Thursday, October 25, 2007

Take-the-High-Road Thursday!

You know, sometimes it dawns on me that I'll be 40 years old in less than 6 months, and I still enjoy comics just as much as I did when I was a child. And, contrary to the-man-once-known-as-my-father's prediction that I was doomed to fail in life because of my love for comics, I have a good career and a great home life.... so remember, kids, living well is the best revenge. Well, that, and watching people who mocked you go down in flames. That's pretty cool, too.

In celebration of this outburst of quasi-maturity, let's appreciate what comics have to offer us, not only in entertainment, but in valuable information:

Well, that's infotainment! I didn't know that's where oil comes from! That's marvelous! I should focus more on what we can learn from comics, don't you think?

Yeah, Roy! Keep my shaft greased! Heh! Shaft. Greased. Heh.

Well, that didn't last long, did it?

I can only imagine what happens when an octopus pulls a boner. With eight appendages, you certainly have a lot of choices which one to use.

Get it? Masturbation humor never gets old, does it?


Okay, we'll clean it up today with a look at what passed for high-tech entertainment in the 1950's. Wow. I can see that being really interesting.... the first time you go through the little film rolls.

That reminds me of this awful toy I had as a kid. It was called the T.E.A.M.M.A.T.E. Computer, and it sucked and blew. It didn't have a hard drive or a regular keyboard. It was like a calculator connected to a 4X4 LED screen, and you had to program the stupid thing every time you wanted to get to do anything (because it had no way to save anything, once you turned the power off, you had a blank slate). It would take you 45 minutes to program the thing to play tic-tac-toe. I think my parents got it as a punishment device. I mean, we all read the Consumer Reports review that said it was awful! And I think they dropped more than $50 on the thing back in the 80's. My parents didn't have the greatest judgment.

What's the worst toy you've ever encountered as a kid?


Anonymous said...

Haha. Do you remember the 2XL "to excel!" fakey toy "computer" from c.1979-80?

It was basically an 8-track tape player quiz game, with an anthrorobotic shape and an immensely annoying voice..

Your TEAMMATE sounds rockin' in comparison!
TRS-80 was just a dream..

Adam Barnett said...

yikes! that was a bad one. and it's not like things got better any time soon. remember when the commodore 64 used a cassette tape drive and it took 20 minutes to load anything?

De said...

remember when the commodore 64 used a cassette tape drive and it took 20 minutes to load anything?

Do I ever! None of the cool games were ever on tape, they were on floppy disk. My parents refused to even let me buy a floppy drive when I had saved enough of my allowance (that took over a year to accomplish). They said if I saved that much (which was about $300), I could put it in the bank. Mumble mutter mumble gripe

FoldedSoup said...

I had the same cassette storage for my Ol' Atari 400. Since you would never use an entire cassette side for a single program, you'd start the tape at the beginning, zero out the counter, then record your programs starting at 0, 50, 100, etc. Then you wrote down where in the count each one was in a little book.

One day, the cassette's counter broke.

So, for months, if I wanted to play game #6 on a cassette side, I'd have to stick the thing in an actual audio player and listen for the computer noise to stop, then the silence, then start again 6 times before I knew where I was.

Ah, memories...

D.B. Echo said...

Wow. I wonder if that Disneyland "Television" was even remotely licensed? In addition to the way-off-model depictions of the characters, it is also full of of "Engrish"-style grammatical offenses:

"Now you can have hours of fun seeing and showing your own favorite Disneyland to your friends and family."

"In all, the 8 rolls of 4 color film make up 112 different pictures of Disneyland and his friends!"

Anonymous said...

I remember that at the time of the 1st Commodore 64s and Atari's various magazines were published that had program code you could input for games and other programs. With my non-existent typing skills it would take me 3-4 hours to type in the code. That was just the first time, because invariably, when I ran the program it would crash and then require another hour of proofreading and re-typing over errors. All that for a crude black and white game that wouldn't fascinate a 3 year old today.

Adam Barnett said...

oh, larry, do I remember that. I had the world's worst Intro to Computer Science teacher who made us each try to get one of those magazine programs to work. Why? Because there was always an error in it and we were expected to find it and fix it. This was, of course, way beyond the abilities of seventh-graders who could barely play Apple Panic or Oregon Trail without hurting themselves. This same teacher ruined me for math.

SallyP said...

What a bunch of babies! In MY day, we didn't HAVE computers! We played outside! With STICKS!

Hell, we barely had television.

By the way, Aquaman's friend is THE Octopus? There's only one? You'd think he could at least come up with a name for it.