How I learned to love fuzzy displays and chunky pixels...
Greetings Armchair Arcade readers, time for Part #2 of The Retro Repair Adventures. Back in Part #1 I gave you a rose-colored introduction to my own VIC-20 machine, and showed a smattering of the various bits and bobs of VIC gaming history which I've managed to hold onto for 30+ years now.
This time, keep your propeller-beanies and geek-goggles screwed on tight, and warm up your soldering irons, because we're diving in for a close encounter with the VIC-20 hardware. For those of you who've ever wondered what electronic magic powered the first computer model to sell more than one million units, read on for a peek inside the machine, it's design, and the nitty-gritty details of repairing a 30+ year-old computer.
How to do "The Shatner Rub"...
Hello my fellow Armchair Arcadians! It's good to be back. Didn't mean to be gone so long again, but hey, Life happens. This time, I'm putting on my "Engineer Hat" (with the mandatory pocket-protector), and taking you on a Retro-Repair Adventure. In this first installment, we'll be delving into my own computing, programming, and gaming past. I'll take it easy to begin with, by giving you a close look at my very own, very beloved, and very much malfunctioning Commodore VIC-20. (We'll get to the nitty-gritty details of the electronics repair in my next posting.)
|Greetings once more to all my fellow Armchair Arcadians! Yet again, I've found my blogging schedule horribly delayed by "Life, The Universe, and Everything". If I weren't such a chipper and optimistic guy, I'd begin to think that it was some kind of Secret Illuminati Conspiracy, trying to derail the "Great Things" I want to accomplish in my life. Sadly, it's nothing so dramatic or interesting. I know all too well what the real causes are:|
Hello Everyone! I hope that you've all had a terrific Christmas and New Year break, and are as excited as I am about the possibilities and promise of 2013. I've been absent from Armchair Arcade for too long (again... job-related...), and am working on some articles to remedy that. (I still owe you good people the last article on the Houston Arcade Expo.) For now though, since it's the time of year that people tend get all gooey and sentimental, reflecting on the past so that they might get a better grip on the future, I thought I'd chat a bit about a topic near and dear to our hearts as gamers in the 21st century: SaaS - Software As A Service.
|Hello everyone! I'm back again, this time to dive into more details on the collection of playable home-consoles on display at the 2012 Houston Expo. (Part #1 of my coverage is here. Part #2 is here.) For Part #3, I shall also recap the 1-hour presentation given by Joe Crookham of Classic Arcade Works on how to replace your battered and failing arcade cabinet with a faithful reproduction. Additionally, I'll give you an overview of the delightful conversations I had with Joe, about his business, how it's going for him, and his plans for future expansion. So with no further delay, onwards...|
|Hello everyone! Welcome to Part #2 of my coverage report on The 2012 Houston Arcade Expo. (You can flip through Part #1 of my coverage here.) For this article, I'm back with details on the many amazing machines that were available at the show. I'll get to the interviews in Part #3 and Part #4 of this series. Check back soon for those. For now though, it's time to enjoy more of the eye-candy!|
Hello again dear readers, it's great to be back! Once more, my inner arcade- and computer-gaming aficionado has burst out of the dreary doldrums of "Crazy-Busy Normal Life", after being confined for just too darn long. I did so with some gusto this time, and took the opportunity to shamelessly gorge myself on an enormous and truly delicious smorgasbord of gaming: The 2012 Houston Arcade Expo.
Even as I write these introductory words, the whole 2+ day event is STILL going on. While it's scheduled to officially wind to a close in the next hour or so, from all the good folks I chatted with, the talking and story-telling and drunken networking will likely go on until dawn. For my part though, I had to throw in the towel a little bit early. For starters, I had to dash home and start cracking on this set of articles for you fine folks!
Not to mention that my ears are absolutely ringing from the roar of 120+ pinball and arcade machines running full-blast, and my eyes feel like they're covered in plastic-wrap. (Note to self: When binging for 10+ hours on video games and pinball, remember to blink.)
|Hello everyone, welcome to my second article on learning the fine art of programming. In my last article I listed a goodly number of possible options for learning to program with BASIC. Some were old, some were new, some are decidedly cool, and some were ridiculous. Some were (and are) extremely good development tools--capable of being used to create commercial quality software. There are also many other options which I left out of the mix.
Previously, I covered the highlights of what each one offered, and provided enough links for you to do some more research on your own. (You did go out and research some of those, didn't you?? I mean, if you're serious about wanting to program, then a little effort into research and experimentation can't be a huge hurdle. If it IS, you really need to re-think your future career.)
Hello again everyone! This time I want to talk about something very near and dear to my own heart (and wallet): Programming. Specifically, Game Programming. I wanted to address the questions which young gamers always seem to ask, when they first seriously consider the idea of becoming a game programmer... "How do I get started? What language/tool/IDE/program should I download?"
As I've managed to make a pretty good living as an applications and systems-level programmer for nearly 20 years now, and since I've been programming either professionally or as a hobby for over 35 years, I think I'm grey-haired enough to have developed a reasonable opinion on the matter.