Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie

Here is a book that is likely to be my favorite for the coming week. Digital copy only $0.99 on Amazon (you can read it on any device with a Kindle app on it, your PC or your iPad for example.

 Extract from the first chapter, available for free here

Of all the arcade cabinets, videogame systems, retro computer
systems and mountains of games I own, my original Commodore 64
computer is still probably my most prized possession. Purchased back in
1985 and still kicking, it’s currently hooked up in my computer room
next to machines twenty years newer. Every now and then I’ll break out
my huge green milk crate full of old floppy disks and thumb through
them. The milk crate is filled to the top with close to a thousand 5 ¼”
floppies, each one numbered and labeled by my own hands many years
ago. Some of them are over two decades old now. Even though it’s been
a long time, just by looking at the labels I can often remember where I
got a particular game from, or with whom I used to play it. The disk with
“Bard’s Tale” handwritten in black marker on its browning, peeling label
sits on top of the stack. As I run my finger across the label, I think of the
summer my friend Charon and I spent playing the game. The two of us
spent much of the summer of ’86 huddled in front of his computer,
eating cold pizza and cheese puffs and each drinking Dr. Pepper straight
out of three-liter bottles. Each weekend we’d huddle in front of his
monitor, playing deep into the night until I would begin to fall asleep
around two or three in the morning. When I would wake up around eight
or nine in the morning, Charon would still be playing. From the bed I
could see images of the game reflected in his glasses. Then a changing of
the guard would take place – after a quick debriefing of the night’s
discoveries, he would go to sleep and I would take over our party’s
destiny. By the end of that summer I knew the streets and back alleys of
Skara Brae (the mythical town Bard’s Tale takes place in) better than I
knew my own neighborhood.

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