Jigsaw is a truly spectacular piece of Interactive Fiction that defies imagination. You play a character known only as White, following this person called Black around. Black has this idea that the world would be a better place if someone took a time machine and changed a lot of things. You, of course, must stop Black, since our history is the best of all possible ones. Other than that, it's a very impressive game. See http://www.pond.com/~russotto/zpletx/jigsaw.html


An Interactive History
Copyright (c) 1995 by Graham Nelson
Release 3 / Serial number 951129 / Inform v1600 Library 6/1
Standard interpreter 0.2

Century Park

At one side of the great Park, on a gravel path which runs west to northeast beside poplar trees. Crowds of celebrants are enjoying themselves to the north, having abandoned the canvas marquee east.


Jigsaw has a few interesting features. For one, it has an extensive system of footnotes on each of the historical periods and events in the game. It's worth playing just to read the notes. Second, it never uses a gender-specific pronoun to apply to White (you) or Black (your opponent). It pulls this trick off with such style and grace that most players don't notice until is pointed out to them. The idea is that, rather than telling you ``you are male'' or ``you are female'', Jigsaw leaves the choice up to you (or your subconscious, anyway).

Jigsaw is my favourite piece of puzzley (non-puzzleless? puzzled?) interactive fiction. If you like Jigsaw, you might also want to try some of Graham Nelson's other games: Curses, Balances, and The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet (the last released under a pseudonym for the '96 IF competition). All of these games are available for the Z-machine platform---the same virtual machine used by the Infocom text adventures. Jigsaw and friends were developed with Inform, the IF development system written by---Graham Nelson.

That Graham's one busy man.

Children's television show from the eighties, with, originally, the fabulous Janet Ellis and the wonderful Adrian Hedley (who didn't speak at all until at least a few series in). Julia Binsted eventually took over from Ellis, as 'Dot' the little cue signal that appears before commericals on live TV (in the UK at any rate). She wasn't nearly as good: but then, she had a hard act to follow.

The show centred on a concealed six letter word. During the course of the programme, clues to each letter would be shown, allowing viewers to guess the whole word. (This sounds strangely banal now, but was gripping at the time. I have fond memories of the whole family sitting aroung to watch.)

Ellis was the main presenter, and was comfortable, and easy to watch (just as she was on Blue Peter) - and Hedley, was the mime, and played Noseybonk, too, in some great set (and usually outdoor) pieces. The character had a mask with a huge white nose. All the Noseybonk bits were backed with some very groovy music, which every British tv watching child of the 80's could hum at the drop of a hat.

Extra entertainment came in the form of the O-Men superheroes, who would be called if someone said 'six words with double-o in a row'. My memory may falter here, but I think they were played by Sylvester (Sly) McCoy (who went on to become one of the Dr Whos) and David Rappaport (of Time Bandits fame). They eventually became jigsaw pieces, trapped for ever in a jigsaw, when the show finally ended.

There was a phoenix, too, I think. Didn't it come out with proverbs every so often? Regardless, it was an excellent piece of programming from the BBC. I suspect Clive Doig probably had a hand in it.

A web server from W3C. Distributed under W3C's open source license. It is intended as W3C's reference implementation of standards like HTTP and WebDAV.

Jigsaw is written entirely in Java and has support for Java plugins, servlets, and other things like that. It can also be configured to support PHP and, naturally, also does CGI. Configuration is done with Swing-based configuration tool (that is still somewhat cryptic if you don't know its own terminology).

While it ain't Apache, it's still a pretty nice server and easy to set up even in Windows - and it seems pretty fast for being written in Java. Looks like this "JIT" thing actually works! =)

Home page: http://www.w3.org/Jigsaw/

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