Octopus's Garden

Issue Sixteen

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HELLO, good evening and welcome to issue 16 of Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own apostophe. It is edited by Peter Sullivan. E-mail :octopus@manorcon.demon.co.uk PGP key available for the paranoid. An html version of this subzeen is available on the Web.

DEADLINE for issue 17 is 23:59:59 Greenwich Mean Time on FRIDAY, 12TH SEPTEMBER, 1997. I understand that there is some theoretical difference, at the atomic clock level, between GMT and Universal Time, but I shouldn't worry about it.


Railway Rivals (Map FR - France) : no-one yet (five wanted).

Postal rules available. In essence, they are the same as the old C'est Magnifique RR rules, except that I will be 'TAP-ifying' them with a section on NMR! insurance. Basically, no-one will be allowed to NMR! as it skews the game far more even than in Diplomacy. However, I need to work out how to deal with players who NMR! even after an NMR! insurance call, and how much players can keep (ab)using NMR! insurance or outright NMR!s before they get replaced. We'll get this finalised before the first game starts, honest.

Sub-Editorial - Et in Internet Ego

I can't remeber where I read it. Wired? Internet World? Or that freebie Computer newspaper I get at work these days, having temporarily traded in my Deputy Principal Accountant tag for the more gradiose title of General Ledger Senior Implementor? Anyway, this article was saying that a man put the names of his long-lost friends on his home page, "because the first thing everyone does when they join the internet is to type their own name into a search engine," which will then hit his home page, for details of a reunion.

Well, I am obviously not yer typical Internet user, since I've never even contemplated doing this at any time over the last five years of online experience. After reading this, I thought about it for a couple of weeks, but did nothing more about it. After all, it seemed hideously egocentric to put your own name into a search engine.

So, I compromised. Yea, I went forth unto Alta Vista and put in the name of my oldest American hobby friend, Conrad von Metzke.

Well, I got 5 hits back, and did a little browsing. One of the first ones to catch my eye was a Diplomacy variant article. It mentioned Conrad only in passing, quoting his opinion that Rather Silly Diplomacy 2.5 was completely unplayable. The author of the article was, well, me.

The article was originally written for C'est Magnifique issue 55, a World Dip Con special, from 1988. I'm not 100% sure how it got onto the net, but I suspect that dean (or should that be guru?) of online Diplomacy, Mark Nelson. At this stage, I decided to drop all pretence of modesty, and boldly typed my own name in, to be rewarded with a massive 100+ hits.

Unfortunately, my name is somewhat more common than Conrad's, so it wasn't until hit number 39 that I got something that actually referred to me - listing me as a contact for information about British postal diplomacy at an address I haven't lived at for a year. Hmmm...

Anyway, in the process, I got to read about the late Peter Sullivan, a newspaper graphic artist who has a Reuters scholarship named after him, and the Australian experimental composer Peter Sullivan, who, like the artist formerly known as Prince, is now using the net to distribute his work.

Oh, and by the way, Conrad, one of your old college friends has got a home page listing your name as someone he'd like to get back in contact with. He said something about a set of Diplomacy orders he sent you in 1962, and wondering if you ever got them...

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