wahlee: (Nostalgia)
My dad's an electrical engineer. As such, we were one of the first families on the block to have a computer. It was an Epson 8088, with a monochrome screen, and boy, was it cool. At first my dad used it exclusively for his business, but eventually he couldn't claim the tax write-offs any more, and got himself a brand-spanking-new 386. The Epson became the family computer. It ran DOS, of course, although my dad installed a Shell to make it easier for us kids to use. I distinctly remember doing the tutorials to use WordPerfect 5.1 (Alt+F3=Reveal Codes FTW!), and I wrote at least one book report on it (dad gave each of us a 5 1/2" floppy to save our stuff-- I think I still have it, and dad's current computer still has a drive. Might be fun to see if it'll still load, and if anything's on there), but the thing we used the computer the most for was, of course, playing games.

There was no solitaire on our computer, but there was Nyet (a Tetris knock-off), ARGH! (a puzzle game something like those 15-number sliding games), Beast (where you smooshed H-shaped monsters inbetween blocks), and your usual casino games-- 21, craps, 5-card poker, etc. One of my favorites, Galcon is screenshotted above-- it was a two-player game, where each player tried to capture as many planets as possible. The bottom had helpful hints and silly messages scrolling along the bottom. In order to get the screenshot, I had to slow my comp's processor WAAAAAAY down on through DOSbox. Isn't it funny to think that my phone now has more computing power than that old 8088 did? Anyway, the scrolling message that I remembered the most was the one in the screenshot. "Demoralize your opponent: take their home planet early" has become an oft-repeated phrase around our house, especially in reference to scoring first and often in football games. :)

We also had shareware versions of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Classic Concentration. Of course, we always cheated, creating extra players and making them play stupid so that our "true" personas would always win. There was one particular game of Jeopardy! where us kids had memorized the whole game, so we could get perfect scores. Tricky little buggers, weren't we?

And of course, were weren't exempt from educational games, too. I remember using a VERY early version of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing to learn how to type (hooray for 75 words a minute!) and a math game called Math Castle that was supposed to help us remember our times tables and stuff like that. But after a long string of addition problems, I was happy to get back to

Eventually we moved up to a COLOR screen, and played things like Duke Nukem, Commander Keen, Jill of the Jungle, Brix, and other awesome DOS games that you can STILL DOWNLOAD if you look around. Just remember to also get DOSBox, or you'll never get your processor slow enough to actually play the darn things.

I think it's time to conquer some planets. Or maybe play some 21. Or turn some chicken legs into full chickens by shooting them.

Or something like that. :)
wahlee: (Nostalgia)
My dad's an electrical engineer. As such, we were one of the first families on the block to have a computer. It was an Epson 8088, with a monochrome screen, and boy, was it cool. At first my dad used it exclusively for his business, but eventually he couldn't claim the tax write-offs any more, and got himself a brand-spanking-new 386. The Epson became the family computer. It ran DOS, of course, although my dad installed a Shell to make it easier for us kids to use. I distinctly remember doing the tutorials to use WordPerfect 5.1 (Alt+F3=Reveal Codes FTW!), and I wrote at least one book report on it (dad gave each of us a 5 1/2" floppy to save our stuff-- I think I still have it, and dad's current computer still has a drive. Might be fun to see if it'll still load, and if anything's on there), but the thing we used the computer the most for was, of course, playing games.

There was no solitaire on our computer, but there was Nyet (a Tetris knock-off), ARGH! (a puzzle game something like those 15-number sliding games), Beast (where you smooshed H-shaped monsters inbetween blocks), and your usual casino games-- 21, craps, 5-card poker, etc. One of my favorites, Galcon is screenshotted above-- it was a two-player game, where each player tried to capture as many planets as possible. The bottom had helpful hints and silly messages scrolling along the bottom. In order to get the screenshot, I had to slow my comp's processor WAAAAAAY down on through DOSbox. Isn't it funny to think that my phone now has more computing power than that old 8088 did? Anyway, the scrolling message that I remembered the most was the one in the screenshot. "Demoralize your opponent: take their home planet early" has become an oft-repeated phrase around our house, especially in reference to scoring first and often in football games. :)

We also had shareware versions of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Classic Concentration. Of course, we always cheated, creating extra players and making them play stupid so that our "true" personas would always win. There was one particular game of Jeopardy! where us kids had memorized the whole game, so we could get perfect scores. Tricky little buggers, weren't we?

And of course, were weren't exempt from educational games, too. I remember using a VERY early version of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing to learn how to type (hooray for 75 words a minute!) and a math game called Math Castle that was supposed to help us remember our times tables and stuff like that. But after a long string of addition problems, I was happy to get back to

Eventually we moved up to a COLOR screen, and played things like Duke Nukem, Commander Keen, Jill of the Jungle, Brix, and other awesome DOS games that you can STILL DOWNLOAD if you look around. Just remember to also get DOSBox, or you'll never get your processor slow enough to actually play the darn things.

I think it's time to conquer some planets. Or maybe play some 21. Or turn some chicken legs into full chickens by shooting them.

Or something like that. :)

January 2015

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