sticks and a canister of salt. It's some sort of strange Scottish tradition- don't ask.

Jen and I have been busy working on a comic book for h07's Operation Helpbook project. All profits from the sales will go towards helping kids with cancer (if you can read German, I'm told the link to the charity can be found somewhere in here). It's an exciting project to be a part of, and hopefully everything will be ready soon...

special h07 comic Because the h07 hackers have been such pals, we made a special comic for them. It's based on a gaim conversation I had with Phantom the other day. Apparently, cigarette machines (known as "automats") over there aren't as accomodating as those in the US, and have been a source of frustration to him and other(s) in his crew... He thought it would be a good idea for an h07 comic, and who are we to argue?

 
12/24/2001Drake and Jen

Stop whatever it is you are doing, and go see Lord of the Rings. Seriously. Oh yes, and a very happy <insert religious holiday of choice>, from the both of us!

 
12/17/2001Drake

We're back! Friday we reached our 100th strip, and decided to celebrate with a complete DNS meltdown :P. As many of you noticed, this site was inaccessible over the weekend, and we apologize for that.

Here's what's going on: h07's famous madman Phantom generously volunteered to host our website on his thinknerd server- an offer we couldn't pass up. Many thanks go to Enrico and Thomas for their help with the transition. The h07 crew are a smart bunch of young hackers, and their English is much better than my German ;-).

So, what was up with the DNS, you ask? The rocky transition was mostly due to the unbearable slowness and general crapiness of the free Public DNS service I tried to use. Sometimes you get what you pay for. I ended up switching to WorldWide DNS ($10/year) and our troubles vanished soon thereafter. Our website now happily lives and is accessible in Germany (thanks again, Enrico!), so let's hope the fun can continue uninterrupted!

 
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