As a lifetime technophile primarily interested in computers and videogames, another area that has always intrigued me, but been generally hands-off due to the various barriers to entry, is home robotics. There were some delightful robots and kits in the early to mid-80's to go along with the personal computer boom. However, the personal robotics boom was short lived and ultimately a much smaller niche than even the fledgling personal computer business at the time, dooming them to the domain of the truly hardcore. Today, toy and personal robots and robot kits from the likes of Tomy and Heathkit are still very much in demand. Much more recently, Lego made a strong impact in the home robotics and hobbyist field with their Mindstorms technology and Radio Shack carries an aggressive line of kit robots and accessories. Bottom line, today hobbyist robotics is stronger than ever and more practical than ever, though is still awaiting that "killer app" to truly push it into the mainstream.
What more needs to be said than the following in regards to just a few of the things that have happened in the time Duke Nukem Forever was announced to it still not being released (click here for Duke Nukem Forever Atari 2600):
[NOTE: This will be updated as new entries are submitted!]
Do you have ideas for Armchair Arcade's new logo? Do you know someone who would like to design a logo for us to look at? What follows are some very rough ideas of our own. It would be great if we could all work together to see what we like and dislike about various concepts and ideas. As we get closer to issue 8 and our first print issue, it's important we finalize a really clever logo design. The only requirement is that like the current placeholder logo, it has "Armchair" on top and "Arcade" on the bottom, and we're allowed to use it for any purpose without restriction. Bonus points for "Videogames and Computers" under the logo. Of course it needs to be a high resolution original file, preferably vector, or something we could recreate ourselves if it's not. Bonus points from me if it can somehow relay that we're about both Videogames AND Computers, and bonus, bonus points tying together classic, modern and future. If videogame-like characters could somehow interact with the Logo, even better, though they'd have to be original for us to use them. While we can't give anything away at this time, we'll give full credit for full usage rights and maybe something like a signed copy of our first print issue. Thanks!
The last "fun" watch I got, save for a relatively recent MP3/WMA/Voice Recorder/FM Radio/512MB Storage/USB watch, was a Nintendo Tetris watch, which I believe I got around 1998. I just found out about this new watch from Fossil, based around Atari's Centipede (and here are the others). Unfortunately, unlike the classic watches of old - like the ones from the early 80's based around Pac-Man and Space Invaders - you can't actually play this one. That and the high price make this a bit of a dissapointment, despite being well designed and in color. I'll take a classic 70's/80's computer, red LED or playable game watch any day over this, though if I ever saw it cheap enough...
Though it looks like it makes unusual use of the bottom screen and may have a little too much detail in its visuals, fans of top-down console shooters going all the way back to Carol Shaw's legendary River Raid for the Atari 2600 VCS should keep an eye on Nibris's upcoming Nintendo DS game, Raid Over the River.
Here's the official press release from the Polish developer (note, the Nibris Website appears to be down at the moment):
The Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) homebrew author of Mental Kombat, Simon Quernhorst, has just released A-VCS-tec Challenge, a conversion of Paul Norman's (of Cosmi and Forbidden Forest fame) classic Aztec Challenge for the Commodore 64 (C-64). A-VCS-tec Challenge features an updated modification of the first two levels from the original Norman game and music by the talented Paul Slocum, who really knows how to push the Atari 2600's sound hardware.
Sadly, the 50 copy run of the limited boxed edition with tons of extras is a bit out of my price range (thank you, Euro conversion rates!), but if you're interested, ordering begins promptly on July 1st. I guess I'll be looking out for regular editions available from US sellers. In any case, read all about the fascinating details here.
I received a delightful original copy of the October 1979 edition of SoftSide, "your BASIC software magazine" (featuring Westward 1847 on the cover - their first anniversary issue). I'm a big fan of SoftSide in all of its incarnations, though I was unaware it was printed originally on this type of low-grade stock, as I previously only had the slicker glossy versions. In any case, in an issue packed full of wonders, this particular scan on the left struck me as one of the more interesting ads (and it's a SEQUEL!). Of course, perhaps just as blatant is this one on the right.
We can obviously use ANY image as a texture at any zoom level, as these two examples show. (again, these are low res GIF's from the vector source files)