Episode 8 of Randy Kindig's Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast, entitled, The TRS-80 Model I (Part I), gives another shout-out to two of the upcoming books I've co-authored, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer and Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time. Though Kindig messed up our names again (they're not easy--we've since given him a pronunciation guide), his support is of course still much appreciated. Kindig will also be receiving review copies of both books for future episodes of his podcast, plus he will be interviewing Boisy and me on an upcoming podcast (we want to wait for him to get a copy of the book). One other correction, the CoCo book should be out by the end of December, not November! Check out the episode here, which is part one of a two part interview with the authors of a popular TRS-80 book, as well as additional info on the computer itself. The TRS-80 was the first major personal computer Tandy did before the Color Computer (CoCo), and was part of the original 1977 trinity, which also included the Apple II and Commodore PET.
I'm happy to report that CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer has officially gone to press. This means that it should ship out to retail locations worldwide roughly on schedule near the end of December. If you'd like to read more about the book, you can visit the Amazon link or go to the publisher's (CRC Press, part of Taylor & Francis Group) Website.
Hewson Consultants was a software company founded by Andrew Hewson in 1980. Hewson has a reputation for making highly playable games with a high production value that were very innovative. Fine examples are classics like Uridium, Paradroid, Avalon, Dragontorc, Gribbly's Day out, Exolon, Cybernoid, Nebulus. Even to this day Hewson games rank among my favourite video games of all time. In the 90s Hewson transitioned into '21st Century Entertainment' which was responsible for classics like Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Pinball illusions and many others.
The games by both Hewson and 21st Century Entertainment play a huge role in my personal gaming history and when I found out that the man behind those companies has created a Kickstarter project, together with his son Rob, I just had to find out more. The purpose of this article is to inform you about the Kickstarter for a book entitled 'Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers'. And here a link to Hewson Consultants Ltd's website. I pledged and invite you to check out this Kickstarter project as well.
Below you can watch the interview I did with Andrew.
Update November 16th 2013:
11,481 Pounds have been pledged by 270 backers (10:29 GMT+1), so only 519 pounds to go with a couple of days left! I think there's a good chance this Kickstarter will make it! :) But do consider pledging to the Kickstarter as there are some benefits as a backer! Check out the Kickstarter page.
Google is joining together their YouTube and the Google+ platforms, whether users like it or not, but also has something else up its sleeve. By January, Google strives to have complete control over Chrome extensions and will turn off support for all third party extensions that are not downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. This all to supposedly make the browser a safer one.
Downloading Chrome extensions outside of Google's Web store will be prohibited come January. Until then, it is possible to download and manually install third party extensions on the Windows version of the popular Google browser. You can still do so by dragging the extensions to the Chrome://Extensions/ folder.
With this action, Google will gain complete control over their Web browser. Only Google will be able to decide which extensions will and will not be included in the store. A sign of things to come is the fact that earlier this year Google already removed ' Adblock' and ' Adaway' from the Google Play Store. And in January this will be a reality on Windows too.
Developers who want to publish an extension for the Windows Chrome version will have to pay a 5 dollar registration fee, and Google will take 5% off any revenues...
Just when I said I wasn't going to regularly post about the amazing Humble Bundles, where you pay what you want for great games and can divvy the proceeds between various charities and the publishers, came word just now about the Humble WB Games Bundle. So much for that! Now it's pay what you want for Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, F.E.A.R. 3, and The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. Beat the average price (presently at $6), and you’ll also unlock Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition and Scribblenauts Unlimited. All games are available on Steam for Windows, while Arkham City is also available on the Macintosh. Check it out here!
While we don't always promote the Humble Bundles due to their increasing frequency (and the fact that you should already be on their list!), we just couldn't resist passing along the info on the latest Humble Weekly sale, which features a whopping 10 of Team 17's games in the popular Alien Breed and Worms series. Pay less than $6 and get access to six of the games, or pay $6 or more and get access to all the games, each of which is accessible from Steam. As always, you can set how the money is distributed between all parties involved, including some very cool charities. Most of these games are exclusively for Windows, but a few of the games are also available on Macintosh and Linux. In any case, this is a great way to gain access to some amazingly fun games for very little money. If you haven't been following either series since they got their start back in the Commodore Amiga days, you'll be in for a real treat. Check it all out here.
Episode 7 of Randy Kindig's Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast, entitled, Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 8.0, gives shout-outs to two of the upcoming books I've co-authored, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer and Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time. Though Kindig understandably butchers both my (it's actually pronounced "Low-joo-diss") and Boisy Pitre's last names (it's actually pronounced "Pete"), the mention at - approximately the 17:58 mark - is much appreciated. Kindig should also be receiving review copies of both books for future episodes of his podcast, which is a regular listen for me. Check out the episode here.
I'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.
I'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.
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.