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Boy, some people are just classy.

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Despite having been officially off the market for several years now, I try to help people who still have some of the old versions of my games, specifically the old Expert Software versions. Even though Expert's been gone for quite a few years, I get an email from people who need help once in a while. This one started typically.

This is an enquiry e-mail from Wayne Wikman (wjwikman@telus.net)

Hi John,
You are hard enough to find.
I think from the subject, you likely know what I want. Bulldozer 2 level 41 starts with one boulder against the top wall, so the level cannot be completed.Would you please send the password for level 44. Thanks, Wayne.

I'm quite aware that the Expert Bulldozer 2 has a bug in level 41. I sent Expert a fix years ago and they never burned it, so there are a few thousand versions out there with broken level 41's. I've also documented an easy workaround, which I gave in my reply. . .

Check out the FAQ.


If you spend 90 seconds or so reading the FAQ, you'll see that the level 41 bug is clearly documented, and I give away the password that'll get you to level 44. It's all spelled out fairly matter-of-factly, actually. Try it now!

Anyway, I had this in my email box this morning.

Why can't I get an answer??

Maybe it should be called "Bullshit 2"

Gee, what a well-reasoned and robust reply. I'm glad he appreciates my help, given that the tech support for those games officially evaporated around mid-1999.

So I gave him a more matter-of-fact reply. . .

> Why can't I get an answer??

The password for level 44 is "RTFM"

> Maybe it should be called "Bullshit 2"

That's very good advice. I'll take that under advisement. In fact, I'll try to consult with you whenever I have a new product to name. You seem to have a knack for it.

I'll now open up the floor. Can you think of a better witty retort to his robust and well-reasoned reply to my solution to his problem?
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I confront problems like these from a purely mathematical standpoint. I've had a few "tech support" emails about my books, and on rare occasion they take entirely too much time to resolve, so I mention this:

Focus on 2D in Direct3D has an SRP of $29.99. The wholesale price is half of this, or $15. I get a 10% royalty on the wholesale price, or $1.50 per copy of the book. So, as a purchaser of Focus on 2D in Direct3D, you are entitled to $1.50 worth of tech support from me personally. At the entirely reasonable rate of $30 per hour, that means that you are entitled to exactly three (3) minutes of tech support.

In the case of your Expert title, it had 20(?) games in it. And it sold for $20(?). Assuming a wholesale price of $10 and a royalty rate of 10%, a person who purchased your games is entitled to $1 worth of tech support in total, or $0.05 worth of tech support for a single game.

Send him an invoice.

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