[ Newsbits ] June 29, 2016

June 29th, 2016 by Benj Edwards

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VC&G Newsbits Logo

Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

I've recently received a big influx of news, announcements, and press releases, so I thought I'd bring Newsbits out of cold storage and use it to share everything all at once.

Recent News

  • Producer of The Oregon Trail Donates Collection to The Strong

    It's wonderful to see this stuff preserved, as always

    A group of former employees from the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation (MECC) recently donated an extensive collection of materials to The Strong museum documenting the history of the pioneering company from 1973 to 1996. The collection includes hundreds of pieces of software, internal documents, and press clippings.
  • EveryMac.com Turning 20 Years Old

    Brock Kyle recently let me know that his essential Apple info site is turning 20 this Saturday. Quite an accomplistment!

    Established in 1996, EveryMac.com is the complete guide to every Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and Mac clone in the world, with technical specs, configuration details, system identifiers, performance benchmarks, and global pricing info.
  • Atari Video Documentary Project Needs Support

    They've assembled some incredible footage so far; would be a shame to see this disappear

    This 100 minutes long documentary about the Atari story will feature a list of unreleased interviews with the key people of these events, including a very rare one with Warner VP Manny Gerard and a unique one with Atari CEO Ray Kassar, the man held responsible for Atari success and the video game industry crash at the same time, who never appeared in a documentary before.
  • YouTube Gamer on a Quest to Play 1001 Games Hits 100th Episode

    Quite a project

    My name is Gaming Jay. I'm a retro gamer who started a challenge this past year to play through a book called '1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.' Each week I’ve been playing 2 games and recording my gaming sessions and uploading them to YouTube. I have also recently developed a new website to document my journey with written summaries to supplement my YouTube videos.
  • iOS Camera App with Retro Filters Released

    Neat iOS camera app that simulates vintage graphics

    I created Famicam64, an 8bit RetroGaming style Camera app. Famicam64 lets you take photos with 40+ real-time filters that emulate the nostalgic look of retro computers (and games) of the 80s and 90s. CGA, EGA, VGA, Hercules and old PC graphic modes are all there, as well as style emulating home computers and handheld consoles (C64, Spectrum or Gameboy etc. etc.).
  • Secret History of Mac Gaming Book Seeks Funding

    It's a niche subject, but a story worth telling

    The Secret History of Mac Gaming is the story of those communities and the game developers who survived and thrived in an ecosystem that was serially ignored by the outside world. The work draws on archive materials as well as 60+ new interviews with key figures from Mac gaming's past.
  • Cool Links

  • Circuit Classics Boards Re-Create Classic Forrest Mims Designs

    Very, very creative electronics project from Star Simpson

    Forrest M. Mims III is a trusted name in the electronics world for good reason: his charming and engaging texts have drawn millions of people into the world of electronics for the first time. I am bringing some of those hand-drawn circuits projects to life by creating an exquisitely designed series of finely crafted and highly detailed boards. These are the Circuit Classics.
  • NES Coffee Table on Etsy

    VC&G reader Ben Winchester built a NES-shaped coffee table; it's up for sale on Etsy.com

    I wanted to show this to you because I feel this piece is truly unique and original to me. I got my start by replicating your NES DVD player and then moving on to putting my own twist on the NES coffee table, and now I think I have created an original design.
  • Artist Re-Creates Classic Byte Cover in Photo

    Bob Alexander turns Tinney's train illustration into a photo composition

    I've just completed an art project that was inspired by Robert Tinney's painting "Computer Engineering" for Byte magazine. That's the one with a train chugging around a printed circuit board. I made a printed circuit board that resembled the one in the painting, photographed it, and Photoshopped a picture of an HO scale model train onto it.
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    [ Newsbits ] June 6, 2014

    June 6th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Newspaper Logo

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    Despite what you may think, Newsbits is not dead. It just needs more fiber.

    Recent News

    • The RetroN 5 Launching June 6th (Today!) in the US
      (Source: Destructoid)

      Hope it works as advertised.

      This thing is a beast, supporting NES, Famicom, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and GBA cartridges. All of that, with 720p output via HDMI and original controller support.
    • Wii U plugs first DS game into Virtual Console in Japan

      Once upon a time, Nintendo frowned strongly upon emulation. Now its business model depends on it. Oh, how times have changed.

      Puzzle-poser Brain Age is the first DS game to arrive on Wii U Virtual Console, and it's out now in Japan for free until June 30.
    • Unearthed E.T. Atari games will be curated by New Mexico space museum and then sold
      (Source: Polygon)

      A unique situation where one of these games in unopened, mint condition could be worth far less than one crushed and buried in a landfill for 30 years.

      Seven hundred of the 1,300 E.T. and other Atari cartridges recovered from a New Mexico landfill will be appraised, certified and put up for sale, the Alamogordo City Commission decided this week.
    • The Verge Publishes Rarely-Seen Photos of Apple's 1980s Prototype Case Designs
      (Source: The Verge)

      Incredible photos of early 1980s Apple products that never were

      Some of its earliest and most iconic designs, however, didn't actually come from inside of Apple, but from outside designers at Frog. In particular, credit goes to Frog's founder, Hartmut Esslinger, who was responsible for the 'Snow White' design language.
    • Watching kids trying to figure out how to use an old Apple II is totally hilarious
      (Source: Cult of Mac)
      This video of children from the ages of 6 to 13 trying to figure out how to work a vintage Apple II … shows just how inexplicable computing was to pretty much everyone before Steve Jobs released the original Mac in 1984.
    • Modder Stuffs a Raspberry Pi into a Game Boy Pocket
      (Source: Hackaday)

      This is one of the most amazing mods I've ever seen

      After sanding down the bosses on the inside of the case, gluing the battery door shut, and installing a bit of plastic over the cartridge slot, WarriorRocker was able to fit a Raspi inside. The buttons use the same PCB as the stock Game Boy, connected to a Teensy 2.0 board that simulates a USB keyboard.
    • Exhibiting .gifs: An Interview with curator Jason Eppink
      (Source: The Signal)

      Wonder if they know about Retro GIF of the Week

      Jason recently curated 'The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture,' which exhibits a set of GIFs he identified in consultation with redditors.

    Cool Links

    • Where Have You Gone, Peter Norton?
      (Source: Technologizer)

      A look back at the PC utility guru's career by Harry McCracken at the newly-reborn Technologizer

      Norton’s empire grew to include multiple software products, articles (including a long-running PC Magazine column), and books. He was everywhere that PCs were. And then, in 1990, he sold Peter Norton Computing to Symantec, which made the Norton line of software even more successful.
    • Wolfenstein game graphics, 1992 vs 2014
      (Source: Twitter)

      A million more pixels, but the jaw remains the same

    • The Most 90s Thing That Could Ever Exist
      (Source: The Atlantic)
      The zeitgeist summed perfectly in one technological artifact, which is a VHS tape promoting Windows 95, starring Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry.
    • Total Chaos is the Best-Looking Doom II Mod You've Ever Seen
      (Source: PCGamer)

      More like a "GZDoom mod," but still very impressive.

      Total Chaos doesn’t run on the Doom 2 engine from 1993 proper, but a modified version of the original source code that brings in OpenGL, mouse looks and other features like 16x motion blur, high resolution textures, 3D models, and bloom effects.
    • The Secret History of Hypertext
      (Source: The Atlantic)
      Historians of technology often cite Bush’s essay as the conceptual forerunner of the Web. And hypertext pioneers like Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and Tim Berners-Lee have all acknowledged their debt to Bush’s vision. But for all his lasting influence, Bush was not the first person to imagine something like the Web.
    • The Woman Behind Apple's First Icons
      (Source: Priceonomics)

      …and Windows 3.0 to XP's Solitaire cards! (I did an interview with her about that once, gotta find it.)

      For many, Susan Kare's icons were a first taste of human-computer interaction: they were approachable, friendly, and simple, much like the designer herself. Today, we recognize the little images — system-failure bomb, paintbrush, mini-stopwatch, dogcow — as old, pixelated friends.

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    [ Newsbits ] May 15, 2014

    May 14th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Newspaper Logo

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    Since I missed last week's column, I decided to fold some of those links into this week's edition. So there may be a few older newsbits, but at least they're still interesting.

    Recent News

    • 2300 Console Games Now Playable on Internet Archive

      'Ole pal Jason Scott writes about the sudden influx of games playable on the Internet Archive website

      For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with a range of volunteers on a massive expansion of what we call the Console Living Room at the Internet Archive. Previously weighing in at about 800 game cartridges from seven console systems, the new collection is roughly 2300 cartridges and a total of 21 different consoles.
    • George R. R. Martin Writes Using WordStar 4.0 in MS-DOS

      I'm not surprised. To avoid distractions, I sometimes write using Word 6.0 for DOS on a Compaq Aero 4/25 laptop.

      The 'Game of Thrones' author confessed to late-night talk-show host Conan O'Brien that he prefers to write his popular books on a DOS word processor instead of the latest laptop.

      'I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower case letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don't want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.'

    • Nintendo Forces Takedown of GBA Emulator for iOS

      From the not-very-surprising department

      In order to play titles like Super Mario and Zelda on your iPhone, then, you have to look at unofficial alternatives. GBA4iOS was one of the most popular — but after its creators received a DMCA notice from Nintendo this week, it is no more.
    • Analogue Interactive's $499 NES Clone Up for Pre-Order

      TinyCartridge reports on this fancy console with a healthy grain of salt mixed in. (Memories of Generation NEX still make me shudder.)

      Analogue has opened pre-orders for its Nt, the Famicom/NES device with RGB output, four controller ports, and purported 'unparallelled'" compatibility with American and Japanese games and accessories.
    • New Book About How Sega Nearly Won the Console Wars

      Chris Kohler provides an overview of Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle That Defined a Generation.

      If a few small things had changed, might we be gaming on a Sega PlayStation right now? That’s the picture Blake Harris paints in his new book Console Wars. It is a narrative history of the brief time period in the lifespan of the videogame publisher Sega when it was on top of the world.
    • Midway Planned HD Remakes of Mortal Kombat Games

      I would have really loved to see this

      With the [ Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection], Midway's initial plan was to release HD remakes of the original games with new actors, and even though that's not what happened in the end, these images with Liu Kang, Sonya, Shao Kahn and the others show that the remakes would have been quite faithful to the original

    Cool Links

    • The Last Survivors of Meridian 59

      A rare examination of obscure Internet game culture from a mainstream publication (The New Yorker)

      Today, almost eighteen years after Meridian 59’s launch, Barloque’s streets are quiet and vacant, its cobblestones buffed and rounded by little more than a digital breeze. They are rarely visited by more than twenty people in the world at any one time.
    • The Great Works of Software

      Paul Ford muses about a software canon

      Is it possible to propose a software canon? To enumerate great works of software that are deeply influential—that changed the nature of the code that followed?
    • How Steve Wozniak Wrote BASIC for the Original Apple From Scratch

      Woz himself writes for Gizmodo, re: BASIC 50th anniversary

      The problem was that I had no knowledge of BASIC, just a bare memory that it had line numbers from that 3-day high-school experience. So I picked up a BASIC manual late one night at HP and started reading it and making notes about the commands of this language. Mind that I had never taken a course in compiler (or interpreter) writing in my life.
    • How Sega is Rejuvinating its Classic Games in 3D

      I'm not sure if "rejuvenating" is the right word here, but I welcome Sega dipping into the past

      Few games have had as much attention lavished upon them as the Sega 3D Classics series. The first wave of titles was released between November and December of last year, in pairs over four successive weeks.
    • Super Mario Bros. Level Belt (Etsy)

      Incredible artistry — an entire Super Mario Bros. level crafted into a leather belt

      The images are of a belt that I crafted for my brother, who is a big Super Mario fan, and depicts the last level of Super Mario brothers where Mario finally rescues the princess.

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    [ Newsbits ] May 1, 2014

    May 1st, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Newspaper Logo

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    Recent News

    • See Atari's Buried Treasure: E.T. Among 30 Retro Games Unearthed In The Desert
      I never thought I'd live to see the day

      "The legend was true, but that's not all. Atari buried a lot of stuff back in 1983–and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Andy Warhol's Amiga Computer Art Found 30 Years Later
      Always felt Amiga + Warhol was one of the more bizarre partnerships in computer history

      "The Andy Warhol Museum has recovered a set of images, doodles, and photos created by the seminal pop artist on a Commodore Amiga home computer. The artworks, made by Warhol as part of a collaboration with Commodore Amiga, had been stranded on Amiga floppy disks for almost twenty years after the artist saved them in the mid-1980s.

    • ICHEG Preserves Atari Coin-Op Divisions Collection
      It gives me great mental relief to know someone is doing this so well and so thoroughly

      "ICHEG has acquired a massive collection of materials chronicling the history of Atari's pioneering video arcade and pinball machine divisions from 1972 to 1999. The collection represents the largest and most comprehensive assemblage of archival records and other documentary items related to Atari's coin-operated games anywhere in the world.

    • Bob Hoskins, Actor Who Played Mario, Dead at 71
      Now both live-action Marios are gone

      "Bob Hoskins, the pugnacious British actor known for playing gangsters, tough guys and working-class gentlemen in such films as 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit,' 'The Long Good Friday' and 'Mermaids,' has died, publicist Clair Dobbs said Wednesday.

    • Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal
      Harry McCracken's epic study of BASIC on its 50th

      "Once upon a time, knowing how to use a computer was virtually synonymous with knowing how to program one. And the thing that made it possible was a programming language called BASIC.

    • A Short History of BASIC, as Told in Animated GIFs
      An animated supplement to McCracken's BASIC story above

      "I used a neat program called Camtasia and some post-processing in Photoshop to create animated GIFs capturing what I saw as I loaded some significant BASIC programs, listed the code and then ran it.

    • Sony Quietly Removes Ability to Download PSP/PS One Games Unlocked a Few Days Ago on PS Vita
      An update to last week's Vita story

      "A few days ago we reported about Sony suddenly unlocking a large amount of PSP games and PlayStation Classics for download and play on the PS Vita. Unfortunately its time to mourn, as that ability was quietly removed this morning. None of those games is available for download anymore.

    • Atari Landfill Tweet from Scott Weinberg

      "My generation buried those E.T. Atari cartridges for a reason. You're awakening something not even Lovecraft could imagine.

    Cool Links

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    [ Newsbits ] April 24, 2014

    April 24th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Newspaper Logo

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    Recent News

    • Seattle Retro Gaming Expo 2014
      Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 5:00 PM (PDT) in Seattle, WA

      "The Seattle Retro Gaming Expo is an organization dedicated to creating a network of gamers in the Seattle area, and providing outlets for us to express our passion for all facets of the geek culture in general, and classic videogames in particular.

    • Richard Garriott Holds Contest to Resurrect his Teletype-era RPG; Ends May 15
      Hit the link for a BASIC source printout — and a smidgen of self-aggrandizement

      "D&D #1 represents one of the earliest known computer role playing games. Originally created and refined between the years 1975-1977, this game is one of the few true founding efforts of the entire computer gaming genre. Interestingly the ascii based tile graphics are a clear forerunner of what followed in Ultima and many other computer role playing games, and thus remains relevant to the genres history.

    • Nintendo Game Boy Turns 25 (The Onion)

      "Lets just call it what it really was: a Tetris delivery system.

    • Almost Every PlayStation Classic and PSP Game Now Downloadable on PS Vita
      They perfectly emulate the two minutes of introductory logo screens too

      "In a rather sudden turn of events, almost every PlayStation Classic and PSP game on Sony's SEN marketplace is now downloadable on the PS Vita including those that previously weren't available on Sony's portable console.

    • Super Mario Bros. 3 Released on Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console
      Sixth time is the charm.

      "Jump, swim, and fly through one of the most beloved Super Mario Bros. games of all time on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems!

    • NES Remix 2 Launches For Wii U April 25
      With Super Luigi Bros., Nintendo makes an unconscious nod to ROM hackers

      "NES Remix 2 also features two exciting new modes. Super Luigi Bros. stars our nervous hero, Luigi, and dares players to beat each level of the original Super Mario Bros. backward! The other new mode has you trying for high scores in three rapid-fire levels from different NES games, using a scoring system inspired by the 1990 Nintendo World Championships.

    • Retro Platformer Cave Story Coming to 3DS in Europe on May 1
      Loved it on the Wii

      "It's happening! Cave Story comes to Europe on the Nintendo 3DS eShop May 1st, 2014!

    Cool Links

    • The History of Technology, as Told in Wacky British Pathe Newsreels
      These ancient computer videos should keep you busy for a while

      "In an inventive, generous act, British Pathe has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 pieces of footage from vintage newsreels to YouTube. I pulled up some choice bits relating to computers — especially how they got used to automate practically everything in the 1960s.

    • If Sega Made Easter Eggs
      Clever Eggman art
    • See Pac-Man Rendered in Physical 3D Space
      Demo for the "voLumen" rotating 3D display. Check out 1:34 for Pac-Man in the video and 2:34 for a shout-out to Super Mario Bros.
    • Sex Sells — Even on the Moon
      Either the best or most sexist arcade video game flier ever made, circa 1981. Remarkable for what it says about the arcade vending audience at the time (probably not safe for work)
    • Street Fighter II: What Did Critics Say in 1992?
      Neat review roundup from Defunct Games

      "Not only was it the biggest arcade game around, but it forced every other publisher to come up with their own fighting game. Could this Super NES game possibly live up to the hype? To find the answer to this question, we decided to look through the pages of Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, N-Force, Super Play and other magazines of the era.

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    [ Newsbits ] April 17, 2014

    April 17th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Newspaper Logo

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    Recent News

    • The New Age: Leaving Behind Everything, Or Nothing At All
      A piece about digital legacies from NPR

      "Perhaps in your attic or basement there is a box of papers — letters, photographs, cards, maybe even journals — inherited from a grandparent or other relative who's passed on. But what if that box isn't a box at all? What if it's an ancient laptop? And if we are starting to leave behind an increasingly digital inheritance, will it die as soon as the hard drive does?

    • Nintendo Embraces NES History in its Twitter Marketing
      I like this trend

      "Its time for #SpringCleaning! Did you find any forgotten gems while organizing your Nintendo gaming collection?

    • This 1981 Computer Magazine Cover Explains Why Were So Bad at Tech Predictions
      This piece from Harry McCracken at TIME gives a hat tip to the greatest magazine illustrator of all time

      "If you were passionate about personal computers between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, the odds were high that you were a reader of Byte magazine. And if you read Byte, you were surely a fan of Robert Tinney, the artist whose cover paintings were one of the magazine’s signature features for years.

    • Solid Snake Pixel Art Graffiti
      Whoever did this is free to vandalize my office wall

      "Solid snake graff piece. I like the dude in the box. Nice touch…

    • Make Your Very Own "Game Boy Macro"
      Got a broken DS lying around? Chop off the top and you'll have a new system.

      "i personally first saw it on kotaku made by Maarten, from the Bureau voor Gamers. so i decided i would make a couple of my own because i had some brokens DS's laying around. decided to go with Macro, since its like a GB micro but huge.

    • Five Unemulated Computer Experiences
      Jason Scott makes a point about emulation nitpickers

      "While I and many others work to turn the experience of emulation into one as smooth and ubiquitous as possible, inevitably the corners and back alleys of discussions about this process present people claiming that there are unemulated aspects and therefore the entire project is doomed. I thought I would stoke that sad little fire by giving you five examples of entirely unemulated but perfectly valid vintage computer experiences.

    Cool Links

    • The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art
      Awesome piece I missed from January — by Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic

      "The history of ASCII art goes deeper, and much of it is told only in Geocities blog postings, abandoned websites, Google Books, and scattered PDFs across the web This post traces a fascinating and mostly lost strand of that history: The way thousands and thousands of people made typewriter art, from amateurs to avant gardists.

    • PabloDraw: A Modern ANSI Art Editor
      We don't need no steenkin' TheDraw. (link via @blakespot)

      "PabloDraw is an Ansi/Ascii text and RIPscrip vector graphic art editor/viewer with multi-user capabilities.

    • An Early English-Language Image Diplay from a Computer, 1957
      Dynamic text display on a CRT in 1957? Not bad.

      "The screen of the picture tube shown will present as many as 10,000 characters per second. Each character is formed by an array of bright spots, a selection from a rectangular array of a total of 35 spots, five wide and seven deep. For a capital letter T, for example, the selection is five spots across the top and six more spots down through the middle…

    • Pinterest Gallery of Ugly Computers
      One of Blake Patterson's amazing Pinterest boards

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    [ Newsbits ] April 10, 2014

    April 10th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Newspaper Logo

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    There are too many good links this week. I honestly don't know what happened. Maybe I'm getting better at this.

    Recent News

    • Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 2.0
      The AHCS does it again

      "The Atlanta Historical Computer Society and the Computer Museum of America are pleased to announce the second annual Vintage Computer Festival Southeast. We have selected the dates of the 3rd and 4th of May to make it easy for people to attend both VCF East and VCF Southeast this year.

    • Nintendo Launches Game Boy Advance on Wii U Virtual Console
      Another painfully slow trickle of games from Nintendo, but the emulation is very well done.

      "From April 3 through April 24, select Game Boy Advance titles will launch in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U each week. In addition to off-TV play, these games feature Restore Points that save progress during game play, and Miiverse functionality.

    • Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP
      Spoiler: It's not really dead

      "Windows XP, Microsoft Corp.'s beloved seventh major operating system and arguably the company's most successful, was left to perish on Tuesday at its creators' hands. It was 12 years, seven months old.

    • Fifty Years of IBM System/360
      The most successful computer platform that the least number of people know about

      "50 years ago today, IBM unveiled the System/360 mainframe, a groundbreaking computer that allowed new levels of compatibility between systems and helped NASA send astronauts to the Moon.

    • Gmail 10th Anniversary
      A great piece by Harry McCracken I missed last week

      "If you wanted to pick a single date to mark the beginning of the modern era of the web, you could do a lot worse than choosing Thursday, April 1, 2004, the day Gmail launched.

    • Raspberri Pi Announces New "Compute Module"
      A new variety of this vertsatile, hackable machine

      "The compute module contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi (the BCM2835 processor and 512Mbyte of RAM) as well as a 4Gbyte eMMC Flash device (which is the equivalent of the SD card in the Pi). This is all integrated on to a small 67.6×30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector (the same type of connector as used for laptop memory*).

    Cool Links

    • Story of the Windows XP Bliss Desktop Image
      Hachman hits it out of the park with this research piece

      "It's not too far-fetched to believe that a billion people have viewed the "Bliss" image that defines the desktop view of Windows XP, the seminal OS that Microsoft is retiring Tuesday. But you'd barely notice the real-world "Bliss" scene if you stepped out of your car and gazed at it today.

    • A Custom Portable N64 Console
      Kotaku drools all over a Bacman forum post

      "We've seen portable retro consoles before, but this N64 mod is beautiful. It uses a 3.5″ screen, internal memory and Rumble Pak, an Expansion Pak, a GameCube analog stick and 4 hour battery life.

    • Kevin Mitnick Befriends a Former Foe on Facebook
      …an old hacking target of decades past

      "You gotta love the old friends you meet on Facebook.

    • Looking at the Web with Internet Explorer 6, One Last Time
      Lee Hutchinson explores the modern web with IE 6 in all its splintered glory

      "Windows XP wasn't the only thing to be shuffled into unsupported purgatory yesterday. Also included in the group of applications to be dumped down the memory hole is the browser that everyone loves to hate: Internet Explorer 6.

    • 1988 Inside Edition Story on Nintendo
      Retroist digs up a vintage scare piece

      "In 1988 parents were still baffled by the spell that video games had cast over their children. This segment from Inside Edition tries to get to to the bottom of it all.

    Echo Box

    A place for products, creative works, and upcoming projects seeking support. No endorsement from VC&G is implied.

    • Project: MEGAFOOT
      An indie sci-fi action film seeking funding on IndieGoGo. One of the rewards ($150 level) is a limited edition Megafoot NES cartridge.

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    [ Newsbits ] April 3, 2014

    April 3rd, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Vintage computing and retrogaming news small enough to eat.

    Recent News

    • Microsoft Releases Source Code for MS-DOS and Word for Windows
      A great move by Microsoft and the CHM

      "On Tuesday, we dusted off the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows. With the help of the Computer History Museum, we are making this code available to the public for the first time.

    • Yoshi's New Island Out Now on 3DS
      A Nintendo 3DS sequel to the Super NES classic with all-new stages.

      "New island. New adventure. Same awesome Yoshi. The little Mario Bros. are in big trouble. Help Yoshi save the day — with help from cool power-ups, giant Eggdozers, and crazy transformations.

    • New Ultima Online Shard Freeshard Open
      by the name of "An Corp"

      "A brand new freeshard for Ultima Online has opened up and it is amazing. T2A era, full-loot, open-world PVP, revamped loot tables, exciting new expansions like the Township/Kingship system, and Order/Chaos/Balance battles.

    Cool Links

    • Play Zork on an Altair 8800 Clone via Telnet
      and watch the panel lights blink in realtime

      "Logon using your favorite telnet client to: altair.micronick.com on port 23. You can SAVE and RESTORE your Zork game. I suggest using terminal type vt100 or ANSI.

    • Magpi: The Micro Arduino Gaming Platform Interface
      A retro portable game console built from scratch

      "Here's a retro hand-held gaming console I built with my son. It uses an Arduino micro-controller, a small LCD screen, push-buttons, a 3D printed case and home-grown "PC" board. It's really pretty easy to solder and put together. My son & I wrote two games and a drawing program for it.

    • Classic Game Room Reviews the Sega Dreamcast Dreameye Camera
      A neat peripheral many people have forgotten

      "TV phone, video mail and photo mail with your Sega Dreamcast and the Dreameye camera! Hook this up to your Dreamcast and connect to the Japanese Internet in 2000 for some great times!! Records 25 second clips of video from a terrible webcam, but it's great for laughs.

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    [ Newsbits ] March 26, 2014

    March 25th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

    VC&G Newsbits Logo

    Hi, Benj here. People send me stuff all the time hoping I'll post something about it on VC&G, but each item alone rarely warrants its own post. There is a solution: a regular compressed news and links column. It's something I've been meaning to do for, well, almost 9 years now.

    So I finally got around to it. (Just in time for blogs to become thoroughly obsolete, natch.) Newsbits could become a weekly thing, or I'll just post them as news collects. I'll feel it out as I go along.

    News & Links

    • Vintage Computer Festival East 9.1
      April 4-6, 2014, InfoAge Science Center, Wall, New Jersey

      "Vintage Computer Festival East is a hands-on, family-friendly celebration of computer history. Activities include a book sale, classes, consignment sale, exhibit hall, food, lectures, museum tours, prizes, vendors, workshops, and more. (Why "9.1″? We skipped 9.0 in 2013 due to damage from Hurricane Sandy.)

    • Second Edition of "Atari, Inc." Possible
      Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel are working on a second, revised edition of the epic Atari history book they released in 2012. More info as it comes along.
    • Surfing Modern Web With Ancient Browsers
      Awesome technique renders pages as image-mapped GIFs.

      "Webrender.py came to life. It’s a cgi-bin application that resides on a machine in the middle. It renders a gif image and spits it out to the browser together with a simple web page, containing a URL and search input boxes plus the gif and image map.

    • The Temple Operating System
      The demo video for this Judeo-Christian-inspired homemade operating system will blow your mind. (via Antoni Sawicki)

      "TempleOS is an x86_64, multi-tasking, multi-cored, public domain, open source, ring-0-only, single-address-map (identity mapped), non-networked, PC operating system for recreational programming. I capped the lines of code at 100,000, so it will never be an ugly monstrosity. Currently, it is 81,489. Since God's temple must be perfect and we have 1,000 years in mind, I do not promise that anything is future-proof.

    Echo Box

    Here are some products, creative works, and upcoming projects seeking support. No endorsement from VC&G is implied.

    • Nova Phase
      A downloadable comic book with NES-style pixel art graphics.
    • donkulous DONKEYS (iTunes Link)
      "We've just released a new free iOS game, donkulous DONKEYS. It's an unapologetically hard but insanely addictive retro arcade game, inspired by Bill Gates' first one-and-only DOS game.
    • Armiga Project on Indiegogo
      "Wouldn't it be great to be able to use all those aging Amiga disks again? Maybe the original Amiga is a bit big and video quality not so good… A smaller version, with modern connections would be awesome, isn't it? That's what we've done: take modern technology and make it work with good old floppies.

    Submit News

    If you want me to include something on a future Newsbits column, send me an email with "[Newsbits]" in the subject line. My email filter will route it directly into my brain.

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