May 19, 2006 Unordered Miscellany
I graduated from Layton High 10 years ago! Never thought I’d say this, but thoughts of a reunion do indeed make me feel old. (Pfft, I’m only 28. I have a lot of life left in me.) I remember how infinite I felt as a teenager, and mostly through my friends and events through High School. Those were some great years. I’ve moved on and am living a great life in Vegas, but I frequently recall my infinite days in High School.
Now, I hear rumors of a 10 year class reunion going on, and all the nervous energy that goes with it. I’ve fallen out of touch from ALL my high school friends (I’m a schmuck) so I think I will go to a reunion armed with my wife and photos of my son once I hear a final date and place.
On the LHS site, I found a link to the official Layton High School Alumni site. I like it much more than those classmates and reunion.com spam sites, AlumniClass.com is much more cleaner and much less commercial. You can signup for alumni news and post pictures and be part of forums (probably won’t be doing much of that). I doubt that the reunion planners have my current address since I’ve moved around the country so much, so I’m glad I found that page and was able to register for news. I also found a couple of friends and was able to email them a quick “Hello”.
May 16, 2006 Search and SEO
The DaVinci Code Quest, sponsored by Google, was a set of cryptic puzzles, hidden searches, and mind boggling mini games that ran for the past 3 1/2 weeks. Each day at about 10 AM PST (1:00 PM EST), Google would reveal another puzzle through Google Homepage. The first 10,000 who finished the 24th puzzle move to the finalists round and receive a replica cryptex from the movie.
Guess I’m one of those lucky 10,000. I received my cryptex yesterday. It’s about 4 inches long, 2 inches in diameter. I originally thought this was made of brass, but the Noble Collection website tells us that it is “crafted of die-cast metal and plated in aged gold.” There are 5 dials on it that you use to form a code word to open the cryptex. Inside is a secret compartment that is 3″ long by 3/4″ in diameter. Google had rolled up a little note that said “Congratulations, you have proven worthy of the DaVinci Code Quest on Google, visit www.Google.com/DaVinciCode to see if your journey continues.” Of course, when I visit the site it says to come back on the 19th for my “final challenge”. I imagine if I watch the DaVinci Code movie first, which opens that day, I’ll be more prepared for my “final challenge”.
I guess these are going to be pretty big collectors items for fans of Google and/or the film. I’m seeing cryptex replicas selling for over $200 on ebay. A lot of other DaVinci fanstuff on ebay is selling like crazy too. I think I’ll hold on to my cryptex since I’m a Google fan and this is pretty cool, limited edition, schwag.
An interesting thing I noticed about my cryptex is it only requires the last two notches to match to open. The first three letters are useless. The bottom of the box said the codeword to open the cryptex is “grail”, but after tinkering I know that “email”, “spoil”, “devil” and “until” will all work the same. I think I can hack it to change the last two letters to my preference. I’ll change them to “O N” so that my codeword can be “JASON”. No one will be able to figure that out.
So wish me luck, I was number 103 out of 10,000 to finish the original puzzles(found that out in their “confirmation link” they sent to me the day I finished them). I’m going to give this a true shot and see if I can fall on the grand prize. The book was amazing as most of the world knows already, and I’m trusting the cast and director (all of whom I feel were selected pretty wisely) to deliver a fantastic movie. After I see the movie, I will finish the game. The winner of the game will be crowned the ultimate uber-nerd, but I still hope to win. If I don’t win, I still think I got a pretty cool runners-up prize.
BTW – I took more pictures of my cryptex. You can see them on flickr.
May 12, 2006 Geeks and Gadgets
This was the original “pilot” project for Napoleon Dynamite, the art school project that encouraged investors to fund a full movie to production.