How do you dial 1-800-FLOWERS?

Mike Calligaro is a developer on the Windows Mobile team. He has a great article explaining some of the challenges that have arisen in the latest mobile phones with QWERTY keyboards and trying to dial some of those marketing phone numbers like 1-800-FLOWERS. In a standard 12 key type phone, there are groupings of letters that map to the a number like ABC assigned to the number 2 so T9 interprets the dialing appropriately. But now the QWERTY keyboards have the letters and mapped out to individual keys so you can’t simply dial 1-800-FLOWERS as you did before.

Read the backstory and details here.

Gadgets / Devices

Pixel City

In an effort to dredge up more cool stuff for you to ponder, I stumbled across this piece of eye-candy.  Although the artist is unknown, this panorama was reportedly drawn pixel-by-pixel.  If true, this image would have taken a great deal of time to create.  Being an entire pixelated city, give it time to load (took about two minutes on my 6mb d/l pipe), it’s gargantuan in size.

Pixel City

It kinda reminds me of those early adventure games I played, like “Syndicate”, or more conventional games like (ick) Pokemon.  Enjoy!

Just geeky

What Is This?

Okay, I’ll admit that last week’s image was a bit tough.  I’m trying to stress out those brain cells, and get the imagination burning!  At the very least, perhaps get people who didn’t know what it was to search out on the net and try to figure it out.  Well, this week is something a bit easier :)  Gratz to pjwhite for the closest guess - last week’s image is of an integrated circuit tester.

This week’s image:

What

As always, post your guesses in the comments area.  Have fun!

Entertainment

You Are Eaten By A Grue.

Older geeks will recognize this articles title as an unwanted encounter in a dark space!  For the neo-geeks out there, I present to you: Zork I: The Great Underground Empire.  The original classic, Zork I is arguably the most important computer game ever released as it completely changed the way that people viewed both computers and computer gaming.

 The Great Underground Empire

Instead of action games or shoot-em-ups, Zork I was an adventure game designed by adults for adults with incredibly descriptive prose and a parser that would accept and recognize full English sentences. While only a treasure-gathering game, Zork I paved the way for all future adventure games, and certainly must be played to see how the computer gaming industry truly began. While it doesn’t have much of a story beyond the hunt for twenty treasures, it needs to be recognized most for its contribution to the industry. Though it may seem unpolished or incomplete, this is due to the fact that the storage media of the era wasn’t capable of holding all three chapters of Zork, but shouldn’t stand in a way: this is still a classic game, and worthy of play today.

Ready for adventure the way it was meant to be?  Stab this link: Zork I

I love this game!

Computers

(D&D): Dungeonscape – A Refreshing New Take on Dungeon Adventures for DMs

Dungeonscape D&D book

Welcome to the Dungeon!

Since the dawn of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game, the dungeon has remained a place of mystery, excitement, and danger. Purple worms burrow through the earth, eager for their next meal. Savage orcs lurk within the darkness, ready to surge forth and lay waste to civilized lands. Strange cults, mutated monsters, and forgotten gods hide within the choking darkness of the dungeon’s halls. Nowhere else offers greater prospects for wealth, magic, and power. Yet the horrors that lurk beneath the world never give up their treasures without a fight….

This D&D supplement presents a refreshing new take on dungeon adventures. It shows Dungeon Masters how to inject excitement, innovation, and thrilling adventure into their dungeons. New rules for encounter traps allow DMs to build deadly snares to catch the unwary. For players, the journeyman class is a cunning wanderer, a jack-of-all-trades who can cope with anything the dungeon throws at him. New equipment, feats, and prestige classes give adventurers the tools they need to survive the dark beneath the earth.

Title: Dungeonscape (amazon)

MSRP: US$19.77

Availability: Feb 13 2007

Format: Hardcover

Visit Wizards for more information and their other books.

Entertainment