RetroPC

The 90’s: Printers

Always failed on the night before an assignment was due…

The 90’s: AOL Disks

That’s all I have to say about them.

The 90’s: AOL Disks

That’s all I have to say about them.

C|NET Central - Web Speeds (1990s)

I don’t know the exact date on this one but it is clear that the 28K Modem was the most popular modem in use at the time with 56K modems starting to hit the market. They compare the CNET webpage (classic yellow! ) using these 2 modems as well as the newest technology available… ADSL and Cable Modems. They mention the Quake demo of 10MB and how long it would take on the dial up modems.

It takes me back to a time of waiting all night for things to download and using old school Napster. For anyone that actually remembers using dial up modems this is a must see because you will instantly remember how long those page loads used to take. We are so used to instant loads now that this looks incredibly painful.

Highlights:

That dude’s hair… along with some of that other techy stuff I mentioned above…\

CNET Central
“Hosted by Richard Hart and Gina St. John (later replaced by Daphne Brogdon), CNET Central was the flagship program of CNET TV. It aired from 1995 to 1999 on the Sci Fi Channel and USA Network in the United States. Individual segments were hosted by Desmond Crisis, Ryan Seacrest, and Hari Sreenivasan. Reviews of software and hardware were provided by John C. Dvorak in his “Buy It, Try It, Skip It” segments. The show often ended with a segment called The Last Word featuring commentary from Dave Ross.” - Wikipedia

Today’s Kids and Old Technology

Young children try to identify the purpose of old gadgets and electronics.

Make sure you enable the annotations to get most of the translations.

Highlights:

The kid scratching on the record player and the interviewer taking it away!

How To: Install and Use DOSBox in Windows 7

There are a lot of how to’s out there about doing this but I thought I’d try to do a quick summary of the process for my readers to try out some of the games that I post.

1. Download and install DOSBox

2. Download a DOS game. I recommend Abandonia.com

For this example I will be using F-117A Stealth Fighter 2.0 by Microprose (1991). I will be posting my first Guest Review on this game soon!

3. Create a folder on your C: drive to store your DOS games in.

For my example I will be using my folder of C:\games

4. Extract the zipped DOS game that you downloaded in your DOS games folder and make sure that the extracted game is in a folder name that is 8 characters long or less.

For my example, I extracted my F-117A game to a folder called F117

5. Now launch DOSBox from the Windows Desktop shortcut or your Start Menu

6. Any time you open DOSBox you will need to mount your DOS games folder into the DOSBox program.

For my example, I do this by typing mount C C:\games

7. Change your active drive to the mounted C: drive by typing C:

You are now viewing your DOS games folder within DOSBox

8. Change to the game folder that you extracted to.

For my example I do this by typing cd\F117

9. Launch the game

For my example I do this by typing F117.COM

Once you launch your game there are some keyboard shortcuts that you will need to become familiar with to use DOSBox:

Note: These are the default keybindings. They can be changed using the keymapper.

ALT-ENTER Switch to full-screen (and back).

ALT-PAUSE Pause emulation.

CTRL-F1 Show the keymapper configuration screen,

CTRL-F4 Update cached information about mounted drives. Useful if you changed something on a mounted drive outside of DOSBox. Also cycles through disk images mounted using IMGMOUNT.

CTRL-F5 Save a screenshot (goes to capture folder).

CTRL-ALT-F5 Start/Stop recording of AVI video. NOTE: You may well have some problems with this, please see Recording Video for more information.

CTRL-F6 Start/Stop recording sound output to a wave file (goes to capture folder).

CTRL-ALT-F7 Start/Stop recording of OPL commands.

CTRL-ALT-F8 Start/Stop the recording of raw MIDI commands.

CTRL-F7 Decreases frameskip.

CTRL-F8 Increases frameskip.

CTRL-F9 Kill (close) DOSBox.

CTRL-F10 Capture/Release the mouse (if you need to use the mouse within DOSBox).

CTRL-F11 Decrease DOSBox cycles (slows down the emulation).

CTRL-F12 Increase DOSBox cycles (speeds up the emulation).

ALT-F12 Unlock speed (turbo button).

These default bindings are also documented in the README file accompanying the software.

Spoof: If Facebook were invented in the 90s

Wow. I think they pretty much covered everything important. LOL

Highlights:

Liking posts that you don’t like.

Video: The Internet in 1993

Segment 1:


Segment 2:

These CBC segments from 1993 cover the dawn of the Internet and newsgroups.

"The internet was a novelty whose concept few had grasped and most were confused by. This CBC-TV clip from "Prime Time News" reminds us of online’s astonishing conquest."

I never really got into newsgroups but a lot of people did and of course it was the precursor to all of the social interaction of today’s social networks. I guess I was too busy trying to get my MS-DOS game to load with a custom boot disk. : P

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

This one is not actually a game from the 80’s or 90’s. It’s a new game and for those of you still gaming it up from the 8-bit good old days on your PC check out the retro style of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. It’s available on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and it was just released for PC. It is a great point and click adventure game that is very reminiscent of the old PC games that I’ve been posting. I’m working my way through the game right now whenever I have some free time at home. It also has a killer original soundtrack by Jim Guthrie (stream it on Bandcamp). If you do check it out, make sure you wear your headphones to enjoy the full experience in stereo. You know you need a break from those new HD games anyway with all their pixels and stuff.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

This one is not actually a game from the 80’s or 90’s. It’s a new game and for those of you still gaming it up from the 8-bit good old days on your PC check out the retro style of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. It’s available on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and it was just released for PC. It is a great point and click adventure game that is very reminiscent of the old PC games that I’ve been posting. I’m working my way through the game right now whenever I have some free time at home. It also has a killer original soundtrack by Jim Guthrie (stream it on Bandcamp). If you do check it out, make sure you wear your headphones to enjoy the full experience in stereo. You know you need a break from those new HD games anyway with all their pixels and stuff.

Computer Chronicles - Greatest Computer Games (1995)

This one really brings back some memories. A few of the games covered are Buried in Time, Mech Warrior 2, and Phantasmagoria. I owned the games Buried in Time and Mech Warrior 2! I remember seeing advertisements and reviews for Phantasmagoria in PC Gamer magazine which I purchased at the local book store whenever I could. There is also a visit to Microsoft’s Judgment Day, a conference for third-party game developers in Redmond, Washington.

Highlights

I think the highlight of this episode for me though is the PC that they are running Mech Warrior 2 on that was “designed for gaming”. They say it’s a NEC Pentium 133MHz with a 6x CD-Rom drive, 1.6 GB hard drive, and cost about $3,000. These were the machines that I drooled over in the monthly Computer Shopper magazine. I distinctly remember seeing quite a few NEC machines that were at the top of my dream lists, maybe even this exact one.