Archive for December, 2012

[ Retro GIF of the Week ] Happy New Year 1993

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Happy New Year 1993 Raytraced Retro GIFClick to see other views of this image:
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In honor of the impending New Year, I bring you this ray traced image that dates back to December 1992 — 20 years ago — and celebrates New Year 1993.

As per its inscription, this image was created using StrataVision 3D and retouched with PhotoMac by its author, CT. I have not determined who CT is yet, but I will do some more poking around soon and update this entry if I find out. (If you find out first, please let me know.)

Happy New Year!

[ Wondering what a GIF is? Read the introduction to this column. ]

Retro GIF of the Week Fact Box
Source File Name: NEWYEAR.GIF
Source File Date: December 16, 1992
Source File Format: GIF - 87a (non-interlaced)
Dimensions: 640 x 480 pixels
Color Depth
(bits per pixel):
8-bit (256 color)
Origin Platform: Macintosh
Derived From: Unknown
Creation Date: Likely December 1992
Artist: CT
If you know more about the origin of this image, please leave a comment.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Altos Computer Systems

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Altos Computer Systems ACS8000-6 and Sun-Series ad - 1979"The first business computer system that will not instantly crush your secretary."

Happy New Year from Vintage Computing and Gaming!

[ From BYTE, November 1979, p.21 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Quick! Name your favorite computer, calculator, or console with a Z80 CPU.

Prodigy 20 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

The Main page of Prodigy on December 25 1992 by Benj EdwardsAn angle-corrected close-up view of Prodigy's front page on Christmas 1992.

Twenty years ago today, I awoke with anticipation and ran downstairs. It was Christmas morning, and I could hardly wait to open my presents.

One of those presents turned out to be a connection kit to Prodigy online service, which I had been begging my father to buy for most of the year. 1992 was the year I jumped head-first into computer telecommunications by calling local BBSes. I became fascinated with modems and wanted to explore their every possible application.

That Christmas morning, my dad was on hand to document my first experiences with Prodigy using the family Sony Camcorder. I have captured various stills from that video, and I am posting them here to share a small slice of the Prodigy experience in 1992.

Unfortunately, my computer at the time, the IBM PS/2 Model 25 (which my dad purchased new circa 1987 and later became a hand-me-down to me), came equipped with a monochrome monitor. So the glory of Prodigy Christmas 1992 in color is sadly now lost to history (well, unless someone else out there can find some color screenshots of Prodigy on Christmas 1992).

[ Continue reading Prodigy 20 Years Ago Today » ]

Vintage Mac Christmas Art

Monday, December 24th, 2012

A Vintage Mac Christmas Slideshow on Macworld.com

Just in time for Christmas: Macworld has posted a slideshow of vintage Christmas-related Macintosh art and ephemera that I created for that site. I hope you enjoy it.

[ Retro GIF of the Week ] Coca-Cola Classic

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Coca-Cola Can Retro GIFClick to see other views of this image:
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In the BBS world of the late 1980s and early 1990s, one could easily find digital art that celebrated consumer brands, like the image of a Coke can seen here. In fact, I'd say brand art was a particularly distinctive genre of early computer art.

If I had to explain why brand art was so common, I'd first speculate that when people needed something to test out their imaging equipment with — say, a new scanner or a video digitizer card — an advertisement or product package was always at hand to be a guinea pig.

More importantly, consumer brands also inspire loyalty that consumers identify with personally. Think Doritos and Mountain Dew. Fans of those products like to spread their love of them as a cultural identifier, and the same was true in the 1980s and 1990s online space.

[ Continue reading [ Retro GIF of the Week ] Coca-Cola Classic » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Atari ST Christmas Catalog

Monday, December 24th, 2012

BRE Software's Atari ST Public Domain Software Christmas '88 Update - 1988BRE Software's Atari ST Public Domain Software Christmas '88 Update

I found this neat holiday-themed BRE Software Atari ST catalog in a pile of documents that I received from my wife's uncle when he gave me his Atari ST collection a few years ago. It features both public domain and commercial software for Atari's 16-bit computer series.

(I wish I could get my hands on the Christmas demo disks mentioned on this page. Only $4.00 each or $9.95 for all four.)

The entire document is four pages long, and I've scanned the whole thing so you can download it in PDF format, complete with searchable text.

Merry Christmas from VC&G.

[ From BRE Software's Atari ST Christmas '88 Update, 1988, p.1 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever given a vintage computer or video game-related present to someone for Christmas (not when it was new, but when it was vintage/retro)?

[ Retro GIF of the Week ] Christmas Fireplace

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Christmas Fireplace Stockings Christmas Tree Presents Retro GIFClick to see other views of this image: [ Original Size ] [ 2X Zoom ] [ 3X Zoom ]

Among the few GIF files I saved in the early 1990s (outside of those uploaded to by BBS), this warm, inviting Christmas scene remains one of my favorites.

In the image, we see a living room with a roaring fireplace bedecked with four Christmas stockings, a richly ornamented Christmas tree presiding over a large pile of presents, and a holly wreath over the mantle. Two candles flickering above the fireplace add an extra detail that completes the picture of a perfect holiday scene.

As the years have passed, I have forgotten where I acquired this GIF file, labeled XMASTR.GIF. I revisit this image every now and then, and I always wonder about its origins. Now is as good a time as any to look into them.

[ Continue reading [ Retro GIF of the Week ] Christmas Fireplace » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] A High-Powered Christmas

Monday, December 17th, 2012

High-Powered Greetings Nintendo Power Christmas Ad - 1992Nintendo presents deliver themselves. No Santa required.

[ From Nintendo Power, November 1992, rear cover]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever received a Nintendo console for Christmas? Tell us about it.

The Theoretical Christmas iMac

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Theoretical Red and Green Christmas iMac

The thought occurred to me the other day that one could easy make a Christmas iMac G3. You'd simply need one Strawberry iMac and one Lime iMac. Take them apart, then swap out the colored panels to make a mixed red and green system.

Alternately, you can use the later Sage and Ruby iMacs, which feature much richer, more Christmas-like colors. But Sage and Ruby iMacs are not as common as Strawberry and Lime ones, so that might be a problem.

I haven't actually done this myself, but I made a graphical mock-up of a Strawberry/Lime mixture that you can see above. If anybody actually makes one of these Christmas iMacs, please let me know!

The VC&G Christmas Collection (2012 Edition)

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Vintage Computing and Gaming Christmas Xmas Megapost

It's that time of year again: the Yuletide. In celebration, I thought I'd dredge through the VC&G archives for Christmas material and collect it all in one place. (I also did this last year, but I have updated the list of links with new material for 2012.)

Below you will find a list of everything Yule-flavored from this site and my offsite freelance work. There are a couple slideshow gems in there that you don't want to miss, so check those out if you haven't already.

I have a soft spot for Christmas, having been raised with the tradition, so this list is for me as much as it is for everyone else. After going through these things again, it's amazing to see how much Christmas stuff I've posted over the years. I hope you enjoy it.

[ Continue reading The VC&G Christmas Collection (2012 Edition) » ]