Almost everyone knows how the TV quiz show Jeopardy is played. Hasn’t it been a very successful edutainment format TV game show?
Back in October of 2001, on Halloween, KLUG members gathered in Dunbar Hall on the WMU campus for what was being billed then as Open Source Jeopardy. Adam Williams used a classroom chalkboard to list the answers and KLUG's Brian Ritz was the scorekeeper. Adam had the questions written on cards which were sorted by points and categories. Adam transferred that info to an entire wall of chalkboards. That was a bunch of writing and the manual score keeping was rather difficult. In following years, the name was changed to Geek Jeopardy and Adam put all the information into a spreadsheet application. That sure beat all that writing.
In anticipation of celebrating the 5th year of the annual festivities, KLUG Linkmaster (KLUGware too) Jon Smitley put Open Source tools together with the game process to create an application with a graphical user interface for the display of the categories, points, and answers. It even handles the game scoring. Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White was apparently unwilling to perform the scoring duties for us. It does include an MC display that provides the correct questions. Even Alex Trebek could handle this application. He also had the buzzer system working just like it was expected to. There are Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and even Final Jeopardy sessions included.
Jon calls the application "AMPardy." The Merv Griffin attorneys vigorously protect their intellectual property so care was taken to not be taunt copyright actions. AMP stands for the Apache web server, the MySQL database, and the widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML… PHP! Were any problems encountered? Only minor ones and that is why all software is beta tested.
Jon, with some help, did an excellent job of putting together this AMP application. You can be sure it will be ready for Halloween 2005 and the annual KLUG Geek Jeopardy party. There was some uncertainty about whether or not this application could be released as Open Source code without running into legal problems. We’ll find out more about that in the future.
The test topics included Geek Cinema, CPU Architectures, YRO, Redmond, LDAP, Samba, X11, Slang, XML, CLI, "Things that spin", and "RFC Potpurri" that were snagged from a previous year’s spreadsheet archive file. The software testing session was enjoyed by a raucous crowd of previous year Geek Jeopardy enthusiasts. No one had more fun than the originator, Adam. He got his first chance to show how much he knows and how good his memory was from back in October of 2002. Adam did blow the rest of the teams out of the water but you could tell that he was not the only player with quick fingers and a good knowledge of the Open Source technology and community.
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