Archive for June, 2009

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Konami Arcade Assault

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Konami Home Computer Games Ad - 1988Click image above for full advertisement.

[ From Compute’s Gazette for Commodore Users, December 1988 ]

Discussion topic of the week: What’s your favorite classic (say, pre-1996) Konami game of all time?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Sony Digital Mavica FD-7

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Sony Digital Mavica FD-7 with Floppy Drive Ad - 1998“It’s as easy as a floppy.”

The Sony Digital Mavica FD-7 seemed so exciting back when it was new, and I wanted one. Its attractiveness stemmed from the cheap and familiar media it used for image storage: standard 3.5″ floppy disks. Most digital cameras of the day required expensive, obscure flash cards for storage and proprietary software to extract photos from the camera (through a painfully slow serial cable). With the FD-7, one needed only to insert the image disk into one’s computer floppy drive and copy the pictures off. But the technological price of this convenience was high: the camera’s maximum image resolution was 640×480 — anything bigger, and you’d only be able to fit a couple photos on a single 1.4 megabyte disk.

Funny enough, I recall ghost enthusiasts on the Internet circa 1998 picking the FD-7 as their camera of choice for its uncanny ability to capture vast flurries of out-of-focus dust (aka “ghost orbs”). That endorsement alone speaks volumes about the camera’s lackluster optical qualities. Also, this new breed of digital ghost hunters didn’t have to feel guilty about taking endless rolls of 35mm dust photos, which can get quite expensive to develop.

[ From Equip, September 1998 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Tell us about the first digital camera you ever used. What brand was it, and what image resolution could it capture?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Ikari Warriors (Atari 7800)

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Ikari Warriors for Atari 7800 Ad - 1990Rambo you are not.

Here’s another rare Atari 7800 video game ad from 1990, this time for Ikari Warriors. Previously, we’ve seen one for Alien Brigade. I’ve heard that the 7800 version of Ikari Warriors is pretty good, but I’ve never played it myself (well, maybe once on an emulator). Can anyone out there tell us what it’s like?

Trivia Alert: According to Wikipedia, Ikari Warriors’ theme and name were inspired by the film Rambo: First Blood Part II. The Japanese title of that movie contained the word “ikari,” which means “anger” in Japanese.

[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, November 1990 ]

Discussion topic of the week: What’s your pick for the best movie in the Rambo series: First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, or Rambo (the 2008 movie)?

15 Classic PC Design Mistakes

Monday, June 15th, 2009

15 Classic PC Design Mistakes

Up now on Harry McCracken’s Technologizer is my latest VC&G-related freelance work: “15 Classic PC Design Mistakes,” a non-exhaustive analysis of various hardware and software design goofs in vintage computers. In it, I discuss the Apple III, Coleco Adam, TI-99/4A, Macintosh, and more. Feel free to take a look.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] A Scientific Apple II

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Apple II Scientific Scene - ProDOS manual - circa 1983Through science, we’ve discovered ways of levitating our floppy diskettes.

[ From The ProDOS Supplement to the Apple IIe Owner’s Manual, 1983 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Have you ever spilled a drink or any other liquid on your computer? How did you clean it up?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] TurboGrafx-16 Logo

Monday, June 1st, 2009

TurboGrafx-16 Logo - 1989You could eat off of this logo.

This week, I present to you the TurboGrafx-16 logo in relatively high resolution lossless PNG format for all to use and enjoy (click on the image above for the big version). Nice and clean. I’ve always considered this logo to be an exceptional example of good graphic design.

[ From The U.S. TurboGrafx-16 Instruction Manual, circa 1989 ]

Discussion topic of the week: What’s your favorite game system logo of all time?