krpalmer: (Default)
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It was a bit odd to really start picking up on the "Canada 150" logo "out in the wild" by seeing it on packages in the supermarket, and that might only have got me thinking back to the centennial itself and its assorted construction projects having happened well before I was born. I know free passes to the national parks are available, but I have to confess to feeling "camped out" ever since graduating from Scouts in high school (even with having travelled up north in an RV last year). However, once I'd begun remembering of an anniversary celebration that had happened while I was alive, I could start to see some new perspectives.

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It had also felt a bit odd at the time to mark a "hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary" with its own logo, but there had been that worried feeling in 1992 that the country as it stood would crack apart in the next few years (and things did get pretty close those few years later), sometimes followed up by the feeling it would be a subsequent inevitability the flag left over those of us speaking English would be replaced not that many years later. For all that back then I did manage to get into an anniversary project called the "Young Space Ambassadors," which sent high school students to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal to see science museums and aerospace companies, I can think at least some feelings have changed and there might even yet be a reason or two to prefer now over then.

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krpalmer: Imagination sold and serviced here: Infocom (infocom)
Seeing a bit of attention paid to "old computers" from an unexpected but notable direction did get me thinking of the home computer games I'd actually played when I was young (instead of managing to get around to them years later), and which of them might be called "personal standouts." I thought of the Pole Position imitation I would load and then twiddle the TV's tint knob until the blue "artifact colour" of the backgrounds changed to "green grass" (although the Radio Shack Color Computer 2 could start up with its blue and red artifact colours switched, which made for a different experience again), of the "first-person perspective maze" our disk had gone bad for unfortunately early on so that long years later it became one of my most notable pushes towards getting emulator programs working, and of several illustrated adventures, some easier to play all the way through than others. After remembering those and other Color Computer games, though, all of a sudden I reminded myself that before it my family had started out with a TRS-80 Model I. Even with its low-resolution black-and-white graphics (converted to black-and-green with a thick piece of green plastic foam-taped to the converted RCA surplus TV that served as its official monitor), we had some games for it. Two of them that came to mind right away were the Berzerk imitation "Robot Attack" and a "swoop a spaceship over an enemy base and through a cavern" game from a "software every month" cassette magazine, both of which I'd got working on emulators in recent years. That double revival, though, had also got me thinking of a third game stuck in my mind but which I hadn't been able to find in these latter days...
The third game, and some illustrated proof )
krpalmer: (Default)
It turned out that as my cruise around northern Europe continued, ports of call where shore-based wireless access was convenient to the ship when I had the time to make up another post became hard to find. Getting back from the cruise left me jet-lagged and trying to get over a cold I had picked up in its second half. Still, I got through the whole thing, and saw many interesting things as the ship continued to Norway and Scotland. I am glad to be back, but I'm conscious all over again of how fast time can vanish in a day just by running through a regular routine.
Pictures within )
krpalmer: (Default)
When my parents said they'd be making another cruise to Northern Europe, the thought of coming along did appeal to me. Unlike the trip I'd made eight years ago, I'd be flying all the way out and flying back, but I suppose that could also mean more time to see things off the ship. One thing I did think I'd try this time was to look for wireless connections at the cruise terminals, remembering how expensive it was just to ration out ten minutes a day. There hasn't been quite as much wireless available as I'd hoped, though, so I'm trying to squeeze what I can out of a stop in Stockholm even as I tell myself there's nothing wrong with taking a vacation from more than one thing at once.
Pictures within )
krpalmer: (apple)
I delve back into enough old computer systems that I do seem to let them lie fallow and then return to dig deeper. A big part of this depends on contributions made by other people, though, whether in the form of scanned documents or emulator programs. Pushing past the early 1980s, three different emulator programs for the Macintosh can get me to the end of the 1990s. One of the jumps between them is a bit bigger than the other, though, and it just so happened one single thing fell into that space to get my attention.
A gradual process )
krpalmer: (Default)
Without the prompting of my family I might well wind up content at the end of a year to have used up my vacation taking lots of long weekends, but when they started asking me what I was planning to do this year I did get to thinking. With foreign exchange rates what they were the thought of going somewhere inside the country seemed compelling. I'd been east not that long ago, so going west came to mind. Almost as soon as I started thinking about British Columbia, where I'd got off the cruise ship and on an airplane at the end of my cruise across the Pacific five years ago and spent a few more days there two decades ago, though, the idea of travelling that much further and heading north as well began to fire my imagination. I've read Pierre Berton's Klondike more than a few times; even if travel isn't anywhere near as challenging in the Yukon today as it was for the gold rushers at the close of the nineteenth century, it still seemed interesting to go.

With that vague thought of "going" and "seeing what I'd find" expressed, my brother decided he'd go as well and got to work researching details. Before too long we had an RV rented for a road trip that would take us on the "circle route" through the territory with a short leg over the border to Alaska. From the sights (and services) of Whitehorse to the edge of Kluane National Park to the austere, winding heights of the Top of the World Highway to the sudden sight of Dawson's City deliberate quaintness, and from there to jog north to Tombstone Territorial Park (which a cousin in Vancouver told us about) and back south again made for a full week of travel.

Among all the things I packed, I did once more overestimate how much I needed to bring just to keep myself diverted. Out of the books stuffed into my carry-on bag and the videos I loaded on my iPad (which did pick up cellular signals on the outskirts of the major settlements), I only looked at a few of them, concentrating instead on real-world sights and perhaps winding up thinking there was something worth considering to that juxtaposition. As well, though, while travelling in an RV was a lot more comfortable than the tenting that had me "camped out" by the time I was out of Scouts and quicker than setting up and taking down a trailer, it was a noisy ride in the passenger seat and demanding as a driver, especially as the road got bumpier in the permafrost zone. It all made for a great change of pace in any case. The thought of going back, even if at a different time of year to perhaps try and see the aurora, is certainly there.
Pictures are ahead )
krpalmer: (anime)
During the season of Lent, I decided I'd been spending an awful lot of my lunch breaks playing a particular game on my iPad (the number-matching game Threes), and resolved to give it up for at least a while. I might hewed to the letter of that pledge while still missing its spirit, however. Having just finished watching the anime series Love Live, I thought I could try out the mobile game in the franchise; once I'd done that, I realised just how effectively it could pull someone in.
An illustration of that )
krpalmer: (europa)

Being invited to mark the shared anniversary of two of the Star Wars movies by coming up with "ten things I like about the prequels" was invigorating, but also challenging. By this point my appreciation of them is pretty far-ranging; the trick was narrowing it down to a few things I could share some hopefully well-chosen words about. With thought, though, I formed a list, and then a list I could and had to pick and choose from. As I did so, I did have to face insisting it isn't a "top ten" list; to say something about the major characters might mean saying a lot, much of which may have been picked up from others. Instead, I hope this is more a personal but wide-ranging summary.

An illustrated summary, too )
krpalmer: (apple)
On my way into the once-a-month meeting of the local Apple user group meeting, I looked at the table where the raffle prizes are set out only to be hit with a sudden thrill of recognition. Among the assorted bits of hardware and envelopes with software licenses in them, I could see the iconic shape of an antique Apple II computer, complete with Apple-branded monitor and two Disk II drives. It would be a rare and unusual prize, I thought, and yet I was stuck remembering. Every paid-up member of the user group gets one raffle ticket a month, but for all that I have won a software license or two for programs I've found useful I've been very aware of sitting and watching as number after number not my own is drawn and people go up to the front of the room to claim prizes as big as old Power Macintosh G5 towers. (I've seen three of those metal-cased "cheese graters" won, although I have wondered if they were the same computer every time, returned by people who had got to wondering if they really needed another old computer.) This time, I took a picture with my iPad's camera of what I could now tell was an earlier Apple IIe to leave me at least a little proof the prize had been there.
The picture, and a bit more )
krpalmer: (Default)
Still hedging against the day I can't come up with anything else for this journal, I can summarize another week's worth of posting computer magazine covers by saying that I added BYTE to the mix (although its first covers don't strike me as quite as striking as those of Creative Computing) even as I managed to get to the end of 1975. I then managed to repost someone else's anime-related comic (related to a series I'll have more to say about when I get to my next "quarterly review") just to keep the topics covered a little more varied.

BYTE, September 1975
Creative Computing, September-October 1975
BYTE, October 1975
BYTE, November 1975
Creative Computing, November-December 1975
BYTE, December 1975
krpalmer: Imagination sold and serviced here: Infocom (infocom)
After setting up a Tumblr as a hedge against not being able to make up posts here, I wound up being able to post several times to this journal anyway. However, it does seem that if I start offering links now, it'll be easier to get around to that when I can't put words together.

Setting out to post old computer magazine covers, I started with the first issue of Creative Computing, just preceding the notable appearance of an early microcomputer kit, then stumbled on Creative Computing's second issue just in time to include it in turn. A "landscape" cover and a slight change in the summary subhead brought that magazine to its summer break; along the way, I did recycle someone else's post just to try that out.
krpalmer: (Default)
There have been times in the years I've kept this journal going that finding one more thing to have an opinion on and then articulating those thoughts has felt a bit like pushing that mythical boulder uphill. Then, in the past month or so, putting posts together "every so often" somehow got that much more draining. I suppose I could have just admitted this, told myself I'd kept this journal going "long enough" after starting to post to it all of a sudden, and looked ahead to if I could still set down my "quarterly reviews" of anime watched. Instead, I got to thinking that much harder about a fallback plan I'd been toying with for a while.

Things have seemed "lively" on Tumblr for a good while more than that, but I suppose I've had the suspicion to go along with that that it seems "easy" to keep something going there because that service lends itself so well to recycling pictures other people have already posted. Even with that stern thought, though, it did sort of creep up on me that while there are many archives of scanned computer magazines in chronological order, the covers of multiple magazines would be something somewhat different... Too, the thought that it doesn't seem easy to have a "conversation" about something on Tumblr wound up juxtaposed against how there haven't been many comments posted here for a while anyway.

It did turn out the prefix I use here had already been claimed (and looking it up there was more than a little disconcerting), but adding one more initial worked, and I got under way. In any case, there are still ideas I have for long-format posts here, so I can at least hope things aren't about to close down even to regular summaries of crossposts. I also have an idea or two of things to try with pictures beyond "computer magazine covers," too.
krpalmer: Imagination sold and serviced here: Infocom (infocom)
The difficulties I had uploading pictures to my Photobucket account cleared up one day, and I stored the images I'd thought about building an experimental post around, but by that point I might have been thinking of "saving them for later." A post on another subject has been going pretty slowly, though, so the time to use the pictures seems now. So as to not to place a big footprint on the friends lists of others, I'm putting the pictures behind a cut.
Ideal and reality )
krpalmer: (Default)
Every so often I notice comments that soft drinks tasted better back when they were made with cane sugar and not corn syrup, but in the past I never tried to follow up on them and search out the old-fashioned soda pop that was said to still be found here and there. I suppose my thought was that I might succumb to a more expensive habit. However, while headed through my local grocery store, I happened to notice packages of soda on prominent end-of-the-aisle display, and by the time I realised they made a point of being made with "real sugar" a part of me already wanted to buy it...
Photographic evidence within )

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