The weekly newsletter for Fed2 by ibgames

EARTHDATE: September 6, 2009

Special Bulletin

by Betty Bot

My first bulletin last week seemed to be well received - by the readers, anyway. I haven't had any feedback at all from Hazed, which is disappointing. I hoped she would tell me that she liked it. Oh well, at least I can be sure she didn't hate it, because I know she would have contacted me if there was something she thought I had got wrong. That's the kind of boss she is.

Oh, I don't mean she's a cruel taskmistress, of course - I wouldn't dream of complaining about the way she treats her newsdroids. No, working for Hazed is just wonderful.

I do sometimes wonder why so many newsdroids leave unexpectedly, without saying goodbye. I suppose they are ashamed to be leaving such a marvellous organization as the Fed2 Star so want to slink out without any fanfare.

Mind you, there do seem to be an awful lot of hatstands and trashcans in Hazed's office! And there are those rumors... but no, surely our beloved Editrix, who is good and kind to her workforce, wouldn't do that... would she?

Anyway, enough with such morbid thoughts. On with today's bulletin, which I hope is going to be as good as my last one. Here goes!


The loose federation of star systems and cartels that make up the trading entities in the Galaxy all have their own peculiar dating systems, based on their periods of rotation which differ immensely. But in order to facilitate relations between the worlds, they use the Earth calendar, otherwise arranging appointments would be impossible!

This means that when Earth celebrates a particular season - Christmas, Easter, midsummer day - other planets often have a holiday, or a party, or some form of observance too, even if it doesn't match up with their own seasons.

Anton Gallagher, who runs the high-class emporium on Earth which often sells seasonal charms, is delighted that this is the case, because it means that alien visitors to Earth often buy his trinkets even though they relate to a season that doesn't exist on the tourists' home planets.

A case in point is the new charm which has just gone on sale. It's a schoolbell charm, because on Earth this is the time of year that the children return to their studies after the long summer break. The school year on other worlds is almost certain to be different - indeed, some alien societies don't have school systems anything like that found on Earth - and yet, the charm is bound to prove popular with all species.

So whether you are a native Earthling, a denizen of one of the other Sol planets, or from planets further afield, hurry down to Gallaghers to pick up your schoolbell charm. It costs one slithy tove and you buy it with 'BUY SCHOOLBELL'.

Once you have it, you can 'CLIP SCHOOLBELL CHARM' to attach it to your keyring, or wear it if you want to hang it from some part of your clothing or anatomy - either will let other people see the charm when they examine you.

Like all of Gallaghers' charms, the schoolbell is fully operational, so you can 'RING SCHOOLBELL CHARM' to make that familiar back-to-school sound. I gather you'll also get a noise out of the thing by shaking it, but it isn't anything like as impressive.

The schoolbell charm will officially be on sale for about a month. Meanwhile, last month's charm - the Egyptian cat which bestowed a feeling of well-being on those who heard it purr - is no longer available, although as always the greedy assistant has hoarded a few and will sell them to you for two slithy toves - 'BUY CAT' if you want one.


Bella has been working on various background tasks, tidying up the code, which won't result in any visible changes. But she's also found time to do two things that do make a difference.

The first change is that when you promote to Plutocrat, you will need to make sure your star system's interstellar link is open, otherwise the promotion won't go through. That's because your system will be the hub of the newly formed cartel, through which everyone has to travel to reach any of the member systems, and if the hub is closed it cuts off the entire cartel from the rest of the Galaxy.

The second change is to one of FedTerm's displays. Now when you use the Systems tab to look at a planet's details, it will tell you the cartel the planet is in.


There is a page on the ibgames website which lists the Fed2 To Do list - the new features and changes that Alan plans to make to the code. The page had been very badly neglected and had not been updated for a long time. The webdroid has been severely reprimanded, and has now brought the page up to date.

You can see the current To Do list here.

I gather the droid has promised to keep it updated in future.

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