Microsurgeon interview in Retrogamer issue 163 — January 2017

Microsurgeon” (Imagic 1982 and 1983) is the first, or one of the first, video games related to healthcare.  It’s been mentioned in numerous magazines, featured on album and magazine covers, written about in books, nominated for awards, recognized at the Consumer Electronics Show, and gotten several good reviews over the decades.

I loved designing and programming “Microsurgeon”, and I always enjoy answering questions about it.  Look for my latest interview — with Graeme Mason of Wizwords — in the Jan. 2017 issue #163 of Retrogamer.

microsurgeon

Robots like to play games too

For years, we’ve read about chess, checkers, and more recently GO and Jeopardy, played by computers with artificial intelligence.  The new trend seems to be robots that play games, whether it is a way for robots to learn or just computer scientists amusing themselves.

There are robots controlled by humans, of course, and drones are a good example of that.  Now there’s drone golf, where a golfer uses a drone to play golf.

Also, artificial intelligence researchers are using games like Minecraft as a testing ground, as well as StarCraft and other games.

Finally, as more evidence, I give you the robot that set the new Rubik’s Cube record.

When does 13 baskets equal almost 20 baskets?

It’s no secret that I like math and games.  It should also be no secret that I like sports.  The first video games I developed were based on the game of Bowling — Mattel Handheld Bowling and Intellivision Bowling.

Sports also permeates a bit of my science fiction writing.  In my latest anthology, “Science Fiction: Genetics“, I’ve included “It’s in the Stars”.  This story is about a couple’s desire to determine the best sport for their child to play, hoping for them to become a star.

I also enjoy watching sports, like baseball and basketball.  So I am very impressed with the new 3-point record set by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors NBA team last night.  He made 13 out of 17 3-pointers — outside the 3 point arc — to set a new record of 13 3-pointers in a single game.  That’s 39 points just for the 13 3-pointers he made, while it would take 20 2-pointers to score 40 points.

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Moving a favorite in latest Microsoft Edge browser

If you have a number of favorites in various folders in Microsoft Edge, it can be difficult to click-and-drag the favorite from one folder to another — especially if the other folder is far down or up the list.  Here’s another way to move a single favorite.

In Microsoft Edge, the latest Windows 10 version as of November 2016, select a favorite from your list.  The browser tab should open that favorite.  Now just click on the Star icon at the top right of the browser as if you are adding a new favorite.  Select the folder you want it in.  Microsoft Edge will save this favorite in the folder you chose, but it will also move it out of the folder you previously had it in.

Shiny Star clip art

Ambient Computing

Desktop computing gave way to laptops — though some analysts have recently wondered if desktops are making a comeback with attractive options like Microsoft’s new Surface Studio and competing products from Dell and others.  Laptops gave way to 2-in-1s and some tablets — though tablet sales are down or flat.

Now there’s a trend called ambient computing that will bring us devices that don’t look like devices or just “blend in”.  Some say Amazon’s Echo line is part of this trend.  Google’s assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and other digital helpers also contribute to ambient computing.

As a science fiction writer, I always try to place new technologies or technological trends into future perspective.  How will the new devices fit in?  What differences will they make?  For example, will ambient computing make computing better and/or easier for those who can’t handle a physical input device — such as a mouse or keyboard — or see a monitor screen?

In my short story, “Assisted Living”, I wrote about a young woman with disabilities who has this kind of all-around-her technology access.  You can find it in my anthology “Science Fiction: Future Youth”.

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