casual photos

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Casual Photos: Walt Disney Personal Computer Software from Sierra for the Tandy Color Computer

Today's casual photos, taken with my iPhone 3G, are three sealed Walt Disney Personal Computer Software titles from Sierra for any 64K minimum Radio Shack (Tandy) Color Computer (CoCo 1, 2 or 3). These titles were created and released during a time when Sierra supported multiple 8-bit platforms before going exclusively 16-bit, until finally pretty much putting all of their focus into PC's, with occasional console detours like the Sega CD. The photos are Mickey's Space Adventure, Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood (note that MobyGames misses the CoCo version completely), and Donald Duck's Playground, all from 1986. Enjoy:

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Casual Photos: Mega-Cart (2009, Vic-20); SMS: Ghostbusters (1987), Zillion (1987) and Captain Silver (1989)

Today's casual photos, taken with the Panasonic digital camera, are: Denial Computer's Mega-Cart (2009) for the Commodore Vic-20 (VIC 20), and Sega's Ghostbusters (1987), Zillion (1987) and Captain Silver (1989) for the Sega Master System (SMS). Images and brief commentary below:

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Casual Photos: Boxed 3DO, Apple Macintosh, CD-i and SNK Neo Geo AES Games

Today's casual photos, this time taken with my Panasonic camera, are as follows: Syndicate (Electronic Arts/Bullfrog, 1995; 3DO), Alone in the Dark (MacPlay/Infogrames, 1994; Apple Macintosh), Link: The Faces of Evil (Philips, 1993; CD-i), and Riding Hero (SNK, 1990; Neo Geo AES). Brief comments and photos below:

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Casual Photos: Boxed 3DO, Apple II, C-64, CD-i and PC DOS Games (with brief commentary)

Today's casual photos, taken with my iPhone 3G, are another mixed bag of boxed games, this time featuring the 3DO, Apple II, C-64, CD-i and PC DOS platforms, sometimes in the same box and/or on the same disk.

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Casual Photos: Magnavox Odyssey 300, Questprobe/Spider-Man, Foes of Ali, Rise of the Robots, Video Chess

Today's second set of casual photos (Magnavox Odyssey 300 (1976); Electronic Arts' Foes of Ali (1995) and Absolute's Rise of the Robots (1995) for the 3DO; Adventure International's Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man (1984) for the Atari ST; and Atari's Video Chess Special Edition (1979) for the Atari 2600 VCS) are taken with my Panasonic digital camera, and, instead of telling a semi-coherent story to go along with the photos, I'll talk about each one in brief in turn. Photos to follow the commentary (I had some issues with my image processing software at work, so I was unable to finish cleaning these up).

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Casual Photos: Computer Preparation for the SAT (IBM PC and IBM PCjr, 1983)

Today's casual photos - by request - and taken with a Canon digital camera, is from the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Computer Test Preperation Series, Computer Preparation for the SAT, for the IBM PC and PCjr, from 1983. Its 1983 release date ranks it among the earliest releases indicated being specifically for the PCjr. While I haven't tested this product myself and may never get around to it, the fact that it's a non-intensive text-based program leads me to believe that not only should it work on standard PC compatibles running MS-DOS, but also most MS-DOS compatibles. The difference? Basically true PC compatibles were both BIOS and Microsoft DOS compatible with the original IBM PC (Compaq was one of the first to pull this feat off), while MS-DOS compatibles were not BIOS compatible, but ran their own version of Microsoft DOS (popular MS-DOS-only systems included the TI Professional, the Tandy 2000 and the Otrona Atache' 8:16). While this often meant a degree of file compatibility (and theoretically easy software ports for willing developers/publishers), any software that made specific calls to specific locations would typically fail. Luckily MS-DOS-only compatible systems gave way to 100% or near 100% compatibles by the mid-80's, for obvious reasons, as why support a dozen niche MS-DOS-only compatible systems that each required their own version of your software, when you could just write to the "PC Compatible" spec, holding the original IBM PC as the gold standard (Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft's Flight Simulator were often the best tests of true compatibility--if your system could run those with little to no issues, you were good to go).

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Casual Photos: Fairchild/Zircon Channel F/VES Cartridges (1976+) and Typing Tutor III (1984, Macintosh)

Today's casual photos, again taken with the Panasonic digital camera, are Kriya Systems, Inc.'s Typing Tutor III (1984) from Simon & Schuster for the Apple Macintosh, and three cartridges for the first ever programmable videogame system (i.e., utilizing interchangeable cartridges), the 1976 Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES), later known as the Fairchild Channel F after the release of the Atari Video Computer System (VCS) in 1977. In fact, after the name change, Fairchild would come to pull out of the market entirely and Zircon would assume rights to the platform, which limped its way into the bargain bins of the early 1980s.

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Casual Photos: Macintosh RPG's from 1989 - "TaskMaker" and "Citadel"

Today's casual photos (bit higher quality than usual, with my Panasonic digital camera), shown below, are two rare Apple Macintosh RPG's from 1989, Xor's TaskMaker (original version) and Postcraft's Citadel: Adventure of the CRYSTAL KEEP. The classic Macintosh platform is not known for its RPGs, and stand outs on the platform have been few and far between. Some of the others I own are rare and generally highly sought after, including Legends of the Lost Realm, a multi-character role playing game from Avalon Hill (1988; I don't have the sequel, which uses the same box, just with a small sticker on it to distinguish it), and the classic, Quarterstaff: The Tomb of Setmoth (1988, Infocom), which was originally released by Simulated Environment Systems in 1987 as simply Quarterstaff before Infocom's acquisition, and is considered one of the few authentic pen and paper-style RPGs in videogame form. Photos below:

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Casual Photos: Eric Knopp's ORBITRON (1981) from Sirius Software for the Apple II

Today's casual photos (shown below), this time taken with my Canon camera, is of Eric Knopp's Orbitron, published by Sirius software for the Apple II in 1981. The game was written in Assembly Language (versus the less professional BASIC) and required a 48K Apple II or II+, which was somewhat hefty for the time. The game's graphics were drawn using Sirius's E-Z Draw, first published in 1980. As you can see, this came in packaging not only common to Sirius at the time, but also the industry at large, in this case a small cardboard folder in shrinkwrap (the other common variety being a small cardboard folder or insert in a plastic zipper bag). The instructions, which aren't shown, are actually on the interior of the folder. I didn't want to remove what is most likely the original shrinkwrap, even though it's damaged. I'll likely transfer this to a plastic zipper bag for even more protection (and hey, that's still fairly authentic).

Anyway, as for Orbitron itself, you can play it yourself in your browser, here. It's a noisy, challenging and fairly fun game of essentially shooting through a series of rotating shields. Use the 1 and 2 keys to rotate your ship and the spacebar to fire. Enjoy!

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