Articles tagged with: system 7

Growing up Mac: Windows to Another Dimension

mossy_11 on Wednesday, 05 May 2010. Posted in Opinion

When Windows 95 came out, I didn’t care. Sure, I was just a kid, but I could clearly see that it was inferior to System 7.5.5. Years later I learned this isn’t strictly true -- although the feature gap was almost non-existent (despite what Windows’ marketing suggested), they each possessed different strengths and weaknesses. But all I saw was an ugly interface, a continued reliance on the dated DOS back-end, and the infamous blue screen of death. And games still looked better on the Mac, even with the aging hardware.

It was like a window to another dimension, where somehow everything bad reigned supreme over all that is good. I didn’t like it. I wanted to close the shutters and pretend there was no other dimension. But there was no escaping Windows, and I soon came to terms with my aversion for the OS, thanks in large part to a game called Civilization II and a little thing called the Internet.


Growing up Mac: Life with a Plus

mossy_11 on Thursday, 29 April 2010. Posted in Opinion

My introduction to both video games and computers came from a rather unusual source for a child raised in the 1990s. Other kids my age were inheriting 8-bit consoles or picking up the Super Nintendo or Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, or they were experiencing the torture of MS-DOS. As for me, I had a Mac. Not a shiny new Mac, mind you, but an aging Macintosh Plus, with a monochrome 9-inch monitor, no hard drive, and 800 KB floppy drive. Most of the time, I had to first use the boot disk to start the system, then switch to the game disk, although a few games were bootable. Freezes, which were not uncommon, were typically resolved with a resounding whack to either the side or top of the computer. Sometimes, though, a hard-reset was required. And that often resulted in a “sad Mac” on startup.

I (like many others on this site, I expect) have fond memories of games that most people -- even those who live and breathe gaming culture -- have never heard of, and likely never will. Glider moved me with its whimsical world where the paper plane was king. StuntCopter entertained me with a falling stick-figure and a horse that could be knocked over. Spelunx taught me about gravity, lightning, and the power of learning through play. ShufflePuck Café consumed me as I tried to beat all its weird characters. Dark Castle offered an atmospheric action/puzzle/platformer hybrid that was years ahead of its time. Banzai, Super Maze Wars, Artillery, MacSki, Memory, Amazing, Block Out, Maelstrom, and many other unique little games exposed me to all sorts of ideas, filling my childhood with hours of fun and entertainment.