Maybe you saw these scans of video game magazines from the early 80′s on Flickr. Here are some highlights:
Here’s the Vectrex. The main selling point of this thing seems to have been that no TV was required.
I don’t know if this “The Future” article is spoof or serious, but it’s funny either way.
E.T. is ready for Christmas! If only they knew…
Here we have an ancient “modem”. This device was used by primitive “hackers” to communicate with other computers over “phone lines.”
Wireless Joystick Bricks: The first wireless controllers didn’t use infrared, and were the size of Rubic’s Cubes.
There’s been a lot of buzz in my hometown about this Glass City BBQ place. There’s even an article about it in the local newspaper. I can’t wait to check out the place.
I have nothing against Glass City BBQ, but this article has some weirdness in it:
Quote the article: “The restaurant and sports bar, at 391 Lincoln Ave., is the first barbecue establishment in Lancaster.” Say what!? There’s a Damon’s, BW-3′s, Roosters, Lonestar, Applebees, etc etc. in Lancaster. Perhaps the author means the first non-chain BBQ restaurant? Perhaps the author is using the No True Scotsman logical fallacy?
Quote Becky Henderson: “It would take at least half an hour to 45 minutes to get up and down Memorial Drive,” the 39-year-old said while getting a meal. “This is so convenient.” FORTY FIVE MINUTES? I know the traffic is pretty bad on Memorial Drive, but there is no way it takes that long, even during the lunch hour. To get to most of the places I mentioned above, Becky doesn’t even need to take Memorial Drive.
TownHall.com is helping to launch “Thank a soldier week” (December 19-25). It’s a chance for people to send messages to soldiers abroad, thanking them for their service, etc. It’s a fine idea.
If that didn’t convince you, you should go to the TownHall.com Thank A Soldier Week page. There you can view a video that was taken at the Country Music Awards of various performers (I guess, I didn’t recognize any of them) thanking soldiers via video. The reason I even bring this up is that the second performer on the video is some crazy midget named “2 foot Fred” or something. It may be the most hilarious thing I’ve seen all month.
Miami police have decided to do random searches and ID checks at public locations as a preventative measure against terrorism. “Oh boy,” I said. “Here comes the ACLU and Air America to complain about civil rights being violated by these types of checks.” I can’t wait to read the thousands of posts on forums like Fark about how the U.S. has become a Nazi Germany-esque police state, complete with “Hitler” Bush and the “S.S.” Police demanding “your papers, please.”
Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people’s rights are not violated. “What we’re dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution,” Simon said. “We’ll have to see how it is implemented.”
What what whaaaa?
On an unrelated note, Howard Simon (or possibly the AP taking him out of context) has tripped my pet peeve alarm: What we’re dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution. More effective and more consistent than WHAT?
- Rush Limbaugh’s opinion about tax cuts being good for the economy is wrong because he was a Oxycontin popping drug addict.
- My grandmother has a hard time paying for her prescriptions. I think all senior citizens need government assistance to pay for their drugs.
- You either support the Sierra Club or you are in favor of destroying our environment.
What do the above statements have in common? They are all examples of logical fallacies: errorneus reasoning that is used to draw incorrect conclusions. The first is an Ad Hominem fallacy. The second is an example of Small Sample and Hasty Generalization (and possibly an example of Anecdotal Evidence). The third is an example of Black-or-White.
See how many examples of these fallacies you can find being used by politicians and journalists. Some of the techniques listed actually do have valid uses, so it’s not as easy to identify as one might think.
The Columbus Dispatch has a fine list of tree farms (albeit a year old) where you can still cut down your own Christmas tree.
I would wager a guess that most people, even IT professionals like myself, have only really used a couple of operating systems. Windows, of course. Maybe DOS. Maybe a few Linux distros. Maybe MacOS. Except for the many variants of Linux/Unix, and Microsoft/Apple products, how many operating systems can you name? Of those, how many have you actually used?
Take a look at some of the GUI/OS’s throughout history. Here are some especially interesting:
- Xerox Star: When you hear someone talking about Microsoft and Apple both originally “ripping off Xerox”, this is what they mean.
- Microsoft Bob: This widely mocked OS was chock full of (IMO) very good usability ideas with the ultimate goal of making a UI that your grandmother would find useful. Unfortunately, the only remnant of MS BOB is that ridiculous cartoon dog in MS Office.
- In my younger days, I was really down on Windows (or any OS that wasn’t MS-DOS for that matter). When getting in stupid arguments on forums and BBS’s about it, I always sited DESQview when someone said that DOS couldn’t multitask (even though I’d never used DESQview a day in my life).
- Get some old Windows 1.0/2.0 apps that have been hacked to run on newer Windows
- Text mode GUIs: Ah, the good old days. Visual BASIC for DOS!
- Tandy Deskmate: This one I have used. It came with a 386 that my dad inexplicably decided to buy from Radio Shack. It was really just a menu system with a couple of tiny apps “built in.” If you ever tinkered with a display PC at Radio Shack back in the early 1990s, this is probably what you tinkered with.
Anime is ripe for parody. It’s an easy target, but I’ve only seen a handful of good parodies (in comparison with other genres). Here are some of my favorites:
- Stinkoman in 20XG6: This is a Homestar Runner parody – it’s actually a series of parodies using the same characters. It’s more of a Mega Man parody than a pure anime parody, but it’s still very funny. This link is for the very first Stinkoman cartoon, but there are a handful more on the site.
- Good Guy vs Bad Guy: Based on a cosplay skit, this is a parody that I just found today. Good Guy bears a striking resemblence to your favorite blog writer, but he’s not me.
- Finally, Perfect Hair Forever. This is a bizarre new show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It’s partially anime parody, partially William’s Street nonsense. Especially annoying/hilarious is the Action Hot Dog (see video clip below).
What do all of these parodies have in common? Credits. They all mock the non sequitur weirdness that is most anime credits.
I didn’t think it would be, but this Guess-the-Google game is kinda fun. The game will display a grid of images from a Google Image Search (GIS). The goal of the game is to guess which keyword was used in that search. If it sounds too difficult, it’s not. If it sounds too easy, it’s not.
In my opinion, the Nokia N-Gage was over the day it started, but Nokia has publicly acknowledged, finally, that they are done with this fiasco. The closest that it came to a success was the “sidetalkin” meme. Other than that, it was practically the perfect failure in gaming:
- $300 initial price tag: The closest competitor at the time, the Gameboy Advance sold for 1/3 this price, WITHOUT a monthly cell phone bill. It’s an easy choice for gamers. The PSP is going for $250 now, and I think even that is pushing it.
- Weak, really weak, launch titles: Pretty much all remakes/ports from other systems. I can’t think of one title exclusive to the N-Gage. The GBA had Castlevania: CotM. The PSP has GTA. The N-Gage has…Spyro?
- Too little too late: instead of getting out while they still could, Nokia released a cheaper, improved version of the N-Gage. $100 less and easier to switch games. These are features that people expect in the first place, and they certainly aren’t going to send people clamoring to the stores for them. OMG IT TAKES LESS THAN AN HOUR TO PUT IN A NEW GAME! I MUST HAVE IT!
- Contracts: If a gamer had a cell phone before the N-Gage came out, he might not be eligible for an ‘upgrade’ for a year or more. Even if Cingular or whoever were to offer an N-Gage for cheap/free with a contract, the gamer who really wants the N-Gage right away would still have to pay $300 for it. Forget that, I’ll get a GBA.
I really wanted the N-Gage to do well, and in a sense, I still do. I’m a huge fan of gaming as a whole, not just one or two brands dominating. Whether it was a lack of gaming market experience, incompetant or oblivious leadership, or both, the Nokia N-Gage was an unfortunate, perfect failure.