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Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Centipede (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1983)

Centipede on the IBM PC programmed by R.J.Grafe in 1983. It's not the official port by Atarisoft but another release sporting quite an innovative control scheme. It actually features a simulation of the trackball found on the original arcade game. It uses the space bar for firing and the cursor keys to move around the little gun-turret. Pressing a directional key is similar to giving the trackball a swirl. Pressing multiple times in rapid succesion is like giving the trackball more momentum. A bit of an indirect control scheme but it really works well. With this control scheme in place this actually makes for an excellent port.

Take a look at the video and see how I fared.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Tubular Worlds (PC / MS-DOS / Amiga / 1994)

I was going to play the Amiga game but that kept on crashing on me so I chose to do the PC version instead which is very similar if not identical.
A great R-type/Nemesis/Gradius like shoot'm up for PC and Amiga systems. Very nice smooth scrolling and a wonderful use of the 256 colours of the VGA palette. It spreads around 4 levels (worlds), has a nice weapons upgrade system comparable to that of Konami and Compile shooters. Nice soundtrack and great sound FX using the wonderful Sounblaster and FM synthesis. A two player mode is optional but I was unable to show you that as I didn't have a second player available to me. The game is controlled through either mouse, joystick or keyboard

Bill Loguidice's picture

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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