The only humane thing

The day of the books

Monday, June 6, 2005 | 12:38 AM | by

For the past week ZeStuff has been working to prepare for the pre-sale for the new additions to the Ctrl-Alt-Del store. We have completed successful internal testing to make sure that the traffic would not stress our servers. This morning additional precautions were made and discussions took place with Paypal and our credit card processor to ensure a smooth pre-sale.

When we launched the presale at 2 p.m., we noticed that during the checkout process, we were receiving a slow server response from our queries to the Canada Post server that provides our accurate shipping rates. Upon noticing the dilemma we contacted Canada Post and unfortunately it took us four hours to speak with someone who was able to start correcting the slow response time. Once it was decided that our queries could not be handled by their main servers, they dedicated servers for us that were still not able to handle the load.

At 7:30 p.m. ZeStuff and Tim Buckley decided to close the store until tomorrow. At this time the presale is closed and offline for an undetermined amount of time. We will be making an announcement tomorrow that includes the dates and time for the new presale. We will be giving you at least 24 hours advanced notice before we open the presale to the public again. We are stopping the presale now so we can give everyone a fair chance to receive Collector Edition volumes. We currently have around 275 available copies of each volume.

Any orders that have been processed correctly will be kept and their orders will be shipped out on schedule. We will also be reviewing all orders made today to ensure that no order slipped through, processing the orders that did not fail, and refunding any multiple payments.

We apologize for any trouble or inconvenience any of you have experienced. We appreciate the support given to us during this time.

Thank you.

The ZeStuff team

I'm going to be gone for the day, so you're getting all of your news in one lump. Read it carefully.

At 2pm EST today, the pre-order for the Ctrl+Alt+Del books will begin. When the pre-order starts, you will find the books in the store. They will be available to ship anywhere in the world. The books will begin shipping in July.

There are two versions of each of the books. The regular paperback copy which is $19.99, and the Collector's Edition Hardcover, which comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity, and two limited edition Ctrl+Alt+Del stickers for $29.99.

We are only printing 500 hardcover copies of each volume, and we will only be making 400 of those available to purchase. These 500 are the only Collector's Editions that will ever be printed. Once they are all sold, they will never be available again.

All of the Collector's Editions will be signed, regardless of when they are ordered, but they are expected to sell out fast.

If you want a signed paperback copy, you have to place your pre-order before June 20th 2005.

Information about the books can be found below. All questions regarding ordering should be directed to the store. NOT TO ME.

Book Info

Monday, June 6, 2005 | 12:39 AM | by

Ctrl+Alt+Del Volume One: Insert Coin

Available during a pre-order period in 2004, and then only at conventions since, the wildly popular Volume One is the first collection of Ctrl+Alt+Del comic strips.

-At 176 pages, this book contains the first 150 comics, digitally remastered from the original files, with artist and character commentary on every page.

-Never-before-seen sketches including the very first drawings of Ethan and Lucas!

-An original storyline not available anywhere else featuring how Ethan and Lucas first met.

-Foreword by Tycho of Penny Arcade.

-Beautiful cover art colored by Hawk of Applegeeks.

Ctrl+Alt+Del Volume Two: Press Start

Available for the first time ever is the second Ctrl+Alt+Del collection. Be among the first in the world to own this highly anticipated follow-up to Volume One!

-Over 150 more of your favorite Ctrl+Alt+Del comics with commentary and behind the scenes info!

-Sketches, and a look at some CAD history!

-Exclusive comics not available online!

-Foreword/Introduction by Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theater!

-Cover artwork by Xero of Konsekai: Swordwaltzer!

-Professional tips and advice on starting and running your own webcomic.

The only humane thing

Monday, June 6, 2005 | 12:59 AM | by
I know I'm going to get a lot of emails on this subject, so let me start off by saying that I love Nintendo as much as anyone.

But honestly, let's be fucking realistic here, shall we?

The GameCube has always been seated firmly in third place in the current generation console war. I'm not talking about your bloody opinions, I'm talking about the numbers.

It's had some gems, let me tell you. I loved that little fucker. Viewtiful Joe, Wind Waker, and of course Resident Evil 4. Boy that was hot shit.

But the greats were few and far between. It doesn't matter how much you love the 'cube or Nintendo, you have to come to terms with that, or you're lying to yourself. The GameCube got what, like five releases last month? Maybe fewer?

And what about the immediate future? The new Zelda, of course. After that? A handful of Mario sports titles. That's about it. When is the last time the GameCube had an exclusive third-party title? There's just nothing left to get excited about for the cube. At least nothing that I couldn't get on every other system.

Third party support is all but gone, and even the big N isn't really behind their little Cube anymore. They've moved their focus onto the Revolution. Face it, when Nintendo puts out a new system, they drop the old ones like bad habits It happened to the Snes when the N64 came out, and it happened to the N64 when the Gamecube came out, and it's happening to the Gamecube right now, on the verge of the Revolution.

I wouldn't be surprised if they stop selling the Gamecube altogether immediately following the release of the Revolution.

Yes, I know

Monday, June 6, 2005 | 09:57 AM | by
Yes, it is inevitable that with the release of the next generation systems on the horizon, that eventually all current consoles will die off to make way for the next bigger, better toy.

The thing is, it seems like the Gamecube is already shifting into a lower gear. The Xbox 360, for instance, is coming out first, but the Xbox still has a killer lineup to look foreward to.

In the last couple of months the Xbox there were at least four great games that I picked up on the Xbox. Jade Empire, Lego Star Wars, Forza Motorsports and Psychonauts.

For the Gamecube? Well I haven't bought a game for my Gamecube since Resident Evil 4 in January. The only good games that have been released since were also released on both other consoles. And why would I buy Splinter Cell: CT when I could buy it on the Xbox and play multiplayer on Xbox Live?

I mean, these are my opinions. Maybe you're all about games like MC Groovz Dance Craze, but I look for games with a bit more quality to them, and they just aren't appearing in the Cube.

And what about the future? For the Xbox, my list of games to grab includes Conker: Live and Reloaded, Evil Dead Regeneration (saw it at E3, looked pretty cool), Metal Slug 4 & 5, Burnout Revenge, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers, and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (with online play). Some of those games aren't scheduled to come out until late 2006, long after the 360 has been launched.

Now on my list for the GameCube... The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. And come 2006, I don't see any games at all scheduled to the Cube. It's all about the Revolution.

This is all I'm saying.

Ok, here are the details

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 | 05:38 PM | by
As you all know, yesterday the pre-order for the books did not go as smoothly as planned. Despite months of preparation to handle the expected load, and thinking we had covered all of the bases, the initial rush to purchase the book exceeded our best efforts.

When you place an order, the store server sends a query to Canada Post (the Canadian equivelant of the USPS) to obtain a real-time shipping quote, so you are not overcharged. Yesterday at 2pm so many people were trying to get the books, that there were 500 requests per second being sent to the store and Canada Post. Things were moving slowly, so many people sat there refreshing their browsers over and over. Under all of this strain, everything buckled. Canada Post locked out store access to their public servers, resulting in people being unable to complete their orders.

I was out of the office all day yesterday spending time with my girlfriend, but I was in constant contact with Pierre and ZeStuff via phone conversations. I knew everything that was going on. In the end we had to make the call to shut down the store so that we could alleviate the problem with Canada Post. Some people managed to get their orders through, many did not, however.

Since yesterday evening, straight through to this evening, Pierre and the ZeStuff team have been working diligently with Canada Post to optimize the process. Pierre has streamlined the query code, and Canada Post now knows to expect a heavy strain, and they have prepared for it. So tomorrow we will be re-launching the store and the book pre-sale.

We are only printing 500 Collector's Editions of each Volume. We had originally planned to only make 400 of those available for purchase. In light of yesterday's events, we are raising that number to 460. That's an extra 60 books that will be made available to buy.

If you managed to get your order through, then you are all done. As long as you got confirmation, your books have been purchased.

If you got the books into your cart yesterday, but were unable to complete the order, when the store reopens tomorrow your items should still be in your cart. All you will have to do is review the items in your cart, and proceed to checkout.

Because of the obvious demand for the Collector's Edition books, we are going to be setting a limit of 2 (per volume) for each person. This will account for people needing to buy an extra book as a gift, or for a friend who doesn't have a credit card. It will also prevent one person from buying 50 books and putting them up on eBay, which is discouraged. We want to give as many people as possible a chance to get a Collector's Edition if they want one. Unfortunately not everyone will receive one. They are first come, first served. That's what makes them limited editions.

Paperback copies of the book are in no limited supply.

The store and pre-sale will launch tomorrow, Wednesday June 8th, at 2pm EST.