Back to the BBS Episode 6: The Demoscene

Although not part of BBSes per se, a lot of the demoscene started from distributing software that showed off the capabilities of what a computer could do. The demoscene is still going strong today. This documentary charts back the history right through to the current day, introducing where demos came from, what the demoscene is all about, speaking to the legendary Jim ‘Trixter’ Leonard (@The Oldskool PC ) of 8088 MPH and Mobygames fame, as well as Vegard ‘Shady’ Skefstad of the Crusaders, founder of The Gathering demoparty in Norway, as well as Bill ‘Retrotech’ Hart (of @PCRetroTech ) and Rowan ‘Cthulu’ Lipkovits. This action packed episode takes you on the road from where it all began, with simple cracktros on the 8-bits, to the crazy parties and the professional side of it all. Some wonderful footage of some great demos too!

I made my partner use DOS!

Call it a ‘social’ experiment, call it torture… whatever you like(!) but I often wonder what it would be like for people if they were made to go back to using a command line computer (in this case DOS, a 1980s era operating system that was the precursor to Windows). As I know DOS pretty well, I can’t un-learn what it’s like to use DOS, and I’m also a pretty tech-savvy person, but I wonder what it would be like for the average Joe (or Josephina) to learn a computer that isn’t driven by a GUI with its Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers…

The following video is the result of that social experiment. I’m sorry Kristina.. well.. half sorry!

An interview with Ken Williams: Sierra Co-Founder

Alistair Ross interviews Ken Williams of Sierra

I met with Ken Williams for a fascinating chat about all things Sierra: From where it all began, with Ken finding a copy of a text adventure on a mainframe and Roberta being obsessed by it. To how the company was nearly bankrupt and was rescued by IBM and Tandy.

Ken talks about one of his proudest products, The Sierra Network, as well as his relationships with Al Lowe and ‘The two guys from Andromeda’ (Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe).

Ken releases a new book next month entitled ‘Not all fairy tales have happy endings’, which talks about all things Sierra, including how it really worked on the inside. The book is available next month. Check out his website: https://www.kensbook.com to register your interest in obtaining a copy.

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