Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've been Booked!

I could be way off base here, but I was browsing through the books at and I chanced upon one called "The Rough Guide to Video Games" which, it seems to me, may well have cribbed off some research I did around 2005 or so. As a part of my "always in the works!" Teleblivion Web site, I put together a list of groundbreaking "Firsts" in the arcade world. This book had a small graphic that looked a little familiar to me.
Now, admittedly, it could very well be that they just used the same sources as I did. But this looks to me like a listing inspired by mine, at the very least. A few words have been changed here and there, but the spirit of the thing is the same. In any case, it's good to see all the interest in the classic games... more books like this seem to come out every year. Some capsule reviews are in the works for this blog. Happy reading!

My 2005 listing and chronology is available here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What has keys but no lock?

Here's a little trip down melody lane: a web database entry for my old music keyboard, purchased circa 1987. What a high performer - not only was it a synthesizer (creating sounds synthetically was, even the salesman admitted, tedious) but a 16-bit sampler, which means you could grab real sounds using a microphone and manipulate them into instruments. You can see this new technology put to good use in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). The protagonist uses a "snoring" sound effect sample as part of a ruse to appear to be asleep in his bed (as he is obstensibly sick at home.)

There are also some interesting comments from site visitors about the device.

Anyone who knows me will not be overly surprised to learn that I still own this piece of 80's technology. Come to think of it I still have my PT-20 as well, a starter unit purchased circa 1981 (along with a tape recorder one of the first items I bought with my own funds, I believe.)