Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

In 1968  Popular Science magazine ran an article on a new film by the always enigmatic but brilliant director, Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was known for taking on  very few projects, but the ones he did would force people to sit up and take notice. Serious notice. His latest “picture” (as Kubrick and indeed directors of old would refer to their medium), was as enigmatic if not more so than Kubrick himself. Based on a short story by noted science...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #4: Soyuz Control Panel

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #4: Soyuz Control Panel

Growing up during the prime of the space-race oriented my nerdling interests for the rest of my life. As all cravings of sorts, I can either exercise my rather pedestrian will, or cave and feed it. In this case I chose to feed it against the better judgments of my bank account. So I collect NASA artifacts from the earliest days of the space program and even before. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Sotheby’s auctioneers had an event dedicated...

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This is what it means to be Amazon’s Free App of the Day

This is what it means to be Amazon’s Free App of the Day

When we released Distant Suns on the Kindle over a year ago, one of my hopes was that it would be selected as Amazon’s Free App of the Day. And suddenly a couple of months ago I was contacted by Amazon and told that they wanted precisely that and to expect between 75K to 100K downloads! In theory it would generate thousands of new users who would hopefully show their friends Distant Suns and inspire future purchases later on. After...

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50 years ago today

50 years ago today

Most adults will have as part of their makeup some memory of dramatic, tumultuous events that they can narrate to the finest details as the answer to the question:  “Where were you when….?” Over the recent years such events include 9/11, the Columbia disaster, and here in the San Francisco area, “the earthquake.” For my generation, though the “…” becomes “…Kennedy was shot?” Fifty years ago this hour as I write this, I was in the first grade....

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T+5 years and counting.

T+5 years and counting.

5 Years ago today, I got this fun little message in my mailbox: Dear Mike Smithwick   The status for the following application has changed to Ready for Sale.   Application Name: Distant Suns Application Version Number: 1.0 Application SKU: 2001   I sold 8 copies that first day. It’s been a fun ride, most of the time. At the start it was pretty easy, in spite of the Appstore crossing the boundary into the unknown land of more than 10,000...

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Of dollars and cents and M&Ms

Of dollars and cents and M&Ms

I had an interesting encounter a little while ago. A 10 year old asked me how much does Distant Suns cost in the App Store. I said “10 bucks.” “Why so much?” he responded…. One of the many paradigms that shifted when the App Store first opened up was the pricing model. It was obvious that the apps would cost less then their CD-ROM/store shelf variants. But how much was underestimated. Apple expected games that might retail for $30 to drop down...

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