Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for June, 2007

8088 Videos

Posted by Trixter on June 25, 2007

Just a quick note that I’ve rewritten the 8088 Corruption page substantially, posted a new video player, and posted all of the sample videos in my talk along with a few extra ones.

I appreciate all of the nice comments I’ve gotten regarding my lack of motivation (ie. possible depression); again, thanks.  I’m battling it now with a mixture of work, playing Worms with the kids, trying to speed up 8088flex even more, and a mystery fourth ingredient.  What could it be?  Why, it’s mysterious!  When I finish ingesting the fourth ingredient, I’ll post about it here.  It’s… immersing.

Posted in Demoscene, Programming, Vintage Computing | 11 Comments »

Keep Moving Forward

Posted by Trixter on June 13, 2007

We are machines. Biological in nature — chemical, actually — but all the same are we: Machines. And machines have quirks, and design flaws, and patterned behavior.

I can only assume that my Serotonin valves get stuck from time to time, because for the last few days I’ve been slowly getting back up on the horse. Well… a different horse. I’m doing stuff; just not the stuff I’m “supposed” to be doing. In the last few days, I have accomplished the following:

  • Built new machine for Max out of spare parts, connected it to the Internet (scary for a 7-yr-old (and his parents!), but he wanted it), made it stream TV shows from the ReplayTV unit wirelessly through two floors
  • Cut the back lawn, which had grass a foot high (not exaggerating). Hopefully my crazy neighbor will stop calling the police now.
  • Returned the email of a few old friends — they had emailed me in 2004 (!!!!) and I only NOW returned the mail, but hey, I always answer my email. Eventually.
  • Figured out a new way to get more performance out of the 8088 Corruption player and started work on the first phase of implementing it (hint: A/V chunks now need to be sector-aligned). Also brainstormed SpeakerTracker implementation ideas.
  • Cleaned up the DVD-quality version of the MobyGames Classic Gaming Expo 2004 retrospective video and made it available online
  • Submitted a backlog of about 150 cover scans to MobyGames that I had scanned in 2005 but never edited/uploaded
  • Backed up my 180GB network share to six DLT tapes. Last backup was… 2002? (Thank you, RAID-5!)

Not too shabby, I guess. None of it is probably what I’m “supposed” to be working on, but progress is progress. The hardest obstacle of all is when you realize your main issue (lack of direction, aimlessness, a smidgen of depression, etc.) is completely without merit compared to the real, legitimate problems that others have — death, poverty, etc. — and that realization makes you feel bad about yourself, feeding the causality loop. Argh!

Chemical machines have another nice habit: They try to fix other chemical machines when they’re in need of repair. Honest thanks to everyone who wrote me, blogosphere or otherwise, with a kind word or helpful suggestion. I read them all, and they did help.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. — Walt Disney

Keep moving forward.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »


Posted by Trixter on June 6, 2007

I used to think that people fade out of their various scenes due to external influences — family, work, etc. I certainly used to feel that way, possibly as an excuse as to what was happening to me and trying to find a reason to blame. While I get the feeling that’s the majority, I can’t hold onto it any longer as a reason for my slow slip away. I just feel overwhelmed by it all — it’s happened before (mobygames, mindcandy) and it’s happening again, even with my small projects that benefit only myself.

When Brian and I started MobyGames nearly ten years ago, it was my life, my passion. I spent at least two years of my life on it, to the detriment of my marriage and relationship with my kids (something that has been rebuilt, but took years and was never quite the same). While there was a bit of a business shake-up internal to the organization, the core foundation of MobyGames is still there; it remains true to our vision and it is useful, self-sustaining, and well-known. I should be working on it every day… or every weekend, right? Or at least once a month? Check the boards once in a while? You would think that… and you’d be wrong. I love MobyGames with my intellectual mind, but can’t find it in my heart to work on it as you would think befitting of a founder.

My good friend Jason Scott created a demoparty using his bare hands and had a .990 batting average doing it. Everything was hit out of the park. I gave a talk, I learned I had a groupie or two, I met up with Phoenix and Necros and IC and The Finn and many others and had the time of my life. I should be working on a demo for next year’s incarnation… or at least watching new ones… something. I’m not. I hooked the XT back up, tested it, and then powered it off for going on 8 weeks now.

I have a ton of hardware and software I could sell for money. (Goodness knows we need it.) I have many videotapes that I should clean up, edit, and archive to DVD. I have 40+ sound cards that I would love to document on a new website to function as some sort of virtual soundcard museum. I have years of family videotape and film I should be editing and archiving. I have hundreds of retail games still not documented in MobyGames. I’m not doing any of these things. I spend my nights catching up on my Netflix queue or watching television after the wife and kids are in bed.

I feel lost.

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments »