Archive for December, 2007

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Father Pac-Time Gobbles up the New Year

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Pac-Man Watch Ad - 1983With floating disc technology, "Pac-Man watches gobble all day long for you."

Happy 2008!

[ Scanned from Electronic Games, December 1983 ]

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"A Very Vintage Tech Christmas" on PCWorld.com

Monday, December 24th, 2007

A Very Vintage Tech Christmas Slideshow

As if you hadn't had enough Christmas already. Well, here comes yet another Christmas-related piece: my latest article on PCWorld.com. It's titled "A Very Vintage Tech Christmas" and it's a slideshow of vintage home computer ads. A few of the ads are decidedly Christmas-themed, and the others focus either on families or pitching PCs to home buyers.

Unfortunately, PC World's slideshow setup makes the text in the ads too small to read. But at least you can look at the pictures. I hope you enjoy it.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Santa's Big Secret

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Santa Claus Computer Database List Apple II

How does Santa keep track of who's been naughty and who's been nice? A computer database, of course. And it runs on an Apple II.

Looks like Woz saved Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Vintage Computing and Gaming

[ Scanned from Personal Computing, December 1982 ]

If you use this image on your site, please support "Retro Scan of the Week" by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.

Eric's VC&G Christmas Medley

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Vintage Christmas[ Editor's Note: I asked Eric Lambert, a VC&G contributor, to write something entertaining for Christmas in the vein of his Halloween Spam poem. Just yesterday he delivered, sending me an MP3 of modified holiday jingles with a computer twist. It's a tad cheesy, yes, but it's full of fun and spirit. Thanks, Eric! ]


Listen to Eric's Christmas Medley by clicking
the gigantic shiny button below [Requires Flash].




Download the MP3 file here or read a full transcript after the break.

[ Continue reading Eric's VC&G Christmas Medley » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Hot CoCo (2) for Christmas

Monday, December 17th, 2007

TRS-80 Color Computer 2 Christmas Ad

As a sequel to last year's "Very TRS-80 Christmas," we have this ad for the TRS-80 Color Computer 2. I'm not sure what makes this model "better" than the first Color Computer (CoCo), aside from obvious: different keyboard, ugly case-retooling, and perhaps more RAM.

Unfortunately, this unit ages to a nasty brown and its rubber-dome keyboard isn't much of an improvement (I still like the CoCo 1′s keyboard better). But at least Tandy saw it fit to advertise the unit with a Christmas theme, which is quite relevant to the season at hand.

[ From Computers and Electronics, December 1983 ]

If you use this image on your site, please support "Retro Scan of the Week" by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.

VC&G Interview: Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Nolan BushnellEarlier this year, I had the chance to interview Nolan Bushnell, career entrepreneur and nigh-but-legendary founder of Atari. For the last seven years, Bushnell has been pouring most of his energy into his latest venture, uWink — a sort of Chuck E. Cheese restaurant for adults.

Of course, being the history buff I am, I wanted Bushnell to clear up some things regarding articles I was working on at the time. Accordingly, we touched on a variety of topics, such as the origin of the term "video game," Steve Jobs at Atari, his "feud" with Ralph Baer, the Atari 800, and his wife's love of the Wii, among other things. Despite being such a grab bag of topics, I figured the interview was worth publishing in its entirety while it still feels relevant. Bushnell's thoughts deserve to be heard, especially since he took time out of his busy schedule to share them.

This interview took place on March 30th, 2007 over the telephone.

[ Continue reading VC&G Interview: Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari » ]

Apple and Commodore: Together at Last?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Jack and Woz -- Photo by Harry McCracken

Last night, the incomparable Harry McCracken spotted Steve Wozniak and Jack Tramiel chatting right before they took part in a group panel on the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64 at the Comptuer History Museum. Thinking quickly, McCracken snapped this photo — and what a photo it is.

For those of you who don't know, Jack Tramiel founded and ran Commodore until about 1984, after which he bought Atari's consumer division from Warner Communications, stewarding Atari in new directions. And Woz…well, Woz is Woz.

You can read more about the Commodore event on McCracken's Techlog at PCWorld.com. Wish I could have been there, but alas, I live on the east coast.

"Atari 2600 Turns 30″ on 1UP.com

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Atari 2600 30th Article on 1UP

Atari's venerable VCS (2600) turned 30 this year, and 1UP asked me to write a feature about the console's influence and impact on the industry. I finished the piece in October, but it didn't go up until a few weeks ago. I haven't checked to see if 1UP changed much from my original version, but if it's anything like it, the article should be worth the read for all video game fans.

The piece contains some original analysis of the 2600′s impact that you won't likely find anywhere else. For example, did you know that the first video game based on licensed non-video game IP was Superman for the Atari VCS in 1979? If that comes as a surprise to you, you'll want to read the rest of the article. Even diehard Atari fiends might learn something new.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] RB5X: Your Christmas Robot

Monday, December 10th, 2007

RB5X Robot Ad - 1983R2D2 he is not. But at least he can become a vacuum cleaner.

[ From Popular Computing, December 1983 ]

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Castle Wolfenstein: Bring an Allied Soldier Home for Christmas

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Castle Wolfenstein Christmas Ad - 1982Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jackboots kicking at your nose…

[ From Personal Computing, December 1982 ]

If you use this image on your site, please support "Retro Scan of the Week" by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.