It was a night of terrible twos here in the Green game room on Saturday night. I woke up around 6pm and staggered into my game room to fire up the PC and continue the arduous task of stocking the new version of theLogBook.com Store. This is something I’ve been doing a lot of lately – taking some slightly altered code from the original HTML version of the store and putting the ordering info for those items into the store’s database either one by one or in clusters; for some reason, it takes the database forever to assimilate the information as I input it. Every new entry takes something on the order of five minutes to finally go into the database. (Don’t worry – actually calling stuff up from the database, even with the new search function, is about as fast as it can be when you’re actually looking stuff up.) So I’ve been adding new stuff, entry by entry, and doing other stuff – usually involving, ironically enough, coding upcoming reviews in the old HTML format – and when I alt-tab over to the browser window where I’m entering stuff and see an empty form, it’s time to add another item.
Anyway, when I went to do more of this, I found that my wife was already home from work…and was playing Master Of Orion 2 on my PC. So much for more database entries. “Two can play at this game with the number two involved!” I thought, and fired up the Odyssey2, actually managed to stalemate the computer in Mr. Roboto!, and then set about recording various games for more video segments for the site. I then got around to testing some new Apple II games on floppy that I got recently, and did some recording there as well. (I’ve gotten to where I’m stunned to get a bunch of 20-25 year old floppy disk games and find that only one of them is DOA – depending on storage conditions, all of them could very well be toast.) I briefly played one, Road War 2000, which was really strange – it’s kind of like a Mad Max thing where you have to accumulate and accessorize all the abandoned cars you can get your hands on and go to war with rival gangs. Or something like that; the whole process of tricking out the cars seemed exceptionally complicated. I also tried the Apple II version of Mario Bros., which I’d never seen before. It made me appreciate the 2600 version even more. 😆 Back to the Odyssey2 for a second: for the first time in years, I fired up Keyboard Creations and got a whole scrolling message going. I don’t think I’ve touched that particular cartridge in 20 years, and I still scratch my head wondering what Magnavox was thinking there – were shop owners supposed to get an Odyssey 2 with Keyboard Creations and punch out today’s specials on a membrane keyboard to run in a TV in the window all day? I still stick by my assessment of Keyboard Creations as the video game world’s first and only “cable access channel simulator.” Because if you remember the clumsy pixellated scrolling messages that appeared on cable access circa 1980, that’s what this looked like. The thought has occurred that, having gotten good video of that one in action, Keyboard Creations may never escape from its box again.
Anyway, it wasn’t a bad night of his-and-hers gaming here at Casa Green. We don’t have nearly enough of those. Granted, we’re playing two different games across the room from each other (there’s some kind of metaphor in there, I’m sure), but it’s hard enough for us to get our schedules to meet up where we can even be in the same place and awake at the same time, so it’s a start.