Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Tara has been eyeing this El-Fish box on my book shelf for some time, thinking it might be fun to install and run. This software was developed by Russians retired from the Cold War and wanting to wrap their heads around something more genetic. They started with wildflowers and butterflies, but the final commercial version, a game, features an electronic aquarium full of genetically rich electronic fish (hence "El-Fish"). The product was created by Animatek (a Russian company) and published by Maxis.

Unfortunately this product dates back to 1993 and the floppies had gotten corrupted after all these years. Even after finding it archived on an abandonware site, I was unable to run it (so far) on WinXP. Maybe I'll set up an old box to run DOS in a partition, like Simon did. Simon is a 3rd grader I know (4th grader by now); he also got his Thinkpad to work as a Linux-based telnet server, to which he'd connect from his school's Win2000 boxes (he'd install Putty for this purpose).

And speaking of kids I've mentored (through Saturday Academy or Portland Public), Ki Master George accidently wiped out his IM prototype and blog for Father Bob (the latter was a school project). Fortunately, Father Bob wasn't adding new content, and Ki'd already received full credit and glory for his efforts (he'd customized Pybloxsom to run with mod_python on Apache, with algorithms to re-skin the interface based on important dates on the Catholic and US calendars, e.g. the interface'd change color around Easter, plus flag election day). KMG was in 8th grade back then, is now heading into high school.

Related blog post: Twenty Wall Posters