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Zack Urlocker
Santa Cruz, CA
Software executive, runner, guitar player
Interests: Music, writing, running, cycling, IF
Recent Activity
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Somehow a random internet search landed me upon the BBC Case of Charles Dexter Ward podcast. This is possibly one of the best adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft's stories I've encountered. It's like a cross between NPR's serial, the X-Files and good ol' HPL himself. BBC Radio 4 produced this 10... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Z-Machine Matter
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I'm not a huge Tom Petty fan. Sure, I'm familiar with his top 40 radio hits. You couldn't avoid Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in the '80s and '90s. But I never saw them live and never followed them that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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Last month, Jason Scott, Internet Archivist and director of the terrific Get Lamp interactive fiction documentary, posted an entire hard drive's worth of Infocom source code on GitHub. I thought I'd share a few observations and links to resources that might be helpful to others in exploring this code and... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Z-Machine Matter
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Although I was not familiar with Guy Pratt, I certainly knew many of the bands he played with: Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Robbie Robertson and Pink Floyd to name a few. His book "My Bass... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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Here's another book for aspiring writers, called “Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story.” Although the book is primarily about screenwriting, I think it's quite good for game authors or novelists who want a better understanding of story structure. first of this book on the British Podcast “The Bestseller... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2019 at Z-Machine Matter
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I admit, I have a weakness for rock and roll biogs: The Doors, The Kinks, The Ramones, The Clash, KISS; I've read them all. Hell, I've read and enjoyed biogs by bands like Kraftwerk and I don't even particularly like... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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I admit, I have a weakness for rock and roll biogs: The Doors, The Kinks, The Ramones, The Clash, KISS; I've read them all. Hell, I've read and enjoyed biogs by bands like Kraftwerk and I don't even particularly like their music! But it's pretty rare to find a novel... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2019 at Z-Machine Matter
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IK Multimedia is an Italian music tech company that has long had a reputation for creating "cheap and cheerful" interfaces (iRig 2, AXE I/O), MIDI controllers (iRig Keys) as well as a boatload of software for recording and effects like... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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Looks like we're in another boom year for Tech IPOs! While everyone is obsessed with the mega IPOs like Uber, Airbnb and the like, I think we're seeing a very healthy number of B2B IPOs happening. Zoom and PagerDuty have... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2019 at TheOpenForce.com
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I've been revising the latest draft of my novel, "Gumshoe Rules." The publisher asked me to provide more historical context around some events during and following World War II. As a result, I have been researching the liberation of the Mittelwerk slave labor manufacturing facility by the 104th Infantry Division... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2019 at Z-Machine Matter
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I managed to see one of my all-time favorite bands last night, Television, live at El Club in Detroit. It's not a venue I've been to before and despite a few ominous comments on Yelp, it's a fine club in... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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I've read a lot of biographies about musicians and my fair share of business bios, but Thomas Dolby's improbable "The Speed of Sound" is one of the best. Dolby creates a compelling narrative that puts you in the scene, without... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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You'll be forgiven for not having heard of the film "Amazing Grace." After all, it was shot 47 years ago and until recently never available due to a combination of technical difficulties and legal issues. However, it is now available... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2019 at GuitarVibe.com
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Writing a book is grueling. And writing a book in a month, the basic premise of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), is like running a marathon. A year ago, I wrote the first draft of my novel “Gumshoe Rules” during NaNoWriMo, clocking in at 55,000 words. This was the first... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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My novel, Gumshoe Rules, is now is now available for order at Inkshares. They are running a Mystery & Thriller contest and if I can get enough people to order then it becomes a legit published book. It has long been my dream to write and publish and this seems... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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Recently, I was fortunate to have some business travel take me to Cape Town South Africa. Since I would be traveling 20+ hours to get there, my wife and I decided to take a short vacation in the Sabi-Sands area on safari. I didn't realize most people plan these months... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2018 at The Yak Whisperer
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Prolific Interactive Fiction author Chris Huang has published his debut novel "A Gentleman's Murder" published by Inkshares. This is a classic "golden age" detective story set in London in the 1920s, rich in atmosphere and colorful characters. Huang's writing style will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Martin... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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The Toronto Bike Network (TBN) runs a series of rides outside of Toronto each year called Cyclon. I had the good fortune of taking part in their long weekend rides in Waterloo, Ontario this year with my brother Mike and my longtime buddy Bruce. We rode Friday evening, Saturday and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2018 at The Yak Whisperer
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Congratulations to Duo Security, which announced that it is to be acquired by Cisco Systems for $2.35b. This is a great outcome for all involved, and I'm very proud of what the team has accomplished. I worked with Duo for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at TheOpenForce.com
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It looks like 2018 will be the strongest year in tech IPOs in recent history. Although some of the largest companies (Airbnb, Uber) are still waiting on the sidelines, so far we've seen a large number of very successful IPOs... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2018 at TheOpenForce.com
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BBC Radio 4 in collaboration with NRK, the national radio of Norway, has launched a new podcast "Death in Ice Valley." It's a modern cold-case investigation of the mysterious 1970 death of a woman in a remote part of Norway known as Isdal, or ice valley. It's one of those... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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Jerry Leger & The Situation are one of Canada's best bands in years. I wrote a review of their album "Nonsense & Heartache" after seeing them live in Toronto a few weeks back. Now, they're on their first ever European... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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It was great to see Barenaked Ladies be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in Vancouver recently. And even better, founding member Steven Page rejoined the band for a short performance. Although the Page... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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I had the good fortune of seeing Jerry Leger & The Situation live in Toronto recently. They have a strong local following for their regular gig at Castro's Lounge in the Beaches area of town. While guitarist and pedal steel... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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March 9 marks Mickey Spillane's 100th anniversary. He was a helluva writer, but he rarely got the respect he deserved. His first published book "I, the Jury" was written in 3 weeks earning him an advance of $1000, the amount needed to buy land and build a house. Even though... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter