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You have 20 minutes before the sun blows up

This charming game focuses on exploring a wonder-filled solar system. The first time I found myself engulfed in the searing light of a collapsed star, I felt confused. Did I do something wrong? Was this the cosmic punishment for the hubris of reaching for the stars? But instead of dying, I found myself right back where I started, standing in front of a campfire 20 minutes before the end of…

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George Stone Credits Scott Adams Adventure Games for Inspiring “Max Headroom”

Scott Adams (creator of “Adventureland,” the first commercial home computer game) just posted this on his Facebook page: Hey Scott, Something you may not be aware of is the seminal role you played in the genesis of Max Headroom. There was a TRS80 at my place of work. When folks went home a few of us would stay for a few hours and try to figure out what to do…

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They called it a “flashlight” because early handheld lights weren’t designed to shine steadily

A student’s short story featuring a treasure hunt at an ancestral mansion uses a vintage name for the mistress of the house a vintage name and supplies a butler, suggesting a Victorian Engliand setting. But the story also used the term “flashlight” — an Americanism for what the Brits are more likely to call an “electric torch”. So I looked up the history of flashlights.

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Computer Interfaces in Star Trek’s “Assignment Earth”

I was watching classic Star Trek with my son a few days ago when I came across this scene, from Assignment Earth, which is set on Earth during the 1960s (when the original show aired). This episode featured the adventures of a human raised by apparently benevolent aliens who want to stop Earth from destroying itself. As a kid I remember being thrilled at how much NASA footage they worked…