TLDR; A Long Winded Rambling
Behind The Thought Behind This Site"

Flash Way, Way Back to the Mid-Late 1970s...

From the first time as a kid I played Lunar Lander and a Football Simulator on an IBM System 36?? After sllllloooooowwwllly loading from a hard cassette I was hooked.   From there I spent visitation summers with my Dad hacking away on a Wang Word Processor (It was a freakin' desk with a computer built in) at his company to create and print maps for Dungeons and Dragons using ASCII Characters. Oh and writing and creating the corresponding adventures to DM when I got back home in the fall.


In my teens I scored in rapid succession a Timex Sinclair and then a Commodore 64 for home (my bedroom of course) and banged away on a TRS-80 (Trash 80) at school. The RCA 19" Color TV (with manual dial, no remote) and the ever shorting AV/TV switch box completed my empire! My friends and I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours typing in source code for games from Dragon Magazine, Commodore Magazine, Ahoy, Analog Computing and whatever else we could scrap up or "borrow" from dumpsters and the local computer shop.  Cassette of the month tapes from the likes of AC/DC, UFO and REO Speedwagon were scotch tape “hacked” to allow the Commodore 64 head unit to save (and even sometimes load back successfully) our efforts.  Dungeons and Dragon knock off games rocked!


I remember begging my Dad for a 1541 Disk Drive to make my life easier, he bought me a dot matrix printer and a box of paper instead.  In the long run, it probably was more beneficial to print out and tape columns of paper to my bedroom walls for code tracing.  GOTO and GOSUB statements brought about the demise of many magic markers and highlighters.


Soon Zork, Colossal Caves, dozens of ports of Star Trek simulation and creating our own dungeon crawling games killed all my interest in my Atari 2600 (except Asteroids and Adventure), I traded for a packet smashing 300 baud modem.  From there I conned a connection to CompuServ 3-4 hours a month was all I was allowed (and could afford), If I remember correctly it was $6 U.S. Dollars an hour for connections after hours. New avenues of source code and games and like-minded geeks we exponentially expanded. Using CompuServ and FidoNet allowed questions to be asked that the Math teacher come Computer Science Teacher couldn’t answer.  Post your question in the right group and FidoNet over the next few days would store and forward it out to dozens or hundreds of BBSs. (Wildcat BBS Software was the best IMHO(Disclaimer (That’s the one I SYSOP’d on)). Good place to find GIFs too. :)


After burning my allotment and budget one to many times, CompuServ access was severed by my Mom, but BBSs had started to come into their own by and Free was so much better.  Though with one phone line in the house, safe online time before bedtime was hard to come by. Safe online, back then was someone NOT picking up another extension and killing your dial-up connection!


Ultima III killed my online interest though, the game was so immersive, the 8bit maps and open play was revolutionary (to me). The rush Lord British and Britania gave is still the benchmark I use for rating gaming experience. Two other games had such impact.


Tradewars – This game was my introduction to multiplayer online game and people strategy.


Oblivion – A bit late in the game, but after a decade of being too damn serious, I retired to my home office to relax after getting this game and proceeded to spend quit a bit of time (too much for an adult with wife and kids) playing.


Honorable Mentions To:  


Most of the early SSI (Strategic Simulations inc) D&D series (Real games are played with dice, or Random D6 Generators)


Doom and Quake.  While I’ve always been slow on the trigger (Turn base games being my preference). These two were Genre kings.


So if there are a few of us old school nerds out there still, I invite you on my journey to code pre-1990s BASIC games to VB.NET 2015+ platform and discuss the good old days of 16K programs!



Cheers Brian


P.S. I am sure there are both technical and chronological errors and HUGE gaps in my memories.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Donate:

Here are my top 5 Reason I am asking you to donate to keep this porting old BASIC to VB.NET web site alive...

1) Heat My Basement Office/Lair

2) Keep the Webhost Fed maybe move to HTTPS

3) Beer Ain't Cheap (but if #1 not met stays cold for free)

4) Quit My Day Job (Hahahaha) Hey Wozniak, Gates, Ellison?

5) Buy More Antique Books


2 and 5 are my priorities, 1 and 3 are just creature comforts and 4 is just a pipe dream...

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