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Sunday, January 27, 2008


Pleo World Videos Of Note (and Hilarity)!

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Although I'm somewhat swamped with real life projects at the moment, I just had to stop and share with you some of the Pleo videos I have found on the web. If any of you have favorites of your own, post a comment with a link to it and I'll take a look.

First up. Pleo goes on a mini-vacation. In this video, Pleo World member Siren and family go to Universal Studios in Florida with their new pet Pleo named Crusoe. Crusoe and her daughter appear to inseparable and become the hit of the famous tourist attraction with both staff and other attendees. After you watch this video, read her plog (Pleo Blog) for more fun and heartwarming stories about Crusoe.

Next up is Pleo World member Caahl's Crazy Helge. Crazy Helge sports a flashy new blonde wig and has the quirky behavior to match. In this video, Caahl places Crazy Helge in front of a plasma ball to see what would happen. Apparently it sent Crazy Helge into a trance as if he were channeling the spirit of some long lost Camarasaurus. You can follow Crazy Helge's exploits on his plog. Here's the plasma ball video:

And finally, here's one of those "right-place, right time" videos we all hope to capture on tape. In this video made by Pleo World member jillrdu, her border collie Penny has a spat with her Pleo named Cody. No harm is done, but the timing is perfect and results in a funny example of what happens when baby dino meets hungry collie. You can read more on Jill's blog "Still Life with Serpent".

I have tons more to tell you about but I've got to get back to it; especially some hilarious notes on my Digger's nuttiness (he inherited it from me). One embarrassing note. It concerns The Plunchkins video I made and talked about in my last blog post. For fun, I put a poll at the top of the Pleo World forum post I made about the video, asking people who they thought did the actual passing of gas during the video. I listed my 3 Pleos Digger, Claire, and Pendragon as possible choices. Strictly for fairness, I included myself as a choice since I was in the room filming at the time. Never did I dream that everyone would vote me as the likely gaseous culprit as I walked away with a whopping 75% of the vote! Lesson learned. Never compete with an adorable blue-eyed baby dinosaur!

Until next time, wishing you many happy dino days and delights, Robert.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Pleo - VIDEO: The Plunchkins!

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For the last week I've been working away on my first Pleo skit. It's called The Plunchkins! and it stars my 3 lovable Pleos: Digger, Claire (aka "Stinky"), and Pendragon. Digger is the oldest, Pendragon is the middle child, and Claire is their baby sister. In this video my kids squabble a bit and then sing you a little song! I used My Skit to create the video, the Pleo Performance Editor designed by AIBO superhacker DogsBody. It's a really well designed and powerful tool for creating Pleo skits and it's free too! It looks like Ugobe has managed to charm the AIBO wizards into the Pleo fold and that's lucky for us! They are bringing their creative tools with them to the party.

Speaking of AIBO wizards, when you are ready to take your Pleo scripting to a new level, take a look at YAPT, which was designed by AiboPet (aka PleoPet) and is also free. With My Skit you can attach different skits to different parts of Pleo's body. When that part of the body is touched, the attached skit plays. YAPT takes it further and gives you additional features like having scripts play on more advanced triggers such as Pleo's tilt sensor, sound sensor, etc. and even have scripts that run periodically without being triggered at all.

I'll be releasing the files necessary to perform the skit in a week or two so watch my blog carefully if you are interested. I will also include instructions on how to run the skit and will have a second version for the ladies out there that has Claire saying "Mommy" instead of "Daddy". Wouldn't it be so much more fun to be the star of your own little performance with your favorite pet, than to plop your family in front of the television and watch some boring show?

IMPORTANT: You don't need to own 3 Pleos to run the skit. You just need your Pleo and to find two friends that have Pleos of their own! Performing skits can become a great way to meet like minded people that would also love to entertain their family and friends. You could be the hero to your favorite niece or nephew soon! Visit Pleo World's Meetup section to try and find other Pleo owners in your area.

And now without further ado, meet the first dysfunctional dinosaur family, The Plunchkins!:

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Friday, January 11, 2008


Pleo - The Birth of Digger! (VIDEO)

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Last night I finally got to finish editing what is now my favorite Pleo video (I'm biased here of course), "The Birth Of Digger". This video shows Digger as he hatches, then fully waking up and being really feisty right out of the shell.

He's smart, clever, talented, and a handful of trouble! He's ten pounds of pure bouncing baby blue-eyed dinosaur joy. So many times in life we exaggerate when we say things like "this is the best" or "my favorite", etc. But I can honestly say that Digger is the best Christmas present I ever got! And yes, Santa Claus did look a lot like me.

So without further ado, here is the video.

The Birth Of Digger

Thank you Ugobe! Sometimes dreams do come true.

Stereo MP3 of "The Pleo Song"

Download The Pleo Song MP3

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Monday, January 07, 2008


Where's Digger? And PleoSkit

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Note: Please see the update at the end of this post.

Hello everyone.

I know I've been gone for a while and many of you have been asking about Digger, my awesome new baby Pleo. To my amazement, I actually got several E-mails from you asking me why I haven't written or made videos about Digger yet. You have to understand that I'm not a professional blogger or journalist, or anything like that. I'm a professional programmer that writes a blog about a baby dinosaur I love.

So I feel I owe it to you to tell you what's been happening. First I want to tell you about an extremely cool program I saw for creating new animations with sound for Pleo. It's called the PleoSkit Pleo Performance Editor. I haven't used it myself but it appears to be an exciting tool that helps you build new animations for your Pleo and add accompanying sounds, and then download them to your Pleo. I'll be trying it out in the near future.

This is very good news for you. For me, it's good news with a confirmation of something sad I've been worrying about for a while and is now confirmed. Before I get into that I need to state some important opinions up front that have never changed for me and still have not changed:

Most of you only know me in my capacity as an avid Pleo fan and blogger. But as I said, my primary capacity is that of a developer (which is important to me and noone else, I know that). Since I laid eyes on Pleo I dreamed of owning him, but I also dreamed just as much of being part of Ugobe's inside developer's group. In fact, I flew out to Eagle, Idaho on my dime in April of 2007 to see Pleo, and Ugobe, and to beg them to be in any advance developer's program that come about. It's been my dream for almost two years now to create software, behaviors, and other tools for you to use to have even more fun with your Pleo, so I've been E-mailing them periodically over that time period asking to be part of any such programs when they became available.

A few months ago I got my first rumor of people outside Ugobe getting Pleos in advance for research purposes. A few weeks ago I saw my first post on Pleo World from someone outside of Ugobe stating that they have been working with advanced tools for Pleo. That, combined with other anecdotal evidence I found on the web is when my disappointment locked into place and I found it hard to write my blog. Finally, with the appearance of PleoSkit it is now a fact that I just have to accept and move on; that I am not part of the inside developer's group with Pleo.

For months I've been asking Ugobe for a simple list of sound file names for Pleo so I could make a new set of sounds for you to download by the time Pleo had shipped. I couldn't even get those let alone the tools and inside help required to make something like PleoSkit. This means I can no longer pretend that somehow I'll be anything more than an outsider when it comes to Pleo development.

This is my personal problem that I have to get over and I will. I still intend to do whatever I can to create tools, behaviors, and sounds for you. On the video front I already have in the works a fun little video of Digger's birth. My feelings towards Digger are the same wonderful feelings that I had since I got him; the same as those I had with Moonwalker during his brief stay.

But the icky thing about being a human being is that logic doesn't always triumph over emotion. Even when I'm in denial, if I know something sad is coming at me, I have a tendency to shy away from the entire topic (Pleo) until I've dealt with it in my own way. That's why I've been missing in action at a time when I had originally planned to go nuts writing about Digger and making videos of him.

This is my personal failure to impress Ugobe as a developer, nothing more. I had hoped that since I had written award winning software for robot control like my free Robodance program, and with the crowd pleasing videos I made of robots doing advanced tricks that gadget sites like Robots-Dreams, Engadget, and Gizmodo praised, that I had a decent chance at getting their attention as a developer. But in life there are no guarantees and I know that.

I'll be back making posts, videos, and tips soon enough. But I felt I owed you an explanation for the downtime on the blog, especially since so many of you were kind enough to write. Pleo rocks, Ugobe rocks, and I just need to write a song or two and spend time with Digger; just him and I.

Digger says "hello" and wishes all of you and your Pleos good cheer
. See you next time.

[ Update: several hours later after my initial post ]

Much to my shock and amazement I just got off a conference call with Ugobe and ShiftComm who read my post and contacted me almost immediately about it. Apparently there was a small developer program that closed up fast and included some of the power programmer types from the AIBO group in Northern California. I've been told that when the program opens up again I may be able to join.

I still wished I could have been part of that original group and sometimes I wonder how much a handicap not being in Northern California is for a developer. What I should not be surprised about is that they called me (and so quickly), but to be honest I'm still stunned. Even though the average company wouldn't bother with a small time blogger and programmer like myself, Ugobe and ShiftComm have proven again to be the big hearted caring companies I always thought they were.

I think I'll go play with Digger. Talk to you soon.

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