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	<time pubdate datetime="2003-09-18T11:32:00+01:00">
		<sup>11:32<abbr>am</abbr> • 2003</sup>
		<abbr title="September">Sep</abbr> 18
	</time>
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<h1>Kroc Camen Writes: #4</h1>
<p>
	This is one of <a href="/writing/kroc_writes">a series of personal letters</a> written to / from
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes#tanner">Tanner Helland</a> during 2003–2005. These letters cover—in immense
	detail—events in my life during that period, including many unfinished and aspiring designs and creations. As a
	person however, I have changed from the inexperienced, often immature person I was and my skills in programming and
	web-design have changed just as radically.
</p><p>
	These letters have been republished to give deep insight into the way I tick, and to show a lot of background work
	that lead up to the concepts and skills needed to produce this website, which ultimately I failed to do so back
	then.
</p>


<h2>About the Letter</h2>
<p>
	Initially, after some computer trouble, I wrote this letter on paper. I was in a terrible mental state after work
	and life-related stress had lost me the last couple of jobs. I went on holiday with the family which I really needed
	at the time. It turned out to be the hottest week ever recorded with temperatures up to 38ºC. When I got back I
	could not afford a new computer and instead bought the cheapest computer I could fix up for £100. With just 300
	MHz, Windows 98 and a 3 <abbr title="gig">GB</abbr> <abbr title="hard drive">HDD</abbr> I set about continuing the
	letter in my preferred digital format.
</p>
<section id="p1"><!-- ==================================== page 1 ============================================ -->
<h1>Kroc Camen Writes</h1>
<p>
	<strong>Why the long wait?</strong> Have I fallen out with you over some minor thing you said in your previous
	letter that you are not aware of, or am I insulted by you sending me literature though the post?
	<br /><br />
	No.
</p>
<aside>
	† Tanner was kind enough to brunt the expense of mailing me a copy of <cite>The Book of Mormon</cite>—all the way from Canada!
</aside>
<p>
	Thank you for your letter and you literature†. The reason why this has taken so long is a story that took as long
	to write as the length of time you’ve spent waiting. Here’s goes.
</p>
<blockquote>
	<cite>Transcript: 15/07/03; manual handwriting on paper</cite>
	<p>
		Sorry, but no printed watermark, no images and emoticons, because as is with my yo-yo lifestyle things are
		down—way, way down. I have no money, quite literally, and ten times as worse is that my laptop’s screen
		has busted; meaning that to do any work I have to plug it into a monitor, which is very cumbersome and more
		so, which I don’t have instant and timely access to. So I’m afraid that all work has come to a full
		stop.
	</p><p>
		Regarding Badly Drawn Adventure, you say <q>I just wish I had some part in it <samp>:P</samp></q> You
		have!!! Re-read my letter, <dfn title="Badly Drawn Adventure">BDA</dfn> could not exist without your
		PhotoDemon code! I always like to make things as high-level as possible. I can’t help but go way over the
		top, if a program is missing one function I write my own entire version that’s better—just so I can be
		content <samp>:P</samp> “Typical Kroc”. Take computerbitsuk.com it’s only a three person company,
		but me—oh no, nothing is simple. Instead I spend an entire year making a site better than any major PC
		company (<abbr title="that is,">i.e</abbr> PCWorld) <samp>:P</samp> Only a couple of days ago we got a
		phone call to the “webdesign department” (we have a switchboard :) asking for the “webdesign
		recruiting department”—somebody actually thought that we had sub-departments!!! When all there is, is
		three people in a tiny room with one computer
		<a href="http://ezboard.com/images/emoticons/roll.gif" rel="external" type="image/gif"><samp>:rollin</samp></a>.
		It goes to show how a professional website can say a lot more about you than a bog-standard one.
	</p><p>
		Regarding tannerhelland.tripod.com,<br />
		Dude, did anybody pay me to create thelostalliance.com, or computerbitsuk.com or write a 20-page e-mail
		regarding photo demon—or what I could to review the <abbr title="music sample packs">MSPs</abbr>—oh and
		not forgetting the <abbr title="gathering project">TGP</abbr> Awards? I do these things because I want
		people to respect my design sense, and I learn from these challenges also. I would do anything for you free
		of charge, except that which I would have to pay for <samp>:P</samp>
	</p><p>
		I would, very happily, create a new tannerhelland website for you, free of charge, but you’d have to pay
		for the server and domain name (if you wanted one) because I’ve no money what-so-ever. You’ve paid me
		plenty, by letting me be a part of
		<dfn title="The Gathering Project">TGP</dfn>/<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn>—which has given me
		a million chances to prove myself and learn. However, fairly unsuccessfully as a large portion of the team
		STILL do not have any respect for my design sense. I would say that only yourself and Clint do
		<samp>:(</samp>
	</p><p>
		So if you want a price for my services then $0.00 (£0.00) it is then. However, I was thinking of
		something— <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> is inevitably close to death. I don’t want the team
		to think that just because the project is dead—so is the team. I want to re-invent
		<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> into a clubhouse for it’s members, where we can chat and work on
		our own separate projects, but collaborate together. We could turn ourselves into a code development team,
		who produce code examples per member—rather than one large team project.
	</p>
</blockquote>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 2 ===================================== --><section id="p2">
<header>2</header>
<blockquote>
	<p>
		Maybe VacantBrains can be re-born though <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn>. The team can stay
		together and we can all find the time to work on our own projects and host them at the
		<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> site. Each member could have a sub-site for their work. Ergo, the
		‘<dfn title="lost alliance music extravaganza">tlame</dfn>’ can become the tannerhelland music site,
		with some changes of course. I also thought of a nice poem we could out on the front page:
	</p>
	<blockquote>
		<p>
			Here we were<br />
			But now we’re gone<br />
			Don’t despair<br />
			We still live on.
		</p>
	</blockquote>
	<p>
		Everything I do for you, is because you have given me twicefold. The
		<dfn title="lost alliance music extravaganza">tlame</dfn> was my gift to you, if it weren’t already your
		gift to me. The true gift is that you gave me some beautiful music and the chance to show it off to the
		world. The <dfn title="lost alliance music extravaganza">tlame</dfn> is only my reply, it pales to what you
		gave me.
	</p><p>
		Regarding the states,<br />
		Hmmm, chances of me moving to the states—how do you say ‘oh-nine’ 0.0000000001% Firstly I have no
		money, at all, what-so-ever <samp>:(</samp> Secondly, the climate I can’t handle. I can’t stand the
		heat, I just can’t live in temperatures greater than 25°C, I become very ill, constantly tired, very
		weak and my brain shuts down! I could never live in the states because it’d be impossible for me to get
		any work done, and my confidence would drop like a stone. Financial Security’s what I need though, I wish
		I could win a million, just so I could get on with my work undisturbed—I don’t care about fast cars and
		big mansions and what not—I just want a decent laptop, a fast connection and to get on with learning.
	</p><p>
		<strong>Finish 19/07/03:</strong>
	</p>
</blockquote>
</section>
<p>
	<small>A section was removed here that doesn’t belong on the Internet (<abbr title="for example">e.g.</abbr>
	personally identifiable information).<br />
	The page above and below are short for that reason.</small>
</p>
<section id="p5"><!-- ==================================== page 5 ============================================ -->
<header>5</header>
<p>
	10 days go past before a thing happens; it is now so long ago I don’t remember what. Being stuck at home with no
	computer drove me to the edge. I felt real close to killing myself, I couldn’t do anything at home, I would pace
	around in anguish all day—constant mental torture trying to bottle up a-hundred-and-one ideas for stuff to do,
	that requires a computer. I couldn’t draw—I needed a computer for any artwork to become meaningful.
</p>
<aside>
	† What on earth!?<br />
	I wrote that? I clearly wasn’t feeling well.
	Interest86 was another member of TGP/TLA
</aside>
<p>
	Luckily the Holiday I’d been waiting for a year arrives. A trip to the countryside, to relax, the only reason
	I’m still alive. The first night is hell, the pub we had chosen to stay at was open late, constant noise from
	below, constant noise of traffic going past. Again I fall into a psychotic state, unable to sleep, unbearable heat I
	felt worse than I ever had at any time in my life. Somehow I got sleep. The next day, early, we packed up and went
	in hunt for somewhere else to stay. Perhaps I finally got some good luck, I don’t know—we found a very, very
	remote Bed &amp; Breakfast in a 4-farm village called Stowell. A fifteenth century cottage with large stone
	walls—as thick as Intrest86† and a castle-esque front door.
</p>
<aside><br />
	This photo marries up with this photo <a href="/photo/window">here</a>, the top right window in this photo.
</aside>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/cottage.jpg" type="image/jpeg">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/cottage_thumb.jpg" alt="Photo of a stone built fifteenth century cottage" width="640" height="480" />
	</a>
</figure>
<p>
	We chose the right week to go on holiday it turned out to be the hottest week on recorded history, maxing out at
	38°C, 100°F. Luckily for me, most of my time was spent in a car driving around the countryside to various
	attractions across Britain. 700 miles covered in all at the end of the week.
</p>


<h3>Regarding the Laptop:</h3>
<aside>
	† To this day, still the fastest machine I’ve ever used.
	I don’t know what I did to Windows 98, but Word was just instant.
</aside>
<p>
	My freedom has been recently returned to me, although my laptop has finally busted completely and I was without
	computer for a while. On the 5<sup>th</sup> (September) I bought a dirt-cheap computer just so I could get on with
	some work. It’s a Pentium II 300 MHz Compaq, 3<abbr title="gig">GB</abbr> hard disk and
	272<abbr title=" meg">MB</abbr> RAM (256<abbr title=" meg">MB</abbr> of my own, and 16 that came with the machine).
	Despite the low spec it’s running very fast. It can open Word XP or Paint Shop Pro instantly, simply because I did
	a clean install of Windows 98 and have tweaked the machine to remove anything unnecessary.†
</p>
</section>
<aside><br />
	Many of the images here are 32-Bit JPEGs (bet you didn’t think that was possible)—this was 2003, where IE6 usage
	was 96% and didn’t support transparent PNGs easily.
	<br /><br />
	In fact, transparency in images was a bold, shocking new thing in web-design back then.
</aside>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/camendesign.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/camendesign.jpg" alt="Screenshot of Camen Design home page" width="640" height="734" />
	</a>
</figure>
<section id="p6"><!-- ==================================== page 6 ============================================ -->
<header>6</header>


<h3>Camen Design:</h3>
<aside>
	I believe the page above was included at the end of the letter, but I’ve added it here for reference to this
	paragraph.
</aside>
<p>
	I cannot believe quite how long ago it was since you last saw Camen Design, in fact the design I had shown you
	hadn’t properly been translated in HTML yet! It was still totally conceptual! Wow, how Camen Design has
	progressed. One day it just all fell into place and now it’s really becoming a website, I’ve got the eCV and Art
	sections complete and I’m constantly expanding it, all the time. The shots I’ve provided don’t really do the
	actual site justice at all, so if you can spare the time, and if it’s possible please visit
	<del>http://www.computerbitsuk.com/kroc/camendesign/</del>—It’s designed to impress so it’s slow to load on
	56K but OK on broadband. Please wait for the pages to load completely or you might miss something!
</p>


<h3>NoNonsense3:</h3>
<p>
	I’m proud to say that I did get around to making NoNonsense3, it’s not quite finished yet and I need to make a
	few new skins but there have been some very major changes.
</p><p>
	Firstly I’ve re-written the entire program from scratch, the code was over a year old so it had to go out of the
	window and in comes ultra neat, high level coding. It’s now error free and I got the double click on the tray icon
	working. One click skips the song, double click exits tray mode, without skipping song—genius!
</p>
<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/nononsense3.png" alt="Screenshot of the tray icon context menu in NoNonsense3" width="347" height="174" />
<p>
	Oh and not forgetting new XP style menus, new playlist wizard (still under construction) and eventually several new
	skins. Also I’m adding shortcuts for play/skip/pause that are system-wide hooked, meaning you can press a
	key-combo to skip song or pause, anywhere in windows even when NoNonsense isn’t selected. (Even whilst playing a
	fullscreen DirectX game)
</p>


<h3>Badly Drawn Adventure:</h3>
<p>
	Progress on Badly Drawn hasn’t been as fast, but I’m not concerned. It’s mostly down to the fact I’ve had no
	computer for ages, and I want to get Camen Design finished along with the Badly Drawn website so that people know of
	it’s existence whilst I develop it.
</p><p>
	<q>I’d be proud to have any of my lowly music of mine dwelling on such a page <samp>: )</samp></q> – About
	Page, “Kroc’s Theme”, Background music, link to ‘tannerhelland.tripod.com’ included.
</p><p>
	I am reluctant to include <abbr title="background music">BGM</abbr> on the site though, because people don’t
	particularly like their speakers all of a sudden blasting their ears, to which they can’t silence without turning
	the speakers off or waiting 10 minutes for sndvol32 to load. <samp>:(</samp>
	<br /><br />
	I included “The Journey” on the about page because:<br />
</p>
<ol>
	<li>Nobody ever reads about pages, so I’m free to go off the beaten track on design.</li>
	<li>It’s a personal page and the song says a lot about me. I is dead proud of it <samp>:)</samp></li>
</ol>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 7 ===================================== --><section id="p7">
<header>7</header>
<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/badlydrawnabout.jpg" alt="Screenshot of the about page on the Badly Drawn website, with background music note circled in red" width="600" height="325" />
<p>
	The Badly Drawn Level Editor has progressed a small amount, probably more than when you last saw it <samp>:P</samp>
	I’ve got the Level Editor Object format sorted so the program can open and save Level Objects. The three objects
	shown on the side pane are actual game objects that I have created with the Object editor! I haven’t drawn the
	graphics for more objects yet, so I’ve just used two animations from the player as two separate objects just to
	test the program. When finished the side pane will contain the grass, trees, traps and enemy objects which when
	clicked on are inserted into the editor window where they can be manipulated.
</p><p>
	I have run into some problems that I am concerned about, mainly that I have no way to flip objects at run-time so
	that I will have to save the animation files for facing each direction in the object, effectively doubling the
	download size, and more so—doubling the <abbr>RAM</abbr> requirement which I already think could be too high as
	each object is a meg or so and there could be the need for 50 or so objects to be loaded. Ideally I need a rotating
	and scaling engine to do all this rendering, which only DirectX can be fast enough to do. The problem is, I don’t
	know DirectX and even worse is I’ve no clue how I can effectively fit the animations into square
	textures—impossible!
</p><p>
	The coolest part of the editor so far is the fact that the side pane, is completely rendered—it consists of only a
	picture box! You can float your mouse over objects and they highlight, with tooltip text and with link cursor—yet
	they’re not intrinsic objects it’s all just an image! Oh and they’re all fully animated.
</p><p>
	And it’s not just <dfn title="“DemonSpectre” (Tanner Helland)">DS</dfn> who can ultra-optimise! What I’ve
	done is pre-calculated every single variable required to render the image so that absolutely
	<strong><em>zero</em></strong> calculations are made during rendering—it’s almost ‘hard-coded’. It’s
	literally calling a bunch of <code>Blt</code> commands with variables for the <var>x</var>, <var>y</var>,
	<var>w</var>, <var>h</var> values and no calculations at all. It only re-caches the variables when something
	changes, such as when the window scrolls or the mouse enters/leaves an object. Other than that the rendering is
	running so fast that down to 9 decimal places it’s still reading as 0.000000000<abbr title=" seconds">s</abbr>
	rendering time. Obviously the rendering doesn’t do massive amounts yet, but it’s a good place to start.
</p><p>
	I’m constantly working out new ways of caching variables and speeding things up—I’ve even cached the
	<abbr title="handles">hDCs</abbr> for each <dfn title="device-independent bitmap">DIB</dfn> object so that my
	<abbr>DIB</abbr> class doesn’t have to run several commands to return the <abbr title="handle">hDC</abbr>, but
	rather just read a variable. I’m also working out a queuing system so that when the game has to render the scene,
	it doesn’t have to run through every single object in the level asking if it’s on screen or not—but rather a
	table is built up that returns an object to start with, given the players location in the level!
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 8 ===================================== --><section id="p8">
<header>8</header>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/badlydrawnleveleditor.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/badlydrawnleveleditor.jpg" alt="Screenshot of a very early version of the Badly Drawn Level Editor" width="640" height="412" />
	</a>
</figure>
<p>
	You thought your transparent code was quick? What if I were to tell you that windows had a high-speed 32-bit
	<dfn title="device-independent bitmap">DIB</dfn> function built in—even in Windows 98? Well there is! I’ve got
	some code that loads a 32-Bit bitmap or targa file and can <samp>Blt</samp> it to any surface using only the API!
	You can even grab the screen <abbr title="handle">DC</abbr> and do 32-Bit <samp>Blt</samp>s straight onto the
	screen’s surface!
	<br /><br />
	Check out this mad 32-Bit Blt—straight to the screen!
</p>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/32bitblt.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/32bitblt.jpg" alt="Screenshot of an image that has been programatically drawn directly onto the desktop" width="640" height="480" />
	</a>
</figure>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 9 ===================================== --><section id="p9">
<header>9</header>


<h3>Regarding the Lost Alliance:</h3>
<p>
	I’ve not been on the site since my last letter, I’ve spoken to Clint only briefly but I know that the project is
	well and truly dead. Somehow I just know, but that’s hardly surprising. My new computer’s in my room and not
	near a phone line so getting on the net is not as easy as it was with my laptop, otherwise I would’ve mailed the
	team ages ago.
</p><p>
	It struck me why the project had died, I did try doing something about it, but the team wanted to go their own way,
	so I let them. Consider a block buster film. The writer has an idea, he writes the script and then the script is
	used to plan the visuals and then the film is actually made. You don’t hire the light riggers, special effects
	guys, stunt men and make-up artists to help you write the script do you!?
</p><p>
	So likewise the <abbr title="lost alliance">TLA</abbr> project (not <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> itself)
	was inherently flawed by the fact that we had to write the game as we went along. I proposed an idea to Clint that
	could make the completion of a project possible—I spend from now until you return designing a game, down to every
	last, tiny, minute detail so that when you return from Canada I could hand you and Clint an entire game-on-paper and
	Clint can produce the art for it and me and you program it.
</p><p>
	It’s a fantastic idea, but relies on the fact that you and Clint must let me design the game how I see fit and not
	get involved other than when I ask your help or advice. That’s a lot of trust to put in me, but it’s the only
	way we’d ever get any project ever done—if an entire game was thrown on your lap and you’d only have to make
	it, not design it.
</p><p>
	Clint wasn’t interested, partly because he didn’t totally grasp the concept but also because he is also a game
	designer and thought he would not like to make a game he had little say in—which is true but I don’t think
	expressed enough that I would ask of his help a fair bit, but would have final say and do most of it. Well either
	way he doesn’t want to—so despite what a great idea you may think it is, reading it here, it’s just not
	possible unless we have Clint. So forget I said it <samp>:P</samp>
</p><p>
	I don’t think that just because the project is dead, the team should be also. Like I said earlier, or was it in my
	previous letter, I don’t remember—We could re-design <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> into a clubhouse
	for it’s members, where we can meet up and talk about our own individual projects instead of working on one single
	project. I can’t afford to pay the server for another year, so the website’s definitely going down next
	February, and I doubt any of the team members will want to pay for a server that’s not being used. Shame too and
	all.
</p><p>
	So what I thought is that if I move <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> into a sub-site of Camen Design (i.e
	‘camendesign/tla’) it would save having to run two servers and thus I’d only need pay for my Camen Design
	server which I have no intention to ever pull down and will always be in use, because of the endless amount of stuff
	on the other sub-sites and such. Also I thought I could create your new ‘tannerhelland’ website as a sub-site on
	Camen Design (<abbr title="that is,">i.e.</abbr> ‘camendesign/thp’ or ‘camendesign/tannerhelland’) and then
	you’d only need pay for a domain name “www.tannerhelland.com” and get it redirected with cloaking to Camen
	Design. Then you won’t need to pay for a server.
</p><p>
	I’m also going to create a <dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> sub-site at Camen Design where I can host my
	<dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> Code and let others upload theirs—only the highest quality stuff of-course.
	NoNonsense3 and HoTMeaL with have their own dedicated sub-sites using their own graphic styles rather than using the
	same as Camen Design. Actually to make it clearer quite how large Camen Design is, have a look at the run-down:
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 10 =================================== --><section id="p10">
<header>10</header>
<dl>
	<dt>camendesign/eCV—eCV 2.0</dt>
	<dd>
		My online Curriculum Vitae and sales pitch to potential employers.
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/Web—Web Design</dt>
	<dd>
		The web-design section hasn’t been started yet, but it’s gotta look better than ComputerBitsUK.com and
		CamenDesign put together! This section will purely be about looks as it will only demo the sites I’ve
		made and explain what I offer.
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/Art—Artwork</dt>
	<dd>
		The artwork section has been completed—hooray. It works very similar to the art section of TLA, where
		people can leave their comments on each picture.
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/Retro/Sonic—Sonic The Hedgehog sub-site</dt>
	<dd>
		This large section chronicles the history of the greatest platform games in existence. Detailed info,
		screenshots, fantastic visuals, downloads and more.
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/BadlyDrawn—Badly Drawn Adventure</dt>
	<dd>
		The Badly Drawn Adventure sub-site, fairly large as it contains the forums and a heck load of pages, about
		35–40% done at the moment.
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/Kroc—Kroc Camen Writes…</dt>
	<dd>
		<aside>
			We call this blogging nowadays. Blogging had only just become mainstream in 2004.
		</aside>
		<p>
			A place where I can write about what’s happening, what I feel like, and my views and concepts of
			the world. I don’t expect people to view this section of the site, it’s the most boring
			sounding of them all—however it’s there so I can release a lot of tension by getting things
			out of me and not bottling them up.
		</p>
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/VB—Visual Basic</dt>
	<dd>
		The <dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> section will work a lot like a soup-ed up VacantBrains, heck I might
		even use the VacantBrains skin I like it so much—in fact why not use VacantBrains itself?
		<abbr title="What’s">Wha’s</abbr> your opinion on that?
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/VB/NN3—NoNonsense3</dt>
	<dd>
		A sub-site for NoNonsense3, it’ll be music themed and really nice looking to get people to download
		<dfn title="NoNonsense3">NN3</dfn>—which’ll be perfect in every way I promise <samp>:)</samp>
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/VB/HoTMeaL—HoTMeaL</dt>
	<dd>
		A proper sub-site for HoTMeaL as it should have, news, features, downloads, forums and about sections
		similar to <dfn title="NoNonsense3">NN3</dfn> and BDA.
	</dd>
	<dt>camendesign/Retro/C64 – Commodore64</dt>
	<dd>
		“Homage to the 1 Mhz wonder”—a sub-site similar to ‘/sonic’ to commemorate the great Commodore64
		computer.
	</dd>
	<dt>Links.htm—Links</dt>
	<dd>
		Places to go, things to do on the Internet
	</dd>
</dl>
<aside>
	† <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wipeout_3" rel="external">Wip3out</a>
	<br /><br />
	‡ <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Designers_Republic" rel="external">The Designer’s Republic</a>, a design agency,
	have had a big influence on me.
</aside>
<p>
	That’s all I’ve thought of so far, I also want to somehow include a section for my ultra-futuristic graphic
	design and influence “Wip3out”† in the “Kroc <abbr title="versus">vs.</abbr> The Designers Republic‡”
	demo sub-site I built to test the concept. Oh and not forgetting ‘/TLA’ <ins>The Lost Alliance</ins> and
	‘/TannerHelland’ or whatnot. The Retro section will also be expanded to include ‘/samnmax’ for
	“Sam’n’Max Hit the Road” and ‘/DOTT’ for “Day of The Tentacle”. Plus ‘/SNES’ for my favourite
	computer the “Super Famicon” as the Americans know it.
</p><p>
		Fairly big eh? Could put Google to shame. So far I’ve made 8<abbr title=" meg">MB</abbr> of the site—but bear
	in mind that that consists of 100% hand typed code and all self-produced graphics. There’s not 1 file in that
	8<abbr title=" meg">MB</abbr> that I haven’t created myself. (exluding your MIDI file on BDA that is
	<samp>:)</samp>)
</p>
</section>
<p>
	Screenshot of the “eCV” section mentioned above.
</p>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/ecv.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/ecv.jpg" alt="Screenshot of the online curriculum vitae (résumé) page" width="640" height="480" />
	</a>
</figure>
<p>
	The art section.
</p>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/art.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/art.jpg" alt="Screenshot of the art page" width="640" height="970" />
	</a>
</figure>
<section id="p11"><!-- =================================== page 11 ============================================ -->
<header>11</header>
<aside><br />
	This is Flash.
	The black “<ins>yes</ins>” &amp; “<ins>No</ins>” buttons turn orange and say “<ins>true</ins>”, “<ins>false</ins>” on mouse over.
</aside>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/krocvsthedr.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/krocvsthedr.jpg" alt="Screenshot of a web-design “Kroc vs. The Designer’s Republic”" width="640" height="479" />
	</a>
</figure>
<p>
	(This is ‘Kroc vs The Designers Republic—an ultra futuristic sub-site based on Wip3out, this screen is what
	shows when you click the Exit button. It was created as the original concept for CamenDesign until the idea expanded
	so big that this would be only one of many sub-sites.)
</p><p>
	Hmm, I think I’ve run short of stuff say, gah! Ah—hang on, one other small thing to note is I’ve created a
	revolutionary new ActiveX control—the HyperText Label. It works similar to a normal label, but the big difference
	is you can use markup in the label to make it display different colours, fonts, sizes—all within one label.
</p>
<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/hypertextlabel.png" alt="Screenshot of a demonstration of a hypertext label control" width="337" height="122" />
<p>
	Even though it’s been this long I still don’t have the money to send this! I get paid at the end of this month
	for the weekend work I do at our local PC World—which only just covers bills, and I owe my older brother £55 I
	borrowed to buy my computer <samp>:(</samp>  So, though I may have run out of stuff to say for now, I’ve still
	got 16 odd days to wait.
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 12 =================================== --><section id="p12">
<header>12</header>


<h3>12/09/03</h3>
<p>
	Out of nowhere comes this cool <dfn title="NoNonsense3">NN3</dfn> sub-site!
</p>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/nn3site.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/nn3site.jpg" alt="Screenshot of NoNonsense3 website" width="640" height="377" />
	</a>
</figure>
<p>
	Plus you’d be surprised at the compression—the big pixely thingy on the left is, get this:
	946<abbr title=" bytes">b</abbr>. Yup 946 bytes for a 160×506 image (And that image is not stretched from a tiny
	image, there’s actually 160×506 pixels there). The flash at the top is the coolest part, check out the NN3
	section if you visit Camen Design.
</p><p>
	Many times I’ve thought that I’m just not good enough at web-design (there are websites out there that would
	blow your mind), but I feel such a rush when all of a sudden it just looks so damn cool that I impress myself. Your
	kind words <q>You, my friend, have an incredible talent for design. Don’t even let anyone tell you otherwise</q>
	have kept me going, not that anybody thinks my sites are rubbish—other than myself. <samp>:P</samp>
</p><p>
	Things like <q>HoTMeaL kicks <abbr title="arse">$#@!</abbr></q> have kept a smile on my face all this time, although
	I do wish I had feedback from more people—hopefully that’s what Camen Design is for—to get some attention
	<samp>:)</samp>
</p><p>
	The web-design section of Camen Design will be a very rigid, locked-down template—the reason being that it’s
	contents will not be changed often and so that I can make a nothing-less-than-incredible™ site. When you build
	very detailed templates (best example is the side pane on <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn>), it’s very
	difficult and slow to change them. The Camen Design home page isn’t as good as, say, The Lost Alliance home
	page—it’s a much more relaxed page design, meaning that the home page content is very easily and quickly changed
	since as things get completed and released I want to change the Kroc logo temporarily into something else.
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 13 =================================== --><section id="p13">
<header>13</header>


<h3>17/09/03:</h3>
<p>
	I managed to get a spare 3.5 <abbr title="gig">GB</abbr> hard disk of off somebody, so I’ve put all my documents
	on one hard disk, leaving just enough room on the other to install Windows XP—that took one whole day to get all
	my apps installed and everything just how I want it <samp>:P</samp>
</p>


<h3>Evanescence:</h3>
<aside>
	† That was a joke, I love Evanescence’s music.
</aside>
<p>
	Ah-ha finally, I managed to hear their new (by English release date standards) song, ‘Going Under’. It’s a
	very good song, great video also and I do like listening to it, but it’s not something I would have in my personal
	collection—might make people think I’m an all-black, paint-drinking, Satan-worshipping, Goth.
	<samp>^_^</samp>† (I do have Prodigy’s Firestarter though, but that’s only because it was featured in one of
	my favourite games ‘Wipeout XL’)
</p>


<h3>18/09/03:</h3>
<p>
	That’s about all I can say, I found out it’s pay day today so finally I can send this letter, God knows how many
	months overdue. I suppose a lot has happened (or not happened) for you during all this time, so I’m just
	interested in what you’ve been doing (other than the day-to-day grind <samp>^_^</samp>). Please don’t send me
	anymore books or things, I really don’t have the money to return anything or return the gesture—which reminds me
	of something I wanted to ask you.
</p><p>
	No e-mail I would send, would be downloadable, but I wanted to know if you have a printer that you can use. What I
	could do is write my letter in HTML and then post it on Kroc Camen Writes at Camen Design, where you could print it
	out and read it later—since you have such short time on the net (however printing time might be ages as well
	<samp>o_O</samp>).
</p><p>
	Oh and off of the top of my head, things I’ve seen, places I’ve been have been throwing small ideas into my head
	for stories or what not. Here’s a few.
</p>
<ol>
	<li>
		<p>
			What if the bad guy did win? Imagine the bad guy won, he’s know the ruler of the world and evil
			reigns—now think beyond the point where normally the story wraps up with the hero winning. If
			everybody was evil, and you’d spent several years killing the innocent and doing evil things,
			uninhibited—what would there be left to do once there’s no longer any system of order,
			there’s no food, nobody to build things, just a world populated by warriors, blighted by the
			fact that the thing they sought to destroy and successfully did, was what gave them meaning and
			existence. The story could start many, many years after the original bad guy wins, and takes over
			the world—now the world is destroyed, plagued with disease and famine—almost apocalyptic. The
			“hero” in the story would be a bad guy who was there when evil prevailed, he’s killed many
			innocent, he’s helped destroy the world, and now saddened by the state of the world he lives in,
			he seeks to overthrow the original bad guy who had caused all this to happen—a complete role
			reversal. However if the history was kept hidden so that when the reader started, they would not
			think that the “hero” himself was a bad guy, and that the big bad boss character had already
			defeated the original hero and claimed the world, years ago.
		</p>
	</li><li>
		<p>
			This isn’t really a story as such, but it struck me as interesting if a story was based around a
			tribe of Dragons. Visually it would be interesting to design clothes, weapons and
			architecture—after all, if you can fly you wouldn’t invent stairs. In many stories, cartoons,
			films and what not, dragons are seen as wild creatures. But what I want to do is create modern-day
			dragons—who have a society, technology and art <abbr title="et cetera">&amp;c.</abbr> The
			biggest mistake is that when people do create dragon architecture, it’s just human architecture
			but larger. I would enjoy the challenge of thinking like a dragon, to re-invent basic things that
			humans take for granted because they are designed with us in mind. Things like straw roofed
			houses. If you’re a dragon, you don’t make straw and wood houses, duh! They’d be stone,
			castle-like houses with slate roofs, and then in order to not make a stupid mistake later on,
			I’d need to invent how the dragons would build a house, how they would mine the slate, and thus
			would need to invent the tools and machinery they would use to do that—something overlooked by
			many. Oh and also, the fact that all dragons are seen as powerful, war-like creatures. In my
			tribe, you’d have your lords, your ladies, your computer geeks, artists, mechanics—dragons
			from all walks of life, as you’d expect in human society, ironically enough.
		</p>
	</li>
</ol>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 14 =================================== --><section id="p14">
<header>14</header>
<p>
	Don’t be worried about trying to reply to all this! I don’t expect you to; what I want is that if you can,
	please visit camen design at http://www.computerbitsuk.com/kroc/camendesign/ since the screenshots I’ve provided
	don’t do the animation justice. Make sure you can view it in 1024×768 if possible and especially 32-Bit above all
	other things. Not everything is complete but the sections you can view are BadlyDawn / eCV / Art and NoNonsense3. To
	help you should go through this letter and circle any direct questions that need answering, so that when you come to
	write your letter, you can scan through and be sure not to miss an important question I’ve asked or what not.
	It’s what I do with your letters (although I don’t physically draw on the letter as they’re short enough for
	me to read through as I reply).
</p><p>
	I can start work on your new Tanner Helland site if you want; I was thinking of using the
	<dfn title="lost alliance music extravaganza">tlame</dfn> as the template, since the in-page-player already there is
	perfect. But I suppose you’d want an entirely new site design <samp>:P</samp> So I’ll leave it for now, and
	when you reply please give me some ideas of how you want it to look and what functions and features (no matter how
	minor) you want included and I’ll start work on it then. Obviously I want to include an in-page-player like
	<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> as that would suit the site perfectly, as well as voting and message
	facilities. For the <dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> section of your site, it’d be easier to integrate it with
	the <dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> section of Camen Design, so that 1) there’s more code on show and 2) I
	don’t have to program two complex <dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> sites, only one <samp>:)</samp>  Is there
	any particular style you would like for your site? Do you prefer square design where the site is divided clearly and
	neatly into rectangles (like most of my sites) or circular where there’s more graphics to download, but the
	website doesn’t seem to made up of table cells but rather looks almost impossible as the curves go in and out of
	possible table boundaries—like in the template below—try and guess the table grid that makes up this!
</p>
<figure>
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes_4/foodtemplate.png" type="image/png">
		<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/foodtemplate.jpg" alt="“Food Template” design" width="640" height="613" />
	</a>
</figure>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 15 =================================== --><section id="p15">
<header>15</header>
<p>
	Of course, the problem with circular design is that, although it looks more impressive, it takes much longer to
	download. With Square design, it can be optimised stupidly—the template below is in total 3.48
	<abbr title=" kilobyte">KB</abbr>. That includes all graphics and the HTML file!
</p>
<img src="/writing/kroc_writes_4/cogtemplate.png" alt="“Cog Template” design" width="600" height="450" />
<p>
	That means that, that entire page can be downloaded in 2 seconds! Is there any specific colour you prefer, I mainly
	deal in blue’s but as the template above shows, sometimes—just sometimes, I use other colours <samp>:)</samp>
</p><p>
	Is there any particular theme or symbolism you want, other than “music”? Or any words or phrases that you would
	use to describe how it should be and to inspire moi? For example, Camen Design, I would describe using the words
	“personal”, “fun but professional”, “Well organised”, “dynamic and animated”, “interactive”,
	“spacious” and “relaxed”.
</p><p>
	Do you want the navigation in your site to be in a separate, fixed frame at the top or the side? (Like
	<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn>) Or un-fixed and in-page on the top or the side? (like Badly Drawn, which
	doesn’t have any frames)
</p><p>
	How are you doing with your novel? I don’t expect you to have written anything yet, but what ideas have you come
	up with for story etc?
</p><p>
	If I were to record your MIDI music into WAVs and then burn them to CD and then send it to you—would you be
	allowed to listen to it? It is ‘orchestral’ after all. <samp>:D</samp>  Cyaron’s gate is just so damn cool.
</p><p>
	Well, I guess it’s time to wrap this letter up now, I have been writing it for more months then I can count and I
	suppose I’ve got a fair bit to show for it. I hope things are still going well for you out there, I hope this damn
	letter gets to you but take your time replying, I certainly did <samp>:P</samp>
	<br /><br />
	<em>Kroc</em>
</p>
</section>
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