Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for June, 2012

Wow, that stuff sure is old

Posted by Trixter on June 14, 2012

Much of the retrocomputing hobby today is about looking at old stuff and saying Wow, that stuff sure is old!  Things sure were different back then!  Well, screw that.  For me, retrocomputing falls into two required categories:  Learning and Doing.  If your website or podcast just shows old things without either 1. Extensive history or 2. Drawing some conclusions about the item and/or relating it to something relevant, then you’re just wasting everyone’s time.  “Doing” feeds into “Learning”, because there’s an entire level of information hidden from you until you touch it.  Don’t just look at the damn thing, make it do something!

There are generally two types of retrocomputing snobs:  People who think that “computers were better back then” and just want to reminisce because today’s world is complicated, confusing, and scary, and people like me who think that there should be a point to the hobby.  There are way too many of the former and not nearly enough of the latter.

On that note, this is probably a good time to announce that I’ll be working on an “oldskool PC” podcast late this summer.  There are many podcasts dedicated to the C64, Apple II, Amiga, Atari, etc. machines but none* that cover the first decade of IBM PC and PC clone retrocomputing.  That’ll be me.

Suggestions welcome, but I already have about 30 topics I plan on covering, like hooking an old PC up to the internet, archiving data off old machines and floppies, interesting programming quirks, music and sound, and of course games and gaming.  Because I dislike long rambling podcasts I can’t consume in short bites, each episode will likely be under 15 minutes in length, and extremely dense.  If you’re curious what I sound like, I recorded my very first podcast for Hacker Public Radio last year, which you are free to point and laugh at.  (Unfortunately, I rambled a bit in that one, but hey, first podcast.)

* There are a few, but they deal mostly with gaming and not with retrocomputing itself.  I’m also familiar with the Retro Computing Roundable, but they only rarely cover PC/clones.

Posted in Vintage Computing | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Memories of NAID

Posted by Trixter on June 6, 2012

In anticipation of the NAID organizers visiting @party this year, and unable to attend myself, I spent some time working up a video DVD of all the high-quality NAID footage I had copies of.  It’s called “Memories of NAID” and includes the following footage:

  • “NAID ’95” tape compiled by the organizers
  • “NAID ’96” tape compiled by the organizers
  • “IC and Soundgun do NAID ’96” by IC, with a 2012 introduction by IC
  • Four local news programs on NAID ’95
  • 8 minutes of NAID ’95 registration and guestbook signing with lots of familiar faces
  • 2 minutes of NAID ’96 classroom footage

It’s a little over 2 hours of footage of the height of the 1990s NA demoscene.  Also included on the DVD-ROM section is Phoenix’s NAIDorabilia which is all of the demos, music, party reports, and other miscellany associated with both NAID parties.

The footage is fully interlaced, preserving that “video verite” look. I chose to distribute it as a DVD because that was the only way I could guarantee people would see all 60 fields per second. (Unless something has changed in the last year, no online streaming video service (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) supports 30i material properly… although that’s a moot point anyway, since there is some very well-known copyrighted music in parts of the footage which would probably get it rejected from such services anyway.)

You can download the DVD .ISO at archive.org, but if that is gone for some reason, there is a slower download link here:  ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Video/MemoriesOfNAID.iso

Posted in Demoscene | 10 Comments »