Commodore Free Magazine Issue 54 has recently gone live in all of its glorious formats; those being Adobe PDF, Commodore SEQ, Text, D64 Image, HTML, eBook (MOBI and EPUB) and Rich Text Format (RTF)... so there's no excuse not to read it.
All kidding aside, this is a fanzine of extraordinary quality and really deserves to be on your "to read" list if you are any kind of self-respecting Commodork.
This issue contains:
From the Site: Dino Run SE is a retro-styled, action-packed prehistoric racing game that can be played by yourself or with up to 3 other players in many different multiplayer levels. This new version is an update and expansion of the original web game.
Basically, Dino Run SE is a retro style platformer where you take on the role of a dinosaur trying to outrun the fiery apocalypse caused by the shockwave of a large meteor impact. The debris cloud is always just a few feet behind you... run like mad, catch a ride from a pterodactyl, eat up smaller creatures.. time your jumps to go from hilltop to hilltop.
Even though the website claims the offer is only good until Oct. 9th.. This finely tuned indie classic is actually available for free until Oct. 10th. So head over soon and grab a copy before this promotion expires. (Click Buy Now and enter Free for your price)
BTW: You also get the games soundtrack for free when you download the game.
You can also play the original web based flash game here to get an idea of the gameplay.
Here's an interesting item that was just posted on the Commodore Server user blogs.. a member named Rik Magers recently picked up one of Jim Brain's uIEC flash drives for the Commodore 64. He took things a step farther when he noticed that the alarm box for his door actually resembled a miniature CBM 1541 disk drive.
So whats a geek to do? Well, sacrifice the poor defenseless alarm sensor in order to bring back some long lost computing memories, of course! Nostalgia is a powerful motivator. The recent passing of such luminaries as Steve Jobs perhaps makes us cling to the these early memories of computing nirvana even more tightly than we normally do.
Just thought and comments, I quickly uploaded this and sure enough some people did not even know already. Nothing fancy and details might be off but it's honest, real and to the point.
Great news! Abandonia Times has just released their second issue, and it's available now over at The Abandonia Times website. The theme of the issue is "Doom and Horror," and there's a slew of articles on Doom, a history of horror games piece, Noctropolis, and Super Fighter vs. Sango Fighter (heh, remember that one?).
Oh, and also a huge interview with yours truly. :)
There's a lot of meat here, so get over there right now and check it out. From the editor: allow me to boast about the variety of the articles: we have freeware and console reviews, we have history articles, two interviews with two interesting people that marked the gaming industry in their own unique way, and a wide selection of non-DOOM PC game reviews which are at least tangentially related to horror.
Well, the announcement that many of us have been waiting for has finally happened: Amazon is now into tablets. Besides updating their Kindle e-reader (e-ink) line with much-needed $79 (6" standard wi-fi, with ads) and $99 (6" touchscreen and wi-fi, with ads) models, placing them ever closer to "disposable", a la the paperbacks of the tablet hardcovers analogy, they also announced a 7" color tablet, the Kindle Fire, with reasonable specs for just $199.
While many were expecting downright gimped hardware, outside of the limited 8GB storage (this is mostly a cloud device), the dual core processor and reasonable resolution (1024x600@16mm colors) and battery life (~8 hours) say otherwise. The best part is the price and they'll seemingly have some flexibility with that as well going forward. As the TouchPad fiasco has shown, with the throngs clamoring for the $99 - $149 clear-outs, if you're going to go toe-to-toe with the iPad, you better come in with a fantastic price rather than comparable or even better specs. Now Amazon has positioned themselves ideally as a real iPad alternative, with a different form factor and the compelling narrative of Amazon services, which is about as close of a match as you'll get for the iTunes experience outside of, well, iTunes. I assume this will be a big success and will pave the way for a 10", premium tablet, which will in fact attempt to muscle in on the iPad's dominance. Even as an enthusiastic iPad 2 owner, I welcome the competition, and look forward to how this plays out. Frankly, while this won't have a major impact on the iPad's sales (at least for the foreseeable future), if I were a manufacturer of any other tablet, I'd be very scared right now. While the Kindle Fire is very much the embodiment of tablet-as-consumption device versus the productivity possibilities you have with the iPad or similarly powered Android tablets, it offers a truly viable option for those who don't need the latter, or simply want a device in-between their existing smartphone and 10" tablet. I have a feeling this will also impact the dedicated e-reader market, because the prices are really less than $100 apart if you consider the ad-free option from Amazon, but certainly the low end $79 model has room to drop even further. Once that hits $49, all bets are truly off, and there really would be little reason not to own one as your "tablet-lite" experience (with a focus on reading and outdoor usage) that you don't mind bringing to the beach. Good stuff!
Cloanto has released the latest versions of their popular and easy-to-use Amiga Forever and C64 Forever emulators. This is great news for old and new fans of the greatest Commodore platforms, including all versions of the Amiga series (inclusive of the CDTV and CD32), and most of the 8-bit line, including PET, VIC 20, C-64/128, and C-16/Plus4. Around here, it's among our absolute favorite emulation packages and used as pack-ins with various devices, including the MCC, so you know it has to be great.
Unless you've been living under one of the few remaining rocks without Internet access, you've already heard the news of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, resigning. Even though his health has been an obvious issue in recent years, the news still comes as a surprise. Clearly this is the beginning of the end for one of the tech world's most divisive and historically prominent figures, because say what you will about the man and his actions, he clearly has a passion for his work and wouldn't leave unless it was the most dire of circumstances.
Of course, putting the human element aside for the time being, this has also become prime time for the Apple haters to ghoulishly rejoice and/or predict the end of Apple's time in the spotlight. While much of that is clearly fueled by fanboys who feel threatened by Apple's recent prominence, is there any validity to this idea? In fact, some are even trying to draw comparisons to Microsoft's downward trend and the exodus of Bill Gates, but are there really any similarities?
My take is is that it is unlikely Jobs leaving and presumed eventual passing will have a significant impact on Apple in the short- to medium-term. The company is too well positioned at the moment. Long-term is anyone's guess, but then that's an issue for every company. As for Microsoft, I don't think much would have changed for them if Gates remained at the helm. The problem with being the market leader is that you by necessity take fewer and fewer risks to protect that lead, creating more opportunity for others to generate excitement and start to steal marketshare by being more nimble and/or able to react to changing market conditions better. By any definition, Microsoft is still wildly successful and will remain so, it's just that they've stumbled outside of their legacy products of Windows and Office. The only real success at Microsoft other than those two stalwarts and the related enterprise stuff has been their Xbox division. Everything else has pretty much been a failure to this point (though they do make some fine computer accessories). Again, that would be so with or without Gates. Of course, despite those downsides, being a very large company does have the benefit of leaving lots of room to sweep aside failures and try, try again, something Microsoft clearly specializes in. Apple is in as good of a position as any company to sweep aside a few failures going forward, with or without the influence of Jobs.
In any case, it's a fascinating time of late watching these massive tech corporations maneuver, strategize, sue, buy-out, patent troll, and engage in some downright bizarre decision making, be it Google, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Nintendo, Sony, AT&T, et al. I can't recall a time since the early 80's when we've had such volatility in the tech world. Of course, with these fascinating times comes some rough times for us as consumers, but then we've always been the collateral damage when corporate competition heats up, and there's really no sector hotter right now than tech. Whatever side of the fence you fall on, it really is a shame Jobs will no longer be a part of it, though, because love him or hate him, he always made things interesting and all those corporate shenanigans won't seem quite the same without the guy in the black turtleneck to rally around, whether for or against.
Here's a famous quote that sums up the reaction to yesterday's surprise announcement by HP to stop supporting webOS, and, by extension, the TouchPad tablet, as well as get out of the PC business, courtesy of the classic 1968 film, The Planet of the Apes: "YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!". We all knew that Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker was a software guy, we just didn't realize that meant he'd pull the rug out from under consumers and do a dramatic IBM-style business shift. At least we can still buy their printers, right? ... Anyone?
This affects me personally, because I was working on TouchPad For Dummies, which would have been my third book for 2011, to go along with the recently released, Motorola ATRIX For Dummies, and the upcoming, My Xbox: Kinect, Xbox 360, and Xbox LIVE. While these events are much bigger than me and others will be affected far more dramatically, I thought I would still give my personal impressions, starting first with a little background on the book stuff, some discussion of the TouchPad itself, and then get a bit more into an analysis of the present situation within the industry.