Warp Drive

Monday, October 10, 2022

The Computer Files Draft Post

The Computer Files
A Nintendo Rhapsody Spin-Off

The Computer Files, Folder 1: ExoDOS (MS-DOS and Windows 3.1)
The Computer Files, Folder 2: CD BDEC (Windows 3.1)
The Computer Files, Folder 3: HIGH Memory (Windows 95 and MS-DOS Mode)
The Computer Files, Folder 4: You've Got Mail (AOL and the World Wide Web)

Memories of Doom/IBM 486 (for Folder 1: ExoDOS)

My grandmother and aunt picked up my first computer from a business, to the best of my recollection, known as NET Computers. It was a custom IBM 486/66 with four megabytes of RAM. I knew next to nothing about computers in 1994. So little so that when I began playing SimCity 2000 and noticed the landscape had edges, I thought I needed more RAM to build bigger cities. I quickly upgraded to eight megabytes of RAM. SimCity 2000 remained, of course, unaffected. My aunt gave me a copy of the original SimCity and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. The computer itself came with Doom and Epic Pinball pre-installed in MS-DOS. Doom transported players to the one place nobody wants to go, but it was truly something else in 1994.

That computer was plagued with its fair share of problems. It often suffered from disk read errors, and there were even times in which it would fail to boot at all. I eventually had no choice but to take the computer in to be serviced, and in the process, Doom was completely wiped from the drive. It was not long before I became eager to get my hands on the game again. While browsing a small computer shop with dad, I happened to eye a copy of Doom sitting on one of the software shelves. I was curious as to what exactly the term "Shareware" meant on the game's disc and proceeded to ask a clerk about it before making my purchase. I was told that the label was no big deal; that the complete game should be on the disc. Well, imagine my surprise when I came home and found that only Knee-Deep in the Dead was playable from the episode selection screen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Nintendo Rhapsody (World 1: Far From Home Redux)

Nintendo Rhapsody is an ongoing story about how Nintendo, and video games in general, helped me through some of the harder times in my life. Each chapter, known as a 'world' in Nintendo Rhapsody, is rather self contained with introductions and conclusions.

World 11-1: Alone in the Dark

When I was eight years of age, I lived away from home five out of seven days a week for a period of six months in East Los Angeles at a facility known simply as The Diagnostic School. On Friday afternoons, I would be released to spend the weekends at home with family. Every Sunday at 5:00 PM, I would have to return to The Diagnostic School for the forthcoming week. Once there, I had to eat cafeteria food. I grew to loathe cafeteria food.

On those particular nights, however, I would often choose a bag of Skittles. I hated Skittles. I greatly preferred M&Ms, but Skittles was all that they seemed to have. I would sit on the far corner of the cafeteria, my back to the window, eating my bag of Skittles. All the while, dreading the days and week ahead. I peered out into the darkness of the night every so often.