Well, there are hundreds more who may not be active users, but will actively acquire certain Jag titles. Another World sold out both runs, after all. I think that the Jag has now somehow acquired the cool vibe that it never managed to create during its commercial life.
I've always wondered about a different question: why has the Jag retained so much of its miniscule user base? I mean, c'mon -- this thing barely registered on the sales charts, and yet here we are, twenty-five years later, stressing and fretting and obsessing about the active user base of a system that sold 150,000 units. It's almost like everyone who used a Jag in 1994 is still here now! Okay, I bought my first one in 2002, but that's beside the point. I'd like to think that, somewhere in the universe, there's a rabid userbase for the Casio Loopy and Memorex VIS that reconstructs and analyses game sales stats of Bow-Wow Puppy Love Story and The Manhole, and pitch hypotheticals for frenzied discussions (could the Loopy handle Hannah Montana decals??? Discuss!) but I'm guessing not. Enduring, inexplicable popularity is the Jaggiest thing about the Jaguar.
Yesterday I went to the Quarter Lounge in Bedford and Regeneration arcade and bar in far North Dallas.
The Quarter Lounge is in an old retail space, so the ceilings are low and arcade machines take up several rooms in what could have been some sort of office space years ago. They also had an area for consoles and PC games. You pay $3 to get in and then the classic machines are a quarter. Pinball machines are .50. I had the most fun playing Frogger and the Mata Hari pinball machine, but I also pumped a few dollars into Pole Position. Stuff was well maintained there for sure and it was somewhat busy. They don't sell food, but I carried a flask with Bourbon in it with me and drank from it while I played - no one seemed to care. There is also a game and toy resale shop in the same building. I assumed it was run by the same owner, but I didn't ask. I bought 4 used Wii games from their shop.
Regeneration is a place where you pay $10 and all the games are free. They also feature ALL Texas beers there which was interesting, and I ended up drinking a lot more alcohol than a typical Sunday. It felt like being in the dream business of a very specific 40/50 year old person who adapted what he likes to attract millenials. They also had consoles set up, and it was fun to watch someone play the first hour or so of L2tP since I just recently played it myself. I met a friend, and we had the most fun playing Gorf and the Popeye pinball machine together. I stuck around after he left and played a handful of other games including F14 Tomcat (pinball). It is super close to my house, so I may just end up going there again some night to play 10 games of pinball and leave or something.
I'm very concerned that both places won't make it very long. Perhaps that is irrational, but there's no way that arcades can just come back right? I have more plans to visit some other local places including Realms of Arcadia near Lake Lewisville, Free Play arcade in Richardson, the BOS pinball lounge in Garland, Cidercade in Oak Cliff, and the Texas Pinball Museum down in Midlothian. There are even some others that have popped up that I want to go to as well. Truly an explosion.
Sounds awesome, but forget arcade machines! I want someone to set up a "home computer arcade" where you can sample various systems from the '70s through the early '90s, so I can play with a plus 4, a Spectrum QL, and an Archimedes on the same afternoon.
Fantastic work! Thanks! I have to admit I get a little misty eyed thinking about 80's computing. It feels like the beginning of the end of the 8-bit era and the 8-bit era is my personal golden age of computing.
I kind of want to read the Battle of the Operating Systems in the Jan '85 issue.
You mean the end of the inaccessible, 300 baud, 410 frustration, only-for-the-rich 8-bit era and the beginning of the completely awesome scene that exists today. The fact that more original users aren't currently engaged by the system is their problem, not ours.
Can you imagine the reaction if someone demoed Yoomp! in 1985? People would have had coronaries.
Was the store Active Surplus with the gorilla out front. Sadly the store closed in 2015. In the early 1980s, quite a bit of money was invested in these teletext/videotex systems. They thought everyone would have a terminal in their homes for news, banking, and shopping. These things were strictly character based with a fixed character set, so it doesn't apply to energy quiz.
We still don't know if Energy Quiz was only a proposal, a test project, or something that was actually implemented by the ministry of energy mines, and resources. Maybe, if more people see the game, someone out there might remember it.
It had bit-mapped graphics, though. The Environment Canada “mini-site” had a map of Ontario and each town had a different scene, like a moose or whatnot.
Can’t remember the name of the store on Queen, but it was downtown. It was closed, so I didn’t go in, but it definitely stopped me in my tracks.
I found a video on YouTube that shows a similar, but not identitical, weather display. The ones in the kiosks had static displays and did not scroll.
We will have to disagree on that point.
Having built and maintained multiple walls of carts, I can't say I miss doing it one iota. Didn't like the dusting, the searching, the worries of bit-rot, and overall wear and tear. And theft. It simply was not for me. I still remember one little prick that stole an Atari 800 cartridge on me.
But.. The decades of history, manuals, and magazines alone - packed into modern storage devices is simply phenomenal. And the way it is today is the way it will be tomorrow. No deterioration, no fading, easy access.. all in quantities I could not envisage as kid of the 70's.
And really, how much of our libraries are already digital? Unless you only collect for something like the Jag, which forces you to buy carts (for now!), digital is a must. I have a really large A8 physical library...and all those boxed games and carts probably represent about 5% of the actual library. I just don’t have space for more.
And I think people are forgetting that future gaming will be completely different: physical objects would only distract players from a completely immersive VR experience. Who needs manuals and feelies when the player is the actual controller? I love me a boxed release, but it’s only appropriate for a 2D environment.
Around the middle of the 90's we saw IDE solutions coming to our already orphaned Atari's, which was soon followed by compact flash adapters on the IDE bus. However it was all experimental in the beginning, not really becoming viable until the end of that decade, although by that time the price of IDE hard drives had come way down in price, making the idea much more affordable.
Yup. I had to wait until 2002 to buy a custom IDE hard drive ($100 on eBay!). I certainly knew about the Corvus drives in the ‘80s, but they were impractical for most as well as very costly. I suppose it would have been possible to acquire the “complete” A8 library in 1988, but I can’t imagine how many hundreds (thousands) of hours I would have needed at 300 baud. It’s just so different today with near instantaneous
download times and flash/SD storage solutions.
Legend of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (emulated) - 20 min (This looks to be a really good platformer... especially for a hand held. It's colorful and has good music. But that's not uncommon for Disney games. The screen doesn't scroll very well vertically. Drop down a hole or jump up higher and the action stops while the screen moves up or down and then play resumes. It's serviceable and has been done in a lot of games, but it'd be nice if it didn't do that here. I played to my first game over.)
I've never seen the "Telidon/Teliguide" kiosks you're talking about, and it was way too long ago, so I couldn't say. I barely remember my school trip to that Ottawa museum.
EDIT: Just googled Telidon/Teliguide, and I don't think that's what I saw at the museum.
For those who may be curious. I have to say, though, that they didn't look like that in malls. They were put into arcade cabinet kiosks and had touch screens (I used them to look up the weather in Northern Ontario). There was a bunch of crap on the systems...little of which was of interest to the general public. OT, but around 1998 I saw an entire store on Queen St. in Toronto that was stacked to the ceiling with these things. It must have been every Teleguide unit used in Ontario...
No, it was a custom kiosk, made specifically for the museum exhibit. In fact, there were several of these kiosks at this exhibit, because I remember always going back to the same one, because the other similar kiosks were less interesting.
You couldn't see what machine was inside the kiosk, just the screen (behind a protective glass IIRC) and the controller, much like an arcade cabinet, only slightly cheaper-looking.
At the time, this was the kind of custom job that the Canadian government would have outsourced to a local software company, funded via some kind of technology-for-kids government program.
With the opening title screen featuring the Canadian flag in Energy Quizz, I'm thinking this game could have actually been part of that technology museum exhibit I'm talking about, or something similar.
Are you sure it wasn't one of those Telidon/Teliguide kiosks I (half-jokingly) referenced in my earlier post? I used one frequently (it was perfect for 10 year-olds!) at the Thornhill Square Mall just around that time (1982-3), and though most were placed around the Toronto area, I'm sure Ottawa had some, too. They had a number of accessible programs, although I don't remember anything along the lines of Energy Quiz.