B&W Macs and Games

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Games on early B&W Macs traded colors for a higher resolution and they often looked very good. However, this was difficult to do in Warlords, a turn-based strategy game with eight nations, where the color was the only way to differentiate between them. The Mac version has unique graphics for buildings and flags (held by warriors) to overcome the lack of colors and the result is surprisingly nice, but the colors on PC are more practical anyway.

Atari 2600 and Solaris

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It is incredible what is possible to run on a device with only 128 bytes of RAM. Solaris is probably the game that can get the most from Atari 2600. It has VSync-smooth “3D” graphics and the cartridge contains nothing but a ROM chip with the game.

Another World

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Another World is one of my top 10 favorite games. I love cinematic platformers. FlashBack, Blackthorne (except the ugly Mac version), Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey/Exodus and Hearts of Darkness – all of them are great games but Another World has a very special place in my heart. I still remember how sad I was as a kid when Lester collapsed and his alien friend took him away at the end of the game. The cinematic character of the game was something completely new for me.

Kids Do Like History of Computers

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I’ve been pretty amazed that kids attending my computer class are aware of many historic moments in microcomputer history. At first they were scared when I told them that the lesson will be dedicated to history because they are used to the wrong style of teaching history through bullet points and dates. We talked about minis and micros and I’ve brought a lot of hardware from different eras of micro-computing.

It was nice to see that they were interested in historic hardware. They even play on 80s video game consoles at least using emulator software. This photo is from the end of a lesson about history of PC gaming (from beginning to 1996). Some kids were very interested how it is to play the first game from Need for Speed series.

My class is not about retro hardware but I’ve realized that using old computers is an effective and entertaining way to explain computer basics.