Inspired By Atari: Microsoft Arcade

msarcade-introIn 1993 Microsoft released Arcade for Windows 3.1, as part of their Microsoft Home product line. Inspired by Atari, it was a small collection of games that had been played in the heyday of coin-operated arcade machines over a decade prior. The following year, it also was made available on the Macintosh. Dima Pavlovsky had been the sole developer.

Fitting onto a single floppy disk, Arcade was typically sold in its own retail package. However on occasion the disk was tossed in with some models of Microsoft Mouse, as had been the case with my copy.

Here’s a rundown of the included titles – Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, and Tempest which actually contains a little secret.

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The PC from The Wimmera

wimmera-pcintroOne weekend I went for a drive up Horsham way, a good two hour drive from home along the main highway between Adelaide and Melbourne. It’s a sizeable regional centre popular for stopovers. Usually when I’m there the only things I might pick up is fuel or a burger from McDonald’s on the way to somewhere else, so picking up a PC was a rare occurrence.

Stored in a dusty old tin shed, the person I bought from had several identical PCs stacked away, presumably scored from a local e-waste depot. Originally these had been used by what was known as the Wimmera Institute of TAFE in the mid 1990s, later merging to what became the University of Ballarat (now known as Federation University since 2014). For those overseas, TAFE meant Technical and Further Education, and operate in a similar nature to colleges in Canada and the United States.

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Install & Configure BeOS R5.1d Using Oracle VirtualBox

beboxBeOS despite generally long forgotten (if you were aware of it in the first place) had an interesting past. A Frenchman named Jean-Louis Gassée had for most of the 1980s held senior positions with Apple, where at one point had become head of product development for the Macintosh once Steve Jobs left. He was a staunch supporter of Apple, who believed the company should continue its focus at the premium end of the personal computer market, and that people were prepared to pay up for the Macintosh experience. That was fine to a point, though with more affordable IBM PC clones and Windows 3.0 approaching, this was increasingly becoming unsustainable. By the end of the decade, corporate politics and disagreements with the then CEO John Sculley led to Jean-Louis’ exit in 1990.

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