Archive for the 'Humor' Category

The Story of AMD64

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

The Story of AMD64 Opteron
(An interpreted narrative told through real AMD stock photos)

10 DAYS OF VINTAGE: Day 9

[ Continue reading The Story of AMD64 » ]

Real Place Names that Sound Like Namco Arcade Games

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

This is amusing. It turns out that a number of real, actual geographical place names in the world happen to sound a lot like 1980s Namco arcade video game titles. (If you try to pronounce them in English, anyway.)

I ran across this phenomenon a few years ago when I accidentally learned about Malaga, Spain (i.e. Galaga). After that, I decided to look for other cities and places that sound like (or at least are spelled like) various Namco games. Here is what I've found so far:

[ Continue reading Real Place Names that Sound Like Namco Arcade Games » ]

THE CONFUSIONING OF YOUR MIND

Monday, October 12th, 2015

[ Our longtime contributor, Ulaf Silchov, recently completed his first self-help book, which will soon be available through Amazon.com. It isn't completely VC&G-related, but it contains sound advice for navigating the challenges of our hectic daily lives. To help him promote his book, I thought I'd let him write about it here. — Benj ]

INTRODUCTIONS

SOURCES OF THE CONFUSIONINGIT HAS BECOME TO THE ATTENTIONS OF ULAF THAT SOMES OF YOUR MIND HAVE BECOMES CONFUSIONED. AND SO ULAF WRITES THE SELFS-HELP BOOKS, WHICH ULAF CALL "THE CONFUSIONING OF YOUR MIND," BY ULAF SILCHOV.

IN THE BOOKS ULAF EXPLORE THE CAUSE OF THE CONFUSIONING AS WELLS AS WHAT RITUALS TO PERFORM UPON IT.

(FOR THE CAUSES, ULAF LOOK HEARTILY UPON THE VIDEO GAMES FIFTY PERCENTAGES OF THE TIMES)

HERE YOUR MIND READS AN EXCEPTION OF THIS BOOKS THAT GIVE A TIPS OF POWER TO THOSE WHO NEEDED IT MOST IN THE TIME OF GREAT STRUGGLE.

[ Continue reading THE CONFUSIONING OF YOUR MIND » ]

The Warning Signs of Computer Dad Syndrome

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Computer Dad SyndromeDuring the 1980s, a debilitating disease broke out among white middle-class nuclear families across the United States. Fathers everywhere were seen awkwardly encouraging their children during regular activities — often while playing video games or using personal computers.

Thirty years later, doctors have finally identified this malady as Computer Dad Syndrome (or "CDS" for short), which manifests itself in spontaneous episodes of uncomfortably becoming someone's dad for the duration of a photography shoot.

Diagnosis of this condition is contingent upon the appearance of three or more of the following symptoms.

Clutching of the upper arm

Clutching of the upper arm

[ Continue reading The Warning Signs of Computer Dad Syndrome » ]

Top 1000 Video Games of All Time

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Top 1000 Video Games of All Time

Today, PC World published my latest slideshow, The Top 1000 Video Games of All Time.

The in-depth piece — split into 1000 separate slides, each with its own paragraph of text — took over two years to create.

You may be asking yourself how one person could create such an epic work. Well, I got a little help from custom algorithms I programmed partially in Haskell — and partially in Minecraft's redstone circuitry using Boolean algebra.

But I didn't just rely on computer wizardry. Much self-deliberation went into choosing the order of the items on the list. I argued with myself for hours while sitting on the bench at a local park, on the bus, and in the North Regional Branch of the Wake County Public Library. After being arrested 13 times (twice in the nude), I decided to perform future deliberations in the privacy of my own bathroom. I feel that it made the results more pure.

Here's a sneak peek at the bottom 11:

1000. Halo (Xbox)
999. Silpheed (IBM PC)
998. Sewermania (TI-99/4A)
997. Quadrapong (Arcade)
996. Section Z (NES)
995. Pooyan (Arcade)
994. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
993. Popeye: Beach Volleyball (Game Gear)
992. Lloyd the Squirrel (???)
991. Snafu (Aquarius)
990. Descent (PC)

And here's a selection from somewhere near the middle:

555. Superman (2600)
554. Bioshock Infinite (PC)
553. Slipnosis (iOS)
552. Star Trek: Phaser Strike (Microvision)
551. Farmville (Flash)
550. Deadly Towers (NES)

As for the top 10, you may be in for a surprise. My Haskell program determined with scientific precision that the 10 greatest video games of all time are, in fact, different versions of Ms. Pac-Man:

10. Ms. Pac-Man (Apple iPod)
9. Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 2600)
8. Ms. Pac-Man (TI-99/4A)
7. Ms. Pac-Man (ColecoVision)
6. Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 5200)
5. Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 800)
4. Ms. Pac-Man (IBM PC)
3. Ms. Pac-Man (Intellivision)
2. Ms. Pac-Man (Arcade)
1. Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 7800)

Oddly, my redstone program placed Super Mario Bros. 3 in the top 10 seven times — that's how good it is. But I can't do the same game on the same platform in multiple spots, so I compromised. To see the full, final list, you'll have to check out the slideshow yourself. I hope you enjoy it.

And remember: unlike most of my previous ranked lists, I used computer algorithms to ensure its accuracy, so don't get mad if you disagree with the list. You're completely wrong.

—-

Discussion Topic: What are your top 1000 video games of all time?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] USB Instructions

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Kodak Scanner USB Instructions Insert Pink 4J3634 - 2005Words cannot express how hard it is to use USB plugs properly.

This is not particularly retro — in fact, it's from 2005. But I find it so amusing that I have to share it. I believe this insert (about 5 inches wide) came with a Kodak scanner that my father bought some years ago.

The back side of the paper is blank.

[ From Kodak Scanner Insert, 2005 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Do you read instruction manuals before using electronic gadgets?

GAME BOY CAMERAS SPAM TRY-POD MOUNTER DEVICES

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

GAMEBOY CAMERA SPAM TRY-POD MOUNTER DEVICES (Game Boy Camera Tripod)

UPON ONE OF THOSE TIMES, ULAF CREATE TRY-POD MOUNT FOR THE GAME BOY COLORFUL UNIT, THE CAMERAS, WHICH THE MINDS OF NINTENDOGS CREATES SOMETIMES NEAR 1998 (WHAT A MINDS). WITH GREATEST OF THE SKILL, ULAF CARVE FOAM BETWEEN CANS OF THE SPAM (THE FAVORITE AMERICAN FOODS) HOLLOW, INTO HOLE FOR THE HOLDING OF THE GAME BOY CONSUL OF MY MIND.

WORKED WONDER FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHAGRAPHERS OF MY MIND:

GAMEBOY CAMERAS PHOTOGRAPHAGRAPHERS

ULAF PRINT ALL THOSE PHOTOGRAPHAGRAPHERS AND HUNG THEM UPON THE REFRIDGERATE OF ULAF.

BY THE WAYS, DID NOT THE GAME BOY GROWS INTO THE GAME MEN? WHERE DID THAT LITTLE BOY OF GAMING TIME GO? MATURATION AND PUBESCENCE, THAT IS WHERE. AND ABOVE ALL OF THE NOISES IT BECOME DEATH, DESTROYER OF WORLDS AND ATE MY MIND. AHHHHHH.

PERHAP ULAF EATS THE WRONG MUSHROOM.

JUST A QUICK NOTE FROM MY MIND. GO BACK TO LIFE NOW. UNTIL NEXT TIME THIS IS ULAF SAYING BE THE MASTER.

Ulaf Silchov is an expert in video games and computers. He also writes for "Svadlost Weekly" and "The Overachieving Underling Circular."

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Apple II Box for C64

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Mimic Systems Spartan Commodore 64 Apple II+ expansion box advertisement ad - 1985A scene from one of Benj's recent nightmares.

Hey mime! Yeah, you! Stop stealing my $599 Mimic Spartan Apple II+ compatibility box for the Commodore 64. I need it to open up a whole new world of hardware and software.

Just for a second, imagine if I could add these features to my Commodore 64: Apple II+ hardware and software capabilities, 64K RAM expansion, four software selectable Commodore 64 cartridge slots, non-dedicated 8-bit parallel port, and standard audio cassette deck capabilities for my C-64. Yep, all of that!

The suggested retail value of comparable products offering only these capabilities is over $2,200.00*. But the Spartan gives me much, much more, mime! Oh yes. By building on my investment in my Commodore 64 — an excellent introductory computer — I create a whole new system with both C-64 an Apple II+ capabilities.

There is a whole other world out there! And if you'd just give it back, a huge selection of Apple II+ hardware and software would be mine to explore. Call toll free for the Spartan dealer nearest you.

* Burp.

[ From Compute, November 1985, p.29 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Open Discussion: Whoever posts a question first gets to decide what we'll talk about this week.

See Also: MacCharlie's FrankenMac (2013)

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] That Sanyo Feeling

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Sanyo MBC-1100 Desk-Top Business Computer Ad, Sanyo EHD 511 Hard Disk - 1983"My whole torso is numb, and it feels great!"

The Sanyo MBC-1100 (1982) was a Z80-A-based business machine that ran CP/M as its operating system. It was one of many, many Z80 business machines from that era designed to run CP/M.

Japanese computer manufacturers were just breaking into the U.S. computer market at the time, so the Sanyo MBC-1100 would have likely been a curiosity in an American office setting.

[ From Personal Computing, November 1983, p.213 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever used a Japanese-designed vintage computer? Tell us about it.

[ Snapshots ] Fixing an Apple IIc

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Behind the Scenes of SNES Plastic Discoloration ArticleExpert Apple IIc repair by Ulaf Silchov (November 2007)