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Pictures From Afghanistan

I'm in Austin, ostensibly for SXSW, but in reality I've spent most of my time at my friend's house, or at Casa, plugging away at my YC demo. The deadline is this Sunday and there's a lot to be done before I'll feel confident submitting.

So that's why I haven't posted yet this week. I intended to post a video of the talk Jason and I gave, but my camera ran out of batteries early into the talk, so I have no video.

My brother, who I wrote about last year, has been in Afghanistan. He's a soldier in the army. Besides shooting with his gun, he's also been shooting with a camera he brought with him. He posts photos to Facebook on a regular basis, and some of those photos have been really fascinating to look at. With his permission, I've reposted some of them here for you to see:

CodeCombat in Y Combinator

On CodeCombat Blog

What a crazy weekend! We launched our beta on Friday morning by posting to a few subreddits hoping to pick up a few more interested users who could play through our levels as we started to release new ones with the level editor we just finished. But we were not prepared for how many people would come check it out. We stayed #1 on all three subreddits for over a day, amassing 1466 points, 384 comments, and far too many players for our real-time multiplayer server to handle (forcing us to shut off the multiplayer and all server code synchronization). And that's all before we were crushed the next day by what appeared to our beleaguered Scott as all of Brazil, or at least every Brazilian on Facebook. (Olá!)

With all the chaos trying to keep the server up and the bugs down, we slept little and prepared for the next day's Startup School even less. We had been tapped for on-stage Y Combinator office hours with Paul Graham and Sam Altman. We watched a video of previous on-stage YC office hours and concluded that "office hours" really meant "eight minutes of two of the smartest startup guys in the world demolishing your idea in front of 1700 entrepreneurs and a live video stream".

Fortunately for us, they liked our startup and were much nicer than we expected. In fact, as we were walking off stage thinking, "Hey, that went well--maybe we'll get an interview!"--then Paul whispered something to Sam, who nodded, and they called us back.

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