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Topics - government.agent
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General Discussion / Double Density Dreams
« on: October 08, 2006, 01:08:39 am »
I can't shake this wave of nostalgia I've been feeling lately, so I wrote down some memories from the days of the commodore 64 for the enjoyment of all.

You'll probably only relate to this if you were alive during that time and actually had a commodore 64, just a warning. I'll probably be doing some more writing over the next few days so if you like what you see, just reply and I'll post more in this thread. Of course, feel free to post up some of your own!


"What games do you have?" I asked Tom.

Tom's handle was "TinyT" on the BBS we were a member of. We had talked about meeting for weeks and had bumped into each other at a BBS party. His name was an inverse parody -- Tom was built like an extra-large eggplant and weighed at least 300 pounds.

He had a habit of wiping the thin red hairs on his chin and upper lip with his hand--a gold class ring stood out on his ring finger. His cheeks were as orange as the crusty film of cheetos powder on his fingertips.

He looked at the shelf above the commodore monitor. Side by side sat tan-white containers with smokey-gray plastic lids. In each were those five-and-a-quarter floppies of various colors. Tom grunted and wiped his mouth.

"What games... do you want?" he said in much the same way a Sultan might ask his son how much gold he wanted before venturing out on a particularly lengthy journey.

I stared at the rows of disks. In my hands were three blank Fuji disks--one red, one green, and one black. Each had a blank lapel on the front. My heart sank as I realized how unprepared I had come for this meeting. Tom reached for his bag of cheetos--the foil bag crackled as his fingers withdrew a few and tossed them into his maw.

"What are you playing lately?" I said.

"Ultima three, elite, and of course international karate two. Just got yie ar kung fu," he said.

"What's ultima three?" I said.

Tom smiled and winked. He pulled a black disk out of a box and popped it into his fifteen-forty-one. He entered the commands on the rich, blue screen.

"It's an adventure game. Takes a lot of patience. Not a shoot up or anything like that. Relaxing. Very relaxing," Tom said.

The screen came up a few minutes later and he brought up his party screen. I was instantly entranced. The music sang to me like an old friend.

"Can I have that?" I said.

"Sure. Anything else?" Tom said.

"I heard about spy versus spy and bruce lee. And uridium," I said.

"Uridium is AWESOME," Tom said with a sudden burst of energy as though he had played it for days without sleeping. I felt a kinship with him, having played paradroid for what seemed all night sometimes.

"I keep hearing about druid. You got it?" I said.

Tom smiled, his red-orange cheeks squeezing up against his eyes.

"Got it last night. I haven't tried to copy it yet," he said.

"Any good?" I said.

"Dude. You want druid. Trust me," he said.

"Shit. I only have three disks," I said.

He pulled out a small grey cube of plastic from a drawer.

"Check it--I'll notch those disks if they're double density. I can give you six disks worth then," Tom said.

"Did you crack all these games?" I said with a holy reverence.

"Nope. I just use fast hack'em. Or nibbler if that doesn't work. But hack'em usually works. So what you want?"

"God I don't know--your favorites I guess. Is that cool?" I said, not really knowing how to bargain with this red-haired god of games.

"Okay. Druid for sure. Bruce lee, international karate, karateka, ultima three, paradroid--"

"I got paradroid," I said, feeling pride that I knew of a game he spoke of.

"Good game. Spy versus spy is OK, but I'll give you hacker instead."

"Hacker? Dude I dont' want to get in trouble," I said.

"Don't sweat--it's a game," he said.

"What's it like?" I said.

"Can't tell you. You'll have to see. Trust me dude. You'll like. Gimme those disks," he said.

I handed them over and he worked the tiny notcher like a craftsman, the small rectangle of floppy flying off onto his dark brown carpeting as each one popped. I felt my eyebrow lift and felt a pang in my stomach.

"Hey, are you sure that's.. good for the disk? It won't screw up the programs?" I said.

"Hell no. I notch all of my dee-dee disks. Come on man, it's like getting a free disk," he said.

"This is awesome," I said, feeling light-headed at his expertise.

"Fair's fair. You gave me ultimate wizard when NO ONE else had it. Tell me about that guy again? Raistlin from the BBS, who got you that game?" he said.

"God, you wouldn't believe it. He's got stacks of paper T... I mean STACKS of printer paper as tall as I am and they're filled with numbers. Phone numbers and credit numbers and... well all kinds of shit," I said.

"Jesus. He's a real hacker," Tom said with a tone of awe.

"Ya. He uses something called a war dialer. No idea how that works or what the hell it is, but he gets into BBS's with it and gets games before a lot of people. But he won't give me them most of the time. Something to do with honor--eh. I dunno," I said.

Tom had put one of my Fuji's into his fifteen-forty-one and the multi-colored Fast Hack'em screen came up on the monitor. He jabbed the keyboard with his thick fingers, leaving half-moons of cheeto-orange on the keys.

"Think he could change my grades like on Ferris Bueller's Day off?" Tom said.

We laughed.

"I asked him that one time. He said he could but it would cost me. I told him I didn't have any money--no job and no allowance, and he said he didn't need money. He needed virgin credit cards," I said.

"Oh really?" Tom said.

"Ya but that was like a year ago. He doesn't play games any more," I said.

"You're kidding!"

"No. Dude he told me he's hacking into NORAD and the Pentagon," I said.

"Oh that's bullshit. Bull shit, dude. He's not that stupid. Gimme a break," he said.

We watched the screen for a few minutes.

"Jay keeps talking about his Amiga and how k-rad it is," I said.

Tom snorted. He reached into his bag for cheetos and found it empty. He crumpled it with a fat fist.

"Amigas are total shit. Commodore all the way."



General Discussion / Off Topic: Wargames
« on: October 07, 2006, 02:07:41 am »
Ah, Wargames. Such a great movie. 80's nostalgia.

But David Lightman (main character) is shown using an Altair 8080. This, in itself, isn't a problem. But he's using a keyboard and a "war dialer," which the Altair was not capable of. On the Altair, you had to flip the switches and watch the LED's. Heh. Didn't support a keyboard.

Still great lines like:

Teacher: "All right Lightman... maybe you can tell us who first injected the idea of reproduction without sex?"

Lightman: "Your wife?"

Classic. I picked up a number of VHS tapes today. They are:

Blade Runner
V - the miniseries
V - the final battle
Re - Animator


Post your favorite nostalgia films, if you dare!


Pixel Art / New to pixeling--first attempts.
« on: October 05, 2006, 10:03:37 am »
I'm an ink illustrator, and have been against CAD-type art for a long time, but a friend showed me the light. To make a long story short, I got my feet wet using the EGA palette. I have to say that working with a mouse is hard work, but doing each pixel is enjoyable and I might add... puts me into a trance similar to the state I"m in when inking.

So, I've mustered the courage to post some gifs for you to cuss, discuss, enjoy, or hate.

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