Thursday, 5 May 2011

We've come a long way, baby

I was a teenager in the eighties, going to school, hanging out with friends and visiting arcades. Recently I have found the arcade hits of my teenage years are available on my home computer. Not versions that have been ported to Windows or one of the consoles, the actual ROM images themselves. There are even companies that will sell you an arcade-style cabinet which can play thousands of the old arcade games all running on a home computer.

It was a bit surprising to learn, at first, although I don't know why it should be. After all, computer technology has come a long way in a short time. For example, consider the 305 Ramac hard drive; 5MB of storage in a 1 ton enclosure. That's roughly the same storage space as 2 double-density floppies! I won't even talk about the amount of storage I carry around in a few flash drives the size of my thumb.

I thought I had come to grips with these changes, enough so to appreciate the scale of them without being flabbergasted. That changed last night when I found a small application for my iPhone - Dragon's Lair.

For those that don't know, Dragon's Lair was one of the first LaserDisc-based arcade games. They were revolutionary, using actual film clips for graphics instead of sprites generated by a computer. They also cost an arm and a leg to play, which is why I was never any good at them. And now I can play them on my iPhone!

Unfortunately, I'm still not very good at it and trying to use a virtual joystick which requires me to cover part of the screen with my thumb doesn't help. Maybe I'll just go back to Fruit Ninja and leave the past where it came from.

1 comment:

  1. The apps that you can get for your phone are amazing aren't they!!!