Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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Apple II+ My first computer was an Apple II+, which my Mom got for my brother and me. She had heard of these cool computer things, and devided her children should have one.

She didn't just buy it for us and risk appliance death, she paid a geek to come over and teach us how to use it. Every Saturday afternoon for a number of months, Miles came over with 5 1/4" floppies loaded with software, and taught us basic programming.

After my brother's initial interest waned, I bonded with the computer. We were close. I played endless games - Norad, Taipan, Zork, DeathRace 2000, Aztec, Castle Wolfenstein.

My favourite was 1980's Odessey by Robert C. Clardy of Synergistic Software. It was a fantasy role playing game with graphics. Staged "On a desolate isle, somewhere in the Sargalo Sea," you were an adventurer. Using the keyboard, you navigated a hat-wearing stick figure around a bird's eye map. Ruined temples, castles and towns dotted the landscape. Wandering in meant a text based encounter with some ghoulies, barbarians, or powerful magic scrolls or flying carpets. Much of the game was resource management - having enough food and gold to keep up your motley crew. After you compiled enough magic stuff, men and equipment, you bought a ship, and sailed around avoiding whirlpools and looking for the bad guy's island castle. I remember getting there once, but he kicked my butt.

When you left the game, you could type goto 32000 to return back from whence you came. I think it might have worked as a cheat - when you died. Miles told me of a resurrection trick - when you died, and the game kicked you to your Integer prompt, you could type "goto 32000" and you would be back where you were killed, having vanquished your foe. It didn't work on the uber bad guy though.

old apple programs, including odessy,
but first you'll need an apple II emulator.

Somehow games were more engaging back then - the most basic software was enthralling for hours. I think my attention span is shorter now.

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