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Bill Loguidice's picture

Preparing for a Next Generation Workflow: Pre-ordering Microsoft's Surface Pro 2

Surface Pro 2Surface Pro 2As an unapologetic technophile, I naturally crave the latest and greatest technology. However, somewhat stifling those cravings are the reality of the high costs of new technology, available space, and the needs of my present workflow. In other words, even though I spend a disproportionate amount of my money on technology, my purchases must still be carefully considered for a variety of reasons.

While I have a demanding day job as a Technical Writer, I'm also a professional author and journalist, which requires a certain amount of portability if I don't wish to be chained to a desk for 12 - 16 hours a day. This portability is particularly important to me as I always try to make a point of balancing my working life with my personal (especially family) life.

Bill Loguidice's picture

The upcoming book, Vintage Game Consoles, is now available for pre-order!

Vintage Game ConsolesVintage Game ConsolesI'm thrilled to officially announce that another one of my new books, Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time, written with Matt Barton, is now available for pre-order from booksellers everywhere, including Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and of course, the publisher's (Taylor & Francis/Focal Press) Website. As always, my personal favorite place is Amazon, where you can buy it at a nice discount from the full retail price, plus, if the price drops upon the book's publication sometime in February/March 2014, you get it for the lower price. Of course, you don't get charged until it actually ships.

What Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time, did before it for software, Vintage Game Consoles, does it now for hardware platforms, covering 20 of the greatest game playing computers, consoles, and handhelds of all-time. This full color paperback and ebook is packed to the gills with well over 400 pages of content and 400 images. Nathan Strum's amazing cover art, inspired by legendary magazine, Electronic Games (the first I ever bought myself as a child and incredibly influential to my future path in life), rounds out the package.

Also in early 2014, be sure to look out for My Xbox One, written with Christina Loguidice (the follow-up to My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE), and of course, published this holiday season, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, written with Boisy Pitre.

Bill Loguidice's picture

The upcoming book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, is now available for pre-order!

CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog ComputerCoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog ComputerI'm happy to officially announce that my next book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, written with Boisy Pitre, is now available for pre-order from booksellers everywhere, including Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and of course, the publisher's (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press) Website. My personal favorite place is Amazon, where you can buy it at a nice discount from the full retail price, plus, if the price drops upon the book's publication sometime in November, you get it for the lower price. Of course, you don't get charged until it actually ships.

What's nice about the book (available in both paperback and ebook versions) is that this is the first time the story of Tandy's Color Computer - affectionately dubbed "CoCo" - will be told in this manner. The first version of the computer debuted on July 31, 1980, and it and its successors were staples in Radio Shack stores into the 1990s. While never the most popular computer series, the ubiquity of Radio Shack's stores, catalogs, and overall advertising meant that it was impossible to ignore, even if systems like the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC garnered all the headlines. Thanks to extensive interviews with most of the principles involved in the computer's creation, community, and support, you'll have a definitive first-hand account of how the computer series came to be, from an extensive pre-history right through to what's going on today, where a small, but enthusiastic cadre of fans still enjoy working with the systems. In short, you get to learn about the "soul" of this underdog computer series, including all the business decisions that went into its creation, all the personalities both directly and indirectly involved in its support, and some of the herculean efforts needed to keep the platform alive.

Finally, for those not interested in pre-ordering, I'll be sure to post again once the book is actually ready to ship. As always, I greatly appreciate the support.

Mark Vergeer's picture

GameMID Android Handheld - Update on availability - 9-17-2013

Mark Smile The Android handheld I reported on earlier has now also become available for sale on the company's updated website. There's an order now button where you can place an order directly from the manufacturer or request additional information. The manufacturer is located in Hong Kong so it could be that you will have to pay additional import taxes according to your locale. Getting one from a retailer locally would be your best option but if that isn't an option going the direct route may be a good alternative. The unit comes in a sturdy box and is well protected by a specialized air filled sleeve. A charger compatible with your local AC power grid is also provided.

There's also a very informative video explaining how the VKM - virtual key mapping software - works. This has been substantially updated since my video as it is now also possible to map swiping gestures onto the buttons (right thumb stick).

Performance wise this unit is capable of full speed emulation of many game systems, including the PPSSPP and original Playstation. Also many games, run great and the battery life on the unit is quite good. The developers of the RetroArch emulator have gotten a unit too so one can expect an even better native support for all buttons in future releases of that emulator. Hook the unit up to the TV over HDMI and you'll have a great console experience. Blue tooth, wifi, microsd slot - all is there. The amount of flash memory 8Gb is similar to the OUYA and in real life comparison - side loading the same apps onto the OUYA - this unit trumps the OUYA on real life Android apps despite the fact that in theory the OUYA has more beefy hardware. There is no lag on the GameMID's buttons and it seems to be my gaming tablet of choice at a great price. A lot of the Android gaming videos on this site have been recorded using this device. Check them out if you want.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Armchair Arcade Marks its 10th Anniversary!

It is with great honor and humble appreciation that I write this blog post officially acknowledging Armchair Arcade's 10th anniversary. That's right, Armchair Arcade was founded way back in September 2003, an eon in Internet time. Little did we know when we founded it back then that we'd still be going strong 10 years later, and looking forward to another great decade ahead. Since Armchair Arcade's founding, our team members have created well over a dozen major books, a documentary film, and countless thousands of feature articles, blog posts, forum posts, editorials, games, podcasts, and videos. Of course, team members and friends have come and gone in those 10 years, and we've even had a few births along the way, but the more things have changed, the nicer it's been that Armchair Arcade itself has stayed right where you'd expect to find it.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Alpha Roid (MSX1, 64K)


Lloyd Alpha (? ROID) is a great little game produced by Pony Canyon in 1986. In it you have to destroy the evil forces of the Barugosu and repair the main computer. Well that is as elaborate as the background story of this shooter is going to get.

My European copy of the game comes with a nice cassette inlay but apart from a few lines of backstory there isn't any instructions on the gameplay included. The version I play here is the bare NTSC cart I also own. The Japanese version supposedly comes with more detailed instructions on how to play the game.

In my little gameplay (I didn't really know how to play this game) I didn't go into the holes (craters) that appear on the surface. And you are supposed to do so. Fly into those and the game turns into a little fighting game where you have to hit, kick, jump around to battle against those meanies. So there's more to this game than meets the eye. Check it out for yourself.

Here's a little clip of a guy who actually knows how to play this game and it shows the subterranean battling of the robots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQL_fWcT0Pc

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Delver (PC)


Delver is an Indie game that was recommended to me by a friend and this is the first time I take a look at it. It is basically one of these old text based Rogue like games that has turned into a nice 3D game featuring nice pixellated graphics reminiscent of those found in Minecraft. It is a tough game and I only seem to be able to last a couple of minutes. It works quite intuitively and I am liking this a lot even in its current Alpha state (Friday the 13th, 2013).
If you want to go check it out you can get it for PC or Android over here: http://www.delvergame.com/
You can also get the game on Steam.

Here's a link to the developer blog: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=24764.0

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... EA Classics (Colecovision) - new homebrew games


In this video I demo the 3 games on Tony's new Colecovision homebrew prototype cart. Munch Mania, Meteor Swarm and Birds of Orion. The retail Colecovision cartridge can actually be bought over here: http://bit.ly/1aWFyaF
I'd recommend this cart to anyone who owns a Colecovision as the games are very playable and tough. They pose a nice challenge. They are what an ElectricAdventure game is all about: tough as nails!

If you haven't checked out ElectricAdventure's channel please do so here:
http://www.youtube.com/electricadventures

Bill Loguidice's picture

Check out the cover art for our upcoming book, Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo...

It looks like the publisher posted an image of the cover - featuring original Nathan Strum art - for our upcoming book, Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time. The book, which covers 20 of the greatest gaming platforms of all time and is the next in the Vintage Games book series, won't be out until early next year, but hopefully that awesome looking cover art gets you excited for what's coming soon!

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Boulderdash (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1984)


Boulderdash by First Star Software originated on the Atari-8-bit computer line, hopped over to the C64 and was actually released on a whole myriad of other platforms including the old IBM-PC. It came on 5.25" floppy disks and it is a selfbooting disk - with a modified version of MS-DOS on it that directly boots into the game.

Check out the game and see how I play until the first game over.

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