August 5, 2004

Andy and I ended up staying up extremely late the last two nights. Andy headed off to bed around 4:00 am this morning and I headed down to the basement to get to work attempting an install again for my main computer. It is very frustrating when your primary machine isn’t functioning up to par. I did finally get the download of SuSE 9.1 completely around 3:30 this morning so that is letting me attempt new installs at tremendous speeds compared to before. So hopefully this will let me get somewhere before I have to go to bed. I can’t be up ALL night because I am expected to have to run up to Rochester at some point in the morning to go up to Empire State College to take care of registering for my final classes. I only have the fall term left to go and only two classes to take over the course of the term. So that will be 33% less expensive than this last term has been and half the work load. So that will be nice. I will appreciate the break. It will be really amazing to graduate finally after ten and a half years of college (I started college in June 1994 and didn’t miss a single semester until 1998 and then started back up around 2000!) I was going to have registered and everything for my classes two days ago but my mentor was out sick so I wasn’t able to do it when we had planned.

I have gotten onto a legacy home computing kick tonight (it is still late Wednesday / early Thursday morning.) I have been researching stuff from the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga eras and have been looking for some of the old games that I used to play. There is a bunch of stuff that I would really like to have but don’t exist in any format other than those old 8 bit and 16 bit ones. There was something special about those systems, though. They were awesome. They were simple. I think that mostly we liked them because we didn’t have any other choice. It is weird to think back to an era when you inserted a floppy disk (or a data cassette) and booted the computer in between every program you were going to run. I didn’t get to have a computer of my own until the Commodore Amiga that we got in 1987. I was eleven years old at the time. I can’t imagine anything being more exciting. Having a computer was such a huge deal then. It seems now, looking back, that people must have had computers at home all through the 1980’s. But the reality is that they didn’t. Those early computers, the Apple II, the TRS-80, the Commodore 64, they just weren’t useful for anything other than playing video games and learning about computers. Because the only storage that they had were floppies they weren’t really safe for financial data. They were a little useful as word processors, but only barely. And you had to invest in a printer. A dot matrix printer. And the output from a dot matrix printer wasn’t very impressive. The 16 bit computers really changed that. The Amiga, the Apple MacIntosh and the Atari ST were really powerful machines that brought usefullness into the home computer market. This new generation was useful for doing graphics, presentations, music and all sorts of things. My dad still has that old 1987 Amiga 1000 sitting in the basement in the den all set up and ready to go. I imagine that it has been a while since he has used it but I know that he fires it up for video games every now and then.

I am trying to get Min set up so that she can play a bunch of these old games from the office. Every so often she gets some free time at work and she really enjoys some of these old games. So I am trying to find all of the stuff that is really good. The stuff that really makes me nostalgic. Games like King’s Quest, The Faery Tale Adventure, Deja Vu and The Bard’s Tale. There was some good stuff back then. Pretty boring by today’s standards. It seems strange now to think about playing games that aren’t multiplayer. I wouldn’t even think of buying a game now that didn’t support at least eight players. I am interested to try playing some of these games again though too. It has been so long since I tried any of them out.

As far as I know, I am heading back down to Washington this weekend – most likely heading out of town on Saturday morning. But I think this computer situatin will probably have an affect on that. I really need to get my computers working here before I go anywhere.

If any of you out there have ever been interested in making your own retro style adventure game (yes, even you sitting there at home can do this!) then you should check out the SCI Studio website and the AGS web site. These are great utilities to make games at home. All it takes is patience and some skill at making good computer graphics.

We had brown and black outs here this morning (I went to bed at 7am and got up around 11:30) so Andy and I headed out to do something that didn’t require computers and to get him a UPS for his office because he is very susceptible to power issues without it. Everyone should have a UPS battery backup for their home computers. Go to someplace like Best Buy and get the APC BackUPS 350, it is about $40 and should be fine for normal home or small office use. That $40 could end up saving you a fortune down the line a little bit. If you don’t want to go to Best Buy, call Niagara Telecom, they are an APC partner. 😉

I had to stop by Empire State College to sign up for my final semester of classes. This is it, just two classes to go. I already have partially paid for them at this point. Boy does that feel good. On the home stretch. I accidentally left my sunglasses there so I need to go back up and get those sometime soon. What a pain that is.

Andy and I had lunch over at Jay’s Diner with Eric and then headed back home. We figured that the power issues were being caused by the construction going on outside and they were probably done by now. The next set of four townhomes are about to be erected down the line from us. It is very exciting to see out little street turning into a real development.

Min had just gotten up a little before Andy and I got home. I had to head down to the basement to get back to work getting my computer working (this is going to end up taking forever.) And she sat down to watch some Aqua Teen Hunger Force! Funny that that silly show has turned into a big thing around here

Around 8:00, Dominica and I headed out to get some dinner. We went over to Dennys. It would be nice if there was another late night restaurant or two in Geneseo. Not that Omega isn’t awesome and that Dennys isn’t fine, but there just isn’t very much selection – especially for us vegaquarians.

Andy decided to spend the evening playing the classic Sierra title, Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter. I haven’t played the original Space Quest yet but I intend to sometime soon. I always wanted to play the old SQ games but never got a chance.

Before I forget, congratulations to Nate for finally graduating with his Masters from Ithaca College.

After dinner, I had to head back down to the basement. I think I am going to be down here for a long time over the next two days. Saturday morning I am heading out to go to Annapolis about the same time that Min heads out to Ithaca.

I went to bed at a reasonable time tonight, I tried to work on the computer until late but it just didn’t happen. I am so exhausted and not having my computer working is rather stressful. I will probably be working on it next week when I return from DC. To make matters worse, I really need to reinstall Windows XP on my laptop tomorrow before I leave and that is a whole headache in and of itself. At least while all this is going on I was able to take the time to get SuSE 9.1 installed on the other office computer that is down here so that I have some way to work once I kill both of these machines.

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