It’s a Slow News Day! Let’s Talk About Atari and DOS 5.0!

By  |  Friday, August 22, 2008 at 10:58 am

It’s a Friday in August, and there’s not a whole lotta shaking goin’ on in the tech world. So I’m not too sheepish about giving you a T-List that includes almost as much stuff from the 1980s as from 2008.

Back When Atari Mattered
Gamasutra has published a long (20 pages!) and loving history of the golden age of Atari–which, as any Atari nerd can tell you, lasted from about 1978 until 1981. At the time, I would have killed for a VCS 2600 console, but never got one. I did, however, become an Atarian in 1982, when I got an Atari 400 personal computer, the first computer I ever bought with my own money. It was the cheapest PC available with good graphics–I bought mine in tax-free New Hampshire to scrimp even further–and I cheerfully put up with the atrocious flat keyboard in return for all that was great about the 400. Mine is at my parents’ house somewhere, and probably still works just fine. Next time I visit them, maybe I’ll plug it in and play a few games of Star Raiders.
Read more at: Gamasutra

American Airlines has deployed Aircell’s Gogo wireless Internet service on some of its routes, and tech bloggers are taking the opportunity to fly around the country and write about their experiences while still in the air. I’m jealous–partially because I’m about to take a couple of long flights on Lufthansa, an airline that invested millions in Internet equipment that became useless when Boeing killed its Connexion service. I’ll have to remember to take a few good books, in the form of my Kindle.
Read more at: Laptop, VoIP Watch

The Glory of Microsoft Advertising
My pals at PC World have responded to the news of Windows commericials starring Jerry Seinfeld with a look back at old Microsoft ads. I was going to call it “nostalgic,” but that’s not quite correct–with the possible exception of the Windows 95 ad with the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up,” it’s hard to even name a Microsoft ad from the past, let alone feel warm and fuzzy about it. PCW did manage to find some obscure doozies, though, including one with a guy in a white lab coat rapping about MS-DOS 5.0. Watch at your own risk.
Read more at: PC World

No iTunes For You, People of China
More news about the Chinese government stifling dissent by censoring the Internet: iTunes users in China are reporting that they can’t get into the iTunes Store, and speculation is that the whole store is being blocked because of a Tibet tribute album that’s available there. Apple confirms the access issue, but doesn’t have any further comment. When it comes to the Web in general, the “Great Firewall of China” is able to block certain pages while letting others through. Sounds like it’s possible that it can’t block one tune in iTunes and leave everything else available. With the recent opening of an Apple Store in Beijing, there are presumably some unhappy iPod owners over there. Wonder if they know what’s going on?
Read more at: ZDNet, One More Thing

Not So Lively
The Economist has piece reporting that Lively, Google’s 3D virtual world, is a disappointing flop. It seems a tad early to declare Lively DOA–it’s been around for about six weeks–but it does seem to be garnering amazingly little attention for a new Google service. Possible explanations? For all the Second World hype, virtual worlds remain a niche, not a mainstream success; Lively’s air of frivolity and hipness seems out of whack with Google’s useful-but-kinda-square corporate personality; even the member of the Lively team quoted by the Economist says that Lively needs lots of work.
Read more at: The Economist

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2 Comments For This Post

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