Interim update: cripes, I thought I'd uploaded the updated OpenMW page in March, but I forgot. But OpenMW has updated itself recently, giving me a chance to make up for this forgetfulness. Also updated: the Morrowind Modding page, although I'm not done with that yet: there simply HAS to be a way to make a NPC drink a potion.

Last update was a full year ago. I wanted to add the write-up of the year's anime con last July, only the dear old neighbours, having sniffed out that there is life in the jungle next to their prim little patch (and organized a three-day peek-through-the-fence session when I hired help to do something about said jungle, resulting in the dismissal of the help and the decision to let the jungle grow on), sent me a letter helpfully offering me to arrange my garden to their satisfaction, with veiled threats of legal action if I didn't comply. If it wasn't obvious from the Old Photos 2 page, I have not enjoyed my life in the Netherlands, least of all in the creepy village where, for lack of health and funds to escape, I'm presently rotting away; and the pile of pages I sent them back detailing the shit they've given me and how much I want them to rot in hell, involved more typing than any website update lately, and swallowed up all energy I had to spend last summer. As health has decreased still more (I didn't know that was possible!), all I've managed to bang out is the animecon write-up and a page on the Linux game engine for Morrowind, OpenMW, which is playable, but my plugins don't work in it, maybe because the latest version starts with 0.37, but the OpenSUSE repositories will only install the latest 0.36 version. Annoyed at all the superfluous italicization of game and software titles, based on how I wrote titles in the animecon write-ups, I started to remove them from the Oberon game pages, although the biggest section, hidden object games, remains to be done. I've also cancelled my membership at Oberon/CasualGames/Iplay, due to the repeated company name changes and dropping of games from the site; now maybe I'll find the time to play and review all those games that have been piling up. A few pictures have been added to roguelikes and pipe games. Finally, I've made a new Space Colony campaign called Pustule Planet, about the joys of pyrocyns.

This update is again about games: tiny updates to the Nethack/Vulture and Space Colony pages, a large update to the Morrowind modding page and a cleaning up of the Links page (though not Sims, KiSS or seed link pages). I thought I'd tackle the placeholders, and finally did a write-up for the Wild Divine game and some Oberon games, then added loads more placeholders for the pile of games still waiting to be installed, pending a howto still waiting to be finished.

A month later: having scraped up the courage to watch a really bad film fished out of the bargain bin, the biennial quote has been produced. The Vista and skin rash how-i's have been updated a little, as have the Space Colony quirks. I added a new Space colony campaign (scroll to the bottom) and a piddling little Morrowind mod (also at the bottom). The Acer laptop has an extra picture, and two USB sticks have been added.

Due to bad health, the only update is the 2014 animecon writeup and a small update concerning the Acer laptop. The other planned updates are on hold, including finding a new "quote" soundbyte.

Although health is in no way improving, I managed to squeeze more of an update than usual from my addled brain. The updates mostly concern games: the adventure game pages have been reordered and slightly rewritten; a second Space Colony campaign was made to celebrate the release of Space Colony HD, which led to a separate page about playing and editing quirks, as well as a detailed walkthrough of the first campaign that taught me much about gameplay; the text adventure links have been updated; and new placeholders have appeared for games that need a DOS emulator to run. The tomato mix page has new pictures, and cosmetic changes were made to the hardware review pages. And that's it.

Interim update: some Oberon game reviews and the 2013 anime con write-up.

As opposed to last update, when the only thing finished was an added warning against Oberon Media (now CasualGames), this update involves the total restructuring of the Oberon Media page. Which is still not done, as there are pages missing of games that haven't been installed yet as I look for a workaround to deal with the new installation procedure.

Sadly, the world failed to end on December 2012; and here I was hoping I'd never have to update again. The grand sum of this update is: a new quote, and an announcement to the effect that my relationship with Oberon Media, or CasualGames as it is now called, has become very strained since that company follows ever more closely the trend of seizing computer control away from the consumer. Just a soundbyte and a sentence? Yes. Bad health, and all that.

Health not having improved (despite a letter from the organization that pays my disability, asking if health had improved yet) not much has been done. I've managed to drag my carcass to another animecon and added some tips to the Nethack page, with a link to the new how-i explaining how I make Vulture tiles, although the speed at which I've made these contributions to Vulture has gone from slow to veeerrry slllooow due to another dip in the downwards-sloping line labelled "Health". The seed seller links have been updated again, and Albert Heyn has provided a happy surprise with a tricolour cherry tom pack added to the tomato mix page. I'd planned more, but, well, bad health and all that.

While sleeping at such a rate that at one time I went to sleep on a Tuesday and woke up on a Friday (with blurry memories of having sleepwalked to the kitchen for nourishment a few times in between), I also went through a SLASH'EM binge, playing and getting killed dozens of times as a vampiric necromancer, which resulted in some insights that have been spliced into the now lengthy list of tips on the Nethack page. Both Oberon Media and Acer Gamezone have changed their names, so that has been updated on the links page, puzzles section. I've redeemed some demos from Oberon games and bought more, adding info to what I'll continue to call the Oberon Media games page, and the title lists are now in table of contents, for easier finding and less scrolling.

Similarly, the tomato pic pages are now linked to both an index and each other. Pictures have been added of the seed packets for the easy-to-get-confused Russian orange and yellow beefsteaks, and of the "Tiny" Tim. Albert Heyn tried, and failed, to put another tasty tomato on the shelves; it has been added to the bottom of the tomato mix page. Tomato site and seed seller links have been updated. A USB stick has been added to the USB page. At the bottom of a box of computer games, I found the damaged old notebook of which pictures were missing on the laptop page; they have been added.

As I draw closer to the goal of getting a virtual machine to run MS-DOS and older Windowses on my laptop, the list of game addictions has already been extended with placeholders for adventure and simulation games, and the only biofeedback game I know. Looking around for existing installations of some of these games, I made a screencap each of older game versions for the SameGame and Sokoban pages.

Is it possible to be 110% disabled? As testimony to my still-worsening condition (record so far: 7 days of doing nothing from being too damn tired) this update is minimal, with just the Oberon Media games page finished and only one quote. And some small stuff added: a new camera, a graphical version of a roguelike. More picture-related stuff has been planned and will be added over the months, probably while I sit crying over the garden being neglected because my knees feel like pudding and it's enough effort just to stagger around the house. For the first time in a number of years, I need expect no homegrown tomatoes from either garden or windowsill. The supermarket surprised me with some black tomatoes (see bottom of page) which sadly I didn't stock up on while they were still on the shelves. The seed seller list has a new link, and unfinished pages for non-garden food pix and general odd pix have been added to encourage me to dig up those old snapshots I'd been saving.

Interim update: some sites have been added, cautiously, to the seeds page. GnomeKiSS is at version 2.0; I thought I'd updated its page, but the files hadn't been uploaded yet. I've found a "Rogue" walkthrough to add to the bottom of the games/nethack links and finally written that roguelikes page. But, best of all, both last year's and this year's animecon writeups have been finished in the same month. Now the 2011 writeup won't be looming over me for a year like the last one did.

Being by now 100% ill and on disability, and consequently at home seven days a week, one would think that I now have all the time in the world to get a proper update done for once. But that's the problem with being ill: it means not being able to do much of anything. Except sleep, and feel weak, and groan during the occasional bout of stomach pain. And play silly little games, often aborted halfway through because my mind is too fuzzy to focus. And possibly - but my weakness has progressed so far that I actually felt faint while I was doing this, and had to put the laptop aside and rest - writing up some information about these silly little games for the game addictions section of the Animisc page. Seriously, how unwell does one have to be to feel over-exerted while lying in bed, typing on a laptop?

This update, then, is mostly text, mostly on the AniMisc page and in some cases a wrapping up of loose ends (another tomato on the tomato page, a taste-only tomato page dedicated to a tomato mix bought at the market, and other small additions) and last but not least some cleaning up of links. A part of the site that still needs a lot of cleaning is the KiSS section, which is by now an edifice as crumbling as the old house I live in, and most of whose links to old viewers are dead - I'll get round to that sometime. However, I have not forsaken Morrowind modding completely; the "takeoff/puton" mod has been improved, "Errands for Orvas" has been updated to work together with the new "Odds And Ends" mod, and the Morrowind modding page has had some information added.

Moving into the third year of bad health and extreme fatigue, I've camouflaged the lack of actual updates with the number of soundbytes captured. As planned, the Morrowind mods have been moved to their own page and will be slowly but surely added to. Since I'm typing on a brand new laptop, hopefully my last for a while, the laptop page has a new entry. So does the USB page, now that I've found three sticks lying around that I'd completely forgotten about. And I've sorted out the confusion over Orangevy Gigant on the tomato page. I planned to add pictures of all three, only to find I've misplaced the USB cable that connects the camera to the computer.

Interim update: animecon write-up for 2009 now finished. Ditto the additions to the Morrowind modding page.

Important update! I screwed up a bit with the shared topics for companion mods. Check here for the update.

For health reasons, I set myself very a very modest goal for this update - and failed. Whatever time wasn't spent sleeping or trying to do some work went into a little plugin that nevertheless turned up a few oddities that I soon hope to add to my Morrowind modding page. The animecon write-up (last year's!) hasn't been finished yet. Neither have the photographs for non-tomato edibles. I have however added some seed links to plug seed sellers, and a page of miscellaneous plant info starting with a germination tip.

Warning! Not only did CompanionSubjects.esm have GMSTs in it despite all efforts to prevent this, the method to change the companion mods has an unforeseen effect. A cleaned CompanionSubjects.esm has been added to "Drinks at Desele's", and the instructions for adapting companion mods will be changed shortly.

Since I'm planning two more plugins, the Morrowind mods might soon get their own page.

Interim update: I've finished the Nethack links and descriptions and the two micro-mods planned since last update: in short, Helviane now sells alcoholics, and you can ask her to take off even what little she's wearing (and put it on again).

Planned but still in progress are more "pitchers" for tomatoes and other edibles, and, since they're comfortably small, USB keys. (Update: finished as of 06-11-2009.)

Making my way over rolling green hills towards Pelagiad, I spot a figure standing by the wayside. Could that be... Yes, it's Nels Llendo! Smoochie time! Oh wait, I'm playing a male character. Rats.

The above paragraph will sound totally incomprehensible to anyone who has never played a certain game in the Elder Scrolls series. Yes, in addition to whatever gut parasite is eating the life out of me, I've also been bitten by the Morrowind bug. What better to do when bed-ridden and/or kept up nights with gastro-intestinal discomfort, too groggy to think very clearly, but awake enough to keep that "W" button jammed down and explore a wonderful go-where-you-like 3D world where any illness can be swiftly gotten rid of with a potion of cure disease?

I'd chiefly been installing and playing a few old games bought from the bargain bin years ago as an alternative to playing Freecell all night and waking up to after-images of clubs and spades. The upside of being a late adopter of popular computer games is that bugs will have been discovered and bugfixes put up for download, and anything about the game that doesn't please the fans will have been lengthily discussed and modified. Morrowind, like other games that are not meant to be played once to the end and then tossed, is moddable. And it has been extensively modded. For starters, the butt-ugly game character models were replaced by highly superior fan-made ones. And that's just as well, or I would have had to resort to the Leisure Suit Larry collection as a pain-duller instead.

Which brings me to the point subtly communicated by the update notice at the top of the page. I'm ill. I'm really, really ill. I can manage tiny amounts of everything: tiny amounts of work, tiny amounts of travel, tiny amounts of personal hobby stuff. Even biennial updates are too much for me now. There's tons of stuff I'd like to do, piled so high that I expect it to topple over and bury me. For the time being, that is, for as long as I can't even eat an egg sandwich without being reproached by various parts of my digestive system, the most I can do every six months is write a new little front page and replace the quote. I'd meant to do another SimGatch chapter, but haven't even finished the skins. I'm only leaving the button up out of laziness.

That doesn't mean I've been totally inactive. Since Morrowind is moddable, I've made a small mod. And to help me with making the small mod, I've made a tiny mod. So I now have two mods for download, in Morrowind-only and GOTY version. The bigger mod is to provide a more satisfying conclusion to the heart-breaking ending of the Fargoth quests. Yes, I said "Fargoth". Seasoned MW players tend to grab their guns and axes when they hear the name "Fargoth". I like Fargoth. Even if he says some really corny things. He's an underdog. I have a soft spot for underdogs.

Since such a small offering is hardly worth making its own page for, I've put them on the main page in a table with the file descriptions. I've also added an RPG section to explain the Morrowind addiction and some indispensable links to the games section of the otherwise heavily neglected and outdated links list. Garden-wise, I've put up more pictures of tomatoes. Since my camera kacked somewhere in sunny June, I've also added observations on digital cameras. And, while I was at it, printers.

Additionally, for those with an eye for detail: the grubby bits have been cleaned out of the KiSS and Archive buttons with the GIMP, which took several hours, because even though the GIMP is a wonderful piece of software, I just don't know how to use it and spend ages hunting for some function I need. And since I was GIMPing anyway, I re-did the mother of all my buttons (and root cause of their grubbiness), the Home button, with its constipated-looking drop-shadow narrow green lettering. Make of the new and more comfortably proportioned font what you will.

Interim update: at a very slow pace, I'm customizing the Sims further. Having used what I learned from the BBS add-on to make a "male" add-on, I wrote down what I learned from the "male" add-on: why it is that NPCs can have custom hands. Normal Sims can't have custom hands but they can, I've found, have custom skin colours. Which offers a more satisfying solution for the skinning of pale-skinned Sims. Which I've used to skin the deathly pale older and nastier of the Toguro brothers (for now, head only). This solution will get its own write-up in due time.

Speaking of write-ups, I thought I'd uploaded the ridiculous story of the Triple Lemon Deal and others. Turns out I hadn't, and it was only a rough draft anyway. Just as well, as the story had an unexpected ending. A proper piece will be produced if/when I have time.

More important to me, right now, is uploading some tomato pics that have been sitting in the camera for a year now. The first few are already up.

The debilitating ailment that accounted for last year's half-update is here to stay. This means that all I could do was finish the second half of the previous update.

It also means that all those little adjustments and additions that were supposed to be an interim update, had to wait until January. A good thing to come out of this is that, no longer knowing which changed files had already been uploaded, I simply sitesucked what was on the servers and compared it to my already updated archive. Which revealed the odd missing or corrupted file, as well as typos in HTML files that had been fixed, but not uploaded. Corrupted were the Katze AVI and the Easter KiSS set, the latter of which needs looking at anyway if I can ever be arsed to do anything about the KiSS section again; missing were a picture from the Nature Page and three animated GIFs. Another picture has become corrupted, as will happen when storing one's data on USB sticks that don't dismount correctly under anything other than Windows XP, which is one of the little updates added to the USB stick and other hardware pages. The tomato and garden edibles pages have also been updated now that the last tomatoes to ripen in 2008 have been taste-tested, and include an evaluation of the highly prized shiitake, available as a windowsill growing kit.

And, of course, there's all the stuff I planned to do that I didn't, like Mala's outfits that were needed for a new SimGatchaman chapter. So it's just as well that I only managed to finish an old chapter, and the new one will have to wait for next update. The SimGatchaman stories are only meant to showcase skins, anyway. That, and to parody the series.

What I did manage to finally, finally finish was the AS heads. They have ears now. This took me five years. There were similar projects that are almost finished and which I hope to upload soon, space permitting, because the 200MB on Simania are filling up.

My other ISP, who provided me with the same 200MB, more than doubled this space to a whopping 500MB. I'm gladder than ever that I didn't ditch XS4ALL during the "free ISP" craze, when these "free" providers not only made offers too good to be true but outright added instructions how to end one's paid ISP account. The "free" webspace became increasingly smaller and less free, while XS4ALL actually lowered its prices. The additional present of 300MB extra means I can start thinking about uploading photographs for the tomato and garden edibles pages, once hosted on the only truly free account I've ever had, a Tiscali account which offered 5 whole MBs of webspace.

Interim update: wow, I finally finished the 2008 animecon writeup - when I was at home and ill again. This ailment is promising to last. Hardware-wise, I've added a stick to the USB page, given the new laptop an assessment on the laptop page, and added a sub-notebook page. Vegetable-wise, I've added to both the tomato test list and the other edibles page. Sims-wise, I've corrected a house file which contained the wrong icon for the character. There's still much ranting and even more Simming to do, but I'm just too tired.

Another day, another dull, another update that, if not on the first of the month, at least has a "1" in the date. And I've really outdone myself in not doing things I've announced. No, the rants have not been finished, Mala's outfits have not been done, the providing of male Sims with what's theirs by right is an ongoing project, the Galactor uniforms have not been done, nor has their solution to keeping down filesizes for gloved outfits been written down. This year's animecon write-up is still in an embryonal stage and this update's SimGatchaman saga, as usual, has only one of its two chapters done.

But this time, I have an excuse that can't be beaten. I have been, for the past two months, unseriously but debilitatingly ill. I've also managed to trash the primary partitions on my trusty laptop. After reinstalling the OSes and sorting out most of the software, which, given my condition, took more than a week, I found that Windows Millennium has suddenly decided to finally manifest that memory bug I keep hearing about. I can't play the Sims for more than a few minutes before seeing everything freeze and having to apply the reset button. Never before has scandisk been so frequently run. I've tried a few tips to make this stupid OS, which, the first time it was installed, was so reliable, manage its memory better, resulting in a swapfile of, frequently, 0 bytes, but extensive zipping sessions cause pictures on buttons to disappear and messages to pop up in an ugly bold font about DAX errors and resources being low. So there is probably something wrong with the graphics card's drivers too...

So, most writing at the moment is done on an Asus EEE PC, bought just as the newer model hit the market in the knowledge that the older model is too popular for the price to ever sink. It was bought on an impulse just before the laptop troubles started, so that was one well-timed impulse. Another impulse buy, a second-hand Toshiba laptop, proudly displays that hallmark of handy-dandy laptops, especially of Toshiba make: a faulty keyboard! I can use it with an external keyboard until the internal keyboard spontaneously starts to jam and send keypresses that put unasked-for characters in open documents. With ongoing computer trouble and a mysterious ailment that promises to be chronic, I'm considering ditching even half-yearly updates and switching to five-year plans.

On a happier note, someone mailed me an explanation on what happens in the two endings to the BL game Zettai Fukuju Meirei, so I tacked it onto the very bottom - under all the spoilers - of the game's mission descriptions.

Interim update: nope, the rants didn't get done; nope, Mala's outfits didn't get done; considering the problems I had with certain meshes and the time it took to find a solution for the Galactor uniform skins needed for the second half of January's update, I'm lucky to have the second half finished at all.

At least the SMA explanation is up (last entry under "Standard heights"), as well as some illustrations of the new JunJun fix (at the bottom of the page), and a whole page for the female BBS bodytype. The custom body styles are now all in FAR files, which, due to the texture files included, make huge downloads, but at least they're Mac-friendly - pity I've just discovered there's something wrong with the improved male skinny nude body, which, if it can be fixed, means another and hopefully final update of the custom body sets. Other updates were additions to the Utility quirks and the Truly random tips on the Sims Support Page, small updates to the laptop and USB stick reviews, some more edibles and a review of another BL game.

This is only half an update, the reason being that the materials for the other half haven't been finished yet. That's going to be an interim update, in which I may also finally find time to get the BBS/SMA explanations up. Fortunately the Sims 2 has been out for some time now and anyone who can afford it (ie. not me) has bought the completely new and shiny computer needed to play that game and is now enjoying the most realistic censoring blurs ever, so no one's breathing down my neck. The super-duper laptop I bought hoping to play TS2 on it has not only fallen short of expectations, but caused slight nastiness between me and "LaserCard Services". There's rant material there.

The move from Tiscali to a better host has gone more smoothly than expected in terms of file transference and stuff that didn't go missing, and less than smoothly in terms of cancelling the Tiscali accounts. More rant material!

Should I ever get beyond the red-eyed ranting stage, I may just skin some of Mala's outfits between now and July.

To finish two consecutive updates on time is of course asking for a miracle: especially when the second one follows the yearly highlight of the AnimeCon. Therefore, this is another late one. The bracelet project was shelved while working on the Demon-5 skins, which will be proudly displayed on the new theme page, which, as I predicted, is simply a continuation of the previous one. In the making of which I discovered that, ironically given that MacOS X is Unix-based, the Sims for Mac (X version!) crashes over meshes saved in Unix format, which work fine on the PC. One lives and learns.

So, those meshes have been replaced, and mention of this made in the Simtips page "What can cause crashes". The simple character editing pages have also been updated with whatever else I've discovered about simple character editing, and I hope to put up pages explaining the BBS and SMA body types within the next two months.

On old projects: the links remain unupdated, which is sad as one Sims site after another succumbs and slides off the web. But Katze has his/her new buttons and bits, and a tentative start has been made with the personal hardware reviews ("Nobody Knows the Lemons I've Bought") in the Rants & Reviews section. May they serve as a warning to others.

Finally, all files formerly hosted on Tiscali due to lack of space have moved to either XS4ALL or Simania. Which means that some may have vanished in transit. I'll fix missing stuff and broken links as I discover them.

As well as actually being on time, this is a "fixing niggles" update. Niggle 1: the Simkatze button still showed the old Simskin face. The new one isn't dramatically different, but still... Niggle 2: why does it mention somewhere in the updates table that the Katze AVI has been replaced? I can't find any replacement. It's still the old file. Niggle 3: why does the Onnataicho still have "more to come" in it when it was declared finished the year before? Major niggles, not likely to be resolved soon: when did I last do something about the KiSS section? Or the many links that seem to die shortly after I put them up? Or whatever needs fixing and should have been fixed years ago?

Maybe I'll get round to it after I kill the neighbours. That means, no more having to hide from people who sidle up "for a chat" while assessing my property and gullibility, no more cheery idiots deciding my ears are receptacles for their mouth noise and going "I don't bite ya knaw" when I won't hang around to be slavered on, and no even greater idiots waking me at 02:30 a.m. by loudly singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOOOU in their adjacent, not very sound-proof rooms. Along with the deadening effect of a full-time job, this does not stimulate updates. What few updates get done reflect my state of mind. In the new "Rants & Reviews" part of the Animisc page, there are, so far, four rants and one review.

One of the last things I did before this update was put up new versions of the Gatchacivvies, this time without bracelets. (And with some slight shading around the collar in an attempt to reduce the jaggies.) Because I wanted to make the bracelets separate suits, just like the dog and cat collars. Obviously, it hasn't been done yet. Just as I still don't have foolproof FAM files. Yes, after remaking all the FAMS in LL to get rid of the missing object messages (Sims fans will know what this means) I now find the multilanguage descriptions are gone. I'll have to remake all those FAMs. And to not risk losing the descriptions again, I've decided to include them with the inhabitant pics of the Simhoods page. Some inhabitant pics will have to be redone anyway, as the Gatchacivvies update fixed two more niggles. Ryu's number is orange, not yellow. And, what was I thinking, Jun does not have white shoes.

With all this work in store - and all repairs, nothing new - it's not surprising that the theme page itself should be nothing special. This update's theme page, and possibly next update's theme page as well, will be images captured from the Sims (with that somewhat irritating Sims logo in the bottom right corner) and specifically of the Gatcha-Sims, with pictures added as work on the bracelets progresses.

And oh yes, I've been wanting to change the KatzeMania button for ages. It was fun to play around with Neopaint's fonts, but that button is starting to bother me. Somewhere between now and midsummer, that button is going to change.

An update which - it's getting monotonous - if not actually on the first of the month, has a "1" in the date. Didn't I take off some of the pressure when switching to biennial updates? What's my excuse this time?

As regards the date of 1-7-2006, there is the valid excuse of having been at an anime con all day, and while this con did have an internet corner, I didn't feel like using that for an update. A second excuse was that, as usual, I hadn't captured all material yet, being too busy finding and packing stuff for the con's Bring&Buy. A third excuse was that this time, I wanted to include the con write-up in the upcoming update. Considering this write-up usually takes six months to complete, I'm proud to have accomplished it in one.

This time's theme page: Gatchaperson's civilian outfits. Numbered & not.

Interim update: All soundbytes of His Master's Voice and the Onnataicho Gallery have been replaced with slightly better, decidedly smaller MP3 files, and the Gatch F soundbytes recaptured, using a shareware utility of which I'll sing the praises in How I capture soundbytes. Moreover, with the addition of screencaps from eps 32/33, the Onnataicho Gallery is finally done. That's worth an announcement, isn't it? In which I can also apologize for the "cut scene" remark about episode 105 on DVD; the reason why I couldn't find this scene in ep 105 was that it's in ep 104! I've been as inaccurate with sounds; for instance, some files named 29-something came from entirely different eps, and I had a jolly time tracing their origin or, failing that, finding a sound close enough to replace them. In any case, all these errors have been corrected. The black bar statement still stands, though: the 100+ eps on DVD suffer intermittently from a black bar at side, especially noticeable in ep 102, a defect absent from the tapes and LDs.

One niggle I can add here: Dave's code name isn't "spy D" but "spy V". (Like the big blue "V" on his T-shirt. Gatch characters are so subtle.) The Japanese language has no v and so the letter usually comes out like a "buh" pronounced with a very full mouth. This has been corrected on all pages where the name was mentioned.

I'm bitter. More than that: I'm heavily pissed off. When Gatchaman came out on DVD, I dutifully bought the DVDs one by one, as funds permitted, until I had about half the series. Then suddenly volumes that I didn't have yet were sold out and out of print, and the whole set of CDs for the first Gatchaman series was on sale for roughly $500, the same sum as I'd spent on the separate DVDs so far.

So I Googled for cheap second-hand DVDs and found the boxed set available at low prices at various anime online shops. What I got for my $99 plus shipping was three cardboard foldouts, box I, II and III, that were supposed to hold CDs but that I couldn't fit any in, and CDs in paper sleeves, those for box III with prints of the Gatchaspartan vehicles. At that moment I strongly suspected piracy, and so wasn't surprised when the episodes 100 to 104 had black bars at the side of the picture, and a scene had been cut out of ep 105. "You get what you pay for", I thought, and the Gatch II and F box sets were bought from more reliable retailers. (Incidentally, many box sets on eBay are illegal copies - if they're cardboard foldouts, that's a strong indication - but at least the disks fit in the boxes.)

So I tried to buy the last Gatchaman DVD (eps 100-105?) separately and get better captures from that, but couldn't because it was Sold Out And Out Of Print, and settled for the Gatchaman Perfect Collection Volume 6 which at least had ep 102 and 105 on it. Complete with black bar at the side.

I don't remember how much I paid for this volume from the so-called Perfect Collection, containing three episodes, one badly mastered and the other probably having the statues scene cut out just like the pirated copies, but it was a legitimate release. Which means that the legal last Gatchaman DVD must have had exactly the same flaw as the illegal one. I'm pretty sure the laserdisks didn't have this flaw and that some studio person just scr*wed up, and the result was dumped on the market because the stupid consumers won't notice anyway. By the time I discovered this, it had been lying around for months waiting for next update, so I can't very well ask my money back now.

So what has this legal DVD done for me, except help change the region counter on the DVD player past its maximum number of switches so I have to buy extra software to play the DVDs I bought but which have the "wrong" region code? Software that the entertainment industry wants to declare illegal and that wouldn't be needed if DVDs didn't have this idiotic region code, as indeed pirated DVDs do not - a strong argument for buying bootlegs. I still plan to buy legal stuff, until the day I find an anime DVD has installed a rootkit on one of my PCs, as some of Sony's music CDs do! That's not even hacker practice, that's cracker practice! It goes to show that music & video companies have nothing against unethical behaviour; they're just out to squeeze money from consumers, and would actively promote piracy if they thought it would increase their profits.

Another big joke from the games industry: they want to follow the "Trusted Computing" example by allowing a game to be installed on only one computer. I guess the anime industry will do the same and make DVDs that can only be watched on the first computer they were played on. And what if this computer or one of its component parts dies? Too bad, buy a new comp and a new DVD. What if it's Sold Out And Out Of Print? Too bad, you should only buy what the companies want to sell anyway. Consumers as helpless, defenceless sheep: how very Gatchaman. And the funniest thing is: that computer will die! Components made for the consumer market (as opposed to professional and/or military use) are deliberately badly made, so they will break and need replacement every few years.

Case in point: I have three scanners. The first, with parallel port, is years old and has moved house a few times, so can be excused for scanning badly. The second, a novel design from HP, worked crummily from the start: the one I bought broke because of the fragile construction and was replaced by another with the same scanning defect. The third, a printer/scanner combination that came with a second-hand computer, scanned quite well (though not as well as the parallel-port scanner when it was new) until the continuous pressure of books pressed flat against the glass caused the scanning device underneath to jam. It slides now, but every scan is marred with a line through the middle: sign of permanent damage due to insufficiently robust design. Bottom line: three scanners in the house and I can't scan!!! I'll have to go and buy a fourth one.

The relevance of this for the Gallery: (a) those ugly black-bar caps will probably never be updated. (b) I was thinking of adding a list of my gadgets, including scanners, to the AniMisc page, with whatever tweaks I discovered to make them work, if they could be gotten to work at all; typically, most of them were lemons. It hasn't happened yet, but is high on my priority list. (c) All this has made me so furious that my comments on ethnic misrepresentations in that sad excuse for an anime series, "Gatchaman Fighter", will be more vitriolic than ever.

(With updates for picture caps a no-go, I'm finally making good on my promise to replace the Gatchaman soundbytes. About one-third of the soundbytes from the first series have been replaced. The few soundbytes from Gatch F were captured as MP3 straight away; their volume hasn't been adjusted, so they're a bit quiet compared to the first-season soundbytes.)

Last interim update: animecon 2005 writeup finally done. Yay. Wasn't sure I'd get it finished before next con. Also pruned dead links from the KiSS tutorial and general links pages.

The Katze Mirror (more accurately: the What Hair Day mirror) is done. Hooray. What took so long? Let me say one thing: blend vertices are evil. And of course I would find circumstances when the mirror didn't work as expected (poor Katze loses his hair every time he changes location, and sometimes someone else has to put it back on for him) and I would have to add an action which required an animation, which I didn't know how to make, and I would decide to redo the small zooms... They're still ugly, but really not as ugly as they used to be. But the real killer was the cloak. It still does ucky things like turn itself inside out when the Sim throws up its arms, but standard Sims meshes have the same flaws.

And while I was testing: it turned out that the essential hacks page's download URLs all had a typo since, er, January this year. This has been corrected.

Continuing last update's interview:

A: I finished the Katze mirror. Can I die now?

Q: Yes. You can.

That's a fib, actually. The rough version is finished, but it has to be tested on several Sims versions and I can see the meshes need torquing. But the graphics have finally, finally been done in a cooperative action between IFFSnooper, T-Mog and Art Studio, and once the whole thing passes muster, I'll have some new templates to put up, too. Worth waiting for (for those few diehards that haven't abandoned The Sims in favour of The Sims 2), eh? But I really wanted to get the theme page done first. Looking at the dates, I've not quite stuck to my intention of half-yearly updates; last theme page dates from about three months ago. Then again, that last update was three months late. In all, updates will probably still be quarterly; theme pages will remain biennial. This way, I might be able to get all the Sims stuff straight, followed by the KiSS stuff, followed by some even older stuff going back to before the turn of the century.

Speaking of things that go back to previous centuries: for the fourth and initially last installment of Ethnicity in Gatch (but when I saw the picture count rising above 100 again, I cut the thing in two) I sat through all of Gatchaman Fighter (most of it in fast-forward, I am that fond of this season) practically counting the medieval references. Just as the Dutch and Westerners in general see Japan as the apex of technological advancement, so the Japanese think transportation in the Western hemisphere is still primarily on horseback? All that tarmac here is very hard on the hooves, you know! Maybe the horses plodding down the streets of Sicily are cyborgs with hooves made of hard supermetal that the Fiery Phoenix itself couldn't make a dent in? Then again, as every Gatch fan knows, the series as a whole has never won prizes for realism.

My own technological advancement as of this update: captured soundbytes will from now on be MP3s. Having finally discovered how to capture sound of passable quality from DVD (check out both the quote and the single soundbyte on the new theme page) I will soon be redoing the Berg Katze soundbytes from a digital source and convert to MP3 as cleanly as possible all those huge wavs in the quotes section. Annoyingly, browsers don't handle MP3s so well yet, but Netscape 2 still opened a Sound Recorder every time I clicked on a .wav, so I'm confident MP3 support will soon be as much part of a browser as wav support is today.

This update's report will take the form of an interview of the site owner by the site owner:

Q: An update that's two weeks before the deadline of next update. Rather a record, don't you think?

A: Look, that's how long it took for the second Gatch II DVD box set to get here, OKAY?? Unless you were expecting me to settle for another region-free version with Chinese subtitles.

Q: I thought the DVDs arrived two weeks ago?

A: Making a page like this takes time.

Q: As does having to wait two weeks because you forgot to take them to the right address...

A: How helpful of you not to remind me at the time.

Q: And fell ill the week after... Crippling, isn't it, a bit of flu.

A: On the third day, I was considering crawling to the nearest hospital to get my nasal passages lasered. I'm still coughing.

Q: Yes, spread those germs around. Very well, in the time when you were neither working on the theme page or in the office, did you perchance finish one of your other lingering projects? Like the Simkatze mirror which will finally cover up that silly crew cut?

A: Quite apart from the fact that I haven't had time to play the Sims lately: no.

Q: And MAY I ASK why not?

A: I've been fooling around with Art Studio to see if I can use it to make good z-buffers for 3D objects. Or at least make a mirror object with the right z-buffer.

Q: And...?

A: So far, no and no.

Q: ... You spent several months on this.

A: Oh, I've also been eBaying... That's a new verb, meaning to spend a small fortune on items that seemed very cheap when the bidding started. And in those moments when my brain really felt like melted butter, I've been playing a game called "Fragrance Tale".

Q: Which is about ...?

A: A chirpy little boy in a very faux-Irish setting who has to mix herbs in just the right proportions to end the war between heaven and hell.

Q: Sounds highly ridiculous to me.

A: Yes it is, isn't it. Hee hee. Tee hee hee. It's better than Prozac.

Q: And what else have you been doing in those months before this famous second Gatch II DVD box set arrived on your doorstep?

A: Eat, sleep, get up, eat, work, come home, eat, sleep, get up, eat...

Q: That's it, is it? Eating, sleeping and working?

A: Sometimes I sleep at work. I've had complaints that my snoring is waking up colleagues.

Q: Something tells me you're not quite up to quarterly updates. Silly excuses about late box set arrivals apart.

A: Not to worry about that, I ordered the second Gatch F box set at the same time. So, as soon as I find the first Gatch F box set...

Q: AAARGH!!!!!!

A: Look, I didn't lose it, OK? I just don't remember where I put it.

Q: "I'm not lost, I just don't know where I am..."

A: Anyway, as soon as I find that first box set I'm all ready to prepare the final Gatch-ethnicity theme page. Which, taking your advice on quarterly updates to heart, will be six months from the supposed next deadline, which should give me ample time to find this box set which, I repeat, is not lost, so stop freaking out.

Q: Biennial updates as of now. Does that also mean biennial quarterly quotes?

A: 'Fraid so. It's harder to find quotes now that I've totally stopped watching TV as part of cutting the crap from my life, and have turned to the cultivation of rare tomatoes. Don't ask. Simply believe me when I say it's way more rewarding than watching TV.

Q: But you at least managed to capture a moment of wit for this update?

A: No, I just took one from the Buffy Page before ditching it.

Q: The Buffy Page is ditched?

A: Yup. Firstly, the series was becoming too bad to be funny. Secondly, the person I was originally doing this for has long since disappeared from my life, and his carer has let me know that I'm a stalker and she'll set the police on me if she ever sees me again - all very indirectly, of course.

Q: Is this the same carer who feebly tried to sabotage your providing him with his own computer a few years ago, and wanted to grab this computer for herself?

A: The same. It is at such moments that I realize how lucky I am not to be a helpless invalid. At any rate, the page was taking up meaningless space and unlikely to ever be updated again, so I deleted it.

Q: Is anything on this whole site likely to ever get updated again? Apart from the theme page.

A: The KiSS page has been. There's a new screenshot up for AmiKiSS, sent to me by the viewer author.

Q: That didn't require any creative effort on YOUR part, did it? Did YOU accomplish anything in the way of updates?

A: Yes oh yes! I found another way to make the Sims crash. Check out the updated Sim tip.

Q: Quite an achievement. I'd better end the interview before you proudly announce that you've found a way to get the laptop battery to spontaneously ignite.

A: Not until after I've found a way to make you spontaneously ignite, so don't worry.

Q: How unworrying. Well, thank you for that oh so informative interview, and why don't you go back to your favourite activity: sleeping.

A: Zzzzz....

Interim update: write-up of this year's anime con, which happened in, uh, May. Last write-up took me six months, this one took me seven months. Disturbing trend.

Again, an update on a date which, if not actually the first of October, at least has a "1" in it... The "week" it would take to finish SimKatze's special hair mirror has become three to four months. When time flies so fast, how can workdays pass so slow?

Speaking of Sims: the World Wide Web is a virtual universe, a repository of knowledge, a forum open to people of all backgrounds and nationalities, and a great place to get p***** off. Iffy fans and commercial institutions have found long ago that catching attention on the Web is as easy as catching deer at a watering hole, and put up pages o' crap that don't fall under "freedom of speech" any more than going door to door with copies of the Watchtower falls under "freedom of religion". The commercial institutions I can avoid, fandom gets a bit harder. I don't know why a particular Simsite page I saw last week should have raised my blood temperature above steam level, when I've both seen and heard of worse samples of fan behaviour; it must be the cumulative effect. Since my aim is expressing myself rather than snaring surfers, I've kept my opinion of such pages off the main page and put it here for anyone who enjoys vicious rants or is becoming as chronically enraged as I am. (Page removed at next update for lack of relevance, but boy, it felt good while it lasted.)

Anyway, not much to show this time: part II of "Ethnicity in Gatch" (and what a vague concept that is turning out to be) and tiny updates to the Sims and AniMisc page, the other pages remaining as neglected as they have been for the past year or so.

Big update probs on the Sim skins page - but at least the Gatchaman team are complete.

Since the new webspace required a domain name, which is easier to memorize than the old Sims Support Page URL, I decided to shift most of the Sims stuff to the new domain, and change all the download readme's. Expect more dead links than ever, while I sift through the files for bad & missing stuff. Oh, and that zipfile from 2003 - half of it's done now.

The Sims is easily the most time- and space-consuming addiction I've ever had. Not only is it the one section of website still to have updates, but in a disaster update a few weeks back I found I'd ran out of both time and space for that week's upload. New webspace was hastily bought and the files given a check, which was just as well, since almost half of them needed a tweak. Another weekend of frantic editing followed by a rushed update, during which my Mac informs me that a 41Mb system update is available and starts downloading this update over its 56K modem...

However, I have a joyous announcement: the Berg Katze Sim skin, raison d'etre of the whole Sims section, is back up after having been taken down for renaming/retooling many months ago. What took so flippin' long, you may ask? Two words: Texture Map. It all started with a mouth corner on a Sim head that seemed to bleed no matter how I edited the texture. Standard Sim meshes are horribly asymmetrical both in shape and texture map, and though having given up on the bodies, I was determined that the heads, at least, should be symmetrical, even if I had to hand-edit every vertex in the mesh. Which is what I ended up doing, only to find that the old texture map just didn't suit the new head shapes and needed to be completely redone anyway. That zipfile of head meshes put up in 2003 of which I said I'd fix the texture maps "next week": they're still not done yet. However, the improved Berg Katze is back up, shiny and new. This news will doubtlessly be greeted with total indifference in both Gatch-fan and Sim-fan circles, so maybe I should add that Ken and Joe skins are are also available - whoa, not everyone at once.

(Incidentally, the Katze mesh's supporting object, a mirror furnishing the mask and all hairstyles, is not yet done either. The reason: the Sim object's equivalent of the texture map, the Z-buffer.)

Oh yes, the theme page. Not quite ready for 1st of July as planned, but there's a "1" in the date, right? As long as I suffer from Sims addiction, no update will ever be on time - it's gotten to the point where I don't even have time to play the game except to test some mesh. This quarter's theme is "Ethnicity in Gatch". Part I, because so far I have only the first Gatchaman II DVD box set, and I don't feel like making another set of horrible vidcaps from nth-generation tape which I then have to redo from DVD later. And as the first Gatchaman series is twice as long as the second series, to balance the load, I've decided to chop it into two parts, with the planned Gatch II caps as part III. Followed by some hilariously ridiculous material from Gatch F - in all, enough to keep me busy for a year.

Also up on the AniMisc page: some silliness from Wolf's Rain, a series which may just displace Gatchaman in my priority queue, and which at any rate begs and screams to be parodied.

Meanwhile, y'all excuse me - I'm due at a Simaholics Anonymous meeting.

Hooray. The scanner has returned to life, the reason for its non-functioning as absurd as it was unexpected: normally, the parallel port is used by the zipdrive, which has a second parallel port on its back to loop through to printers, scanners and other peripherals. As the zipdrive was temporarily serving another computer, the scanner was plugged straight into this machine. Its driver clearly couldn't handle so much responsibility. Putting the zipdrive back in place restored the working relationship, although the fact that some scans came out blood red and had to be redone may indicate that it's still about to die. No great loss; I won't be needing to scan anything for a while, and what computer has a parallel port these days?

The theme page update I had planned for today required the scanning of many images. Therefore, predictably, inevitably, my scanner quit. Maybe it felt it would rather die than swallow more Dutchness; with which sentiment, after thirty years in this country, I deeply sympathize. Practically, this means that the update is stalled until I can either revive it from its coma or get together the moolah to buy a new one. Instead, in an act of defiance, I at least updated the quarterly quote, and applied the time reserved for scanning to the replacement of all the grainy Gatchaman images captured from tape with fresh new ones off DVD. Except for the three of the Cross Karakoram statues, because they were not on DVD - edited out to make that last odd episode fit on disk, maybe? The AVI and the WAV files will not be updated until I discover how to make proper quality sound captures from DVD, and so far the result was worse than what I got off tape. In view of China's reputation of CD/DVD piracy and the fact that the box set I bought is subtitled in English and Chinese, it should not surprise me that part of episode 100 and all episode 102 have an unsightly black shadow running down the left side; if I find a DVD that doesn't have this flaw, I'll re-recapture them.

Interim update: still not the improved Katze skin as planned, but I've gone through the Sims Support Page and made some small additions. The custom objects have also been updated, as using them on the Mac brought out unforeseen problems (like terrible graphics, brr.. but that I can't fix, and it looks okay on a PC). On re-installing Paint Shop Pro 7 with digital camera support, I've also discovered where that cute little camera icon came from. Feeling bad enough about stealing it, I replaced it with my own creation (it's not as if I can't draw a camera by myself - with a little help from PSP...) I also added some photos to "Groningen".

As background to a Sim download featured on the previous theme page, I wrote something called a Sims Support Page, tossing it on the AniMisc page with the offhand remark that it wouldn't be updated often, if at all. Ironically, it's just about the only item that did get updated in the past six months. It and its companion, the Sims download page, have swollen to the point of getting their own server space, button and index page. All other webpage-related projects have been put on hold for its sake. Has the quarterly update ever been this late before? Probably.

The subject of this and next update is photographs of the Netherlands, and other things to come out of the scanner. This is another one of those projects which stretches into months, and then years. Some five years ago, acquaintances were considering coming to the Netherlands for medical reasons, and to escape from the hellish neighbourhood where they lived. I've known no neighbourhood that isn't hellish one way or another, but went on a snapshot-taking spree anyway, with the idea of putting up a collection of photographs to give them an idea what the country was like. Since the localities photographed were all places where I'd lived or worked, the photographs also served as a personal record. That's the only function they still have, as these people have found a much less hellish place to live, simply by moving a few streets away from the old neighbourhood.

This is not the first theme page to use real-reality material rather than scans and captures of animated series. It is in fact the second, the first having been the account of going to see, and hopefully take a picture of, the eclipse of 1999. Clouds literally came between me and my objective, and the only other attempt I've made since was at the semi-eclipse of May 2003, when I rose very early and stood shivering in the wet grass, camera in hand, waiting for the horned sun to rise. The results of these attempts, the village/suburb snapshots and some photographic oddities will be in the theme page of (hopefully 1st of) April; this theme page will have the Dutch town (there is no urban region in this country that deserves the name "city") snapshots and some artistic snippings of long ago to counterbalance all the ugly buildings. And on (hopefully 1st of) July, we return you to our regular schedule of fan-related slightly-copyright-infringing material, if all goes according to plan.

Final version (again) of the above plus Zoisite, and a Beryl version that will be final unless I find a way to improve the dress. And this year's animethon (in February! I remember because it was bitterly cold at the bus stop) has finally been written up.

Final versions of Jadeite, Nephrite and Kunzite. Zoisite and Beryl are in the works.

Another server change for the Sims files; all links updated, two skins added: Jadeite and Jun ("Princess" to BOTP-watchers)

Another update with some skins: the Sailor Moon boys, to counteract the overdose of miniskirts. The Extended Animehood is now complete, all those missing houses have been added and the JunJun-head problem solved (sort of).

And this update brings some skins. Same story as the BK skin: tremendous research, little to show for it. Kiddie G-Force have their civvies, on the Skins and Meshes page.

Update: fixed broken link above (fortunately the link from the Sims Support Page did work) and repaired some Essential Hacks files that had somehow become corrupted; notably, the GMH files. Next update will see some skins!!

Yet another interim update: some more polishing on the SSP, and the Essential Hacks.

Another interim update: I move a page, then make a mistake in the new URL! This has been fixed, and the SSP itself polished up a bit.

Interim update: moved Sims Support Page to a different account to get around the space problem, and took the opportunity to make some piddling small corrections.

This quarter's theme page has on offer: a Sims skin. Three if I cheat a bit, and count the head and two bodies as three separate skins. Fact is, getting acquainted with the inner workings of The Sims took longer than the interval between two updates; but at least I can share my findings on the Sims Support Page, which I wrote partly to explain what to do about SimKatze's hair, because getting the right style with the right outfit may require some manual editing. Next update will see, hopefully, all or most of the skins planned for a full GatchaSim neighbourhood. Meanwhile, I've been scouting around for anime skins myself, and while, predictably, there were no Gatchaman skins that I could find, there were enough Sailor Moon skins to make a neighbourhood housing five duplicates of this character. I'm in no real danger of becoming a Sailor Moonie, but having seen the undubbed, uncut first season of this amazingly ludicrous teen-girl wish-fulfillment series, I'm beginning to see both its charm, and the humour of the many fan-made parodies; SM really does lend itself to parodies. Suffice it to say that my planned GatchaSims will find themselves surrounded by very short-skirted neighbours.

Interim update: two pages and a few pics that were missing (as opposed to wrongly linked to) were supplied. The pics had to be recaptured from 2nd-gen video. The pages had their footnote code improved.

The untimely - ie. before I'd backed up the data - demise of a new harddisk cost me a few Gatch caps and a lot of time trying to recover files from various locations, leaving me too annoyed to go through the vidcapping all over again. From which came the idea of a page consisting entirely of (version 2.0) HTML. And so was born the Berg Katze Factlets page, a strictly-text, lynx-enhanced (how appropriate) collection of Katze-related writings.

A new, so far very empty section has been added: the AniMisc page, the place for anything (most probably anime-related, as the name implies) that doesn't fit in the existing sections. Also added, since the sections are so rarely updated, and the History page doesn't give a clear overview of what had new stuff added when, the Table of Updates (bottom of page). So far, the big update is that I've organized the sections' files a bit. This doesn't make any difference to how the site looks, but there may be the odd dead link or missing graphic where I forgot to adjust the URL.

There is now a Calenz skin on the theme page.

This quarter's theme page features a small number of skins. I'd hoped to Galactorize my desktop; that will be for a next update, as I stuck to the simplest applications so as not to spend too much time learning how to make the skin. That means I've skipped Calenz, whose skins, themes and visuals confused me, and Opera, whose great number of buttons increases with each version. A pity to skip such useful applications, but they'll get their turn someday.

Sadly, the despicable nationalism of a certain country which pretends to be a whole continent has also cast a shadow over the skinning hobby. It seems that the downloading of a freeware application, or even the free skins for such an application falls under the US embargo, as US citizens are legally forced to state in the small print of their skin sites and applications - never mind that the sites, at least, may be putting up contributions of people not living in the USA, and not bound by its laws. My ISP is fortunately not in the USA and so of course anyone can download these skins, no matter what their nationality.

The same small print may also contain rules for skinning - not using copyrighted material, especially - which makes said skinnable application useless for fanart purposes; this is why I chose FreeAmp over the A2 player, although they have roughly the same functionality. Of course any Gatchaman skin uses copyrighted material, so the skins I've made had better not go up on other sites than mine.

An update to a long-neglected section: on the Nature Page, I've been giving the BBC series The Life of Mammals the attention it deserves; and that is not all positive. But this series contains unique footage, of which, as a tribute to the filmers, I put up some vidcaps of the more curious-looking species.

The theme of this update is "Religious icons in Gatchaman", although religious images are chiefly used to, well, read the theme page. In a pathetic attempt to update the DOS Page, I added a bunch of old links that might be interesting to [MS|DR|PC|whatever]-DOS users - after checking if they were still up, of course. In the same spirit, I pruned away all the links to long-dead KiSS tutorials.

The sound captures for this quarter's theme page are from tape (hence, iffy quality) except for one - I thought I'd finally capture clear, clean, compact soundbytes from DVD. Er, no. DVD players generally capture images but not sounds. The soundcard in my one DVD-drive-possessing computer "doesn't support playback capturing" and in my other, is a brilliant soundcard but doesn't get on too well with Windoze (or any other OS). Connecting the analog outs to the analog ins was not the solution. The digital out can't be connected to the digital in for some long-forgotten reason, the rediscovery of which involves screwing open the computer case (and in the meantime, where would I leave all the junk that's been piling up on said case?) The solution involved a minidisc player; by recording the sound from analog out on MD and then playing from MD back into analog in, I got a passable soundbyte of Jinpei praying. The point of this long passage being, the Gatch soundbytes aren't going to be updated for a while. On the other hand, I did rediscover what a brilliant tool VidEdit is, and gave it a place in the KiSS resources.

The History page again bears witness to the fact that I did 30% of what I said I'd do. The KiSS section hasn't been updated as much as it should have been, the DOS page hasn't been updated at all, and as for the Archive... The viewer list has been neatened up a bit, though, and I've made progress with FKiSS4; not only have I finally got Redsquirrel running and PlayKISS installed (now if only the computer wouldn't hang each time I click on an archive), but someone with an interest in KiSS and a thorough knowledge of Java has created a media-playing, image-rendering tool (that's what it is, really) capable of viewing KiSS sets and supporting FKiSS4, although it does much more than that. It's the last entry in the KiSS viewer list.

Other than that, the usual theme page, about the sufferings of Galactor goons, and two eps added to the Onnataicho Gallery which is now almost done. Vidcap quality atrocious as usual, will be improved when I scrape together the money for the rest of the Gatch DVDs.

The arrival on my doorstep of Volume 12 of the Gatchaman DVDs had me recapturing all images taken from episodes 1 to 46; most pics in the Onnataicho Gallery look rather less tattered now. (I've even added some animated gifs, whee!) Next item on the list is redoing what soundbytes I can, and then maybe the wretched apologies on "His Master's Voice" can go. The KiSS section hasn't been updated as much as I would like, but the tools and viewers lists have been worked on, with screen caps added to the latter. One of the mini-tutorials had a mistake in it, which has been corrected; the grander tutorials I hope to finish sometime next month. The ZKC has been taken down; it ends in a month and anyone who would be interested has seen it by now. The DOS page, alas... I will get round to it sometime.

Most of last month has gone into FKSolitaire, an Easter expansion set for the newly added Whack-a-Santa, and a fair bit of artistic effort for this quarter's theme page: the many faces of Berg Katze, or, how inconsistent animation can drive fan artists nuts. ^_^

It's time to give the "Netscape 2" statement a boot in the rear; yes, I do still surf on a slow 486 which would be happiest running Netscape 2, and therefore make sure most pages are compatible with older browsers, but after accidentally wiping the harddisk (always, always, always make backups) and installing W95 because my Win3 disks were at another address, I've seen that it will, grumblingly, run Netscape 4.7x. Although, when I tried out the oldies at www.dejavu.org (a site which emulates very old browsers), I was gratified to find that this site came up legibly in all of them. Ha!

Update: my first real FKiSS4 (ie. using the newer features) set is done! It's in the beta section of the KiSS sets page. It could probably use some torquing; it could certainly do with some testing, but unfortunately I can't run the viewer that could do the job.

My ultimate solution for the warring vidcap cards - housing them in two separate computers - brought more hardware woes (including a wiped BIOS, I won't go into the grisly details) and so I'm almost a month late with the last part of bad Willow. I also didn't have much time for the little KiSS and DOS page updates I'd planned; hopefully, that'll be done before next big update. I did, finally, start on a legible version of "Considerations when making a KiSS set" and my KiSS-boycotting statement (see the notice for first-time visitors to the KiSS page) and I hope to add some tutorials following a KiSS version of Whack-a-mole that I sent to some people as replacement for a Christmas card this year. The Archive won't be updated at all, until I get some electricity at the weekend address; the power's been cut since a month ago for "repairs", and I can't update it from work.

Interim update, for any visitors of the KiSS section: some more info up, including an explanation of why some info isn't up any more. I also updated the links and stuck the Katze and Gatchaman links together, taking out some smaller stuff; I'd rather link to a few large sites or links lists than to lots of little sites.

Why must two vidcap cards always be fighting? Why can't they share? As in, share interrupts and other resources? Luckily for me, they survived long enough to get some gorgeous grabs of bad Willow at the Bronze. I went rather overboard on all the face shots, leaving no room for the rest of the story, so this is going to be another three-parter.

Not planned, but at a fan's request: Ryu vs the Skinny Urchin and Galack X vs whossisname, for the kickboxing fans. :)

Okay, here's the sitch: in another effort to complicate my life, I've moved house to two different locations. That means the vidcapping equipment is unpacked by now, but the tapes are somewhere, er, um? The DVDs I was so happy to get are worthless until I find a way to grab images off them and the comp has decided to be temperamental about its USB port. What else is new...

As the parallel port, at least, hasn't abandoned me, this quarter's theme page (which, as promised, has Gatch as a subject) will be simply scans. Also, I've decided it's time for a name change; with all these pics up and hardly any KiSS sets and other downloadables I'd planned, "Download Page" is hardly the right name for what has become, if anything, a screen shots gallery. For the first time in ages, however, I've finished a new downloadable in the form of a slide puzzle featuring four villains of the first Sailor Moon season. Enjoy.

More updates: I'm slowly extending the KiSS Page with general info, and have added Jacque's Gatchaman Tarot page to the Gatchaman links.

Another Buffy theme page, part 1 of "the other Willow"; next theme page will definitely have something Gatchaman-related for a subject! Especially as I have now managed to lay my hands on the first of the Gatch DVDs. Nothing else yet, although I hope to add to the KiSS page in the coming month.

At last, the final instalment of "Wild Giles"! A hopefully complete list of KiSS tutorials (please feel free to submit any new URLs). And some more short reviews on the DOS page.

Updates this time round: the next part of "Ripper's wild exploits" (with some Buffy in the sideline). As it is just as much about "the other" Joyce and "the other" - wait a second, does his character change that much? - Snyder, this is becoming one long story, and its ending will have to wait for next update. A new quote, of course, but not, regrettably, the planned update for the DOS and KiSS pages; I'll probably do that next month.

Interim update: KiSS content was hogging the Katzemania page, so I put it on its own page, which is as yet very bare; the links have also been given a page of their own.

Last quarter's theme page has moved to the archive, and what a piddling little one has taken its place! Alas, the marriage of video capture cards and PnP motherboards can be an unhappy one, so in the end I only found the time to capture half the episode. Never mind, in three months we'll have "Ripper and Joyce go Wild, Part II". ^_^

The Nature Page has been moved to Wish (free webspace, irritating popups) after I lost uploaded files twice with a message "disk quota exceeded".

The finished imitation-Emby Quinn Katze KiSS doll is up! The links formerly at the bottom of this page have been moved to the KatzeMania page, and some more have been added.

The subject of this theme page is "Galactors unmasked". This is a biggie with 60+ pix, and when it's had its turn, it's going to the archive - I'm running out of space again.

Despite what I said last time, I'm going to leave the Buffy and other vidcaps as they are: a jumble of pictures of all different sizes. On a monitor or 800x600 or less they'll be one long column anyway. Some pictures have been added to an ex-theme page: "His Master's Voice part 2", and a second batch of pix has gone to the Nature Page. I'd really really really hoped to get the Imitation-Emby Quinn Katze doll finished in time, but it's nearly done. Expect it up soon.

The theme page for this update is "The other...", showing characters from Buffy the vampire slayer in uncharacteristic roles. Next update will see this page relocated under the Buffy page, and so, with last time's theme page moved straight to the KatzeMania section, the archive is going to have empty slots. By next update I also hope to have neatened the Buffy vidcaps into an ordered display, rather than a jumble of pictures of all different sizes.

The Onnataicho Gallery has also had an ep added.

A month after the update, I find I've forgotten to upload the female Galactor captain soundbytes. Guess who feels stupid. I'm sticking them in the Onnataicho Gallery, which is where they'd have wound up anyway.

Not much new stuff this time: part 2 of His Master's Voice, with soundbytes of the female Galactor captain; a reorganization of the KatzeMania page, with a few pics and two soundfiles added to the cartoon tributes; a very small and unfinished KiSS set of an imitation-Emby Katze doll (residing on the main KatzeMania page until I have enough sets to fill a page by themselves ^_^), and two splitfile programs on the DOS page. The eclipse pics have been moved to the oldstuff site.

Sentimentally attached to my old, slow 486 which can't handle anything bigger than Netscape 2, I've kept all these pages compatible with Netscape Mosaic, which means no frames and tables; but with the growing number of buttons and images, tables can't be avoided. They shouldn't be a problem, however; non-table browsers will simply put the buttons at the bottom of the page, as before.

Three weeks after it happened, eclipse pictures and photos of the trip to Luxemburg.

The archive page finally links to the oldstuff site.

Three pages that I had in mind from the start of the download page have now been realized: the DOS page, the Nature page (which will be containing vidcaps from the 50 or so tapes of nature programmes that I've amassed over the past eight years) and the Buffy page, with vidcaps from the horror/comedy series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I don't intend to update these pages often, so their content will probably be up for six months or so before I toss out the old stuff and put in something new. A warning for slow browsers: the last two pages are image-intensive.

The now image-filled Katzemania page and the Onnataicho gallery have some graphics added, most of them recycled from the Easter Eggs theme page which I've archived on a secondary site along with other old stuff to, er, fill up space? It is my intention to replace the theme page, which this time is "His master's voice", every three months until I run out of time or ideas, and to put the previous three pages in an archive so that anything older than a year will automatically disappear. And of course this intro has found its way into the history.

Standard apology: vidcaps from Gatch material are bad because the recordings used are nth gen, ELP. For that reason I said I wouldn't put in Gatch AVIs, but now I've gone and done it anyway. (Check out the theme page. No hurry, this material will be permanently added to the Katzemania page as soon as the three months are up.)

And finally: a new item, the Quote of the Day. Of the quarter, that is, since it will be updated along with the theme page. I'm aiming for absurdity, which means I'll probably draw most material from Eek and the Tick.

Some additions since last time: extra pics in the Onnataicho gallery; two new pages, the KatzeMania page and "Easter eggs", the first "theme page" since Halloween; headers for the main pages; and a history (containing this summary) to keep track of what's new. No real download stuff as yet apart from the corrected, but still experimental version of the "Valentine surprise" Katze KiSS set and one AVI, not of Katze himself, on the Katzemania page.

I may add Gatch AVIs at some point, but for now, due to the material I'm working with - and I should be so lucky I have any - the quality of the captured pics is bad enough, and the compression needed to reduce AVIs to a reasonable size makes them look even worse. Maybe one day when I win the lottery, I'll buy the LDs and redo them all.

This page is as heavily under construction as ever, but at least I've chucked out the old stuff and added one new download; I'm also planning to add some pics to the Onnataicho gallery, which was intended to be permanent. As for adding decorative images, I'm afraid it'll just have to wait.

The Christmas theme page; basically the Halloween page with some "Gatch Christmas cards" added, and, oh yes, the birth of the Onnataicho Gallery.

The Halloween theme page, with pix, sounds and AVIs mostly taken from the four Simpsons Halloween specials. This was intended as a downloadability test; the page was meant for pix, animations and other stuff that I intended to share with 'net buddies and other interested people, but which are a bit too big for a mailout.


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