Archive for the 'VC&G Announcements' Category

Jason Scott Needs Your Help

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Jason Scott Sabbatical

Jason Scott is a singular fellow. He’s the man behind the BBS Documentary, the upcoming Get Lamp documentary (on text adventure games), and creator of textfiles.com. He also spearheaded a recent attempt to archive all of Geocities before Yahoo took it down recently.

This fellow historian, friend of VC&G, and archivist extraordinaire recently lost his long-time job as a system administrator. Like many who have found themselves unemployed recently, the situation inspired a little soul-searching from Scott, who realized his stressful years as a system administrator had worn down his health.

Something important dawned on him: he already spent so much of his spare time and money on his main passion — preserving and documenting computer history — why not try to do that full time?

That’s where the Jason Scott Sabbatical fund at Kickstarter.com comes in. Scott is seeking donations from people around to globe to fund a 3-4 month sabbatical wherein he can focus on his history and archiving work full time. So far, hundreds of people have chipped in (including myself), but he still needs more donations to push him over top of the hill.

I can honestly say there’s no one else out there like Jason Scott, and we will likely never see another single individual so fiercely (and I mean fiercely) dedicated to preserving the overlooked backwaters and forgotten alleys of our digital history. Scott’s goal is a worthy one, and he does monumentally important work that future historians will thank him for.

Jason Scott -- The Showman

This sabbatical concept via Kickstarter is a somewhat radical idea, I know. Some of you will have doubts about it — for example, if he will spend the money properly. But I don’t fear that outcome: that’s for Jason Scott to sort out, and for his own conscience to live with.

If you contribute a modest amount, you have little to lose. If he blows the cash, so what? But if you contribute and Scott does what he promises to do, I predict that history will have a lot to gain — not only in terms of added, productive years on Jason Scott’s life, but in countless terabytes of priceless historical data that will serve as the foundation of our ancestors’ understanding of the past.

As a historian, I need Jason Scott to continue his work. As a human with a responsibility to the legacy of your species, you need Jason Scott to do his work. Please consider helping him out.

VC&G: Still Here After Four Years

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Vintage Computing and Gaming LogoFour years ago today, I posted my first (somewhat awkward) entry on this blog. I was new to blogging then. Heck, blogging was new to blogging then. Or at least it feels that way to me now.

I was by no means an early adopter of blogging in general, but quite a bit has changed in the “blogosphere” (I die a little every time I say that term) over the last four years — years that have seen a choice few video game and gadget blogs consolidate power with very influential voices in their respective communities. They’ve gone from sloppy wannabe video game/gadget press to actually absorbing, replacing, and becoming the video game/gadget press in some respects as traditional print magazines continue to fall by the wayside.

Where’s VC&G in all this? Heh, I don’t know. We’re no powerhouse, but we (I say “we” in the most singular sense of the word) have an impressive Google footprint in the video game and computer history realm. It’s a bizarre feeling when I’m researching my freelance articles and I come across multiple links to VC&G posts or images from Retro Scan of the Week on every Google results page. I have to avoid quoting myself.

Vintage Computing and Gaming SiteAt the end of the day, Vintage Computing and Gaming is still an enthusiast blog that’s not updated very frequently (since 2007 or so). But at least we’re still here after four years. That’s a long time to consistently maintain any blog, and I’m proud of that much.

I like the stability and consistency that VC&G provides in my writing life, and my regular readers (that’s you) feel like old buddies to me now. Thanks for continuing to humor me in moments both odd and insightful.

On another note, I honestly never thought I’d keep the same theme and site design for this long. Back in 2005, I used to plan site redesigns for my websites every few years, but this layout served the blog so well that I just said, “What the heck. If it works, keep it.”

And now, some statistics. There are currently 491 posts and 5,165 comments on VC&G. That’s an average of 3.5 comments a day since November 2nd, 2005, and a whopping 10.5 per post. Not too shabby. Keep it up!

Discussion Topic of the Year: Share your favorite VC&G moments. If you had no nominate a post or two for a hypothetical “Best of VC&G,” what would they be?

ULAF’S GARDENING TIPS

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

[Editor’s Note: This was part of an April Fools gag. Ulaf is still not amused.]

ULAF WHILE GARDENSINGHELLO AGAIN VINTAGE SUPERFANS. RECENTLY, THE BENJ DECIDES TO HAND ULAF THE RAINS OF THESE BLOG POST. SO ULAF CONVERT SITE TO THE FAVORITES OF ALL THE WORLD’S KRELZ, GARDENSING. AND HENCE: VINTAGE COMPUTING AND GARDENSING.

TO STARTS US OFF, MY MIND WILL SHARE WITH YOU EASY THREE TIPS TO THE BETTER GARDENSING.

NUMBERS 1:
DO NOT EAT THE VEGTABLES BEFORE THE GROWING.

NUMBERS 2:
THE DIRT IS NOT FOR THE EATING, BUT FOR THE GROWING.

NUMBERS 3:
THE WORMS ARE FOR THE GROWING, AND THE EATING IF YOUR MIND LACK EXCELLENT NUTRIMENT.

THAT IS ALL FOR NOW. STAY TUNES FOR MORE GARDENSING TIPS AND TRICKSTERS FROM THE WHIRL OF ULAF.

FOR COMPUING AND GAMINGS TIPS, CONSULT HOW TO BEAT THE VIDEO GAMES, THE ULAF CLASSIC. SOON ULAF WRITES “HOW TO BEAT THE VEGETABLES” FOR YOUR MIND TO CONSUME. UNTIL NEXT TIME THIS IS ULAF SAYING BE THE MASTER.

ULAF FANS UNITE! READS ULAF ON THE TWEETER: @ulafsilchov

[ Continue reading ULAF’S GARDENING TIPS » ]

@VC&G_Readers: Benj is on Twitter

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

https://twitter.com/benjedwards

Member Registrations Re-Enabled in VC&G Forums

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Vintage Computing and Gaming ForumsI’ve got good news for those of you who previously wanted to register an account in the VC&G Discussion Forums but couldn’t: the forums are open once again for new member registration.

Registration has been closed for a while because of a recent influx of spambots. But thanks to a couple new anti-spam measures I put in place, I can finally re-open the forum to new members. Sorry it took so long — hopefully the new spambot-deterrents will hold up. If not, we also have moderators on hand to chase the evil spambots away.

Forty (Plus) Years of the Computer Mouse

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Image Desc

In case you were wondering, the computer mouse turned 40 today.

… or, at least, that’s what everybody is saying, despite the fact that Douglas Engelbart cobbled together his first mouse in 1963 (which would make the mouse something more like 45). But ah, the vagaries of media semantics — somebody toots their horn and then everybody has to jump on board.

Despite the numbers game, this date is indeed a special anniversary, because 40 years ago today, Douglas Engelbart presented “the mother of all demos” at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. This event was notable, among other reasons, for being the first time the public laid eyes on the computer mouse.

By now, you’re probably saying, “That’s great Benj, but I’m suspicious that you actually posted something on VC&G! Where do you and your professional career fit into this?” Well, I’m getting to that. In honor of this anniversary, Macworld asked me to write a short piece on the history of the mouse. After deliberating with myself for about 30 seconds, I accepted the assignment.

Over the next few days, I managed to assemble a comprehensive timeline that traces the mouse’s technical evolution through the years. Unsurprisingly, you can find it on Macworld.com. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested, and tell them Benj sent ya. Even if you don’t check it out, remember to stare extra hard at your mouse today and contemplate its origins in the vast foggy distance of time.

VC&G Turns Three

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Vintage Computing and Gaming LogoJust a quick administrative note — I’ve been so busy focusing on other anniversaries that I forgot my own. Three years ago last week, I started the very blog you’re reading now, Vintage Computing and Gaming. I determined very soon after that I would always write Vintage Computing and Gaming in italics because it looks more official, as if this were a distinguished and respectable publication worthy of title formatting treatment. (A few years of Ulaf appearances probably destroyed that illusion.) If nothing else, the fancy italics helped my morale as I toiled away in obscurity, churning out regular, unique content that (I hoped) couldn’t be found anywhere else.

Since then, the site has stayed mostly the same, although the post frequency has gone down quite a bit since I began doing professional freelance writing work a few years ago. Despite that, I’m very grateful that thousands of thoughtful, intelligent readers (i.e. you) regularly check out VC&G for the latest posts. At least I still find time to do Retro Scan of the Week, if nothing else, and I hope you don’t mind me keeping you updated on my latest VC&G-related freelance work. I do have new VC&G-only features on the way that I’ve been working on here and there, so there’s always new content around the corner.

Looking toward the future, I can’t see a reason why this site won’t be around for a long time. I love doing what I do, and I still have an enormous (and overwhelming) computer and video game collection to draw material from. So as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep this place running. Thanks for your support and your wonderful comments over the years. Please stick around; there’s more to come. –Benj

2008 VC&G Forum Contest Winners

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Vintage Computing and Gaming Forum ContestWell, our first forum contest was a spirited one. Its goal was to stimulate activity on our previously stagnant forum, and it succeeded. We saw many new members arrive and many interesting discussions held.

After a month of battling it out for post supremacy, I’m sure our contestants are anxious to hear the results. So without much further ado, I’m proud to announce the winners of our 2008 VC&G forum contest.

[ Continue reading 2008 VC&G Forum Contest Winners » ]

Win a Free NES DVD Player and More

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Vintage Computing and Gaming Forum Contest

It should come as no surprise to my regular readers that I like to foster a sense of community around Vintage Computing and Gaming; I believe that the main strength of any publication lies in its readership, and VC&G is blessed with an exceptionally intelligent, resourceful, and creative one.

As a historian, I like to help people reconnect with and rediscover the past. But I can’t do it alone — we need to stick together. That’s why I’m announcing a new contest to promote activity on the VC&G Discussion Forum, an oft-neglected part of the site. Anyone can enter the contest by registering for an account on the forum and posting.

[ Continue reading Win a Free NES DVD Player and More » ]

Correction: Apple IIpc Actually 3 GHz

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Vintage Computing and Gaming LogoYes, the last two posts on VC&G were April Fools’ gags. The first was a legitimate TRS-80 scan that I manipulated to look freaky. I posted it on the 31st because that was the closest Monday to April 1st (I post a new Retro Scan of the Week every Monday). You’ll notice that the ad reads “Radio Snack,” so that should be the warning sign to future alien computer historians who might think it was authentic. Hopefully you didn’t stake your house / car / life savings on that being the real deal. If you did, then I applaud you on your unflinching loyalty and trust in the site.

I hope I got your hopes up with talk of the Apple IIpc. Sounds like an exciting idea, doesn’t it? With devices like the C-One popping up, you never know what will happen in the future. Steve Wozniak himself said (via email) that he loved the prank, so I guess, based on that criteria alone, it was a success. Sadly, no real Apple IIpc (that I know of) is in the works.

So now it’s time to move on into the greater world of April. After all, more Vintage Computing and Gaming always awaits us on the road ahead.