Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Commodore Business Machines LED Watch

Before some of our favourite technology computers made the machines we all know and love, a lot of them were involved in the short-lived digital watch craze of the mid 70st

Companies such as Intel, HP and Sinclair all tried to get a slice of the market for digital time-pieces that was forecast to be a huge money-maker.

After the introduction of the world's first digital watch in 1972 (for a price of $2,000) several companies made an entry into this market before over-saturation and dropping prices meant the bottom dropped out later in the decade.

I take a look at the short-lived Commodore Time Master LED Watch from 1976.

Commodore The Amiga Years Book Cancelled

If you are a fan of Commodore computers and have any interest in the people who were responsible for your favourite machines, the book "Commodore: A Company on The Edge" was essential reading.

The book does miss out a huge proportion of the companies history as it ends in 1984 when Jack Tramiel left, with the plan of devoting an entire second volume to the tumultuous Amiga years.

Fans of the Amiga have been waiting with baited-breath for a quality tome dedicated to our favourite system, featuring as many in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes stories as the first book.

Unfortunately, deadline after deadline was missed, and more than two years after the second book was promised it has now been officially cancelled. Posting on his Twitter account, author Brian Bagnall confirmed our worst fears:
Exact reasons have not been given, and it seems Bagnall is now working on other projects.

With a vague claim that he may "return to it someday", it's very sad news to those of us who have been eagerly anticipating this book for some time. How's about releasing it in an un-finished state on-line somewhere Brian? At least we may get some enjoyment and education out of the sections you've already completed, rather than leaving it gathering bit-rot on a hard disk for the rest of time. :(

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Why I Love The Ouya

You're probably familiar with the story of the Ouya, the infamous Kickstarter that raised over $8million in summer 2012.

The premise was pretty simple, a low cost Android-based gaming console that you can play on your TV and use a controller with.

It's fair to say that the system has failed to set the world alight as yet, some early hardware problems and pretty poor PR from the parent company have tarnished its image somewhat with gamers, however it does make a fascinating little system for those of us who go a little deeper than the surface.

One of the virtues of the system that Ouya have actually publicly promoted is the ability to emulate classic gaming systems.

In fact they received some accusations of endorsing piracy when they posted this (now redacted) Tweet recently:

It's not the aim of this blog to argue the rights and wrongs of using 30 year old ROMs, but if you do have a desire to own a very portable, easy to use emulation box - the Ouya is it!