Episode 1: Gamer Intelligence, BASIC, International DRM, Webkinz, and Vintage PC Soundcards

Matt Barton's picture

Armchair Arcade is proud to present its first official episode of Armchair Arcade Radio! This episode, hosted by Matt Barton, features material from each member of AA's staff: Bill Loguidice, Mark Vergeer, Christina Loguidice, and Chris Kennedy. Enjoy the episode and don't forget to tell all your retro computing and gaming friends! Stay tuned to Armchair Arcade for future episodes.

Episode One 48K version (23 Megabytes)
Episode One 128K version (60 Megabytes)

Topics include:

  • Does playing videogames make you smarter?
  • What was the first "recognizable" personal computer to offer BASIC?
  • How do international copyright laws and DRM hamper the European gaming scene?
  • What are Webkinz, why are they so popular, and is it part of a larger trend?
  • How does your choice of sound card affect the quality of your vintage gaming PC?

The podcast is available in 48K and 128K formats. Don't forget to comment below on what you think of the episode. If you are not a member of AA, just use the Join/Contact Us button above to set up your account.

Click here for the Armchair Arcade Radio RSS feed or here for the show on iTunes.

Thanks to "Plucky Dan 77" for the "Armchair Arcade" growl at the beginning.

Comments

Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Coolio!

I look forward to this, I enjoy several podcast (retrogamingroundup/MaximumPC/Retrobits etc) I think it is great how it started on ArmchairArcade forums, expanded to Youtube and now a podcast! EXCELLENT!

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srobinson (not verified)
Good show!

Thanks for this. Since I discovered Armchair Arcade(a couple months ago), I have thought, "I wish these guys did a podcast". A little history, I purchased and read Dungeons and Desktops when it first came out. Liked it but didn't think much more about it until reading a review of it on Tales of the Rampant Coyote a couple of months ago. And in the comments of that post I was directed to Matt Chat, and from there I was directed to Armchair Arcade. To sum it up, I check the site daily and the podcast is a welcome addition.

As far as the podcast itself, I enjoyed all the segments, but i liked the the intro by Matt, as rpgs are where my heart is, though, I'll play anything I find fun. And the last segment about building a retro gaming machine, I really liked listening to the sound card comparisons. I remember agonizing abit back in the day, which card to buy?

Anyway, keep up the good work. I look forward to watching this show evolve.

PS: After discovering Matt Chat and Armchair Arcade, I decided to reread Dungeons and Desktops. Just read the Might and Magic 2 section, and 250 Timelords is a losing battle, even with a +57 broadsword. If 2 of them are in attacking position and "Evoke power" they will wipe out the highest level party in one round.

Thanks again

worriorboy (not verified)
nice try but all i can say is

nice try but all i can say is you are no shane

Bill Loguidice
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Nice try at a comment, but all I can say is you're no writer.
worriorboy wrote:

nice try but all i can say is you are no shane

Correct, for one thing there's five of us, and for another we have a forum you can actually post on at present.

We'll be happy to take any and all criticism, but to try and compare us to someone who has been doing it for over 12 years when this is our first is a bit unfair, no? Our intention is not to be like anyone else, but to add to the excellent videogame and computer podcasts that are already out there. It will take time for our show to evolve, though. No reason for you to listen, though "worriorboy" (sic?), as we do the evolving if it leaves you pining for the voice of another. For me, I'll continue to listen to podcasts that I like, be it Retro Gaming Roundup, whatever Shane does, or shows on any other number of topics.

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Rob Daviau
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Bye now............
worriorboy wrote:

nice try but all i can say is you are no shane

What an ass, so go listen to Shane and don't come back, unverified poster, who cares............

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Good show!

The show was uniformly good, with all kinds of tangents for in-depth conversations possible. All the hosts had very good "radio" voices; very listenable and pleasant.

Does gaming make you smarter? Anecdotally, all you have to do is read the posts on the gaming forums (particularly this one) and see evidence of highly intelligent gamers. :-)

The introduction of "Basic" into personal computing was an important milestone, and was very well covered on the show. It's a shame that Basic has largely fallen out of favor, and is no longer a basis (or even a "front-end") for general computing.

Mark's rant on the various licensing restrictions in Europe was intriguing. I wonder if it's not just the major distributors of the games (i.e. XBox Live), but the wishes of the individual game producers to control their individual products that increase the maze of distribution contributions, which makes the overall effort to be a major distributor of games too complicated to be worth it.

I've never heard of "Webkins (sp?)" before, so the concept was very intriguing and well covered. Using such toys to promote computer literacy in children is excellent.

The MT-32 card sounds awesome, better than my current sound card with MIDI stuff! The Ad-Lib and MT-32 comparison was mind-blowing! Good job, Chris.

Overall, the show was very well done for a first effort. Matt, Mark, and Bill have honed their speaking voices on their various videos, and we know their content is going to be up to snuff. So the real surprise is that both Christina Loguidice and Chris Kennedy came off so well.

Bill Loguidice
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BASIC - Sometimes misunderstood, but always important
Rowdy Rob wrote:

The introduction of "Basic" into personal computing was an important milestone, and was very well covered on the show. It's a shame that Basic has largely fallen out of favor, and is no longer a basis (or even a "front-end") for general computing.

I wholeheartedly agree. It doesn't have to be BASIC per se, but it's a darn shame that modern OS's don't come with a default programming language of some type, even if it's a modified click and place language. It made our past computers so much more than what they would have been otherwise.

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
good show

Good show. I appreciated the segment on Webkinz. I had heard of them but didn't really know what they are. (The company is Canadian and came up once during one of my job searches.)

Bill Loguidice wrote:

it's a darn shame that modern OS's don't come with a default programming language of some type, even if it's a modified click and place language.

Every Windows PC comes ready for you to program it with VBScript (BASIC) and Javascript. Just make a .vbs or .js file with Notepad and run it. Some Windows apps are quite "scriptable" especially Microsoft Office. Visual Studio Express is a free download too.

Every Mac comes with XCode (a full development environment), GCC (C, C++, Objective-C), Java, Python, Ruby, Perl and AppleScript. Plus the Automator tool, which lets you build your own programs by chaining together the inputs & outputs of "actions" provided by applications on your Mac.

Bill Loguidice
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I don't know, Catatonic, that

I don't know, Catatonic, that sounds a bit more intimidating than having a ready-to-run programming language equivalent to the BASIC in ROM of yesteryear... ;-)

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Matt Barton
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Automator
Catatonic wrote:

Plus the Automator tool, which lets you build your own programs by chaining together the inputs & outputs of "actions" provided by applications on your Mac.

Yes, I was going to mention this, too. I bet only 1% of Apple Mac users know about this amazing tool. The same might be said even for macros in common apps like Word or Excel. Most people probably wouldn't consider this "programming," but it does automate quite a bit of work if you bother to learn them.

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