Sam and Max Season 1 on Nintendo Wii (9/10)

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Sam and Max Wii

I found this game used for around twelve bucks a few months ago. I’m glad I picked it up because it is a really entertaining game. This is an adventure game. That means it’s not the fastest, most exciting game around, but I liked the laid-back pacing. Unlike the LucasArts game from the 90s, this game’s puzzles actually make sense. There was hardly ever a moment when didn’t have an idea of what I needed to be doing. The worst part of any adventure game is that feeling of being stuck with no idea what to do next. That said, as far as point and click adventures go, this one is quite simple. That may be a disappointment to some puzzle-brains out there, but I am too old to be pondering game puzzles for more than a few minutes. There is just enough challenge here to give you a sense of satisfaction as you progress through the story. On top of it all is a nerdy sense of humor and some vivid characters with which to interact. The only big flaw of this version is the janky animation and occasional audio stutters. I hope they’ve resolved this issues in Season 2 when that is released for Wii. A great game to play with the kids (if you don’t mind the occasional “damn!” in the dialogue).

Health Care Debate Hate

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Okay. So I am one of those evil bastards that thinks health care reform is a bad thing. Apparently, the hidden motive for my position is that I want to ruin the lives of poor people—or, at least that’s what my progressive friends have told me. Fine. If that makes it easier for you to accept that there are people with opinions other than your own, more power to you.

I get a bit  depressed when I hear folks go off like this. People have become so pot committed to their partisan positions that they assume that anyone with an incongruous opinion must be evil, stupid or both. Never mind that on an issue like health care we are not just talking about getting sick poor people to the doctor. We are toying with the idea of restructuring an entire industry, and, in the middle of a recession, adding massive (as in dwarfing “tiny” projects like World War II!) new government programs and expenditures. To me it’s obvious that these are bad choices, but I don’t for a second believe that the proponents of health care reform are deliberately out to destroy rich doctors, or worse destroy the U.S. economy, stifle innovation and make health care terrible for everyone (not just poor people). I honestly think that they believe they are doing the right thing, despite the fact that they are going to kill us all and sell our children into white slavery.

Old Ironsides on Apple ][ (8/10)

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Old Ironsides (Optimum Resource, Inc., 1982) is a two-player game for the Apple II that simulates Nineteenth Century naval combat. Having read all twenty Aubry/Maturin seafaring novels, I have been craving some sort of naval battle game. The problem is, when you get down to it, ninety percent of the action in these wonderful novels is comprised of the days-long chase of an enemy ship. Not the stuff of an action packed game. Old Ironsides strips most of the technical (and realistic) aspects of sea battles away to reveal an arcade-like multi-player game much in the same vein as the classic Atari Combat.

Old Ironsides

The result is a very fun game that has just enough tweaks to it to make it feel like you are really battling it out on the open sea rather than just playing Combat with boats. The wind is a factor, as is the aiming of your broadsides. A direct hit to the bow of an opponent will ignite his magazine, thereby ending the battle rather quickly. Also, your ship can sail off the screen. Stay of the screen for too long and you are “lost in the fog,” and lose. A good navigator can use the fog as cover and sneak up behind an enemy.

Old Ironsides

The Apple ][ has many limitations when it comes to action games and this game would benefit from smoother controls and maybe a few graphical enhancements (like actual fog and weather). But, all-in-all, a very good game for the time it was created, and one of the few Apple ][ games that still holds up to this day.

eBay Auction: PC Transporter for the Apple IIgs

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This is the Applied Engineering PC Transporter. It allows you to run MS-DOS applications on your Apple IIgs! It can also be used as a ~800K RAM disk. Click the following image for a closer view:

This auction includes all the items pictured above, including the following:

  • PC Transporter card, includes original box and manual
  • II GS Installation kit, includes original box and the cards an cables need to connect the PC Transporter to your Apple II GS
  • A 2 Bay “Transdrive” Floppy Drive for MS-DOS disks and its leaflet manual (with instructions on setting jumpers, etc.)
  • Original PC Transporter System disks (both the 3.5″ & 5.25″ versions)
  • An original IBM MS-DOS 2.0 disk and accompaning system tools disk, both are 5.25″ floppies.

Note: The MS-DOS drive spins quietly the entire time that it recognizes that there is a disk inside. This has no apparent effect on its operation, and I assume this is the correct behavior for the drive. But it’s been more than a decade since I used this with any regularity, so I don’t know for sure.

At the time of this posting, this has been completely tested and is working. Here is a video demonstration of the actual item I am selling that I recorded just before removing the parts from my GS and packing them up for this auction (or watch the annotated version with dorky stock music on YouTube):

Even though the card is leaving here in working form, I can make no guarantees as to if it will work in your machine. Therefore, I am selling this item AS IS. Please buy shipping insurance if you have any concerns. I will ship to the US only. The entire package is going to weigh somewhere between 8-10 lbs. Contact me if you have any questions. Here the link to the eBay Auction… bid early… bid often!

UPDATE: The package eventually sold for around $155! Woo hoo!

Ristorante DS - Digital Image

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This was another contest entry like my Elevators Amiss Atari cartridge design. But, in this case, I actually won! This was for a contest sponsored by, a Nintendo hacking oriented site. They were awarding 50 some odd prizes for users who designed a skin for an Edge brand flash cart. I figured my odds would be pretty good since the majority of the interface designs would be copies of idiotic anime characters. My idea was to create a little Italian ristorante which users could navigate to get to their programs. I especially like the little icon sized drawings of food I made on the chalkboard section. In any event, I won one of the prizes which was a limited edition gold colored Edge cart. Here’s my skin in action on my DS:

Ristorante DS Running
Ristorante DS in action

The Edge cart is actually quite nice too. The media integration is very good on Edge. Pretty sturdy hardware and easy to use but not quite as robust as my M3 Real.

Night Time by Killing Joke - CD (10/10)

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Punk rock for the dance floor! One of my most listened too albums during my late high school years. The hit “Eighties” made this the entry point for many Killing Joke fans, myself included. The band began to shift musically here, but I think it was a very interesting direction to explore, but one that would eventually cause the band to implode on itself.