Internets, I give you my new author pic

At the day job this afternoon, my team’s having a little party for our lead dev’s birthday! The theme is mustaches, so there are cookies and cupcakes with mustaches decorating them. And they brought in fake mustaches (the box for which was helpfully labelled EMERGENCY MUSTACHES, y’know, for all your whisker-impairment needs) for all of us to wear.

However, nobody said how we were supposed to wear them. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a QA engineer demonstrating ‘boundary testing’!

Mustache Hat
Mustache Hat

Good news everyone!

This is definitely one of those times where I need me an icon of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, because he’s totally in my head right as I type this!

But the news, oh, it is good. It is SHINY. Internets, I’m getting promoted! QA Engineer II, baby! This comes from an excellent year of slurping up Python and finally bending my brain around class-based coding–this is what I get for having learned how to code long enough ago that object-oriented programming wasn’t really a thing yet, so it took me a while to get the idea down. But it’s in there now and WOO! PROMOTED!

*does a little dance*

There is compensation involved, a raise as well as a bonus, and oh, there will be a Shiny Thing. A very, very Shiny Thing. It’s about time to upgrade my Macbook, and this news is going to let me do it!

Winnowill, mind you, has served me well (and only those of you who are fellow Elfquest fans will understand the number of giggles I get out of typing that phrase, ha!) and does hold the record to date for longest-operating laptop I’ve ever owned. I got this MacBook back in December of 2007, which means that as of this December, Winnowill will be hitting her five year mark.

However, that’s an eternity in laptop terms and Winnie IS getting a bit long in the tooth. Specifically, she is just a touch too old to be able to run Mountain Lion. So I want a laptop that’ll let me continue to be upgradable along with the OS, at least for the next five years or so! The only question is going to be, whether I commit to a higher-end Macbook Air (because SO SHINY), or whether I go with a Macbook Pro.

There must be much comparison of specs. And thinking hard about what I need out of the next Laptop of Awesomeness to join the Murknet.

Though I gotta admit, if I wind up with an Air, that box is totally getting called Aroree. <3

As to what I’ll do with Winnowill–actually, I’m not convinced yet I’ll be decommissioning her. Winnie DOES dual boot between Lion and Win 7, and having Win 7 around is handy sometimes, not only for testing purposes but also just for playing our games! And as Mac OS continues to develop, it’ll be handy as well to have a somewhat older version around. So we’ll see. If I wind up with an Air, Winnie could also continue to be my iTunes box since I DO have a certain number of bands for whom buying physical CDs is still absolutely essential! (Great Big Sea and Le Vent du Nord, of course!) So many choices before me!

And SHINY THINGS! And promotions! And another awesome year to look forward to at Big Fish! Which, I might add, is now the longest job I’ve had EVER, as I’ve passed my previous record of 3 years, 7 months–which was how long I was at Attachmate. This coming January will be my four-year mark!


Attention, my fellow i-Device-owning peeps

As a Big Fish Games employee, it is my duty to inform you all that we’re having a massive sale of all our iPhone and iPad games this weekend–every last one of ’em is .99 a pop. Go! Buy a few! You’ll be paying my paycheck, and hey, I’m FOR that. :D

I am personally very fond of Hidden Expedition: Amazon on the iPad (excellent soundtrack, fun plot, monkeys, and a dorky professor you have to find using clues left in his scattered journal pages), and Atlantis: Sky Patrol has some fun marble-shooty action going on, with a bit of retro, art deco sort of look to it. Drawn: The Painted Tower is gorgeous. And Azada is a nice family-friendly game that those of you with i-Devices AND kids might enjoy playing along with a youngster, since it’s all about various and sundry classic stories.

Search for Big Fish Games on the App Store, or, if you want a super-quick way to get to all of our i-games at once, you can find ’em on our site right over here.

Help Felix Find a Cure update

I’m informed by the woman who’s directing our Help Felix Find a Cure campaign that if people would like to donate to it without buying the multimedia package we’re selling, then checks made out to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation may be mailed to Big Fish Games, ATTN: Kate Brinks. On the memo field of the check, you should include “In association with Big Fish Games”.

Any checks thusly received will be sent in with our final donation to the BCRF.

Our corporate address is listed over here. Kate’s here in the Seattle office so if you wish to send in a check for the campaign, you should send it here.

Thanks, folks, for anything you can do.

Okay fine, more on Breast Cancer Awareness

I thought I was going to have little to say on this, but apparently I was mistaken. This is what I get for this whole month being one long hammering of breast cancer breast cancer breast cancer breast cancer for me so far, and it’s not even half over yet.

All you folks asking your online friends to post status updates and/or wear pink or whatever, your hearts are in the right place, but I implore you: if you really want to do something to help fight not only breast cancer but cancer in general, then what would really be best if you donated to the cause. Find whatever means of donation works for you. I’ve already posted about the Help Felix Find a Cure campaign my workplace is running. And my local Safeway is taking donations all month; your own local grocery store may be doing the same. There are a plethora of donation options available if you expend a bit of effort to look. And consider donating to other forms of cancer research–because breast cancer isn’t the only version by a long shot, and men and women both suffer from its various forms. It was cancer of the brain that gave my mother epilepsy and ultimately killed her, so, um, yeah, been very well aware of cancer all my life.

I have been privileged to know several women both locally and online who have fought the same fight I have, or who are even currently fighting it. And I feel that for the sake of these women, the best thing I can do is to make what donations I can to the cause, as well as ask you all to consider doing the same. Updating your status on Facebook or wearing a pink shirt ultimately accomplishes very little. Throwing actual cash at actual research, however, can save lives.

Besides, Internetz, c’mon. I don’t even use a purse for the most part. I use a backpack, which ain’t nearly as sexy and girlie. And the only pink article of clothing I currently own raises a lot more awareness of Great Big Sea than it would of breast cancer, given that that’s what’s actually emblazoned on said article of clothing. Given that it is also now October, I ain’t wearing that out without wearing several layers over it, which kinda defeats the whole purpose, y’know?

Anyway. I’ve sent email to the coworker running the Felix campaign to see if I can drum up a way for non-Windows users to donate without buying the actual multimedia package. I’ve also been donating to Safeway’s efforts the last couple of times I’ve bought groceries there. Again, please consider doing the same. It’ll mean a lot more than status updates. Thanks.

Help Felix find a cure

It’ll probably surprise few of you that I’m actually going to have little to say what with it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month; anyone who’s read me for a while will know I’ve had plenty to say on the subject already.

However, I will spread the word about this. My workplace, Big Fish Games, is having a fundraiser to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We’re selling little $5 packs of multimedia downloadable goodies, including wallpapers, screensavers, and avatars. So if you like the games we sell, consider checking this fundraiser out.

You can get all the details and buy the download package right over here. Fair warning though: the download being sold is a Windows executable file, so not immediately interesting to non-Windows users. (I’ll be asking the folks at work if there are any plans to sell equivalent download packages or other goodies for the Mac users.)

That promised post about stuff besides books

So yeah, I’ve actually been doing things besides purchasing books lately, I swear!

The Great Enshrinkening of Anna proceeds apace, even if not quite as quickly as initially planned. As I enthused on Twitter and Facebook this morning, I hit 164 pounds today! Which is well and easily the lightest I’ve been in five years, and which gets me into territory before I’d started the Walk to Rivendell in 2005. (Which was when I started regularly tracking my weight.) 162 pounds is the 30 pounds lost mark. I’m still aiming for 150, so I have 14 pounds to go!

It’s a bit amusing as well to realize that if I count from my actual high point of weight last year, I’m actually down 29.5 pounds, not 28. But I’m still counting from when I actually started using the LoseIt app, so!

Work’s been a bit crazy lately since we’re hardcore face down on a huge project for the next few weeks–and my team’s having some QA shuffle going on as well, so we’re essentially down to two full-time QA people right now. But so far it’s all still good. And on Friday, we even finally got us an official Big Fish Games sign in front of our building! Check it out:

userinfosolarbird has gone to Oregon to play a gig down there, and I shall miss her, but wish her luck as well! In the meantime userinfospazzkat and I went to have tasty sushi in Woodinville tonight, saving me from having to figure out what the hell to make myself for dinner.

I am very, very happy that the heat wave from last week has passed. I don’t mind the hot so much, but I do mind the part where I don’t sleep well in heat waves. Today was lovely, though, once the clouds cleared up, and I had a great walk down to the shops.

I should also mention that userinfospazzkat has been getting into Leverage lately and I’ve quite enjoyed what I see of it so far. I can even tie this into Great Big Sea by noting that in the promo photos associated with the new album, Alan looks suspiciously Christian-Kane-like. This is not a bad thing. ;)

And speaking of GBS, NEW ALBUM COMING OUT ON TUESDAY! <3 <3 Brace for the squee, folks. You know it's coming!

Want a free game? C’mon, you know you wanna

I would be remiss as an employee of Big Fish Games if I didn’t tell you all that we’re handing out our very first Mystery Case Files series game, Ravenhearst, for free until the end of August. All you need to do if you want to scarf the free game is to go right over here for the PC version, or here for the Mac version, click the Buy It button, and apply the coupon code FREERAVEN to the purchase before you complete it.

I can also cheerfully add that I am myself quite hooked on our Hidden Object games, and the Mystery Case Files series gets more interesting and complex the farther it goes. I actually played Return to Ravenhearst first, and liked it better, but you should totally play Ravenhearst before you go back for more.

Enjoy, all!

Need help with a repro before 9am Pacific

Anybody got a moment to doublecheck a problem for me?

If you have visited the Big Fish Games website before you may have noticed we have a feature called Tomorrow’s Game Today. We’ve had reports of the TGT vanishing for an hour on our Japanese site–and since as of 8am our time the TGT was supposed to show up, can anybody confirm whether you see it?

If you check our US site first and scroll down a bit, you should see a blue module with a yellow timer on its header on the left sidebar. This module contains the Tomorrow’s Game Today, and under it, today’s Daily Deal. Our US site is here.

Once you see what the module looks like, go to our JP site here and look for the same module in the same place. It should also have two games in it. If you don’t see the TGT, that’s the bug.

This module also appears on our New Releases page here. On that page the module is at the top of the right sidebar. Please check there too!

If you can repro the problem please drop a comment and let me know what browser you are using, including version number. Thanks in advance all!

ETA 9:25am: Thanks to everybody who’s looked so far! No need to look for the rest of today, since the 8am-9am Pacific time window is crucial. There will be another opportunity to check during that time frame tomorrow.