I’m sure there are people interested in the Macintosh port of TableMaster aside from those in the backers’ forums, so while I’m recovering from a head cold and a major overdose of turkey (and stuffing, and glazed carrots, and scalloped potatoes, and those tasty, tasty little onions) here’s something of an update. (and a user-written table)
I can’t work. I can barely function. Sorry about that, but I am a human being, as much as I try to present my company-self as neutral in all things and separate from anything but writing software. I am a human being, and an American, and the events of this week have affected me badly. You really do not want what I might do to the code this week. I don’t want to debug what I might do to the code this week, and it would waste all of next week, too, fixing it.
I’m not going to use this blog for a political rant — this is about TableMaster, not about what TableMaster’s author thinks about politics, or about art or music or anything else for that matter. I can keep up the public impartiality that far. But right now, I can’t write code — especially cross-platform code.
If I worked for someone else, I’d be using my personal days right now. As it is, I’m going to take this week off from Wintertree and quit trying to force myself to get any productive work done, because I’ve been trying and it’s just not happening. Everything will be back on track next week, just a bit behind schedule.
And as a person, as Jean, not Wintertree Software, I will add this:
Everyone, be kind to one another. Even people you disagree with. Especially people you disagree with. We have seen what divisiveness and hatred can do; let us not embrace it ourselves and thereby prove it is right.
The Wintertree Software website now has an online store for those gamers unable to get TableMaster at their local game stores. It’s here: WINTERTREE ONLINE STORE. You can buy TableMaster, all the Table Packs, and even some Wintertree swag, like the TableMaster box art magnets and the flashlight pens.
Please note that at the moment, while digital-only versions are available everywhere, physical products are restricted to US shipping addresses (including APO and FPO) until some issues about overseas shipping get untangled.
If you’re wondering just what tables come with any given Table Pack, each one has a “Notes” button next to its description that will pop up a window with a complete list.
All the Kickstarter copies of TableMaster, various Table Packs, etc., are out the door (and in the case of US shipments, in the backers’ hands). There are no conventions in the near future. I’m (finally) almost over that wretched cold. I’m getting ready to do the Mac port. But … there was a bug. Not a big bug, but a bug that bugged me. So I went to fix it …
…and added two new commands to TableMaster, and added an option to two more.
First, for the people who wondered why I’ve been silent since before GuildCon: I picked up a wicked head cold at GuildCon, and I’ve spent the past week-plus gasping for breath and clutching a box of tissues like it was life itself. I spent my birthday in bed, sniffling. 🙁 Blogging hasn’t been much of a priority. Nor other complex things like standing up. I still feel like roadkill, but at least I can get up and move around now.
So, I just got back from the Post Office, mailing out TableMaster packages to the Kickstarter backers. Here’s a picture of them all on the Post Office counter:
For Priority Mail, they say “if it fits, it ships.” I hope they have a generous understanding of “fits” — some of those T-shirts did not want to go in their boxes. (when I tested originally, I used one of my shirts … and I wear Medium)
There are some pictures of what’s in the package in the latest Kickstarter update, too.
So … product is shipped, head cold is on the retreat, and I can get back to coding. TM/Mac, here I come!
16 years ago, I thought TableMaster was mature. There were no new commands that needed to be added, no more features that anyone was going to need. Right. That was 16 years and 15 commands ago.
TableMaster is now officially in version 1.3 (y’all can get it on the beta site; next week I’ll put it on the main site if nothing blows up in the interim) and it’s got a couple of new ones. One is just a bit of convenience, but the other is fairly significant for how tables interact with other things.
Just a quickie post here to say that 1) we haven’t washed away yet, and 2) there are now pictures of the TableMaster product packaging on the Wintertree website.
Also, the endlessly delayed manual is now in the hands of the printer. Assuming the proof turns out okay, by this time next week the physical copies of TableMaster should be in the snail mail!
I give up. I’ve tried. I’ve tinkered with font sizes until I’m seeing spots, I’ve ordered samples of fresnel magnifiers, I’ve specced super-thin paper, you name it. And it’s not working. I just can’t put ten pounds of manual into a five-pound bag.
20 years ago, TableMaster was smaller (it now has 13 new commands, more options for the existing ones, and more than 20 new output formatting codes). The manuals were wider and taller — they were a half-sheet, 5.5 x 8.5, instead of the 4.75 x 7.125 necessary to fit in a DVD box. And I didn’t have any restrictions on the length; TableMaster was in an inch-thick box, so there was plenty of room for however many pages the manual needed. None of those is true anymore — the command set is bigger, the page size is smaller, and the box is much, much thinner. It. Just. Doesn’t. Fit.
There are three flavors of User Variables in TableMaster: ones with no variety specified (they were the originals), which are integers; Decimal variables, for floating-point numbers; and Text variables, for strings. There is actually a de-facto fourth kind, essentially Boolean variables.
George Boole was a 19th-century mathematician who formulated what came to be known as Boolean algebra, which dealt with variables having values of “true” and “false” rather than numeric values, usually represented as 1 and 0. If that sounds familiar — like the fundamental nature of digital electronics, from your watch to TableMaster — you’re right: it is. Most computer languages have some sort of Boolean variable. Delphi (which is basically Pascal, named for another mathematician) certainly does. And so does TableMaster … sort of.
While I’ve been dealing with all the insanity of getting the manual to fit in the box (note: a package of nice little fresnel magnifiers arrived yesterday) I’ve also been working on the other problem: the fact that I can’t draw. And there’s only so much you can do with clip art. So I’ve been looking for an artist. Not just any artist — I needed someone whose style would be right for TableMaster, and who would “get” what it was all about. So, I’ve been checking out artists, and art. When I found Rick Hershey, of Fat Goblin Games, I knew I had the right artist.
If you’re an old TableMaster customer, you’ll remember this bit of artwork from inside the manual: