The Tech That Generated The Video Game Cartridge Revolution

A long, long, read on the history of tech that predates the NES, my beloved 8-bit video game system. I enjoyed reading about the innovations that lead to the beginning of the video game cartridge era. It’s unfortunate that the true innovators didn’t make out as they’re trumped by Atari, but a great read none the less.

Also read the comments to learn how video game piracy took place in the 70s.

The company where I worked had a PDP (something) and all the engineers and programmers had access to the system and storage. Being an engineer it didn’t take long for them to take apart the cartridge and realize what was or was not inside. With in a short time a small circuit board with a E-Prom programming socket was produced. When a new game came out the first purchaser would buy the game and bring it in to work.

The e-prom/rom would be read and stored on the PDP system then each programmer/engineer who wanted to use the new game/software would burn a prom and use it on the adapter board. It didn’t take long before the higher ups realized what was going on and they forbid the storage and use of the PDP from any more games. So the Programmers encrypted the files and hid them in side another file. One needed a decryption key and knowledge of where and what was stored inside this archive. The file would be transferred to tape and hidden in the company safe. So much for security.

Sick of Being Sick

It’s been a tough few weeks for me physically. Ever since I returned from my trip to Phoenix, AZ in late January, I’ve been dealing with some sort of illness. A day after I returned home, I had aches and numbness throughout my body. I spent the night trying to stay warm under heavy blankets, eventually sweating it out.

The body aches were replaced with a nasty cough, congestion, and a sore throat. It took about a week and a half to start feeling better. However, a few days after that, I got sick again. This time, it was a sore throat, bad congestion, and a continuation of the nasty cough.

The congestion has started to break up and I’m feeling a bit better. However, I still have an issue with my throat where it hurts when I swallow. It’s probably swollen lymph nodes or something. To top things off, I’ve been battling swimmer’s ear. I have no idea how this happened other than from taking a shower.

I normally don’t have a reason to visit the doctor, but I’m out of options at this point. I have to get this ear problem fixed and I also need to figure out the throat issue. It would be nice to get rid of this nasty cough as well.

So the first thing on my priority list today is to make an appointment and see the doctor, something I haven’t done in more than a decade.

Testing The WP For iOS Visual Editor

I have the WordPress for iOS app open and I’m checking out how the visual editor works. Im not sure what happened to the previous editor, but this is a much better writing experience than the previous¬†version.

There’s even a toggle to switch between visual and HTML modes like the desktop version of WordPress.

salad for lunch

Salad for lunch

This was a yummy salad. Adding an image is a smooth process, but when it’s inserted,¬†it takes up the entire editing window. It took a few tries but I was able to get underneath the image, past the caption point.

This is me testing the block quote feature.

Block quotes are infuriating because I can’t seem to block quote specific text and continue normal writing. It’s as if I’m stuck in this block quote and the only way out is to unblock quote all of the text.

It looks like adding block quotes has to be done after the post is written. At the very least, users will need to learn this quirk to block quote effectively.

  1. Testing numbered lists
  2. Two
  3. Three

That worked well, now bulleted lists.

  • One
  • Two
  • Three

That worked well. Now to add a link to my site, jeffc.me. Adding a link was easy. Outside of the block quote madness, this is pretty nice.

Living in a Land of Confusion

The other day, I heard Land of Confusion by Genesis for the first time. I thought Disturbed was the original author behind the music until I heard this rendition.

Genesis Version

Disturbed Version

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the Genesis version. The vocals are spot on and it’s got a neat beat to the song. However, the video is trippy and hard to grasp. On the other hand, the Disturbed video is easier to grasp with a super hero to take out The Man.

With that out-of-the-way, the lyrics themselves are timeless. Unfortunately, I think they’ll continue to be relevant for years to come. Here are the lyrics from AZLyrics.com.

“Land Of Confusion”

I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They’re moving into the street.

Now did you read the news today
They say the danger’s gone away
But I can see the fire’s still alight
There burning into the night.

There’s too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

Ooh Superman where are you now
When everything’s gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

I remember long ago –
Ooh when the sun was shining
Yes and the stars were bright
All through the night
And the sound of your laughter
As I held you tight
So long ago –

I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know, we’ll never keep.

Too many men
There’s too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.

This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to.

Mars, Venus, and The Crescent Moon

It’s dangerously cold outside, but on the way home looking west, I noticed the moon and a bright object next to it with a dimmer object just above that. It turns out, Venus is putting on a show tonight to the left of the moon with Mars appearing above Venus. David Dickinson has a close up photo showcasing these celestial objects.

Freight Train Hopping in Brazil

The man known as Wizehop on Youtube, recently published his Brazil train hopping adventure video. It’s a two-hour movie with site seeing, adventure, danger, and at times, mind bending education.

In the video, you see what it’s like to navigate the streets of Brazil where even the locals are afraid for their lives. The video highlights the congested nature of Brazil’s railways and the lack of law and order. It’s a raw look into time, space, and a part of the soul that wants to wander beyond the next bend.

Outside of the music overpowering his voice at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the video. If you’re into freight train hopping or want to see Brazil from a new perspective, definitely watch the video.