Over the Memorial Day weekend, I came across the news that “Colossal Cave Adventure” was open-sourced.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click on the link below and come back when you’re done.  If you do, continue reading on…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossal_Cave_Adventure

According to Raymond (aka “esr”), he was encouraged by Crowther and Woods (the original authors of Adventure) to polish up the code and ship it under an open source license.  Esr gladly took on the task and, thus, Open Adventure was born.  I intend to download the source code and build it to test out.  As esr mentions, this isn’t the same version of Adventure that is provided in the bsdgames package available in basically all Unix-like operating system repositories.  This is the actual code from the very last version of Adventure that Crowther and Woods released in 1995, so it’s quite updated from the bsdgames version.

Nevertheless, I went ahead and installed bsdgames on my Fedora laptop this weekend with the intention of exposing my middle son to text adventure computer games.  Before I go into this, a little bit of history on my personal experience with text adventure games.

I grew up during the burgeoning home computer industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  My introduction to computer-based text adventure games was at a friend’s house on her Commodore VIC-20.  If I recall correctly, I believe it was called “Adventure 2: Pirate Cove”.  Below is a YouTube video of its gameplay.

Having been an Atari 2600 and Coleco-Vision kid (even though I did learn BASIC on a Commodore PET after school), I was quite intrigued by the gameplay.  No graphics whatsoever…the graphics were all in your mind.  Now, I was never one for reading, but this engaged me more than any book could.  I was a big fan of interactive books, but this took the concept to a more dynamic level.  I saw myself imagining what was being described in plain text and felt myself going through a range of emotions as my friend and I entered commands with unexpected results!  Since then, I delved into similar games from Infocom and the like.  I would be awake until the wee hours of the night engrossed in text adventure gameplay from when I had my Mattel Aquarius to when I upgraded to an Apple IIc.  No typical video game could come close to the experience of a really good text adventure computer game.

Time-hop forward to May 29, 2017:  I’ve just installed bsdgames on my Fedora laptop and invited my middle son to have a sit-down and play Adventure with me.  I even hit Alt-F2 to drop down to a console for the full text adventure experience!  At first, he was a bit hesitant.  However, as time passed and as I showed him how to navigate within the game, I could see him slip into the world of the Colossal Cave and text adventures in general just as I did when I was his age!  We both would go on this “adventure” and discover new ways of surpassing obstacles or die trying (a lot)….all the while having a great time together.  After some time, he even took the laptop away from me to input commands and wouldn’t give it back!  There was no doubt about it.  He was hooked!

That night, I had him install bsdgames on his laptop with a temporary Fedora installation and I’ve also installed it on the Fedora desktop at home.  As of this morning when I spoke with him on the way to work, he told me that he couldn’t go to sleep thinking of how to get past some of the obstacles in Adventure and he’s already installed the Android port on his phone.  I told him that I’d see about finding some other text adventure games like the Zork series from Infocom and others from that venerable company.  Frotz is already installed on the laptop, so it’s time to find me some story files and test them out before we embark on our next (text) adventure!

Oh, and I finally killed the Wumpus! 😀

Advertisements

Happy 2016!

January 12, 2016

Happy New Year to one and all!  Hope everyone’s 2016 is a great one.

So, thanks to a Hackaday article on the smallest MIDI synthesizer, I was reminded about my own personal blog here.  Yeah, I know it hasn’t gotten much love, but with my personal life taking priority over everything else, this and other things tend to fall in the backburner for a while until I remember them (darned old age 🙂 ).

Back to the Hackaday article, it’s about the smallest MIDI synthesizer (or so it’s claimed) by Mitxela.  I can’t help but be impressed!  A synth inside a MIDI DIN connector!  Combine this with one of those mini keyboard controllers from Monoprice and a decent netbook running an audio-centric Linux distribution and you’ve got a nice portable music setup IMO!

http://hackaday.com/2016/01/08/the-smallest-midi-synthesizer/

Another Year….

December 2, 2013

It has been a long, LONG time since I’ve posted anything on here. I know that I’ve said that I’d keep this up to date and I have failed, but not without a good excuse. That excuse is life and it always seems to be getting in the way. That said, it hasn’t been another year since this post, but it’s another year of life for me as of yesterday. Between that and Thanksgiving with my loved ones, less of my time has been dedicated to online, nevermind this blog.

But here I am again, so I’ll do my best to keep things up to date. I promise! <_<

ReBoot!

January 23, 2013

So, this blog has been silent for quite a while now.  In that time, my life has gone through a bit of a reboot.  Thankfully, the changes that have taken place since that reboot have been very good and I pray that they continue to get better and better.

With that, I’ve decided to give this blog a reboot.  As before, it will be focused on my love for technology (old and new) as well as my love for music as well as the tech behind that.  However, I will be leaving out all of the personal details of my life (unless it’s tech-related) and that of my wonderful family from this point on.  I’m sure I’ll have some personal opinions on some things that I’d like to share, but what happens in the family stays in the family. 😉

And while speaking of reboots, I’m very happy to announce the reboot of Linux Basement which has been brought back from the beyond.  Episode 71 has been released (sans moi) and it explains quite a bit about the silence and the reboot of the podcast.  I will return on Episode 72 so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

You can find Linux Basement at http://www.linuxbasement.com (or just click the link at the side bar 😉 ).