Archive for January, 2011

One Scan Per Week for Five Years

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Retro Scan of the Week Turns Five

As of today, I have posted a Retro Scan of the Week every Monday for five years. That’s 263 entries total — each post containing at least one scan of something deliciously vintage for you and yours to enjoy.

But wait a minute. Let’s back up a bit to the “every Monday for five years” part. I can’t quite believe that. Have I really been doing these scans for five years? Every single week? Dear God. As crazy as it sounds, the answer is yes.

I hear some of you chanting “speech,” (or maybe that’s just the audience of one inside by head) so I will say a few words of reflection.

[ Continue reading One Scan Per Week for Five Years » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Ominous Zelda Portents

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Magazine Ad Advertisement - 2000Weight of moon > weight of world? Termina must be a small place.
(click image above to see full ad)

Despite what you see above, the game featured in this double page advertisement is not set in New York City. It’s set in Termina, a weird place where kids wear lots of masks to get things done. And like Groundhog Day, time keeps looping until you do everything just so. The perpetual déjà vu can be frustrating — nay, maddening. But it may also be genius, and a small subset of loyal Zelda fans call The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask one of the best titles in the series.

It also turned ten years old last November. Happy birthday!

P.S. This scan marks five years of Retro Scan of the Week. Read more about it here.

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 2000, p.8-9 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: How do you feel Majora’s Mask ranks in the pantheon of Zelda games? Near the top? Near the bottom?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Hosted by Mark Hamill

Monday, January 24th, 2011

PC World Ad Featuring .com Showon CNBC hosted by Mark Hamill - 1997I Am Not Luke Skywalker

Back in the mid-1990s, Mark Hamill hosted a show called “.com” on CNBC. Few people remember it. I don’t think I’d heard of it until I stumbled across the ad scanned above a few months ago.

You may be able to eke out a few more details by digging through the show’s official website on the Internet Archive. That’s where I found this bio of Mark Hamill himself:

Mark Hamill is the host of the “.com” television series.

He also stars as Col. Christopher Blair in ORIGIN System’s award-winning interactive computer action series Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. Mark is best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in one of the most popular and successful movie trilogy of all time, the Star Wars saga. Most recently, Hamill has been heard as the voice of the Joker in both the Batman animated television series and the theatrical animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

The Internet Archive is also where I found this photo of Mark Hamill hosting a show called “My Kids,” which was produced by the same company. I honestly don’t know any more than that.

This looks like a good job for the VC&G reader-sleuths to put together a more complete history of this long-forgotten TV show. Anyone up for the task?

[ From PC World, November 1997, p.97 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Did you ever see the “.com” TV show while it was on the air? Tell us your memories of it.

[ Fuzzy Memory ] Touch-based Disc Toy

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Fuzzy MemoryEvery once and a while, I receive emails from people looking for a certain game, electronic toy, or computer from their distant past. I then pass it on to intrepid VC&G readers to crack the case.

The Clues

Matt writes:

Hey dude,

I’ve been stumped in my attempts to locate info on a toy I had in the early/mid 80s.

It was pretty big and took a slew of D cell batteries. It had a surface with touch receptors on it, probably 10″ square (no LCD of any sort though). An activity consisted of a plastic CD style disc that you inserted into a slot on the side, and a plastic overlay that you put on the touch surface. The plastic overlay indicated things you could touch to make the activity/game happen. All games had very lifelike sound that came from a built in speaker.

Any help would be appreciated, I’ve had zero luck even coming up with a clue on this one!


The Search Begins

It’s up to you to find the object of Matt’s fuzzy memory. Post any thoughts or suggestions in the comments section below. Matt will be monitoring the comments, so if you need to clarify something with him, ask away. Good luck!

Have a memory of a computer, video game, computer software, or electronic toy you need help identifying? Send me an email describing your memories in detail. Hopefully, the collective genius of the VC&G readership can help solve your mystery.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Sega Genesis Extras

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Sega Genesis Extras - Sega Mega Mouse - Sega Team Player - Sega Activator Ad - 1994Captain Foothand strikes again.

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 1994, p.123 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever used the Sega Mega Mouse or the Sega Activator? What did you think about them?

Mac Plus Turns 25

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Mac Plus 25th Anniversary Article on

25 years ago this month, Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus — a computer many consider to be the first truly usable Macintosh model. In honor of the anniversary, I asked myself to write a short article about it for Macworld. To my surprise, I complied with the request and the result is now up at I hope I enjoy it.*

* Inside joke.

The Mysterious Mark Hamill Show

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Mark Hamill as Show Host

Explain the context of this image and I will grant you the power of flight. Hint: it has something to do with computers.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] ICD Atari ST Hard Drive

Monday, January 10th, 2011

ICD FA-ST FAST FA20ST Hard Drive for Atari ST 1040ST Ad - 1988“Refresh Your Memory. And Keep Your Cool.”

I recently ran across this ad for the ICD FA-ST Atari ST hard drive system in a 1988 issue of STart magazine that my wife’s uncle gave me. He was quite an ST fan himself back in the day, and I was the lucky recipient of his ST collection last year.

According to an ICD catalog I have, the 20 megabyte model of this HD system (the FA20ST, seen here) retailed for US $699.95 in 1988 ($1,294.60 in 2010 dollars). The highest end model( FA52ST), which included two 50 megabyte drives, sold for $1649.95 (or $3,051.68 in 2010 dollars).

Those steep prices (common for all hard disks at the time), along with the small market size of Atari 16-bit owners in the US, made drives such as these quite rare. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

[ From STart, Summer 1988, p.9 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Do you own hard drive systems for any of your vintage, non-IBM PC compatible computers? Tell us about them.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Star Wars Demolition

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Star Wars Demolition Playstation Dreamcast Ad - 2000I don’t remember this from the films.

Despite the fact that I scanned this ad from a magazine that I religiously pored over some 10 years ago, I have no memory of Star Wars Demolition (PSX and Dreamcast) whatsoever. It appears to be a vehicular combat game (ala Twisted Metal) with a Star Wars license slapped onto it. When I came across this ad earlier today, my first reaction was: “Man, that’s bizarre.” And it is.

Has anyone out there played it?

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 2000, p.47 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite vehicular/car combat game of all time?