Monday, September 10, 2007

John Watson

I just found out that my friend and former coworker, John Watson passed away this weekend.

John was an incredibly hard worker. He was the sort of guy who would be at work until 4am fairly regularly because he wanted to make the game better. There were those who disagreed with him on what would make the game better, but John certainly worked incredibly hard to achieve his vision.

He was a great guy to work with in general. He stayed very grounded in logic and reasoning in terms of both game design and implementation, so I got along very well with him. We frequently had late night discussions about game design (both about the games we were working on and the games we thought we should work on one day) and there were some truly good ideas tossed around. These ideas will probably never come into existence now without him, though. All in all, John was one of those rare game developers who could both come up with a solid game design and be capable of implementing it in script.

As a friend, he was always good to talk to. In a company where frustration ran rampant because of decentralized design and general lack of guidance, John always just kept his mind focused on making the game as good as possible. I found talking with him always restored my hope a bit that the game would be good. John basically carried himself with a maturity that most game developers seem to lack.

John, you will be missed....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Seagate Tricked Me

The hard drive I put in recently also started to fail. I saw the signature symptoms.... for example, it would occasionally say I didn't have permission to write to it. Last night, it started hanging a lot when I did simple tasks like playing World of Warcraft while listening to mp3's. I didn't put the clues together till they hit me right in the face, though.

This morning, Windows couldn't boot. It could get pretty far in the boot process but would always just lock up and fail. Seeing that I would have to reinstall Windows again, I decided to declare it a hardware failure and just went back to Fry's to get a new drive. I decided that since it had only been 2 weeks, I would just return it and buy a new drive of a different brand.

I bought a Maxtor drive of the same size and specs. Little did I realize how similar the specs were. I noticed the packaging was very similar... both drives were made in Thailand... then when I hooked it up, my motherboard identified the drive as STM-3500.... That's odd, that's like a Seagate drive identifier (ST = Seagate Technologies). Finally I decided to check and sure enough: Seagate owns Maxtor now. This isn't breaking news to anybody who follows hard drive manufacturers, but since I don't, it was news to me.

Basically I went to the store with the intention of getting a different model just in case but I ended up with the exact same drive just sold under a different brand name.

Ah well, this is your second chance, Seagate.... don't fail me again.