Here at Jammy Toast we love our brand new, shiny toys. Give us a new smartphone, or tablet and we are as happy as pigs in… well, whatever pigs are happy in. Give us a new PC and the hairs on our backs raise at the thrill of setting it up and making it all work smoothly. However, as much as we enjoy the thrill of the latest technology, we also hold a special place in our geeky hearts for classic technology from the days of yore. With this in mind, we were over the moon to hear that a guy called Andy Spencer has opened a Retro Computer Museum (RCM) in Leicester.
Some of the best computer games form the 1970s and 80s have been put online by the Internet Archive and can be played within a web browser. The best news of all is that this service is completely free. The collection has launched with games from early games consoles including my own favourite; the Atari 2600. They are currently being released without sound although this will be added at a later date. “In coming months, the playable software collection will expand greatly,” said archivist Jason Scott. “Making these vintage games available to the world, instantly, allows for commentary, education, enjoyment and memory for the history they are a part of.”
Iknow I have already written my normal column this month, and that Edward normally writes about anything to do with computers, but I have asked Dave if I could write another post today. I want to do this because of the upsetting news we have just heard. Many years ago we didn’t have a computer, the internet didn’t exist and “downloading” was something that only happened in Star Trek. In fact, science fiction was our only real interest in computers. Then it all suddenly changed because of one stupidly annoying little arcade game. The game was called “Pong” and it was released on a games console made by a company called Atari.
I was particularly saddened last night when I discovered that Jack Tramiel died back in April. His death could not have been widely reported otherwise I would have heard and yet he had a great influence on many people in this country who work in the IT. Everyone knows who Bill Gates is, most people know who Steve Jobs was but I bet hardly anybody reading this will know who Jack Tramiel was.