Thursday, January 29, 2009

Countdown to 200

This is my 190th post on this blog. According to blogger, it is my 201st. For a sweaty-palmed moment I thought that I had blown by #200 without realizing it, and, in fact, that my 200th post was yesterday's generally boring and entirely filler "metapost."

But then I realized I have a bunch of drafts that were never finished or published which don't count. Eleven, to be exact. So in an attempt to post something that's less banal than yesterday's statistical analysis without having to think too hard, I decided to try to say something about each those drafts over the last two years in the countdown to 200.

In some cases, I actually did write something but never publish it. Probably because I realized doing so would result in legal action against me. But now, I will publish my old prose, or in cases where I didn't write anything, at least try to remember what the hell I was going to write about, for your amusement.

Draft #1 - April 16, 2007: "Virtual Poker"
Status: Never Started

Yes, I'm talking about the card game, not some twisted Second Life sexual fantasy. I used to play poker on a fairly regular basis with a bunch of friends. Two of our group (a couple) spent about six months in North Carolina in the winter/spring of '06/'07, where their daughter was being treated for a rare disease. (She's doing great now, by the way!) Being starved for gambling opportunities, and hoping to alleviate the ennui for our friends down south, those of us in DC decided to set up a virtual poker game so we could all play.

This actually kinda worked. We had a couple ideas. One was to use an online casino's "practice" room and just have us all sign in and everyone would play online, and let the casino handle the cards, money, etc. The problem was, everywhere we tried would only let you have a single computer from each IP address connected at once. Since we were all at my place with laptops, we could only get one person on. Two of us had VPNs that we could use to get around this, though there were general concerns about playing poker on some Cayman Islands web site through the office VPN. But even throwing caution to the wind, we still couldn't get everyone on at the same time.

Virtual PokerSo then we set up a laptop to represent the remote players, seen at the left end of the table in this picture. The video feed back to NC was of the cards on the table. We just had a pile of chips next to the laptop and would act on his wishes to bet, raise, or whatever. This was OK except he couldn't see anything except the cards...

In the end it was pretty fun and more or less worked. Michael won too. I can't remember why I never finished this one, I've certainly written about less interesting things before. For example, my second post, "ordered lists in Internet Explorer."

Footnote: This is my apartment at 5130 Connecticut Avenue. I moved out of there less than a month later when I bought my place in Columbia Heights. Pretty sweet apartment, actually.

No comments: