Roland SC-55mkII

Sound-Canvas-Selection

Sound Canvas?  What is this magical thing?

As I’ve begun to delve into the world of retro-PC hardware, I have found things both familiar and new.  For instance, while I’ve been a fan of Doom since the original release in 1993, I had never experienced the soundtrack the way it was SUPPOSED to sound.

Now, when I first played Doom all those years ago, I didn’t even have a sound card.  I fell in love with the way the game played and only later got to hear the soundtrack (and the effects), when I had upgraded to a Pentium 75 with a Sound Blaster 16.  Somehow, adding music to the game made it a more visceral experience.  Also, it’s no secret that Doom has some of the most iconic PC music ever written, instantly recognizable to (probably) millions.

Continue reading →

Building a new (old) PC – Part 1

If you’re asking why it’s worth building a 20 year old PC in 2018, I can understand.  Between Steam and GOG re-releases of classic games, DOSBox, and virtualization, it’s easier than ever to play PC games from the 90’s.  So, why go through all the trouble and headache?

For the same reason that I buy original consoles and cartridges when emulation would be fine.  The same reason I buy CRT televisions and expensive scalers when I could play on a nice LCD.  That reason?  I’m an idiot.

In all honesty, I’m sure emulation is fine for most people.  Hell, I use it for arcade games and the like.  It’s got its place.  But if you want historical accuracy, emulation doesn’t cut it.  It bugs me when I have to deal with graphical artifacts and (especially) inaccurate sound in games that I fondly remember.

Another nice thing about vintage PCs?  The parts haven’t gotten as expensive as vintage consoles (yet).  If you want to get into retro, this may be one of the cheaper entry points.

Continue reading →

A Sense of Pride and Accomplishment

No, this isn’t another bandwagon anti-EA post.  It’d be a bit late for that, anyway.  Actually, the idea for this post came up whilst mulling over that line one day.  I know what it means in the EA context, but I started to examine what gave me a real sense of achievement when it came to gaming.

I couldn’t really think of too many recent games that I beat and thought I’d just accomplished something.  To that end, I reexamined the games that I’d played since childhood to try to determine which ones were the ones that I was proud of completing.  These are those games. They are not ranked in order of difficulty, but these are what I’d consider to be my “top five”.

Continue reading →