A few words... - pg. 1 Details and Setting... - pg.1 Hardware: What is it?... - pg.2 Iraq War Editorial... - pg.2 PHP Tutorial... - pg.2 - pg.2 What Don Imus Means... - pg. 5 Pen Tool Power... - pg.8

Issue #1 - April, 18 2007 A few words...
I must say that a lot of hard work has gone into making this newsletter a reality. From the initial idea (and subsequent post) on Nystic. com to the current print you are either reading online or holding in your hand, this has been a long and arduous process. Because of that, I, as the Editor in Chief, would like to thank a few people: - The members of This is, by and large, your newsletter. Without your posts, thoughts, and creativity, this wouldn’t have happened. Thank you very much. - The readers of this newsletter. You are the reason that I have written several tense posts and stayed awake for hours per day looking for a way to make this be better and look better. You are the only reason why this newsletter will have a future. Thank you for reading this issue and maybe the next few that we write. - The writers of these articles. I had to be the most evil, slave driving man, but you patiently endured and I think we have a great start because of your hard work. Thank you so much. luv4nystic, omoi

Who wrote this?
Editor in Chief - Omoi Hardware - Gazoogleheimer Software - Computer-Geek Programming - Super3boy Humor - Funkybungle Politics - Funkybungle Literature - Funkybungle Graphics - Omoi

Details and Setting
by Funkybungle

Dramatists, authors, and everyone in the business of creativity have a mantra: “God is in the details.” They don’t say it because they feel like it, details are one of the big things that separate 2nd-class work from the brilliant stories that drive and engage you. A good reader will consider detailed description to be literary porno. When I say this: “The scary zombie was in the dark graveyard.” You don’t get scared. Why? It doesn’t paint a picture. There’s a zombie, and a graveyard. It’s like a stick figure drawing, and it fails to draw attention or freak someone out. But if I write this: “As the horribly frightened young boy searched for his beloved teddy bear, the zombie, splattered with congealed blood and
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PHP Tutorial
by super3boy

Hardware: What is it, anyway?
by gazoogleheimer

<!-Starters: Just opening this up in IE or FF will give you a blank page. Some basics: You will need to make sure your hosting has php installed before expecting this code to work. 1337: Feel free to take my code if you are reading the Nystic Newspaper. --> <!--tags that you need-> <html> <body> <!--This is a comment-> <!--Start of php code-> <? //This is a comment too /* This is a comment three*/ //This is the string or varible that holds the image locations. Just add another comma and location and you can print abother image. $images = “http://www. images/logo.gif,,
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What is hardware, anyway? Hardware is something that is all around us, but is often overlooked by most users due to the fact that they usually only look at software, because it is what is meant to be used on the hardware. However, this does not make the hardware less important, actually, the opposite: This makes the hardware more important! What few users understand is how much time people put into building computers for the specific purpose of running software and doing very specific tasks for the large variety of things it can do (especially true in your average HP or Dell). However, there are many things one can do with old hardware or currently running hardware, due to the fact that just because it was designed for one thing, doesn’t mean you can’t do something else with it. First, think of the power LED in your computer. It tells you, of course, that the power is on. Got an old computer with a power LED? Well, that’s an LED. So…what can you do? Light something up! Hard drives can be high-speed motors, Fans…fans, CD drives are full of motors, etc. When you have anything old, take it apart and take a look. That hardware can be reinvented or recycled in a whole new and sometimes
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The Iraq War Editorial
by Funkybungle

The Iraq War is quite possibly one of the most controversial wars in US history, second only to Vietnam. The Iraq War has polarized everyone in America; no one has a moderate view on what is the most muddled and confusing war ever. Now, America is in no position to be the“global police” as we have been since the end of WWII. The most dangerous implications of the war are not in the sheer amount of casualties, but in the mindset that this war gives the world. This war has industrialized countries privately, or in the case of Britain, publicly, displaying their derision of our leadership and goals. It is disintegrating global ties with nations who are our allies. And it sends a message to dictatorships like North Korea and Iran that we are an aged, feeble, wannabe world power. People laugh at and mock us for our perceived lack of intelligence; the stereotype of the redneck American is how other countries perceive us. What can we do? We could pull out; but this is unrealistic as Bush will never go for it, and it only increases our globally perceived cowardice. We could stay and fight, but it won’t work because killing for peace is like screwing for virginity. We can never bring peace and stability to the Iraqi people, the Middle East, and the world by shooting at them! Are we all so nearsighted and overconfident of our own abilities that we believe we don’t need advice from other nations and from our own people?
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Visual Basic .NET for Beginners
by Computer-Geek

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What is Visual Basic?
Visual Basic is a language created by developers at Microsoft for creating Windows based applications. Today we will be working with Visual Basic .NET, which is part of the .NET programming language family. Visual Basic (VB for short) uses an IDE (Interactive Development Environment) to design code and compile your application.

Why learn Visual Basic .NET?
VB is a fun and easy to learn language, full of features to meet your needs when making a desktop application. The Microsoft IDE has a designer view where you can just drag-and-drop controls onto your application within seconds. Over all it is my favorite of the .NET languages because of fact that it isn’t very strict. Take into account Visual C# (pronounced “Visual C sharp”), the IDE is very strict on the language, is harder to learn and use. If you are new to desktop programming, this tutorial is for you.

Download the IDE
Microsoft provides a free version of their IDE for VB at: http:// . Please download and install Visual Basic express edition to continue.

Hello World!
For a walk through of making your first “Hello World” application, please view these Images created with Gotcha 2.0. - High Resolution: gif - Low Resolution:

Do you like this picture? More on com/mail/help/images/ logo1.gif”; //This line of code trims any whitespace(spaces) before and after the above string $images = trim($images); //Explode is one of the best functions in php. Using this function I can split the diffrent image locations apart $exploded = explode(“,”, $images); //Also using the explode function I count the number of commas in the string so I know how many images to print out $count = count(explode(“,”, $images)); //Just setting the varible I to 0 so I can use it in the loop. $i = 0; //A loop that does not stop till the condition is false. In this case it loops every time it prints an image tell it reaches the number of image stored in the string. while($i < $count) //start of the loop { //The exploded varible is an array(Think of
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<< cont’d from ‘details and setting’ - p.1 >>

one of those community mailboxes where they are all in a grid. Same thing here I can store mutiple values in a single array. //I can only do one in a string. So this line converts a place in the array to a string so I can use it easier $url = $exploded[$i]; /* //This line echos or prints out the html. The browser(firefox, internet explorer, does not see the php code(stuff between the <? and ?> ) //It only sees the things I print out with echo or printf */ echo “<img src=’$url’></img><br>”; //This line increments I. Basically telling the code how many images I have printed so it can know how many more to print and where it is $i++; //end of the loops } //end of the php code ?> <!--end of tags that you need--> <body> <html>

the decaying organs of his victims, lurked menacingly behind the massive, sprawling oak tree that reached to the pale full moon that illuminated the eerily empty eye sockets of the zombie fastened upon his innocent young victim.” This paints a picture. We know what the zombie looks like, we know what he is doing, we have a setting, so this is good. But we can go even farther: “The boy had pale blue eyes and light blonde hair that brushed the tops of his eyebrows, which were currently arched halfway up his forehead in sheer terror and awe. As he quietly crept about in the abandoned field littered with the graves of the dead, his eyes darted about, searching for his beloved teddy bear that he longed for to help him sleep through the long, cold nights in his lonely bedroom. Meanwhile, behind a huge oak tree whose branches seemed to blot out the stars, a zombie lurked menacingly. His eyes dangled from his eye sockets, his tattered clothing was stained with dark, ominous spots of congealed blood, his stomach was brutally ripped open, spilling out a sickening display of rotting, crusty innards, which may have once been a healthy pink, but which are now a sickening shade of rusty brown. The zombie’s eye sockets lustily swiveled and rested upon the little boy’s face: the zombie would have food tonight. It poised itself behind the tree, perfectly still in a way that no living creature could ever accomplish, and slowly drew back its cracked lips to reveal broken, greenish yellow teeth, covered with a thick film of shiny white plaque stained pink with the blood of the zombie’s last victim. The little boy stopped and slowly bent over to pick up the teddy bear from its place near the oak tree. The zombie leaped, and the boy stared straight into the face of his own doom with his mouth open in a soundless scream.” That is good writing. It’s the difference between telling and engaging, and it is what masters of writing use to captivate their readers. Next up we have setting. Most authors, even the famous ones,
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Do you like this picture? More on Copyright Nystic 2007

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don’t use setting because they consider characters and emotions more important. But the truly good ones use setting to affect their characters, and use their characters to affect their setting. A person in a tropical island paradise thinks and acts differently that a person in a desert, or on the slopes of an erupting volcano. Take a look at this:

What Don Imus Means for Comedy
by Funkybungle

Maturity-wise, we’ve come a long way since the clean sunshine-and-bunnies humor of the 60s and 70s. Nowadays, “The beach was pretty and hot. Jojo felt happy to be on the much of our humor is decidedly beach.” R-rated, for better or for worse. But the firing of Don Imus It isn’t terrible. You can see that the author let the setting affect the signals a growing trend that characters. But it isn’t great, descriptive, or anything like that. is affecting everything from comedy to music to fashion. “The sand on the beach was fine and felt wonderful in between Traditionally, mature comedians Jojo’s toes. Whenever he felt hot, he would dive straight into the have argued that by being crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean and he would be enveloped politically incorrect they bring by refreshing coolness as he swam through the glassy water.” to light society’s problems or that they are equal-opportunity This is good. A good English teacher would really enjoy something offenders and insult everyone, like this. Lots of unique adjectives, and the setting is really making i.e. South Park or Borat. Don Jojo feel good. Definitely an A+ from any good English teacher, Imus was recently suspended but for the stringent standards of creative writing, this won’t cut it and then fired for called at all. This will: the members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team “The sand on the beach was the color and consistency of fine “nappy-headed hos.” This recent sugar, and it sloshed around Jojo’s feet almost as if welcoming revelation has mature performers him into this gorgeous island paradise. The hot Caribbean sun beat quaking in their boots. Imus’ down on the ground, but the cool, refreshing shade underneath comments and the massive the wide, bright green fronds of the palm trees provided for a backlash are indicative of a comfortable spot to stop when Jojo needed a break. Whenever public that is beginning to grow he felt like it, Jojo could dive beneath the crystal-clear waves of uneasy of widespread profanity the Caribbean and swim with the multicolored schools of fish that and violence in the media. But swam about just beneath the surface, oblivious to the humans how does this apply to comedy? that swam around them. Jojo felt ecstatic to be here instead of at Don Imus is what many people school, and proud to be one of only 5 students who got to go to in comedy refer to as a “shock Costa Rica as part of his school’s exchange program. And now, here jock”: he gets laughs by being he was, diving beneath the gentle waves that lapped at the shore more inappropriate than the with playful affection that could quickly turn into fierce anger in next guy. But Don Imus is one of the famous “lightning cyclones”, miniature cyclones that nothing compared to South Park, popped out of nowhere and ripped up seashores and islands across which is by far one of the most the Caribbean each year. Jojo took one more moment to marvel inappropriate shows in history, at the underwater paradise, then burst through the waves to catch and also one of the funniest his breath. That was when he saw the lone gunmetal-grey fin slice and most brilliant. This has through the water like a knife, heading straight towards him.” gotten people thinking: If three almost vague words from Don Tune in next time for info on character development! Imus can get him fired, then how is freedom of speech and a “if we don’t do it, who will”
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philosophy managing to protect the South Parks and Ali Gs of this world from cancellation? The answer is that it isn’t. A widespread moral panic is sweeping the nation, and racism and sexism is beginning to be more intolerable in our society. Already, people are hunting down bigotry and sexism, which is great. I’m not a big fan of racism either, seeing as I’m a brown Indian dude. But the problem arises when people try to shut down shows like South Park. South Park, Borat, and all the other inappropriate adult shows are brilliant because they show sexists, bigots, and fanatics as they really are, which helps the cause of moral justice and does not hurt it. Borat makes fun of Jews even though he is a Jew himself, and it shows just how twisted and hateful bigots are and can be. This really hurts bigotry around the world and doesn’t help it. South Park is only morally twisted when a person takes it that way. Comedians have always been a force of change in society, ranging from Jonathan Swift lampooning Victorian society in the 18th century to Monty Python skewering religious zealotry in Life of Brian, comedy has always a mirror for society to peer into, pause for a second, and scream “Holy $#%@!”. South Park, Dave Chappelle, Carlos Mencia, and other comedians show us everyday how many sick and twisted people there are in this world, and they manage to entertain us while teaching us something about this world we
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enjoyable way. However, what if you want your hardware to be added upon? Well, then we take the reverse approach. Got an old Dell that needs some 1337 hardware mods? It’s simple really. Just get some LED’s (from your favorite electronics or industrial electronics store), a resistor so the LED doesn’t blow up, a molex connector (you can cannibalize one from a power Y-cable or a floppy/SATA adapter, you want the whitish (usually) connector with 4 pins and 2 black wires, as well as a yellow and red. So…then what? Well, to pick the LED, you want the brightness you want (usually indicated on the packaging) and the color. Then, you take note of the LED voltage (usually in the range of 2-3 V) and the maximum current (for maximum brightness). It is now time to select the resistor. We use a resistor with LED’s because we only want a specific current to flow through them (usually between 3 and 50 milliamps) or else they will burn out due to too much internal heat because of the higher current. This would not be a problem if we ran the LED at its normal voltage, but you only do that from batteries (you can usually run most LED’S just from a CR2032 or CR2025 button cell for a mini-flashlight, or 2 AA’s, AAA, C or D batteries) and we often want to run them at a higher voltage, often 12 or 5 (12 being the most common: cars, computers, most lead-acid batteries), so we need a resistor because once the magic smoke comes out of a LED, it’s probably not going to work anymore. To find the required resistance, we use V=IR, the handy Ohm’s law. First, subtract the LED voltage (in this case, 3 volts) from your supply voltage (in this case, 12 volts) so we get 9 volts. We then input our current (here it will be 20ma, or 20/1000 of an amp) and we get 9=0.02R. We solve for R, and get a resistance of 450Ω (ohms). Anything close to that is fine, but…what power rating? ¼ watt? ½ watt? A watt!? Well, for that we use our other handy equation, the power equation. Before we do that, we need to take note that what we just did only works for 1 LED. If you are wiring LED’s in parallel (both positives to battery, both negatives to battery), then you add the currents of each LED together (for example, 40 mA), whereas for series circuits (LED’s in a row instead of parallel to each other, +-+-) we add the voltage drops and keep our 20ma, so we would plug in a voltage of 6 volts into Ohm’s Law. When one starts to add a plethora of LED’s, the problem of power comes up. Too many LED’s in a series or parallel circuit, and your resistor probably will not be very happy. It probably will get hot, and even in extreme circumstances catch on fire (cool looking, but you don’t want it in your computer!), so we use the power equation. We use the equation P=IV, or Power=Current*Voltage. In this case, we would multiply the resistor’s voltage by the current going through it (the LED current) so it would be P=.02*9 or .18 watts. In this case, a ¼ or .25 watt
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Copyright Nystic 2007

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live in. That is the kind of thing that transcends moral panic and outrage, and that fights bigotry everywhere. The problem is when people take it wrong. South Park is rated TV-MA for a reason-it is mature. I see people at my school living by South Park or Dave Chappelle’s ideas, and it frightens me, because most of the clever satirical shows (and not the random adult swim stuff) are supposed to be satirizing these issues and not preaching them. That’s why I say that South Park is best left to mature audiences, or to those who can understand these 583 words.

resistor is perfectly fine, but for higher currents it could become quite warm, and possibly burn you. Ok, ¼ watt resistor @ 450Ω for a 20 mA LED with a 12V voltage. So, now all we have to do is simple wiring! So…which wire goes where? Well, black is NEGATIVE most of the time, and in computers it is actually a common, but that is complex and we regard it as negative. In computers, black is common, yellow is +12, and red is +5. Since we do not need the +5v, we will clip that wire and the black wire next to it on your female molex connector (I rip them off of old hard-drives and cut off the IDE, and in that case it goes (+12)(C)(C)(+5) looking at the pins, but it works fine either way) and then strip the yellow and black wire about ¼ inch down the insulation from the end (wire length does not matter) and you may want to attach wires to the end of the wires on the molex using solder or wire nuts (electrical tape or crimp connections if you wish) so the LED can be further away, then connect the negative/common (black) to the short lead on the LED, and positive (yellow) to the resistor (it can be on the other side of the LED, it doesn’t matter) and then to the long lead on the LED. I suggest covering bare wire with electrical tape to
cont’d on p.8>> Copyright Nystic 2007

Pen (Tool) Power
by Omoi

<< cont’d from ‘hardware’ - p.7 >>

Well, here I am, presented with the issue of what to actually talk to you about in terms of graphics. I guess I will talk about the lessons and tools that have helped me along the way. Today’s choice was the pen tool. Most graphics software has a tool like this for cutting things out, but for this article, I will be referring to the pen tool on Adobe Photoshop© CS2. That being said, let’s continue. The pen tool is the tool I used to cut out the shape at the bottom right of the following image:

prevent shorts, because nobody likes a dead PSU (although 99% of PSU’s will just cut out until you correct the short, unplug, and replug them, and if it does die, it’s your fault and not mine). You might also want to put a switch in series with the LED, and then drill a hole in a spare drive bay to mount it, but that’s the fancy method. So, turn your computer on, and ZOMG! Light! (hopefully) and there you go, your first mod.. After that, you can keep getting more complex and more complex! So, this is why I like hardware. It can do amazing and wonderful things with software, as well as do useful tasks and create interesting effects (Dishwasher, anyone? Find an old one and rip it apart…it will probably be one of the most mechanically complex things you could see…but you would never think it!) and hardware, be it washing-machine or computer, does the brunt work for us everyday-showing that pixel, removing that grass stain. Since I am the only member of Nystic that is really passionate about hardware, I want to spread my enjoyment that I get out of building things that work—it’s a wonderful feeling to flip a switch, and get the outcome you wanted (example, no magic smoke) and to be able to do something useful. You start with LED’s, and end up with clocks, amplifiers, burglar alarms, and other useful devices. Try grabbing an electronics catalog and flipping through it; you’ll be amazed at how many little things it takes to do what we take for granted! Part of my message is also about how very few people realize the labor and resources it takes to turn on a light bulb, and especially turn on a computer. If you have an old computer, disassemble it. I think you will find many interesting things inside, and you will also find a surprising beauty in such things as a harddrive platter or the circuit traces in a motherboard. It’s not just a bunch of plastic, it’s art, designed to force electrons to do what you wish them to do, coursing back and forth. Well, thank you for reading. I have a few sites that I would like you to visit to learn more: My LED tutorial: 3Aacoolpieceofsiliconandplastic

That is a part of an actual picture. Mind you, this was part of an image that had background objects among other things. So how do you get the image out? If you have Photoshop, the answer is the pen tool. In Photoshop, you click the pen

Some sites to look at for electronics parts: (Atlanta members click that link) Thank you for reading! I hope you learned something, and I hope you start taking the wonder of hardware a little bit less for granted.

Copyright Nystic 2007

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tool. In the palette well, (top right of the screen), you find the path palette. You can also use the Window menu to find the palette window. After that, you carefully cut around your image. until you have the desired area cut out. When you have cut all the way around the image, be sure to click the starting point. If you don’t, the selection will not be closed and that can be disastrous. Go the layer with the cut out area selected. You should be able Wanna know who this is? Visit to see the shape you cut out. Right click and choose “Make Selection”. Pick whatever effect << cont’d from ‘iraq war’ - p.2 >> is to your liking. After that, copy the image from the path Simply, the best way to win the war in Iraq is to help people. Pull palette, go to the Layers palette out troops, ask Iraqis what they think, stimulate the economy by and paste the cut portion of the lending them money, and we have a game plan. Why would this image in its own layer. If you work? It repairs our tarnished global image. Our soldiers don’t turn all the other layers off in get shot at. It helps our economy by halting an under funded war photoshop, you will notice that that costs 1500 dollars per second. At that rate, we could have given over 130 million adults health care, or hired over 7,750,000 the background is no longer in elementary school teachers, or created over 62.5 million Head Start the picture. places for preschool children, or given over 194 million children Perfecting this is very hard. health care, or built over 3.5 million houses for the homeless (we It is a good idea to magnify could have given everyone in New Orleans displaced by Katrina a home), or built over 45 thousand new elementary schools, or given your image to at least 300% in order to close in on pixels and over 75 million students university scholarships, or hired over 7.9 hair. Also, to handle curves, million music and arts teachers, or hired over 10 million Public Safety Officers, or given over 472 million homes renewable energy hold the pen and bend it in (which saves hundreds of billions each year, helps the environment, whatever direction. To preserve the curve you made, hold Alt AND means that we don’t have to give oil money to unstable oil countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran), or hired over 6.8 million port and then move the pen back to the last spot you made. If container inspectors (ruling out the possibility of a terrorist strike you have questions about this, from sea cargo in a country where only 1% of our naval cargo is there are plenty of places to ask searched despite our massive national security budget.) We could questions... have done, and could still do, so much good if we started talking to the countries we fight and figured out a solution. What surprises me is that no one, Republican, Democrat, or anything in between, However, as you could guess, I’d rather have you drop in and post has thought of this. People say that those who don’t support the something on http://www.nystic. Iraq War are “troop haters.” I say that the true “troop haters” are com. those who support sending them off to be killed. Thanks for reading.
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