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Old 12-14-2001, 08:51 AM   #1
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Internet history - great site!


I was just checking Google Groups ( to see if the newsgroup archives were already updated (I think Google does it every three hours). Apparently not, so I decided to do some random surfing.
The front page mentions that Google has now acquired all the Usenet archives, dating back to 1981! So I decided to check it out. They have made a page with links to some nice/important/funny postings and some of those are great! OK, it is nice to see the first post ever on Usenet, although that one is not very interesting. Funnier is the review of the first IBM PC:

1981-08-18 06:45:52 PST
The thing is totally modular; even the I/O cards are separate! For $ 1,565 you get a keyboard and logic unit with 16K RAM and a Basic interpreter in 40K ROM. A cassette interface is built in, I think; but no diskette or monitor at this price -- you use your TV set. Of course you can add one or two minidiskettes, lots more memory (16-64k increments), a B&W monitor (no color monitor was mentioned), RS-232C interface card, matrix printer, a joystick/paddle interface (but you have to buy somebody else's joysticks and paddles); and maybe the kitchen sink. A "business configuration" with 64K, dual diskettes, printer, and "color graphics" goes for about $ 4,500.
(Hmm, $4,500. I wonder what kind of computer I get for that today)

Or what about this one, the post with the first mention of Star Wars Episode 6 (Revenge of the Jedi):

1982-06-08 22:53:31 PST
The release date for us humans that want to see it is still the summer of 1983. I guess it takes that long to score all the music, do all the film-editing, prepare all the promo material, and all that junk.

I wish Lucas & Co. would get the thing going a little faster. I can't really imagine waiting until 1997 to see all nine parts of the Star Wars series.
(I wonder what would have happened should he know now what he was fearing then. 1997?)

OK, that's all I've read for now. As I still got too much time for myself I'm going to see if there are more funny hindsight posts.

C ya!


P.S. The link for those interested is:

People criticize me but I know it's not the end
I try to kick the truth, not just to make friends

Spearhead - People In Tha Middle

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Old 12-14-2001, 09:08 AM   #2
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good stuff. lol.


Don't get sentimental
It always ends up drivel

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Old 12-14-2001, 09:14 AM   #3
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Dated August 3, 1983.

After hunting for it for weeks, we finally found Q*bert for sale
today and snapped it up. (We paid $35 for it at Gold Circle.
It was "on sale" from the "regular" price of $40.)

After trying it out, I'm pretty underwhelmed. They couldn't have
done much less and still called it Q*bert. Here is a review:

The really neat things about the arcade game are the sound effects
(the coin clinking into the coin slow, Q*bert swearing under his
breath, the klunk when something falls off the side, etc) and the
comic balloon with the swear symbols in it when Q*bert gets hit.
None of this is present in the Atari 2600 version, which is made
by Parker Brothers.

The screen is a 6x6 triangle, of which the bottom row runs slightly
off the bottom of the screen. The cubes are irregular, and they
don't look very realistic (the tops look detached from the sides).
Q*bert's figure is reasonable, but all red. He looks either left
or right, and his nose is angled up or down, to show the direction
he's facing. There are only a few colors that ever show up, two
of which are black and gray. Coily and Sam look reasonable, but
the balls tend to look smashed when sitting on a square. If Coily
and Sam appear at the same time, they flicker.

The controls are not what I expected. You have to hold the joystick
diagonally, with the fire button away from you, and move the handle
diagonally (which is orthogonal to the program). I expected them to
use the 4 diagonal positions of the joystick, but they didn't.
The stick does not feel nearly as bad as Atari 2600 PacMan, but it's
still not very good. Many times we tried to move in a given direction
and either it wouldn't move at all or it moved in a different direction.
Bolting the joystick to a table would probably help a lot in this game -
just pressing it against the floor seemed to help. You can't hold a
joystick diagonally in your left hand as firmly as you can when it's
square. The button doesn't do anything except start a new game after
you loes all yoru Q*berts.

The sound effects are the biggest disappointment. It plays the Q*bert
theme song at the start and after each round, although it doesn't sound
as good as the arcade version (nor as good as the Parker Brothers 2600
Frogger theme). Instead of swearing, Q*bert makes a noise not that
different from the "raspberry" that Space Invaders makes when you get
hit, and the three 5x7 dot characters !#
? appear on the screen (arranged
as you see here) without a balloon around them. Depending on the
background color, the !#? may not even be visible. It does make a
fairly convincing whistling sound as Q*bert or Coily fall off the
edge, and there is a small thump when they hit bottom.

The game: it's less than the arcade version. The purple ball turns
into Coily and can be lured off the side. (He's too easy to lure
off the edge in both games.) The red ball will stomp you. The green
ball gives you points when you catch it, and freezes everybody for a
few seconds while you run around and touch cubes. (The screen flashes
weird "negative" colors during this and you hear sound effects.) The
other green figure, Sam, turns cubes back to their original color and
scores points for you when you catch him. Sam and Coily make the same
gargling sound effect when they move - it's kind of an unpleasant noise.
There was no sign of Slick, Ugh, or the other ugly guy in the arcade game.

You get 4 boards at each of 5 levels. In some levels, if you hit a
cube again it goes back to the original color, so you have to hit
every cube an odd number of times. In others, it goes back to the
intermediate color or the first color, where you have 2 colors to do.

The game seemed very quickly done. Often the score (and spare Q*bert's)
disappear from the top of the screen, for no reason. The game starts
immediately after you power it on or hit reset. The game select and
B difficulty don't do anything. A difficulty supposedly makes it more
or less hard. There is no two player version - just the one game.
When you get smashed jumping onto a square, your new Q*bert starts life
by falling into (and changing the color of) the square you were trying
to get. There is no audible warning when Q*bert can move - you just have
to keep trying until the joystick responds (there is about a 2 second
pause at the start of the game and when a new Q*bert starts.) There
is no indication when you change a level, nor any level status indicator.

As for the hardness of the game, it seemed MUCH easier than the arcade
version (except for the problems with the joystick). Everything else
moves very slow, and I can move very fast. I can change about half the
board before the first monster comes out. Within a dozen or so games,
we were getting scores of around 19000 (we lost the last Q*bert on the
first board of the second level each time). There is no question, however,
that the different levels get MUCH harder. I'm convinced that PacMan
style patterns are the only way to win at this game, if only because
of the "touch each cube an odd number of times" requirement. I also
noticed that each game starts with the same random number seed, because
Sam always comes down in the same place right after you do in the first
board. We had it set to novice - the only difference with "expert" is
apparently that the red balls don't appear for novices.

Overall recommendation - wait for the price to come down. (This may
take until after Christmas.) And don't bother unless you have a
better joystick than the standard one, or can firmly attach it to
a fixed surface.
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Old 12-14-2001, 09:21 AM   #4
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BRILLIANT! I love it!
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Old 12-14-2001, 09:43 AM   #5
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Date: 1984-04-11 11:10:22 PST

I must say that I like just about everyone that has been mentioned in
this discussion, but one of my newer favorites has not been

The Edge from U2

Don't know his real name, but he sure does do some cuttin' up on that
guitar of his. His rough style is something I haven't seen in
anybody else (at least, that I can remember).

[This message has been edited by Klodomir (edited 12-14-2001).]
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Old 12-14-2001, 12:05 PM   #6
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I love this one too

Berlin den 10 November 1989


As we sit here in West Berlin this morning, we are just discussing the news
about the wall - its open and may soon be no more!!!!

Amazing sights to see on the way to work this morning - DDR (East German)
cars on the streets, DDR citizens everywhere, traffic jams near the wall,
celebrations in the streets the whole night.

A historic day, and one to be celebrate. During the night, not only did
people cross over via the border crossings, but people also climbed over
the wall, danced on top of it (yes that's right) and a part of the wall was
even damaged. Can you picture people dancing on top of the Berlin wall?

Congratulations to the people of East Germany.

Gunter Zschoche, Michael Brady, et al
Nixdorf, Berlin

Change is the only constant

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