January 31, 1999: Computer Help Needed
SJ Games needs a part-time computer expert. Details of the relationship are negotiable - it could be a quarter-time job, a consulting arrangement with an individual, or even a contract with a service company. Here's the essence of the task:
- On-call response to calls about breakdowns in desktop systems or our ISDN connection.
- Maintain our tape backup system. Run backups.
- Archive completed products to CD (and test the archive CD to make sure it's not corrupt)
- Tutor, on request, employees unfamiliar with their operating system.
- Address Y2K and virus issues.
- Interface with Illuminati Online tech staff about various issues.
We use both Mac and Windows; familiarity with both is required.
If you think you might fill the bill, contact Gene Seabolt at firstname.lastname@example.org, with resume or other documentation of your skills.
January 30, 1999: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Watch
"But he looked so harmless . . ."
Yet another take on the Kennedy assassination. Suddenly everything is so clear! Oh, the tragedy.
Submitted by Randy Porter
January 29, 1999: A Real Spacedrive?
This page has some serious math . . . but the conclusions are in plain English. A propellantless drive has been demonstrated in the laboratory; it performs according to a theory which has been published in peer-reviewed journals. This is . . . interesting.
January 28, 1999: May Release Announcement
We'll be shipping three new books in May:
The Angelic and Infernal Player's Guides are our top-selling In Nomine supplements. This finishes the trilogy. It gives lots more information about Servants of God, evil Sorcerors, undead, and all those other more-than-human, less-than-divine character types.
#3315, ISBN 1-55634-389-2. 128 pages. $19.95.
History is full of people who were stranger than fiction. People you'd want to meet. People you'd pray to avoid. People who changed the world.
This book gives complete descriptions and character stats for 52 of the most interesting people in history, ready to serve as patrons, allies, enemies or role-models. From the man who united China to the REAL Dread Pirate Roberts; from the voice of an empire to a roistering aristocratic astronomer with a silver nose; from a doctor so brilliant that his foes ran him out of town, to a king with 1,200 wives but not a single heir!
It's written for GURPS, but it's easy to translate into any system.
#6088, ISBN 1-55634-367-1. 128 pages. $19.95.
First In (for GURPS Traveller)
Beyond the borders of the Third Imperium, the Interstellar Scout Service seeks out strange new worlds! A Scout has to be ready for anything . . . or die. This book describes the Scouts' organization, equipment, starships (with deck plans) and typical missions. To make running a Scouts campaign easy, it also details the whole process of exploration, from the initial sighting of a new star system to the integration of a world into the Imperium.
First In includes a world-building sequence based on the most recent
scientific discoveries. Game Masters can now design realistic star systems, worlds and civilizations. The system can be used for GURPS Traveller, or easily adapted to any other science-fiction RPG.
#6605, ISBN 1-55634-368-X. 144 pages. $20.95.
And a June pre-announcement . . .
We want to tip our hand RIGHT NOW on one June release:
A 110-card expansion set for Deluxe Illuminati! The 110 new cards include two more Illuminati groups and lots more Groups and Specials. The new edition of Deluxe Illuminati ships in late February; so you'll have four months to take over the world before things get REALLY interesting . . .
#1325, ISBN 1-55634-374-4. $14.95.
January 27, 1999: The First Warehouse
The legendary original "Secret Contents of a Certain Government Warehouse" file, which inspired our Warehouse 23 project, was created and distributed via Usenet in the early 1990s. It purports to detail the contents of the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It has resurfaced with an all-new intro and history of the document itself. It can be read and downloaded at Uncle Bear Online.
January 26, 1999: The Squashed Bug Zoo
It's just what it sounds like. Not exactly an Illuminated site, but clearly inspired by a unique vision. The author says "This page best viewed with your eyes shut," and I tried it that way, but it makes it load more slowly.
-- Steve Jackson
January 25, 1999: More Hits, All The Time
We continue to get more and more readers on this site. Last week we logged our first day with more than 3,000 hits on the home page. Of course, that doesn't count all the people who go straight to Pyramid, or Warehouse 23, or wherever . . .
January 24, 1999: The Pedestrians Strike Back
All right, the cars have flamethrowers now, but the folks on foot aren't completely helpless. The Army's planned replacement for the M-16 is the "Objective Individual Combat Weapon." It will have two barrels, a built-in video camera and computer, and, yes, a bayonet. It will fire both kinetic slugs and 20mm high-explosive rounds (with computer-adjustable fuzes). And a prototype will be ready for testing soon. Popular Mechanics has the story. Thanks to Andy Vetromile for the heads-up on this one.
January 23, 1999: GURPS Contest!
Notice to aspiring writers: SJ Games is having a writing contest for the upcoming book, GURPS Who's Who. We are challenging fans to turn historical figures into GURPS characters. Winning authors will receive a free copy of the book and a credit on the front page. For more information, check out the contest web page at http://www.sjgames.com/general/author/WhosWhoCall.html. Start writing, and good luck!
January 22, 1999: Waiting to be Abducted?
Are you pining away at home, waiting to be abducted by aliens? Have all your friends been abducted, but you haven't? Just curious about what all this abduction talk is about? Simply bored? Well, the professionals at Alien Abductions, Inc. have the answer for you!
Their trained professional staff will provide you with the memories of an alien abduction so real, you won't be able to tell the difference from your other memories. Problem solved.
So now you too can have fascinating stories to tell at parties, on dates, and to your psychiatrist.
Submitted by Nicholas Jost
January 21, 1999: Deluxe Illuminati Samples Are In!
We saw samples today of Deluxe Illuminati. Beautiful. So much better than the old edition that it's not even funny. The cards are fantastic. The money chits (we went back to cardboard) are the best ever. The box is only half the size of the old edition, but all it means is we are shipping less air. Color me happy! Big back-pats to Jack Elmy, who worked very hard to pull the graphic design together and make all these color cards work.
-- Steve Jackson
January 20, 1999: SyQuest In Auction
There's something a bit unusual in the current auction – several lots of used SyQuest cartridges. We don't use this format any more. If you do, here's your chance to take the media off our hands and let us recover some of our costs . . . New ones sell for $30-50 each; these will probably go for a lot less.
-- Steve Jackson
January 19, 1999: User Friendly Reads the SVT
I assume you've all seen User Friendly, the great net comic about a bunch of loons running the friendly neighborhood ISP. (It's very true to life. Trust me on this.) Anyway, the Silicon Valley Tarot was their Monday link of the day. Thanks, guys!
-- Steve Jackson
January 18, 1999: More Illuminati Y2K Playtest Files
The draft group list for the Illuminati "Y2K" expansion, including two new Illuminati cards, is now posted in the playtest area of Pyramid. Comments welcome . . .
The new edition of Deluxe Illuminati is on schedule for late February. The Y2K expansion will be a summer release.
January 17, 1999: Deluxe Illuminati Release Party in Baltimore!
Steve Jackson will be Guest of Honor at JohnCon, Johns Hopkins University's annual gaming convention . . . bringing the first copies of the new edition of Deluxe Illuminati, and playtest sets of the Y2K expansion.
A veritable horde of Men In Black will descend on the campus to aid in Steve's defense for 6 hours on Saturday, as gamers try to Kill Evil Stevie. The MIBs will also be running over twenty (23 at this point, but that number could change) different SJ Games activities. JohnCon is on February 19, 20, and 21, and runs continuously from its opening on Friday until it closes at noon on Sunday. We'll see you there!
January 16, 1999: BITS Books for Traveller
The long awaited BITS books are now in our online catalog! British Isles Traveller Support is one of the leading organizations for Traveller fans, involved with everything from tournaments to publishing. The supplements in their "101" series (101 Cargoes, 101 Plots, and so on) are detailed, well written, and organized for easy use.
These books have been in demand in the US, but almost impossible to get until now . . . so we're proud to offer them to our customers. BITS is the first "outside" company that we have carried, but it won't be the last. Our thanks to Andy Lilly of BITS for his help and cooperation.
-- Reese Harrell
January 15, 1999: Secret Messages in Silicon
The Silicon Zoo displays numerous photomicrographs (i.e. microscopic pictures and messages) etched into the chips of your favorite microprocessors. Buffalo, crossword puzzles, license plates, con men, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Dilbert, Dogbert, Anubis, and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man are among the images found.
If these are the images they revealed, imagine what was kept hidden by the Secret Masters. It's better than microfilm.
Submitted by David Streeter
January 14, 1999: Furby Paranoia
You just KNEW that anything that innocent-looking had to be hiding something, right? Well, the NSA thinks so too, which is why Furby is banned from NSA sites . . . Thanks to Ken Burnside and the BBC for this significant bit of intel.
January 13, 1999: Job Openings at SJ Games
We have two full-time job openings at Steve Jackson Games. One is for a
production assistant, the other is for a production artist. If you know our product, have design experience with a Mac, and want to move to the Live Music Capital of the World (Austin, TX), then we are looking for YOU!! Our jobs page has detailed job descriptions for both positions. Check it out, then send in your resume.
January 12, 1999: They're Everywhere
Agent Stan Bundy reports:
"On the NBC soap "Another World," a mysterious organization has moved intoBay City, wreaking havoc. So far, there's mind control, conspiracies,mysterious disappearances and reappearances, and a still-living (and youthful) founder who supposedly wrote a book in the late 1700s. The name of this group? The Lumina Foundation."
So, they're hiding in plain sight now!
January 11, 1999: Someone to Keep Track of Our Mistakes
The new year brings a new errata coordinator: Michael Bowman. Michael has
volunteered to read errata reports
and maintain errata sheets
for all of our products. Hunter
Johnson, who handled this task brilliantly for over 4 years, is
stepping down because he is running out of spare hours in his days.
Hunter will stay in the shadows for a while to serve as Michael's
mentor, however. Thanks for all the hard work, Hunter! Welcome,
January 10, 1999: Son of Rumor Control
Posted recently on a GURPS mailing list, by someone whose name will be withheld to protect the extremely innocent:
"I have just gained information that the GURPS RPG System is "For Sale" . . . by Steve Jackson Games . . ." (commentary by various people deleted.)
That's news to me. I hope this well-informed correspondent will get in touch with me and let me know who the buyer is, whether he's paying in gold or flax or what, and so on. I just hope it's not Elvis . . . since he got that alien implant, his checks are all dated 5 years in the future.
-- Steve Jackson
January 9, 1999: Anti-Gravity, Anyone?
The folks down at The Enterprise Mission have assembled a wealth of material about those pesky, hidden scientific investigations, like anti-gravity, faces and skyscrapers on Mars, ELF signals, the SETI program, and hyperdimensional physics.
One particularly Illuminated article is
"Kennedy's Grand NASA Plan", which wonders about the mysterious connection between the Pyramids, sacred geometries, the constellation of Orion, and the Apollo Moon landings. Find out about the reason behind a mysterious rite performed on the Moon in Tranquility Base. And why did NASA change the Apollo Program logo after the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission?
-- Submitted by Leroy Van Camp III
January 8, 1999: Silicon Valley Tarot Update
It's here from the printers; it missed Christmas, but it will ship to distributors on the 18th with the rest of the January releases. And . . . you heard it here first . . . we are working on a computerized version. Like what you can see on the SVT web page, but ever so much more so.
More on this as it develops . . .
-- Steve Jackson
January 7, 1999: Further Infiltration Of Mundania
If you look at the PC edition of Hasbro's "Game of Life," you may notice something strangely familiar about the style of some of the cartoons. If you check the credits, sure enough, you'll find the name of Dan Smith. Illumination is everywhere . . .
January 6, 1999: There's No Place Like Home
Yes, I finally made it home, very late Monday night. My luggage didn't get in until late Tuesday, but at least it's here. And I got quite a bit of work done on Illuminati Y2K in the St. Louis airport . . .
Now I need to catch up on several hundred e-mails.
Hope your 1999 started more smoothly than mine :-) but now everything is under control. I think.
-- Steve Jackson
January 5, 1999: Pyramid #5 Joins the Archives
Some of us are obviously too geeky for our own good... Pyramid archivist Brian Cook spent his New Year's Eve preparing Pyramid #5 for our online archives. And I spent most of this evening dumping it in... so now you can view it. Pyramid subscribers can access the archives here. And if you're not a subscriber, several of the articles are available free, as support of some of our games. Among this issue's picks are designer's notes for GURPS Werewolf: The Apocalypse and GURPS Lensman; a cheesy set of spells for GURPS Magic, and variant rules for Car Wars. Check out the samples in the archive here. (Search by issue#: Pyramid #5)
January 4, 1999: Back To Work
This is our first work day of the new year. With luck, I'll even make it back home today. The blizzard closed this whole part of the country down yesterday and the day before; they tell me I can get a flight back to Austin this morning. We'll see. It's been a fun, if somewhat extended, vacation with the Indy cell of the Men In Black . . . but it's time to get back to the Overt Headquarters and advance the plans of the Conspiracy.
-- Steve Jackson
January 3, 1999: Now In Playtest
GURPS Abydos is now in playtest for Pyramid subscribers. Discussion is going on in the Abydos playtest board.
Also in playtest: GURPS Traveller: Far Trader, and Deluxe Illuminati: Y2K.
Join Pyramid today to participate in these playtests!
January 2, 1999: Checking In From Indy
Nothing of consequence to report today . . . I've been in Indianapolis for a New Year's party and Secret Meeting. Why Indianapolis? Well, if I told you, I'd have to illuminate you. That just happens to be where the Secret Masters are meeting this year to plan the fnord . . .
One thing about Indy, though . . . it has been snowing here. Pretty. Cold, but pretty. As I type this, we are expecting someplace between 3 and 12 more inches of snow the morning of January 2, so my plane may or may not take off on time and I may or may not be back in Austin today. We shall see. Fortunately, I have my evil little computer with me, and [NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR CLEARANCE] to work on, so the plans of the Illuminated Ones will not be set back by mere weather.
-- Steve Jackson
January 1, 1999: Happy New Year
1999 starts today, and so will a new crop of Y2K problems. Smile!
We're still off here . . . well, actually, we're always off, but right now we are also out of the office. We'll be back at work Monday the 4th.
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