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Piers Anthony Unbound

Roblimo posted more than 12 years ago | from the ogres-say-the-darnedest-things dept.

News 430

Today we present Piers Anthony's responses to Slashdot questions about topics ranging from Linux shortcomings to female sexuality. Piers asked us, in a followup email after we received his answers, if we considered them "too feisty." Hah! Is there such a thing as "too feisty" for Slashdot?

1) Publishers and StarOffice?
by sparty

With larger documents and the importance of formatting in the publication process, have you had difficulty with publishers and document submission? If so, has your establishment (ie previously published work) allowed you to overcome opposition of the "we-don't-support-that" variety? Or did you find that publishers were open to alternate submission formats? Or were they already using other formats (I know some authors have actually typeset their works themselves, using LaTeX, but I assume they are few and far between).

In short, modern print publishing requires a lot of attention to detail and transmission of large documents electronically--how do you make it work with your chosen set of tools, when publishers probably don't expect authors to be using that paritcular set of tools?


This has not been a problem with traditional publishers, because they're still in the dark ages with respect to computers and accept only printed out paper copies. In any event, my version is not the print version; mine is in 12 point Courier--almost universally required--which they then rekey in to their system and render in some other format. In the year 2050 when publishers catch up, then the author's computer formatting may be an issue, though maybe not, as it's so easy simply to change it at either end. On the rare occasions when a publisher does need an electronic version, I translate to the MS Word .doc format.

2) Juvenile vs Adult fiction
by MattW

I must have read at least 20 of your books between 11 and 17, but over time, they seemed to lose their luster. A lot of people I know had a similar fascination, and a similar segue into other reading. Do you believe that your work in fantasy is targetted at the juvenile market? Is that intentional or accidental? Have you had pressure from publishers over the years to try to be 'more mainstream' or perhaps specifically write to the young adult market?


Your problem is that you grew up and disappeared into an adult; that's a fairly common disaster. Yes, Xanth is targeted at a juvenile market, though listed as adult; that's why you don't see it in lists of what children read. Those folk seem not to know what children and teens actually read, and the kids won't tell them lest their fun books get confiscated and burned. But I have two other remarks on this: first that I write for more than one level, and there is material in Xanth that adults can pick up on if they're alert; second that I do also write adult material, like the Adept, Incarnations, and Mode series. However, all publishers want from me is Xanth, and the more mature material is difficult to place. For example I am now completing the third quarter-million word novel in my thoroughly adult ChroMagic fantasy series, none of which has found a publisher. In due course I may self publish it so readers can see what kind I fantasy I write when I write for myself.

3) Personal Authors Notes - Bare feet don't stink.
by emptybody

In high school I read and re-read three series, Xanth, Apprentice Adept and Incarnations of Immortality. In 1988 my first son was born which drew most of my attentions away from your novels. In 1991 my second son and the real world drew me the rest of the way.

I see that there are now 10 more Xanth novels that I do not have. I guess I have some catching up to do!

Your authors notes were for me almost a series of their own. These, combined with your autobiography, "Bio of an Ogre", made me feel like I knew you. And gave new meaning and insight to most of your novels.

Have you ever thought of collecting them together into a book of their own? Sort of a Piers Anthony self retrospective or 'The Ogre Speaks Through the Ages.'


I have thought of it because readers have suggested it, but this is another I'd have to self publish. Dedicated fans may be interested in the private ramblings of an ornery writer, but barring some accident of fate that makes me famous, like growing a second head, the wider public is not.

4) world building

When starting off creating a new world for your stories, do you concentrate a lot on historical and geographical background, or get right into your main story timelines? basically, what process do you find to be the best when setting the stage for the depth required for epic fantasy?


It varies. Xanth just sort of grew around Florida, and there's very little background research. ChroMagic, in contrast, (see reference above) gets me into head-splitting spot research and thought throughout. That's the one with twin planets orbiting each other, the pair orbiting a conventional star named Vivid and a black hole named Void, so a tough choice is to be caught between Vivid and Void. The stress causes volcanoes to erupt everywhere, each with a different color of magic that makes things monochrome in its vicinity: shades of blue, shades of red, and so on. Yes, there is even one for White magic, otherwise called Science, the kind we know here, but it doesn't work elsewhere on the planet. People live near them and become the same colors, and can do magic of that color, or Chroma zone; travel to another zone and you lose your power of magic, which is tough. A Blue Chroma man is at a great disadvantage in a Red or White Chroma zone. That's just the background; you can see that plenty of thought went into it, and more into the culture and, oh yes, the wild story. So as I said, it varies, and each project is its own greater or lesser challenge.

5) Piers Anthony Fanfiction
by Bonker

Mr. Anthony,

From your in-story commentary and author's notes, we have a glimmering of your opinion on people who don't pay for books.

What is your opinion of people who borrow the books you've written from libraries. Also, what is your opinion of fan-authors who write fanstories based on your work?


I approve of libraries; they enable folk to read widely who could not otherwise afford to. The fact is, if every library bought a hardcover copy of one of my books, it would be a bestseller. So I feel a library is a legitimate compromise between the author's need to earn his living and the reader's limited ability to buy books. As for fan authors: if they do it just for fun, credit the source, and don't try to sell their books, okay by me, though that notion may turn my agent's hair a shade of gray. It's the pirates who really bother me, stealing whatever I write, including what I self publish, as if trying to guarantee that I will go broke and have to take up sewer cleaning for a living. That's why I support Harlan Ellison's anti-piracy struggle.

6) Women in Xanth books
by SlashChick

Hi Piers,

I've had the chance to enjoy several of your Xanth books over the years. However, I find it disappointing that, like many sci-fi authors, you choose to include lots of "naked women" imagery in your books. This makes your books unappealing to the female side of your audience (including myself), and it makes it hard for me to recommend your books either to younger children or other women who might be interested.

I don't mind sex in books; what I (and a lot of other females) mind is the clear delineation of women as either sexual objects or as somehow "needing" a male to rescue them from various plights. Your earlier books did not have much of this imagery, and indeed the Xanth series seems relatively free of it, but I've noticed that some of your books do draw this conclusion. Unfortunately, the fantasy category seems to have more of this type of book than most other categories.

In a world of fantasy books dominated by male fantasies, what is your suggestion to the relatively few females who do enjoy fantasy and sci-fi books?

As a point of reference, I enjoyed the Phule series by Robert Asprin, as well as The Hitchhiker's Guide and, of course, several of the Xanth books.


Some time we'll have to discuss why the sight of a naked woman as God made her should be considered to harm a child, but that's another issue. I wonder whether the females who enjoy fantasy are all that few; it's been a number of years since I tried counting the ratio of fan letters I received, but when I did it ranged from something like 60-40 to 80-20 in favor of female, and I believe I still get more fe-mail than male-mail. Much of it is for novels like Firefly and the Mode series, which do have juvenile female sex: they say that it's about time that someone addressed this matter honestly in fiction. I suspect I have heard from more teen girl victims than just about any other male writer, and it's not because they think I'm disparaging their concerns. Or are you referring only to Xanth, where Mundane attitudes are rather obviously parodied, such as with the fauns & nymphs, certainly a male fantasy, and the naughty fun about panties. Very few girls object to Xanth either; some even suggest panty puns. You say later Xanths suggest that women are sexual objects who need males to rescue them? Have you read Zombie Lover or Xone of Contention and seen Breanna of the Black Wave's attitude? What about Swell Foop? More bluntly: are you doing an honest critique here, or merely attributing things that really are not in my books? So I guess my suggestion is that you try reading some of the titles I've named here with an open mind; you may find more substance there than you expect, together with a greater appreciation of women as thinking, feeling creatures than you think.

7) Why GNU/Linux?
by crush

Why have you decided to use GNU/Linux? On your website you say:

"I want to be all the way independent of Macrohard, so that no more Doors slam on my tender fingers. We'll see; stay tuned for future reports."

Specifically what is it that you, as an author, have found irritating about using Microsoft products in your work?

In a note you also say:

"It remains far behind on personal systems, but at such time as the Linux nerds catch on to the importance of user friendliness, that should change. Before too long I hope to get the ear of some of them, even if they don't necessarily like what I say."

So, what don't you like so far? What do you want us to improve? Are there any author-specific tools that you miss from Microsoft?


This could take a long time, and I'm already taking more time than I like while my novel writing waits. Microsoft aggravates me by the way it so often crashes without saving--I really hate that!--and assumes I am wrong when it fouls up--that illegal operation syndrome--will I be sent to jail?, its refusal to give me ready file-saved status (the very act of checking un-saves the file), its clumsy Revision Mode and Spike processes that seem to assume you want to destroy your original document in order to copy revisions from it, locked-in error messages--it's just a constant process of minor nuisances and some major ones, such as reneging on software updates, that build up to a massive dislike. In reluctant fairness I must say that I haven't updated my word processor since 1995, so some faults may have been fixed by now. A number of the problems I have in Linux I am told have been fixed in more recent software. Since I'm in the process of getting a new Linux system with the bugs removed, I think I need to check it with the hope that my complaints have already been abated. If they haven't, maybe I can return here with an update in two or three months. So very generally, for the moment: I can't print effectively, I can't email effectively, I can't always edit effectively, I can't move my cursor effectively, I can't make or place macros as competent as I want, I can't let my monitor "sleep" between uses, and I have to use twice as many backup disks as before because the files take up twice the space. I'd like specific information on file dates and sizes in the backup challenges; I have to open whole other file-handling windows to get that information now, a hassle. Understand, my hardware can do all of these things, but Linux applications don't. Thus to print out a novel at faster than one and a quarter minutes per page I must shut down Linux and go to Windows on the same system. That drives me crazy. But I have been promised reprieve. There are also some features I have now that I didn't get in Windows, such as an indication whether my files have been saved, different background colors for my files--I like to color code, as I may be using 9 files at a time, shifting back and forth between them--and the ability to do discontinuous selection. I love StarOffice's superior Changes Mode and use it constantly. I'm a serious writer; I use features that non-writers don't. Did anyone notice that the StarOffice site has no category for "Writer"? I had to list my occupation as "retired." So it's like having a wacky girlfriend: there's more to like than dislike despite the aggravation.

8) Incarnations of Immortality
by iamsure

Mr. Anthony,

As someone who has named both of his cats, all seven of his computers, and one of his cars after characters from Incarnations of Immortality, I would like to know why you haven't chosen to return to their mythos.

Consider the fact you have done so with many of your other mythos'! (Bio of a space tyrant, Apprentice Adept, etc.)

Further, with Incarnations, there are a world of possibilities left. Chance, hate, love, hope, all the minor incarnations you mentioned in books previously (I would really like to see hope)..

Your writing weaves a world that one can live in, and while Xanth is nice, I deeply prefer a world where death is kind, and evil is human and flawed.

It helped me through the pain of losing my mother to serious illness, and has been my favorite fantasy world since.

I read in one of your author's note that the story of the original characters from IoI was "complete" and that you didnt see a need to continue their stories, and I can agree with that.

That doesn't stop new characters in the same mythos from being created. Whether set before, during or after the events of IoI, there is definitely room to weave plenty of stories.

Any chance of seeing some more of them?


Despite the charges of critics, I don't continue series just for the sake of continuing them. I felt that the Incarnations series was sufficient once God had been addressed. Sure I could do stories about the "minor" Incarnations, or about Nox the Incarnation of Night who knows all secrets and keeps most of them. But I have felt it better to let the series stand as it is. Maybe some day I'll change my mind; one never knows.

by ek_adam

I remember in the afterword of one of your books from the early 1980s, you discussed the research you put into choosing your first computer. At the time the choices for consumers were basically Apple II, CP/M, or MS-DOS.

How many generations of computers have you used since then? What system were you using just before you switched [to Linux]? Were you still using CP/M?


This must be Question #8.5; it's unnumbered. To date I have used four operating systems and 8 word processors. That's CP/M, MS DOS, WINDOWS, and LINUX, actually I used two versions of DOS and two of WINDOWS, but let's not quibble. The word processors are Select 86, PTP, Edward, Final Word, Sprint, MS Word, WordPerfect, and StarOffice. I'm headed, I think, for another version of LINUX and OpenOffice. I was using MS Word before switching to LINUX, where I started with WordPerfect, couldn't stand it, and then after a series of video card blackouts--I mean, my system crashed every time I called it up--StarOffice. I had to have considerable help and expense to make the change, and it took 9 months. That's why I don't recommend LINUX for other writers, yet; it can be user-disastrous to set up if you're not a geek. Had I not already made my fortune, and kept my Windows system as a backup, I could have been wiped out. I saw a comment elsewhere by a man who wanted his Linux system to run out of the box; he was answered at length by two others, to the effect he was wrong to want it. Oh, yeah? Attitudes like that are death to popularity.

9) Paedophilia
by konstant

Hello Mr. Anthony. As a young adult, I devoured nearly all your novels, with my particular favorites including the Adept series, Incarnations, Bio of a *, and the first eight or ten Xanth titles. It's fair to say that a large part of my psyche and probably my vocabulary are attributable to you.

Recently I reprised On a Pale Horse with my girlfriend and I discovered to my discomfort that it dealt very explicitly with underage sex in a way that sexualized young girls in particular. Although the novel retained many charming qualities for me, I began to consider the female underage sexuality in the other books of that series, especially one of the later books (Of Eternity?) in which an underage girl uses a protracted stay in Purgatory in order to be able to have legal sex with a much older priest. Significantly, she is only 18 "by law". Physically and mentally she is 16 when she has sex with the priest. We are supposed to have any moral questions calmed by this.

As I recalled more of your works, I noticed a recurring theme of young girls being exploited in sexual ways. The opening of Bio of a Space Tyrant describes the protagonist's shame and arousal as his young sister is raped. Later in the series, I hazily recall a wealthy character who kept pre-pubescent girls for sex, then released them for service when they matured. The character was depicted in a very sympathetic light - he was just misunderstood.

Finally, long ago I read a hardback book by you which attributed to you membership in a social organization dedicated to protecting girls against paedophilia.

As a fan and an admirer, but also as someone who is disquieted by the influence you may have had upon my young sexuality, I would like to know candidly whether you are attracted to underage women. Naturally I am in no way implying that you would ever act upon such an urge, but the writing you have given us is very close to an act in itself, considering your very broad and impressionable audience.


On a Pale Horse deals explicitely with underage sex? You'll have to cite pages, as I don't remember this. Firefly has explicit underage sex; could that be the one you mean? That's not in this series. The final volume of the series, And Eternity, does have a troubled 15 year old girl who is not sugar-coated and is salvaged by two well-meaning ghosts; apparently you object to this, though it is realistic; there are girls just like her in the real world, who never find salvation of any kind. The Space Tyrant series is highly sexual, but shows no approval of rape; it originated from the very real plight of Vietnamese and Hatian boat refugees whose horror stories barely made the US press because most of the witnesses were dead--killed by pirates. I thought this matter deserved attention, though masked as fiction so it could make it into print. It was not intended for young readers, and its nature never hidden; if you read it young you were trespassing on adult fiction. Many young readers do, but few blame the authors for their sneak peeks. I note that you express no objection to the savage murders, only to the sexuality. I could formulate a question for you about personal values, or better, for society, but I doubt you'd care to answer. So let me address the specific question you do ask: am I attracted to young women? Yes; I am attracted to the entire female persuasion, and have women of every age in my fiction, and women of every age have sex in my fiction. The fact is, as I explore in my GEODYSSEY series, men are attracted to women, and to the shapely ones more than the others, and to the young ones more than the older ones. I don't mean to children, but to girls after they develop breasts and pubic hair, signals of sexual maturity. This relates to the apparent breedability of women; the strategy of the man is to capture a woman at the beginning of her reproductive life and have as many children by her as possible. So young women tend to be the most appealing; it's pretty much hard-wired in our species, and this is reflected in our society's glorification of youth in TV, movies, magazine, advertising--everywhere, as if it is a crime to ever get old. As a man who recently shared the 46th anniversary with the woman I married when she was 19, I deplore this global cultural attitude, but I understand it. To appreciate young women should not be to disparage older ones. And I do like to look at young women. Yes, my wife understands; once we were watching a video, and I needed to brush my teeth in the bathroom and missed a very nice nude-woman sequence with Bo Derrick, so she told me, wound it back, and played it over. It's like bird watching: one looks and appreciates but does not touch. I suspect that 90% of men who claim to feel otherwise are lying. (I'm allowing for the gay contingent.) This is reflected in my fiction in large part because it sells better than more realistic fiction, and publishers want it. But about membership in an anti-pedophelia organization--I do oppose pedophilia, but don't belong to any such outfit. In fact I correspond with some pedophiles in prison.

10) Goddard College, unorthodox culture and linux
by shed

Not many people are aware that you attended Goddard, a very unusual institution of higher learning in Vermont. For those of you who don't know, the college was famous for its radical politics in the 60s, after Piers attended. No tests, no grades, student-designed courses which were called "group studies" and led by "facilitators."

When I attended Goddard in the late 80s it was still a hotbed of radical politics, but also a strong proponent of critical thinking. Not a place where orthodox opinions hold unexamined sway. Although my politics have changed, I attribute my flexibility, independence and career success in part to this college experience.

Do you believe your educational background has played a significant part in your success? If so, how? Would you recommend any changes to traditional educational techniques? Lastly, in line with the interests of the slashdot crowd, you're one of only a few authors to embrace linux as a desktop OS. Would you draw a link between using this "alternative os" and the "alternative" years in college?


I do believe that my education helped my success, because I had a good education, and was able at Goddard to orient on my true desire: to write. I had a long way to go, but it was a necessary stage. But I'm not sure the radicalism of Goddard was responsible; I was always an independent thinker, taking the road less traveled. In fact I was suspended from college because I was one of six students found in the lounge--I was talking with my fiancee--she was only 18 then--after it was supposedly closed. The entire student body rose in protest about the suspensions; the college president threatened to close the college, and the students, being more cautious than he, backed down. Today I seem to be the only one willing to talk about that; the college, perhaps disinclined either to admit it was wrong or to alienate a major monetary contributor, does not. So you'll just have to take my one-sided word that it was wrong, on legal and ethical grounds, and later repented without admitting it. So Goddard became too straight-laced for me. Later they had co-ed dorms with boys and girls rooming together, but not in my day. Still, for all that, Goddard was radical by the standards of the day, and was a great place to be. But I think I owe my eventual success as a writer more to my wife than to the college.

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first poop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886353)

down the toilet, like VA software stock

Re:first poop (-1, Offtopic)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886362)

Call It A Night, Cowboy!
Slashdot only allows a user with your karma to post 2 times per day. You've already shared your thoughts with us that many times. Take a breather, and come back and see us in 24 hours or so.

Look familiar ? This is what some users, some $rtbled, some with bad karma, some just plain censored, are going to see a lot of.

Re:first poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886404)

Wow, looks like there'll be a LOT more AC posting trolls, now.

I agree with this post! (-1)

CLIT (581942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886505)

Having said that, I now invite the Slash janitorial team to massage my sweaty balls with their tongues.

Re:first poop (-1)

Whistler's Mother (539004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886453)

Huuuuuuum.....I have yet to see this

Re:first poop (-1)

Whistler's Mother (539004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886485)

Maybe Now?

Re:first poop (-1)

count_sporkula (446625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886515)

not seen it before either, let me test ...

Re:first poop (-1)

count_sporkula (446625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886527)

blah blah etc.

Re:first poop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886560)

Important Stuff:

Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Re:first poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886596)

Slashdot only allows a user with your karma to post 2 times per day. You've already shared your thoughts with us that many times. Take a breather, and come back and see us in 24 hours or so.

If you think this is unfair, please email with your username "count_sporkula". Let us know how many comments you think you've posted in the last 24 hours.


Re:first poop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886563)

Yep sho enuff....Call it a night Cowboy etc etc etc......
- Whistler's Mother.

This is a travesty. Commie bastards.

Re:first poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886521)

Nobody knows the trouble I seen
Nobody knows but CLiT.


Re:first poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886597)

Even Excellent karma folks like me have seen the horror that is $rtbl.

-Dead Penis Bird

Questions (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886554)

These are honest questions from someone new to -1 browsing.

1. What is "$rtbled"? I assume it's some data structure in SlashCode. What does it do?

2. What is "modbombing"?

3. What is "bitchslapping" (in the context of Slashdot moderation, obviously)?


The CLIT answers your questions! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886661)

1. $rtbl: when this flag is set, it removes you from the moderator pool. Also, you cannot metamoderate. Think of it as the Janitors unchecking the "Willing To Moderate" box for you.

2. Modbombing: This is the Slashdot Janitors ultimate power trip. Basically, they take evey live comment of yours and mod it down to -1, with the corresponding loss of karma. This arose from their propensity for the site called [] . They want everyone to look like that.

3. Bitchslapping is when your account posts at a default -1, regardless of karma. Except the bonus will take you to 0.

Re:first poop (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886629)

Had I not already made my fortune, and kept my Windows system as a backup, I could have been wiped out. I saw a comment elsewhere by a man who wanted his Linux system to run out of the box; he was answered at length by two others, to the effect he was wrong to want it. Oh, yeah? Attitudes like that are death to popularity.

he just pointed out typical slashdot attitudes

Wow. (5, Funny)

rde (17364) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886366)

he didn't just take the same answer and reprint it twenty times in slightly varying formats. That was unexpected.

Re:Wow. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886462)

can anyone tell my why the hell this is moderated as Off-Topic? This is the only reply yet that is actually on-topic.

Nope (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886384)

Is there such a thing as "too feisty" for Slashdot?

Hey Roblimo, I just finished having sex with your wife. She sure loves cock--black cock, anyway. When it is man-sized like mine. Perhaps she isn't gettting enough at home. Well, she got enough from this homey. Peace out.

PS: When do you leave for work tomorrow. She said she wants to be serviced again. Actually she said she "needed it bad, cuz robbie ain't packin'".

Open Source Development HOW-TO by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886386)

Credits: onby

1. Introduction

As everyone knows, Open Source software is the wave of the future. With the market share of GNU/Linux and *BSD increasing every day, interest in Open Source Software is at an all time high.

Developing software within the Open Source model benefits everyone. People can take your code, improve it and then release it back to the community. This cycle continues and leads to the creation of far more stable software than the 'Closed Source' shops can ever hope to create.

So you're itching to create that Doom 3 killer but don't know where to start? Read on!

2. First Steps
The most important thing that any Open Source project needs is a Sourceforge page. There are tens of thousands of successful Open Source projects on Sourceforge; the support you receive here will be invaluable.

OK, so you've registered your Sourceforge project and set the status to '0: Pre-Thinking About It', what's next?

3. Don't Waste Time!

Now you need to set up your SourceForge homepage. Keep it plain and simple - don't use too many HTML tags, just knock something up in VI. Website editors like FrontPage and DreamWeaver just create bloated eye-candy - you need to get your message to the masses!

4. Ask For Help

Since you probably can't program at all you'll need to try and find some people who think they can. If your project is a game you'll probably need an artist too. Ask for help on your new Sourceforge pages. Here is an example to get you started:

"Hi there! Welcom to my SorceForge page! I am planing to create a Fisrt Person Shooter game for Linux that is going to kick Doom 3's ass! I have loads of awesome ideas, like giant robotic spiders! I need some help thouh as I cant program or draw. If you can program or draw the tekstures please get in touch! K thx bye!"

Thousands of talented programmers and artists hang out at Sourceforge ready to devote their time to projects so you should get a team together in no time!

5. The A-Team

So now you have your team together you are ready to change your projects status to '1: Pre-Bickering'. You will need to discuss your ideas with your team mates and see what value they can add to the project. You could use an Instant Messaging program like MSN for this, but since you run Linux you'll have to stick to e-mail.

Don't forget that YOU are in charge! If your team doesn't like the idea of giant robotic spiders just delete them from the project and move on. Someone else can fill their place and this is the beauty of Open Source development. The code might end up a bit messy and the graphics inconsistant - but it's still 'Free as in Speech'!

6. Getting Down To It

Now that you've found a team of right thinking people you're ready to start development. Be prepared for some delays though. Programming is a craft and can take years to learn. Your programmer may be a bit rusty but will probably be writing "hello world" programs after school in no time.

Closed Source games like Doom 3 use the graphics card to do all the hard stuff anyhow, so your programmer will just have to get the NVidia 'API' and it will be plain sailing! Giant robot spiders, here we come!

7. The Outcome

So it's been a few years, you still have no files released or in CVS. Your programmer can't get enough time on the PC because his mother won't let him use it after 8pm. Your artist has run off with a Thai She-Male. Your project is still at '1: Pre-Bickering'...

Congratulations! You now have a successful Open Source project on Sourceforge! Pat yourself on the back, think up another idea and do it all again! See how simple it is?

- poopbot: crapflooding since 7/8/02


1000th comment! (-1, Offtopic)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886392)

I make this completely off-topic post to commemorate my 1000th comment as a member of the slashdot community! It only took quite a few years to achieve this, but I am quite proud of it. Anyone able to estimate when I signed up due to my user ID? I can't find anywhere that lists the actual date and time of registration. I'm curious what my comments/day rate is.

Re:1000th comment! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886425)

sorry sir, but that was comment #1001 for you.

Re:1000th comment! (-1, Offtopic)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886474)

i know, oh well, 1001 is neat too.

Re:1000th comment! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886436)

burn karma burn! hahaha oh well, it was worth it. except that i noticed that was actually 1001 =[

Please try to make more on-topic posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886393)

There are way too many so-called "trool" posts, in which a person posts to annoy or anger other readers. We need for all of these to stop, for Slashdot's sake. VA Linux is depending on this site, so let's not ruin it!

Re:Please try to make more on-topic posts (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886435)

You should be aware that VA Linux went down the tubes quite a while ago. They had to change their name to VA Software (maybe it was VA Systems, then VA Software, I don't recall) to avoid the numerous lawsuits filed against them by angry former customers and employees.

Your post is not on-topic like I asked! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886463)

Admit it, you're one of those trools! I can tell by the funny username spelling. Also, your post seems to be anti-linux.

Re:Please try to make more on-topic posts (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886646)

Here is my second post of the day!!! I have wasted it!! goodbye silly people!! I must abandon the CLITS and join the AC's... :(

mod parent UP !!!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886439)

+5, Informative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am completely serious!!!!! It is important information!!!!!!!!!

Linux not sexual (-1, Offtopic)

GeorgieBoy (6120) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886402)

The very fact that geeks are so concerned with Linux Shortcomings kinda makes it difficult to have time to respond to their female's sexuality. Linux is the nemesis of female sexuality.

Re:Linux not sexual (-1, Offtopic)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886484)

I couldn't agree more. Look at all those pr0n sites that don't render properly in Mozilla/Linux (or rather, don't).

Offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886582)

It's Piers Anthony. He just switched to Linux and Star Office. A post about Linux and Sexuality is not Offtopic.

Troll, maybe. Also possibly redundant. You could even make a case for the massively overused Overrated moderation. But not Offtopic. I think we need to vote for $rtbl's.

Funny (-1, Troll)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886601)

It worked for the parent to this post ...

Still at karma:excellent. You guys have got to try harder.

frosty piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886409)

I'd just like to say I have a frosty mug of piss for the first slashteam member dumb enough to show up at my house.

No, that baseball bat doesn't say "special delivery for CmdrTaco" on it, that's just the knots in the wood.

This won't even be close to an FP btw...

propz to what's left of the CLiT after this fucking nazi ass karma bullshit has come into play.

That's right malda, just like W. you're trying to silence you problems, rather than solve them, and you're finding that it isn't possible. WHERE'S YOU'RE DADDY TO SHAVE YOU NOW?!

Yeah, that's the answer (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886412)

"Yes, Xanth is targeted at a juvenile market, though listed as adult; that's why you don't see it in lists of what children read."

You are correct, that must be why. It surely can't be related to the fact that you write the same story over and over but incorporate "new" reader-submitted puns each time. That would never get old, fast.

Free Stuff (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886414)

The flavor of the week and I went for a walk on the canal yesterday evening. There were some people there trying to give away cans of Coke. I have no idea why.

Funny thing was, no one would take them. People figured that if they were giving them away for nothing, there must have been something wrong with them.

This is because they are used to Linux. Someone once gave them Linux, it was shit, now they are conditioned to hate free stuff. The hell with Linux.

THE DOLLAR iS DYiNG!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886422)


he's pretty interesting (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886434)

but they're not that feisty :(

This Guy likes em young! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886438)

I was talking with my fiancee--she was only 18 then

Damn, were you banging here at 15 or something? You sure like the young ones don't you? Did you lure her with candy and then seduce her? please tell me your secret. I want to be a cradle robber like you!

Re:This Guy likes em young! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886542)

If you in college I expect you to be between 17-23 Young to be engaged, but not craddle robbing

i'd really just like to add... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886440)

That have you noticed the quality of /. replies has declined with the quality of /. stories?

Notice that all the replies to this story have been modded down below 1.

Nice going slashmeat, i mean slashteam. Now no one can have an opinion. Can you pronounce "Stalinism"?

Re:i'd really just like to add... (-1, Offtopic)

Carthis (48443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886523)

Oh, sorry. I forgot to realize that they owed you anything! What the hell guys?! If you don't like the 'Stalinistic' and 'Naziesque' approaches, GO THE FSCK AWAY and make it a little nicer for the people who actually still enjoy /.

In short, leave.

That's be great on a Thinkgeek tshirt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886555)

Slashdot: Love it or Leave it!

Finally, Slashbot will be revealed as the techno-rednecks that they are.

Re:i'd really just like to add... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886584)

Look! I think he's starting to cry!!
Awww, did we AC's make you angwy by insulting your wittle website?

Re:i'd really just like to add... (0, Offtopic)

Carthis (48443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886618)

Not so much... You're really insulting yourselves more than /. or me. You're saying that you're too cowardly to put your name to any of the troll/flamebait/goatse links/random crap that you morons post, you have no honour since you cut up and deride other people (like you just did to me, not that I'm that hurt inside), and you have nothing better to do since you sit here posting useless garbage. You're the reason /. has started declining in comment quality. Rest assured, I'm pretty firm in my belief that Taco is doing the same old thing he's done since I've been here, and doing a good job at it.

Re:i'd really just like to add... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886648)

Let me make a subtle fucking correction to your assertion. I would have posted everything i posted here today logged in if i wasn't banned.

Ironic isn't it you cum guzzling son of a retarded wildebeast. You should get cancer too.

Troll, Baby, troll!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886667)

We'll take care of all that karma you got! Then you'll be right down here with us. You can be our next cell bitch, passed around like all the other pissy little college punks.
Welcome to the soft white underbelly of the Internet, Bitch!

Too Feisty? (2, Offtopic)

Chibi (232518) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886441)

Hah! Is there such a thing as "too feisty" for Slashdot?

If it's about female sexuality, then, yes, I would say so. :)

Re:Too Feisty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886477)

And then we wonder why two stories later, half of our lovely readers are whining that they "can't get a girlfriend".

Macs? (4, Interesting)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886442)

Too late, I know, but I wonder why there is no mention of Macs anywhere in the discussion of alternatives to M$?

Is the whole of his experience with Apple based on his use of the Apple ][e?

Re:Macs? (5, Interesting)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886467)

I thought OS X (in it's Jaguar incarnation) would be a good choice for Piers. Just avoid Classic.

Re:Macs? (2)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886471)

Because he's a writer, and since the Mac 512, the most viable word processor for the MacOS was a port of a Microsoft product.
He's not anti-windows, he's anti-Microsoft.

Re:Macs? (2, Informative)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886501)

OpenOffice is coming for Mac OS X. In fact, they recently announced [] a Quartz port. since Piers is already using OpenOffice... this would probably kick the crap out of his "unable to print" problems.

Re:Macs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886624)

yup, score 0, "underrated" is obviously the right score for an on-topic, non-blathering post which provides a non-goatse link.


Burn One To Celebrate Justice In America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886448)

And a one term Bush presidency!!!!

Be Patriotic, Smoke Amerikan grown marijuana, not treasonous imports !!!!

Courtesy of About 420 []

Connotative Use/Meaning

420 is a phreak s (and not just a hippie s) favorite number for a
variety of reasons, or maybe for no reason at all, but colloquially
the number says pot -- let s smoke pot, or someone s smoking
pot, or gee, i really like pot, or time to smoke pot, either by
time (4:20 a.m. or p.m.), date (April 20th), or otherwise (e.g. State
Route 420). April 20th at 4:20 is marked by annual events in
Mount Tamalpais, CA (an informal gathering); Marin Conty, CA
(the 420 Hemp Fest); Ann Arbor, MI (the Hash Bash); and
Washington, D.C. (buildup towards the July 4th Smoke-In).

Original Source(s)

Conventional wisdom: The most common tale is that 420 is the
police radio code or criminal code (and therefore the police call)
in certain part(s) of California (e.g. in Los Angeles or San
Francisco) for having spotted someone consuming cannabis
publicly, i.e. pot smoking in progress; that local cannabis users
picked up on the code and began celebrating the number temporally
(esp. 4:20 a.m., 4:20 p.m., and April 20); that the number became
nationally popularized in the late 1980s and, more ferverently, in
the early- to mid-1990s; and is colloquially applied to a variety of
relaxed and/or inspired contexts, including not only pot
consumption but also a good time more generally (in contrast to
the drug war surrounding).

Conventions are legends: 420 is not police radio code for
anything, anywhere. Checks of criminal codes (including those of
the City of San Francisco, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles
County, the State of California, and the federal penal code) suggest
that the origin is neither Californian nor federal (the two best
guesses). For instance, California Penal Code 420 defines as a
misdemeanor the hindrance of use (obstructing entry) of public
lands, and California Family Code 420 defines what constitutes a
wedding ceremony (Marco). One state does come close: The
Illinois Department of Revenue classifies the Alcoholic Liquor Act
under Part 420, and the Cannabis and Controlled Substances Tax
Act are next, under Part 428. (RB 5/19/99)

True story?: According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times,
the term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971,
among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres who
called themselves the Waldos. The term 420 was shorthand for the
time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis
Pasteur, to smoke pot. ``Waldo Steve, a member of the group who
now owns a business in San Francisco, says the Waldos would
salute each other in the school hallway and say ``420 Louis! The
term was one of many invented by the group, but it was the one
that caught on. ``It was just a joke, but it came to mean all kinds of
things, like `Do you have any? or `Do I look stoned? he said.
``Parents and teachers wouldn t know what we were talking about.
The term took root, and flourished, and spread beyond San Rafael
with the assistance of the Grateful Dead and their dedicated cohort
of pot-smoking fans. The Waldos decided to assert their claim to
the history of the term after decades of watching it spread, mutate
and be appropriated by commercial interests. The Waldos contacted
Hager, and presented him with evidence of 420 s history, primarily
a collection of postmarked letters from the early 70s with lots of
mention of 420. They also started a Web site, ``We
have proof, we were the first, Waldo Steve said. ``I mean, it s not
like we wrote a book or invented anything. We just came up with a
phrase. But it s kind of an honor that this emanated from San
Rafael. Maria Alicia Gaura for the San Francisco Chronicle,
4/20/00 p. A19; and thanks to Noah Cole for the submission

Alternate explanations

There are a variety of other explanations, all much more interesting
than police code, and many plausible. Some are more likely uses
of the 420/hemp connection rather than sources of it, such as the
score for the football game in Fast Times at Ridgement High,

Known Myths: It isn t police code (see above). There are 315
chemicals in marijuana, not 420. And although tea time in
Amsterdam is rumored to be 4:20, it is actually 5:30 (Gerhard
den Hollander).
Sixties Songs: For instance, Bob Dylan s famous Rainy Day
Women #12 and 35 is a possible reference, or source --
12x35=420. And Stephen Stills wrote (and Crosby Stills Nash
& Young performed) a song 4+20 (first recorded 7/16/69,
released on Deja Vu 3/11/70) about an 84-year-old
poverty-stricken man who started and finished with nothing.
(Thanks to Sherry Keel 12/6/98.) Dylan aslo mentions 4 and
20 windows in The Balland of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
(on John Wesley Harding).
Older Verse: But 420 in poetry is older than that - Greg
Keller notes the old nursery rhyme line, four and twenty
black birds baked in a pie. Revelation 5:14 (in the King
James Version of the Christian Bible) reads, And the four
beasts said A-Men. And the four and twenty elders fell down
and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. (Travis
Spurley 2/15/99) And in Midnight s_Children, Salman
Rushdie wrote, Inevitably, a number of these children failed
to survive. Malnutrition, disease and the misfortunes of
everyday life had accounted for no less than four hundred and
twenty of them by the time I became conscious of their
existence; although it is possible to hypothesize that these
deaths, too, had their purpose, since 420 has been, since time
immemorial, the number associated with fraud, deception and
trickery. (Comet 2/14/98) Comet s best guess is that this
refers to something in Indian mythology or numerology, since
the book is set in India and frequently involves Indian history,
culture, and religion. Given the high interest in Eastern
religion among the phish/dead community, this seems a likely
origin of 420 s current significance.
Temporal Significance: Hands on analog clock at 4:20 look
like position of doobie dangling from mouth Larry in
Tuscan and Alex Mack 5/19/99). Disruptive students are out
of detention and safetly away from school by 4:20, also
rumored to be the time that you should dose to be peaking
when the Dead went on stage Hart. The Waldos were a
group of teens back in the 70 s that lived in San Rafael, CA.
420 was the way they talked about pot in front of teachers,
non-smoking family members etc. Also it was the time of day
they could just go relax, and get baked. (PhunkCellar)
Jamaicans purportedly worked till 4 then walked home then
lit up. They would talk 420 like our parents talked about after
5. That s when partying began Larry in Tuscan). Albert (not
Abbie) Hofmann supposedly first encountered LSD at 4:20
p.m. on 4/19/1943 (Bart Coleman citing Storming Heaven by
Jay Stevens, recommended by Mickey Hart in Planet Drum).
Surrealist painter Miro was born April 20, 1893. And says the propoganda film Reefer
Madness has a copyright date of April 20, 1936 (i.e. 4/20).
(Patrick Woolford)
Misc: Could be that it comes from hydroponics, the practice
of cultivating plants in water often used by indoor marijuana
cultivators, since 4 is used for H on a calculator (420/H20).
(Nick Lowe 3/30/00) The number 80 (eight) is quatre vingt
(pronounced cah-truh vahn), meaning four (times} twenty.
Dan Nijjar 1/27/00 (No connection yet between the number
80 and pot. A quarter pound is roughly 120 grams, rounding
quarter-ounces to 7.5.) The titanic was supposed to arrive
4/20/1912. (Thanks to RB.) Perhaps the heavy use of vt420
terminals in the Berkeley area is to blame? (BTW, 420 in
binary code is 110100100.)


Now there s a 420 Pale Ale. One of the late-97/early-98 Got
Milk ads featured a character eating cookies without milk and
then passing a sign that reads Next Rest Area 420 miles (as Ross
Bruning). Reportedly, all of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction
are stuck on 4:20. Shirts with the number 420 on the red-and-blue
interstate highway shield (Interstate 420?) have show up on the
sitcom Will and Grace (Paul Risenhoover 5/14/99) and in several
videos. UPS labelling software has a 420 postal code legend for
next-day/2-day deliveries (which is how Phish tickets are sent).
(Jack Lebowitz 10/3/98) MTV s 1997 Viewer s Choice Award (for
the MTV Video Awards) was decided by calls to
1-800-420-4MTV. And by May of 1998, the number was
appearing in so many ads (eg Copenhagen 5/14/98 Rolling Stone
p54, Corvette p55 5/98 Car & Driver) that its presence is
presumed to be intentional. Many songs are around 4 minutes 20
seconds long (since many songs fall between 2:30 and 5:30),
including for example Pink Floyd s A Great Day for Freedom (on
The Division Bell, 1994), the Foo Fighters My Hero, and
Smokin from Boston s first album. There have also been some
420 references on The Simpsons. In the re-run episode aired on
April 20th, 1999 at a special time (probably in honor of those
college students staying in the holiday spirit ;-), Homer mentions to
Flanders that Barney s birthday is April 20th. Also, the jackpot sign
in one part of the casino says $420,000. There are a couple less
concrete ones, but these two have to be legit, especially since they
decided to air THAT particular episode on 4/20/99. (Submitted by
Matt Meehan 4/21/99) And (as of Fall 99) the 60 free minutes that
Working Assets Long Distance offers, at the 7 cents per minute
rate, is $4.20 free. There s even a band named 420, and another
names . In the first fifteen pages of Karel Capek s novel War with
the Newts, a man diving under wonder stayed down for four
minutes and twenty seconds. Grant Garstka 1/6/00 At the
suggested retail price ($3.96) and Michigan (6%) sales tax, a deck
of Uno cards costs $4.20. Nic Boris 4:20 marks the first downbeat
of the drums in Led Zeppelin s epic Stairway to Heaven. (Dan
Harris) The bill authorizing force after the World Trade Center
attacks of 9/11/01 passed 420 to 1, and news reports in following
months noted many times that there are (or were then, anyway) 420
airports in the U.S. Allan Morris And don t forget that Adolf Hitler
was born on April 20, macabely celebrated (or at least
referenced) via the Columbine High School shootings.

Phish-related Occurances

Whatever the origin, the number appears frequently... For the
summer 1997 tour, TicketMaster service charges were $4.20. In
the Fall 1997 Doniac Schvice Dry Goods section, a limited edition
Pollack poster printed on 100% hemp is order number 420P. The
Great Went was 420 miles from Boston (former home of Phish).
The official logo includes 4 gills and 20 bubbles (Gringo
11/12/98). As of 6/15/97, including covers and originals, Phish
had performed a total of 420 songs (thought its 486 by 4/24/98).
(David Steinberg). Lawnboy is 420megs of memory. Patrick
Walker Phish s The Vibration of Life underlies a whirling loop
with Seven Beats per second (which makes 420 beats per minute.)
Trey has used the altered line woke up at 4:20 in Makisupa
Policeman, which also often indirectly celebrates 420ing, e.g. by
mention of goo balls. One of the funniest shirts around takes light
jabs at both the 4:20 phenomenon and the rumored evolution
(collapse?) of the Phish.Net (especially from
being Gamehendge to Flamehendge, and beyond. The first day of
the Great Went started at 4:20 (with Makisupa Policeman. (The
second day started late, at 4:37.) Noah Cole The first single from
Slip Stitch and Pass was played on WBCN 10/14/97 at 4:20 pm.
An uproar at 12/31/96 can be heard on tape during the 2001, in
response to an enormous digital clock (which was counting down
to midnight) reaching 11:55:40 and reading -4:20. (Yoda)
During the 9-12-00 2001, Trey hits the first riff right at 4:20 into
the intro jam. (Cal 2/25/01) Some mail order tickets for the 1997
New Year s run were in section 420. The first Mass Pike toll
leaving Oswego was $4.20. (Camille Heath ) And the standard
shipping for The Phish Companion through Amazon was
originally $4.20.

420 Shows: Phish performed on April 20 in 1989, 1990, 1991,
1993, and 1994. The first day of the Great Went started at 4:20,
although that was called a soundcheck by Trey after three songs.
The Jazzfest Harry Hood 4-26-96 started at about 4:20 reported by
Trevor. At Big Cypress, David Bowie was playing at 4:20 a.m.
And the one event during the hiatus (10/8/00 - ?) featuring all
four members - for Jason Colton s wedding - was 12/1/01, 420

Re:Burn One To Celebrate Justice In America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886511)

I agree with this post.

the peepole's choIEce? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886455)

Bush May Shatter Fund-Raising Record
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- President Bush was on track to demolish his own record for a single fund-raising appearance today, drawing $4 million for Alabama's financially lagging Republican gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Bob Riley. Bush also traveled here to talk about corporate responsibility; Corporations can donate to political candidates in Alabama, a practice that is against federal law. ..

"The Palladium was a famous theater in London and another in Hollywood, and the name choice makes more and more sense to me as the story develops about Microsoft's computer security initiative of the same name. It certainly felt like theater, for example, when I received this week a very careful message on the subject from inside Microsoft. It's rare that I hear from any of the troops in Redmond, and the writer's message is an interesting one that made me think a lot -- not just about Palladium, but about the whole power structure behind the protection of intellectual property rights and just where Microsoft fits in. Frankly, I think we're being played for fools. The message follows (with my addition of capital letters where needed).

As a long time reader and watcher, I've always respected your insight. But you should know that you're pretty far off the mark with your recent Palladium commentary. It's basically content creator (be that ISV or copyright holder) driven only, and Microsoft only provides the infrastructure to let that happen. Obviously, I cannot comment on internal issues, but this public interview sums it up pretty accurately [cites a URL that you'll find is the first "I Like It!" entry this week]. Especially the following (an interview with Palladium product manager Mario Juarez published in Digital ID World):......

But hey, this is just Microsoft you say. Microsoft doesn't envision anything so diabolical. And I agree with that statement simply because I don't see Microsoft as a company having much vision at all. That's why it is possible for Palladium to be devised exactly as Mr. Juarez says, from the bottom up for purely altruistic reasons. In fact, I am sure that is how it happened. But then one day somebody near the top of Microsoft realized that what they had was a way of taxing the world, and suddenly, Palladium became strategic for Microsoft.

Now maybe I am a crackpot. And if I am, then you'll be able to take apart everything I have just written, point by point, showing how crazy it is. Please do. I'm waiting.

And I'm still waiting.

As a footnote here, I did a Google search on my writer from Microsoft, and found that he had submitted comments to the Department of Justice asking that Microsoft be dealt with leniently in the penalty phase of the current anti-trust trial. While the writer described himself to the DOJ as an "entrepreneur," he did not identify himself as a Microsoft employee. How entrepreneurial of him! I wonder how many of the positive comments received by the DOJ came from such closeted Microsoft people?

Now back to Palladium. One aspect of this story that really amazes me is the role of the recording, broadcasting, and film industries, which are accorded far more prestige than I think they deserve or that they would receive from Microsoft on a normal day. This is a company, remember, that is consistently acused of stealing intellectual property and has been found guilty of doing so. There is no respect for intellectual property rights that I can see there. Beyond Bill Gates's extensive video collection of Audrey Hepburn movies, I don't think the movie business makes much difference to Microsoft. It's all about the money."

see also: The horrors of becoming involved in some phony payper stock markup bookFUDging FraUDs, & ill eagle hostage ransom liesense scams perpetrated buy the ill eagle KingDumb

Good interview (4, Interesting)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886458)

Good interview in general, I am glad to see this lengthy responses, but. At then end of #9, he says "In fact I correspond with some pedophiles in prison."- Am I the only one that doesn't do this?
Just seems a little odd to me, unless he is trying to write a book or gain some insight into these people. Any thoughts?

Re:Good interview (3, Insightful)

tommck (69750) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886524)

Sounded to me like he is corresponding with them in order to understand them and perhaps to help them.
Just what I got out of it.


Re:Good interview (2)

update() (217397) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886607)

Sounded to me like he is corresponding with them in order to understand them and perhaps to help them.

Be that as it may, it's (in my experience, anyway) an extremely unusual interest or cause to take up.

I think TibbonZero's reaction was the same as mine -- Anthony is explaining, "No, I don't have any unusual interest in underage sex. I write about abuse of refugees because it was in the news at the time, like any good writer might do. Sure I'll check out a hot 16 year old girl, just like any normal guy would. And I don't have any great interest in pedophilia as an issue. In fact, I write to pedophiles in prison."

That's where my eyebrows went up, too.

Re:Good interview (1)

Carthis (48443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886549)

That kinda confused me too. As far as I know, I haven't been corresponding with any pedophiles in prison.

Anyway, I'm a little confused as to why he's opposed to pedophilia, yet corresponds with them in prison. Maybe, as you said, he's just trying to gain a look inside their heads and see what makes them tick. Maybe he's just a little off.

Re:Good interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886578)

Where else better to get good "stories" (yea, that's sick...)

Re:Good interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886588)

That was so very, very wrong.

Re:Good interview (5, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886613)

Anyway, I'm a little confused as to why he's opposed to pedophilia, yet corresponds with them in prison.
Many people are opposed to murder, yet correspond with jailed murderers.

Re:Good interview (5, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886620)

Anyway, I'm a little confused as to why he's opposed to pedophilia, yet corresponds with them in prison. Maybe, as you said, he's just trying to gain a look inside their heads and see what makes them tick. Maybe he's just a little off.

Remember that ignoring problems like this is not the way to solve them. From his responses I percieve him as someone who doesn't feel especially bound by social conventions and wants to understand all the sides of an issue. When someone has a problem or a different way of thinking I think shunning them like a virus is about the worst thing we can do. If our points of view are truely better than theirs than we have nothing to fear, if however despite our baises our views are flawed we have everything to gain. I think it is admirable that not only does he communicate with those society has shunned and tries to help/understand them but that he has the guts to admit it publicly of his own free will.

What are these people's problems? (5, Insightful)

Liora (565268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886461)

Why was so much of this space taken up with questioning underage sex? It happens. His books are understandable and real, of course they're going to depict images that are realistic. These people who've now realized that much of their opinions about sexuality have been developed through these authors should really thank him. I didn't read this stuff when I was in high school, this was middle school material, and I don't regret it now. I read a lot of stuff like that at that age. Why? Because it is what adolescents do. They wonder, and they read and they think and that's the way it is. Anyone who can't come to terms with THAT is really fooling themselves.

So, to all of those people that had questions of that content: Those are the kinds of books he was writing. You chose to read them. You could have read other kinds of books, but at that age, that very content was part of what fascinated you. Going after the issue years later is a moot point. You would have found something else to read that was just as racy, involving people your age, and now you would be asking pointless questions of those authors.

Re:What are these people's problems? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886494)

Slashdot: News for Puritans. Stuff that's Holy.

Re:What are these people's problems? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886499)

Can I be the first to point out that underage sex is a relative term. In America, it's like, sex with anyone under the age of 25 (or whatever age the cast of Friends are at any given moment).
Here in Yoorope, we actually teach sex. ed. to 13 year olds!

Re:What are these people's problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886644)

Heck, here in Canada, we teach sex ed starting right in grade 4 (and they might be moving it back a year or so as well.)

So, let's see. Grade 4, that would be about 9,10 year olds.

Re:What are these people's problems? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886528)


Re:What are these people's problems? (1)

albanac (214852) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886534)

It must also be pointed out that 'under-age' varies: Mr. Anthony appears to be American, but in (to pick but one example) the UK, a 16-year-old girl would not be under-age.


Re:What are these people's problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886611)

16 is the age of consent for most of the US as well. I think a few states have 15 or 14 and New York is 17.

Re:What are these people's problems? (2, Insightful)

Jobe_br (27348) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886662)

It amazes me how many Americans seem to think that teens still wait until they're 18 to have sex. Very strange ... most people I knew in HS either had had sex or were claiming that they had had sex (usually in order to attract more girls in order to have sex). That was a few years ago and attitudes are getting more relaxed, not less so. Once a teen hits college, the liklihood they'll have sex rises dramatically and the question I have is: why shouldn't they (they being teens developing into sexual maturity, not only college-age teens)? The puritanical ideals that are woven through much of our society seem to be inappropriate, though the christian coalition (and by extension, Bush's administration) would have us believe otherwise.

Developing into sexual maturity is a big deal for teens and to be told to "ignore" these temptations or to repress them is a recipe for disaster. Most of the world's conflicts are caused by sexual frustration in some shape or form, practically as far back as the history books go. Maybe my exposure to European society & culture while growing up changed my point of view and what I'm writing here is foreign to others, but really, what's the big deal? If maturing teens learn to express their sexuality safely (with consent and with proper protection against unintentional pregnancy/disease transmission), I imagine they'll continue to mature into more productive adults. Doesn't that stand to reason?

Ah well, maybe my views will change when I have children of my own ... I'm certain I'll be concerned with *whom* my progeny has sexual relations with as well as *how* the sexual relations are carried out ... I can't quite convince myself that I'll be particularly concerned with *if* the sexual relations take place ... but, that'll have to wait a good while. Who knows what psychological changes will take place in that time?!? Either way, though, my own "parental" views will only be applied to my progeny (and those that would sexually interact with my progeny), not to society/culture/world in general. Guess that's where I draw the line (and wish other's would as well).

Re:What are these people's problems? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886558)

There's nothing worse than a chick that thinks too much!
Get yer ass back in the kitchen and fix me some dinner, and bring me a damn beer while your at it, bitch!

Great quote for Linux: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886479)

"I was using MS Word before switching to LINUX, where I started with WordPerfect, couldn't stand it, and then after a series of video card blackouts--I mean, my system crashed every time I called it up--StarOffice. I had to have considerable help and expense to make the change, and it took 9 months. That's why I don't recommend LINUX for other writers, yet; it can be user-disastrous to set up if you're not a geek. Had I not already made my fortune, and kept my Windows system as a backup, I could have been wiped out."

"stealing" and "pirates" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886487)

It's the pirates who really bother me, stealing whatever I write, including what I self publish, as if trying to guarantee that I will go broke and have to take up sewer cleaning for a living. That's why I support Harlan Ellison's anti-piracy struggle.


And this from a guy who uses Linux. (Which, as far as I know, is not authored by a cadre of sewer-cleaners).

He just "guaranteed" that I won't pay money to ready any more of his books.

Re:"stealing" and "pirates" (2, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886530)

Why? Because he's saying that if you want to read his works, either go out and buy a copy or go to a library and check it out?

The first costs you around $6 or less, at least in these parts what with all the used bookstores, and the second costs you practically nothing.

Sure, it's "intellectual property" in the same terms as music and may contain all the self-aggrandizing baggage the average /. thinks may pertain to that topic, but it is different.

I'm sorry, but if an author's belief that you shouldn't steal stops you from paying money for his books, I question whether you were ever interested in his books to begin with.


Re:"stealing" and "pirates" (2, Insightful)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886551)

nice troll. anyway did you even read the part where he says that the fan fiction is okay by him, as long as they aren't trying to sell it in his name? basically he just wants control over who is selling you a "Piers Anthony" book. why does that make him the Anti-Christ? let him offer some of his works as downloads, if he wants. why shouldn't HE decide what happens to the works he spends hundreds of hours writing. it's one thing to download music for yourself. it's another thing to download music, burn CD's, and sell them. chances are if you download some music and you like it, you'll go see the band in concert. chances are if you download a short story and you like it, you'll go buy a novel.

but if pirates are out selling the same novel for $1 or making it free on-line... wtf? everyone has to be homeless, unwashed hippies? when Piers wants to make -his- copyrighted works available for free, I'm sure he'll do so. if not, well, download someone else.

Re:"stealing" and "pirates" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886616)

Umm, can I ask, why do you think Piers Anthony shouldn't get paid for his work? Why shouldn't he be pissed off at people who steal his work?
Does using Linux automatically devaluate your property, or your livelyhood? (1, Offtopic)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886488)

after reading the article, it sounded like OpenOffice was worth a try. so I headed over to [] to take a look. there was the download link, yay, but 50 meg downloads are a bit much for my net connection. I looked for a "buy this on a CD", but not a link to be found. I even clicked the "Contributing" link, but that was only contributing code, not buying CDs.

maybe this is one reason open source companies fail? (2)

chill (34294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886538)

Walk into a CompUSA or something and purchase StarOffice. Basically a branded, marketed version of OpenOffice.

Sun, who sells StarOffice, helps support OpenOffice -- so your purchase would assist. Star Office also comes with some licensed fonts, Sun tech support and a few other goodies.

Sun also sells it online. (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886598)

unfortuately, financially supporting SUN in any way is kind of trying to put myself out of a job, as i work for a competitor... :) (-1, Flamebait)

L1nUx h4x0r (574828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886543)

You're just a luser living in the backwaters. No one cares about you or your stupid connection. Dump AOL and get a real ISP with a broadband connection. It's your fault, remember. You *could* download it, but you're lame and don't want to bother. That's basically what I've read here. (2)

nagora (177841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886546)

If you're in the UK go to The Linux Emporium [] and buy it for two pounds fifty. I'm sure there must be slimilar sites in other countries.

TWW (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886564)

Openoffice is built off of source code released from Sun's Staroffice [] . is not a company, it is the organization managing and developing the free program off of which Sun makes StarOffice so there is no one to sell you a CD. If you want a program on CD you need to buy it from Sun (think it might be about $75) otherwise you're stuck with the 50 mb free download. (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886610)

I'm not an expert, but I think you want StarOffice, which is kinda/sorta the commercial version of OpenOffice. Someone who knows more can clarify the difference...

maybe this is one reason open source companies fail?

<mini-rant> I think you're right that not only open source companies, but all dot-coms and other businesses with an online presence, often do badly on the web because of sucky web sites. Industry knowledge of web site user interfaces is still in its infancy, apparently, and many many sites simply don't provide an easy way to fulfil obvious and simple customer needs. A big part of this may be because there's such a disconnect between the business side and the technical site-designing side - as long as website designers think that Flash is the way to enhance customer experience, websites are going to suck (not because of Flash specifically, but because of the attitude, in which "coolness" wins out over usefulness).

Yikes!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886492)

EVERYBODY is either offtopic or troll posting today!!
The moderators must've had a bad weekend!

Re:Yikes!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886556)

The reason is simple.

CmdrTaco says karma doesn't matter, yet anoyone with negative (Bad/Terrible) karma can only post twice a day. So now a lot of folks are angry and posting AC trolls.

I'd wager that some of these angry AC's are former Slashbots. A lot of people like reading funny trolls. Look at my friends list. There's more there than all my 8 other accounts combined.

If peeps don't like trolls, set your threshold to 0. That's what the moderation system was for, anyway. Why they screwed with the formula, I don't know.


Swell Foop (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886525)

Swell Foop []

"Do you think the puns will ever run out?" a character asks early in Anthony's 26th funny Xanth adventure. "If they do, Xanth will dissolve into chaos... It is mostly made of puns," another character sagely replies. And so it goes. This fantasy confection is full of puns, clever mathematical and grammatical lessons and some gratuitous sexual innuendo. Cynthia Centaur and her companions must find the Six Rings of Xanth (Fire, Earth, Idea, Water, Air and Void) in order to rescue the Demon Earth from the thrall of the Swell Foop. These rings are the only artifacts capable of locating the Foop. When they are stacked and aligned, a person who sights through them will be able to see the Foop if the stack is pointing the right way, and if that person is destined to use it. The rings also control the six known Regions of Xanth. The ring bearers, who include Jaylin, a Mundanian human girl, as well as five Xanth creatures, must use their creativity and sense of humor to find Demon Earth, or else the gravity needed in Xanth and Earth will disappear forever. Diehard Xanth fans will rejoice at this fast-paced romp, but even they might get a bit tired of the incessant panty humor. Some readers may have raging hormones, but the preteens, who would most enjoy this book, aren't quite there yet, and many older teens are ready to explore more mature issues. (Oct. 17)autobiography, How Precious Was That While (Forecasts, July 23).

[Guns n' Roses Troll] Choking Victim (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886541)

I suggest that Choking Victim's album "No Gods/No Managers" be played over city-wide loud speakers 24/7. When there is no hope I smoke some crack, I shoot some dope.

Oh yeah, I got that stupid 2 comments per day message so now I have to post [spit] AC.

women... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886550)

Ya know.. I hear what you're saying Peirs... but I have to say I think you present a fairly sexist opinion of women in many of your books.

I've enjoyed many of your books (the updated "but what of earth" is probably my favorite) but I've probably given up on just as many as I've read because the female characters are such boring bimbos.

I have this complaint with many other authors (Margret Weis just to name one), but I find the lack of respect ..... frankly boring.

As a male I have no complants about sex, or naked women, even young women. I have a couple of Sally Mann books, which are beautiful pictures of young girls.

I think it's the motivation that goes on behind these females (or lack there of) that bothers me. I definitely agree that there are some magical creatures which are (for lack of a better terminology) male fantasies, but I don't think that prevents you from developing a personality or a brain or personal desire for any of them.

loser (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886561)

2001 WOODLARK DR HOLLAND MI (616) 399-1474
add to address book

2001 WOODLARK DR HOLLAND MI (616) 399-3125
add to address book

malda, i hope you get cancer and get it soon. Oh, and please don;t breed.

Another Story Submitter? (0, Flamebait)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886562)

I think he should submit stories/revies/plugs to /.. Another Katz?

Firefly, But What of Earth, and others (3, Interesting)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886583)

Firefly was, needless to say, fascinating and disturbing. Also, impossible to locate a copy anymore.

But What of Earth was an excellent book (The second, all-Piers version), and the endnotes and tale of an author's plight with a publisher were most interesting. Love reading about the comments that the copy-eds wrote.
The other books, well, I haven't had much time to explore more than a few, but I've been looking for a new series to pick up and read, and maybe I'll give Piers a shot again.

oh, and this... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886608)

Rob Malda
Graduation date: 1997
Degree(s) received: B.S. Computer Science
Present employer:
Position: Director
Phone number: 616-994-0441
116 E 18th St
Holland, MI

"Adult" material? (5, Funny)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886621)

I do also write adult material

November 5, 1952

Dear Penthouse,

I'm a freshman Writing major at a small New England college. [] I never thought something like this would happen to me, but...


Amun-Pah-Ra-Port, pharao, alive at 4563 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886622)

I heard some joyful news on the talk radio.
It seems that pharao and son of Ra Amun-Pah-Ra-Port was found alive in his egypt tomb his morning. I'm sure the slashdot crow will welcome him. If don't enjoy his enormous pyramids, then there is no denying in his contributions to reigns of terror among Egypts neighbors.

Great Interview (3, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886655)

This definately the best interview I've read on slashdot. While all the answers seemed to revolve around why he uses linux, and female and underaged sexuality that has more to do with the questions asked. His answers were very honest, to the point, interesting, and fairly profound/radical. I hope /. is able to get more people like him to interview it was truely a pleasure to read.

Sick Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3886656)

This guys a God damned pedofile

hrmmm... (4, Insightful)

ultramk (470198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3886657)

Like a lot of people, I used to read a lot of this guy's work--and certainly enjoyed it--but fell away from it when I was about 16-17.

I had recently considered getting caught back up with the various series, but this article reminded me why I quit reading his work in the first place.

Note: this isn't a troll, this is just my honest opinion of the work, and its weaknesses. If you disagree with me, great. Tell me where I'm wrong.

For one thing, the characters, more or less without exception, are incredibly two-dimensional. The hero is always the same stuffed shirt. There's always a flaw or two, for him or her to work out through the course of the story, but in general it's the same guy every time.

Repeat after me:
1. A complex plot with many twists and turns is not a substitute for a good plot.

2. Women are more than sex objects.

3. Why is it that magic is always color-coded? I felt like I keep re-reading the same story over and over again! (example: the Mode series)

4. "The thing about aliens is, they're alien." Come on, even the strangest, most unusual character in any one of any of these books I read paled in comparison to the creatures inhabiting my former High School.

5. A pun is not a substitute for true humor. Repeated puns do not get funnier and funnier. They get old. (for real humor, try Terry Prachett's Discworld novels)

Hey, this doesn't mean I didn't love this stuff, once upon a time, but as I got older I got pickier. More selective. I think there's still a large audience for this stuff, but I'm just not a part of it anymore.

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