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    C64, sci-fi, writing, reading

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  1. I did like Kettle, the wacky Ben Daglish music suited it perfectly. (Click the RATT on the title screen to turn the pointer into a rat, then click the KETTLE logo for a little hidden message). I first played The Bard’s Tale from tape, but I never got further than the first big dungeon with the default party. (The Bard’s Fire Horn is a magic weapon that does a lot of damage, and that is very useful). I played it more on disk and then put many hours into Bard’s Tale 3.
  2. Pre-orders were going to open in November, but was put back to after the VS launch so they could concentrate on that. #23 looks really cool, some interesting and unusual titles.
  3. The first computer I ever encountered. It wasn’t long before the teacher was asking my advice on using it, and I was finding reasons to get to the library to play on it. One lesson I worked out how to do a dual display - one on the monitor, the other on the TV trolley - as the other pupils ran “programs” using the Turtle to solve a maze (R90, F100, L90). And I may have skipped a couple of football practices to stay in the warm playing games... At secondary school there were more BBCs, until the arrival of a suite of Amstrad PCWs and then an incredibly generous donation from Acorn of a dozen new Archimedes. I used to swap prefect duty so I was in the computer room, and of course my experience of programming in BBC BASIC let me write some fun things on the Archimedes.
  4. 1.8GHz - doesn’t sound like a massive speed increase over the previous chip to me. Still, we will probably see multiple machines based around it in the next year...
  5. Starglider 2 drew inspiration from I, Robot’s Doodle City mode. Only Argonaut called it “Painting with Rolf” in homage to Rolf Harris...
  6. It has been a real pity to see Williams falling back through the rankings in recent years. The Jones/Keke Rosberg era was about close battles, particularly when Renault’s turbo engines became more reliable. Then you have the solid Boutsen/Patrese era - they would score points consistently and grab the odd podium. Of course nothing really beats Mansell and Piquet fighting, or the redemption of Damon Hill’s title. You just wonder if there was one or two key decisions (I seem to remember struggles with the weight of the early KERS system on the Williams?) that could have made a huge difference to those last few seasons.
  7. Had a bad moment setting mine up this morning - the light bar cycled but it stuck on the Blaze logo. Turned out the USB extension I was using wasn’t letting enough amps through, plugged direct and it all worked. First impressions are great, excellent interface and the controllers feel good. Will link my unboxing video when it’s live.
  8. 1991 at Silverstone, first lap. We are sitting at Stowe, Patrese breaks incredibly late and collides with Berger. Patrese ends up airborne, flying into the fence in front of us, the underside of his car clearly visible. Closest I ever saw a crash, must have been a real heart-stopper for him.
  9. It is worrying to see a number of these incidents being reported in recent weeks - I know we aren’t back to the violent days of the mid 1980s yet, but seems to be increasing.
  10. My Founders Edition due Tuesday...
  11. If there was some value to it - “Atari” doing it as a serious investment in preservation and game history - then it would be welcome. But it seems more like that recent online forum purchase, just a way to grab a pool of user data/traffic. And then annoy it with advertising.
  12. Brilliant from the Red Roses, 15 tries and 89-0 against the USA - and they left points on the field.
  13. I interviewed Steve Meretzky for the current issue of Retro Gamer (#227), he has fond memories of writing that game
  14. South Africa brought the big hits, but delightful to see that quick rugby England played. Steward finished that try so well, and Quirke must be on cloud nine after that debut. But it was so close, those two missed Pollard kicks and two blown breaks could have told a different story...
  15. Fair. I played it on the Five Star Games II compilation, and just found the keyboard controls too fiddly.
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