operating systems

From: John Foust <jfoust_at_threedee.com>
Date: Tue Jan 6 11:27:50 1998

John Higginbotham <higginbo_at_netpath.net> wrote:
> They run blindingly fast,
>making them utterly worthless unless you use one of those slowdown utils,
>but most of those only run right on 486s.

Again, there must be a market for better emulation / slowdown software.
There should be a way to put the Pentium in an 8008 compatibility mode. :-)

>>Three, that ancient games don't "hurt" today's software market. Doing what?
>Doing what? Being available for "free" (illegally) out there for people to
>get to them. The fact that people are still playing them doesn't affect
>today's game market at all.

Yes, the sales of old software might be a very small fraction of mainstream
games, so small as to have no effect - but I don't like to play fast-and-loose
with self-created and self-serving notions of "it's not hurting anyone" when
it comes to intellectual property issues.

>But repackaging the games and shipping them would up the price to at least
>$10.00 a piece,

Maybe the net and micropayments will help. Or in this case, a web site
with do-it-yourself downloading of $10 bundles of 20 old games might
satify both the developers and the funding of the site. Shareware is
a *sure* way to gather no cash, especially with a dusty product like this.

Being afflicted with entrepreneur's disease, I've toyed with the
idea of this as a business: collecting up the distribution rights
for old software, bundling them on CD, adding emulators, and selling
for reasonable prices, etc. to recreate the old computer experience.
As they say, they're not making any more "retro." :-)

The hard parts would be finding the rightful owners, forging
acceptable contracts with each, and without giving them the impression
that millions are to be made. Or in some cases, if the companies
that owned the products are truly *gone*, to be willing to take
the risk they wouldn't sue you if you assumed you could distribute.

Apropo the other thread about today's tendency to throw out 486s...
as-is, they still run yesterday's games, word processors, educational
apps, etc. for schools, libraries, senior centers, day care centers, etc.
It's such a shame this stuff isn't being reused. A 486/33 with
8 megs and Linux makes a perfectly acceptable firewall.

- John
Jefferson Computer Museum <http://www.threedee.com/jcm>
Received on Tue Jan 06 1998 - 11:27:50 GMT

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