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About Redb3ard

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    Space Invader
  • Birthday 09/02/1974

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    Lubbock, TX
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    Petitioning the Unicode Consortium for the inclusion of an appropriate glyph for the artist formerly known as Prince.
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  1. I think the correct way to release these is with a variant for each of "printable" and "digital". Some people (myself included) don't need physical booklets printed out. I haven't had an actual TI-99 since I was in 5th grade after all... I don't even know what happened to it. My son's been playing Alpiner and a few others on Retropie, and it feels weird to not have the manuals (on some of these I honestly can't remember how to play!). Anyway, the printables will be all-white background. For the digitals, I'll use the colored background. It'd be great if you guys could vote on which color to use for each, I can make it anything (it's not really like there was an official color, they used whatever color was cheapest, I guess). I'll also release nice front-cover images too, in case anyone wants just those (on some emulation it gives you a pretty poster in the games menu). Though if someone's offering to do full-color recreations, that'd be great, I can't do anything like that myself. Also, for the title-variants, I think I'll be releasing both of those, and people can choose which they want (or both). I will probably still need help tracking down photographs of those and the like (in the cases where I have a scan of one, a photo of the other might suffice). If anyone has any favorites, just ask, I'm not doing these in any particular order. I had planned on finishing Star Runner tonight, but the first letters of those are using a "swash" variant of Bookman ITC, and I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to enable those correctly. (Not much of a graphics/typography guy, truth told). I'll be able to lift the warranty from the first manual (no retyping!) but strangely the justification is off just a bit as if DataBiotics re-typed it themselves (word for word). I figured they just photocopier-composited that page in on all of them.
  2. This is my secret weapon. You're seeing the orange "overlay" on the left (original page) so that I can precisely align stuff. The right-hand side is rendered in the app as html. Of course, that's just for the text... I've been using Inkscape to trace out the graphics. I'm shooting for about 4000 bezier nodes (comes out as less than 200kb), but that's tough when it's both line and filled shape. For Spot Shot I just ran two passes for each, and deleted the bad tracing from each and combined them, but for Star Runner it's way worse... I can't get it under about 10,000 nodes. Will balloon the size of that pdf probably. Also, Electron/Chrome (what the app is written with) seems to be screwing up the pdf generation *bad*. When I copy and paste from the pdf, it's somehow reversing the order of all the strings. That may not be an issue for some of you, but if I get that fixed I'll post some links to the better versions here once I get it figured out. Give me a couple of months, and I should have the full Databiotics catalog ready, and I can get to work on the other manuals.
  3. SpotShot-white.pdf Dragonflyer-white.pdf Please keep in mind that with Dragonflyer, I'm working off of Adamantyr's photo, and assuming the contents are identical except for the two references to "Spot Shot". Until someone provides a scan, that's just a guess. Let me know how these print up... I prefer digital for my stuff, and like the 1 page per pdf-page, but that might complicate things if you're trying to print all 4 on a single sheet. Think I'll work on Star Runner next, trying to get the artwork down under 300kb, but it's a tough one. Also, is it the only one that was printed with blue ink?
  4. Wonder if this is pretty close to yours Adamantyr... Dragonflyer-vectorized.pdf The title's still in Cooper Black, but it's higher on the cover. And of course I've just replaced references to Spot Shot with the new title (only 2 of them). Also guys, the copy I found used that green paper, but looking at these photos it's clear that they'd mail them out with various colors (probably whatever was available at the time). Do you have any preferences for what background-color I should use? Should it just be black text on white background?
  5. Wow. I remember ordering these out of catalogs and the backs of magazines... what about the poor schmucks who thought it was a new game and ordered it only to find out it was the same game they already had? I know with certainty that's how my uncle got Picnic Paranoia, and a few others besides.
  6. Assuming it was rebranded lazily, I could probably reproduce it even with a shitty ebay photograph that's distant and perspective distorted. Probably would just release the cover page (assuming the rest didn't change). Which came first though? And who owned it prior to rebranding? What was the point ("Spot Shot" doesn't seem to be stepping on any intellectual property toes)?
  7. Ok, this is pretty close to final for Spot Shot: SpotShot-vectorized.pdf This still has some problems, notably that something about the pdf rendering makes it difficult to select text (I've seen this in pdfs created with other software, still haven't tracked it down). Also, the svg/vector image on the front lets you select each and every little path element, which annoys me. Gotta figure out how to make that so it's just a single image. Fonts are matched. Line-height isn't always matched... on a typewriter it was controlled mechanically, and if the paper slipped a little more or a little less on each new line you'd not get them perfectly spaced. That makes it tough for me. If someone could proof-read, see if they can spot any discrepancies, that'd be great. I'd also appreciate screenshots of it (to test whether the font-embedding is working correctly... would suck if your pdf viewer just shows Times New Roman or whatever). I worked from the one posted in the high score thread, I'll repost it here for convenience: SpotShot.pdf Note that my copy has nearly perfect fidelity, and is only 20% of the original size.
  8. Thank you so much JB. If you want a better digital copy, I think I can do that. I've got two of the fonts matched already, everything except the "Star Runner" though I suspect strongly I'll find it was an included font with Aldus Pagemaker or something like that. The "Minimum requirements" is Palatino Bold, and I'm using JMH Typewriter Dry for the content. Looks like they changed up the warranty page a bit, guess I get to re-type that one, haha. Also, slightly off-topic, why in the hell does CSS not have a sentence-spacing property? Driving me nuts, makes it difficult to get pixel-perfect layout matching. Whoever typed these up liked to double-space new sentences, but the typewriter's pitch was different.
  9. I don't know if anyone's interested in this... but I plan on making them for myself anyway. This is very preliminary work. I'm using a custom-made application called "Chronoscope" that I've never actually released (it was disappointing that I couldn't make it as automated as I might like). The image was vectorized with Inkscape... the latest version has centerline autotrace, which makes the image only about 150k (it's most of the pdf size and will remain so, there's less than 10k of markup/css). I had to hand-tweak it because centerline-autotrace does line art really well, but not solid shapes and combining the two tracings was irritating. I've never been able to figure out automatic typeface detection (so I have to match those by eyeball, and I'm not great at it). So the title on the cover is wrong... I'll get that figured out tomorrow (likely this was made with desktop publishing on a Mac in 1987ish, there really are only a couple dozen possibilities). Chronoscope does OCR (and often badly), so for this I may just end up typing it in by hand, can't be more than 15 minutes' worth or so. The main text of this thing looks typewriter-ish to me, and there are some decent typewriter fonts to use for this. I intend to correct typos and misspellings. I'd go nuts if I didn't (but if someone wants to object, I can be persuaded to provide an alternate version). I also suspect the DataBioTics people were using some standard clipart, but I don't think I've got much chance of finding the originals (if so, this pdf would probably look better still and be under 60k). If anyone has any insight into that, I'd love to hear it. If this doesn't look much different to you, that's what I intended. But if you want to really see the difference just to understand, zoom in on both the original and my version. Crisp, clean lines as far as you can zoom in. On the art and the letters. All criticism welcome. SpotShot-vectorized.pdf
  10. I've managed to find many of these (at least the front page with artwork) via ebay auctions, Google image search, and here on AtariAge (was a little surprised about that, it had been years since I've logged in here). I was hoping to be able to convert the clipart on them to vector format (the latest Inkscape's tracing tools are remarkable), so that I might provide some recreations of the originals for those who would want them. I've had more than a little luck making pdfs that are 100% vector, no OCR or raster. I'm still missing the following: * Jumpy * Star Trap * Spy's Demise * Break Thru (unsure of spelling on this one) * Sorgan II * Star Gazer (unsure on this one?) * TI Toad * Red Baron * Mancala * Intercept * Escape * Dragonflyer Scans (or even bad photographs) of the other pages would be very welcome too. In case I'm missing some on the list and don't even realize it, I have good (or at least usable) copies of * Barrage * Beyond Parsec * Black Hole * Boxer * Burger Builder * D*Station II * Junkman Jr. * Micro-Pinball * Micro Tennis * Midnite Mason * Qmaze I'd also welcome any other manuals that were... how do I put this kindly, less polished? Munchman II comes to mind as an example. Those that were black and white clip art and photocopy folded over and stapled. Any and all help (even just correcting any misconceptions you might notice) would be appreciated.
  11. Well, couldn't find any... decided to make my own.
  12. I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask... But does anyone have (or know where to find) box art for the Trogdor flash game? I know that it's fake (semi-fake? I thought it was available as a downloadable Wii game at some point), but I was hoping someone mocked up box art either here or on Deviant Art. There's nothing on the videlectrix.com website.
  13. I hate to be critical of such work, please don't take my suggestion that way. Digitizing these books is important... they're the sort that are discarded even by libraries. However, it is a very sizable archive. And for most of these books, they could be reduced in size without losing any of the information in the pages. I know that the standard is to digitize these as some raster format (usually jpeg, but for those who want high quality, they generally use tiff) and make PDFs of them. However, such books were usually light on actual images... a diagram here or there, things of that nature. Generally, for a single person, anything other than this would be very difficult... even with OCR, it makes so many mistakes that they can't be corrected by one man. We could as a community transcribe it into html with very little work for any single individual. If each book averages 120 pages, then if you just put up a website where each person proof-reads a page or half a page from OCR, or those who know how if they were to do the markup (wrapping paragraphs in p tags, the occasional img for a diagram, the occasional table)... we could probably complete a book every few weeks. Even with images, I'm betting that most books would clock in under about 3 megs. No matter what though, congratulations and good work. People who work to preserve books, even for niche interests like this, are doing a very good thing. I'd say it was even noble, if it didn't sound so corny.
  14. On Wednesday night, we returned home to find our iMac powered off and a faint electrical smell in the room. It was dead. We dropped it off for warranty repair yesterday, but with the iPhone thing happening today and what with several other similar issues using up their in stock parts, they didn't know when it might be fixed. I'll be letting her use my work laptop to do what she needs to do tonight and such, but I don't think she'll be on as much for a little bit. Hopefully, they'll call me later today to say that they've fixed our computer. Thanks, John O.
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