Classic comic strip Wizard of Id was no stranger to classic videogame and computer owners, with both Wizard of Id's WizType and Wizard of Id's WizMath receiving releases on the Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, and PC DOS computers for the former, and the ColecoVision console and Commodore 64 computer for the latter. Both titles were published in 1984 by Sierra On-Line, which also happened to publish two titles related to sister comic, B.C., in both 1983 and 1984 (B.C. was also used in a series of print advertisements for the failed Timex Sinclair 2068 computer). Similarly, Sierra released the breakthrough adventure game title for IBM's failed PCjr computer, King's Quest, in 1984, which was eventually followed up with releases on more popular platforms over the years. Current Wizard of Id comic strip caretaker, Jeff Parker, did a wonderful homage tying all that I described together on Sunday, January 12, 2014. Enjoy:
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This new Bloomberg article sums everything up nicely, with some much needed direct quotes from Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata. It's both stunning and kind of sad we're getting this "we're going to embrace a new business model" rhetoric from Nintendo leadership, and that they're "going to study" mobile markets and what-not. It's stunning in that Nintendo is finally acknowledging that it may not be a bad thing to not always go against the grain and follow their own path. It's sad in that this smacks of Nintendo's snail-like move to HD and other modern technologies, which caused a lot of their problems in the first place, i.e., slow to produce new games, behind-the-times online services, etc. Once they're done with their studying and assumed eventual embracing of at least some of these things, how much more time will have passed? Maybe it's indeed time for Iwata to step down like promised and have new, more inspired - and quicker acting and reacting - leadership to take his place. Sometimes it's just time to move on and let someone younger have a crack at the future of the company--just ask Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.
Great news! After an unfortunate supply issue, our latest book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, is now back in stock on Amazon.com. We've already received 15 out of 15 five star reviews on Amazon, and look forward to the upcoming media reviews on various podcasts, magazines, and Websites (we're also scheduled for a few interviews). Of course, the book is also available everywhere else books are sold, including Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany. The color eBook version (Kindle) should be out soon as well. I'll of course post again once that hits and some of the media reviews come out.
There's other big news related to this and other projects, so be sure to check back on Armchair Arcade soon for all the details. Thanks for the support.
This infographic is courtesy of musicmagpie.co.uk:
Retrogaming Times Monthly (RTM), Issue 166, January 2014, has a review of our new book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer. This is the last issue of RTM under its present editors, so be sure to check out the rest of the content in this historic issue. Thanks also to Brian Blake for writing such a nice review.
I'm pleased to announced that Armchair Arcade is officially aligned with the upcoming Retro Gaming Magazine (RGM). Not only will RGM's staff be bringing you great editorial content each month, but so will the Armchair Arcade team--all in the style you've come to expect from us since our founding in 2003. On a personal note, a magazine is something those of us at Armchair Arcade had always wanted to pursue, but for various reasons, including industry volatility, it never quite got off the ground through traditional means. Of course, as many of you may remember, Armchair Arcade itself originally started as an online magazine, which ran for seven issues before we became a general purpose site, with on-demand articles, features, news items, blog posts, forums, videos, etc. That also allowed us time to better focus on other projects, including our popular books and even a documentary film, which should finally see release in 2014. In any case, this is an exciting new chapter in Armchair Arcade's continued evolution and we plan to fully support the RGM team in making the magazine - which is available in print and PDF versions - a success. Click here to see the worldwide purchasing options. You can check out RGM's official Facebook page, here, as well as Armchair Arcade's page, here.
Another excellent podcast, The Retro League, has picked up on our new book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer. In Episode 214, starting a little after two minutes and 50 seconds into the podcast (YouTube video stream of their podcast embedded below; though that's the raw, unedited version), the book is discussed, with a positive recommendation. This precedes several other reviews on various other podcasts, Websites, and magazines that will be forthcoming, as well as (to date) seven five star reviews on Amazon!
If you'd like to read more about the book, you can visit the Amazon link or go to the publisher's (CRC Press, part of Taylor & Francis Group) Website.
Here's the raw video version of the podcast episode:
Episode 64 of the Retro Computing Roundtable (RCR) mentions my new book, written with Boisy Pitre, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, at approximately the 32 minute mark. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to reach out to them for reviews copies of both that book and the upcoming Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time, Earl Evans, Paul Hagstrom, and Carrington Vanston were apparently previously unaware of the book's existence. It seems Earl was first made aware of our CoCo book after his appearance on Randall Kindig's excellent Floppy Days Podcast, where both Boisy and I will be interviewed soon (Randall should receive his review copies soon). Whatever the circumstances, the mention on RCR is greatly appreciated and some of the reminiscing that follows just happens to be covered/clarified in the CoCo book, so I hope they enjoy it. By the way, like the Floppy Days Podcast, RCR has always been in my podcast listening rotation!
For those who missed it, the latest Tosh.0 (Tuesday, December, 3, 2013) on Comedy Central featured a photo of him at the end as a kid playing the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a with what looks like Alpiner (I'm assuming because of all the white). I took a quick photo of the TV screen for those interested.