30 January 1996

Thought (blank disk)

Current thought: No one cares how well a blank disk spins.

This was inspired while I stood in the Newark airport, waiting for my luggage. We (the passengers) stood there for quite a while watching the empty luggage carousel spin. It basically means that no one cares how well something works if it doesn't have anything to do. (e.g. an empty luggage carousel, a blank disk.)

[From my "Past Tips of the Moment and Past Thoughts" page. This was the first "thought" (as opposed to a tip) and third post overall. I didn't keep track of the dates beyond the year, so the date is a guess. Not a very good aphorism, but you gotta start somewhere. — 28 May 2009]

25 January 1996

Forgive me, for I have sinned

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

Forgive me, fellow classic gamers, for I have sinned. For my birthday this year, I agreed to let my wife get me a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). While it is true she bought me a Game Boy last Christmas, I had nothing to do with that. She came up with it on her own. (Of course, I might have expressed an interest in the new Game Boy version of Donkey Kong.) This time, however, I'm the one that actually went out and bought the system. And, worst of all, it came with Donkey Kong Country (DKC), a game only mildly related to the classic roots in its name, and I . . . enjoyed it (*gasp*).

Isn't it just another platformer? Yes. However, it does of some variety with mine cart levels and underwater levels. I do not expect to be buying many platformers at all.

Doesn't it have all those stupid hidden areas? Yes. While it sometimes is a challenge to find them, there is *usually* some sort of clue as to where they are. If I didn't have the DKC FAQ to fall back on, though, I probably wouldn't be doing nearly as well.

Isn't each level exactly the same each time through? Yes, but what about Pitfall! and Pitfall II?

Aren't there difficult points that keep you from advancing and finding new challenges? Yes and it is frustrating. But compare it to Scramble or Super Cobra and there's not much difference.

Don't the end of the levels have bosses? Yes, and most of them aren't particularly challenging.

Doesn't it have power-ups that it's impossible to make it through a level without? No, it doesn't.

Doesn't it have an ending? Yes, but once you're done you can go back and try to find all the hidden areas you missed. Once I find them, I may quickly lose my interest. Of course, you can always try to finish the game faster, a la trying to score more points in Pitfall II after you've finished it once.

Anything else? Cranky Kong's (supposedly the "original" Donkey Kong (I don't agree with that bit.)) comments are a riot if you've been reading r.g.v.c for a while, although you might tend to agree with him sometimes.

Lastly, if it helps lessen my sin, the only other games I have so far are Starfox (given to me) and Space Invaders via the Super Game Boy. Space Invaders is wonderful and beats having a full sized cabinet or cocktail unit taking up all that space. As far as I can tell, it's just like the arcade version. I also have Defender/Joust, Qix, and Donkey Kong (quite a departure from the original) that I can play with the Super Game Boy. The next SNES game I intend to get is Q*Bert 3.
Then I'll have to see what other classics or re-vamped classics there are.

Oh, and I had a video game party at my house a couple weeks ago. I don't have any SNES games that truly let two player's play simultaneously, so it wasn't touched after I showed it off as a new toy. We played Indy 500 and Combat and Super Pong 10!

[A bit of humor from me about "betraying" my fellow classic video game players/collectors by getting and playing a current console. —11 June 2009]

10 January 1996

Tip of the Moment (company in the red)

Tip of the moment: Don't work for a company that's been in the red for 10 quarters.

I, along with a few hundred others, was laid off from Intergraph after working there for two years. They were unprofitable during that entire time and eariler. Ironically, Intergraph kept hiring during this period. Although they did indeed manage to get back in the black the following quarter, it wasn't long until they were back in the red.

[From my "Past Tips of the Moment and Past Thoughts" page. This was the second tip and second post overall. This one was listed as being in 1995, but the page creation date is 10 Jan 1996. Since I was let go at the beginning of Q3 1995, it would have had to be at least Q1 1996 before I'd know Intergraph was back in the red. — 28 May 2009]