Twiggys [was: Re: ka... ching!]

Brad H vintagecomputer at
Sat Oct 8 21:00:21 CDT 2016

-------- Original message --------
From: Chuck Guzis <cclist at> 
Date: 2016-10-08  2:17 PM  (GMT-08:00) 
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at> 
Subject: Re: Twiggys [was: Re: ka... ching!] 

On 10/08/2016 09:46 AM, js at wrote:

> I think the people who complain about "Altairs just sitting on
> desks" might be doing so for at least one reason being because a
> particular purpose seems to violate the original spirit, intent, and
> purpose behind the creation.  I hear that a lot eg. "it's a shame
> it's just sitting there, not being used."
> It's when other purposes come in, and begin to make this hobby
> purpose more difficult to engage in and "unobtainium", that the
> hobbyists lament.  If there were enough for everyone, then there'd be
> no complaining.

I have to confess to a certain amount of bemusement when I witness the
phenomenon of game-obsession with early PCs.  With the exception of
"home" systems, such as Commodore and perhaps Apple and the like, I knew
very few people who *purchased* a PC for game playing.  Did people play
games on PCs?  Sure--but that was rarely the reason that anyone ponied
up for a 1970s or 80s multiple-kilobuck system.  Mind you, this was
around the time that one could purchase a Porsche 914 for little more
than $3000.

Most of the people I knew purchased a PC to do business applications
(AR, AP, GL, inventory, payroll or word processing) or worked with
spreadsheets.   Yet, very little of this is ever discussed on fora such
as the Vintage Computer Federation site.

Indeed, I think it's safe to speculate that the bulk of Intel Inboard
cards were sold to those running Lotus 1-2-3.

After we're all gone, what will future generations think of us? That we
developed new hardware and software solely to play games?


When I was a kid we had the IBM PCjr through PS/2.  Concurrently I had my own Commodore 64.  Up until we got our AT, the Commodore was the game machine.  There were lots of PC versions of games out there but they *sucked* in terms of graphics and sound (we also lacked a joystick for the PCs) compared to the Commodore.  King's Quest was the earliest game I played on PC.. but I don't recall it being available on Commodore at the time.  One of my best memories was of the computer lab at our school.  We had 30 64s up there chained to a 4040 (I think) via C64 Link expanders.  We had a game day every so many weeks and had all kinds of fun trying to get games to load via that setup.
I remember thinking of gaming on 'Dad's computer' as an odd idea.  But then Test Drive came out.  Then our school dumped the Commodores and went to PCs.  People started showing up at school for game day with PC games like Empire.  And then the PC finally started to catch up and surpass the Commodore in quality and the games reached a level the Commodore couldn't do.  Between that and the ease of loading things quickly from hard drive.. the C64 ended up going into hibernation.  After that it was all about upgrading the PC to run Falcon or some such acceptably.

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