2006 Archives

Transcendence 0.97a

5 November 2006

Transcendence 0.97a fixes several bugs, including the crash when entering a stargate that many people have reported. In addition, this new version lessens the effect of mass on maneuverability. Overloaded ships will turn more slowly, but not nearly as slowly as before.

For a complete list of fixes, please consult the version history page.


23 October 2006

M81There are very few galaxies in the sky that are better than M81 for astrophotographers. Its beautiful spiral arms are more interesting than those of the brighter (and much larger) M31. And M81 is larger and brighter than M51. On those cold, wintry Northern Hemisphere nights, be sure to give this galaxy its due.

The Astrotourist: M81

Penumbra 0.5

21 October 2006

PenumbraI wrote Penumbra to help me process images taken with the Meade Deep Sky Imager. With Penumbra you can stack FITS files created by the DSI and output 16-bit per channel TIFF files for further processing in Adobe Photoshop or any other image enhancement program.


Transcendence 0.97

30 July 2006

Transcendence 0.97

The latest version of Transcendence is finally ready for download! What started out as a minor release to fix some bugs in 0.96a has become a much larger update that includes dozens of new items, new stations, and many new surprises.


Three Spirals

27 February 2006

Three SpiralsBetween the perpetually overcast skies and the light-polution of downtown Seattle, I have not had any chances to look at the sky—nevermind take pictures. Fortunately, a quick trip back to Cambridge satiated my astrophotographical itch. The crisp, clear New England winter skies are no match for Arizona's dry desert skies, but they've got Seattle's beat. In four long nights in Cambridge, I was able to capture three spiral galaxies.


Transcendence 0.96a

11 February 2006

NAMI Launcher, Meds, and Titanium BarricadeTranscendence version 0.96a is now ready for download! This new version has a few user interface improvements, including:

  • Better key mappings for targeting: [T] selects the next enemy target; [F] selects the next friendly target; and [R] clears the current target.
  • Installed items are no longer considered to be part of the ship's cargo space.
  • To help new users, the game now shows key command help when appropriate.

As always, you can see the full list of changes in the Version History page.

The Sparrow

5 February 2006

The SparrowIn the first chapter of this wonderful novel, the reader learns the whole story: After humans detect the radio signals of an alien civilization from a planet called Rakhat, the Jesuit Order (which, one must admit, has had more historical experience with First Contact than, say, the UN) sends a mission to the planet “for the greater glory of God.” Many years later, all but one of the crewmembers are dead and the sole survivor, Father Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth physically mutilated and spiritually broken. Instead of spreading the Word to the aliens, it is Father Emilio who loses his faith.



29 January 2006

SeattleLast summer I moved from Boston to Seattle. And whereas a Boston summer ranges from hot and muggy to unbearably hot and muggy, summer in Seattle is as beautiful and idyllic as Eden would be if they killed all the snakes and put in a few Starbucks. Even in the middle of August the temperature never rise above 75° and the sky is always that shade of perfect blue that you can only get in Photoshop if you crank the saturation control up to +10,000%.

SeattleBut no place is perfect, and just as Bostonians pay for their beautiful autumns by suffering through brutal winters, we denizens of Seattle pay for those sinfully perfect summers by enduring nine months of gray skies, short days, and rain. And rain. And rain.


Castles of Steel

21 January 2006

Castles of SteelThere is a scene in Robert Massie’s Castles of Steel that is right out of a movie: The German High Seas Fleet is chasing British Admiral John Beatty’s Battle Cruiser Squadron across the North Sea. Beatty has already lost the Indefatigable and the Queen Mary (each with over 1,000 men) and now his four remaining battle cruisers are desperately heading north, away from the German ships and towards Britain and home. The German Fleet pursues Beatty’s battle cruisers into a large patch of thick mist, confident of victory. But as the Germans emerge from the fog, they “behold a terrible sight: the [British] Grand Fleet spread before them across the northern horizon. Twenty-four British dreadnought and a host of cruisers and destroyers…” Too late, the Germans realize: It’s a trap!


Transcendence 0.96

7 January 2006

Transcendence 0.96

More Armors
More Shields
Targeted Docking
And a Few Surprises

Transcendence 0.96 is ready!

Download it now or click here for more information.