Site News, Out and About, Frank Gibeau, Steve Jobs

So I’ve been AWOL from the site the past week and a half or so. I’m still going to finish my 14th anniversary celebration, and it’ll be done before the 15th anniversary, but real life and a huge project took over my life for the last few weeks.

In that time, a lot has happened and I will be catching up. But for now, some quick notes, some UO related, some not.

Archer Season 1 is on Blu-ray at Amazon. Why didn’t anybody tell me this? For those of you who don’t know what it is, you can catch a handful of episodes for free at Hulu depending on where you live. Warning: It can be raunchy, and just as important, for those of us who are “older”, there are references made to years past that we’ll appreciate but that may be lost on younger people. If you have Netflix, Season 1 is available in HD. I just wanted it in Blu-ray and at some point recently that happened in September.

But wait Deckard, why are you babbling on about adult animated series on FX, is there Ultima or Ultima Online news? Yes there is. Some I will catch up with this weekend, some I will catch up with now. This was one of the more interesting things I noticed:

This was posted on Twitter last night:

Great day with Frank Gibeau today. Proud of my team.

Frank Gibeau is the head of EA Labels. Which is over the entirety of BioWare. Which is over BioWare Mythic. Which is over the Ultima Franchise. Jeff is the Ultima Franchise Producer, which includes both Ultima Online and other Ultima projects. The only team that he officially has is the Ultima Online, but he probably has an Ultima-related team as well. Who knows what it means for UO, but it is interesting nonetheless.

I’m going to conclude this quick note on a downer by saying Steve Jobs’ passing really bothered me in a way that I didn’t expect. Celebrity deaths generally don’t bother me. They are celebrities, and while I’ve met a few here and there, none have ever bothered me. The thing is that he is not simply a celebrity. He, along with Steve Wozniak, are both directly and indirectly involved with me getting involved with computers at an early age, and not just because they started the personal computer industry. The first programming I did was on my school’s Apple II. One of my favorite game series, the Ultima series, was developed on the Apple II by Richard Garriott. At home I was a Commodore 64 guy, because that’s what we could afford, but were it not for the Apple II, there may not have been an Ultima series, which I played on my Commodore. As I moved on through life, while I took the opportunity to use Macs when I could, they were usually out of my price range, and later on I wasn’t too fond of the UI, but something always drew me to them. Then Steve Jobs came back to Apple, not too many years after that Mac OS X was introduced, then cheaper Macs, iPods, iPhones, iPads. Somewhere in the past 7-8 years I’ve become an Apple fanboy. It probably helped that I spent several years using or supporting products on Palm PDAs, Pocket PC (Windows Mobile), and Microsoft’s desktop OSes, but something kept drawing me to them. The move to Intel was perfect – I could play UO either in Bootcamp or in a Windows VM, so there goes the need for a desktop PC.

It’s ironic. I’m typing this on a Mac, I first heard of Steve Jobs’ passing on my iPhone. I occasionally play Ultima Online on my Mac as well, and I play Ultima IV on my iPad and Akalabeth: World of Doom on my iPhone. Things have come full circle in a way.

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