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Comment Cobalt Flux (Score 1) 181

Light guns have worked on home CRTs since Duck Hunt, and there exist metal DDR controllers for consoles and PCs such as Cobalt Flux. But you're right that arcades have the advantage with actuators.

But you have a point in that some (probably most) games were designed unfairly require the utmost perfect gameplay to not be a coin sink IF it was even possible.

That's what I liked about DDR: you got to pick 3 songs and any of 3 different step charts for each, so long as you didn't fail out. So you could pick 2 songs you knew you could do and 1 that you thought you might be able to do.

Comment Re:Grammar (Score 1) 130

Buy a cheap tablet or iPod Touch and use it for just this purpose

If I understand correctly, I'd need to use iTunes software to manage an iPod. According to AppDB, Wine gained support for at least some of iTunes sometime in the past four months (between 1.7.5 and 1.7.15), but I'm not so sure this support includes connecting to an iPod over USB. The compatibility report states that connecting an iPod was not tested.

or at least related purposes.

Looking down to switch among these "related purposes" takes my eyes off the TV screen.

Comment Latency of each range request (Score 1) 115

the decode is probably faster than the network transfer

That's not the bottleneck as much as the multi-decisecond latency of requesting each range over a wireless (satellite or cellular) connection.

so it can request it in batches of size X

How would the browser know what size X is, so that it doesn't get a tiny range, request another, wait two seconds, request another, wait two seconds, etc.?

Comment Coin operated (Score 1) 181

The problem comes when the companys start cutting the fun. While at the same time asking for a nickle every minute.

How is that different from an arcade operator selling me 50 tokens for $10 and demanding three tokens ("no cash value", but practically 60 cents) for an 8-minute game of Dance Dance Revolution?

Comment Entitlements vs. consumables (Score 5, Insightful) 181

There's a difference between old free-to-play, which was based on "entitlements" (purchases that you keep for an indefinite time once you buy them), and new free-to-play, which is based on "consumables" (purchases that you have to make and remake to continue progressing). The old shareware model involved making the first chapter free-to-play and making further chapters entitlements. For example, the first episode of Doom was provided without charge and ended on a cliffhanger. The Ultimate Doom paid entitlement brought three more episodes* ("The Shores of Hell", "Inferno", and "Thy Flesh Consumed"); and the Doom II paid entitlement brought another game's worth of missions. Energy mechanics in newer F2P games, such as "gems" or "berries" or "lives", are different: they force you to wait hours or days at a time to progress if you don't pay, and completing the game within reasonable time requires spending more on energy than a player would have originally spent on a whole game under a pay-up-front or entitlement model.

* Before Ultimate Doom was completed, Id Software sold Doom (registered version), which was the same as Ultimate Doom without "Thy Flesh Consumed".

Comment Command.com (Score 2) 146

But M$ gave us BAT files, which are terrible.

In principle, BAT files are shell scripts. But in practice, I agree that Command.com remained underpowered as a shell. In fact, it was so underpowered that the maker of Scotch tape bought the name to use it for adhesive hanging hooks. Cmd.exe in Windows NT family fixed this somewhat, but as I understand it, Microsoft's command prompt didn't fully meet the power of UNIX shells until PowerShell.

Comment BASIC is where M$ got its start (Score 4, Interesting) 146

If you wonder why people abbreviate Microsoft as M$ in articles, consider that Microsoft got its start as a developer of BASIC for 8-bit home computers, including every Apple II computer from the Apple II Plus through the IIGS, IIc Plus, and Macintosh LC with IIe Card. The FAT file system also started with a Microsoft BASIC; Tim Paterson incorporated it into the 86-DOS that he would later sell to Microsoft. And in this early era, before DEFSTR and DIM ... AS, all string variable names ended with a $, just as names of scalar variables in Perl would later start with $. The following is a BASIC program:

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft"
20 PRINT M$;" introduces BASIC"
30 END

(That and the $ helps to distinguish Microsoft from multiple sclerosis.)

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