January 18, 2007

80s Nostalgia Time

If you're of my vintage, relive the time that you spent at somebody's house or in your school's computer lab playing Apple II games with a visit to virtualapple.org. It's a website that hosts an Apple IIGS emulator, along with disk images for hundreds of games. All of my old favorites are here: Taipan, Swashbuckler, Microsoft (yes, that Microsoft) Olympic Decathalon (the first few screens of intro graphics are munged, but have patience and you'll get to the game itself), Captain Goodnight, Ultima II — even Lemonade Stand. I'm sure that this is all screamingly illegal, but I'm also sure that nobody cares very much.

(Technical notes: the emulator is an ActiveX control that only runs inside Internet Explorer on Windows. I had no luck with installing the ActiveX control directly from the virtualapple site, but if you go to freetoolsassociation.com — the website of the people who wrote the emulator — click on "Emulator" in the left-hand menu, and then click on any of the items in the "Demos" tab, you should get a dialog asking if you want to install the plugin.)

If you choose to open the door, turn to page 5: Also, during a trip to Costco, Shelby noticed that someone was reprinting Choose Your Own Adventure books in boxed sets of six and made me buy the two sets that were available. They're pretty much exactly like I remember, except that someone has "reviewed and edited" the books and brought them "into the Internet age", which seems to involve throwing in random references to technology. In particular, the author has a fetish for PDAs: in one story, we check the time on our PDA; in another, we get a high-tech diving suit that contains "advanced microprocessors" and a "PDA with a laser communicator". They should have just saved their time and left in all the old references to Pong and Video Bowling — in a couple of years, children living in The Future are going to find all of these ham-handed edits just as anachronistic.

(The new CYOA people have a website; if you want the books yourself, but can't find them at your Costco, they're selling the sets on Amazon: 1, 2, 3, 4. Is CYOA author "R.A. Montgomery" somehow related to L.M. Montgomery?)

Posted by Kevin at January 18, 2007 08:22 AM
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