A cloud is forming

Changes to this Gamecraft blog are underway.

I am currently in the process of revamping Gamecraft to make it more useful for readers and easier to find the desired content.  I am also trying to improve the marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) for the site in order to bring more visitors, and hopefully the changes will help them become regulars here.

The quest to improve my blog began with a post in the asp.members.marketing newsgroup of the Association of Software Professionals.  Responses from fellow members suggested that there was not problem with the focus or content of the postings, but rather that the organization was not ideal, especially for new visitors.  In particular, it was suggested that I add a “tag cloud” to the side bar, which I have done, and tag my posts appropriately, which process is underway but may take a while (since there are nearly 300 posts to update).

To be honest, I never really considered a tag cloud before, but now I definitely see the benefit, making the topics of the blog available at a glance.  I actually needed to make some CSS modifications to the theme in order for the one here to appear more as a cloud and less like individual lines of alphabetical keywords.  For the moment, certain keywords (e.g., “Mac”) are overrepresented based on recently activities and releases, but it is an improvement.

Other changes included moving the ‘Archives’ column to the far right, so that its length does not displace other groups, moving the ‘Categories’ column up, and adding a ‘Recent Posts’ column.  (At least some of these changes may have been made previously and then lost in a WordPress or theme update.)  In the near future, I am planning an ‘About your host‘ page for those who want to know more about me and my extensive experience, as well as a ‘Best of Gamecraft‘ section with links to some of the most useful and popular articles.

I sincerely invite any suggestions or criticism of the style, content, and organization of the blog, either via comments to this posting, or directly via email to seelhoff@sophsoft.com.  Praise, of course, would be accepted as well.

Pretty Good MahJongg Mac Edition 1.0

A favorite product is now available on a new platform.

This week, Goodsol Development released Pretty Good MahJongg Mac Edition 1.0, our very first published Apple Mac OS X version of this award-winning title.  Pretty Good MahJongg Mac Edition is a MahJongg solitaire game which has 160 different tile matching layouts, but also 32 original solitaire games played with MahJongg tiles, as well as a custom layout editor (only available in the full/purchased version).

The develoment of Pretty Good MahJongg Mac Edition took longer than originally anticipated, due at least in part to working on three different products for three different platforms simultaneously.  The end result, though is very satisfying, and this Mac Edition has all of the same gameplay features as the Windows version, including downloadable tile sets.  The next major update of PGMJME will bring the number of solitaire games (and tile matching layouts) even with its 8-year-old sibling, but that is in the (not too distant) future.  For the moment, I am looking for the expected 50% productivity gains on the other two major upcoming releases.

You can download a trial version of PGMJME 1.0 from the Mac Edition web site, and you can purchase Pretty Good MahJongg Mac Edition for only $24.95.  (Registered users of the Windows version can find a link for a discount coupon on the Goodsol web forum.)  What a deal!

I challenge anybody to catch me in Free Klondike (one of the original solitaire games in PGMJME, and my favorite) playing in climb mode.

RIP: Mike Dulin (1943-2010)

A friend and colleague passes away.

Last Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Michael Dennis Dulin died from complications of pulmonary fibrosis; he was 66.  [Here is his Obituary from the Janesville [Wisconsin] Gazette.]

Mike Dulin

Mike Dulin at SIC 2006

Mike Dulin was the founder of SharewareJunkies.com and other related web sites.  Within the shareware industry, he was perhaps better known as a perennially upbeat attendee at industry conferences, an advocate for software entrepreneurs, and the driving force (and voice) behind SharewareRadio.com.  (He interviewed me for his site back in 2007.)  Mike always had a story at the ready, including some amusing anecdotes from his previous career as an air traffic controller at Chicago O’Hare.  He qualified as a true “character” (in the best way), living and working in both Finland and Guatemala, commuting a couple of times each year.

At the time of his death, Mike Dulin was serving as the President of the Association of Software Professionals, a position to which I was instrumental in appointing him back in 2008 (when I was ASP Chairman of the Board).  Mike remained in that role and was still performing his duties for the ASP at the Software Industry Conference less than two weeks before his passing (and I am sorely disappointed that I was not there at SIC 2010).

Rest in Peace, Mike.  You will be missed.