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We’ve got one lone event on the radar this weekend… This Saturday, February 20th, Bob, “Dr. Mac” Levitus, will be giving his State of the Mac Address to the attendees of the February Houston Area Apple Users Group. Special Interest Group meetings kick off at nine am, Dr. Mac’s address happens around eleven, and things are wrapped by two. Hit www.haaug.org to get SIG details and driving directions to the Bellaire Civic Center, located at 7008 South Rice Avenue in Bellaire, Texas.

I’m curious if Dr. Mac actually gives his talks wearing blue scrubs over what I can only assume is a black Genius t-shirt and a stetho-mouse: half-mouse, half-stethoscope. I assume that he uses the device to deduce whether you are, at heart, a Mac or a PC. If the pic on haaug.org *was* PhotoShopped, I don’t want to know. I’d prefer to live in a world where the stetho-mouse exists, even if that world is completely out of touch with reality. Like the one Google just moved to.

In all fairness, I think that everyone enjoys the occasional break from reality. It’s why people still watch Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It’s probably why Lucas made episodes one through three. It’s also probably why a lot of you partake in the immersive and often complex worlds created by Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Things like World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EVE Online and arguably Second Life. The problem with a few of these pass times is that the in-game rewards are often based on time spent playing the game. This usually takes the form of hunting around for money or doing various repetitive things to gain those precious experience points. Of course, real life money can always be converted into virtual riches, even if you have to go through some fairly shady sources to do so.

Tonight’s big announcement is that Technology Bytes has its own MMO-RPG that lets you compete with other players to earn real-world
rewards. The game is so completely immersive that, for many, it is indistinguishable from the real world. To play, you simply surf
to www.geekradio.com. That’s it.

While you may not realize it, you are now playing Technology Bytes Farm Town. To start the game, you simply go around the house looking for loose copper and silver coins. That’s right, your first job is a copper farmer. As a level one noob, you’ll want to start by farming your immediate area. Your own pockets, under the cushion your sitting on, and so forth. Once you have a feel for the game play, you can widen your search to other rooms and immediately outside your home. Be careful when farming in the street, though, as Tech Bytes Farm Town doesn’t let you respawn. Once you’re out, you’re out. Which is probably why we should get a Tech Bytes Farm Town Last Will and Testament up on the site. (I’ll get with the developers…)

When you’re ready to begin questing, you may search friend’s houses, the coin return slots of pay phones (if you can still find them) and vending machines located in public areas. When you’ve amassed a total of $40.00 in change, head back to where you launched the game, and click on the Donate button on the left of the game UI. Once you have submitted your Tech Bytes Farm Town Copper, you will be rewarded with the title of “Member” in the Guild of Listener Supported Radio.

Now, I’m not a fan of running in-game cheats or hacks, but there is a way you can control more than one virtual player or avatar at a time. In games like World of Warcraft, this is known as multi-boxing. To do so in Tech Bytes Farm Town, simply open a new browser window, get it side-by-side with the existing geekradio.com window, and surf to www.technologybytes.com. Now you’re multi-boxing; now you’re elite.

Of course, you can always just skip all the farming & questing and just donate real life money without the need to go through any shady sources to do so. And if you choose to pledge during a guild meeting night, like right now, you can submit your gold through our in-game voice chat system. It’s a little like Ventrillo and it’s called the telephone. Just pick it up and dial 713.526.4000 to get online with one of our game operators now.

Well, that over half of that for our own pledge farming quest, and that’s it for BarretTime.

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