Robin Zimmermann

Homeschooled and College Student


My email address is robin.zimm at gmail (you can correct the text). Please don't use the lycos address any more – I can't bear to have to keep checking it.

Nedstat counter.

News: This website is dead. It'll stay here – there's stuff on it – but almost all my productive energy online is going into my Livejournal, user name "packbat".

Now that I am at the University of Maryland, I have a school page! Not much there yet, but working on it.

Other than that, there is the online comics review page. It'll get updated occasionally.


Coin Collecting

I am interested in Walking Liberty half dollars (not that this is uncommon among coin collectors). I have a small collection which I keep in a little wooden case. I am also a member of the Montgomery County Coin Club, M.C.C.C., and I was running a monthly "NumisRiddle", but I ran out of jokes and initiative.


I also enjoy automobiles. I had a large collection of model cars, but have lost most of them. It's the same story with my hot rod magazines (My collection included several different names, like Off Road and Street Rodder ). I have bought the first and second seasons of the anime "Initial D", along with both of the movies (Initial D:Third Stage and Initial D:Extra Stage). It is a spendid anime, and is very exciting, with CG cars. Plot is completely predictable, but the 'camerawork' is nice. I wouldn't recommend Extra Stage, though.


I have a avid interest in computers and computer programming, and I bought a Apple iMac to use as my personal computer. I know three computer languages (sort of), AWK, BASIC, and Scheme, and the following is an AWK program I wrote.

# This program counts the number of syllables in a word # It was created on 5 July 1998 by Robin Z with assistance from his father # Input is one word per line with no spaces or numbers or puncuation # Be careful to spell all words correctly or it can mis-count # It will mess up some words' sylabble counts (e.g., science, Shakespeare) # The first part fixes up most of the silent 'e' problems /.*ly$/ { ly=1; $0 = substr($0,1,length($0)-2) } /.*s$/ { $0 = substr($0,1,length($0)-1) } /.*d$/ { $0 = substr($0,1,length($0)-1) } /.*e$/ { $0 = substr($0,1,length($0)-1) } ly == 1 { ly = 0; $0 = $0"ly" } # This part counts the vowel groups { gsub(/[aeiouyAEIOUY]/,"a"); gsub(/[^a]/," ") c=NF } # This fixes some errors of the silent 'e' section c == 0 {c=1} # This outputs the count { print "This word has "c" syllable(s)"}

I had once created a HTML document which cannot be exited by means of a Javascript routine. Because I don't want this type of thing used on Web pages, I am not going to state how it is done, but it was inelegant and simple.

Internet and Computer Games

There is a free PBEM that I like called "Food Chain",which can be found at It is hard to play well; the "species" I make all starve to extinction very quickly. I have had some ideas for planning new species, but considering my track record, do you really want my advice on this?

I have been a fan of the computer game "Moria" for a long time, and I recently encountered "Angband". I highly reccommend both. I am also interested in Angband variants, most of which are indexed at ,a href="">Thangorodrim, an Angband page.

I have rediscovered the joy of text adventures! has a lot of good ones in if-archive/games/infocom folder. They require a Z-machine interpreter; there are many around.

I have also taken an occasional online quiz; most were found on "Quizilla", a free quiz host, but a couple came from other servers.

Video Games

I have done a little playing on the Nintendo Game Boy machines (PokeMon!), and below are a couple personal records of mine. According to one Videogame World Record book (by 'Twin Galaxies'), the high score for Penguin Wars was 433,200 points, so I quite likely have a Top-Ten high score worldwide (maybe as bad as Top-Fifty counting Japanese highscores).

My brother, Merle, gave me PokeMon Snap for Christmas (2000), and I find it exceptionally absorbing, even after completing the 'PokeMon Report'. He has more recently (Feb. 2001) obtained PokeMon Stadium, which is slightly less cool, but still interesting. He has more recently gotten PokeMon Stadium 2, but I haven't seen it yet.

I almost beat the Dino Crisis 2 game on my Playstation emu.

I got a Game Boy Advance this May (2002)! I've made a review of the games I got, and the first game Merle got.

Motocross Maniacs {Game Boy}
Track 1A: 1:11.72
Penguin Wars {Game Boy}
Score: 1,224,700 points Photographed Score: 623,600 pts


I love to read. I enjoy Hal Clement books, having read most of the older ones, and I have read science fiction magazines like "Aboriginal Science Fiction". I greatly enjoyed two books of WWII (WW2) escape stories by P. R. Reid, "The Colditz Story" and "The Latter Days" (a.k.a. "Men of Colditz"). These stories are well written and exciting, with detailed descriptions of many details. The latter book is best read after finishing the former, in my opinion, though it was written to stand alone as well. I have seen several WWII movies, including "The Train", "The Great Escape", "D-Day", and "Enemy at the Gates". More recently, I have learned of the Baen Free Library, where several free science fiction and fantasy books can be downloaded or read online, no charge, no encryption, no hassle. Needless to say, I've made my way through nearly the whole list (and I'd especially recommend Eric Flint's Pyramid Scheme and 1632, as well as David Weber's On Basilisk Station)

As of a couple days before Chrismas '03 (prob. around 20 December, 2003 A.D.), I have become an online comics fan.


There is a page of essays, written by me, available here. The one about school is pretty good. However, I might eventually upload the beginnings of a set of chapter-by-chapter notes on Moby Dick, complete with annotations.
Also, a few jokes I found:

What's the difference between a [insert favorite target] and a sack of manure? Ans: The sack.

How do you get a philosopher off your front porch?
Ans: You pay him for the pizza.

People who think they know it all are especially annoying to those of us who do.

Mr. Green was sleeping like a baby, but his wife couldn't because of the incessant sound of rolling dice on the floor upstairs. She eventually awoke her husband.
"Please, break up that craps game upstairs. I can't sleep!"
Mr. Green groaned, put on his clothes, and went. After three hours, he came back, yawned mightily, and began to remove his boots. "What took you so long?" asked his wife.
"You must remember," Mr. Green said apologetically, "I had only fifty cents to start with."

Three men were stranded on a desert isle when they found a magic lamp. They rubbed it, and out came the genie. He said, "I shall grant each of you one wish."
The first said, "I wish I were twice as smart as I am now." The genie waved his hand, and then he was. He looked out to the horizon, and said, "I can see signs of a shore over that way, so it must be under two miles, and I can swim that far." So he dived into the surf, and swam away.
The second said, "I wish I were 10 times as smart as I am now." The genie granted it, and he said, "The shore looks too far away for me, but this tree would make a good raft." So he cut down the tree, made the raft, and paddled away.
The third said, "I wish I were a thousand times as smart as both of them put together!" The genie granted the wish, and vanished. The third wisher looked out to the ocean, at the receding forms of his friends, and looked around the island. Then he walked across the bridge.

Two drunks were hurtling down an road at an reckless pace. one of them said to the other,"Th-th-th-theres a buh-buh-bridge comin' up, yuh buh-better turn out." The second replied,"Wuh-wuh-what? I thought youse was drivin'!"

In the middle of a drought, a large group of farmers were in a church to pray for water. The preacher was about to begin his sermon, when he stopped and asked: "You all are here to pray for rain, are you not?" Of course, everyone answered yes. "Well then", continued the preacher, "where are your umbrellas?"

Two pals where going hunting. Both brought 1 gallon thermos bottles, but one filled his with coffee, and the other filled his with whiskey. Both drank heavily before finding the perfect spot. They hid and waited.
After an hour, a solitary goose flew into the sky. The coffee drinker lifted his rifle, took aim, and missed. Then the beer drinker, from further back, lifted his gun and hit the goose square between the eyes.
"Good shooting," commented the coffee drinker.
"It wash nuthin'" said his inebriated pal. "With a flock like that, I shouldda got 10 or 12."

Dr. Holmes and Dr. Watson were on a camping trip. In the middle of the night, Holmes awoke his comrade, and said, "Look up, Watson. What do you deduce?"
Watson said, "The sky is full of stars, and the moon has set. Therefore, there are no clouds, and since the moon is in it's third quarter, dawn must be soon. What do you deduce?"
Holmes replied, "Watson, someone stole our tent!"

Magic: the Gathering

I enjoy Magic: the Gathering a lot, and for those who do not know what it is, it is a collectible card game involving a mystical world where magic exists, and is extremly fun. There is a Portal extension for beginners, and expansion packs for those who like to 'tune' their own decks. I have designed MtG decks myself, and I find it to be a good part of my enjoyment, and the mental labor required makes this a more productive activity than the video games I also play. Following are deck tuning rules I subscribe to (Take them with a grain of salt: I am not really expert at this).
Ever worry about selling cards for $20 and finding out that they are worth $300? Check out the online price lists!


I have some slight skill in the Japanese art of paper folding, called Origami, which means 'folding paper', and I find it is a fascinating hobby, and there are many books on the subject. A couple I would recommend would be Amazing Origami for Beginners and The Magic of Origami.


I can play the piano and sing. I take piano lessons with Carol Ireland, and voice lessons with a Levine School of Music teacher, Cathryn Fraiser-Neely. I have played the piano for more than five years and have sung regularly for about four years. I also took a musical theater class in 1995 (also with Levine). I have gone to a number of concerts as well.


I enjoy paintings, watercolours, coloured pencils, etc. I enjoy making landscapes, but I am not experienced at any of these arts. I also like ASCII art.
More recently (2001-), I have written a couple poems, and I was playing with a 3-D modeling program called Blender 3D, but I found it too confusing. The application that my ES100 class uses, Pro/Engineer 2001, rocks, but is too expensive ($300+!) for personal use. I am also interested in photography, possibly the art form with the lowest entry threshold, and occasionaly shoot rolls of film on the Boy Scout campouts. A friend of the family, Nina Falk, took the below picture of my brother and I, which I find impressive enough to feel proud to place it here. Click on the image to get the full-sized shot.

Click here to load full-sized image.

Short bio snapshot

I live in Silver Spring, Maryland. I greatly enjoy reading, and I am a Boy Scout, amatuer pianist, and I am interested in making model aircraft and computer programs. I am also a college student at Montgomery College in Rockville.

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last updated: May 28, 2003
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