Friday, September 8, 2023

Attack of the PETSCII Robots - Review of a New Action Strategy DOS Game

Attack of the PETSCII Robots MS-DOS Version Cover (Partial, Courtesy of 8-bit Guy)

Back in 2018, David Murray, better known as The 8-Bit Guy on YouTube, released a newly developed game for the DOS-compatible PC called Planet X3. I eventually bought a copy and reviewed it. In more recent years he has designed a new game, Attack of the PETSCII Robots, which was released in 2021 for Commodore computers. The game has since then been widely ported to many home computer and console platforms, including MS-DOS earlier this year. I decided to buy the MS-DOS port, and after trying it out I will give my review here.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

NuXT 2.0 Motherboard - A New 8088 Motherboard for your DIY PC Clone

In the recent past I have discussed the Book 8088 and the Hand 386, which are newly made vintage computing systems.  I concluded that those products, although not uninteresting were rather flawed.  The Book 8088 was by far the more disappointing of the two devices.  I have also been made aware of a project which tries to fulfill a similar niche, the NuXT motherboard. The NuXT is an 8088-based motherboard you can buy brand new and can really fill that IBM PC-clone hole in your vintage collection. While I do not own one of these, I have read and seen enough about it to give my thoughts on whether this product would be right for you.

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Avengers Series 4-6 Blu-ray Upgrade

In a recent blog post, I discussed "upgrading" the videotaped half of The Avengers from Region 1 DVDs to Region 2 DVDs. The TLDR version of that entry was that the upgrade was worth it. Now I have obtained the Region B Blu-rays of Series 4-6, I intend to offer my thoughts on them versus the Region 1 DVDs as a sequel of sorts to the prior blog entries.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Would you Like a Book 8088? Or How About a Hand 386?

Fairly recently (May, 2023) there has been made available for sale a retro-themed laptop called the Book 8088.  The Book 8088 is a real PC running a fair amount of vintage hardware and was made in China by a company called DZT.  Additionally this company has also made a portable PC called the Hand 386.  However, the Book 8088 is also the subject of controversy and reviews have been mixed on both products.  Although I do not own either and have no intention to buy either I have researched and viewed enough YouTube reviews of the device to offer some relevant insights on these devices.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Avengers Seasons 1-3 DVD Upgrade

Being an American fan of the quintessential British TV show The Avengers has not always been easy.  The Avengers, that 1960s crime drama/spy series with British secret agent John Steed and a host of assistants tends to be overshadowed by a certain superhero group sharing the same name.  Getting the series in America has been afflicted by times of plenty followed by long periods of drought.  In this blog let me talk about the first half of the series and the ideal means to watch it today.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Apple IIc - Epitome of the Apple II Experience?

In 1984 Apple Computer released the fourth computer to its Apple II line, the Apple IIc, A2M4000.  The Apple IIc was a "compact" version of the Apple IIe with many expansions built-in.  It was released alongside the Macintosh and despite the hype the market did not respond in the way Apple had hoped.  Nonetheless they still sold about 400,000 systems from 1984-1988.  In 2023 these systems can still be purchased for $150-200, so let's take a look to see what makes them special.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Saving a Simon

Simon was one of the first popular electronic games.  Invented by Ralph Baer and put on the market by Milton Bradley in 1978, Simon sold well for year after year.  Its simple gameplay of remember the randomized sequence of colors not only challenged the short-term memory of its players but their ability to recall sequences quickly.  These devices sold so many units that obtaining a vintage unit with its three switches and three buttons is not hard to find and will not break the bank.  Recently I had acquired a "vintage" Simon and could see that it was in need of repair, so I decided to document the steps I took to repair it.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Tandy Video vs. EGA - Battle of the 16-colors Graphic Adapters

When the PC was first released in 1981, IBM designed the Color/Graphics Adapter (CGA) card, a card that could display 16 colors on a special high quality RGBI monitor through a digital output.  While CGA could only display all those 16 colors on the screen at the same time in text modes absent trickery, IBM's 16-color digital RGBI video display standard proved quite durable.  IBM used the same color standard in its IBM PCjr. video graphics adapter in 1983 and returned to the standard the next year in the form of its Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA).  When Tandy released its Tandy 1000, which was designed as a clone of the PCjr., it included the graphical capabilities of the PCjr and would later expand on them.  The Tandy Graphics Adapter (TGA) really popularized 16-color full screen graphics but by the late 1980s most games would support Tandy and EGA graphics.  So which is better?  In this blog article we will attempt to answer this question.