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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Alan Alda for Atari XL computers






Alan Alda for Atari XL computers

In the early 1980s it seemed to be a common occurrence for computer companies to enlist celebrities for their ads. Commodore had William Shatner for the VIC-20, Tandy had Isaac Asimov for the TRS-80, and Atari...they chose Alan Alda. Now Alan Alda was certainly a well known celebrity and probably the most famous of all of these at the time. However, it would seem to me that going with sci-fi icons to advertise your computer was a much better way to go. But maybe it was the ringing endorsement of "It's going all the time!" that sold Atari. Ultimately, it was Commodore that won the 8-bit computer war. However, I think it had less to do with William Shatner than with their ability to beat out the competition on price due to their vertical integration.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Gamemania






Gamemania

While I bought the occasional computer game via mail order back in the day, I never really did the same with video games. I'm not sure why exactly. Commodore 64 games were pretty readily available at the time although I don't doubt more places sold Nintendo games, especially by 1990. I think computer games could be had for a bigger bargain online. Looking at these prices, they don't look like they would have saved you much off of retail and maybe nothing at all once you factored in shipping. The Gamemania ad above is from the March 1990 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment and is fairly typical of such ads.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 39 (In Taberna)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 39 (In Taberna)


Monday, December 24, 2018

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (31)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.
I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.
Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.
This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/ Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions. This set includes a photo from Marineland in Florida and other locales from the 1960s. Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.

Processed in January 1963
Marineland, Florida - Processed in May 1964
Processed in March 1965
Processed in March 1965
https://supload.com/HyQXUIqwQ

C.S. Lewis Saw Government as a Poor Substitute for God



Friendship,” wrote C. S. Lewis in a December 1935 letter, “is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’”

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was just the sort of person I would give an arm to have as a friend across the street. I can only imagine the thrill of listening to him for hours on end. This distinguished scholar and thinker was, of course, a prolific author of works in Christian apologetics and of the seven-part children’s fantasy, The Chronicles of Narnia (which have sold more than 100 million copies and have been adapted into three major motion pictures).

While teaching literature first at Oxford and then at Cambridge, he cranked out more than a score of books, from the dense but highly regarded Mere Christianity to the entertaining The Screwtape Letters, plus hundreds of speeches, essays, letters, and radio addresses. Some regard him as the greatest lay theologian of the 20th Century. His influence, substantial while he was alive, may be even greater in the world today. Visit the C. S. Lewis website and you’ll see just how copious and wide-ranging this amazing Irishman’s interests were.
Stacked against his literary and theological offerings, Lewis’s commentary on political and economic matters is comparatively slim—mostly a few paragraphs scattered here and there, not in a single volume. Lewis scholars have examined those snippets to discern where he might be appropriately placed on the spectrum. Was he a socialist, a classical liberal, an anarchist, a minarchist, a theocrat, or something else?

Personally, I believe Lewis might be perfectly happy to be labeled a Christian libertarian. He embraced minimal government because he had no illusions about the essentially corrupt nature of man and the inevitable magnification of corruption when it’s mixed with political power. He knew that virtuous character was indispensable to a happy life, personal fulfillment, and progress for society at large—and that it must come not by the commands of political elites but from the growth and consciences of each individual, one at a time. He celebrated civil society and peaceful cooperation and detested the presumptuous arrogance of officialdom.

In these very pages, other writers have made the case that Lewis was a lover of liberty. In a 2012 article titled "C. S. Lewis: Free Market Advocate," Harold B. Jones Jr. argued that it was Lewis’s belief in “the rules of logic” and “premises that are fixed realities” that produced his embrace of markets and free exchange. I think Lewis’s literal interpretation of Jesus’s words led him to the same perspective I explained in my essay, "Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?"

Calvin College’s David V. Urban answered the question “Was C. S. Lewis a Libertarian?” with a resounding Yes! And thirty-five years earlier, in “C. S. Lewis on Compelling People to Do Good,” Clarence Carson dissected Lewis’s statements and arrived at a similar conclusion. More recently, Marco den Ouden brilliantly drew out Lewis’s sobering insights into the tyrannical potential of pure democracy in “Why the Devil Loves Democracy.” All these essays are well worth your time even if your interest in Lewis is minimal.

It’s the primary source of Lewis’s own words, of course, that should clarify where his political and economic sympathies were. Allow me to present the following selections for you to consider.
Lewis’s 1958 essay, “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State” (published that year in The Observer and then later revised and included in his excellent 1970 anthology, God in the Dock) is a goldmine of insights about government and its proper relationship to the individual. You can read the whole essay here. One of my favorite passages is this:
To live his life in his own way, to call his house his castle, to enjoy the fruits of his own labor, to educate his children as his conscience directs, to save for their prosperity after his death—these are wishes deeply ingrained in civilized man. Their realization is almost as necessary to our virtues as to our happiness. From their total frustration disastrous results both moral and psychological might follow.
While advocates for the interventionist welfare state argue that government programs produce happiness and security, Lewis suggests they are seriously mistaken. There is a far better way to achieve those ends, namely, freedom:
I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has "the freeborn mind." But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology. Read Montaigne; that’s the voice of a man with his legs under his own table, eating the mutton and turnips raised on his own land. Who will talk like that when the State is everyone’s schoolmaster and employer?
Elsewhere in the essay, Lewis is unequivocal in his disdain for the pretensions of government, as much for its overblown claims of “rule by experts” in the modern day as for its medieval insistence on rule by “divine right.” In every age, he says, “the men who want us under their thumb” will advance the particular myths and prejudices of the day so they can “cash in” on hopes and fears.

That, he says, opens the door wide to tyranny in one form or another. Such men are no more than self-exalting, self-aggrandizing mortals. While they may proclaim to be “of the people and for the people,” they inevitably establish self-serving oligarchies at the people’s expense. The following three paragraphs from “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State” (appearing at different points in the essay) express profound skepticism toward the “planners of society” among us:
"I believe in God, but I detest theocracy. For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands ‘Thus saith the Lord’, it lies, and lies dangerously."

"The question about progress has become the question whether we can discover any way of submitting to the worldwide paternalism of a technocracy without losing all personal privacy and independence. Is there any possibility of getting the super Welfare State’s honey and avoiding the sting?"

"The modern state exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good—anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name 'leaders' for those who were once 'rulers.' We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, 'Mind your own business.' Our whole lives are their business."
The notion that the welfare state will take good care of us is, to Lewis, delusional. Doing so is to sell short one’s own capabilities and those of voluntary, social networks and organizations. It also ensnares one in a fool’s errand that cannot end well:
What assurance have we that our masters will or can keep the promise which induced us to sell ourselves? Let us not be deceived by phrases about "Man taking charge of his own destiny." All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of the others. They will be simply men; none perfect; some greedy, cruel and dishonest. The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be. Have we discovered some new reason why, this time, power should not corrupt as it has done before?
Lewis believed that men and women should be equal before the rule of law. He disdained arbitrariness, caprice, racism, or classism in the law’s application. Consistent with those principles, he believed just as firmly that the law should not aim to make people equal in other ways, such as in material wealth. That could only be done through ugly force.

In a 1943 essay entitled “Equality,” he warned against applying economic equalness as a “medicine” for society’s ills. When we do that, he said, “we begin to breed that stunted and envious sort of mind which hates all superiority. That mind is the special disease of democracy, as cruelty and servility are the special diseases of privileged societies. It will kill us all if it grows unchecked.”

Though he found the egalitarian impulses of democracy offensive, he wasn’t averse to using the term “democrat” to describe his own feelings about government. It’s important to note that he used the term in its broadest sense, namely, to mean popular participation in decisions about who served in government and what they could justifiably do. At the end of the day, he readily acknowledged the danger of a pure democracy combining with rotten character to ultimately produce its precise opposite, dictatorship. In Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1966), he wrote:
Being a democrat, I am opposed to all very drastic and sudden changes of society (in whatever direction) because they never in fact take place except by a particular technique. That technique involves the seizure of power by a small, highly disciplined group of people; the terror and the secret police follow, it would seem, automatically. I do not think any group good enough to have such power. They are men of like passions with ourselves. The secrecy and discipline of their organization will have already inflamed in them that passion for the inner ring which I think at least as corrupting as avarice; and their high ideological pretensions will have lent all their passions the dangerous prestige of the Cause. Hence, in whatever direction the change is made, it is for me damned by its modus operandi. The worst of all public dangers is the committee of public safety.
The Screwtape Letters (1942) remains one of Lewis’s most popular satirical pieces. It was written as a series of missives from a senior demon, named Screwtape, to his nephew Wormwood, who carries the official title of Junior Tempter. Screwtape is training Wormwood in how to corrupt mankind, to turn society into a Hell on Earth. It’s very revealing of Lewis’s political thinking that the senior demon instructs his pupil to “equalize” and “democratize” to achieve their nefarious objectives:
What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement toward the discrediting, and finally elimination, of every kind of human excellence—moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how Democracy is now doing for us the work that once was done by the ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods? … Allow no pre-eminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser, or better, or more famous, or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them down to a level; all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus Tyrants could practice, in a sense, "democracy." But now "democracy" can do the same work without any other tyranny than her own.
If Lewis were a statist of any persuasion, I don’t see how he could write any of the above. And if he were a statist, he would likely glorify the ambitions of central planners, which he never did. He was just not impressed by the pomposity of politicians. In his 1960 essay titled “The World’s Last Night,” he wrote,
The higher the pretensions of our rulers are, the more meddlesome and impertinent their rule is likely to be and the more the thing in whose name they rule will be defiled. . . . Let our masters . . . leave us some region where the spontaneous, the unmarketable, the utterly private, can still exist.
If I had to choose a favorite among Lewis’s pithy put-downs of big government, it would be this clip from his 1949 essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” which also appeared later in his anthology, God in the Dock:
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
Lewis’s worldview was internally consistent. He couldn’t bring himself to look upon government as God, a substitute for God, or a reasonable facsimile of God. Government was composed of imperfect mortals, period. That means it contains all the flaws and foibles of mortals so a free people must confine it, restrain it, and keep a wary eye on it.

He was humble enough to admit what so many other mortals won’t, namely, that not even his own good intentions could justify lording it over others. To him, good intentions plus political power equals tyranny all too often. He believed that bad consequences flow directly from bad ideas and bad behavior. In The Abolition of Man, he says:
In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
Finally, I love his scathing criticisms of the education establishment of his day—dominated as it was (and is even more so today) by the centralizers, the faddists, and the practitioners of pedagogical malpractice who are empowered by virtue of government’s involvement. If education is to be saved, I think he would see that salvation coming from private initiative, not from the costly, mind-numbing conformity of bureaucrats in the Department of Education:
Hitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.
If the world is no smarter today than it was when C. S. Lewis died in 1963, we certainly can’t blame him. He gifted us wisdom by the bushels—wisdom we ignore or dismiss at our peril.

Source: C.S. Lewis Saw Government as a Poor Substitute for God - Foundation for Economic Education


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Shadowrun (Super Nintendo)






Shadowrun (Super Nintendo)

Shadowrun for the Super Nintendo is an adaptation of the pen and paper RPG of the same name and is based on the first novel in the Shadowrun universe. Shadowrun is interesting because it combines fantasy with a near future cyberpunk environment. I would say that this game is underrated but that isn't quite right. This game was highly rated but didn't sell all that well. This was more due to what the demand was predicted to be and how many units were shipped vs actual poor demand.

Shadowrun is an action RPG and is played from an isometric point of view. The cyberpunk elements are definitely influenced by William Gibson's Neuromancer but magic exists in this world also. There was also a Genesis adaptation but it was not a port. Though it was also an action RPG based on the same story, it was developed by a different company and is quite a different game.

If you want to play the original SNES version, you'll have to track down an original (and they can be quite expensive) or use the miracle of emulation. The good news is that there have been a few sequels that were released much later, the first of which was a 2012 Kickstarter effort titled Shadowrun Returns. It ties together the stories of the original Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games. These games are tactical turn based RPGs which is a better way to go as far as I'm concerned. There was also a 2007 first person shooter based on this franchise for the Xbox 360 and Windows. The RPGs are much better though.

At any rate, though the Super NES original is a little better than the Genesis version, both are worth playing. Whether you like RPGs, cyberpunk and/or fantasy, these games have something you will probably enjoy.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Commodore Magazine (February 1987)





Commodore Magazine (February 1987)

I liked Commodore's official publication quite a lot. along with RUN, it was one of two Commodore 64 magazines I read on a regular basis. During the time I read it, it also covered the Amiga which I always wanted but wouldn't have until long after it was dead commercially speaking. The February 1987 issue includes: Departments
  • Letters
  • Q-Link Update - Inside QuantumLink
  • News

  • Software Reviews
    • Eureka!
    • Bobsterm Pro 128
    • Rings of Ziflin
    • I Am the C128
    • Trinity
    • Partner 128
    • Whole Brain Spelling
    • Great British Software
    • Advanced Music System

  • Jiffies
    • Visi-Calculator
    • Magic Metronome

  • Silicon Valley Insider - From geoDex to Shanghai
  • Tips & Tricks - Hints for Fun and Utility

  • Amiga Update
    • AmigaBASIC Tutorial, Part 1
    • Amiga Fractal Generator

  • Telecommunications - Connect!

  • 64 Users Only
    • Approximater
    • Children
    • The Personalizer

  • Game Programs
    • Gobbler's Revenge
    • Wheel
    • Dragons!

  • 128 Users Only
    • Memgraph-128

  • Users Groups
  • How to Enter Programs
  • Magazine Entry Programs
  • Adventure Road - To Tonetown and Ymros
  • Advertisers' Index
...and more!

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 38 (Barentanz)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 38 (Barentanz)


Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (30)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions.

The pictures in this set appear to all be from the early 1960s. There's a house and some outdoor shots, perhaps from a road trip.

Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.


Photographed in 1962

Photographed in 1962

Processed in March 1960

Processed in August 1961

https://www.supload.com/rkY9uG9Pm


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Repealing Net Neutrality: The Internet Apocalypse That Never Came



This month marks one year since the FCC repealed the controversial net neutrality rules, officially killing the internet as we knew it forever—or so net neutrality proponents would have liked you to believe. But as we take a closer look at what has actually happened in the year since the rules have been abolished, we find that the (often hysterical) rhetoric doesn’t reflect reality at all. On the contrary, the internet has actually improved since regulations were relaxed.
The internet has been a household commodity available for public use since August 6, 1991. However, according to net neutrality’s most fervent supporters, the internet didn’t truly take off until February 2015, when the FCC passed and adopted the new rules.

In both the lead up to the vote on net neutrality and its subsequent repeal, mass hysteria ensued in which many people were honestly convinced that without government intervention, all the online services we enjoyed would cease to exist. In an article called “How the FCC’s Killing of Net Neutrality Will Ruin the Internet Forever,” the magazine GQ even went so far as to say:
Think of everything that you've ever loved about the Internet. That website that gave you all of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City cheat codes. YouTube videos of animals being friends. The illegal music you downloaded on Napster or Kazaa. The legal music you've streamed on Spotify. ...The movies and TV shows you've binged on Netflix and Amazon and Hulu. The dating site that helped you find the person you're now married to. All of these things are thanks to net neutrality.
It’s rather shocking that this sentiment was so widely accepted as truth considering that every single one of the listed examples existed prior to net neutrality. In fact, the only reason the internet was able to become such an integral part of our lives was that it was left virtually untouched by regulatory forces. And since spontaneous order was allowed to occur, internet users were blessed with unbridled innovation that brought forth a robust variety of services, which GQ prefers to attribute to government action that wasn’t taken until nearly 24 years after internet use became the norm.

These small details were, of course, ignored by much of the public, and the panic continued. The ACLU joined the frenzy, telling readers that without net neutrality we “are at risk of falling victim to the profit-seeking whims of powerful telecommunications giants.”

We now realize that these dire warnings actually came to fruition, reminding us just how absurd the push for net neutrality rules was in the first place.
Net neutrality sought to define the internet as a public utility, putting it in the same category as water, electric, and telephone services. Doing so left it open to regulatory oversight, specifically when it came to connection speeds and the price providers were allowed to charge consumers for its use.

The new rules mandated that each internet service provider was henceforth forced to provide equal connection speeds to all websites, regardless of content. Prior to its passage, providers had the freedom to offer different connection speeds to users, including the option to pay more for faster speeds on certain websites.

If, for example, Comcast noticed that a majority of its users were streaming content on Netflix, it might offer packages that charge extra for the promise of being able to connect to the site at quicker speeds. In reality, this is just the market responding to consumer demand, but not everyone saw it this way. Others saw it as an abuse of power by “greedy” internet service providers.

Then-President Obama praised net neutrality, saying:
For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information—whether a phone call, or a packet of data.
Unfortunately for those who think net neutrality rules are a good idea, the railroad industry serves as a perfect example of just how hazardous declaring consumer goods “public utilities” can truly be.

Like the internet, railroads changed the world by connecting us with people, ideas, and goods to which we did not previously have access. In 1887, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was created specifically to regulate railroads in order to “protect” consumers from falling prey to the “profit-seeking whims” of the railroad industry. Much like today, the concern was that powerful railroad companies would arbitrarily increase rates or partner with other companies in a way that harmed consumers, just like the aforementioned Comcast/Netflix example. And as a result, the ICC made the railroads public utilities. But the ICC ended up doing more harm than good.

As Robert J. Samuelson of the Washington Post writes:
The railroads needed ICC approval for almost everything: rates, mergers, abandonments of little-used branch lines. Shippers opposed changes that might increase costs. Railroads struggled to meet new competition from trucks and barges. In 1970, the massive Penn Central railroad — serving the Northeast — went bankrupt and was ultimately taken over by the government. Others could have followed.
Without the freedom to innovate and provide the best possible service to consumers without having to first jump through a series of regulatory hoops, the railroad industry’s hands were tied, and progress was stagnant.

In 1980, the negative impacts became too much for even the government to ignore, and the ICC was abolished. Shortly thereafter, the industry recovered. Not only did freight rates and overall costs decrease, but railroads were also finally able to make a profit again—something that became a struggle in the wake of the ICC’s creation. In other words, the repeal of regulatory oversight resulted in a win-win situation for all parties involved. And it appears the same is true of the repeal of net neutrality.
If we were to believe the hype being spread last year, by now the sky should have fallen and the internet made obsolete or exorbitantly expensive, as Banksy implied, from the lack of oversight. But that has not been the case. Instead of costs skyrocketing or connection speeds slowing down, things have actually gotten much better.

According to Recodeinternet speeds actually have increased nearly 40 percent since net neutrality was abolished. Uninhibited by government regulations, service providers have been free to expand their fiber optic networks, allowing for greater speed:
Finally some good news: The internet is getting faster, especially fixed broadband internet. Broadband download speeds in the U.S. rose 35.8 percent and upload speeds are up 22 percent from last year, according to internet speed-test company Ookla in its latest U.S. broadband report.
You’d think this news would have inspired a slew of “oops, we were wrong” articles to be written by those who worked so diligently to spread fear in the lead-up to the repeal. But this has not been the case.

Wired, which published many articles in favor of net neutrality, did publish an article called “A Year without Net Neutrality: No Big Changes (Yet),” where it admits that none of the scary predictions actually came true. But it still clung to its paradoxical belief that an internet free from regulation is not truly free.

Whether the naysayers are willing to admit it or not, less government regulation results in better outcomes for both companies and consumers. So the next time we are told that a lack of regulation is going to be the end of life as we know it, we would do well to remember what really happened when the government finally freed the internet from its grasp.

Source: Repealing Net Neutrality: The Internet Apocalypse That Never Came - Foundation for Economic Education



Monday, December 17, 2018

Air Diver (Sega Genesis)






Air Diver (Sega Genesis)

Air Diver is a combat flight simulator released for the Sega Genesis in 1990. It has the distinction of being one of the first third-party games released for that system, at least in North America. However, being first is no guarantee of quality.
While being labelled as a flight simulator, this is really more of an arcade game like Afterburner only from a first-person point of view. The plot is rather typical and simplistic but it isn't really important for a game like this. You play the role of a fighter pilot in a fictitious stealth fighter aircraft. There are a variety of missions which include boss fights.
Unfortunately, this is a rather mediocre game. Chances are that it was rushed to market to be one of the first games on the shelves for the Genesis. Graphics are ok and represent an improvement over 8-bit games of the era but they don't really show the true capabilities of the Genesis. However, it is really the gameplay that is lacking. The missions and gameplay are rather repetitive and there really isn't a whole lot of replayability. Its only really interest is as an early example of third party development for the Genesis and of course it would have had more appeal in the early days of the Genesis when there wasn't a lot to choose from. It just doesn't hold up too well today.
If you do want to play this game, then you will have to track down an original or use emulation. There was eventually a sequel, Super Air Diver for the Super Nintendo, but the original has never been rereleased and probably never will be. The good news is that original copies are pretty cheap.


Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 77 (Highway to Hell)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 77 (Highway to Hell)


Friday, December 14, 2018

The Conceit Behind California’s Bad Idea to Tax Text Messages


California routinely makes national headlines for its big government policies. This week is no different, as bureaucrats move to impose a texting tax on state residents in the name of providing mobile services to the poor.

In a November proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission, Commissioner Carla J. Peterman laid out the “proposed decision” exploring the potential effectiveness of the tax.

According to that 52-page report, California’s budget continues to increase even as tax revenues fall:

“A review of California’s total reported intrastate telecommunications industry revenue, which is used to fund universal service, shows a steady decline in revenue from $16.527 Billion in 2011 to $11.296 Billion in 2017. At the same time, California Public Purpose Program budgets show a steady increase from $670 million in 2011 to $998 million in 2017…”
California’s Public Purpose program, which adds a surcharge to consumers’ bills for utilities like gas in order to provide universal services to those who can’t afford them, would be tasked with facilitating the proposed text tax. And though the analysis refers to “industry revenue,” the funds would come from taxing individual wireless customers.

Mercury News, a San Jose-based news outlet, noted that while it is still unclear how much consumers would be forced to pay, the fee would “likely would be billed as a flat surcharge per customer” as opposed to a per-text rate.

While the Commission’s analysis acknowledges opposing arguments—including carrier companies’ assertions that the tax “would not preserve and advance universal service because it does not broaden the base of universal service consumers”—the commission ultimately advocated the additional tax burden.

Parties supporting the collection of surcharges on text messaging revenue argue that it will help preserve and advance universal service by increasing the revenue base upon which Public Purpose Programs rely,” they write. “We agree.”

Business advocacy groups like the Bay Area Council, the California Chamber of Commerce, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group estimated that the proposed tax could generate $44.5 million in tax revenue per year. However, “they add that under the regulators’ proposal the charge could be applied retroactively for five years—which they call ‘an alarming precedent’—and could amount to a bill of more than $220 million for California consumers,” Mercury News reports.

“It’s a dumb idea,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council business advocacy group. “This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it’s almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have.”

Wunderman also questionedthe necessity of additional taxes, referencing California’s current budget surplus:
“While perhaps well-intentioned, the specific programs that the commissioners are hoping to fund with your tax dollars already has around $1 billion to spend. These programs are not in need of greater funding from texting or any other source, and even if they were, there is already an approved, transparent process at the commission to raise the necessary funds without the need to create new taxes.”
Further, the proposed fees make even less sense considering the rise in popularity of internet-based messaging services like Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, and Telegram, which would not be subject to the tax. In fact, the tax could very well push consumers further toward these internet-based apps to avoid extra costs.
The November document is not legally binding, but it does assert the Commission’s alleged power to impose a texting tax.

Whether or not the proposed tax becomes actual policy come January, the simple fact that it has been suggested at all illustrates the misguided yet pervasive belief in California that government omnipotence can create prosperity.

It’s precisely this type of thinking that has caused the Golden State to squander one of the largest economies in the world, driving away businessesand individuals alike and inflating costs of living with the imposition of convoluted, interventionist policies. Because of restrictive zoning laws and bureaucratic regulations that make housing inaccessible to the middle class and the poor, for example, California continues to claim the highest rate of poverty in the country despite the billions of dollars it spends on welfare and social services.

Despite the best—and heavy-handed—efforts of politicians and bureaucrats, the people they claim to represent continue to suffer under their policies. This should all come as no surprise. As economist Friedrich von Hayek observed:

“To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm.”

Source: The Conceit Behind California’s Bad Idea to Tax Text Messages - Foundation for Economic Education


Sega 32X






Sega 32X

Sega's 32X is certainly an odd beast. It was introduced only about a year or so before the Sega Saturn and while it was quite a bit cheaper, it still couldn't exactly be called inexpensive at the time at $159 (plus the cost of a Genesis if you didn't already have one). It plugged in to the cartridge port of the Genesis. You could then plug in either standard Genesis carts and it simply acted as a pass through or you could plug in special 32X cartridges that took advantage of the 32X hardware. It could also be used in conjunction with the Sega CD for 32X enhanced CD games. As an add-on, the 32X was a pretty powerful device. In included two Hitachi 32bit RISC processors running at 32 MHz (compared to the 7.6 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU of the Genesis) as well as a new Video Display Processor with 3D capabilities. It enabled 32,768 simultaneous colors (compared to the 61 colors at once out of a palette of 512 available on the Genesis) and added 4 Mbit of RAM. The CPUs were essentially the same ones used in the Sega Saturn. So why did Sega release this system only a year before the Saturn would be released in North America? There were a couple of reasons but it retrospect it was a bad idea. The 32X was originally conceived as a stand alone console that would compete with Atari's Jaguar. As it would turn out, this was completely unnecessary but apparently Sega was worried about competition from Atari at the time. They instead made it an add-on so as not to alienate Genesis owners though an all-in-one Genesis/Sega CD/32X was planned but never released.
The other theory that Sega apparently had was that the Saturn would not be a mass market item because of its price and it would be the Sega Genesis/CD/32X systems that would compete for the dollars from the masses. I guess they envisioned a video game class system of sorts. In the end, this was a huge mistake for Sega and the start of their downfall in my opinion. They rushed the 32X to market to compete with the Jaguar and get out ahead of the Saturn and the games suffered for it. Then they rushed the Saturn to market to beat the PlayStation and there really weren't any games available for it for a while. In addition, the Saturn was initially priced much higher than the PlayStation. Part of this was probably due to system cost but I think part of it was due to their concept of a video game class system. They did a pretty good job of resolving these types of issues once the Dreamcast came out but it was already too late for Sega. Only 40 games would ever be released for the 32X (36 in North America) including 6 that were CD based. I'll leave you with one of the more cringe-worthy ads for the 32X (or any other video game or system for that matter). The ad below as well as all of the images above are from the premiere issue of Next Generation magazine from January 1995.

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (29)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions.

The pictures in this set were processed in 1962 and are of various outdoor scenes.

Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.


Processed September 1962



1962

https://supload.com/r1VzHpFDm

Thursday, December 13, 2018

yohko003 - Devil Hunter Yohko



Enter (November 1983)





Enter (November 1983)

In the early 1980s there were several computer magazines targeted towards a younger audience though most didn't survive more than a couple of years. One of these was Enter. The November 1983 issue includes: Features
  • Escape to Adventure - In computer adventure games, you are the hero. Read all about them - then play 'Ice Pirates,' a game that begins on page 4.
  • Digital Dancing - Computers are adding colorful new touches to the art of dance.
  • The Light Fantastic - A laser and a joystick save a young girl's life.
  • The Maven - A most curious visit from a video game genius.
  • License to Thrill - In 'Never Say Never Again,' Bond plays electronic games.
  • Best of the Quests - A teenage adventure gamer reviews today's top challenges.
  • Fractured Flowcharts - A comical quiz tests your understanding of computer diagrams.
Departments
  • Q & A - ENTER's Help-Line.
  • Bits - Byte-sized news briefs.
  • User Views - Phil and Bernie face off on sports games.
  • Random Access - Our kids' column.
  • Pacesetter - Bela Selendy's amazing computer mazes.
  • Pencil Crunchers - Bela's Mindbender Maze.
  • Basic Training - Programming challenges.
  • Fiction - A Chip Mitchell Computer Caper.
  • Next - Coming attractions and puzzle answers.

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 76 (Drumul Draculi)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 76 (Drumul Draculi)

Don’t Blame California’s Poop Crisis on Capitalism



I recently had the opportunity to visit San Francisco for the first time. Coastal towns tend to be a bit more interesting in terms of cuisine (seafood being one of the more varied palate options) and architecture (steep hill structures are ever a testament to human ingenuity), and San Francisco scores high in both categories. However, one area where it currently scores quite low is in the aroma zone. At first, I thought perhaps they had a very inefficient sewer system near the shoreline retail sector, but as we explored deeper toward the city center, it became clear something was amiss. I learned shortly thereafter that San Francisco has a poop crisis. To be blunt—people are literally crapping on the sidewalks. Not the tourists, mind you, but the local homeless population. The situation has come to a head (or to the head, to employ a nautical metaphor) primarily as a result of progressive conservatism primed with the power of centralized (governmental) authority.
The outside leftist narrative, of course, is that this poop crisis is the inevitable result of unmitigated capitalism, which drives the eternal boogeyman of income inequality. This inequality fuels gentrification of the San Francisco housing market (no, actually property taxes are the prime driver of gentrification—if you owned your home absent property tax you would never need to sell due to rising prices). So as housing becomes ever more “unaffordable,” people are forced out of their homes and onto the street. This is, of course, complete nonsense.

Prices only go up if supply is constrained while demand is rising. So in order to discover why supply is constrained, we turn our attention toward the “inside” leftists (that is, the progressive liberals who live there). It turns out that those who live there are, in fact, quite conservative (even if they don’t realize it). Any attempted new housing project must pass not only governmental hurdles but also the “local input” of current residents. These residents walk and talk like social progressives, but because one of their core tenets is that they do not want the flavor, character, or architecture of the area in which they live to change—that is, they want to conserve it in perpetuity. This by definition makes them conservatives in that arena. Their dual desire to not only keep San Francisco locked in an eternal snow globe style stasis but to also not erode the value of their homes drives them to engage in this very destructive economic protectionism: keeping newcomers out by making it virtually impossible (or more costly than necessary) to build keeps the value of their own homes artificially elevated while preserving the Norman Rockwell character of their town.
To fully appreciate the extent of the damage they are causing and why, perhaps, more than anywhere else in the country the homeless problem is so acute, it should be noted that the median price of a modest single-family home now stands at $1.6 million. A family of four with a household income of $100k is considered at the poverty line and actually qualifies for assistance from HUD (let that sink in — taxpayers across the country are subsidizing the housing of people making a $100k/year).

So what is the solution? Always the same and likewise always decried as “unrealistic”—remove all housing regulations and obstacles and let anyone build anything anywhere (works just fine in Houston, Texas, thank you very much). Your neighbor has no right to say what you can do with your property. Progressives (yes, I’m looking at you “townies” in Athens, Georgia) should stop blocking progress when it comes to housing and development.

Source: Don't Blame California's Poop Crisis on Capitalism - Foundation for Economic Education



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (June 1989)





VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (June 1989)


VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (June 1993)





VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (June 1993)

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment was always my favorite video games magazine. VG&CE along with EGM were really the only two I ever bought. The June 1993 issue includes: Features
  • The Quest for Immortality: A Player's Guide to Gods, Part I - We'll show you how to get past the first two levels in this challenging multi-platform game.
Departments
  • Editor's Letter
  • Yea & Nay
  • Reader Mail
  • Tip Sheet
  • News Bits
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Advertiser Index
Reviews & Previews
  • Video-Game Previews
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
    • Saturday Night Slam Masters
    • Rocket Knight Adventurers
    • Mario is Missing!
    • 3 Count Bout
    • Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol 2
    • Double Dragon
    • The Incredible Crash Test Dummies
    • The Punisher
    • Beach Volley

  • Video-Game Reviews
    • Street Fighter II Champion Edition
    • Blaster Master 2
    • Super Turrican
    • Battletoads/Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team
    • Taz-Mania
    • C & C Music Factory: Make My Video
    • Batman Returns
    • Riot Zone
    • Cool Spot
    • Bases Loaded 4
    • American Gladiators
    • Super Ninja Boy
    • Sorcerer's Kingdom

  • Gaming on the Go
    • Battletoads in Ragnarok's World
    • Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
    • European Soccer Challenge
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • Computer-Game Reviews
    • Street Fighter II
    • Doom
    • Quarter Pole
    • The Awesome Adventures of Victor Vector & Yondo Adventure 2
    • Rules of Engagement 2
    • Take a Break! Pinball
    • Spectre Supreme

  • Computer-Game Previews
    • X-Wing: The Farlander Papers
    • Empire Deluxe
    • The Prophecy
    • Michael Jordan in Flight
    • Space Quest V
    • V for Victory: Market Garden
    • Wilson ProStaff Golf
    • Rome: Pathway to Power
    • World Tour Tennis
    • Tony La Russa Baseball II
    • S.C.O.U.T.
...and more!

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (28)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions.

None of the pictures from this set have a date but the second one has a calendar in the background that dates it to 1955. The third picture I believe is of Leo Oestreicher, the person who appears to have owned and taken most of these pictures.

Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.






https://supload.com/Sy6Y1DKvQ

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Food Recalls May Soon Be a Thing of the Past—Thanks to Blockchain



Since January, the CDC has issued multiple warnings of E. colicontamination causing hundreds of people to become infected across the nation. Of course, countless bags and heads of lettuce have since been pulled off of shelves and destroyed. On November 20, the CDC spoke out but gave no answers to the public on what caused the outbreak: “At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.”

But it’s been more than a month since the first E. coli cases were reported—and there is no culprit. As a result, thousands of grocers and growers are suffering from what might just be a contamination at a single farm. If the government would have utilized the power of blockchain, we might already have an answer.
Blockchain is simply a new, technologically advanced database used for tracking resources and information as they exchange hands. A copy of the database is stored by everyone on the blockchain network, which allows every user to track each item on the network. Each blockchain network can have different parameters for who can join—some are open to anyone, while others require permission from a central authority to join.

Anytime a change is made, every other user is notified and can make a copy of that change on their own computer. With a multitude of copies, no user can make a change to any information on the network that they don’t rightfully own.

Tracking produce on a blockchain could dramatically reduce the time spent tracing contaminated produce back to the source and put a cap on how often industry-wide recalls are even required. If health officials and retailers can pinpoint the exact sources of contamination and pull only the product at risk off the shelves, the danger to the public and the costs to the guiltless producers would be significantly diminished.

Say we use blockchain to track produce from farm to table. A grocer, truckers, distribution centers, packaging facilities, and the farmers could all have accounts on a blockchain network. Picked and packaged produce would be scanned, uploading a record of its location to the blockchain. From there, the lettuce might be trucked to the distribution center, and once it arrives, its location would again be uploaded to the blockchain. The same process would be followed until a grocery store cashier makes the final scan at the register. If a customer reports contamination from a single head of lettuce, they could trace it back to the source, identifying where it was at every step of the process.
When it comes to agricultural products, there are so many parties involved in the growing, packaging, distributing, and selling of each piece. Blockchain offers tracking benefits that traditional databases don't. The new technology allows multiple parties to be on the same database without risk of one party controlling all the information. The network is governed by the parameters are set up when it is established, and every user on the network must abide by those parameters. Small farmers and food-giants alike can participate in the network without one overshadowing the other.

That’s why Walmart and other grocers have already put this technology to test—with much success. When Walmart tested the technology with the recall of a batch of mangos, the time it took to trace the produce back to its farm was reduced from seven days to just 2.2 seconds. And major food producers are getting wind of how well this could work. Dole and Nestle, for instance, are set to track their products on the blockchain network at the beginning of the new year.

Moving food from the farm to the table is truly a miracle of the market. The vast majority of the time, the normal process works just fine. Yet, when contamination occurs, the process doesn’t lend itself well to pinpointing the source. It’s time for our food producers to realize that blockchain is the technology that will make sure the foods meant to keep us healthy aren’t the ones putting us at risk.

Source: Food Recalls May Soon Be a Thing of the Past—Thanks to Blockchain - Foundation for Economic Education

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Space Quest V (DOS)






Space Quest V (DOS)

Space Quest V is one of a long line of point and click adventure games from Sierra. Both the Space Quest series and the King's Quest series used basically the same interface, at least during this time period. Game play is pretty simplistic. You just click on an action and the game takes care of the rest.
The Space Quest series was somewhat unique in that it was a science fiction parody. It makes fun of a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek through exaggerated imitation. Unfortunately, this isn't one of the better Space Quest games. It's not that it's terrible or anything but it is way to short (it can easily be finished in a day) and the plot is mostly forgettable.
However, if you love point and click adventures and/or the Space Quest or King's Quest series and haven't played this one yet, then it is worth a play through. If you are intent on playing the Space Quest series though and haven't played the other yet then you might as well start with the first one. You can of course track down an original copy on eBay and get it running in DOS Box or you can go the easier route and get it on GoG (https://www.gog.com/game/space_quest_4_5_6_). You'll get three games for a lot less than you'll probably be able to get one of them on eBay. The review above is from the June 1993 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Commodore MicroComputers (July/August 1985)






Commodore MicroComputers (July/August 1985)

Commodore had a few different official publications over the years. Commodore MicroComputers would eventually become Commodore Magazine which is how I knew it best. The July/August 1985 issue of Commodore MicroComputers includes:
  • User Hotline
  • Letters
  • News

  • Software Reviews
    • Write Now/File Now/Mail Now
    • Kwik-Write
    • Right Again!
    • PFS-Report
    • Home Pak
    • The Music Shop
    • Master Composer
    • Insta-Ledger
    • Fast Load
    • Fleet System 2
    • Write File

  • Computer Wizard
    • Keyboarding and the Screen Editor

  • Programmers' Tips
    • Display T & S
    • Memory Finder
    • Self-Modifying Machine Language
    • XDOS

  • Technical Tips
    • Build a Burglar Alarm
    • Random Thoughts

  • Special Section: Software for Children
    • Donald Duck's Playground
    • Movie Musical Madness
    • Addition Magician/Moptown Parade
    • Big Bird's Funhouse
    • Swiss Family Robinson and Below the Root
    • Tuk Goes to Town
    • Stickybear

  • Book Reviews
    • Inside the 1541: A Look at Three Books

  • Features
    • The Commodore 128 In Pictures - An intimate look at Commodore's new triple-threat computer.
    • Vacation Computing - For those who want to get away from it all - all excep their computer, that is - some suggestions for taking your silicon friend along.
    • The Electronic Rembrandt - Graphics software has made it easier than ever to create electronic art on your computer. Among all the packages that are out there, which is best for you?
    • Programs for People Who Can't Draw - If you're all thumbs, you can combine pre-dawn forms to make pretty pictures on your 64.
    • A Buyer's Guide to Music Keyboards for the 64 - If you're a professional musician you nee a different kind of keyboard than a home plinker does. Here's an overview of choices.
    • Chameleon: Graphics Conversion Made Easy - Convert any high-res graphics screen to any other format - Koala to Micro Illustrator to Flexidraw to whatever - with this high-powered program. It's yours for the typing.

  • Commodore 64 Users Only
    • ManagerMania
    • Assembler Development System

  • Commodore 128 Users Only
    • Commodore 128 Graphics: Sprites

  • Users Groups
  • How to Enter Programs in Commodore MicroComputers
  • Advertiser Index
...and more!

Yohko2 - Devil Hunter Yohko