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Posts Tagged ‘video games

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”*…

 

astrobiology

Astrobiology – the study of life on other planets – has grown from a fringe sub-discipline of biology, chemistry and astronomy to a leading interdisciplinary field, attracting researchers from top institutions across the globe, and large sums of money from both NASA and private funders. But what exactly is it that astrobiologists are looking for? How will we know when it’s time to pop the Champagne?…

Find out at “Proof of life: how would we recognize an alien if we saw one?

[Image above from NASA’s Astrobiology Institute]

* Carl Sagan

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As we look for life, we might send inventive birthday greetings to William “Willy” A. Higinbotham; he was born on this date in 1910.  A physicist who was a member of the team that developed the first atomic bomb, he later became a leader in the nuclear non-proliferation movement.

But Higinbotham may be better remembered as the creator of Tennis for Two, the first interactive analog computer game and one of the first electronic games to use a graphical display, which he built for the 1958 visitor day at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  It used a small analogue computer with ten direct-connected operational amplifiers and output a side view of the curved flight of the tennis ball on an oscilloscope only five inches in diameter. Each player had a control knob and a button.

 source

The 1958 Tennis for Two exhibit

source

Higinbotham source

 

 

Written by LW

October 25, 2018 at 1:01 am

“Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock-n-roll”*…

 

Readers may recall our recent visit to The Internet Arcade, an online repository of payable versions of old arcade games.  Now, also from Internet Archive, an incredible collection of vintage MS-DOS computer games.  From Oregon Trail (from which, many readers will have known, the above image comes) to Prince of Persia, there are 2,400 of them available to play for free at Software Library: MS-DOS Games.

Shigeru Miyamoto

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As we relearn the arrow keys, we might recall that it was on this date in 1964 that the Beatles entered the U.S. pop charts for the first time, when “I Want to Hold Your Hand” debuted at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100; it went to #1 the following week.  The single had already ascended to the pinnacle of the British charts: indeed, with advance orders exceeding one million copies in the U.K., “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would ordinarily have hit the top of the British record charts on its day of release (November 29, 1963), but it was blocked for two weeks by the group’s first million-seller, “She Loves You.”  The release order was reversed in the U.S.; “I Want to Hold Your Hand” held the number one spot for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You.”  “I Want to Hold Your Hand” remained on the U.S. charts for a total of fifteen weeks, and remains the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide.

 source

Written by LW

January 18, 2015 at 1:01 am

Comrade Pac-Man…


Morskoi Boi

As kids, who among us never dreamed of growing up to be a sailor? After we go to space, naturally. This arcade game was created for those who never forgot their childhood dreams. And so, you are now looking through the periscope of a submarine and the enemy ships are sailing audaciously across the horizon, back and forth. Press “Start” and the green point representing a moving torpedo rushes towards the enemy vessel. The rest depends on the accuracy of the player-sniper.

From the collection of Moscow’s Museum of Soviet Arcade Games— over 40 units, and growing– a sample that one can play online.

[ToTH to Jesse Dylan]

 

As we limber up our firing fingers, we might recall that it was on this date that the first elephant arrived in America, from India, aboard the ship America. The pachyderm, called “Old Bet,” was paraded around the Northeast for a few years, exhibited to curious punters, until she was acquired by Hackaliah Bailey– the organizer of the first American circus and the “Bailey” in “Barnum and Bailey.”

 

An advertisement for Old Bet in Boston, 1797

source: Natural History

 

Nathaniel Hawthorne's father (also "Nathaniel"), an officer aboard the ship America, wrote this entry in the ship’s logbook. His handwriting grew large when he referred to the first elephant ever to come to America.

source: Natural History


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