It's a baseball off day...

But across the room, the 1996 World Series is happening all over again on an old Sega Genesis playing in demo mode.

The newest generation of sports titles tend to feature eye-popping graphics that make it easy to forget that... well... real baseball on TV doesn't really have graphics that are all that eye-popping. There are no worm's-eye view, panning, Matrix-effect slo-mo jump shots of Jeter firing to first when you're watching the real thing; the cameras are all in the stands. From across the room on a Sylvania 19" tube, this archaic game looks pretty much exactly like I remember the '96 Series looking. From across the room. On a 19" tube.

Only better, because there are no commercials and the Braves are leading two games to one. :)


A package has arrived...

...full of fun and games and goodies. A Sega Master System and a Sega Genesis. An Atari 7800. A GameCube. (Although it's form factor appeals to me, it's not super fossil-y. Yet.)

I've managed to get an extra TeeWee for the museum. A space cleared off on a table to get stuff set up...

Now to set the dial on the Wayback Machine to 1986, when Kurt Cobain was just barely old enough to buy a shotgun, Def Leppard were still employed, and 256 was a lot of colors.


Mortal Kombat!!!1!!!one!

Just found the Mortal Kombat II cartridge for my Sega Game Gear in the bottom of a box full of old software docs while cleaning up around the crib.

There goes my productivity for the day.


Mock the toilet seat styling if you wish...

...but the old first-generation iBooks had some good stuff goin' on. I love the built-in carry handle, the ports are recessed enough to protect them from dingage without having to resort to flimsy crack-and-fall-off hinged plastic covers, and the unit itself is flat-out the most rugged laptop Apple's ever made. So it's not the most expandable machine in the world. Big deal. Expandability's not something I really look for in laptops, anyway, since I'm not buying a laptop for power gaming.

For what I actually use a laptop for (transporting files, mobile surfing, or writing on the go,) I could be doing a lot worse than that old iBook FireWire/SE.

I wish it had better sound, though. Especially when playing Fallout or watching a movie. All the monkeying around I've done with Wall Streets and Blackbirds lately has me spoiled for the stereo.


One thing that's really changed for the better over the years.

The 19" ViewSonic on my main desktop crapped out last year and, being lazy, rather than go out and buy a new monitor, I just pirated the 17" Mitsubishi from my backup machine. After getting used to the 19-incher, going back to a 17" monitor was like staring into a postage stamp.

This makes the whiff of nostalgia from playing Master of Orion II on my Mac Performa 636CD even stronger; I remember when the Apple MultiScan 14" display was, if not high-end, at least an average monitor. Now it makes the 17" Mitsubishi look like a drive-in theater screen by comparison. And were all monitors so curved back then? This thing's like looking at a fisheye lens. I'm spoiled by flat screens. Oddly the effect is nowhere near as bad on older all-in-one Macs; you expect to be staring at a bitty screen with those, and the effect is kind of twee.


What do you need a computer to do?

How many people out there use a computer for one simple task?

Let's say, just writing and printing documents in a word processing program. You can go out and pay a hojillion dollars for a dual core Xeon loaded with Windows Vista and a gig of RAM and only ever use it for word processing, but is that really efficient?

One guy took a stopwatch to a 3 GHz P4 and a couple of "obsolete" machines. He put MS Word in the startup files of each and held the stopwatch while booting the machines.

The results may surprise you.