For nearly two decades, computer-based Bulletin Board Systems were the primary method of communication between computer users. As suddenly as they gained popularity, they were made obsolete by the next big thing - a newfangled system called the Internet.Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie takes its readers on an exciting journey through the BBS era. Through the author's personal tales and adventures, readers will discover more about these amazing times and what it was like to grow up online. With tales of copyfests, BBS parties and random acts of online debauchery, those who were there will find themselves reminiscing, while those who weren't will enjoy learning about life ""before the 'net.""You know, back when we used to modem uphill, both ways in the snow.
A tale of the personal computing, gaming, and online adventures of a child who grew up as part of the first computer-native generation, this account brings to life late nights swapping software, hacking the school computer, causing trouble on college radio, a stint as AOL's Internet AnswerMan, and hosting a team of Microsoft suits in a small-town home office.
Author: Jimmy Maher
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2012-04-13
Long ago, in 1985, personal computers came in two general categories: the friendly, childish game machine used for fun (exemplified by Atari and Commodore products); and the boring, beige adult box used for business (exemplified by products from IBM). The game machines became fascinating technical and artistic platforms that were of limited real-world utility. The IBM products were all utility, with little emphasis on aesthetics and no emphasis on fun. Into this bifurcated computing environment came the Commodore Amiga 1000. This personal computer featured a palette of 4,096 colors, unprecedented animation capabilities, four-channel stereo sound, the capacity to run multiple applications simultaneously, a graphical user interface, and powerful processing potential. It was, Jimmy Maher writes in The Future Was Here, the world's first true multimedia personal computer. Maher argues that the Amiga's capacity to store and display color photographs, manipulate video (giving amateurs access to professional tools), and use recordings of real-world sound were the seeds of the digital media future: digital cameras, Photoshop, MP3 players, and even YouTube, Flickr, and the blogosphere. He examines different facets of the platform -- from Deluxe Paint to AmigaOS to Cinemaware -- in each chapter, creating a portrait of the platform and the communities of practice that surrounded it. Of course, Maher acknowledges, the Amiga was not perfect: the DOS component of the operating systems was clunky and ill-matched, for example, and crashes often accompanied multitasking attempts. And Commodore went bankrupt in 1994. But for a few years, the Amiga's technical qualities were harnessed by engineers, programmers, artists, and others to push back boundaries and transform the culture of computing.
Author: Deborah Chester
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-01-01
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than in traditional epics? What should you do if you're lost in the middle? How do you make your plot end up where you intend it to go? From the writing of strong, action-packed scenes to the handling of emotions, let award-winning fantasy author Deborah Chester guide you through the process of putting a book together. Convinced there's no need to shroud the writing process under a veil of mystery, Chester supplies tips that are both practical and proven. They are exactly what she uses in writing her own novels and what she teaches in her writing courses at the University of Oklahoma. Along with explaining story construction step-by-step, Chester illustrates each technique with examples drawn from both traditional and urban fantasy. The technique chapters include exercises to assist novices in mastering the craft of writing fantasy as well as suggestions for avoiding or solving plot problems. More experienced writers will find tips for taking their work to the next level. With an introduction by author Jim Butcher, The fantasy fiction formula provides the information you need to gain skill and proficiency in writing fantasy like a pro.
"This reference work provides a guide to popular video games of the 1970s and early 1980s. Each chapter includes a brief history and description of the game system, followed by a complete listing of video games released for that console. Glossary provides a helpful guide to the classic video game genres and terms referenced throughout the work"--Provided by publisher.
Author: Nick Montfort
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2009-01-09
The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that "Atari" became the generic term for a video game console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms--the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics. Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space larger than the screen (anticipating the boundless virtual spaces of such later games as World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto), by allowing the player to walk off one side into another space; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was an early instance of interaction between media properties and video games. Montfort and Bogost show that the Atari VCS--often considered merely a retro fetish object--is an essential part of the history of video games.
Author: Chris Kohler
Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."
Release Date: 2005-10-12
Genre: Games & Activities
Maybe it was the recent Atari 2600 milestone anniversary that fueled nostalgia for the golden days of computer and console gaming. Every Game Boy must ponder his roots from time to time. But whatever is driving the current retro gaming craze, one thing is certain: classic games are back for a big second act, and they're being played in both old and new ways. Whether you've just been attacked by Space Invaders for the first time or you've been a Pong junkie since puberty, Chris Kohler's Retro Gaming Hacks is the indispensable new guide to playing and hacking classic games. Kohler has complied tons of how-to information on retro gaming that used to take days or weeks of web surfing to track down and sort through, and he presents it in the popular and highly readable Hacks style. Retro Gaming Hacks serves up 85 hard-nosed hacks for reviving the classic games. Want to game on an original system? Kohler shows you how to hack ancient hardware, and includes a primer for home-brewing classic software. Rather adapt today's equipment to run retro games? Kohler provides emulation techniques, complete with instructions for hacking a classic joystick that's compatible with a contemporary computer. This book also teaches readers to revive old machines for the original gaming experience: hook up an Apple II or a Commodore 64, for example, and play it like you played before. A video game journalist and author of Power Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life, Kohler has taught the history of video games at Tufts University. In Retro Gaming Hacks, he locates the convergence of classic games and contemporary software, revealing not only how to retrofit classic games for today's systems, but how to find the golden oldies hidden in contemporary programs as well. Whether you're looking to recreate the magic of a Robotron marathon or simply crave a little handheld Donkey Kong, Retro Gaming Hacks shows you how to set the way-back dial.
Author: Lori M. Campbell
Release Date: 2009-12-22
Genre: Literary Criticism
Fantasy writing, like literature in general, provides a powerful vehicle for challenging the status quo. Via symbolism, imagery and supernaturalism, fantasy constructs secondary-world narratives that both mirror and critique the political paradigms of our own world. This critical work explores the role of the portal in fantasy, investigating the ways in which magical nexus points and movement between worlds are used to illustrate real-world power dynamics, especially those impacting women and children. Through an examination of high and low fantasy, fairy tales, children’s literature, the Gothic, and science fiction, the portal is identified as a living being, place or magical object of profound metaphorical and cultural significance.
Join veteran gamer, video game fansite webmaster, and born storyteller, Rob Strangman as he takes you on a tour of some of the most defining moments in video game history as seen through his eyes. From the fall of Atari to the emergence of the Sony PlayStation and beyond, Rob relates tales of the adventures that were had during the golden age of gaming. Rob also discusses his experiences with importing, the ""gamer"" stereotype, and shares his opinions on the current state of gaming. While Rob may have been the original ""Virtual Caveman,"" he certainly wasn't the only one. Included here are many other stories and contributions from gamers both young and old. Also within these pages you will find interviews with many of the gaming industry's veterans: David Crane, Howard Scott Warshaw, Martin Alessi, Yuzo Koshiro, Kouichi ""Isuke"" Yotsui and more.
Atari 8-bit computers are the first machines that truly bridged the divide between video game players and home computer enthusiasts. The Atari 400 and 800 signaled the start of a new era in computing. Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation is the first book to cover what made Atari's groundbreaking computer line great: its excellent graphics and sound, flexible programming environment, and wide support from the burgeoning home computer community. For those of us coming of "gaming age" in the 80s, Atari games were simply amazing-and you'll find out what made over 100 titles so much fun to play. Breakout also explores the Atari 8-bit platform as it stands today, with a robust enthusiast and modding community, the increasing value of Atari computers and peripherals, and how to get started with one now or get your old one working again. Jamie Lendino is the Editor-in-Chief of ExtremeTech.com. Previously, he managed the consumer electronics reviews team for PCMag.com, and has written for the print and digital versions of PC Magazine for over 10 years. He's also had articles published in Popular Science, Electronic Musician, Sound and Vision, and on CNET.com and ConsumerReports.com.
Author: Moshe Shaked
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2007-04-03
This reference text presents comprehensive coverage of the various notions of stochastic orderings, their closure properties, and their applications. Some of these orderings are routinely used in many applications in economics, finance, insurance, management science, operations research, statistics, and various other fields. And the value of the other notions of stochastic orderings needs further exploration. This book is an ideal reference for those interested in decision making under uncertainty and interested in the analysis of complex stochastic systems. It is suitable as a text for advanced graduate course on stochastic ordering and applications.