Introduction to who I am.
This photo  of me is a bit dated, but better than nothing.
See User Talk:Al Mac for my thoughts and intentions for this Wiki/400.
Trainee Testing Area
- This is a test of the addition of user name to a comment : Al Mac
- I want to start a new page on 400 Newsletters and did not see a better place from which to launch it.
- Also iSeries Nation
- Also IT Jungle forums
- Also Unmoderated forums
My interests outside of Professional 400
I am semi-active on several discussion groups such as:
- Yahoo's RFF TYR e-com-sec and others
A few years ago my employer found it neccessary to offer me either a severance package in a down market for other jobs, or switch from full time to part time worker. I opted to keep as much of my job as they were willing to let me have.
Prior to this, I had been active in MIDRANGE_L and other midrange.com lists, but did a bit of a reassessment to shift time to spending more on self-education about the larger computer world.
When 9/11 occurred it was a shock but not a surprise, that shifted my priorities on what I thought I should be doing from a e-civic perspective. I spent some time trying to draft suggestions to help the gov clean up its security act, and after lots of frustration there, began to drift back to what had been big interests for me prior to 9/11, such as general computer security.
I am a book-a-holic
Go & Chess Variants
I enjoy a variety of Board Games and Abstract Games.
I enjoy "Go" which is to Eastern Culture what "Chess" is to Western. In Chess, when the Capital of your Nation falls, your nation has fallen. In "Go" the name of the game is to conquer the most territory.
I also enjoy many variants of Chess where we make slight variations in the rules to create a whole new game out of the board and pieces.
This might not be the place to give the rules to these variants, such as:
- Fairy Chess;
- Give-Away Chess;
- Kriegspiel Chess;
- Scottish Chess;
Science Fiction Games
I have been reading Science Fiction since I was 9 years old. When I was about 20, I was introduced to Simulation Games, and I asked about Science Fiction Simulation Games, only to discover that people who had tried to develop this, to my way of thinking, were not strong in Science or Science Fiction - the designs out there were non-SF topics cloned with SF names attached, that really did not simulate science fiction as represented by the literature I enjoyed.
So in the late 1950's and early 1960's I designed several SF games, that: simulated Time Travel; various kinds of Space Travel; meeting Aliens truely unlike us, that are "first contact" process of trying to figure them out while they trying to figure us out; technology evolution (the rules of the game change during the playing of the game); and other genres. Several of my designs became immensely popular in the non-profit hobby convention arena, and went on to contribute to the thinking of some games that are profitable today, but I not have any of that $.
I also founded an effort that has somewhat fallen by the wayside, called "Operation Contact" which was a system for people to find opponents interested in the same kinds of games.
In current times it might not be politically correct to speak of this, but during the Cold War, I was active in moderating wargames with many players. One very popular one was called "Nuclear Destruction" in which the object of the game was to have all the players in the game nucked, while you survived to be the ruler of what was left of the world. When I got into this, people were playing the game with at most 10-15 players. I figured out ways to enhance the tools available to the moderator and the players, and when I left that area, there were games with over 1,000 identities in one game (nation name, player name, names associated with various non-nation entities such as terrorists, espionage agents, and so forth).
Thus, my interest in games is in both the playing, and figuring out ways to adjust the rules to make the games experience richer.
As retirement approaches (I am now over age 60), and I really want to continue working on the stuff I have loved over my career, I cast my eye back to that interest in Science Fiction and Games with the addition today of the Internet.
It seems to me that reality today is similar to the beginning of my love affair with Science Fiction Games.
- In my 20's I asked "Show me the SF Games" and I found darn few that were effective SF simulations. So I went ahead and created several to illustrate what I meant by that.
- In my 60's I asked "Show me the e-SF Games" and I found darn few that effectively use the power of the Internet. I really not have the time to pursue this right now, but I been thinking about some possibilities for a revolution in Internet entertainment for people interested in the same kind of stuff as me.
Resume type data
For those peers who have an interest in
- Who is this guy
- What are his qualifications
Geek Code Placement =
Here's what my level of know how & experience might be ranked at.
- OS400+ almost
- RPG - RPG+ ... I have barely touched RPG 4
- I not yet learned Java
- DB2+ but we do have excess logicals
- ISN- ... I was in other similar groups prior to its formation
- SEC ... I know what's wrong with it, been a bit slow to figure out how to fix it
- REL0 out of touch here
- Upgrades ... been burned enough times to know that we need help, and that the helpers have been known to screw up worse than I ever have
- Rule of thumb ... anyone can screw up once in a while
- I not yet learned Linux ... I was seriously considering learning it for home PC instead of Windows ... then I realized that for transition I would need tech support that knew Windows and Linux and that concept seemed non-existant
to be keyed in later when I get a round TUIT