Infocom: The Documentary

Infocom (1979-1989) is recognized as the all-time leader in Interactive Fiction, releasing top-selling games and products that dominated the sales charts and still extend considerable influence and memory on the gaming industry. At times they were half of the top ten games being sold and were considered a flagship of the game industry. And then they were gone.

As part of the 2010 documentary GET LAMP, director Jason Scott talked to creators, management, fans and academics about the Infocom story, and produced this 45 minute overview of this unique and wonderful company.

Jason Scott on Twitter; http://twitter.com/textfiles

Patreon for Jason Scott's podcast: http://patreon.com/textfiles

To purchase the DVD of this and the other GET LAMP features, visit http://WWW.GETLAMP.COM​.

The Oregon Trail for FORTRAN 77

The other day I’d been alerted to this fantastic port of the BASIC game to Fortran 77 by Kidon, bringing it to mainframe and midrange machines of the 1970s!

You can read more information at it’s home page here, along with getting the source code and building it out.

Naturally I had to build it using f2c, and QuickC for Windows. Just some minor tweeks and it runs!

Victory! …?!?

Although victory could have gone a bit better. I know it’s largely my fault trying to introduce a clean way to pause before exiting. Obviously there is tonnes of Fortran compilers out there, for many old platforms, so perhaps this will make the Oregon Trail the ‘DooM’ of machines with F77?! Give it a try, there is extensive build instructions, and a quick list of known good platforms, be sure to update with newer (older) stuff that is found to fun!

Presenting MacFlim

This is beyond super cool! Video has always been something of the realm of ‘high end’ machines, back when QuickTime became a thing it was lauded at running in a postage stamp sized window with absolutely incredible artifacting. And that was running with a Quadra (68040) back in the day, the transition from 68000 to PowerPC really helped with video on the desktop with much faster clocks and better caching.

The idea of video on any of the compact black & white Macs, even the ultra high end SE/30 68030 based Mac seemed something out of fantasy. But thanks to modern processors, massive storage and the ability to front process the video, it is now possible to do playback on a B&W mac!

Enter MacFilm 1.0 by Fred!

This is some super cool ‘impossible’ tech for the low end macs!

This is nothing short of incredible!

Of course the ‘downside’ is there is no audio.. And it’s directly blitting to the 512×342 B&W display so if you are not running on a 1 bit original display it’s not going to work or just blast seemingly junk to the screen.

Maybe if big 80’s media wasn’t so slow, or massive SCSI disks didn’t cost as much as a car we could have been enjoying an almost Brazilian future of black and white movies on tiny CRT’s.