David Morgan-Mar

David Morgan-Mar
Occupation Optical engineer
Website
http://www.dangermouse.net/

David Morgan-Mar (aka DangerMouse) is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of Sydney, Australia, best known online for his webcomics, and for creating several humorous esoteric programming languages. He is also the author of several GURPS roleplaying sourcebooks for Steve Jackson Games, as well as a regular contributor to Pyramid magazine. He works as an optical engineer at Canon.

Contents

Esoterica

Morgan-Mar has created a number of esoteric programming languages or algorithms some of which have achieved a degree of popularity. Some of them are full Turing-complete languages while others are simple jokes, often based upon the idea of how a given group (e.g. chefs, orangutans or necromancers) would be expected to program.[1]

It is a mark of Morgan-Mar's humor that his algorithms often reflect the practices or misconceptions of or about the computing industry, for instance 'LenPEG', an image-compression algorithm is designed such that if it is given the standard Lenna image it produces an output file of 1 byte, otherwise implementing a standard JPEG, GIF or PNG compression, therefore beating these in benchmark tests. His intelligent sort algorithm (a parody of intelligent design), which suggests that any sufficiently complicated list is already sorted according to the whims of a sorter implying any further sorting is unnecessary, was referenced in the 'feedback' section of New Scientists issue of the 12 May 2007.[2]

Programming Languages:

  • BIT, which treats all data like C treats strings.
  • Chef, where the programs are written to resemble recipes.
  • Haifu, based upon the Haiku, Eastern philosophy and artistic values.
  • HQ9++, an extension of HQ9+ (in which every command produces one of the standard programming tasks - printing Hello World, Quines, generating the lyrics to 99 Bottles of Beer and incrementing the accumulator by 1) to the object-oriented paradigm.
  • Ook!, an implementation of Brainfuck designed for orangutans (see The Librarian (Discworld)).
  • Piet, a graphics based design where the programs are works of modern art
  • Whenever, a language which considers its lines of code to be to-do lists, and will arbitrarily choose which task to process next.
  • ZOMBIE, designed for evil necromancers.

Comics

Morgan-Mar is known for his webcomics: Irregular Webcomic!, Infinity on 30 Credits a Day, Darths & Droids, Square Root of Minus Garfield and mezzacotta.

Irregular Webcomic!

Established at the end of 2002, Irregular Webcomic! is a photo-comic that consists mostly of pictures of Lego with speech balloons added above them (although there are some strips named Me with Morgan-Mar in them as well as the fantasy and space themes) and has several (usually) distinct casts of characters (called "themes") with many different kinds of jokes and story arcs.

Infinity on 30 Credits a Day

Infinity on 30 Credits a Day is an idea that was developed by David Morgan-Mar in response to a poll he conducted, asking the fans of Irregular Webcomic! whether they would create a webcomic, given the ability to do so. It is a webcomic created entirely through collaboration between the 500 or so fans that signed up to help. Essentially, the creation of each comic is a collaborative effort by several people, chosen for their skills.

The comic started off with many contributions, but input tapered off during 2008. This may have been due to the introduction of Lightning Made of Owls, a new user-contributed comic on the Mezzacotta website.[3]

Darths & Droids

Inspired by DM of the Rings,[3] Darths & Droids takes place in a universe where Star Wars was never created and sci-fi shows such as Star Trek never became popular.[4] The concepts of Star Wars are thus largely unknown to the characters, with concepts such as lightsabers' deflection abilities, midichlorians, the Gungan race and Anakin as either made up by the players themselves or hastily invented by the Game Master after the players go off his prepared plot line.

The game started out with only Ben (Obi-wan Kenobi), Jim (Qui-Gon Jinn), and the game master (who plays the NPCs). Later Sally, Ben's sister, joined them, initially playing Jar Jar Binks, then a variety of minor roles, before switching to play Mace Windu and then Yoda. Jim's friend Pete joined in Episode 46 as R2-D2.[5] The newest player, Annie, who is in Ben's drama class, was introduced in episode 70 and initially played Shmi, but later switched to Anakin Skywalker (and Jim switched to Padmé Amidala). Pete and Annie are notably polar opposites: while Pete is obsessed with points and stats, Annie is far more interested in the roleplaying aspect. The comic has so far covered all of episodes 1 and 2, and most of episode 3. Morgan-Mar and the rest of the team behind this web-comic plan to go through all six movies.

References

  1. ^ [1] Morgan-Mar's Esoteric Programming, accessed 12th May.
  2. ^ [2] New Scientist Feedback, 12th May 2007, accessed 12th May.
  3. ^ http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0001.html
  4. ^ http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0050.html
  5. ^ http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0046.html

This page was originally based on an entry from Comixpedia at Infinity on 30 Credits a Day and is used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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