Archive for January, 2008

Buying Real Copies of Wii Virtual Console Games…Ouch!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Wii Virtual Console Prices[ This is JJ Hendricks' first contribution to VC&G. He is the author of the Video Game Price Charts Blog, which analyzes and charts video game prices. Additional contributions and layout by Benj. ]

Since the Nintendo Wii's release in November 2006, the Virtual Console service has been one of its most popular features. Yet almost instantly after its launch, people began complaining about how much VC games cost. The most common argument against the VC pricing scheme (aside from the illegal emulator option) is the presumed "low price" of the original games if you bought them used. But how much would it really cost to buy physical copies of all the Virtual Console games? Is Nintendo's retro service a good deal, or are you getting ripped off?

NESBy analyzing the current market prices of every game offered on the Virtual Console service, I've come up with an answer. In the charts below, you'll find an exhaustive price breakdown that compares the current market value of real cartridges to the cost of their VC counterparts. The prices for the cartridges themselves were determined by using the daily updated prices at VideoGamePriceCharts.com from January 24th, 2008, which, in turn, are taken from multiple sources, including recent eBay auction results, Amazon.com, and Half.com. All prices are in US Dollars.

[ Continue reading Buying Real Copies of Wii Virtual Console Games…Ouch! » ]

AHHHH!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

AHHHHHHHHHH

What does it MEAN?

[ Retro Scan of the Week 2nd Anniversary ] Father/Son Caption Contest

Monday, January 28th, 2008

VCG RSOTW Second Anniversary Caption Contest Image

In January 2006, VC&G unleashed the first-ever Retro Scan of the Week upon the world. Two years and 104 scans later, the RSOTW feature is still the only reason anybody reads this blog. In celebration of its second birthday, I figured we'd hold a contest to determine the world's biggest RSOTW fan — VC&G's 6th caption contest!

Your task? Simply write the funniest caption you can think of for the image above. Anyone out there may enter the contest as many times as they want by writing a comment on this post (the more, the better). I will select the winning caption a week from today and post the result. One lucky winner will receive a nude photo of Ulaf Silchov*, a year's supply of tiny, invisible beans, and bragging rights at the next VC&G house party.

Let the games begin!

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.

* Just kidding. But the beans are absolutely real.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] "What's Wrong With Copying Software?"

Monday, January 21st, 2008

SPA Anti-Software Piracy Ad

"…and that's why every time you copy M.U.L.E., a baby dies."

"Oh God, Bill. You're making me cry."

[ Scanned from Popular Computing, 1984 ]

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.

Vintage Apple Computer Web Servers

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Apple Macintosh Mac SE Web ServerThere exist, in various pockets of the World Wide Web, dark corners in which vintage machines are tucked, quietly whirring away as they make occasional contact with the outside world. This loose confederation of devices constitutes a New Old Web, composed of computers previously considered useless or obsolete.

Serving HTTP from vintage computers is nothing new — it's been link fodder since the dawn of the public Internet — but I'd like to highlight a wonderful website that maintains a directory of vintage Apple computers functioning as working web servers.

[ Continue reading Vintage Apple Computer Web Servers » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Paranormal Pole Position

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Atari Pole Position Ad 1983A rare scene from the ill-fated film Poltergeist IV: Poltergeist Position.

[ Scanned from Electronic Games, 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.

Steve Jobs Signed My Macintosh

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Steve Jobs Signature on Inside of Mac Plus Case

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, Inc., signed my Macintosh. And if you're the owner of a Mac 128k, 512k, or Plus, he signed yours too. In fact, so did Woz.

Macintosh Case SignaturesIn crafting the original Macintosh, Steve Jobs viewed himself and his team as artists. As such, it was only fitting for the renegade band of Apple developers to sign their work. At the urging of Jobs, the Mac design group held a small party on February 10th, 1982, during which they ate cake, drank champagne, and took turns signing their names onto a large piece of paper (see image, right). Soon afterward, Jobs had the signatures engraved into the Macintosh case mold, with an obvious result: Apple permanently impressed the team's autographs into the plastic case of every Mac that rolled off the production line.

You might notice that some of the signatures present on the original signing sheet are missing on the Plus. But fear not; no one was slighted. All the names originally graced the interior of the first Macintosh release (128k), but according to Andy Hertzfeld, some names were lost over time due to revisions of the case design on subsequent models. For example, compare the Mac Plus interior with this picture of the original 1984 Macintosh case.

I recall seeing signatures in the cases of later Macs by the teams that designed them. But I can't remember if the later compact Macs contain the original names seen here, or simply others that worked on those particular projects.

Channel Your Inner Jobs

Mac Plus Case Open and Closed

To locate these hallowed names within your own Mac case, simply take your machine apart and peer inside the rear half of its chassis. They might be hard to see at first, but they're there, hiding in the back. Keep in mind that the presence of signatures on your case doesn't make your Mac any more or less valuable than it would be otherwise — every early Mac has them, without exception. But at least now you can impress your friends with a formidable piece of Mac trivia.

Shortly after the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, most of its original development team parted company. But in a poetic way, they will always be united inside your Macintosh. It's a fitting, populist monument to an extraordinary chapter in computer history.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Bill Gates, Tandy Celebrity Spokesman

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Bill Gates Tandy 2000 Ad"We were quite impressed with the speed of the Tandy 2000′s 80186 processor."

In honor of this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2008), I've prepared a special RSoTW that highlights the little-known side career of its keynote speaker, Bill Gates.

Product endorsement ads like this one for the Tandy 2000 computer weren't unusual for the Gatesmeister back in the early 1980s. Of course, those were the days before Microsoft was insanely huge, rich, and unstoppable. I wonder how much he got paid for the gig?

(P.S. Take a look at the early version of Windows featured in the ad!)

[ Scanned from Popular Computing, November 1984 ]

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.

StarTTY Shutting Down?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

StarTTY Service[Edit - 04/15/2008: I just received an email from Dorian saying that StarTTY is staying up for the foreseeable future. Thanks for your support. ]

I recently received sad news from the creator of StarTTY, an innovative telnet service that VC&G covered back in January 2007. Dorian Garson is shutting down the service on January 30th, 2008 unless he can find financial support to keep it going.

I'm not a regular user of the service myself, but I tried it and it was really neat. If any of you out there want to see this unique information service for old computers/terminals continue, then you should get in touch with Garson soon. I've reproduced Garson's original email below.

Hi Guys,

It's been real fun, but I'm going to have to shut down StarTTY. January 30 will be the last day.

I've got other bills to pay. Spending the dough to keep the site running for just a few users doesn't make much sense.

UNLESS…

If some of you want to chip in to keep it going, I'm willing to give it a shot.

Reply to this email and let me know what you think you'd pay per month to keep StarTTY running. If I get enough responses I'll set up a PayPal link and let you guys take over the funding.

Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,

-Dorian