Saturday, January 29, 2011

The mid 90's - When playing PC games was a full time job

We all remember the days of going to your favorite software store and picking up the newest game to play on PC. There was nothing like it. Back in the 80s-90s computer software was a market all its own. Consoles were completely separate and even pailed in comparison to some of the newest PC games. Playing games Like X-Wing and Rebel Assault 1 and 2 made you really appreciate the beige box.
There was also a nerdy underbelly to the whole scene. To get certain games running on the newest version of Windows (We're talking Windows 95 here) you had to adjust settings on your system to create a virtual DOS environment for the game to play in. This old print out is actually from my X-Wing floppy box from when I had to adjust my expanded memory and sound card settings. I actually enjoyed doing stuff like this as I would learn more and more about computers through the years.
After wrangling CONFIG.SYS, and taking AUTOEXEC.BAT to the batting cage, I always had more fun knowing that I worked at getting the game to play. Even my first CD rips were moving files in DOS to the hard drive to play Rebel Assault and Wing Commander II. Today I work with computers every day and have to help people with the most basic tasks. I enjoy tech support very much because I have to be creative in the way I present a solution. A simpler way without all the tech lingo.  It reminds me of the old days before I knew about port settings and couldn't even dream of wireless networking in my home.
It really amazes me how much I got into computers just from playing games. It was a major interest for years. I was building PC's for family members and friends on a regular basis. I got into Linux and had a great time using a different platform for quite a while. I'm on Mac now and couldn't be happier, but I still have a special place in my heart for the old Windows based PC.

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