Monday, January 19, 2009

NYT: Asimov's Foundation to Become a Movie

NYT Arts Beat:

"Fans of Isaac Asimov still haunted by the film adaptation of “I, Robot” will get their chance to wipe it from their memory banks: a movie version of Asimov’s “Foundation” novels is in the works, Variety reported. On Thursday, Columbia Pictures won a three-way auction for film rights to Asimov’s science-fiction epic, whose first volume concerns a mathematician put on trial after predicting the collapse of his civilization. Columbia, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, beat Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox for the rights..."


"...The studio plans to develop the film for Roland Emmerich, the director of the cataclysmic sci-fi movies “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.”"

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Oh well, the movie is ruined already. I did have to smirk when rereading that first line again. "Fans of Isaac Asimov still haunted by the film adaptation of “I, Robot” will... likely be haunted soon by another shitty adaptation. Hooray!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Pass

Something else I've been trying out is LastPass. Essentially, it will save all of your logins and passwords for sites you visit and automatically fill in the info/login for you when you later visit the site. So, you really just need to remember one password, for, and it does the rest for you. Everything is encrypted and saved within your "vault." In addition to saved logins and passwords, you can fill in common information to forms, which can also be automatically filled in for you when you visit sites. So, for example, you can input your address, phone number, credit card info, etc., and when you go to a website requiring you to input any of this information, lastpass will fill it in for you. Nothing is submitted right away, allowing you to edit whatever needs to be edited first. You can also write secure notes in your vault, edit any entries for saved websites, import passwords you already have saved in your browser or other password management software, and export your passwords. And one of the nicest features is a tool to generate an unlimited amount of random passwords. Since I no longer have to remember passwords, I can generate these more secure, random ones for all of the sites I visit.

Initially, it is a bit of setup, especially if you take advantage of generating new passwords for all of the sites you frequent, like I did. I basically just cleared all my cookies, then went through all my bookmarks and logged in. As you log in, LastPass asks if you want the site saved, which you can edit later. Or, you can manually add sites and enter all the relevant information. Once I was logged into the sites, I went and changed any necessary information on the site, like email and password. I used the random password generator tool with a simple keypress. The password generator gives you options for the number of characters, the types of characters to use (upper- and lowercase letters, digits, and/or special characters), and the minimum digit count to use in the password. LastPass detects whenever the password changes and asks if you want to update your entry. But, if you change your username, you have to manually edit that in the entry. It took me about two nights worth to get everything settled.

Unlike some of the other password management software I saw out there, it stores an unlimited amount of different passwords, allowing you to have a unique password for every site you visit. You also don't need to carry around a flash drive with the program on it or anything if you are going to be using different computers. If you are at a different computer, you can just log in to the website and access your vault and use the entries like bookmarks. Within the vault, you can organize your bookmarks into groups, as well. There is also a Firefox add-on that lets me use the full functionality without having to access the website.

Overall, it's a pretty handy tool. It does have some problems logging into my homepage, Netvibes. But, you can submit feedback about individual sites, so hopefully that will get adjusted sometime. I also ran into some problems when trying to switch my passwords on different sites. But, those problems were with the sites themselves being unclear about what types of characters were ok for passwords, or limitations on the number of characters the passwords had to be, and not problems with LastPass. But, even so, if you are changing your password, make sure you fill out those questions they want you to fill out just in case you end up entering the wrong password into your entry for the site, or the site doesn't save the correct password. It's usually easy to catch those mistakes right away, though, by logging out and using LastPass to log back into the site.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Best Freeware

There is a ton of free software out there that is just as good as commercial versions. I am by no means an expert in any way about this kind of stuff. But, aside from talking with friends who know more about it than I do, I have found some websites that give a pretty good consensus from others who are more in-the-know about what the best software is. Specifically, I've been going through lists at Gizmo's Tech Support Alert.

I originally found it when looking for some other freeware to replace my firewall and anti-virus software. I had been using ZoneAlarm for my firewall, and AVG for my anti-virus. But, both had been pissing me off for various reasons. So, I went looking for replacements. This was a few months ago. I ended up getting Online Armor for my firewall and Avast! (though it is exciting, the exclamation point is part of the name and not something I put in there) for my anti-virus. I've been very happy with both of them over several months of use.

Online Armor: Online Armor can be a bit intrusive, asking you about a dozen times whether the program you are trying to run is ok. This is especially true right away, as it has to "get used to" all of the programs you already have. And it puts up a little advertisement for itself in the corner on that blue screen as Windows is loading (essentially, "Windows - protected by ONLINE ARMOR! - is starting up"). That's kind of annoying, but not a big deal. I mean, you don't need to advertise to me anymore, dumbasses. I already installed you. Aside from those things, I find it pretty easy to use. It also loads up fine on startup, which was a real problem ZoneAlarm had on my computer. ZoneAlarm always went through at least three or four hiccups before it finally finished initializing. And, Online Armor doesn't nag me with screens trying to get me to upgrade, buy other products, donate money or anything like that, which is something I've found myself really appreciating in freeware. Oftentimes with free software, you have to put up with those kinds of minor inconveniences.

Avast!: Arr, mateys, this be a fine anti-virus program! I liked AVG for a long time, but then there was something about it that I absolutely loathed. I forget now what it was (maybe they changed their policies about it or something), but I don't really care that much anymore because I'm now happy with Avast! On the downside, I get temporary slowdowns on my computer when Avast! downloads new virus definitions. But, honestly, that is probably due more to my computer being a piece of crap than the fault of Avast! And I appreciate the fact that Avast! so frequently stays up to date. Oh, I do have to mention the sound. When you first install Avast!, it will give you an audible alert along with a visual alert whenever it updates and stuff. I knew after the first time of being startled by my computer speaking to me, "Your computer has new virus definitions," that the sound had to go. The voice was soothing enough, but I knew that having to hear that over and over every day was just not going to fly. But, again, like Online Armor, it has been solid and I don't have any nagging splash screens or anything like that.

I could go more into detail about the features and such these programs have, but I don't really know what the hell I would be talking about and you can just read whatever I would be quoting from the websites. "How 'bout those leak tests, eh? Can't beat that Online Armor. Fo' shizzle!"

Let's see, what other free stuff have I used so far from the Gizmo lists? I got CCleaner, a file cleaner that gets rid of all those useless Temp folders and such on your computer that just clutter up your drive. That first cleansing was pretty great, freeing up about 2 gigs of space, if I remember correctly, which is pretty awesome considering my hard drive is only 20 gigs (I told you it was a piece of crap).

I also got A-Squared, a program to scan for/remove trojan horses and stuff. Basically, Avast! scans for a bunch of stuff, and A-Squared scans for any other stuff that Avast! doesn't, covering my bases. When I first got it, I did a scan and a couple of things popped up that were missed by other programs. So, I figured it was a decent download.

I also got The Gimp as an Adobe Photoshop substitute. But that sorta doesn't count, since I already used to use it at work. I have since gotten over my initial hatred for the Gimp interface and actually like the program now. However, if people are turned off by the interface and prefer something like Photoshop, there is Gimpshop, which supposedly mimics the Photoshop interface. I haven't used it, though.

I fiddled around with Sandboxie for a little while. Basically, what Sandboxie does is create a little partitioned area, a "sandbox," for you to run programs in. Things within the sandbox do not affect the rest of your computer unless you specifically allow them to. So, for example, you can run your internet browser in Sandboxie, download all sorts of potentially unsavory files and the files will be isolated from the rest of your computer. At the end of your Sandboxie session, you can specify what things you downloaded you really want on your computer, and it will put them there and delete the rest of the crap. The upside is that it adds an extra layer of security to your computer, and prevents some unnecessary cluttering of your drive. But, after using it a couple of times, I got tired of it. My browsing practices aren't that bad and I know what I should and shouldn't be downloading and all of that. So, it just became more of a hassle than anything. But, it might be a decent idea for those who are more paranoid about what they download.

JAP is another program I tried out one time out of curiosity. It is a program that uses proxies and encryption and so forth to anonymize your IP whenever you go surfing the internet. Again, I guess it could add some security to your browsing, but it seems more like something you would use if you wanted to do something illegal on the internet and didn't want to get caught. And, because it is a German program, all the sites that you visit end up being German versions of the sites because your proxies are German-based. For example, in my one use of it, I was getting the German version of Yahoo when I went to that site. So, again, that alone was much more hassle than useful to me. And that isn't even mentioning the setup for the program, which was a pretty big pain. Definitely not worth it to me.

I've got some other programs waiting to install to check out. I'll let you know what and how they are. Anyways, check out Gizmo's Tech Support Alert for any free stuff you might want to pimp out your computer. They have lists broken down into categories, or you can just go to the bottom of the page and click on the Show Me Everything link to see all the lists. They also have some Guides and Tutorials that might be useful, as well as links to other good tech websites.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Order Up!

Last week or so, my mom and I went out and bought a bunch of Wii games. One of the games that we got was a game called Order Up! Here is a trailer for the game. It's similar to some of the other cooking games out there, like Cooking Mama, but it also includes an element of time management. Basically, each day, you have customers come into the restaurant and order items off the menu. You then get the order and have to prepare each order. Each menu item has two to four steps to prepare it. This is where the wiimote comes in. You use the motion ability of the wiimote to perform the actions needed. So, if you have to grate some cheese, you shake the wiimote up and down. If you have to flip a steak over on the grill, then you turn your wrist. How well you perform the action determines how good the ingredient is, from perfect down to poor. So, if you accidentally overcook one side of your hamburger, it might come out as only an ok rather than a good or perfect. Then, the quality of each ingredient determines the order's overall quality, which determines how much money the customers pay.

You also can hire up to two assistant chefs to help you prepare items. Each assistant has their own specialty. For example, the first assistant you get, Crispin Brown, is a master of the fryer. If you give him an ingredient that needs to be fried, he will return it to you perfect. Anything else only comes back as good. But, sometimes good is better than anything you might be able to do, such as preparing lettuce leaves.

You also have some chef spices to work with. You can buy spices from Mr. Miyoda at the farmer's market. The spices are essential for Chef Special recipes, which you can also buy at the farmer's market. You can also add spices to change up the usual menu items. Some of the customers have specific preferences, such as Tex Porterhouse, who likes barbecue sauce on everything. These customers will give you an extra tip if you prepare their food how they like it.

There are four restaurants in the game for you to work. Well, actually, five, if you include Burger Face, the fast food place where the tutorial takes place. You start off in Burger Face for the tutorial, then you buy your own diner, Gravy Chug. You try to turn each restaurant into a five star restaurant by fulfilling five requirements, such as opening up all the menu items, buying some Chef Special recipes, and impressing the food critic. Once you have completed the five requirements, a new restaurant opens up, as well as some new choices for assistant chefs. The other restaurants include a Mexican restaurant, an Italian place, and a fine dining restaurant, where you'll prepare things like swordfish and roasted duck and filet mignon. Once you have mastered all four restaurants, you can enter the Fortified Chef challenge to become the Fortified Chef.

I ended up playing all the way through on the Normal difficulty. It took me less than 12 hours of game time to do so. So, if you play straight through, it's pretty short. But, there is quite a bit of replayability in that each time you take orders it is always something different. It is almost like a puzzle, where you need to figure out what ingredients to prepare at what time (e.g. you only have space to fry one thing at a time or grill two things at a time, etc., so you need to plan for those things), what things to pass off to your assitants, etc., to get the food done quickly and at the same time, keeping all the orders hot, to maximize the money you get from the customers. The game does a nice job of adjusting the orders in each restaurant such that in the beginning, you only need to worry about one or two customers at a time so that you can learn how to prepare the ingredients. Then, once you have those skills down, more customers are coming in, and you can focus on the time/space management and division of labor elements.

One thing that I'm a bit unclear about is how much variety you can get out of the spices. The game encourages "experimenting with dishes to make them your own." But, I'm not sure exactly what this does. On the one hand, there are the Chef Specials which are basically normal recipes with certain spices added at certain steps. So, I'm not sure if the experimentation is supposed to help you stumble on those recipes, since you otherwise have to spend quite a bit of cash to buy them at the farmer's market. On the other hand, in some of the Chef Specials I saw at the end of the game, customers were giving me "ingredient bonuses." I'm not sure what exactly that is, but I'm guessing that you can get some bonuses if you use certain spices with certain items or something. I also got the impression that there might be some secret recipes that you would unlock or something if you end up finding them through use of the spices, but I'm not sure if that is true or just wishful thinking. If there are secret recipes, or even if there are "ingredient bonuses" for using the spices, that experimentation would add to the replayability. If not, then it might eventually get boring making the same things over and over again.

One thing I forgot to mention is the sense of humor in the game. Each of the characters, including customers and assistant chefs, have unique personalities that are usually pretty funny. Every time one of your regular customers come in, they will give some sort of hilarious one-liner, and their responses to the dishes you prepare are pretty funny as well. The assistant chefs are also pretty entertaining for the most part, except that you work with them so much that you get sick of listening to them after a while.

Some problems the game has, though, are in the mini-games that it includes. Some of the mini-games are optional, but some of them are forced on you much, much too often. Expect to have to wake up assistants who fell asleep on the job hundreds upon hundreds of times, and get used to washing dishes for the health inspector and flicking rats away from your equipment, because you are going to do almost as much of that as cooking. Also, while each assistant chef has his or her own speciality, there are definitely winners and losers. The most expensive assistant to hire in the game is a monkey, which should be friggin awesome, because it's a monkey and because he's really expensive to hire. But, when I hired him, I couldn't figure out what he was good at. Nothing I gave him to cook came out perfect, and I didn't notice anything else that would justify his paycheck. So, I was understandably very disappointed...

I would have also loved to see some support for multiplayer. Especially given how they have a Fortified Chef competition at the end of the game, that would be the perfect setting to have some sort of cook-off. Or, it could have some kind of cooperative play, where players help fill orders. The closest the game comes to a cook-off type of thing is that individual players can play a mode in which you just fill one order, instead of going through the whole story. But, this mode is pretty weak, in that you can only prepare normal menu items, no Chef Specials, and there's not really a clear way to compare how well each player did. It seems more like a practice mode more than anything, and I don't see much reason for playing it other than to just give people an idea of what the real game is like.

But, yeah, it's pretty fun, though, if you are into those types of games. I'm going to try the hard mode and see what that's like. And my mom's playing it, so that's cool. I'd say it would be a decent game to rent, if nothing else, since it is rather short to get through.


A game I have been playing for the past few months is called Kongai. It is hosted on a site called Kongregate, which hosts hundreds of flash games. While most of the games on the site are created by outside individuals and groups, Kongai is Kongregate's own. They got David Sirlin to balance the game rules. Sirlin is one of the elite Street Fighter tournament players, and has been involved with balancing some of the most recent versions of Street Fighter. I found out about Kongai from two different source. I have read stuff on Sirlin's website before and heard he was working on a few card games. And I had played other games on Kongregate and seen some posted challenges to win cards for some game that hadn't come out yet. I eventually figured out that they were all related.

Anyways, nobody cares about all that. What is Kongai? It's a virtual card fighting game. Each player picks a deck of three or five characters, and battle until one person's characters are all eliminated. There are currently twenty characters, grouped into four similarly themed groups of five characters. So, you have Martial Artists, Amazons, Villagers, and Vampires. More cards are on the horizon, including Pirates.

Only one character for each side fights at a time. There are two phases to each turn. First, players determine the range that fighting will take place. You can either be close or far. Characters start the game close. Then, the players have three choices to determine the range, stay, close, and far. Players make their choices at the same time, and the final range depends on what the players end up choosing. So, if players both choose to go far, for example, then they would end up at far range. If one chooses far and one chooses close or both choose stay, then the range stays at what it was. And, if one chooses stay, then the range is determined by whatever the other player chooses.

After the range is determined, then characters fight. Each character has four special actions they can perform. Each action has a range at which it can be used, a speed, probability to hit, damage amount, and usually some sort of special ability. So, for example, my favorite character, Popo, has a Slingshot, Poison Dart, Knee Bash, and Herbal Preparations. Slingshot can only be used at far range and only has a 60% chance to hit, but it has a 50% chance to triple the damage it does. Knee Bash can only be used at close range and has a chance to interrupt an opponent's attack if the Knee Bash hits first. Poison Dart can be used at any range, does a minor amount of damage, but has a chance to poison the opponent for a few turns. And Herbal Preparations adds an additional chance that any attacks will poison the enemy, as well as a chance to heal Popo for some damage.

In addition to the four special abilities, players can choose to switch out the active character. So, if you have a bad matchup, you can bring in somebody who will do better. But, to counter that, players can also choose to intercept the enemy for a large amount of damage. So, every game includes a couple rock-paper-scissors decisions where you need to decide whether you should switch out, or whether not to because your opponent will guess that you are switching out, in which case maybe you should attack, etc. Finally, players can choose to rest, which allows characters to recover a certain amount of energy. Each character starts with 100 energy. Changing range costs 50 energy, and each special ability costs a certain amount of energy. So, that's seven options for the second phase of players' turns. Again, the decisions are made at the same time, then the actions are carried out according to each action's speed.

On top of that, each special action has a certain type, either physical, light, or dark; each character has specific defense against the three types of attack; each character has a special ability (e.g. Popo has a 25% chance to dodge physical attacks); and there are items that each character can equip (e.g. I like to equip Popo with the Elusive Feather, which grants an additional 25% chance to dodge physical attacks). So, each turn you must weigh all of these factors to decide what to do. Usually, really damaging attacks cost a lot of energy, and there's the chance that the opponent will try to change range on you or try to switch out, etc. It might sound like a lot to think about, but it really is a whole lot of fun once you get to know all the characters and items. It is incredibly satisfying when you outthink your opponent and intercept them when they try to switch, or use an attack that they weren't expecting you to use.

So, if this sounds interesting, head over to Kongregate and check it out. You'll need to create an account there. I would suggest practicing against the computer using some random decks, to get to know all of the characters and items, before creating some decks of your own. Now, here's some of the bad parts: You don't have access to all of the cards right off the bat. You get to start off with three of the forty-six current cards. Then, you have a chance to gain new cards every time you win against someone. There are also bi-weekly challenges on Kongregate where you can win new cards. They basically use that opportunity to promote some of the other games on the site. But, it really is annoying. I guess there is that feeling of reward whenever you win a new card. But, I would rather be able to play around with different ideas for decks right away instead of having to wait for weeks or months to get my hands on a specific card I would need. And people are always complaining about how often new cards get rewarded, of course. Because of this system, this leads to another problem, in that this encourages people seeking cards to beat up on the easiest targets out there, namely the newer players. So, it's sometimes hard to start winning right away because you end up playing people with items on their characters when you have none, for example. You don't have to take every challenge from players, but this leads to a problem later on, in that once you are good, then you have to wait around a few minutes as people opt of of your challenges until you find someone else who just wants to play instead of fishing for cards.

The balancing is pretty good. There are some characters that seem more useful than others. But, every character has a couple of characters that give them bad matchups. So, there's an added metagame in which you might put into a deck a character you normally don't use all that much simply because the character is a good matchup against an often used card. And, there are updates made to the characters periodically to rebalance and to revitalize the cards.

On the whole, though, it is a fun game, and it has some depth to it in creating different teams of characters and seeing how they do.

I'm back, bitches.

Oh yeah, I have a blog, don't I?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tornado (?) in Woodstock

Last night, at around 6 or 7pm, we started getting some really bad weather and the power went out. I was standing at the sliding glass door to our backyard watching, and all of a sudden it got really fierce and trees started going horizontal. So, we grabbed the three dogs and ran for one of the bathrooms in the middle of the house. We crammed in there and sat/stood in the dark while we heard loud booms all over the place, plus some constant drumming as some tree limbs kept beating against the roof. It eventually died down a bit, so I went to take a peek, and saw a tree lying right outside the sliding glass door.

We went out and saw that there were several more trees lying around. As it got close to 8, Mom was frantic to see her American Idol and Dancing with the Stars shows, so we got in the car and headed to a local restaurant with some TVs and ate some dessert. On our way out of the neighborhood, we saw a bunch of houses had been damaged. There was a skinny tree lying in the road on our street. I tried pushing it off to the side, but it wouldn't budge. So, it blocked traffic a little bit one way. When we got out to the neighborhood entrance, there were a couple of trees lying across the road that our subdivision is on, as well as a tree resting on the power lines, totally blocking one way on the street. The other way, there was also a tree in the road, but they had cut away half of the tree to allow one lane of traffic through.

In the morning, we took better stock of what the damage was. I counted 8 separate trees in our yard, either totally down or snapped in half. But, it doesn't look like there is much damage to the house itself. We didn't get any direct hits, from what I can tell, and none of our cars were hit. All the trees had fallen the same direction, so the storm was definitely taking a path. We were without power until 2:30 this afternoon. There were chainsaws going until the early hours of the morning. They restarted again at around 6 when we got up. Here are some pictures below.

Here's the view out the sliding glass door. Nobody had the heart to tell Phoebe it wasn't a picture of her.

Here's our front yard. That's the top of the middle tree lying there.

This is to the left of our house. There were two trees right inside our neighbor's fence. The storm uprooting both trees and they came down just past the back of our house, to lie across the deck and the rest of the backyard. The tree in front is what we saw out the sliding glass door.

Here's a closeup of where it uprooted. It's kind of hard to tell, but lying flat on top of that is the piece of fence that was there. I think it's still somewhat attached at the top left corner by vines to the rest of the fence. It looks like the trees busted through the right side of the section of fence, then the piece of fence looped up over top as the trees fell.

This is to the right of our house in the backyard. One tree busted through the fence there (obviously) and that one in the back came to land on top of/in our neighbor's big shed. Our shed was taken out in October when a tree fell through it during another storm.

There's his shed. He was pissed.

Here is more of the backyard, looking to the left. The tree in the foreground is the one that busted through the fence. The tree lying horizontally there in the back left is one of the trees that uprooted from our neighbor's yard. That table in the back is where our shed used to be. Even if we had replaced it, I think that was the one place in the backyard that wasn't hit.

Here's our deck. The bench on the right there was smashed up pretty good. And I'm pretty sure the railing in the back there is probably also pretty screwed up. You can also better see the piece of fence lying flat on top of the uprooted ground. Also not the discolored shingles in the corner of the roof, above the mangled gutter. That was where the tree fell and hit the house in October. It had fallen directly where the steps are (and the tree in the picture is lying), hit the house, then rebounded to the side of the house. When the guys fixed the roof, they put the wrong colored shingles on.

This is the shot from the deck. There were three other trees down in the back of the yard. You can see a couple of them on the left there and one in the back right.

This... is not our house. This was one of the neighbors who got some of the worst damage. I counted four houses on the two ways out of the neighborhood with trees through the roof. Some other people also had roof damage, as trees hit and bounced off. But, these people were one of the ones with a direct smash or two. They've got the front sheered off there, and another tree through the roof (under the tarp).

We heard that some people were literally blocked from leaving their house. One of the schools shut down for the day and was used as a rally point for the cleanup efforts. Given how much damage there was, though, I heard there were no injuries.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Reason Why The Internet Is Awesome

Behold! Hot Chicks with Douchebags!

It doesn't get any better when you do a Google search for something completely unrelated and stumble upon websites like those. Just think, not too long ago, you wouldn't be able to find something like that if you tried. Now, you can type in just about any term into Google and find a hilarious website within a couple pages of results. I mean, just look at the pictures of Peaches in the Hall of Scrote. I almost cried when I looked at those.

This also reminded me of The Hall of Douchebags that someone (Graham? Brad?) pointed me to quite a while ago.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Lately, I've been playing around with something I found called Cyberboard. It's a program that facilitates "Play By Email" type of gaming. In other words, you can play board games with other people who aren't sitting right in front of you. I think it was originally intended for war game type of games, but the functionality has expanded over the years to facilitate other types of games. The program is made up of two main programs, a design program that lets you create a "game box" (i.e. virtual representation of the board/card game you want to play), and another to actually play the games. In the design program, you recreate all the pieces you'd need to play, such as board, cards, pawns, dice, and other bits and pieces. It has drawing tools if you want to go that route, or you can scan all your materials and paste in images. Unfortunately, it only takes in bitmaps, which makes the file somewhat large, but in most cases it looks much nicer than anything I would be able to draw. Anyways, once you have created the "game box," you then create "scenario files." In the scenario files, you set up the starting conditions and all of that. Then, the first player makes whatever moves they make and Cyberboard records each move. You save the move file, then email that file to your opponent. They load it up, watch what you did, then do their own moves, save them, and send them back to you. I think you can do games with more than two people, but there might be slightly altered logistics to it that I haven't really looked into.

I have mainly played around with the design portion of it, so I don't know exactly how it plays out in practice. But, it is a pretty nice idea. Some people have posted Cyberboard files up on Boardgamegeek for some of the games. Of course, there are copyright issues with scanning in material and uploading them to the internets for free and such. So, the rule that I have seen around is that you only use it if you own the actual physical board game itself (after the person who made the files got consent from the publishers). Two games in particular that I have seen Cyberboard files up for are Dead of Night, which I posted about a little while ago, and Duel of Ages. As far as the one for Dead of Night goes, that would probably solve some of the gripes I had about it, since I was frustrated with the actual crappy paper bits that I made myself. An electronic version of the game is much nicer. The Dead of Night Cyberboard file posted on BGG is pretty nice looking, has pretty good functionality, but is missing a couple of things and features that I would want. Unfortunately, I can't change the game box itself, so I would either have to bug the guy who made it (he passworded the game box file) or just make my own. The Duel of Ages one is really nice, and includes all expansions for the game. From what I've seen, the publishers have been really supportive of the Cyberboard version, and there are tournaments running on the forums on their site. I'm not sure if you're supposed to own all of them in order to play the Cyberboard version or not. But, maybe I'll try to get up a game with someone sometime.

I've been working on a Cyberboard version for one of my boardgames. I'm not going to post it to BGG or anything, because I don't want to worry about any hassle of getting permission or any of that crap. It's been taking me a bit of time, but I'm liking how it's turning out. If anyone wants to check out Cyberboard and has any requests to play any of the games that I own using it, let me know and I'll see if I can work it up. Or if you want to try out Dead of Night or Duel of Ages with me, I'll point you to the files.