Re: [SWCollect] Introducing myself

2000-08-17 Thread Jim Leonard

[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 I had no idea Alter Ego was so desirable...what's up?

I want it because I want a decent box cover scan for MobyGames.  That, and I
own the Male version (without box, sadly) and it's nostalgic for me.

Should we have an official bidding war?  :-)  I don't care what the format is;
I just want a decent cover scan.

Chris:  If you really, really want it, that's cool, but I would like a 300 DPI
scan of the front, back, and inside of the box for Moby if it's not too much
trouble...

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Re: [SWCollect] Introducing myself

2000-08-17 Thread Jim Leonard

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 And was that Test Drive 1?  And the format would be of help.
 
 Yes, the original Test Drive.  It's on 5-1/4" disks, but there's
 instruction card on how to order the 3.5" size. 8)  There's also the
 box, instructions, and registration card (partially filled out).  I
 would say all items are "very good" by the MobyGames scale.  The disks
 are untested until I get home.

Ack, I want that too.  Uh...  It looks like we'll either need to formally have
a bid (I didn't anticipate this either!) or maybe you could put it on ebay and
we could bid in our own little way.
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[SWCollect] MobyScale 0.1

2000-08-18 Thread Jim Leonard
game)
  or wants it for "parts".

-

Examples:

-

Frequently-Asked Questions:

Q: Will the number of grades change?
A: No.  Many hours of thought were put into what appreciable differing grades
of condition could be (as related to software items).  Unless an extremely
strong and convincing argument is made, they will never change.

Q: Why only six grades?
A: More grades wouldn't describe an item's condition any more specifically
than the grades provided.  We deliberately created granular grades for the
best conditions and coarse grades (only two) for poor conditions.  This was
done to best serve the needs of collectors without overwhelming them.  Also,
the more grades you have, the more their meaning is subject to interpretation
-- which is precisely what the MobyGames Grading Scale is meant to eliminate.

Q: Why isn't "Mint" on the grading scale?
A: The primary reason is because the term "mint" is misleading.  "Mint" has
been misused by novice collectors in describing items in excellent condition
but no longer factory-sealed.  Not only is this incorrect (an item cannot
technically be mint if it has been opened or handled), but "mint" has also
been overused to describe items that don't even come close to "perfect
condition".  An alternate way of looking at this issue comes from Hugh Falk:
"An item cannot be verified to be in 'mint' condition to everyone's
satisfaction without the use of a microscope."  It is for all these reasons
that "mint" was specifically and deliberately not used for the scale.

Q: Why isn't "Rare" on the grading scale?
A: "Rare" isn't an indication of condition; it's an indication of value.  (The
harder it is to find an item, the more value it has to collectors.) While an
item's condition is a large part of what an item's value is, the topic of
value/worth is unrelated to the technical act of grading an item's condition.

Q: Can I add my own grades using this system?  I've been using "Mint" and
"Good Plus" in my own lists and want to keep doing so.
A: No!  That goes against the whole idea of standardizing condition grades;
the purpose of the system is to map conditions to terms that everyone can
universally use and agree upon.  Adding your own terms deviates from the
scale, and just confuses other collectors.  If you add your own terms, you
cannot advertise that you're utilizing the MobyGames Grading Scale.

-

Acknowledgements and Addendum:

This grading scale is officially released to the software collectables
community.  Its use is highly encouraged, as long as it's not altered in any
way.  Strict adherence to the scale is what makes it strong and useful; please
don't deviate from or otherwise modify it.  

This document and scale was authored by Jim Leonard ([EMAIL PROTECTED]),
based on a scale created by Hugh Falk, which in turn was based on a record
album grading scale of unknown origin.  Any questions, comments, or
suggestions should be directed to the author.

Want to discuss software collectable issues with other collectors?  Join the
Software Collectables Mailing List!  To subscribe, send email to
"[EMAIL PROTECTED]" with a subject line of "subscribe swcollect".  After
joining, you can send email to the list by emailing "[EMAIL PROTECTED]".
Replying to list messages also sends your reply to everyone on the list.
Mailing list archives are kept on the web; the URL will be provided to you
after you receive your first message from the list.

"The Official MobyGames Software Collectables Condition Grading Scale" is a
mouthful, isn't it?  :-)  It's suggested that you merely tell other
collectors, "I'm using the MobyScale."

---
---

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Re: [SWCollect] Introducing myself

2000-08-25 Thread Jim Leonard

"C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
 That sounds like a re-release (the original was a folder, much like
 Activision's Hacker folder, which in turn were copies of EA's folders).
 But I
 still want it.  I'll email you a private bid.
 
 Alter Ego in a folder?  I've never heard of such a thing.  The only ones
 I've ever seen are square, flattish boxes (same length and width as the
 EA/Activision folders, but a bit thicker).  I've had aobut 5 of them come
 through the Shoppe in my time, and if they were repackagings they gave
 absolutely no indication of it.  Are you positive you've seen this in
 a folder, Jim?

I could be mistaken.  I still have the manual; it's definitely a folder-like
square manual like most EA folders.  If your boxes were square, then those must
be the real deal.
 
 Jim offerred $55, but if he really wants to let me have it I'll take it.
 I'm not going higher than $35 though, as I only need it for a PC copy of
 the code... assuming the disks work.  You're the seller, Lee, you decide
 who gets it.

I have the completely cracked PC code, if that's all you want...

In case people didn't realize, I have cracked versions of practically any PC
game.  And for those I don't have, I can crack them myself.  Just a note to
people who want to play their booters off a hard drive... :-)
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[SWCollect] Correct term for record albums?

2000-08-25 Thread Jim Leonard

Just what is the correct term for the 8"x8" folder-style packaging made popular
by Electronic Arts in the early 1980s?  I'll use Pinball Construction Set as an
example; do you guys call them:

- Record Albums?
- Flatboxes?
- Folders?
- Folios?

What's the correct term for these?  I've called them by all the above names and
was wondering if there was an official term for the packaging.  Maybe I should
give Nancy Fong a call ;-)
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Re: [SWCollect] Other Collector Question

2000-08-25 Thread Jim Leonard

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 Sorry, I forgot to include my other question in my last post.  Most
 (but not all) classic video game collectors are trying to get as
 complete a collection as possible for each console they own.  Whether
 that includes cartridge label, box, and manual variations depends on
 the collector.
 
 I assume you guys have more defined goals that "get it all."  Do you
 collect based on:
 
 a) Type of game (adventure, driving/racing, interactive fiction, etc.)
 b) Publisher (Activision, EA, Infocom, etc.)
 c) Series (Ultima, Wizardry, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.)
 d) Games you've enjoyed/heard good things about
 e) Other

I collect for all of these reasons.  Some collectors collect f) Rare or
hard-to-find items because of their collectable or "marketplace" value.

Others have been listing a "breakdown" of the above, so here's mine:

a) Racing/Driving is my #1 favorite, with coin-op conversions to the PC my
second favorite genre to collect (I have a complete suite of Atarisoft PC
converstions.  Trivia:  Joust, Battlezone, and Robotron are astonishingly close
to the original games, even on an original 4.7MHz gPC!).

b) Activision, EA, Accolade, Polarware/Pengiun Software, Mindscape, titles
developed by Interplay (multiple publishers), early Origin (no Ultimas though),
and of course Cinemaware.

c) Ancient Art of War series, F-15 Stike Eagle series, Sierra Game Arts series,
"Construction Set" series, Wing Commander series.

d) Anything from my youth.  Any action games that achieve technical wizardry by
running on an original PC *AND* being fast and fun to play.  There's not many
action/racing/3D/etc. games that run well on a 4.77MHz 8088 PC, and those that
do get my respect from a programming/technical standpoint.
 
 I believe I once read in an article that Hugh wrote that he and/or
 others collect the "album-type" EA packages.  Maybe I should have just
 submitted this as a poll question at MobyGames.

:-)  I also collect all the folder-style packages.  Activision, Mindscape, EA
(of course), and Accolade are the few that I've found in the 8"x8" ratio. 
Other folders I have include Telarium releases, although they aren't square.

I should note that I collect PC titles exclusively, simply because that's what
I'm most familiar with and what MobyGames supports right now.  MobyGames will
open up to all platforms next year; at that point, I might start collecting for
Apple II, Mac (classic), C64, and Amiga, as I have working models of those
computers.

I'm not the typical collector, as illustrated by my collecting preferences
(most people collect adventure games, I'd guess).  I am also not a typical
collector in that I have no problem breaking original shrinkwrap if I really
want to play the game and I don't have a cracked version
(or need to refer to the manual, or something).  This revelation makes C. E.
Forman and others shudder, but I'm in it for the nostalgia first and
collectability second.
 
 And since I mentioned it, do you collect box variations?  How many
 people are on this list, anyway?

I do collect box variations as well, although I don't have very many.  The box
variations I have include Music Construction Set, Tunnels of Armageddon,
Gunship, and F-15 Strike Eagle.  I may have more.

As for the number of people on the list, I'll check when I get off this train.
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[SWCollect] MobyScale, version 0.2

2000-08-25 Thread Jim Leonard
adherence to the scale is what makes it strong and useful; please don't
deviate from or otherwise modify it.  

The inevitable legal notice: This document and its contents is Copyright 2000,
MobyGames.com.  It was authored by Jim Leonard ([EMAIL PROTECTED]), based
on a scale created by Hugh Falk, which in turn was based on a record album
grading scale of unknown origin.  Any questions, comments, or suggestions
should be directed to the author.  You are free to copy, translate, reformat,
and retransmit this text as long as these notices are included and the meaning
of the content is not changed.

Want to discuss software collectable issues with other collectors?  Join the
Software Collectables Mailing List!  To subscribe, send email to
"[EMAIL PROTECTED]" with a subject line of "subscribe swcollect".  After
joining, you can send email to the list by emailing "[EMAIL PROTECTED]".
Replying to list messages also sends your reply to everyone on the list.
Mailing list archives are kept on the web; the URL will be provided to you
after you receive your first message from the list.

"The Official MobyGames Software Collectables Condition Grading Scale" is a
mouthful, isn't it?  :-)  It's suggested that you merely tell other
collectors, "I'm using the MobyScale."

Many thanks to Hugh Falk, Tom Hlavendy, C. E. Forman, and others who provided
suggestions that helped shape this scale.



Re: [SWCollect] Game request: Ace of Aces EGA version

2000-08-29 Thread Jim Leonard

Chris Newman wrote:
 
 Yes, there was an EGA version of this game released for the PC. Many Accolade
 games of the mid to late 80s were released in two separate versions -- CGA and
 EGA. I don't know if it was a ploy to get gamers to pay for an "upgrade" or if
 Accolade was merely following the consumer installation base (CGA systems far
 outweighing EGA rigs). My guess is the former because it costs nothing to ship the
 EGA version and perform a video card test on bootup and run the correct version.

Well, many CGA+EGA games used seperate graphics files for different graphics
modes, so it would've saved them an additional diskette.  What's more likely is
that they probably didn't do an EGA version until EGA was common in the home
(EGA was 1985, wasn't AoAs 1986?)
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Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale, version 0.2

2000-08-29 Thread Jim Leonard

"C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
 Okay, this version fits my current needs, so I can stop bitching now.  B-)

Never a bitch!  I specifically created this list so that we could all agree on
the scale before it goes "final".  I *wanted* your comments and suggestions
(and I see I have more to read, so I'll start reading and replying to them now
:-)
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Re: [SWCollect] Game request: Ace of Aces EGA version

2000-09-12 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 I didn't think we would ever try to place a value on items.  Is that a goal?

Not of the MobyScale, no.
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Re: Vote (Was: Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale, version 0.2)

2000-09-12 Thread Jim Leonard

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 :)  I'm trying to stay away from the term "Mint" since it's so
 overused/misused.  Let's take a vote:  Who here would like to see
 "Factory-Sealed" on the scale be renamed to "Mint Sealed"?  A yay or nay from
 everyone will be enough.
 
 Yay.

It's decided then:  Sealed will be an additional modifier to a grade, and not a
grade itself.  I'll make this (fairly significant) change to the scale tonight
and send it out.
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[SWCollect] MobyScale 0.25

2000-09-12 Thread Jim Leonard

Factory Sealed is gone -- Sealed has been added as a modifier, and Mint Sealed
is now the top grade possible.

Please review the changes, in particular the actual wording used for Mint
Sealed, the Sealed modifier, and the examples.  Any comments, criticisms,
suggestions, etc. welcome.  I think I got everything we talked about in here
this time :-)


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The world's most comprehensive historical PC gaming database project.

The Official MobyGames Software Collectables Condition Grading Scale
Version 0.2.5

The inevitable legal notice: This document and its contents is Copyright 2000,
MobyGames.com.  It was authored by Jim Leonard ([EMAIL PROTECTED]), based
on a scale created by Hugh Falk, which in turn was based on a record album
grading scale of unknown origin.  Any questions, comments, or suggestions
should be directed to the author.  You are free to copy, translate, reformat,
and retransmit this text as long as these notices are included and the content
is left unchanged.

-

Background:

The world of software collectables is an emerging hobby that is slowly easing
into the mainstream.  However, being so new, there is no standard scale for
grading the condition of an item, which can lead to misrepresentation of an
item's value.  For example, in dealing with other collectors, a multitude of
grading notations have already been found: One list used a single rating for
the entire item, another used a numerical rating for quality grades, yet
another wildly overused the term "MINT!", etc.  This lack of standardization
can lead to confusion when trying to assess an item's value based solely
on a textual description of the item.  Which grading scale is the right one?

MobyGames.com believes there's a better way to do this, and has created a
standard grading scale and specification for cataloging software for
collection lists.  This system is officially in place at MobyGames.com, but it
is our hope that it is embraced by the collector community and used
universally to describe item condition.  Through widespread acceptance of this
scale, we hope to eliminate misconceptions and confusion in the software
collectable community. 
 
This document describes The Official MobyGames Software Collectables Condition
Grading Scale and its use and application.  For brevity, the condition grading
scale will be abbreviated as "MobyGames Grading Scale" throughout the
remainder of this text.  Also included at the end of the document are some
frequently-asked questions, and an example collector's list to illustrate the
system in use.

-

Item Breakdown:

Before describing the actual scale, it is important to define how the scale
itself is used.  A common mistake for new collectors is to assess the overall
quality of an item and give it a singular value.  This may save the collector
time, but creates confusion for other collectors attempting to view his list.
This is because not everyone values certain aspects of an item the same.  For
example, one collector may value the condition of the box above all else,
while another may value the manual and included trinkets/props/feelies higher
than the box.  Because of differing opinions of value, it is usually
inappropriate to give items one overall grade.

The solution to this is to apply a grade to as many pieces of the item that
are relevant.  This creates more work, but is the only way to ensure accuracy
and avoid unintentionally misleading people who read your lists.  For example,
the most common pieces of a software collectable are:

- Box/Packaging
- Original Media
- Manual
- Reference Sheet
- Catalog
- Registration Card
- Additional Items (listed individually)

The more pieces that are graded, the better the representation of the item.
So while you can get away with a single grade for the entire item, a suggested
minimum would be two grades:  One for the Box/Packaging, and another for all
other materials contained in that item.

Also note that if an item is incomplete, it is appropriate to label it as
such.  The notation used for a missing piece is Item Missing (IM).

-

Condition Grades:

The following are the official condition grades of the MobyGames Grading
Scale.  The possible conditions an item can be in are:

- Mint Sealed (MS): No noticable defects and sealed in original factory or
  store shrinkwrap or sticker.  The best grade possible.

- Near Mint (NM): No noticable defects, but not sealed.

- Fine (F):  One or two slight defects (small scratch, slight
  worn corner on box, etc.) that prevent a Near Mint rating.

- Very Good (VG):  More than one or two slight defects (slight crease in manual, all
  corners slightly worn, etc.).  Still in acceptable condition.  

- Good (G): More severe defects (box slig

Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale 0.1

2000-09-12 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 I would change it to say "...sealed WITH original factory..."

Done.

This and some other little niggly bits have been changed, so I'll post another
revision of the scale document in a week or so.

BTW:  Just in case it wasn't implied, you *can* reproduce this document, put it
on a web page, quote from it, etc. all without asking for permission.
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Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale 0.25

2000-09-12 Thread Jim Leonard

"C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
 Actually, one more little nagging change?  Could we eliminate the hyphen
 altogether, making it "FP"?  (Just so there's no chance of mix-up with "F".)
 Either way works for me, though, LMK your thoughts.

I agree with that.  Done (but I'll spare the list a resend until a more major
change happens).
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Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale 0.25

2000-09-13 Thread Jim Leonard

Sorry; I thought this was implied, but we can't assume anything in defining
this.  I have made the modifications and the scale now stands at version
0.2.6.  When the scale document stops getting modified for a week or so, I'll
post it to the list again so that everyone has the most recent version.

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 Note that, for all forms
 suggested above, there was only one grade listed for Mint Sealed items.
 This is because all pieces of a sealed item must also be in the same
 condition, since the item was never opened.
 
 This now needs to be changed.  First, add some examples of items
 sealed but not mint.  Then say something like this:
 
Note that, for all forms suggested above, there was only one
grade listed for Sealed items.  Since the item was never opened,
the condition of the contents cannot be determined.  (Although
you can make some assumptions from the condition of the box.)
 
 Just because the box is worn, doesn't mean the items inside are.
 Likewise, a MS box may turn out to somehow be missing items or to
 contain incorrect items (like the manual/disk/prop from a different
 piece of software).  My wife bought (what appeared to be) a brand new
 copy of some recipe software and there was a copy of Calendar Creator
 inside, too.  Nowhere on or in the box did it say anything about
 Calendar Creator.
 
 --
 Lee K. Seitz  *  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  *  http://home.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/
 Wanted: |   Visit the Classic Video Games Nexus
  Vintage Pac-M*n necktie| for all your classic link  news needs!
  Lib*rator T-shirt  |http://start.at/cvgnexus
 
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Re: [SWCollect] My status and where I've been

2000-10-24 Thread Jim Leonard

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 So when he wants juice, he doesn't say "I want juice, please", he says:
 "I want"
 "juice"
 "please"
 
 Don't feel too bad.  My 2-year-old still only says "I want juice."  I
 have pretty much explicitly ask to get a "please."  Even then, it's
 rare that I can get "I want _, please" all at one go.  It's
 usually:

I don't feel bad at all -- I'm ecstatic.  My son is 4, not 2, so of course he
should have been talking a long time ago, and some autistic children never talk
at all.  Saying the above is a great accomplishment for an autistic child.  :-)
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Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale 0.3.0 -- please review

2000-10-31 Thread Jim Leonard

"C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
 Looks great to me.  No problem with the not-in-all-packages items, I can do
 without and it'd be less confusing anyway.
 
 Any last-minute changes, speak up now!

I have no further changes... anyone else?
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[SWCollect] MobyScale 1.0!

2000-11-07 Thread Jim Leonard

"C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
  I wonder how you get through the day NOT supporting BM.  ;-)
 
 BM is optional, you said so yourself.  I choose not to use it.  B-)

All BM jokes notwithstanding, here is loud trumpet fanfare MobyScale version
1.0!  This is the version to run with; it's official.  I'll be converting text
on MobyGames' list section to match these.

No doubt there will be a typo here or a comment there; I will amend 1.0 to
something like 1.0.1 when/if it occurs.

Enjoy!
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The world's most comprehensive historical PC gaming database project.

The Official MobyGames Software Collectables Condition Grading Scale
Version 1.0

The inevitable legal notice: This document and its contents is Copyright 2000,
MobyGames.com.  It was authored by Jim Leonard ([EMAIL PROTECTED]), based
on a scale created by Hugh Falk, which in turn was based on a record album
grading scale of unknown origin.  Any questions, comments, or suggestions
should be directed to the author.  You are free to copy, translate, reformat,
and retransmit this text as long as these notices are included and the content
is left unchanged.

-

Background:

The world of software collectables is an emerging hobby that is slowly easing
into the mainstream.  However, being so new, there is no standard scale for
grading the condition of an item, which can lead to the misrepresentation of
an item's value.  Before this grading scale was formed, a multitude of other
grading notations were found: One list used a single rating for the entire
item, another used a numerical rating for quality grades, yet another wildly
overused the term "MINT!", etc.  This lack of standardization can lead to
confusion when trying to assess an item's value based solely on a textual
description of the item.  Which grading scale is the right one?

MobyGames.com believes there's a better way to do this, and has created a
standard grading scale and specification for cataloging software for
collection lists.  This system is officially in place at MobyGames.com, but it
is our hope that it is embraced by the collector community and used
universally to describe item condition.  Through widespread acceptance of this
scale, we hope to eliminate misconceptions and confusion in the software
collectable community. 
 
This document describes The Official MobyGames Software Collectables Condition
Grading Scale and its use and application.  For brevity, the condition grading
scale will be abbreviated as "MobyGames Grading Scale" throughout the
remainder of this text.  Also included at the end of the document are some
frequently-asked questions, and an example collector's list to illustrate the
system in use.

-

Item Breakdown:

Before describing the actual scale, it is important to define how the scale
itself is used.  A common practice for new collectors is to assess the overall
quality of an item and give it a singular value.  This may save the collector
time, but creates confusion for other collectors attempting to view his list.
This is because not everyone values certain aspects of an item the same.  For
example, one collector may value the condition of the box above all else,
while another may value the manual and included trinkets/props/feelies higher
than the box.  Because of differing opinions of value, it is usually
inappropriate to give items one overall grade.

The solution to this is to apply a grade to as many pieces of the item that
are relevant.  This creates more work, but is the only way to ensure accuracy
and avoid unintentionally misleading people who read your lists.  For example,
the most common pieces of a software collectable are:

- Box/Packaging
- Original Media
- Manual
- Reference Sheet
- Catalog
- Registration Card
- Additional Items (listed individually)

The more pieces that are graded, the better the representation of the item.
So while you can get away with a single grade for the entire item, a suggested
minimum would be two grades:  One for the Box/Packaging, and another for all
other materials contained in that item.

Note: You can still use and advertise the MobyScale if you only list a single
grade for the overall item -- but it is highly recommended that you provide at
least two grades (usually one grade for the box, and another for its
contents).  Other collectors will thank you for it.

-

Condition Grades:

The following are the official condition grades of the MobyGames Grading
Scale.  The possible conditions an item can be in are:

- Mint Sealed (MS): No noticable defects and sealed in original factory or
  store shrinkwrap or sticker.  The best grade possible.

- Near Mint (NM): No noticable defects, but not sealed.

- Fine (F):  One or two slight defects (small scratch, sl

Re: [SWCollect] MobyScale 1.0!

2000-11-13 Thread Jim Leonard

Ack, I can't believe I didn't thank everyone as well.  Thanks to all that
contributed comments, no matter how large or small!

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 It looks awesome!  And is now up on my site as well.  Thanks Jim...and
 thanks to all who helped make this possible.
 
 -Original Message-
 From:   Jim Leonard [SMTP:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
 Sent:   Tuesday, November 07, 2000 6:55 PM
 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Subject:[SWCollect] MobyScale 1.0!
 
 "C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
   I wonder how you get through the day NOT supporting BM.  ;-)
 
  BM is optional, you said so yourself.  I choose not to use it.  B-)
 
 All BM jokes notwithstanding, here is loud trumpet fanfare MobyScale
 version
 1.0!  This is the version to run with; it's official.  I'll be converting
 text
 on MobyGames' list section to match these.
 
 No doubt there will be a typo here or a comment there; I will amend 1.0 to
 something like 1.0.1 when/if it occurs.
 
 Enjoy!
 --
 http://www.MobyGames.com/
 The world's most comprehensive historical PC gaming database project.
 
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[SWCollect] Re: Finally, a total

2000-11-15 Thread Jim Leonard

(Lee wrote this to me personally, but I thought we could all enjoy the reply,
in case anyone wants to collect the Atarisoft PC conversions from 1981-1983):

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 BTW, I finally tried out that copy of Donkey Kong you pointed me to.
 (Thanks.)  Sadly, even MoSlo can't slow it down enough to be playable.
 (But it does slow it down enough that I can see myself being killed. 8)

It's not particularly good, if that's any consolation.  The Atarisoft
conversions to PC are 100% great or 100% terrible.  Great ones include: 

Dig Dug (perfect except for color issues)
Joust (perfect!)
Robotron (perfect except color)
Battlezone (perfect except sound)
Galaxian (perfect!)

When I say great, I mean GREAT.  Playing Atarisoft PC Robotron on a 4.77MHz
machine, for example, has indistinguishable gameplay from the original (the
graphics are less colorful, though).  You can even use two joysticks for
control and firing, just like the arcade.  It's especially more amazing when
you realize that the PC didn't get dedicated sprite hardware until only
recently, whereas the Atari, C64, etc. all had dedicated sprites back then.

Good ones include:

Defender (slight control scheme issues)
Stargate (slight control scheme issues)
Ms. Pac Man (4:3 maze aspect ratio)

Bad Atarisoft conversions include:

Pac Man (4:3 aspect ratio and *extremely* poor control scheme)
Donkey Kong (poor control, poor graphics)

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Re: [SWCollect] Re: Finally, a total

2000-11-15 Thread Jim Leonard

"Lee K. Seitz" wrote:
 
 Let me add that the Apple II versions of these Atarisoft games seemed
 very good to me:
 
 Mario Bros.
 Moon Patrol
 Robotron

I forgot:  Moon Patrol also exists for PC.  Mario Bros. is rumored to exist,
but sadly nobody has a copy.  Moon Patrol falls into the "good" category for
PC.
 
 I may have "acquired" a few others back in the day, but these are the
 three that I still recall as being impressed with.  And the colors are
 better than on the PC! 8)

Apple Troll!  :)  Apple could do 7 colors to CGA's 4, true.  

Rant:  I have no idea why people prefered the cyan-magenta-white CGA palette so
much... probably because they didn't know they could change it, or maybe
because white and black (the default background color) made people feel safe. 
I've seen some CGA games that are halfway decent in terms of color; King's
Quest was one of the few games to use the hideous red-green-yellow palette
well, because they coupled it with a blue background, and red/yellow/green/blue
can be combined in tons of useful ways with dithering.
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Re: [SWCollect] Infocom collecting questions

2000-11-24 Thread Jim Leonard

"C.E. Forman" wrote:
 
   (2) Anyone know where I can find booklets/pens similar to those found in
   the Invisiclues packages?  (Details in YOIS's latest column.)
 
  Ask C.E. Forman yourself -- he's here on this list (although I wonder why
  nobody's responded to this message until now...)
 
 Stephen means other invisible-ink books similar to InvisiClues, but *not*
 InvisiClues themselves.  In my latest column I revealed his experiments in
 attempting to restore faded booklets.  Right now he's looking for something
 less collectible to practice on.

What about those books you can find in dime-stores that had similar invisible
ink?  They're full of games meant to be played by kids during a long car ride,
like hangman, etc.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?  The books are
taller than they are wider...
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[SWCollect] All my projects are on hold, because...

2000-12-03 Thread Jim Leonard

..we made an offer on a new house and they accepted!  So today begins
the first day of packing ALL of my stuff into boxes and putting it into
storage, since we have to put our house on the market on *Tuesday* (we
have 6 weeks to sell the house or we're screwed).  This is probably the
last email message I'll be able to send/reply from home, since even my
computer is going into storage.  (I'll still be able to do email on the
train rides to/from work, however, so I'll still have some daily contact
with all things electronica.)

The new house is going to be our last move for good:  4 bedrooms,
screened-in porch, deck, finished basement, and roof balcony are the
best things about it.  Maybe the best thing about it is that we're not
so much "moving" as we are "transferring our posessions down the
street":  The new house is about 7 blocks from our current house on the
same street!  Sam is in a good school system, and he won't have to
change because of this move, thank goodness.  I should still be able to
get DSL, however I will most likely take a speed penalty (down to
384Kbps) or have to settle for IDSL (160kbps).  And of *course* the
finished basement is mine to corrupt with all my computer crud.  I can
finally stop wearing headphones; I can't make much noise in our current
house because the walls are paper-thin and I'd wake up the kids, but I
did a quick sound test in the new house and it was fine.

So, my apologies to all the projects I have going right now, but I will
be present only in spirit for the next 6-8 weeks while I sell my current
house and transfer my stuff into the new one.  (All except MobyGames: 
I'm committed to approve entries every night, since they're starting to
ramp up and get going again).

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[SWCollect] Planetfall 2

2000-12-09 Thread Jim Leonard

As we all know, this was never completed, dropped by Activision in
1995.  But I recently ran across a non-interactive demo (a movie,
essentially) that Activision put together to 'demo' Planetfall 2.  It's
7MB zipped up; would anyone like me to make it available via an FTP or
website?

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Re: [SWCollect] Planetfall 2

2000-12-14 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Got it...thanks, Jim!

Yes, but does it work for you?
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Re: [SWCollect] Just added a message board to my site

2001-01-15 Thread Jim Leonard

On Thu, Jan 11, 2001 at 02:26:44PM -0500, Hugh Falk wrote:
 Anyway, please stop by and post something to make it not quite so bland.
 Also, if you're so inclined, feel free to put a link to it from your
 site...maybe we can get more discussion that way.

Write up a small description of what the board's focus is and I'll make
a small note on MobyGames.  Collecting, trading, both, more, what?
-- 
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Like PC games?  Help support the MobyGames database:  http://www.mobygames.com/
January 15, 2001: I have 193 email messages to be answered--and I *always*
answer all of my email.  It may take a while to get to them, but I do.  Honest.
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[SWCollect] I hate DSL companies

2001-01-19 Thread Jim Leonard

Every single DSL company in my location won't even ENTER an order for
installation until the phone number has been active 30 days.  And it
takes up to 30 days for the service to get installed.  End result?
As soon as I move into my new house, I'm going to be without internet
access for 2 WHOLE MONTHS.  I won't settle for dial-up because I can't
get a static IP address for less than $100 a month in this area (yes,
even with a modem -- I've called 12 ISPs so far) and my extensive online
work and home network requires at least one static IP address.  For all
those who think I'm being unreasonable, I should remind you that I've
had a high-speed static IP address for almost 2 years now with the same
DSL company.  It is impossible for me to unravel 3 years of personal
computing standards practices based around a static IP address.  Geez,
even my friend Brian in a small town in Colorado has a static IP address
via his modem...

So, I'll attempt to answer email, etc. using my laptop modem from time
to time.  Enjoy my silence -- I sure won't.  Deadtime begins January 29th.
I'll email again when I've whipped the DSL companies around here into
submission.
-- 
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Like PC games?  Help support the MobyGames database:  http://www.mobygames.com/
January 19, 2001: I have 228 email messages to be answered--and I *always*
answer all of my email.  It may take a while to get to them, but I do.  Honest.
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[SWCollect] Accessible storage?

2001-02-13 Thread Jim Leonard

We all have more software than we care to admit.  :)  For those of us who have
modest collections, they reside in our house in a room's shelves or
crawlspace.  For humongous collections, they sit in storage spaces.  But what
to do with collections that just barely overflow a single room's shelves?

I think it was Hugh who had the answer:  Custom shelving.  Hugh, was it you who
said you have custom shelves built by California Closets?  If so, how was the
experience, and how much did it cost?  How did you determine the right shelf
height?

The goal is readily-accessible storage -- you know, nothing in storage
facilities or packed up in boxes.  How have you all solved this problem?
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Re: [SWCollect] Accessible storage?

2001-02-13 Thread Jim Leonard

On Tue, Feb 13, 2001 at 01:56:18PM -0500, Hugh Falk wrote:
 Yes, I got my shelves done by California Closets.  It was about $1,000 for
 what you saw in the picture and additional shelves and cabinets not in the
 picture.  This price also includes installation.

I hope you own your home!  That's a lot of money for a rental apartment.

 As for size, they come out and measure the room and design it to suit your
 needs.  They give a free estimate before doing anything.  On mine, the
 shelves are adjustable so height wasn't an issue.  Width is fixed though.
 
 For anyone who wants to see it, go here:
 
 http://www.classicgaming.com/gotcha/wantlist.htm

Very impressive.  I will probably give them a call and report the
experience here.

That photo is revealing.  You have *three* Star Fleets?  I have one,
and that's enough for me ;-)

 I also use those small stackable closet organizers (you know the white
 wood/pressboard kind) in the closet.  They are generally thin (width-wise),
 but they are tall enough to hold most PC game boxes.  They work very well
 and you can stack them three high in a closet where they won't look bad.

I'm not familiar with those, but my wife will probably know what you're
talking about.

Thanks for the advice!  Any other suggestions?  While we're at it,
does anyone wish to reveal how they're keeping their collection?
Storage space?  Garbage bags?  Boxes?  Garage?
-- 
Jim Leonard http://www.oldskool.org/Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Like PC games?  Help support the MobyGames database:  http://www.mobygames.com/
February 13, 2001: I have 277 email messages to be answered--and I *always*
answer all of my email.  It may take a while to get to them, but I do.  Honest.
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Re: [SWCollect] Game

2001-02-20 Thread Jim Leonard

On Mon, Feb 19, 2001 at 04:23:57AM -0500, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Hi Jim would you happen to have software for Terminator 2 the arcade game, I 
 have a bad disk?

In storage somewhere; I'll try to find it.  But next time just email
my address directly instead of copying the entire list.  ;-)  However,
since this next bit is appropriate for everyone in an offhand way,
I thought I'd keep replying back to the list:

Are you sure the disk you have is bad?  Terminator 2 Arcade is notoriously
difficult to get running, even on the recommended hardware printed on
the box -- I've tried it.  :-)  The majik combination for this particular
game is making sure that a protected-mode EMS manager is loaded to provide
high UMBs, but NOT providing actual EMS (screws up the program somehow).
So, a line like

device=emm386.exe RAM NOEMS

works okay (modify appropriately for QEMM or 386MAX).

So if you didn't get read errors copying the files off of the disk (try
a diskcopy/diskcomp to make sure), the diskette isn't bad -- it's the
program itself ;-)
-- 
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Like PC games?  Help support the MobyGames database:  http://www.mobygames.com/
February 20, 2001: I have 295 email messages to be answered--and I *always*
answer all of my email.  It may take a while to get to them, but I do.  Honest.
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[SWCollect] MobyGames changes and other announcements

2001-03-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Just some quick notes of interest:

- MobyGames will be rolling out a new codebase.  The grades used at MobyGames
will change in this release to match exactly those that we all agreed on for
the final version of the MobyGames Grading Scale.  After the rollout, I will be
adding the complete text of the MobyScale document to the website, so that you
can all have a URL to give people who look at any lists you distribute that use
it.  I'll make announcements here to that effect when they're done.

- The new codebase mentioned above will also include the ability to create want
lists ("have" lists are already there).  We plan to code a rudimentary matching
facility as well so that want lists and have lists are automatically compared,
taking grades and "willingness to trade" into account.

- The oldskool.org network (where this list is hosted) will be moving in the
next month.  For a day or two, posts to the mailing list may fail as DNS
servers around the world purge their caches.  FYI.

Also, can our Euro friends on this list confirm or deny reports that the
aforementioned "DVD boxes" method of distributing software is full swing over
there?
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Re: [SWCollect] Philly Classic

2001-04-13 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Hey guys,
 
 Just wondering if anyone else will be at the Philly Classic in one week.
 I've got my tickets.

Can't travel cross-country and leave wife+kids behind, sorry.  But I
wish I could be there.

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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-19 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Epyx released a game called Axe of Rage...I don't remember what the game
 was about, but that could be it.  I also have the UK version of Barbarian
 II...not as good as the orginal overall, but still a very good game.

Axe of Rage was indeed Barbarian 2, but I don't think it was published
for the PC.  I hope I'm wrong, though, as I would love to see it (I'm a
fan of the original US Death Sword -- in fact, Death Sword is probably
the #1 reason MobyGames exists, as Brian and I used to play it all the
time).
 
 Hugh
 
 -Original Message-
 From: Karl Kuras [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
 Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 3:36 PM
 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Subject: Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question
 
 Hey, since Barbarian has been mentioned, I have a UK copy of Barbarian II:
 Dungeons of Drax (the actual Palace sequel, not the Psygnosis game), does
 anyone
 know if that game was ever published here in the states and if so under what
 name?
 
 Hugh Falk wrote:
 
  Package variations are the spice of life...go for both if you can!  I like
  to have games like Barbarian (UK) and its USA counterpart (Death Sword) to
  show the differences.
 
  Hugh
 
  -Original Message-
  From: Karl Kuras [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
  Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 10:44 AM
  To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Subject: Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question
 
  Well, I'm guessing it's one of the Amber games or the Schwarzeauge games
  (can't remember what they called it here in the states, maybe realms of
  Arkania).
 
  Now considering that I'm German, I'm a wee bit biased and woudl buy the
  German version if I don't have too pay too much for it.
 
   From a collection stand point, if both packages are of equal quality
  (quite a few foreign games get a budget treatment over here... look at
  the original Pizza Tycoon (originally Pizza Connection)).
 
  I'm a purist, go with the original packaging!
 
  Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
   I have this hypothetical question I'd like to present to all of you:
  
   Imagine game X, made by company Y.
   Company Y is from Germany, so X is released in german. X is then
 released
   in the USA in english, by company Z. Same box, same contents, only
   translated, and different company logo on the box.
  
   Now you don't want to play game X, you just want it for your collection.
   What would you do?
  
   a) Buy X both in german and english (in case you choose this one please
   choose also one of the other two)
   b) Buy the original german version of X
   c) Buy the US version, in english, of X
  
   Thanks in advance for your opinions,
   Pedro
  
   PS: Extra lump of sugar if you can guess which X I'm referring to. Hint:
   it's a RPG.
  
  
   Pedro R. Quaresma
   [EMAIL PROTECTED] / [EMAIL PROTECTED]
   All your base are belong to us
  
  
  
  
  
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-26 Thread Jim Leonard

Karl Kuras wrote:
 
 Also, I remember Vixen, was the same, or very similar game engine to
 Thundercats.  Hottie on the cover they just don't put hot chicks on
 enough covers anymore.  Does anyone else remember games like Turbo Girl,
 Game Over, Phantis and Megacorp?  Now THAT was cover art. either
 that or being a young teenager at the time really engrained those in my
 head.

The closest equivalent I can think of (aside from all the Everquest/RPG fantasy
Boris-wannabe pix) is Forsaken (1997).  Check out the front, back, and the
calendar inside the package :-)
 
If nobody has a copy, MobyGames.com should have the cover scans.
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-26 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 is Forsaken (1997).  Check out the front, back, and the
 calendar inside the package :-)
 
 What about Elvira 1? It has Cassandra Peterson on the box in her usual
 Elvira makeup and costume.

Yes, but I thought the question was about new packages.
 
 Also, Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 had a photo of two pretty girls on a
 gas station on the box... which reminds me of another question: I once saw
 in Spain a special (??) version of LGoP2 that included a serial port
 sound system of some sort. Was it really a special edition? Or did all of
 them include that thing?

They all did -- it was called the Lifesize Sound Enhancer.  One of the
programmers told me once it was some sort of special device, but I cracked one
open (in my younger foolish days when collecting software and keeping packages
intact wasn't a priority) and didn't see anything special -- it just looked
like a traditional D/A device built out of resistors with (I think) a capacitor
as a crude amp.

I am building an online museum of old/classic PC sound hardware, and while I
have a lot of neat devices to put online with pictures, sound clips, etc., I no
longer have my Life-Size Sound Enhancer.  Does anyone have a copy of LGOP2
*with* the device that they would be willing to sell?  I will pay a fair
price...
 
 If nobody has a copy, MobyGames.com should have the cover scans.
 
 Oh Jim, it was a terrible choice for the name of the site :) You probably
 should've called it MobyPlayfulThingsThatRunOnYourComputer.com ;)
 
 (Obviously I have nothing against the site name; but the company I work for
 has restricted access to all sites with games on it, to stop massive
 downloads from the web from the employees).

Crap!  Well, can you use the IP address instead?  Like, does
http://207.88.53.37 work for you?  If not, try it from home; if you don't have
access from home, I can email you the cover scans you want.
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-26 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Pedro Quaresma boldly stated:
 
 Also, Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 had a photo of two pretty girls on a
 gas station on the box... which reminds me of another question: I once saw
 in Spain a special (??) version of LGoP2 that included a serial port
 sound system of some sort. Was it really a special edition? Or did all of
 them include that thing?
 
 I thought all of them included it, but I could be wrong.
 
 If nobody has a copy, MobyGames.com should have the cover scans.
 
 Oh Jim, it was a terrible choice for the name of the site :) You probably
 should've called it MobyPlayfulThingsThatRunOnYourComputer.com ;)
 
 (Obviously I have nothing against the site name; but the company I work for
 has restricted access to all sites with games on it, to stop massive
 downloads from the web from the employees).
 
 Hmmm, I wonder if that's why I can't get to it from work either, now.
 They've blocked access to porn and gambling sites.  I guess blocking
 all URLs with game or gaming in them would help cover the latter.

And unfortunately I found out that while you can use the IP address, we have
anti-leech code in that causes the pictures not to display.  Sorry!  Well, I
guess you guys will have to access it from home...
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Jim, you said you talked to one of the LGoP2 programmers?  Did they happen
 to offer any explanation for why the game sucked so bad?

Programmer != Designer.  :-)  Or are you saying it sucked badly because it was
programmed incompetently?

Since nobody responded to my LGOP2 offer, I'll make another one:  Does anyone
have a LGOP2 with the sound device that they would be willing to LEND me?  I'll
put up my rare EA PC flatboxes Timothy Leary's Mind Mirror and Murder on the
Zinderneuf as collateral, so you don't have to worry that I won't give it
back...  (I'd put a smiley here, but I really am serious.)
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 I am building an online museum of old/classic PC sound hardware, and while I
 have a lot of neat devices to put online with pictures, sound clips, etc., I no
 longer have my Life-Size Sound Enhancer.  Does anyone have a copy of LGOP2
 *with* the device that they would be willing to sell?  I will pay a fair
 price...
 
 This game's on my wanted list, too.  Could someone tell me what sort
 of range a fair price would be?

I'm willing to pay up to $100, but that's intentional overkill because I want
it for the museum.  I think most would agree that $30-$60 would be appropriate
according to condition.
 
 Cool idea, but it didn't work for me.  Maybe it'll work for Pedro.
 Interestingly enough, I've discovered I *can* get to
 PalmGamingWorld.com, though.

Gaming != Games -- you may have a dumb program (or administrator ;-)
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Here's an odd request for you...
 
 Does anyone have a tape of the (howlingly BAD) computer / videogame awards
 show CyberMania '94?  God only knows why, but I've had the recent urge to
 see it again.

No can do, but if anyone does have it I'd be more than happy to convert it to
VideoCD for viewing on a DVD player.  The following is only slightly off-topic,
but I'll bring it around to software collecting in a bit:

I offer this service (coverting analog media to digital) for free for qualified
projects.  (It only costs me my time -- oh yeah, and the $5500 it cost me to
build my video rig).  I do this because videotapes can warp, stretch,
disintegrate, etc. and I would hate to see old and rare video get lost
forever.  In fact, I can always enhance bad videotapes and make them more
presentable.  (You'd be surprised how effective a time-domain smoother can be
in reducing noise -- a time-base corrector also helps immensely with tapes that
get out of sync.)

By now you're either asking me to shut up :-) or asking But why do this when
you can just copy the videotape?  Well, have you ever seen a 3rd- or
4th-generation copy of a videotape?  It's degraded beyond acceptable viewing
quality.  Digital copies, however, never suffer degredation.

So what's a qualified project?  Game-related material, of course!  In August,
I'll have the capability to burn actual DVDs onto $10 blanks.  I plan to put a
lot of stuff onto DVD (including chapter points, menus, etc.) that nobody else
would bother with.  Both Sierra video catalogs (1989 and 1990) on a single DVD
will be my first project in this line, but I'd be happy to accept others... any
ideas?
 
 (For those of you who missed it, CyberMania '94 was supposed to be gaming's
 equivalent of the Oscars.  They invited all of the top industry people and
 presented awards for best game script, soundtrack, actor/actress, best of
 genre, etc.  Like the Oscars, it was a big overblown production with lame-o
 dance numbers, pathetic pseudo-celebrities clamoring to get noticed, and
 little skits, of which the less said, the better.  It was an all-time low
 for gaming, and that's counting the release of Leather Goddesses of Phobos
 2.)

Sounds a lot like the SPA awards (Softie? Codie?), which are a disgrace to the
industry.  It's why sh*t like Barbie Pet Rescue gets the award for Best
Educational Game simply because it sold the most copies.

Was there another CyberMedia other than '94?

PS:  I can count many, many more games that sucked more badly than LGOP2.  If
you're calling it the lowest point in PC gaming, then you haven't played very
many PC games.  :-)
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Well, considering it was prone to unexpected hangs, yeah, I'd call that
 sucking.

I could ask him, but I don't think he'd know -- he just did the sound
replay routines.
 
  Since nobody responded to my LGOP2 offer, I'll make another one:  Does
 anyone
  have a LGOP2 with the sound device that they would be willing to LEND me?
 I'll
  put up my rare EA PC flatboxes Timothy Leary's Mind Mirror and Murder
 on the
  Zinderneuf as collateral, so you don't have to worry that I won't give it
  back...  (I'd put a smiley here, but I really am serious.)
 
 I would, 'cept my LGoP2's wrapped.

Damn!  Which means that I either need to trade you something permanently
for it, or I need to pry it from your cold dead hands.  :-)

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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 By now you're either asking me to shut up :-) or asking But why do this when
 you can just copy the videotape?  Well, have you ever seen a 3rd- or
 4th-generation copy of a videotape?
 
 How about nth generation?  I've got a copy of a copy of a copy, etc.
 of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Same here -- that thing is majorly damaged, but it's 3rd or 4th on my
list.  I have the same copy you do.  I may not be able to fix the
warbliness of the picture, nor can I add brightness to sound where no
brightness exists, but I can try to repair the chroma shift and the
noise level (both video and audio) of that thing.  I'll let you know how
it turns out once I do it.
 
 So what's a qualified project?  Game-related material, of course!
 
 When you say game-related, does that mean PC games or consoles, too?

Anything that has historical interest.  Modern consoles, probably not. 
But anything pre-PlayStation era, sure!  Why, what do you have in mind?

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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

Karl Kuras wrote:
 
  No can do, but if anyone does have it I'd be more than happy to convert it
 to
  VideoCD for viewing on a DVD player.  The following is only slightly
 off-topic,
  but I'll bring it around to software collecting in a bit:
 
 Following up on the whole discussion of converting video to digital, have
 you tried converting the digital to Divx format?  I've found it to be
 exceptional when it comes to quality (if done right) and can save you the
 $10 media of DVD burning, (not even to discuss the equipment).

I hate DivX with a passion.  I'll spare you the 10 reasons I hate it,
save one:  You can only play DivX on PCs.  (And extremely high-end Macs
and Linux boxes, but only if encoded with the open-source codec.)

If you really want to know why I hate DivX, ask me privately at
[EMAIL PROTECTED] and I'd be more than happy to tell you why.  Nobody
should be using DivX.

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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-27 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
  So what's a qualified project?  Game-related material, of course!  In
 August,
  I'll have the capability to burn actual DVDs onto $10 blanks.  I plan to
 put a
  lot of stuff onto DVD (including chapter points, menus, etc.) that nobody
 else
  would bother with.  Both Sierra video catalogs (1989 and 1990) on a single
 DVD
  will be my first project in this line, but I'd be happy to accept
 others... any
  ideas?
 
 There was an RPG called Daemonsgate that had a short videotape in the
 package.  (I don't have one at the moment, but you may want to make a note
 of it.)

Finally our collections merge!  I have that as well, as well as the 7th
Guest with the making of video.
 
 (To me, bad budget titles don't hit as hard as bad $44.95 games.)

That is very true.
 
 So, okay, so give me some examples of worse ones then.

Eye of the Beholder.  When you win the game, you get a single page of
text, then the DOS prompt.  Talk about a letdown!  And the really sucky
thing is, they had a whole animation (as good as the intro animation)
that they supposedly discarded because they wanted to ship on 4 disks
instead of 5 or 6.

Mantis.  It was supposed to be a more accurate Wing Commander, with
proper Newtonian physics.  Ever tried to maneuver in space in a true
Newtonian physics simulation?  Talk about inertia!

Sinbad.  Almost all Cinemaware conversions for the PC were great --
except this one.  Action sequence code that didn't work right on any
speed PC, no clear purpose of gameplay, losses without warning.

It Came From The Desert.  Another Cinemaware conversion that was
butchered on its way to the PC.

Rad Warrior, Spiderbot, Impossible Mission II.  Conversions to the PC
published by Epyx that took well over an hour to complete played
straight through, except that they were 1. Hard as hell, 2. Had no
difficulty setting, and 3. No way to save your game.  Geezus, I'm not a
demigod!  Throw me a bone here!

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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Oh, oh, hold it, hold it, hold it right there!

Why?  Are great games allowed to have horrible payoffs that are completely not
in the spirit of the rest of the game?
 
 Although I'd love to see a different ending (and I've seen worse ones), the
 game is very good, and it represents a very important moment in the history
 of Computer Role-Playing Games!

What's the important moment?  It was very good in several areas, yes, but it
wasn't doing anything that Dungeon Master hadn't done 3 years before...
 
 As far as bad games go, for many years I've considered Ishar 2 to be the
 worst RPG ever. I simply hate games with many Death Traps (places in
 which if you don't do the intended thing, you can go on playing but you'll
 never finish the game again). Besides, without the hintbook one has no idea
 what to do next, as the plot is rather weak.
 
 Nevertheless, nowadays, I'd rather play Ishar 2 than for example Stonekeep,
 or Lands of Lore 2, or *shiver* Baldur's Gate 2...

I understand the first 2, but Baldur's Gate 2 is a great game...?
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Re: [SWCollect] Cold, dead hands

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 C.E. Forman boldly stated:
 
   I would, 'cept my LGoP2's wrapped.
 
  Damn!  Which means that I either need to trade you something permanently
  for it, or I need to pry it from your cold dead hands.  :-)
 
 Uh, no, that means the cold dead hands thing is your only option.  (I don't
 trade from my personal collection. B-)
 
 Now there's an interesting question.  What do guys intend to have
 happen to your collections when you die?  Will your children truly
 appreciate it like you did?  Will they ask the Salvation Army to haul
 it all away?  Will they donate it to the Smithsonian?  Will you have
 it buried with you???

Me personally:  I want it to go on auction so that it can go back into the
hands of collectors.  I'm sure Melissa would be happy to orchestrate that, as
she 1. would probably need the money at that point, and 2. is more than willing
to haul my software collection out of the house while I'm still living :-)
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
  When you say game-related, does that mean PC games or consoles, too?
 
 Anything that has historical interest.  Modern consoles, probably not.
 But anything pre-PlayStation era, sure!  Why, what do you have in mind?
 
 Well I've amassed a collection of promotional Nintendo videos.  The
 ones Nintendo sent to those that sent back their registration cards.
 But I think most of them are for the N64.
 
 I do have some how to win videos covering the NES, Genesis, and Game
 Gear, though.  Two of them are from some special promotion Sega did
 with Howard Johnson hotels.  I've also got a fairly recent (late '90s)
 video from Midway about their upcoming (at the time) games.  It
 concludes with an apparently impromptu visit from Eugene Jarvis,
 himself!  The funny part is that he was apparently wearing a T-shirt
 with something offensive on it because they blurred it out.
 
 Lastly, I do have a copy of some show about truly classic consoles
 like the Vectrex.

Once I get my process down for remastering stuff, I'll put up some before and
after clips of various things so you can decide if it's worth the time.  I'd
love to see the older classic stuff (Vectrex, Midway, etc.), but I'd have no
problem doing the others for you as a quick'n'dirty job to Super VideoCD.
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Karl Kuras wrote:
 
  I'm not.  CyberMania '94 has that honor.  B-)  LGoP2 is my personal low,
  though, considering the time and enjoyment I got out of it for the price I
  paid.  (To me, bad budget titles don't hit as hard as bad $44.95 games.)
 
  So, okay, so give me some examples of worse ones then.
 
 Worse game ever?  Dick Tracy on the C64.  This was a simple walk forward and
 kill baddies.  unfortunately it came out at a time when the C64 was having
 some really great games made (Project Firestart, Lemmings and the like).

Lemmings came out for C64?
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 No, but the fact that they don't have neat payoffs don't make them bad
 games. And we were discussing bad games.

All I was saying was that I was incredibly let down.  I almost wished I had
never finished it.
 
 It was released on a very important period for 90degrees 1st person
 perspective RPGs. Everyone was waiting for a worthy sequel to Dungeon
 Master.

I didn't consider it a sequel; I think Lands of Lore is better considered a
sequel -- a true advance of the genre.  Just my opinion.
 
 I understand the first 2, but Baldur's Gate 2 is a great game...?
 
 Oh, no it's not. I'm sorry, I just can't agree. As I mentioned once, I've
 played around 200 RPGs in my life, and through some direct comparison, I've
 seen nothing special about Baldur's Gate 2 but the graphics (which are
 indeed beautiful), but that doesn't matter as far as a RPG is concerned.
 
 The storyline and plot are terrible, the interface is average, the combat
 system not even that. No puzzles or riddles at all, mostly just fight,
 fight, fight. To make things worse, the game is a lot more linear than its
 predecessor.
 
 Why is it a great game? Because it sold well? Because many people say It's
 brilliant, look at those graphics! and those visual effects! and that
 sound! ?

No, because most things I read said the opposite:

A variety of treasures (spells and items), an easy character creation, and a
lot of possible quests and errands (which change after restarting the game,
with appr. eight possible paths) make this game replayable and fun.

Classic role playing at its very best...the whole presentation is very clean.

There are dozens and dozens of things to do in the game, so many that at some
points you may feel swamped! That is a Good Thing(tm) though, as you never EVER
have a shortage of quests.

It's an enormous game that lets you do a lot of different things, yet it's
surprisingly easy to keep track of your main objectives. This is possible
partly because of a well-implemented map feature. You'll refer to the automap
often, because its miniaturized depiction of each of the game's hundreds of big
areas clearly notes the various landmarks you've encountered, such as important
structures, exit paths, and more.

Baldur's Gate II does a great job of keeping you from getting too lost or
bewildered in your search, partly through the map, but mostly because of the
well-designed quests. There are seemingly countless quests in Baldur's Gate II,
and amazingly, most of them are very substantial. You'll almost never encounter
a situation so simple as having to retrieve lost property or clear out some
small monster infestation somewhere - there's always more to it than that.
Also, since your character has already earned himself some notoriety based on
the events in Baldur's Gate, it's understandable that rather than having to pry
information out of everyone you meet, oftentimes it's you who'll be approached
and asked for help. And just as often, as you're working on solving a
particular quest, you'll end up discovering more than you expected and will
take on other quests as a result. All this makes the pacing in Baldur's Gate II
very fluid.

The game has a great story, good dialogue, highly sophisticated combat,
meaningful decision-making, memorable characters, and plenty of replay value.
It's a definitive role-playing experience, and the only reason it can't be
called the best game in its class is because in a sense there's nothing
available that compares to it.

So, tell me again why you think it's not a good game?
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 Lemmings came out for C64?
 
 Didn't Lemmings come out for almost every platform available at the
 time?

Maybe... I guess I was just surprised since you need a halfway decent
resolution to play Lemmings, and C64's 320x200x2 mode (or 160x200x16 mode)
probably wouldn't have cut it.  I'm curious to see what it looked like.

Then again, Lemmings came out for the Lynx (160x128) so I guess anything is
possible.
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Why?  Are great games allowed to have horrible payoffs that are completely
 not
 in the spirit of the rest of the game?
 
 It seems the ending of EotB is the only gripe you have with the game, since
 you still refer to it as a great game (and this despite your having just
 named it as worse than LGoP2).

I didn't name it worse than LGoP2, you did.  I was telling you what I thought
some of the other worst games ever were.  It's better than LGoP2, that's for
sure.

 Which raises a question: If an ending is actually so disappointing as to
 wreck the entire game experience, does this mean that the only reason one
 plays a game is to beat it and see its cool ending?  Isn't the fun of
 working your way through the game considered part of the payoff?  True, it
 sucks that they got cheap on the ending, but that shouldn't make the whole
 game a bad one.

If you don't play an RPG or adventure game to finish it, why do you play it? 
Food for thought.  I mean, if you didn't play it to finish it, then
construction sets like Dungeon Hack would be all that people ever bought
(unlimited gameplay, same generic payoff).
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Re: [SWCollect] CyberMania '94

2001-06-28 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 I read all the reviews/ads above, and I admit if I'd base my opinion on
 this game by these reviews, I'd agree with you (I did buy the game, didn't
 I? :)).

They were all reviews, not ads.  I also was GIVEN the game by someone who
finished it twice and said he loved it both times.
 
 But believe me, it just doesn't cut it, for all the reasons I mentioned. I
 can give you a direct comparison to other CRPGs, if you like.

Please do!  But privately, as I think this is going outside of the scope of
this mailing list.
 
 So, tell me again why you think it's not a good game?
 
 If I find you 5 ads/reviews saying that MacD*nalds is the greatest food
 that was ever created would you go out and praise its qualities? =)

I wasn't praising it, I was questioning your 100% put-down of the game.  It's
not a bad game; rather, it sounds like you had particular expectations for it
that it didn't meet.

RPGamers and AdventureGamers seem to have very specific attributes of what an
RPG should or shouldn't be, and can get very critical of games that don't meet
their vision.  Because Baulder's Gate had less puzzles and storyline than you
would have liked, it's a horrible terrible game and nobody should ever play
it?  Don't you think you're being a bit too harsh?  Please note that I am not
praising the game, nor have I ever praised it because I haven't played it.  I'm
just questioning your damnation of a game that doesn't seem to deserve it.
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-29 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Speaking of Infocom boxes: does anybody know if Mines of Titan was ever
 released in a Gray Box?

Nope.  It wasn't part of that line of marketing.  Covers (albeit one is
extremely dark for some reason) are here:
http://www.mobygames.com/game/covers/gameId,1242/
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Re: [SWCollect] hypothetical question

2001-06-29 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Speaking of Infocom boxes: does anybody know if Mines of Titan was ever
 released in a Gray Box?
 
 No, as Infocom wasn't even publishing the grey boxes by that time (1989).
 Even a couple of years prior, their text games had moved to the slipcased
 style.
 
 However, Mines was previously released by Electronic Arts under the name
 The Mars Saga.

For PC?  I think for other platforms, but the only PC release that I know of
was the Infocom one.
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-02 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Well, there is one other valid reason.  Let's say that only 100,000 Ultima
 IV's where ever produced (for the sake of a round number).  And let's say
 that half of those have been thrown away, lost or otherwise damaged beyond
 recognition.  That means that if you own 5 of them, then you own .0001% of
 all the Ultima IV's left in the world!!!  Pedro is trying to corner the
 market! :-)
 
 As for a name, I like OCCIDENTAL -- Obsessive Compulsive Collectors In
 Denial ENTAL (You can figure out what the other letter stand for).

Why complete it?  I have no problem referring to Pedro as an OCCID.  ;-D

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-02 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Hugh Falk wrote,
 Well, there is one other valid reason.  Let's say that only 100,000 Ultima
 IV's where ever produced (for the sake of a round number).  And let's say
 that half of those have been thrown away, lost or otherwise damaged beyond
 recognition.  That means that if you own 5 of them, then you own .0001% of
 all the Ultima IV's left in the world!!!
 
 If someone tried to sell you 20 Suspended with the masks, for $1 a piece,
 wouldn't you buy them all? =)

Yes, but of course that is a rare theoretical case that would probably
never happen.
 
 E huh h... I'll stick to habbyt I think.

I like OCCID myself.  As in, I'm an OCCID.

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-02 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 So I'm actually not surprised that anyone who collects
 anything has a slight bit of a neurological disorder.
 
 It would explain a lot of odd, quirkish behavior.  And I myself am mildly
 obsessive-compulsive in other areas of my life besides collecting.

I think anyone who collects anything fits this criteria.  Something for
a thesis study, no doubt.
 
 I purchase 2 of everything:  1 to appreciate, and the other to crack the
 shrinkwrap on.
 
 I'm this way with my Infocoms (you just have to be able to get at the
 props), but I've got to know: If you get a shrinked copy BEFORE you get an
 opened copy, do you personally (1) break the wrap first and risk not being
 able to appreciate another wrapped copy for a long long time, or (2) hang
 onto the wrapped copy until you find another wrapped copy or one that's
 already been opened, and take the chance that the disk media will go bad
 while you're waiting?  Jim, from what you write after this statement it
 sounds like you're definitely in the first category... How about everyone
 else?

I'm definitely in the first category.  I crack the wrap.  And you'll
just love this one:  Sometimes I buy a third so that I can cut up the
manual.  Yes, I cut all the pages out of the manual.  This is so I can
get the best possible scan of the manual pages for creating an archival
quality PDF of them (the stuff on Underdogs is mostly crap).
 
 (!!!)  Yes, I break original shrinkwrap so that I can
 release the game to the public domain if nobody else has.  Why do you
 think the hardcore oldwarez community is so eager to get their hands on
 Chris' copy of Cyborg?  Because it may very well be the last copy that
 exists, and we want to copy the disk before it goes bad and fades away.
 
 This raises an interesting dilemma, and the main reason I continually refuse
 to open it: Suppose I did break the wrap, I went to copy the disk... and
 it's already bad?  The retrogamers are upset because they won't be able to
 play it after all.  I'm out my shrinkwrapped package with absolutely nothing
 to show for it.  But there's no way to tell that until I do crack it.
 Classic Schroedinger's Cat.  I don't gamble with my collection.

It's definitely a classic schroedinger's cat.  There's just no way to
know.  And so we wait for another copy to turn up.
 
 (I've dealt with my other reasons in Shoppe columns enough times that I
 won't bore you reciting them again here.)

What, you have other reasons?  :-)  I think the above is the best
reason.  I totally support you, BTW -- it just sucks for both of us. 
Somewhere, someday, another copy will turn up.  We hope.
 
 Sadly for us -- and detailed in an old conversation that you can look at
 in the archives -- Chris and many other collectors place much less value
 on the diskette than the entire package.
 
 I've thought about this one for a long time, and yes, the software is
 definitely worth less to me than the package.  Why?  Because the package is
 PHYSICAL.  Only a certain number of game packages were ever produced.  Once
 all the others have been lost or thrown out, that's it.  Mine is the only
 one left, and there will never be any more.  But software does not exist in
 any physical sense.  One very last copy easily becomes 8 million copies.  So
 it's far easier to obtain and thus of far less value to someone who prizes
 rarity.

This is because you (and most collectors) value the package, whereas
some people value the games themselves.  I collect mostly for the games
themselves -- I truly appreciate the work and effort that went into an
older game, because the designers had a lot more hurdles to jump on such
old hardware.  This goes across all genres, including sports games
(which I don't personally play but still collect out of respect).
 
 Me personally, if I crack open
 a rare game only to find that the disk is bad, the entire thing is
 nearly worthless for me.
 
 Exactly.  So why take the chance?  (BTW, if you ever open any rare adventure
 games that turn out to have bad disks, I'll cut you a good deal on those
 nearly worthless items.  B-)

Yes, you and the entire mailing list I'm sure :-)
 
 The thing is (using Cyborg as an example), you CAN play it... provided
 you're willing to expend a little extra effort and download an Apple II
 emulator and the disk image.  This exists on the web, I've seen it.  The
 problem I've run into is that there are so many picky-shit players out there
 who absolutely MUST play the PC version, nothing else will do.  They don't
 have pepperoni pizza, only sausage, so I guess I'll just go hungry.  It's a
 little hard to feel sorry for people like that.

Agreed, but this isn't the reason I would like to see it copied; I like
to compare different ports of games.  I get a large amount of enjoyment
of comparing and contrasting the following:

- The original version of a game
- The PC conversion (PC was powerful at the time but lacked decent
graphics and sound)
- The Mac conversion (2-color 

Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Jim Leonard wrote:
 
  He is? What's his name, if I may ask? I'm a numismatic myself, but a small
  one at that.
 
 Robert Leonard.  Although he's bigger in the States than
 international... although he was president of the ANA (American
 Numismatics Association) for a year.

I should add that he is more noted for his articles than his
personality/celebrity...  For example, he was able to prove beyond a
shadow of a doubt that the Should of Turin was a fake over a decade
before it was carbon-dated and scientifically proven.  He did this by
proving that the coin imprints on the eyes of the image of Christ were
struck hundreds of years after Christ actually died.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled swcollections...

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 I'd say yes. Definitely yes for me. Original floppies are so easy to find

Easy to find?  Over here, rare games are rare, disks only or not.

 You can get backups everywhere, and most of the times you probably have one
 handy yourself, so why worry? :)

Not the point -- if it's rare, *nobody* has copies.  Which is why I try
to collect them -- to make copies before the software is lost forever.
 
 But the game is infinitely more interesting to *play* than it is to look
 at the manual...?  That is the entire point the manual was created for,
 right?
 
 No? :) If it were, Origin could have sold their games with regular paper
 maps and stuff. No trinkets or special editions.

Yes, but you still need the software.  Trinkets are way cool, I agree,
but the software is the entire point they were created in the first
place.  Otherwise they could've just sold books with a little pouch of
stuff attached to each book.  Would we be collecting those if it were
the case?  (hint: no ;-)

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 I myself am slightly that, as I am slightly ADD (attention deficit
 disorder).  So is my wife, and we bore two children: one is autistic,
 and the other has apraxia (speech delay, but thankfully nothing else).
 My father is one of the world's most renouned Numismatists (coin
 collector).
 
 He is? What's his name, if I may ask? I'm a numismatic myself, but a small
 one at that.

Robert Leonard.  Although he's bigger in the States than
international... although he was president of the ANA (American
Numismatics Association) for a year.
 
 At least, that's the excuse I give my wife when I bid on a Cyborg for
 $250 ;-)
 
 The same you talk about below? How much did that end at?

I was just being humorous.  No such thing happened.
 
 Even Michael Berlyn doesn't have a copy of his own code any more.
 
 I didn't know that. The last one?

The last one we know of, anyway.
 
 (Hey Chris, I have another two pink freesb... errr.. Starcross saucers for
 you right here!)
 
 Sadly for us -- and detailed in an old conversation that you can look at
 in the archives -- Chris and many other collectors place much less value
 on the diskette than the entire package.
 
 I'm like Chris, then. I'd rather have box and manual and no floppies, than
 working floppies and nothing else.

That's not quite what I meant, but you pose an interesting point:  Is a
software package without diskettes collectable at all?  I would love to
hear everyone's thoughts on this.  Personally, I can't place any value
at all in a software package that is missing the actual software.  No
matter how excellent the package and materials are in, it's worthless
for me without the actual product, which is sort of the point.  Even if
the disks are bad, they have to be there (although bad disks are a
severe disappointment).
 
 Me personally, if I crack open
 a rare game only to find that the disk is bad, the entire thing is
 nearly worthless for me.  What good is a game that you CAN'T PLAY?  :-)
 
 You can look at it. And regarding that, a manual and a box are more
 interesting to look at than some floppies!

But the game is infinitely more interesting to *play* than it is to look
at the manual...?  That is the entire point the manual was created for,
right?
 
 Do you think the guy that gave Jason Cobb a 5-digit-value for his Akalabeth
 actually cared if the floppy worked or not?

That's different.  That's a rare collector's item -- not just any item,
but one that represents a 2-decade gaming legacy.  That is a very, very
special case.

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Not the point -- if it's rare, *nobody* has copies.  Which is why I try
 to collect them -- to make copies before the software is lost forever.
 
 It's not the Starcross floppies that make the game rare, right? :)

No, but it *is* the floppies that make Zinderneuf or Fractalus or
CCnChomp rare.  I have Zinderneuf; I have strong info that CCnChomp
exists; Fractalus is an unconfirmed rumor.  Honestly, the boxes mean
jack squat to me right now about those PC titles ;-)
 
  But the game is infinitely more interesting to *play* than it is to look
  at the manual...?  That is the entire point the manual was created for,
  right?
 
  No? :) If it were, Origin could have sold their games with regular paper
  maps and stuff. No trinkets or special editions.
 
 Yes, but you still need the software.
 
 But the software I can get anywhere, even download it from the net, on
 extreme situations

Not for stuff that isn't on the 'net!  If someone doesn't make a copy of
the software, then how do you expect to download it?
 
   Trinkets are way cool, I agree,
 but the software is the entire point they were created in the first
 place.
 
 Yes, but sometimes the software doesn't matter! I knew Ultima Ascension was
 crap, but I still bought the Dragon Edition for all the goodies

Again, special case -- the Dragon edition was specifically assembled and
marketed as a collector's edition.  Most software (sadly) isn't this
way.
 
   Otherwise they could've just sold books with a little pouch of
 stuff attached to each book.  Would we be collecting those if it were
 the case?  (hint: no ;-)
 
 If suddenly Origin started selling old, mint, Ultima 4 manuals (spares),
 they would sell like strawberry muffins! :)

..and the overall value of Ultima 4 manuals would diminish ;-)  But of
course that won't happen, since Origin is finally dead, gone, and
buried.  :-(

What continually confuses me is that there are at least 50 times the
number of copies of Ultimas, Infocoms, etc. than there are of titles
like Cyborg for the PC.  Cyborg PC is definitely an extremely rare
item.  So why isn't it extremely sought after, or valued highly?  Or
ICON: Quest for the Ring... there were only 1000 made.  Why isn't that
at the top of everyone's list?

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 No, but it *is* the floppies that make Zinderneuf or Fractalus or
 CCnChomp rare.  I have Zinderneuf; I have strong info that CCnChomp
 exists; Fractalus is an unconfirmed rumor.  Honestly, the boxes mean
 jack squat to me right now about those PC titles ;-)
 
 That's different. You probably have that specific game for other
 platform(s), right?

Yes, but that's not the point; as I explained earlier, the PC versions
are signficantly different, rare, or both.  Hence the need to get them.
 
 Not for stuff that isn't on the 'net!  If someone doesn't make a copy of
 the software, then how do you expect to download it?
 
 Only extremely exceptional games aren't downloadable from the net. On those
 games, of course, having a floppy is extremely important

Bingo.

Who do you think seeded the original Abandonware community anyway?  ;-)
 
 But of
 course that won't happen, since Origin is finally dead, gone, and
 buried.  :-(
 
 Not Origin, but Origin-as-we-know-it. :(

No, really, it really is dead.  They laid everyone else off, and they
stopped using the Origin name/logo on packaging late last year.  But
take heart; Garriot is re-hiring a lot of people for his new company.
 
 I hope RG eventually makes another RPG that dignifies his past.

Same, as Ultima IX certainly wasn't...

That's actually not fair.  The final chapters in several long series,
King's Quest and Ultima, were 3D because that's what the market
demanded.  Because they were first, they ran into a ton of issues and
problems.  They were penalized, and the product lines abruptly ended. 
It's a shame to be penalized for being first to market with something.

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 About Murder on the Zinderneuf...I have the DOS version, and I'm in the
 Northern Hemisphere! :-)  I had no idea it was valuable at all.  I don't

That's because the DOS version isn't DOS -- it's a booter.  You must
have a cracked copy.

Unless, of course, my sources are wrong.  I will find out and report
back.  (Shouts from the swcollect community:  No!  Don't do it!  Don't
crack the wrap!)  ;-)

 remember where/when I got mine, but the person would have been lucky to get
 $5 for it.  I don't see how the DOS version would have been especially rare.

PC games are generally pretty rare because people didn't really use the
PC to play games until about 1985, when the industry started to move and
Apple/C64/Atari stayed in the same place.

 EA was notorious for mass producing games.  The DOS version didn't come out
 until 1984 -- the original (Atari 800 version, 1983) has the distinction of
 being the first game to sign a contract with EA (it is also historically
 significant, of course, because it was written by Free Fall Associates --
 also of Archon fame -- Jim Freeman's (founder of Epyx) company).  So in my
 opinion, the Atari 800 version is far move valuable from a historic
 standpoint.  I didn't know the DOS version was especially rare, but I'll
 keep an eye out from now on!  There is another EA Flat for DOS only called
 Radio Baseball.  I haven't seen many of these around, so maybe the DOS
 versions of EA games are more rare...maybe they didn't sell well.

Exactly.  They didn't sell well.  And the PC versions may or may not
have significant improvments (or detriments) in gameplay and features.

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 That's not quite what I meant, but you pose an interesting point:  Is a
 software package without diskettes collectable at all?  I would love to
 hear everyone's thoughts on this.  Personally, I can't place any value
 at all in a software package that is missing the actual software.  No
 matter how excellent the package and materials are in, it's worthless
 for me without the actual product, which is sort of the point.  Even if
 the disks are bad, they have to be there (although bad disks are a
 severe disappointment).
 
 Of course it's collectible!  You never know when you'll find the disks
 loose somewhere.  Surely you can't tell me you'd pass over a pink
 frisbee or Suspended mask package just because the disks were
 missing.  Obviously a package with disks is worth more than one
 without and a one with working disks should be worth more than one
 with non-working disks.

The Suspended frisbee is a special case -- of course I'd grab it because
everyone else is trying to.  But I guarantee you I would probably use it
as barter or trade material, because EVERYONE has Suspended.

I guess it all goes to say that worth and/or value is in the eye of the
beholder.

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 them in to get one.)  Many people have it at the top of their wanted
 list, but (even discounting one-of-a-kind prototypes) there are
 certainly other games that are rarer.

What's rarer than a one-of-a-kind prototype?  I thought prototypes were
the Holy Grail of cart collecting...

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Re: [SWCollect] Data or Packaging...which is more valuable?

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Hugh Falk boldly stated:
 
 So there are two types of people here:  Collectors (represented by Pedro)
 and Data Preservationists (represented by Jim).  Both are noble causes that
 can keep you busy for a long time.
 
 I don't know
 about DOS games, but just about every Apple game is already available on the
 Internet.  So the need for data preservation will soon disappear.
 
 Question:  Are most of the Apple games available on the 'net the
 originals, or the cracked versions?  In my limited experience, they're

They are most certainly the cracked ones.  All pirates are unwilling
data historians ;-)  In fact, I don't think I've ever come across
something on Asimov that wasn't cracked.

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Re: [SWCollect] Data or Packaging...which is more valuable?

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 A large majority of them are uncracked.  Most of the C-64 (and later) stuff
 I've seen is cracked...but not Apple.

Now, or earlier?  I went bonkers when I discovered Asimov, and the 150
or so images I tested out were at least 90-95% cracked.  Maybe I got
lucky... or maybe they've been replaceing the images with clean ones
(still cracked, but without the messages).

If you guys are interested in Demos or cracked games at all, you'll
enjoy the DemoDVD project -- I plan to show some footage of early early
cracktros, which led to the birth of the demoscene.  Anyway,
off-topic...

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Cracked?  What do you mean?  I have the original box and disk that says on
 the EA label: IBM XT, PC, PCjr, COMPAQ

PC does not equal DOS.  It is a bootable disk, like Pinball
Construction Set, Music Construction Set, Dr J. and Larry Bird go One on
One, and other conversions.  You stick the disk in and turn on the PC,
and it boots directly using custom code.  The fact that it is NOT a DOS
executable makes it valuable because unless it is cracked it is
impossible to play on a modern machine without jumping though hoops. 
Check http://www.oldskool.org/pc/flopper/ for some more info.  Cracking
bootable games is a black art -- and converting them to .EXE files is
even blacker.

There's a link to Retrograde Station off of the Flopper page mentioned
above that lists a large number of bootables that I've helped supply and
crack, if you're interested.  Most were extremely rare until we supplied
them to the world.

You know, noble cause and all that.  :-)

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-03 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Okay, well the word has come back from Jon, and the answer
 is...inconclusive.  He said there wasn't one when he left Epyx to form Free
 Fall Associates in 81 (which makes sense, of course).  However, there could
 have been one made later on.

That is exactly the answer I got from the programmer of the original
Rescue on Fractalus.  And when I asked Will Harvey about the PC version
of Music Construction Set, he said There's a PC version?  This is why
the PC versions of these programs are even more rare than the rare games
they were ported from.
 
 I do know that there was a C-64 version made in 83 so it's possible that a
 DOS version was also made.

You mean PC.  PC != DOS.  For hard-core PC collectors, this is
significant.  For all you other guys, never mind ;-)

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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-04 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Yes, but that's not the point; as I explained earlier, the PC versions
 are signficantly different, rare, or both.  Hence the need to get them.
 
 Usually the AppleII versions of most games are more rare

In what world do you live in?  :-)  The Apple II had a HUGE pirate
movement all throughout its life.  That's why practically every single
Apple II game is on Asimov.  The PC didn't have a significant pirate
following until about 1986, but games date back to 1982 (1981 if you
listen to some pundits).  That's why hardly any early PC games are on
various Abandonware sites.

Unless, of course, you're talking about the packaged/boxed software, in
which case I'd agree with you past 1985, and disagree with you pre-1985.
 
  Not for stuff that isn't on the 'net!  If someone doesn't make a copy of
  the software, then how do you expect to download it?
 
  Only extremely exceptional games aren't downloadable from the net. On
 those
  games, of course, having a floppy is extremely important
 
 Bingo.
 
 But they're the exceptions. There aren't that many.

You must not be familiar with the early PC gaming industry.  There are
easliy a thousand PC games/ports made before 1990 that aren't freely
downloadble on the 'net.  Why do you think my cause is so dedicated? 
;-)
 
 Who do you think seeded the original Abandonware community anyway?  ;-)
 
 Lee? Hugh? Karl? Chris?... H... no idea :)

No, not them!  ME!  I was one of the first 10 Abandonware websites, and
I built up the original AB ring with a search engine, mailing list,
etc.  I was also, not by coincidence, the first AB site taken down by
the IDSA.  My site was up in 1997.
 
  But of
  course that won't happen, since Origin is finally dead, gone, and
  buried.  :-(
 
  Not Origin, but Origin-as-we-know-it. :(
 
 No, really, it really is dead.  They laid everyone else off, and they
 stopped using the Origin name/logo on packaging late last year.  But
 take heart; Garriot is re-hiring a lot of people for his new company.
 
 Yes, and they've taken a great project: they're supporting this
 super-crappy online asian RPG, for it to make a triumphal entrance on the
 US market. Yeah, right.

Oh, I don't agree with their RPG stuff... but who knows, maybe 3 years
down the road when they have some seed money they can come up with
Ultima X.
 
 That's not quite the truth. Baldur's Gate 2 sells, doesn't it? And it's 2D.

True, but it took some 3D products first to qualify this.

In a mini-return to that subject, can you tell me why you didn't like
Baulder's Gate 2?  Or more specifically, what you wish it had and what
you wish it hadn't?  (Because I just started playing and after 3 hours
of gameplay I'm not disliking it)

 Quakers love 3d, so some geniuses in game companies start directing
 their efforts to please them too. _That_ was their mistake... BG1, BG2,
 Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment, Diablo 2, Fallout 12, they all sold
 pretty decently.

True, but it took some 3D products first to qualify this.  ;-)
 
 Speaking of BG2, can you give me your email, so I can send you my first
 direct comparison?

Sure:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Maybe my questions above would be best answered in email.
 
   Because they were first, they ran into a ton of issues and
 problems.  They were penalized, and the product lines abruptly ended.
 It's a shame to be penalized for being first to market with something.
 
 As I said above, the problem is that they didn't stick to their fans, but
 to other's games fans.

That's very astute (perceptive) -- and also, unfortunately, a fact of
life in an industry where 1% of the market buying your game is
considered a huge success :-(  The market is way too saturated  :-(
 
 Also, why in the world are great game creators selling their companies to
 other bigger ones? Don't tell me RG was so poor he just _had_ to sell to
 EA, or that Williams had to sell Sierra to ATT, or van Caneghem NWC to 3DO
 (I wonder how he's surviving so well in there, btw)

RG/EA:  Many at the company didn't like it, but they needed the
development capital to make bigger and better games.  It was the
beginning of their downfall (exactly why I'm still trying to figure
out), but it was also the beginning of their most technologically
advanced projects (Wing Commander 3, Strike Commander, Ultima 7, etc.) 
They wrote their own 3D code (Strike Commander had so much advanced 3D
code that then-modern machines couldn't run it quickly), wrote their own
memory extenders (which is why it's so damn hard to run U7 on a modern
box), etc. and nobody else was doing that at the time.  They were trying
to innovate, and they succeeded in some areas.

Williams:  He had said many times before how sad it was that the market
had become so saturated, and that you had to claw your way to a 0.5%
market share.  He didn't sell Sierra because they needed money; he just
didn't want to be a part of it any more.  I don't blame him, given the
change of the industry in the first half of the 

Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-04 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Oh yeah!  :-) Well PC != IBM.  PC stands for Personal Computer.  Apple, TI,
 Atari, C64, etc. are all PCs.  So if we're talking semantics, you should
 refer to them like I do on my site -- Intel-compatibles or Intels for
 short.  Of course, back in the 80's, they were called IBM-compatibles, but
 in hindsight, Intel-compatibles is a more appropriate term.

This is, of course, what I meant.  (I should know better when opening my
mouth in this forum :-)  When I talk about PC games, I am referring to
IBM PC (and compatibles) games.  I know that PC means Personal Computer,
but after 20 years of slang usage, I think it's safe to say that a PC
game means an IBM PC game.  This may suck to some people, but I gave up
the usage fight a long time ago when the Oxford Dictionary starting
putting stuff like Doh and thru into the dictionary (I am not making
that up, BTW).  So I won't apologize for abbreviating IBM PC as PC, and
I don't have any immediate plans to change my habits.

If you REALLY want to talk semantics, I don't ever remember
Intel-compatibles being part of common vernacular...

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Re: [SWCollect] Data or Packaging...which is more valuable?

2001-07-05 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 The DVD project sounds awesome...please let me know more!

The quick answer (for the benefit of those on this list not directly interested
in demos) is that ex-Hornet is creating a double-sided DVD of demos.  Not the
raw data files themselves, but video of the actual demos playing.  One side of
the disc will be modern eye-candy, and the other side will be old-school demos
from 1995 and earlier.

The motivation for the disc was the old-school side -- it is becoming
increasingly impossible to run old demos on more modern hardware due to the
nature of how demos interacted with the hardware.  Also, no reliable IBM PC
emulators exist for this kind of thing because, ironically, people only write
emulators for extinct platforms and the IBM PC is still around.

That's the short answer; the long answer, with many details, is coming in a
website soon next week.
 
 Hugh
 
 -Original Message-
 From: Jim Leonard [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
 Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 3:08 PM
 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Subject: Re: [SWCollect] Data or Packaging...which is more valuable?
 
 Hugh Falk wrote:
 
  A large majority of them are uncracked.  Most of the C-64 (and later)
 stuff
  I've seen is cracked...but not Apple.
 
 Now, or earlier?  I went bonkers when I discovered Asimov, and the 150
 or so images I tested out were at least 90-95% cracked.  Maybe I got
 lucky... or maybe they've been replaceing the images with clean ones
 (still cracked, but without the messages).
 
 If you guys are interested in Demos or cracked games at all, you'll
 enjoy the DemoDVD project -- I plan to show some footage of early early
 cracktros, which led to the birth of the demoscene.  Anyway,
 off-topic...
 
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-05 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard wrote:
 Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
  Yes, but that's not the point; as I explained earlier, the PC versions
  are signficantly different, rare, or both.  Hence the need to get them.
 
  Usually the AppleII versions of most games are more rare
 
 In what world do you live in?  :-)
 
 In a world with more valuable apple games than PC games :)
 
   The Apple II had a HUGE pirate
 movement all throughout its life.
 
 Of course; Apple games are very easy to crack.

Not necessarily; there was a huge movement because there was time to form such
a movement.  Apple was around since 1977, with games worthy of being pirated
since 1979.  Besides, *you* try using the built-in monitor to debug encrypted
self-modfying code loading off of a quarter-tracked disk and tell me Apple
games are very easy to crack.  :-)  Some of them were a BITCH to crack.  I
never got good at it; I found PC games easier to crack because less people
wrote them in assembly (most of them were written in C).
 
 A thousand? Well, if not on the net, they must be available somewhere :)

Not if I can't find disks to copy and release, they won't be.

   I was one of the first 10 Abandonware websites, and
 I built up the original AB ring with a search engine, mailing list,
 etc.  I was also, not by coincidence, the first AB site taken down by
 the IDSA.  My site was up in 1997.
 
 Did you crack the games? Or just had them on the web?

Both.
 
 True, but it took some 3D products first to qualify this.
 
 What do you mean? That it took several 3d mistakes for people to see that
 2d was OK too?

Not quite in those words, but let's just say that a lot of fledgling developers
were glad to see Sierra and Origin take on the task -- and run into problems --
before they did.
 
 That's very astute (perceptive) -- and also, unfortunately, a fact of
 life in an industry where 1% of the market buying your game is
 considered a huge success :-(  The market is way too saturated  :-(
 
 Still room for some great companies/developers to create fantastic original
 games. Look at Troika Games's Arcanum. Magic vs Technology in this
 isometric RPG, what a fantastic idea! Kudos for Tim Cain, one of the best
 RPG developers ever, for having the guts to do it.

I didn't mean that the market was saturated with great titles, merely that it
was saturated at all.  There are so many titles with a pressure to move that
great titles may never get shelf space more than 2 months.  You can't window
shop software stores any more because of all of the crap (extreme sports
games, TV show licensees, fishing and hunting games, etc.).

 Yes, but about the fans' life that he ruined? What about all those people
 that met each other on Shadow of Yserbius? What about all the Quest series
 fans? And Larry?

Are you saying he had an obligation to his customers that extended past 16
years of his life?
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-05 Thread Jim Leonard

Karl Kuras wrote:
 
   I was one of the first 10 Abandonware websites, and
 I built up the original AB ring with a search engine, mailing list,
 etc.  I was also, not by coincidence, the first AB site taken down by
 the IDSA.  My site was up in 1997.
 
 Well I can't say anything personally... but by 1997, the abandonware
 movement (not called that at the time) was old.  I remember it being quite
 prolific (no names please)  :)  Already by early 1995.

But it was underground until 1997.  I remember IRC bots, etc. -- no different
than any warez scene.  I think the move to the public eye with Abandonware was
necessary to generate more sources of software.  I don't remember any of the
hard-core oldwarezing guys in 1995 coming up with stuff like Cartels and
Cuthroats for the PC; you had to rope in the average joe who still had a copy
to find stuff like that.

My mission is noble, although I know it doesn't always seem that way :-)
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-06 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Well, you can call it whatever you like.  The IBM-compatible PC is a PC,
 but so is Apple and the others.  So it isn't correct to only call that brand
 a PC.  If you chose to be incorrect, that's your choice.

I am not calling that brand a PC -- maybe you're misunderstanding my usage of
PC.  I use PC as a platform designation.  As written earlier, I write PC
games when I am referring to games written for the IBM PC model 5150 and all
clones and derivatives.
 
 For example, you could incorrectly say something like this, I was talking
 about PCs, not Apples.  But anybody who knows what a PC is, might think
 that you don't.  Again your choice.  Just like (God forbid) if I had cancer
 of the rectum, I wouldn't want the doctor to tell me I had colon cancer just
 because it was a shorter or more common term (since that would be
 incorrect). I prefer to discuss both my rectum and my PCs correctly :-))).

So you're saying no two abbreviations in the world are the same?  

I'm not calling them personal computer games, I'm calling them IBM PC/clone
games.  Maybe this is where the disagreement comes from; maybe you think that
by referring to the model 5150 generically as a PC that I'm somehow slandering
all of the other platforms?  I'm not.  But if you're saying I shouldn't use the
term PC to informally refer to the model 5150 because it's already used for
something else, I think that's foolish.
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-06 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 I'm
 simply saying that it is incorrect to say that the term PC only applies to
 IBM/Intel-compatibles.

Which term?  Personal Computer, or IBM PC Model 5150?  PC is an abbreviation
for both.  

That, ultimately, is the crux of my argument.
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-06 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 Well, you can call it whatever you like.  The IBM-compatible PC is a PC,
 but so is Apple and the others.  So it isn't correct to only call that brand
 a PC.  If you chose to be incorrect, that's your choice.
 
 For example, you could incorrectly say something like this, I was talking
 about PCs, not Apples.  

There is nothing wrong with this when I am talking amongst peers who know that
PC is informal abbreviation for the model 5150 and clones.

 But anybody who knows what a PC is, might think
 that you don't.  

But anyone who would hear such a phrase is a peer and would know what I mean. 
When would I ever utter that phrase in the company of someone who might think
I'm an idiot when it comes to computer software?
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Re: [SWCollect] LGoP2 mention

2001-07-06 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Since it's been a subject of recent discussion, I thought you'd like
 to know that Tom Sloper explains in part why Leather Goddesses of
 Phobos II: Gas Pump Girls Meet The Pulsating Inconvenience From Planet
 X was such a bad game over at MissingMatter
 (http://missingmatter.net/article.pl?sid=01/07/05/0150254).  See
 question #2.
 
This only addresses the voice acting, though.  Chris, why did you think it was
so horrible?  Was it a disappointment, or buggy, or bad
plot/storyline/implementation, or what?
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-06 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 PC games are generally pretty rare because people didn't really use the PC
 to play games until about 1985...
 
 I know what you mean (from context), but you can see how this statement
 could be taken wrong.  Am I saying you can't use PC to refer to IBM
 PCs...no.  You can do whatever you want.  What I'm saying is that don't
 assume PC means IBM PC.  

I think whenever someone says PC, it's pretty obvious what they're talking
about from context.  In fact, I can't possibly see how any such statement could
be taken wrong because the only people who would see that sentence are people
who would understand the context.  

When I talk to complete newbies, I do use the term personal computer and IBM
PC where appropriate, because I am aware of their level of familiarity with my
hobby and PC history in general.  (And you should have been able to tell that
my use of PC in that last sentence was intended to mean 'personal computing' --
if not, then I don't know how to help you ;-)

 I run a site about PC games.
 Jim runs a site about IBM-compatible PC games.

The problem with stating this is that 99% of the world who is not familiar with
our hobby would equate the above two sentences.  This is *not* the case with
previous pet peeves, like calling a C64 disk a rom or calling an NES cart a
tape -- that happens infrequently.  But if I polled 100 people on the street
and asked them what a PC game was, over 90 would refer to something on the
shelves at CompUSA.  In other words:  I know what *you* mean, and you know what
*I* mean, but I hope you're not assuming that people outside of our hobby will
know what you mean.

I'm getting the feeling that you think an abbreviation can only mean one
thing.  What's wrong with PC meaning two different things?  Maybe I need to
come up with some examples of abbreviations that mean different things in
different circles... 

..ah, but wait, I've just answered my own question:  It is perfectly
acceptable for an abbreviation to mean different things in different circles --
but is it appropriate for an abbreviation to mean two different things in the
SAME circle?  Probably not.   In which case we'd have to define what PC
definitively meant for our circle, and it would *have* to mean only one thing.

This is all semantics, of course, since neither of us will change our habits. 
Well, rest assured that when *you* say PC, I'll know you're most likely talking
about personal computers.  :-)

footnote:  I probably wouldn't have written as much as I have if it weren't for
this damn Claritin I'm talking for allergies.  I haven't slept more than 4
hours in 2 days.
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Re: [SWCollect] LGoP2 mention

2001-07-06 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Jim Leonard boldly stated:
 
 Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
  Since it's been a subject of recent discussion, I thought you'd like
  to know that Tom Sloper explains in part why Leather Goddesses of
  Phobos II: Gas Pump Girls Meet The Pulsating Inconvenience From Planet
  X was such a bad game over at MissingMatter
  (http://missingmatter.net/article.pl?sid=01/07/05/0150254).  See
  question #2.
 
 This only addresses the voice acting, though.
 
 I dunno.  I thought the part about Activision going through a
 bankruptcy explained some of it.

That is true.  I'm still waiting for Chris' critique however.  I've never heard
someone hate a game so much as he does LGOP2.  What, Daikatana wasn't bad
enough for you?
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Re: [SWCollect] trademark for collectors

2001-07-08 Thread Jim Leonard

Karl Kuras wrote:
 
  So I suppose you don't want me to point out that your website is
 incorrectly
  spelled as sight -- unless that was intentional... :-)
 
 Ok... there is a story behind the misspelling of site   The page was
 supposed to be C64 Site, but I goofed up on my second logo (the one which
 was a mockup of the old Probe game Trantor The Last Stormtrooper (for any
 old guys who are keeping count).  I got within a week about 30 mails about
 the misspelling and half of them thought it was so cool that I had
 misspelled it ON PURPOSE that I just left it... so you could say that today
 the misspelling is on purpose...

Like I wrote, sight can be taken as an intentional metaphor... hard to
explain to a German :-), and it's a stretch, but if you're saying it's
intentional then I'd just run with that.  ;)

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Re: [SWCollect] [OT] Roland LAPC-1

2001-07-10 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 (OT: Hi Stephen, nice to hear from you again)
 
 I apologize for my ignorance, but is the Roland sound much different from a
 SB AWE64 emulating the Roland on Windows?

YES!  The Roland MT-32/LAPC-1 was programmable, whereas wavetable emulation is
not.  Sierra games in particular really took advantage of this fact; they threw
out all of the default instruments and programmed their own.  (On an MT-32, you
can even see custom messages in the instrument window!).  U6 definitely sounds
best on an MT-32 -- that's where the music was composed originally, and all
other versions (Adlib, Tandy, etc.) were derived from the MT-32 soundtrack.

I own two LAPC-1s myself.
 
 If it is, then I must get a Roland (LAPC-1 or MT-32? Suggestions accepted)
 to play Ultima 6 or play it on the Amiga instead.

No, the Amiga music was worse.  Good in it's own right, don't get me wrong, but
definitely not as good as the MT-32 music.
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Re: [SWCollect] LGoP2 mention

2001-07-10 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Mind if I ask, since you're about my age, how
 did you *afford* to play all those games?  I was usually broke growing up.
 (Or did you, *ahem*, get them for free? B-)

Let's just say that Trixter has always been more than my email address.  I
*own* about 600+ games.  I *have in my possession* about...  well, easily into
5 digits.  Between 15000-25000 last informal count in 1999.  I used to have
boxes and boxes of floppy disks before CDs...  I started burning my stuff to
CDs in 1995.  (Blank discs were $2 then, and making a coaster was *really*
annoying!)

That isn't going to be enough info for everyone, so I might as well come clean
with some points of interest from my history (NOT complete or extensive):

1971: Born
1980: Played Adventure on an Osborne
1984: Started going online on friend's IBM on Compuserve and BBSes -- on
300baud modem ;-)
1985: Family bought IBM clone
1986: Started going online and trading games; became a courier, adopting the
handle Trixter
1987: Started cracking games; was member of INC.  Started working at Babbage's
(computer software store) -- nearly endless supply of games to try ;-)
1988: Left INC to go independent; left Babbage's
1989: Started working at Egghead, another computer software store (another
endless supply)
1989-1991: College.  This small time period represents about 25% of my total
lifetime's game playing (you can see from the years I never finished college
;-)

Note that I don't include recent activity *or* my Apple II, IIgs, Mac, or Amiga
experience in the above.  I didn't want to make the timeline too long; just
long enough to answer your question.  I've had hands-on with multiple boxes
(even TI 99/4A and Atari 8-bit), but PC was definitely my field of
specialization.
 
 I thought it was a decent adventure, but not all that Zorkish.  Most of the
 names and places were newly invented, it's almost like they took an existing
 game and stuck some Zork stuff onto it.  The interface for RtZ was very
 good, with different variations of how to use an object on another object,
 instead of just click-this-on-that.  There were a couple of pure (i.e.
 non-game related, 7th Guest-ish) puzzles, one really horrible puzzle with
 the bridge at the very end, and quite a few things that didn't make a whole
 lot of sense because of poor clues or muddled design.  The voice acting was
 about par for the time, which is to say, not very good... Jason Hervey gave
 a horrid performance as the cowardly troll, and the singing tree was
 hideous... though anything with A.J. Langer in it can't be all bad.  From
 what I've heard, a significant number of the r.*.i-f collective hated it.

Thanks for the feedback.  One of the things the programmer worked on was the
interface, so that will warm his heart.  I was interested in particular about
his work on the video and audio compression (another hobby of mine) which is
how I met him.
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Re: [SWCollect] LGoP2 mention

2001-07-11 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 Not to mention Arcanum, the RPG where you can play either with the magic
 side or the technological side (fireball vs sniper rifle! summon demon vs
 Tesla rod!)

This came out and I missed it?  Or is it a new release?
 
 BTW:  I forwarded your message to some guys at work and now it's making
 the
 rounds -- everyone who plays RPGs wants to read it!  :-)
 
 I don't want to sound arrogant at all, but if all your colleagues haven't
 ever played any pre-win95 RPG, they'll probably disagree with me completely

They didn't.  They're rational people.  :-)  In fact, one of them asked me for
a copy of Megatraveller based on your writing.
 
 Which reminds me of another interesting topic... why so many computer games
 players these days prefer graphics to everything else? We weren't like that
 in the old days, were we? And I barely had any text adventure.

Our expectations have risen.  Movies like The Matrix show that practially
anything is possible, so people are starting to expect it from games as well. 
Back in our time, it was established that computer graphics simply don't look
realistic no matter how good they are, so incredibly graphics weren't a
requirement.

I still appreciate good pixeling, though.  Take a look at the CGA version of
Defender of the Crown (had only 4 crappy colors to work with) or the CGA
version of Wasteland or Bard's Tale and you can see that hand-pixeling on the
computer was an art that could indeed be mastered.  Some of those artists (Todd
Camasta and others come to mind) said more in 4 colors than many modern games
do with a palette of 16.7 million.
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Re: [SWCollect] Some questions

2001-07-11 Thread Jim Leonard

Stephen S. Lee wrote:
 
 I'm one of those People Who Only Collects IBM Games.  (The IBM PC is what
 I started with -- my father works at IBM, and he got one for home use
 shortly after the PC got introduced.)  Eventually, I might branch out to
 non-IBM games and packages that flat-out don't exist for IBM, but I still
 have my hands full getting stuff for IBM (and probably will for at least a
 couple more years).

Take heart; I'm the same way.  I also collect PCjr-specific and Tandy-specific
games (PC, but use and/or require the special 16-color graphics and 3-voice
sound on those platforms).  I can help answer your PC-specific questions for
you.
 
 There is a poster that comes with the game, but I was under the impression
 that it only came with the Commodore versions (both C64 and Amiga).  Now
 I've heard of an IBM version that also comes with it, and mentions the
 presence of the poster via a sticker on the box.  How easy is this one to
 come by?

I can't verify it's rarity for sure, but I know that I bought Pools of Radiance
RIGHT when it was delivered to stores in 1988 and I did not get a poster.  It
might have been a promotional add-in to help sell extra copies of the game at a
later point in time.
 
 (2) Might  Magic I
 
 Tangent from (1): now I wonder whether there exists an IBM version of the
 original Might  Magic with the large spiral-bound manual.

I have seen MM1 for the PC with a spiral-bound manual, although my memory says
it's a 5x7 manual, not large.  My memory could be wrong... but it was
definitely spiral-bound.
 
 (3) Acquiring semi-recent games
 
 I realize this is somewhat like asking to predict the performance of an
 arbitrary stock, but I'll ask anyway.
 
 Regarding games like I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream and The Neverhood
 (games that aren't old, but are out of print, aren't likely to be
 re-released, and are sought after by serious adventure-gaming fans): do
 you think these will get easier or harder to acquire as time passes?  I'm
 wondering whether to buy now or to wait.

Buy now if the price is $9 or less.  You can always sell later.  That's what I
do, but I'm not everyone.
 
 I'm also wondering whether the price of Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga will
 ever come down to earth.  With my Killer Retrogaming Rig, I don't need
 this to play, like many of the people who shell out big bucks for this do.
 I'd love to complete a Wing Commander collection, though -- just not for
 $200+ if I can help it.

The price of Kilrathi Saga just blows my mind.  People who are paying those
prices (I've seen as high as $500) are incredibly stupid.  It's just not worth
that much.  The film can release of Wing Commander 3 is a hell of a lot more
rare and worth a thousand dollars at least (came in an actual film can, with
extra materials including a t-shirt).
 
 (4) Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
 
 Another IBM-specific question.  Other than the program itself, what's the
 difference in packaging between the original version and the
 enhanced-graphics version?

I've never seen both to compare, sorry... anyone?
 
 (5) Wasteland
 
 Yes, another IBM question ... does the IBM version of this only come in
 the book package?  I've run into a couple people who want an IBM square
 flat folder, and want to be able to say with certainty that it doesn't
 exist.

The IBM version only game in the book package.  You can say with certainty
that the IBM version of Wasteland never came out in folio form.
 
 (6) Truly ancient IBM games
 
 There are four IBM games I know of that come in a small flat gray
 plastic folder (this is how the very first IBM games came packaged):
 
 Adventure in Serenia
 Microsoft Adventure
 Microsoft Decathlon (which I'm still looking for; three copies showed up
   on eBay in rapid succession several months ago, but none have shown up
   since -- sigh)
 Strategy Games (yes, extremely generic, though there wasn't exactly a ton
   of competition at the time)

 Do any others exist?  I remember an IBM catalog that listed every single
 piece of commercial software available for the recently-introduced IBM PC,
 but I don't have that any more.  I do remember that the entertainment
 section was relatively paltry.

Wow, you're definitely hard-core IBM.  :-)  Warms my heart to see that.  Yes,
these were the first four entertainment titles for the IBM PC Model 5150.  I
don't see any more in my catalogs until the later plastic clam-shell
packaging.

You might be interested to know that there were third-party games for the IBM
available very closely after the 5150's release (ie. the above 4 you list
weren't the only first games available).  Check www.mobygames.com for
funtastic games, for example.
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[SWCollect] Old games and gaming rigs

2001-07-11 Thread Jim Leonard

Stephen S. Lee wrote:
 
 I'm also wondering whether the price of Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga will
 ever come down to earth.  With my Killer Retrogaming Rig, I don't need
 this to play, like many of the people who shell out big bucks for this do.

This statement, and Lee's questions about Adlib support, have prompted me to
start a new thread on oldschool gaming.  :-)  With more experience than I care
admit, here are some random observations on getting old games to run in today's
world:

- 99% of the problems you'll have getting old games to run is speed.  If you
have a game made before 1989, chances are very high that it will require a 286
or lower.  If you have a game made after 1989, chances are high that you can
get it to run on your current hardware if you slow it down VIA HARDWARE, like
disabling the caches and slowing the speed of the CPU.  See below:

- Slowdown programs work with about 5% of games with speed-related problems. 
If one works for you, great -- but don't get your hopes up.

- There is no such thing as a single Killer Retrogaming Rig.  :-)  You can use
all the tricks you want but there are some games that do particularlly nasty
tricks or make particularlly nasty assumptions that require original hardware. 
You need at least three rigs to run 95% of old games:

- A true 8088 running at 4.77MHz with CGA for everything made before 1987
- A 16MHz 80386 with a turbo speed control (to toggle between 16MHz and
8MHz)
- A 486/33 with a turbo speed control

Additional boxes that will cover 4.5% more:

- A Pentium 90 (for games that require that kind of horsepower but have severe
timing issues on modern boxes
- An 80286 (for games that need about 12 MHz of speed but use self-modifying
code that won't run on 80386s and higher
- A Tandy 1000 so that you can experience the 16-color graphic and 3-voice
sound in games that support them (most people don't know that some of the
Tellarium PC releases had support for 3-voice music, like Rendezvous with Rama
-- you listening, Chris? :-)

And finally, for that last 0.5%:

- A PCjr for PCjr-only games
- A 7.16MHz or 8MHz 8086, or original IBM AT (6MHz 80286) -- for games that
need just an extra bit of punch than a 4.77MHz 8088 can provide, but for which
a 10+MHz 80286 is too fast)

And the truly sad thing?  I own them all.  Some are so important to me that I
have backups/spares (I have 3 Tandys, 4 PCjrs, 2 model 5150s, 4 386/16s, etc.) 
So I guess you could call me hardcore.  Oh yeah, I also own a 1GHz Athlon for
modern gaming and a PIII 933 for video and audio work.  And my 4-yr-old plays
educational games on a PPro 200.  

The end result of all this is that I am capable of running every single PC game
ever released, without fail, without exception, exactly as the developer
intended.  And why do I need to do this?  Because I am the head data historian
at www.mobygames.com.
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Re: [SWCollect] [OT] Roland LAPC-1

2001-07-11 Thread Jim Leonard

Lee K. Seitz wrote:
 
 Now what happens on a faster machine?  The detection routine whips through the
 35 short JMPs much quicker than it is supposed to.  When it tries to read the
 ID byte, the Adlib isn't ready to supply it yet.  So no byte is read, and no
 Adlib card is detected.
 
 But that doesn't explain why it didn't work on my 286.  Well, it was a

That explains exactly why it didn't work on your 286.  Read on:

 286 20MHz, and I admit I don't remember if I tried the game without
 turbo on.  But still, the game's from 1991 and, IIRC, 386s were pretty
 common then.

..in America.  In Europe in 1990, where and when the game was programmed (and
published -- 1991 is the US release date), 7.16MHz 8086 clones were extremely
common still because Amstrad was popular in Europe and sold a lot of clones. 
That was the development platform for the game.
 
 I do know that when I got it, my roommate's original IBM PC was
 outdated.  No hard drive (just two 5.25 floppy drives), but he did
 have a VGA monitor and Adlib card.  And he played Eye of the Beholder
 on it.  Try playing new games on five-year-old hardware now!

:-)  But it was different back then; hardware depreciated MUCH more slowly than
today.  Getting games to work on an original PC was a developement requirement
up until 1989, and even for 2 years after that a lot of games still ran okay on
your friend's hardware because they weren't speed-intensive -- they only needed
decent graphics and sound.  (Actually, Eye of the Beholder was developed in
1990 and it runs fine on an original PC with CGA and no sound.  Since there
wasn't any reason it shouldn't, it was intentionally designed that way.)
 
 (I had to check MobyGames for the date.  Cool ASCII logo for Lynx
 browsers, Jim!  Never been to MG using Lynx before.  Now it's my only
 choice from work.)

Hey, someone finally noticed!  That's 2 years old, that logo.  :-)  As for the
Python info, I just found out that much of it was WRONG -- I've fixed it with
proper data.  (I didn't approve that entry, needless to say...)

To appease you, I'll fix Monty Python.  Let me check around for the game
online...  Found it.  Checking .exe...  Geez, what an incompetent rip, not
cracked, it's the EGA/VGA version only and the game itself is included *twice*
in the archive!!  This is why the current state of Abandonware websites is
pathetic.  Checking for modern box compatibility... works!  Under NT no less,
on a PII 233.  I'll work at this on the trainride home tonight.
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Re: [SWCollect] Some questions

2001-07-12 Thread Jim Leonard

Stephen S. Lee wrote:
 
 I was actually talking about Champions of Krynn, not Pool (never heard of

Oh, Krynn!  Yes, my friend had this given to him as a gift, and I distinctly
remember a poster being included.  (IBM PC version)

  I have seen MM1 for the PC with a spiral-bound manual, although my
  memory says it's a 5x7 manual, not large.  My memory could be
  wrong... but it was definitely spiral-bound.
 
 Son of a gun ... I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for that one, too.  You
 sure about this?  Hugh seems to disagree ...

It was a large box, that much I remember.  But this was a long time ago.  If
there is a dispute, I'll defer to Hugh, as he probably owns it.
 
  Buy now if the price is $9 or less.  You can always sell later.  That's what I
  do, but I'm not everyone.
 
 Yeah, but these sorts of games typically go on eBay for $25+.  I pick

But don't get them off of ebay -- you need to learn the fine art of
oldwarezing (visiting all sorts of thrift shops, used software stores (a
surprising amount of them exist in Illinois), goodwill, and other nooks and
crannies.  Or, just be patient and always bid low for something that comes up a
lot, and you might get it.  Chris is fond of sharing stories of things like
someone putting up a complete Infocom with a Buy This Now price of $5 (doh!)
:-)

Chris and Tom, both on this list, are experts in oldwarezing.  I have tagged
along with them on one of their runs and learned a lot; Chris, in particular,
has a knack for finding the neat obscure stuff, like Michael Berlyn novels. 
Chris, care to spare any advice on finding stuff?  Or have you written about
that subject already in the YOIS newsletter?

 these off at a slow pace -- sometimes the going price on eBay skyrockets
 alarmingly, as happened notably with the Sierra collections.  I'm just
 wondering whether The Neverhood will always be $60-70, or whether it will
 be profitable to wait for the price to dip to $25, or whether I should buy
 ten copies now and make a mint in a few years.  :)

I wouldn't use software as a profit device -- some people do, but tastes change
(and people's IQ goes up and down ;-) and I've never tried to make money off of
it.  However, I *know* other people on this list do it, and some do it well --
maybe they should offer up some advice?
 
  The price of Kilrathi Saga just blows my mind.  People who are paying
  those prices (I've seen as high as $500) are incredibly stupid.  It's
  just not worth that much.
 
 Yeah, well, nothing much you can do about the desperate game-players ... I
 still want my Wing Commander calendar, though.  :)

I guess they don't realize that they can purchase Wing Commanders 1, 2, and 3,
buy a 486 and a Roland MT-32, and play them all for much less than $500.  (The
remastered soundtrack for the Kilrathi Saga is just the MT-32 soundtrack
saved to .WAV files that play during the game.)
 
  The film can release of Wing Commander 3
  is a hell of a lot more rare and worth a thousand dollars at least
  (came in an actual film can, with extra materials including a
  t-shirt).
 
 Ah, I don't think it's worth quite so much, otherwise I wouldn't have
 gotten a complete copy on eBay for $125.  (Absolutely complete; this
 almost always shows up missing a part or five.)  Huge bugger of a package
 (it doesn't all come in the can; the can itself comes in a larger box),
 too; not sure how I'll put it on my shelves in the place I'm moving to.

Kick ass!  I envy you.  It's definitely worth more for the simple reason that
much less were produced, only about 1500 if memory serves.  There were 22,000
Kilrathi Sagas on shelves and probably more in warehouses.
 
 This *was* obtaininable direct from EA until relatively recently,
 actually.  (Same for the Martian Dreams clue book, sigh.)

I wish I had known that!  :-(
 
   (6) Truly ancient IBM games
  
   There are four IBM games I know of that come in a small flat gray
   plastic folder (this is how the very first IBM games came packaged):
 [snip]
  Wow, you're definitely hard-core IBM.  :-)  Warms my heart to see
  that.  Yes, these were the first four entertainment titles for the IBM
  PC Model 5150.  I don't see any more in my catalogs until the later
  plastic clam-shell packaging.
 
 Dude, you've got the catalogs too.  Lucky bastard.  :)

But I don't have the games!  Lucky bastard.  ;)
 
  You might be interested to know that there were third-party games for
  the IBM available very closely after the 5150's release (ie. the above
  4 you list weren't the only first games available).  Check
  www.mobygames.com for funtastic games, for example.
 
 How hard are the other extremely old IBM games to find?  Occasionally I
 try to look for a copy of, say, J-Bird, or Czorian Siege, but I have
 absolutely no recollection what the packaging looks like for one thing,
 and I have no idea how rare it is.

I think you just answered your own question.  ;)

 Incidentally, J-Bird runs absolutely flawlessly on a modern computer.  :)
 (Well, 

Re: [SWCollect] LGoP2 mention

2001-07-12 Thread Jim Leonard

Stephen S. Lee wrote:
 
 My point is, your view on Megatraveller I is very much a minority one.
 Scorpia isn't the only person I've seen hate it; so do a large majority of
 old RPGer's I've heard who've played it.  If I liked I game that I knew
 many other people hated, I'd recommend it only with serious reservations
 at best, especially since here we're running the risk of turning off some
 people to old games (this is why you are upsetting me here).

Guys, guys, hold off:  The only reason my coworker wanted to see Megatraveller
was because he wanted to see the character generation system.  I warned him a
lot of people didn't like the game; he just wanted to see firsthand what Pedro
was talking about.
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Re: [SWCollect] Some questions

2001-07-12 Thread Jim Leonard

Hugh Falk wrote:
 
 I do have the original Might and Magic for the Apple.  It is a 9 x 12
 spiral bound book and did not come in a box.  The Apple II 64K required
 sticker that would normally be on the outside of a box is placed on the
 jacket of the book.

I think that answers the question, then:  My memory is faulty.  Might and Magic
1 for the IBM PC definitely came in a box.  Whether or not it was spiral-bound
remains to be determined, but it is not identical to the Apple large
spiral-bound manual.

Thanks for the note, Hugh!
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Re: [SWCollect] Some questions

2001-07-12 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 I've given suggestions, but it never hurts to restate them.

..

Excellent, excellent advice.  Warms my heart to see stuff like that on this
list.
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[SWCollect] [Fwd: Re: Echelon]

2001-07-17 Thread Jim Leonard

Whoops -- He was still on the mailing list.  I've removed him.  Good
grief, this person had issues.

 Original Message 
Subject: Re: Echelon
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 22:30:21 EDT
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Trixter (or whomever you are)

I have just gotten the emails from Chris Forman via that oldskool site.
This 
is not funny. I have told him NEVER to email me again. EVER. I for one
do not 
talk behind other's back. I WILL HOWEVER WILL tell them off in front of
their 
face. That is different.

PLEASE DO NOT email these losers. I for one am not too thrilled of this
crap. 
Thanks alot.

Will

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Re: [SWCollect] Yipe.

2001-07-20 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 Well, I just screwed up big-time.  *Sigh*... I feel horrible about this.
 Anybody got any reassuring words?

Yes:  Don't sweat it for even one second.  Will has some pretty deep issues
that he won't correct any time soon because, frankly, he isn't aware of them
*and* he's stubborn.  I swear, the dude has a neurological disorder.  You are
quite accurate in his misuse of terminology -- did you know one of the reasons
I wanted to create the MobyScale is because I wanted *him* to use it?  I got
tired of seeing him write MINT!!! for opened packages, or RARE!!! on games that
I have seen in triplicate at all used software stores.

If he never comes back to the world of software collecting, I wouldn't shed a
tear.

*AND*, since this mailing list is archived at a publicly-accessible URL, he may
see this message someday, and will probably accuse me of talking behind his
back.  Well, I don't consider this talking behind his back because, quite
frankly, this message isn't addressed to him.

I never thought I would meet a child in the world of software collecting. 
Guess I was wrong.
 
 - Original Message -
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 9:20 PM
 Subject: Funny.
 
  Yeah, he's always struck me as quirky, even for a collector.  He always
 had
  a tendency to get very EXCITED!!! when talking about his RARE! and
  MINT! games.  (Everything in better-than-average condition was MINT!!!
  to him, even if the package had been opened.)  He did have some rare
 stuff,
  but I'm sorry, his PC Forbidden Quest just is not worth $450, or
 whatever
  he paid for it.
 
   It is worth it. Only 100 of these were made. I also got an email from
 the
  AUTHOR who said it's worth more than that. Know the facts first Chris.
 
  Now I feel bad.  I shouldn't be talking behind his back like this.
 
   You SHOULD feel bad. I for one DO NOT talk about others like this. I'm
  not happy or laughing about this. I get all these GOD DAMN emails send to
 my
  F* email thanks to these putz's and I got this one. Thanks very much
 my
  EX FRIEND.
 
  He mentioned medical bills awhile back, I wonder if he's going through a
  tough time now?
 
   I have recently purchased a pinball machine. Something MORE WORTHWHILE
  than those stupid games since I am 30 years of age and not a kid any
 longer.
  I have better things to look forward to in my life. How about you?
 
  Anyway, go ahead and post this to that stupid oldskool site. Have fun and
  MAYBE in a couple of decades from now you'll hear from me again. Until
 then
  bugger off.
 
  Will
 
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Re: [SWCollect] [Fwd: Echelon]

2001-07-20 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
 He mentioned medical bills awhile back, I wonder if he's going through a
 tough time now?

A recent email from him seems to suggest that he had an epiphany.  He's moving
to a new place and dumping most of his non-value games (he said he's keeping
his 30 infocoms, blue Jewels of Darkness, and Forbidden Quest), and collecting
old pinball games (the small stand-up kind, not full tableglass pinballs).  He
just turned 30.

I turn 30 this August, but you won't find me selling my games ;-)
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[SWCollect] Ludicrous prices

2001-07-22 Thread Jim Leonard

Caught this website:

http://www.badben.com/

It's bad enough that it's viewable under Internet Explorer only, but
$200 for a Black Cauldron?  The CD version of Willy Beamish for $149? 
Wing Commander hintbook for $80?? (sealed, but still...)  

Here's the kicker:

Wizard and the Princess by Sierra. Untested, for unknown computer
system. $199.99

It's the diskette only!  For unknown computer system!!

Am I overreacting, or do people (other than Will D. ;-) actually pay
these prices?  I would *never* pay $249 for an original KQ1, unless it
was personally signed by Robert Williams or Jeff Stephenson.

PS:  Never mind, I think I figured it out:  He's uneducated; he listed
Fountain of Dreams as very rare Wasteland sequel.  It's not rare at
all, nor is it the true sequel.

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Re: [SWCollect] Infocom games' boxes

2001-07-23 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 (P.S. I think I just visited the website where you saw them. B-)
 
 I had mentioned that site to you, hadn't I? It was (before I bought all the
 nice titles) a nice site, I picked up those three Infocoms, plus Moebius
 Windwalker and Vixen (it had the poster, hurrah! ;)) all for £20 including
 shipping.
 

Okay, cough it up:  What's the URL of the site?
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Re: [SWCollect] Yipe.

2001-07-23 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 *and* he's stubborn.  I swear, the dude has a neurological disorder.
 
 Weren't you the one that said that we _all_ have a neurological disorder or
 we wouldn't be collectors, etcetc? ;)

His isn't along the same lines as ours.  :-)  We're anal-retentive and
compulsive, but he has some sort of sociological pathology thing going on.
 
 Just a correction here, Jim: you are talking about someone, and he doesn't
 know about it. So yes, it can be considered talking behind his back

Okay, I'll rephrase:  I don't give a crap if he sees this.
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Re: [SWCollect] Infocom games' boxes

2001-07-23 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 For example, I can tell you guys that
 there are several Cyber Exchanges and Software ReRuns around where I live
 (Naperville, IL, USA).  I tell you this because I've already picked them
 clean
 for my own purposes.
 
 You didn't pick the RPGs, did you? :)

Nope.  I don't collect RPGs.  In fact, I think I collect everything that you
guys *don't* collect.
 
 I'm helping by sharing, and I'm not worried about missing
 a deal because I've already been there.
 
 I'm rarely worried about missing a deal even if I haven't been there yet...
 unless there's an Akalabeth or Ultima CPC listed or something... 0:)

I'll drop a bomb, here:  I don't know what you're talking about when you say
Ultima CPC.  Could you explain?

Here's another bomb:  I have never, ever liked any Ultimas.  I find them
contrived and scatterbrain; I feel the storylines are manufactured and trite. 
And most of all, the name Lord British really rubs me the wrong way -- it
rubbed me the wrong way when I first saw it on the bootup screen of Ultima 2
and it still rubs me the wrong way today.  It's a dorky,
grammatically-incorrect handle.  When I hear the name Lord British, I picture
a pimply 14-yr-old trying to think of a cool handle to choose when signing
onto a BBS door.

I am the only software collector in the world who doesn't like Ultima.  I love
Origin, just not Ultima.  If there is any one thing that any one Ultima game
does better than *all* other RPGs, I'd sure like to know.  (If you want to
reply :-) please do so privately as I don't think everyone on the list wants to
hear a flamewar over Ultima.)
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The world's most comprehensive gaming database project.

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Re: [SWCollect] Latest eBay craze

2001-07-23 Thread Jim Leonard

You can download most common oldies from www.freeoldies.com, actually.

[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 Hi Stephen, how's it going? Hey could you upload the IBM software of Gold
 Rush to me, mine is Apple ][ but I want to try the IBM version.
 
 Thanks,
 Tom
 
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Re: [SWCollect] Infocom games' boxes

2001-07-24 Thread Jim Leonard

C.E. Forman wrote:
 
  Let's put it this way:  I have no problem sharing my sources with you guys
  *after* I've picked them clean.  ;-)  Which is what I was expecting Pedro
 to
  do.  Which is what I expect we all do.  For example, I can tell you guys
 that
  there are several Cyber Exchanges and Software ReRuns around where I live
  (Naperville, IL, USA).  I tell you this because I've already picked them
 clean
  for my own purposes.  I'm helping by sharing, and I'm not worried about
 missing
  a deal because I've already been there.
 
 But what about sources that get new stuff in regularly?  Do you really want
 to share your best hunting grounds with a bunch of other collectors?  B-)

Well, that's a personal decision.  But if you ever mention it in public, then
you will be hounded until the rest of your days for the location :-)
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Re: [SWCollect] Infocom games' boxes

2001-07-25 Thread Jim Leonard

Pedro Quaresma wrote:
 
 I'm not interested
 in the RPGs as much as I am the action games (4D Sports Boxing, I500,
 Budokan are all A+ quality games that I'd like a 2nd copy of).
 
 I have been considering Indy 500 too... Indy was one of my first PC games,
 I just loved to run with the Indestructible car anti-clockwise, so I could
 put everyone out and then win comfortably :)

But most importantly, that game is a programming masterpiece.  I used to think
Stunt Track Racer (fastest), Starglider (fast) and Flight Simulator (pretty)
were the pinnacle of 1980s 3D until I saw Indy 500.  Indy 500 is so incredibly
well engineered that it puts every single 3D game made before 1990 to shame.  I
was getting between 10-15 fps on a 7.16MHz 8086 (my machine at the time) in
CGA, and remember we're talking 2/3rds full-screen graphics with filled
vectors!  Yes, they cut a lot of corners mathematically -- you can see the
coarse granularity of the integer math if you study how the cars are drawn;
also, some of the polygons are filled on nybble boundaries instead of pixel
boundaries -- but for the most part this is hidden from the user and it just
plain looks great.

And Rob Hubbard, who is a god to all C64 freaks :-), did the music and sound,
which are just excellent.  If you can get the game working on an Adlib (there's
a later patched version floating around somewhere), you will be amazed at how
realistic it sounds.
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The world's most comprehensive gaming database project.



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