Quotes I Like*
New Metric System: Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
*Your mileage may vary. Some quotes are puns, or require historical or technical
literacy to appreciate. If you miss the humor, please re-read the Internet and then try again.
More About This Website
This website openly advocates for free-as-in-liberty software and ethical computing,
and against software patents and ridiculously long copyright terms.
This is the technically-oriented website for George F. Rice, who often
goes by the computer login name of ricegf. This site is decidedly, and
intentionally, low-tech for easy maintenance and broad compatiblity
across browsers, and focuses on free-as-in-liberty software and ethical
computing. (I haven't uploaded quite everything below yet. It's
|Living la Vida Libre - This is my
technology blog dedicated to whatever strikes my fancy.
- An in-depth look at the Ubuntu Linux-powered netbook I
received for Father's Day 2009
Installing Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu
- Which is easier? I try to be
objective, but the winner in ease of installation and getting started
is quite clear.
My Linux Journey - Linux was created
in 1991 by Linus Torvolds, but I
didn't get around to using it until the 21st century. Here's how I
found my current favorite operating system.
Linux Marketshare -
Anti-Linux detractors often claim that Linux has
failed in the marketplace. Here's some actual numbers that indicate how
free software's most visible product is doing.
Smartphone Marketshare -
The hottest computing sector as of 2010 is smartphones. Who's got the
momentum, and who's fading fast?
- This game is reminiscent of Bejeweled®, except that the game
elements are arranged in a hexagonal pattern. In addition, if you are
fast, you can swap several elements in a single move, allowing for a
much more interesting game (in my humble opinion).
Stopwatch Logger - This
is a fairly basic stopwatch program, with a GTK+ graphical user
interface or command-line interface, for tracking a large number of
overlapping events. I originally wrote it to track timings for my son's
troop members while working on the Physical Fitness merit badge in
Worklog - A fairly
sophisticated tool for associating time worked to charge accounts. The
original version was written in GBASIC in 1986, was translated into awk
and csh in 1991, and eventually rewritten from the ground up in Python
in 2004. It works exceptionally well from the command line - so much,
in fact, that I still haven't gotten aruond to writing a graphical
George's Adventure Kit -
This hypertext-based "choose your own adventure" story kit was
originally written in 1989, predating the web; once the web was
invented, I added a translator. My children, at least, enjoyed the "Jamie
and Lucy" stories (and wrote a few of their own), the
Flight", and the amusing "A
Walk in the Woods". It's still a lot easier to write adventures in
GAK than in HTML, by the way.,,
Starwars.py - The very
first (text only) computer program I ever wrote, back in 1978 the day
after I first saw the original Star Wars® movie, translated into
Python. The original version ran in only 50 keystrokes on a TI-57 calculator that I
affectionally named Alexander, and which I still own to this day.
I guess you never forget your first love...
Python Libraries / Utilities
Hexathon - This
library provides classes for hex boards, similar to the old Avalon Hill
war games, and various supporting classes to make writing games on hex
grids relatively easy. This was my first foray into serious Python
Bunch - This class
provides persistent storage of eclectic data. It is heavily modified
from a similar concept found on the ActiveState
Python Cookbook web site (the original code is licensed under the Python Software License).
Concepts and Rough Code
Texas Yachts Free
- This game is based loosely on Yahtzee®, but with several odd
twists: The game can be played with more than 5 dice; the dice can be
polyhedral, with from 4 to 100 sides each; and one or more dice can be
shared among all players in a round, Texas Hold'em style. Status:
Core game libraries written.
ImageShot - This utility
attempts to provide very high-end screen shot and image manipulation
capability in a free operating environment, similar to SnagIt® for
Microsoft Windows. Status: Basic infrastructure written, but Shutter provides enough
capability that my motivation for this project has flagged a bit.
Jitterbug - This game /
environment was envisioned as a way to gently introduce children to
programming. Using a foolproof dance constructor (really a disquised
programming editor), the child can teach little bugs to perform dance
moves while dragging its tail - something of a cross between
multi-threaded turtle graphics and an over-achieving Spirograph®.
(The real fun was in working out the math for wheels rolling around odd
custom shapes.) Status: Mostly the interesting equations and user
Elven Fire -
This fantasy role-playing and medevial wargame has been
developed and extensively play-tested over the past 20 years my my
children and I. It can be played with polyhedral (multi-sided) dice,
six-sided dice only, or percentage dice only.
Warfare - This futuristic cooperative game invests players as
mercenaries intent on stripping the briefly-held enemy flagship of as
much of value as possible before escaping back to home base.
Blitzkreig - A short,
fast-paced tank combat game that rewards taking risks and as many shots
as possible. This kept me entertained during really boring high-school
classes. Please don't tell my teachers.
Inflation - Written
during the Jimmy Carter administration, when inflation was all the rage
(so to speak), cash in this little diversion drops rapidly in value as
the game progresses. And, unique among games that I've seen that use
cash, the amount of cash you have at the end has nothing to do with who
wins. As in life, it's what you do with your cash during the game that counts!
Polyhedral Pigskin -
This classic American football game is played using polyhedral
in 6 Dimensions - Everyone has played Tic-Tac-Toe in two
dimensions, and most geeks have tried it in 3 dimensions. A
professional diversion into hypercube processor configurations led me
to work out additional dimensions for Tic-Tac-Toe - with a board
supporting 6 dimensions, but only if you dare.
Gut Check - This
game is simple to learn and play. You don't really need the board; once
you know the scoring combinations, 5 dice and some scratch paper (or a
good memory) gets you some cheap amusement.
All original software on this site is free software released under
General Public License version 3 or later (for earlier software,
the Gnu GPL version 2 is still used). You can redistribute it and/or
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
General Public License for more details.
All original non-software material on this site has been released
Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
This provides a specific framework should you wish to improve upon and
material from this site.
I hope you find much of value to you here. Please feel free to
send me your thoughts on how this site could improve.