While sifting through my news reader this morning, I came across an interesting article. It appears a gentleman named Scott Williamson completed a project recently to port the old arcade game Star Castle to the Atari 2600. Now granted, the Atari 2600 is now over 30 years old, so why bother? Simply for the challenge and the love of the game. I won’t go into the details, since he well documents his quest in his blog, but it’s definitely worth a read, especially if you’re a nostalgic gamer like myself. Scott’s also got a Kickstarter project going if you want to get the actual game and some goodies.
A buddy of mine passed along a link that I thought is worth sharing. If you’ve done any serious web development in the past, then you will have come across the need to check a browser’s user agent string at some point to try and determine what browser is visiting your web site. But have you ever wondered where all that nonsensical text came from? Aaron Anderson over at WebAIM wrote a humorous look back at the history of the Browser User Agent string. It’s not a new article; it’s a few years old now, but it’s a funny read, and highlights how we got into the mess we’re in today. Click here to go to Aaron’s article. If you want a sobering look at how many there are, useragentstring.com keeps track of them.
Back during the dawn of computer gaming, a small company called Interplay created a now legendary game called, The Bard’s Tale in 1985. The game had heavy roots in the tabletop Dungeons and Dragon’s game system, and featured a first person perspective maze romping adventure with a party of 6 adventurers. Unlike some of the similar adventure games of those days, this one stood out simply because it had stunning animated graphics. The game was well received back then, and it was one of the very few games I personally owned. Sadly, I never really beat it, but I spent quite a bit of time exploring the locales of this great game. The original Bard’s Tale saw two other installments before disappearing from the world.
The franchise sat dormant for many years until 2004, when InXile created a PC game by the same name with references to the old. InXile was not able to use the original source material, due to licensing, but they did managed to create a humorous fantasy adventure game. I missed this release back in 2004, but this past December, the 2004 version was given new life on the IOS platform.
In the old days, before the explosion of mobile devices, we didn’t have to worry about screen size that much. Nope, in those days, most humans had monitors that were typically about 800×600 pixels and possibly 1024×768 pixels. Designing an application or web page in those days meant that if you kept to those confines, you’d be ok. These days, that’s not really the case anymore.