8bitrocket IT Consulting has now partnered with HUMDigital.com to provide the full vertical in digital solutions. From ideas to finished product, ongoing support and beyond, the combination of these two consulting companies brings a new meaning to full service digital development. Jeff Fulton is now the CTO of HUMdigital.com, working in tandem with their team of seasoned pros to bring you the best of the best in digital concepts, designs, and systems. This team can and will provide you with the full service you need to be a success in the digital space.
MEAN Stack Primer.
Many people have heard of the LAMP stack. It was and is the most commonly used set of technologies to power web sites. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. This is a very robust and powerful set of technologies that powers the back end of some of the most vital sites on the internet today. It has a competitor though, the MEAN stack.
MEAN stands for Mongo, Express, Angular, and Node. Let's go through what each of these are to get a better idea of how powerful this new set of technologies is.
Without a database, even with all of this power, this could only provide a rudimentary level of application to the user. That's where Mongo comes in. Mongo is a "page level", "document" or "Json Object" level database. It is one in a series of BIG Data ideas that removes SQL from that data processing architecture. Mongo does support foreign keys in multiple "tables" (sets of documents with the same schema), so a somewhat normalized set of data can be created with it, but that doesn't harness the power of a No SQL database. Records in a Mongo Database are stored as full fledged native JSON. This allows the developer a multitude of ways to create his/her data driven application. The developer can choose to use the powerful Node engine to parse the JSON and pass it back to the front end, or, he/she can send the entire set of JSON back in the response object and let the increasingly powerful desktop/mobile browsers parse and use the data.
Node.js also can be used to create a full web site experience. Combine Express with a templating engine such as Jade or Mustache and you have full PHP-like control over the data and content integration on your web pages. Add in Ionic with Bootstrap and you have the best of breed front-end solutions for hybrid web and mobile applications with responsive design.
Now, what about Angular? Angular is an MVC frameork that works with these technologies to provide a clean separation between the view of the data, the way data is accessed and transformed and the data itself. Following the Angular.js MVC closely will allow the developer to more easily keep the front-end application clean. It separates "dirty little secrets" such as DOM manipulation from the application logic, creating a clean separation of the front-end and back-end systems.
What does all of this mean to the developer and his clients? Clean, fast, relatively easy to build full stack applications and web services (Mean is perfect for REST web services) with optimum performance in a shorter time than with most other technologies.
Check out the MEAN stack at mean.io.
If you want help implementing a MEAN stack, we can provide consulting services help get you to the next level.
8bitrocket IT Consulting brings together 25 years of web application development, project management, IT solutions architecture, and book publishing experience, along and the sheer love of code, to your IT project.
Owner, Jeff Fulton, has years and years of experience at companies big and small, including 15 years of core web application development/architecture/management for Mattel Toys, and 4 years as the Chief Technology Officer of Producto Studios. He simply loves code and can bring his expertise and put together a team to solve any IT project, problem or opportunity.
Do you want a responsive site? Do you want a an HTML5 Game (we wrote the book, literally on HTML5 Canvas games). Do you want a mobile app that will work across all machines with a build once, deploy everywhere capability? Do you have a legacy app or site that needs a fresh code polish to bring it up to date? Do you have a great idea, but no idea how to execute it? Do you want a hybrid app that can work on the web and be packaged as a mobile app? Do you want all of these? Do you need help with the latest and greatest architecture ideas (Node, Ionic, Angular, Mongo, Express, Bootstrap, and others)? We can help with all of these and more. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-351-6726 to discuss your problem or opportunity.
We test the latest and greatest everyday so you don't have to.
Check out our consulting page for more info.
If it's code, we got this!
Atari Bonanza - Old Stuff From My Attic. 2600, 5200, 7800, 800 XL XE, Jaguar, ST
I decided to do an entire Atari excavation today. I went through every box of Atari games and hardware (I might have missed an ST box and if I find it, I'll add it later) I have to come up with a definitive list of what I own. I am not actually much of a collector, and much of my original 80's collection (aside from the Atari ST and the '93 Jaguar) have been purchased or given to me from 95 and beyond. But this stuff has been collecting dust, and to get a good idea, and have some pictures for insurance purposes, I decided to take up all of a Sunday morning, sifting through boxes of stuff and organizing it before the cats ran over and messed it up.
First, here is an over-all pic of what I found and laid out on the area rug (it took more than the large area to hold all the original ST software). Aside from the Lynx (which my brother Steve has), this represents a version of every game and computer system (not the stand alone systems like Pong and Super Pong Doubles, etc) that Atari put out on the mass market in the 70's, 80's and 90's.
This collection starts in the upper left -
Atari 130XE + SIO2 SD (use any disk image from the internet) + game carts (details further down)
Atari 2600 Carts + Manuals, Catalogs and Atari Force Comic Book (#3).
Atari 7800 + carts (some new in box) + Atari 2600 Wood Grain 4 switcher
A whole Bunch of 2600/800, XL, XE/7800/ST Controllers.
Next Row from Left to right:
Atari 5200 + a whole bunch of non working controllers, + games and an awesome Wico controller
Atari 1040 ST with a large piles of data / public domain , some awesome creative software and a Jaguar hidden to the right
Many many many Purchased Atari ST games and productivity applications, including the original Dungeon Master with Manual FTL sticker and collectible coin.
The Atari 130XE - Compatible with the Ataro 400/800/1200XL/800XL/600XL/800XE/65XE and XE Game System.
- Atari 130 XE computer with SIO2SD . This allows any disk image to be downloaded from the internet and played on the system.
130 XE manual
Original Atari Basic Learning Guide
4.12 Game Carts: Millipede in box, Demon Attack in Box (needs translator to OS B disk to use), River Raid, Miner 2049er, Food Fight, Donkey Kong, Load Runner, Super Cobra, Dig Dug, Pac Man, Qix, Star Raiders.
- Atari Joystick, Power Supply and Modern AV Cable.
The Atari 5200
- 5200 4 port joystick model.
6 5200 original joysticks in various states of disrepair.
Wico 5200 stick
A stack of game specific controller inserts.
A stack of 5200 manuals and a stack of catalogs
33 Games carts: Jungle Hunt, Counter Measure, Soccer, Moon Patrol, Pengo, Missile Command, Galaxian, Football, Centipede, Pole Position, Baseball, Super Breakout, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Qix, Star Raiders, Joust, Choplifter, Kangaroo, Star Wars, Qbert, Gyruss, Montezuma's Revenge, Frogger, Congo Bongo, Zaxxon, Kaboom, Dig Dug In Box, Tennis In Box, Pac-man in box, Pole Position In Box, Wizard of Wor.
- A stack of 2600 game catalogs
2.. A stack of 2600 game instructions
- The Atari Force #3 Comic Book
- 73 Game Carts: Strawberry Shortcake in Box, Phoenix in box, Mario Bros, Centipede, Real Sports Volleyball, Real Sports Football, Pole Position, Moon Patrol, Real Sports Baseball, Real Sports Tennis, Ms. Pac Man, Vanguard, Kangaroo, Pac Man (3 copies), War Lords (3 copies), Casino (2 copies), Breakout (text cart version), Super Breakout, Video Olympics, Football, Pele's Soccer, Street Racer, Defender (2 copies), Asteroids (2 copies), Video Pinball (2 copies), Space Invaders, Surround, Haunted House, Basketball, Bowling, Home Run, Combat (2 copies), Indy 500, Star Raiders, Adventure, Yars Revenge, Maze Craze, Human Cannon Ball, Sears Tele-Games Golf, Sears Tele-Games Pinball, Donkey Kong, Venture, Zaxxon, Donkey Kong (Signed by Gary Kitchen), Atlantis, Riddle of the Sphinx, Trick Shot, Demon Attack, Frogger (2 copies), Super Cobra, Stars Wars Empire Strikes Back, Qbert, Spider Fighter (2 copies), River Raid, Gran Prix (signed by David Crane), Pit Fall (signed by David Crane), Enduro, Decathlon, Robot Tank, Sea Quest, Keystone Kapers, Megamania.
The Atari 7800
- Atari 7800 Console and 2600 Console
- 7800 controller sticks, 2600 controller sticks, paddles, Indy 500 racing controllers, Genesis Pad (will work with 2600,/7800/8-bits/ST), Master System Stick - works with (will work with 2600,/7800/8-bits/ST, Star Raiders Controller, 2 Spectravision Joy Sticks.
- 17 Game Carts - Donkey Kong in box, Donkey Kong Jr in box, Dark Chambers in box, Choplifter in Box, Tower Toppler in Box, Baseball in box, Ms Pac Man in Box, Centipede in box, One On One in box, Touchdown Football, Galaga, Robotron, Desert Falcon, Food Fight, Xevious, Asteroids, Pete Rose Baseball.
- Original Jaguar + single pack in controller
- 8 Game Carts - Wolf 3d, Tempest 2000, Kasumi Ninja, Checkered Flag, Attack of the Mutant Penguins, Zool 2, Super Burnout (all in box), pack-in Cyber morph.
The Atari 1040 ST
This is the system that Steve and I spent the most time on in our youth - college. The stacks of disks have many more Degas, Animation, and game projects than pirate games. This was an incredible machine to grow up with (literally from 16 until 20, the most formative years of pre-adulthood).
- Atari 1040 STFM that has seen better days, Missing some keys. I would like to purchase another is anyone has one they would like to sell.
- ST Color Monitor, 2 ST Mouse Controllers, ST 12oo Baud Modem, Video Sync Controller.
- 3 stacks of disks including a lot of college work, games created, art and animation for our films.
- Stacks of ST User, ST Action, ST Format and a couple START discs,
- STOS Game creator, Compiler, and Sampler with many game demo disks, full docs and manuals, etc.
- Cyberpaint and Art/Film Director software - one of the first key frame animation programs. It synced to the TV so we could create animations for our student films, etc. Awesome for its time.
- No Box, but full Version of Dungeon Master with FTL Sticker and and collectors coin.
- Boxed edition of Beyond Zork
- Boxed edition of the original Sid Meyer Pirates game
The rest of the discs and software (how many did you have):
Atari Algebra and Physics, Cybernoid, Galaxy Force, Artura, Deflecktor, Baal, Stunt Car Racer, Computes Atari Disk, Fighter Bomber, Silkworm, St Express, Joe Blade, Tracker, Speed Ball, Anco Player Manager, Corporation, Zynaps, Defenders of Earth, Atari ST Language Disk (Basic + a Unix like CPM Shell), Darius +, Indian Jones, Axel's Magic Hammer, Super Cars, Skidz, Switch Blade, Dragon Breath, Power Drift, Ikari Warriors, Captain Blood.
Starting about the middle of the pic:
Menace, Super Hang-on, Eye of Horus, Enduro Racer, Crazy Cars, Barbarian, GODS, Batman the Caped Crusader, Blood Money, Buggy Boy, Micro League Baseball, Afterburner, Rick Dangerous, Anco Kick Off 2, Neochrome, Beyond the Ice Palace, Battle Ships, Sidewinder, Andes Attack (send money directly to Jeff Minter to get this one. Best action game on the ST!!!), Street Fighter.
Starting about the middle of the Pic:
Blastaball, Butcher Hill, Outrun, Golden Path, Zynaps, 1943, Double Dragon 2, Netherworld, California Games, Star Quake,
Also, there are tons of Public Domain games and apps, since those are legit, I'll list them here These are from legitimate purchased Shareware disks from ST Express, and the PDC Library in Lynnwood Wa), and Bre Software Fresno CA
Sozobon C Compiler, Kong, Nitro, Galaxian, IBS Pegasus 2, ST Writer 3.0 + ST Spell, DDST, Werner, Dungeon Adventure, Lamatron from the ST Action Cover Disk, MJ C Compiler, Floyd The Droid, Lander, Matching Game, Bnoid, Galactic War, Fire Squad, Phantom House, Berzerk, Action Dungeon, Hero, World, Inspector Clewso, Pick Pocket, Super Simon, ST Breakanoid, Werty Hoiuse of horrors, Bubble, Worm War, Mouse Plaything.
We also have a stack of manuals. Here I will list the game disks that are missing. Steve Fulton probably has these or they got lost in the shuffle some place (or they are in another box some place):
Better Dead Than Alien, Miracle Warriors, 007 Licensed to KIll, Super Wonder Boy. Xenon 2 Mega Blast, Blood Wych, Their Finest Hour (with decoder information), Tetris, Tau Ceti, Rampage, Gauntlet II, Operation Wolf, Oids, Bad Company, Antic Flash, Techno Cop, St Star Raiders, North and South, International Soccer, Sim City (+ decoder card), War in Middle Earth, Road War Europa, Populous, Microprose Soccer, Screaming Wings, Sorcerer Lord, R-Type, Xenon, Arkanoid Revenge of Doh, Dragonscape, Exolon, Robocop, Phantasie III...
And there were many many more that we purchased.
Originally we had well over 200 2600 and 7800 games (including an original Super Charger) as well has 100's of purchased 400/800/XL/XE games also. One of the big disappointments was selling out Atari 800 setup to a guy named Manny from Wilmington (are you out there some place?) If anyone has a bunch of old Atari disks with the names Steve and Jeff on some them and basic games we made like The Price Is Right, multiple funny sentence generators, and a slew of Pinball games made with Pinball construction set (along with the books listed, and many purchased games), please drop me an email at email@example.com. For some reason we sold all of our own games that we coded and everything else, including an original Your Atari Computer Book, Mapping the Atari, and Doctor C Wacko books, magazines, and much more. It was to get an Atari ST, but still, I wish we had not done it.
I'm always looking to expand my collection of all Atari stuff for cheap prices. Nothing I have is for sale. So much has been lost over the years that I would never part with anything I have.
Besides these, I have every Atari collection for multiple game consoles as well as a Flash Back 3 and 4 and a couple of the original Jaxx 10 game NES re-programmed VCS sticks. I would have included the Flashback 1 or 2 if I had them because those were made with the love and care that Atari peripherals deserved by Legacy Engineering and put out by the last real vestiges of Atari.
Our new Podcast:
The 8bitrocket Option Select Start Podcast will be based on this collections, Steve Fulton's collection, our recollections, new purchases, interviews (anyone who wants to be interviewed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org), and our 6502 and 68000 game development projects as we apply what we have learned in modern game development to machine language new games for Atari and other retro systems.
By Steve Fulton
Some of these are good, some are terrible, but all of them are memorable. Here is a run down my favorite Christmas content from classic gaming and computer magazines like Electronic Games, Joystik, Electronic Fun and Atari Connection.
#10 Subscription Pleas
Every magazine contains advertisements trying to get readers to subscribe. However, these classic video game magazine ads for subscriptions are interesting for one reason: timing. The Electronic Fun advertisement (first one above) came in the December 1983 issue. I asked for, and received, a year-long subscription for Xmas 1983. Too bad the magazine only lasted another 5 months. After that, I was treated to 8 issues of "Video Review" as a substitute for my beloved Electronic Fun published by the same company. For this video game obsessed kid, it was no substitute at all.
The second advertisement is for Joystik. Joystik was not bad, but it was never really one of my favorites magazine. It was glossy and colorful, but it never felt authentic. However, it would have been the worst magazine ever if I had followed this advertisement to subscribe, as the ad appeared in the last issue of the magazine ever published.
The last ad, for Electronic Games. I sent away for this one and was happy with the result, as it stayed in publication for another 2 and 1/2 years.
#9 Atari Checklist
This ad appeared in several magazines in December 1983. For Christmas that year, any kids who still had an Atari 2600 should have been begging for any of these games. Ms. Pac-Man alone was worth having an Atari 2600, but Vanguard and Moon Patrol were good too as was Jungle Hunt and Phoenix. It just proves that Atari, even after the disaster that was 1982, still pushed to make great games for their console, even through their last Christmas season as an intact company. On the other hand, by the end of 1983 Atari knew that had an absolute dog on their hands with the 5200. The games were good, but system itself was not selling for a variety of reasons (terrible controllers, no built-in backwards compatibility, etc.). It might seem disingenuous to push the 5200, but what else were they supposed to do? If the system caught-fire over the holiday season of 1983, things could have turned out very different for the world's first video game company. They certainly had a great line-up of games.
#8 Atari Gift Collections
Atari Connection was a little known magazine produced by Atari Inc. in their heyday to support their line of computers. The best thing about the "winter" issues of the magazine were the Atari "holiday gifts" they sold direct to consumers. Buttons, t-shirts, money-clips, letter openers, hats, and all manner of other consumers items that could have the Atari logo slapped on could be had for Atari fans lucky enough to know where to get them. My favorite "gift" collection however is the totally sexist "Gifts For Mom" software that includes "Recipe Search And Save" as it's main offering. If I have one pet peeve about the early days of home computing, it is the fact that "Recipe Management" was a real and serious selling point that companies came-up to try to sell computers to families. Kids could "learn" with educational software, dad could play Star Raiders, and mom's could manage their recipes with a computer. Have fun mom. It was all laid-out like the 50's all over again. I'm convinced that this kind of marketing is the reason women did not feel necessarily welcome to home computers in the 80's: they offered nothing but the same crap they were already dealing with. Dads played games, kids got new learning tools, and mom got to continue doing her "work", but now with an electronic brain to make her more efficient so she could do more. Yea mom!
#7 Find The Bug
The pages of Atari Connection were not only filled with advertisements for Atari trinkets and sexist software pitches, it also made an attempt to teach BASIC programming. The Winter 1982 issue contained this cool "Santa" themed "find the bug" puzzle. I truly believe that hobbyist computer and video game magazines lost something special when they stopped printing program listings for users to read and type into their machines. Even the video game magazine Electronic Fun printed user-made program listings for readers to type in and enjoy. We would probably live in ubiquitous STEM world where every kid could write their own software programs if if video and computer game magazines had simply continued this tradition into the modern age.
#6 Computer Game Ads
Computer game ads, for many ears, were like the "punk rock" of golden age of gaming. At the time, computer game companies were mostly D.I.Y. operations started by married couples. business partners, or single individuals who had a passion for making games for the first era of home computers. They created a market out of the ether to serve an audience growing tired of the same-old video games (see The Atari Checklist above) and wanted more and different experiences. Their advertisements were not always the most professional, but they had a flair for eye-catching visuals visuals that felt both "home-grown" and "cool" in the back pages of video game computer game magazines. In many ways, I really miss theses types of multi-game advertisements, meant to showcase popular games, but also let players know about 2nd tier titles that had not been so popular. Back then, seeing all these game images and box shots sparked my imagination. I wanted to play all these games, and discover the particular angle an view point each author/programmer/design brought to their particular piece of work. It was an era lost for many many years, but thankfully, has returned with the advent of Steam, where finding good and interesting indie computer games is just a few clicks away.
#5 Electronic Games : You Can Be a Game Designer
The first "Christmas Issue" of Electronic Games also had the most iconic "holiday" cover of any classic era video game magazine. However, the most memorable part of this magazine was not the cover, or the gift guides inside, but the story "You Can Be A Game Designer". I was twelve years old when I read this story, and it was one of the first times I realized that I wanted to make games for a living. It was a long road to get there, but in retrospect, this story, in the 1982 Xmas issue of Electronic Games was one of the best presents I ever received.
#4 Wizard Video Games
Wizard's "violent" and "adult" Atari 2600 games were truly awful. However, the fact that they made a special "Christmas" advertisement in 1982 from Electronic Games to try to sell them is pretty special in my opinion, especially considering the fate of the games advertised. "Flesh Gordon": was never released, and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was a buggy mess. However, they gained press because they were banned at many stores, and saw a few protests by concerned citizens. No kid wanted these games. We wanted "Pitfall!" and "River Raid" for Xmas 1982. However, it's still an interesting footnote in video game history to see a full-page Christmas advertisement for adult content in the industry's best publication.
#3 Electronic Fun's "Phantom" E.T. Cover
Electronic Fun was an upstart video game magazine that was inspired by the format and content style from Electronic Games. Bill Kunkel dismissed it many times, and on the surface, it was a flattering copy of the first video game magazine. However, after the first few issues, Electronic Fun grew into it's own, competent publication. I never learned the names of people involved, like I did with EG, but EF brought some very interesting concepts to the video game periodical table. They used a " number of joysticks" rating system for reviews, featured some very in-depth interviews with game programmers and designers, and even featured short BASIC games for people with computers to type in and play.
However, they also appeared the partake in some editorial shenanigans. This cover was from their 2nd issue, and it says a lot about the industry at the time. There is E.T. on the front cover playing what appears to be a "Santa" themed video game. However, the most interesting part of the magazine is what is not inside. There is almost no mention of the E.T. game for the Atari 2600 (or the 8-bit computer version) in the magazine at all. The cover and the words "E.T/ Ready for Xmas" appears to be an endorsement for a video game the magazine had not even seen yet. Did Atari buy the cover? Was this an advertisement masquerading as editorial? I do not know the answer. It could have been completely on the up and up, but there have been hints otherwise.
The "real" concept of "Ethics In Game Journalism" has been around since 1982 (by "real" I mean large companies and organizations colluding in big way that hurts consumers, not indie gamers trying to get nominal press for their games-as-art style creations. Both are an issue, but one is much more impactful than the other one.), Electronic Games actually went ahead and covered the situation in their March 1983 issue with Arnie Katz's "Switch On" editorial named "Setting Some Standards" (you can see it above) Magazines at the time had 3-month lead-time, so this editorial was probably written at just about the same time this "Phantom E.T." cover hit the news stand. The 4th item on the list appears to confront this situation directly:
Arnie Katz described their main competitor , Electronic Fun this way " they had some writers reviewing games at times from photos of the screen shot. I remember a review (from one of their writers) about Kaboom! It was a review of Kaboom!, but he had never played it, apparently -- just seen a picture. He described it as "flaming bowling pins." I mean, there was some not very well done stuff in that magazine".
Electronic Fun was run by magazine industry professionals who were not necessarily fans of video games. Randi Hacker, the Senior Editor has admitted as much, as has Dan Gutman, the Managing Editor who told 2600 Connection that he wrote for Electronic Fun " for career reasons rather than for the love of it" . This was in contrast to the creators of Electronic Games, who truly loved the field of video games and wanted to see the medium proper and grow. No wonder they were not big fans of Electronic Fun magazine.
I still have no real clue why this E.T. cover appeared on a magazine with no coverage of the game inside. Imagine the "******gate" if that happened now!
#2 Twelve Days Of Gamesmas
I loved Arnie Katz's articles and editorials in Electronic Games Magazine. They were always heart-felt, and never fan-boyish. He covered many of the same issues that plague gaming now, and foresaw many of the problems and issues that still exist today. Bill Kunkel, on the other hand, was the fan-boy who loved gaming for games-sake. (I loved his stuff too). Joyce Worley was the news editor and stamped the whole opoeration with a sense of professionalism. The January 1985 issue (published December 1984) of Electronic Games was the last Christmas issue of the magazine. It was also either one of the final issues, or the final issue that any of the original creators of the magazine had control over the content. Any gamer who read this in 1984 would have understood most of the references, but 30 years later, you'd be hard-pressed to find any gamer who could name some of them much less all of them. Here is a quick list to help you decipher what it all means.
- Twleve Kings A Questing: (Sierra's King's Quest) (
- Eleven Froggers Hopping (Frogger)
- Ten text adventures (Infocom games. You know, kinda like Depression Quest. We liked those back then. We still like 'em now)
- Nine Runner's Loding (Lode Runner)
- Eight Jacks Attacking (The Commodre 64 game Jack Attack? Maybe the most obscure reference possible.)
- Six Games A-booting (games took a long time to load from 90K disk drive. Even longer from cassette tape)
- Five Gourmet Sticks (he's referring to joysticks. Expensive, quality joysticks, probably from Wico)
- Four monitors (It was cool back then to have a dedicated monitor instead of having to play computer games on your TV)
- Three disk Files (no computer files, but those plastic disk boxes that held 5 1/2 inch floppy disks)
- Two Stand-Alones (Dedicated table top game consoles. The best at the time was the Vectrex)
- And A Lifetime sub to E.G. (Another subscription plea. This time for magazine that only had 2 more issues)
I'm not sure if Katz knew it at the time, but this parody of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas", while it hasn't aged particularly well, certainly earns its' place a piece of bona-fide video game history, as it sets this issue of the magazine in a definitely place in time that has been buried and forgotten. And that's too bad, because it was an important time, and Katz, Kunkel and Worley chronicled the whole era. Excuse me if I get a bit teary-eyed when I look at picture to right, as it shows the staff of the first great video game magazine. When I was a kid, these were the people that led me through the darkness, and told me about everything video games were and could be. The gentleman in the middle, holding the "gourmet stick" is Arnie Katz. The guy lying on the floor in Bill Kunkel (RIP). Joyce Worley is the woman on the far right in the back. At the end of 1984, this was the final goodbye from the first era of video games. Everyone else had left the building, literally, and figuratively.
It is an era forgotten by most, and dismissed by many.
A time buried away under the sands of time and Alamogordo.
A time I will never forget.
#1 Atari Christmas Morning
Finally, I just love the cover of this magazine. It's an Atari Christmas morning, and it reminds me distinctly of the early hours on Xmas 1983, when my brother and I received our first computer, and Atari 800. It's difficult to describe that morning in words, although I've tried, because it meant so much then, and the meaning has only increased over the years. It was the single most important life-changing event of my young life.
Over the years, it has affected my brother and I in couple ways. First, we tried to recreate the feeling of that morning on numerous times by buying each other computer and video game products , but it never works. Whether it was with an Atari 7800 in 1986, a Sega Master system in 1989, a slew of Atari ST computer games in 1990, A CD-ROM drive in 1992, a flood on Atari Lynx Games in 1993, etc., it was ever been the same. It just goes to show that "magic" has a way of existing in it's own space and time, and sometimes you need to simply experience it, and try to remember it, because it's unpredictable, and no easy to conjure on your own.
The other thing it has done, at least for me, is to try to get me to give that same feeling to my own kids. Although I've tried many times, this Christmas was the first time any of my children expressed emotions close to mine from that Christmas 31 years ago. My middle daughter asked for a sewing machine this year, and I my wife and I decided to not cheap-out, and get her a decent machine, and everything she needed to get going. Neither if us are into sewing, and neither are her sisters. It's her thing. Just like computers were for me and borther back in 1983. Yesterday in the car, as we drove to get hamburgers she said this to me: "daddy, that as the best Christmas ever."
Mission, finally, accomplished.
By Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff) - CTO Producto Studios
Producto Studios provides a mobile makeover to Orbeezone.com.
Orbeez, Maya Group’s best-selling product line are the cool fun orbs that grow and change when you add them to water. The Maya Group called in Producto Studios to grow and change Orbeez website with a metamorphosis of its own – mobile metamorphosis. With a keen eye for responsive design, skilled insights into mobile and Producto’s long history of developing promotions for kids the mobile makeover was almost as easy as adding water. See the change here www.orbeezone.com and contact Producto Studios for your own mobile makeover needs.
8bitjeff (Jeff Fulton)
This time I do mean CRAP. While other things from my attic have been true gaming or music treasures, this game, while being quite possibly the first interactive gaming experience for the Strawberry Short Cake brand, is awful to play. That doesn't mean that hard work didn't go into the making of this cartridge, because it took a literal rocket scientist to code for the VCS (2600), but the game play and music is awful, and lacks any of the "Fun" that should be associated with a GAME.
(click on image for a more detailed photo)
This game did not receive any really positive reviews, and is down-right annoying to even watch. On that note:
See video here (or don't at your own risk):
This relatively Rare Atari 2600 Cart was produced by Parker Brothers and released in 1983. I'm pretty sure the idea is to match mixed up character pieces while listening to droning tunes, but I can't really tell. This was the state of children's games in 1983. Even though it is rare, and not very fun, it is not for sale. I received it as a gift from someone who was trying to get a cool Atari movie completed. I was working on a 2600 style HTML5 game Adventure game to go as a prize for the Kickstarter, but it was never funded.
Here are some more images I took. (click on each for a more detailed photo - at your own risk!)
Next time I hope to find a much better game in box. I have a whole bunch 7800, Atari ST, and and a few more 2600 games some place in this attic of mine.
By 8bitjeff (Jeff Fulton)
When Husker Du went "KAPUT" in the late 80's, both Bob Mould (lead guitar, song writer and vocals) and Grant Hart (drums, song writer and vocals) went their separate ways, each going on to create intriguing new musical projects. Both Hart's solo effort, Intolerance and Mould's Workbook were excellent albums but very much a departure from the "wall of sound" that had defined the Minneapolis Hardcore (pop-core to a great extent) band's previous sonic pallet.
(clicking on all images will result in larger, more detailed versions)
Bob Mould's excellent first single, released in 1989 on Virgin America Records, was "racked" as a 12", 7", CD, and mini CD as well as this gem, a Cassette Single or "Cassingle" as we called them when I worked at a record store in the late 80's. The reverse side of this acoustic-based song was "All Those People Know", a little bit faster and harder edged song.
The B side of this single was a song called All Those People Know:
Here a couple more images from the single:
All in all, this was a great single, and showed what kind of quality was to come from Bob Mould in the next few years, and even today.
Here at 8bitrocket, we fully support a DRM-Free world. A place where you control the content you PURCHASE. Yes, I said purchase. There are just pennies on the dollar for the developers of EVERY medium in today's world of easy stolen streams and file sharing networks. That's why we fully support our publisher, O'Reilly, giving 50% off all e-books (of course that lowers the pennies we earn) and 60% off orders over $100.
Our book is included in this of course.
In Celebration of *Day Against DRM*
Save 50% on all 8000+ Ebooks & Videos
(Save 60% on orders over $100)
Having the ability to download files at your
convenience, store them on all your devices,
or share them with a friend or colleague as you
would a print book or DVD is liberating, and is
how it should be. Learn more about Day Against DRM
At O'Reilly Media, we've always published our ebooks
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2500 years ago, "Fail to honor people, they fail to
honor you." --Tim O'Reilly, Founder
Deal expires May 7, 2014 at 5am PT, and cannot be
combined with other offers or applied to Print,
or "Print & Ebook" bundle pricing.
Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff)
In about 2005 I started this blog with help from 8bitsteve purely to experiment with game development and design. Many of the older posts are gone or missing after many transitions between various blogging software, but many still exist. When I first started to make a few indie Flash games there was no real way to make any money off of them other than sell a license to a large gaming portal. Mochi Media changed all of that. They allowed any game to be ad sponsored and the make at least a small amount per 1000 game plays. Other companies joined the fray, and large portals (Kongregate, King, etc) swooped in and started to sponsor and or put their own ads in games to help developers make some cash from their games.
Luckily, we were never in it for the money, just for experimentation with technology to help write a couple books, one on Flash: The Essential Guide To Flash Games and one on the HTML5 Canvas. The earnings from those books far out weighted the ad revenue we received from games a good 20 to 1 ratio. But, to some developers, who were working on games to make a living, much more ad revenue could be made.
The great news is, Flash Game License, which was one of the first companies to offer similar and extended services that Mochi offered, are still around. Not just still around, but thriving and expanding because they have embraced HTML5 games FGL offers a wide range of services all for the indie developer, including a $200 bonus for any HTML5 game they decide to publish. It's a great service and should be considered for all of the older or new Flash games you have hanging around, (in Mochi or waiting to go into Mochi) or newer HTML 5 games you may have or want to create. Bedroom coders rise again!
I might even start up again and make some HTML5 games that use their services. That would be pretty fun. Until then, RIP Mochi and hello to new frontiers.