Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Night Blogging Episode 3

Today’s SNB will be a bit short (a lot short, actually) because I have been neglecting my main webpage.

- Palm Beach Mall in Florida is closing today, leaving only George's Music and JCPenney alive.
- Cities XL, the new city builder from Monte Cristo in France is finally shutting down its much-hated Planet Offer, leaving a solo option, which the players originally wanted in the first place. That is, if MC stays in business.
- I also want to share my thoughts on the iPad but I can’t really do it because the Apple/Mac websites offer enough commentary to make anything I say redundant (Macsurfer lists a bunch of good sites with the day’s best articles)
- And of course, a special offer for TWR readers. Request a FREE* CD-R with the following:

• Every single Two Way Roads post!
• Unreleased posts!
• Hard copies of YouTube videos!
• Hard copies of images here!
• The Labelscar posts!
• A PDF version of the blog you can print out for a cozy read!
• And more!!

Just send your address in to the email here to request yours TODAY!

* TWR reserves the right to change the price.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Dislike of the Wii Part Three: Games

Now we have the games of the Wii: including a look at what could’ve been.

Hopes for 2006
Initially the 2006 line-up for the Wii looked great. The last of the “original” E3, Nintendo made a bang with its game lineup.

There was Super Mario Galaxy, the first true sequel to Super Mario 64 (Super Mario Sunshine doesn’t count).

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl were announced. There was Red Steel, a third-party game that involved using the Wii controller as a gun or a sword. Wii Sports was simple yet innovative. Wii Music looked fun, and some new franchises from Nintendo, Disaster: Day of Crisis and Project H.A.M.M.E.R..

The best games were yet to come. And yet, they didn’t.

Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, and the new Metroid game, were all released around or soon after launch and garnered positive reviews, with more expected to come. Red Steel also was released but got mixed reviews.


Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released nearly a year after the Wii and got great reviews. But instead of being a start of a great year, it was a disappointment. Wii Music was delayed for the longest time and ended up being a very simple Guitar Hero-type knockoff. And Disaster: Day of Crisis and Project H.A.M.M.E.R. were unceremoniously forgotten. Remember the GameCube’s Raven Blade? It was never released. As 2008 and 2009 dragged on, no “great games” were released for the Wii. Meanwhile, Nintendo went after the “non-gamers”, including senior citizens and the moms who once rallied against Nintendo, but ignored their original demographic completely.

By late 2009, the battle was practically lost. Despite the Wii’s profitability and ease-of-use, the Wii market was crammed with non-games (Wii Fit knockoffs and other not-quite-games...see your local GameStop for what I mean.)

Meanwhile, what I predicted what would happen in 2006 couldn’t of been farther off the mark: the PlayStation 3 got its act together and put its screaming power to good use. It now has a bunch of games that Nintendo will probably never get its hands on. Plus, it has a Blu-Ray player. Very cool. The third parties did NOT join up with Nintendo (or, God forbid, ABANDON others for Nintendo). No “real” Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, or Katamari Damacy.

The Wii just couldn’t get a hold on good games. Why?

1) The nontraditional default control scheme (see previous entry)
2) The graphics are inferior to Xbox 360 and PS3. That never stopped the PS2, though...
3) Marketing and Nintendo’s behavior completely ignored “hardcore” games.

Right now, we are in early 2010 and it is painfully obvious that despite a promising start, the Wii is not the “hardcore gaming device” and certainly not the PlayStation-killer we all thought it was. But it’s just Nintendo. How did they get themselves in this situation? The answer starts in the early 1990s...but that’s another story (and another blog!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NES Schematics

These are schematics for the NES, a piece of a bygone era where a younger me decided to try to build a Nintendo Entertainment System, then build it into a portable machine, a la Benjamin Heckendorn's projects. The website offers some surprises on the first page: a custom-built and working Atari 2600 motherboard hand-wired (link here) and a fine review of a certain top-grossing film that closely mirrors our own.

Anyway, here are the NES schematics. The cover page (Page One) was omitted, and I did not scan these.
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5


NOTE:
The site I found them at was here back in 2004, but I honestly don't know how long it will stay up. Consider this one a mirror.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Dislike of the Wii Part Two: The Control Scheme

The Wii remote was an innovation and quickly became the darling of the Wii's late 2006 release. Rather than "thumbing it" with the joystick, with the bundled Wii Sports, you could actually use the Wii remote to use semi-"real" motions: swinging golf clubs, playing tennis, bowling, boxing, or baseball. But what began as an awesome control setup quickly fell apart almost from Day One. Why?

1. What Can You Do With This Thing, Again?
The Wii remote was highly praised in the beginning, and hopes were that some truly awesome game (such as Star Wars lightsaber duels) would make the Wii remote so awesome compared to the traditional joysticks of the Xbox 360 and PS3. But it was quickly realized that it just didn't work that way. The Wii remote has a weak rumble and no force feedback. Try this: swing your forearm around as if you had a Wii remote in it. Now try to stick your other forearm out and block it while swinging. In the Wii world, there's no way to feel force-feedback. Physically, you can't tell if you hit a wall, a tree, or someone's internal organs.

Red Steel, a highly-anticipated launch title, was disappointing and in the worst cases, caused nausea.

2. Tied to a Cinderblock
The Wii has a special port on the bottom of it for attaching other peripherals, such as the Nunchuck. With the Nunchuck, you get a joystick and another button. But the whole system becomes woeful when you factor in everything else. The Classic Controller, for instance, can allow you to play traditionally, but rather than plugging into the USB port on the Wii (yes, it has one), you have to get a Wii remote and plug the not-quite-long-enough cord into the Wii. To play four player on the Virtual Console, you'll have to get four Wii remotes and four Classic Controllers, which would set you back well past $150. Guitar Hero and Rock Band share an even more irritating puzzle. Rather than plugging them into the USB port (or better yet, wireless), you have to plug the Wii remote into the actual systems. For Guitar Hero, this is particularly cumbersome, kind of destroying the "pick up and play" type atmosphere.

3. Main Menu
You can use the Wii remote to navigate around menus, but it is not fun to do. If you have a shaky hand or a ray of sunlight entering the room, the little "hand" will be extremely fidgety. Even less fun is using an onscreen keyboard for Internet browsing (and yes, you have to pay for the browser). In a more ideal world, you can bypass the awkward remote by plugging in your keyboard and mouse of choice into the USB port. But you can't!

4. One Controller Fits All But Not for Wii Users
In every single console ever released (there may be a few exceptions), all games minus some obscure special ones, were playable with a regular controller. In the original Atari 2600 games, such as Pitfall!, Space Invaders, and Kaboom!.


The NES saved the industry while the directional pad replaced the kludgy and hard-to-use joystick. Fun to use on games like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and perhaps Mega Man 2.



You can go on and on.

But the Wii remote is NOT fun. With just the Wii remote, games become too easy or too hard. Games are not ported or changed significantly to fit into the Wii's system. The Classic Controller is needed make it resemble a good game.

5. Don't Rest on Your Laurels
Meanwhile, Xbox 360, which did hold to the "one controller" scheme is finally introducing something that will eat Wii's lunch. Unlike Microsoft's other competitors to other products, "Project Natal" looks like a defeater to the Wii. Unlike the EyeToy, Project Natal "enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images." That way, you can keep your Xbox 360 controllers while you just use your hands, controller free. Will it work? We'll see...

Tune in next time for "Games and Functionality".

Monday, January 25, 2010

Little Tokyo

I don't know when it opened (I'm thinking 2008) but this is a sushi place in the mall. It replaced a Corn Dog 7. Yes, I know you were expecting the second installment of my Wii criticism, but TWR is also supposed to be an archive of things, not my rants, raves, and ramblings. That Dragon Roll looks kinda cute, and I did NOT write in "Texas Roll".

So, yes, this is filler, but why don't I make it good filler?

(Speaking of filler and sushi, I am really hungry right now)





note: click to enlarge

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Dislike of the Wii Part One: The Virtual Console

I do not hate the Wii because I am a fanboy of the “other consoles”, I am merely disappointed with the Wii when it comes to potential and Nintendo.

In this series I shall focus on things I dislike about the Wii. The first installment will focus on the Virtual Console. The Virtual Console was a highly touted feature of the Wii and promised to allow you to buy older video games in a DLC format. You would pay 500 Wii Points for an NES game, 800 for a SNES game, and 1000 for a Nintendo 64 game. Each Wii Point was worth about a penny (or a bit more than that, when you factor in taxes), so a NES game would be $5. For 2006 and at the release, $5 sounded quite reasonable. There was the promise of new titles, and possibly other consoles down the road. Especially lucrative was the thought that the Wii could kick the butt of the $600 PlayStation 3, which was potentially heading for a disaster...the PS3 was graphically superior and more powerful than any other game console on the market, but the $600 price would scare away consumers. In a Nintendo fan’s mind, defeating the PlayStation 3 would mean that PlayStation games would come over to Nintendo, finally ending the PlayStation rivalry that plagued the N64 and GameCube. But it didn’t happen that way. Why? We’ll discuss THAT later. Virtual Console was supposed to be the equivalent of the iTunes store, which was quite big at the time. The Virtual Console wasn’t really so easy, plagued by the fidgety control scheme (we’ll discuss that later too) and whole “feel” of it. When you downloaded a game, you don’t get a full manual, only a brief description of controls. And you can’t make a hard copy of a game (as you would, say, downloading music). Most irritating is the fact that unlike PC digital distribution site Steam, you can’t run Wii games ANYWHERE besides THAT WII. In an ideal world, you can “remove” Wii games through an SD card (SD cards are merely there for “overflow” uses) and play them on another Wii or heck...maybe a real computer. We won’t talk about the antiquated pricing system, that’s already been covered elsewhere on the Internet. Add to the fact that the money being spent really goes nowhere: some money is spent on ESRB ratings, but none really goes to the original creator. Unlike the original games, no game you buy pays the creator’s rent.

Alright, what do we have so far?

1) Poor documentation
2) Overpriced
3) No transfers.

But there is more. The fourth thing is Game Changes. If I really want to “recreate” the old gaming experience, I gotta have the original game. Many of these games have made changes, some understandable, but some leave you scratching your head.

I refuse to buy Wave Race 64 solely on the fact that the original game was called Wave Race 64 Kawasaki Jet Ski and featured in-game ads for Kawasaki. Rather than attempting to renew the license, all ads were removed. But instead of making a clever knock-off replacement (Mario Kart 64 in Japan had “Mariobro” signs on racetracks, a parody of “Marlboro”) the Kawasaki ads were replaced with obnoxious green Wii ads. Thus comes a constant reminder that it’s NOT 1997 anymore, and it is a clearly different game.

StarTropics has more than a few problems. It was innovative in the olden days for featuring a use of a yo-yo for fighting. But in the VC version, the “Island Yo-Yo” is replaced with “Island Star” because yo-yo is still trademarked in Canada. Also innovative was the “physical item” as an anti-piracy measure. In the case of StarTropics it was a physical piece of paper you had to dip in water to reveal a secret code. But in the Virtual Console, there’s apparently a virtual piece of paper that you dip in a picture of a bucket of water. Or something like that.

Kid Icarus still holds to a password-based system, but the password ICARUS FIGHTS MEDUSA ANGELS was removed, which started you on the last stage with invincibility.

Tecmo Bowl originally had NFL players on it, but because EA owns the license to NFL games, no player names are available.

Zelda II: Link’s Adventure had the red-and-black death sequence altered due to seizure reduction statutes.

Mario Kart 64 (and other 1997/1998-era N64 games) can’t use the Memory Pak to store ghost data, even though the Wii is perfectly capable of replicating it.

Meanwhile, hundreds of games are off-limits. A lot of good NES and SNES games were commercial licensed properties. Various examples include...

DuckTales for the NES. Despite being a good game in the days (when licensed games were actually pretty good), it isn’t expected to come onto the VC due to the fact that Disney did (and still does) own the property. DuckTales also covers a larger branch of games.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is missing. Although the title they have for the VC is admittedly a real NES game (Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream), Mike Tyson’s version will not be seen. I mean, Nintendo lost the license back in the 1980s when Tyson lost his championship, and that was BEFORE Tyson pulled all the stunts in the 1990s (like ear-biting, for instance).

EarthBound, because Nintendo likes spiting EB fans.

Earthworm Jim is another big problem because they ported the Genesis version, which has terrible play control compared to SNES.

Banjo-Kazooie because Microsoft owns Rare, and Banjo-Kazooie is on THEIR system.

The fifth complaint I have is the lack of titles. Nintendo only releases three titles every week (of dubious quality) but somehow Japan has managed to get nearly 200 more games than North America. The systems are lacking, too. There’s Commodore-64 games finally available but you actually can’t use a real USB keyboard when playing Commodore games, an on-screen keyboard comes up.

The sixth complaint is that there’s no other way to play old Nintendo NES games legally. Nintendo never ported to the computers nor released a compatibility system to play them. Emulators with ROMs are technically illegal, but they provide a superb way of playing them to Virtual Console. You can play any game you want without waiting for the mystery games that are released every week. I mean, the App Store on the iPhone was newer than the Wii yet there are now tens of thousands of applications there. And I bet that when the Wii is dead and gone, many console games will be left in the cold.

The seventh complaint is that Nintendo only listens to themselves. Who cares if the fans demand Game X and Nintendo decides to release Game Y? Nintendo will get money either way. I can write about why I hate the Virtual Console and get a million hits but Nintendo won’t ever care. I would normally suggest writing Nintendo a heartfelt letter about their policies and why they should change it, but that’s been done.

It has never worked. The only way to bypass the system (legally) is to keep using that N64/SNES/NES and snap up games at the local pawn shop or flea market. The way to (illegally) bypass the system is just to download ROMs, use your favorite USB joystick, and have fun.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Night Blogging Episode 2

Welcome back to Saturday Night Blogging.

Miss Episode 1?

==VIDEO GAMES==
Two bugs in my favorite computer games have really gotten me annoyed.

The first is Yoot Tower, which started behaving oddly after a clean reinstall of Mac OS 9. Actually, it was not behaving badly, but the background is not rendering with the correct colors. We (as in, my brother and I) think its an extension conflict, but we don't know and it could lie with QuickTime itself.

The second is Monkey Island II: LeChuck's Revenge. In Hard mode, staying too long in Booty Island causes the music to endlessly loop and override any other sound track (as in, play over it). Yours faithful posted in a subject regarding this and was not able to get an answer yet. It did prove one thing...it wasn't ScummVM's fault. Bad news is the commercial version doesn't have a handy keystroke for killing the iMuse tracks.

Anyway, this week, watch for "Why I Hate the Wii", a three (or four?) part series of my distrust of the once-hopeful console.

==WEBSITES==
TVTropes is for the win this week. Exploring common "tropes" (plot elements) of fiction is very fun. You can jump right in with one of my favorite (but ended) TV shows or go for the jugular. Freaky things can be seen, or the funny side of things that should be not-so-great. Wrap your head around how Disney villains die or what could've been. But be careful, TVTropes can potentially ruin your life. And remember, it's all subjective.

==NEWS==
On January 21, 2010, the campus of A&M Consolidated High School was vandalized.

The local newspaper published it two days late (it happened on Friday)

CS student accused of painting graffiti

Eagle Staff Report

A student at A&M Consolidated High School is accused of spray-painting several areas of campus.

Chuck Glenewinkel, a spokesman for College Station schools, said the student painted graffiti on the outside walls of the school and on the Tiger statue outside the building.

"It's all been cleaned up and they know who the person is," he said. "The police are handling it now."

The student's name wasn't released and it wasn't clear whether the school planned to discipline the student. It also wasn't clear how school administrators identified the student responsible.

Lt. Rodney Sigler, a spokesman for College Station police, said those caught spray-painting public property are typically charged with criminal mischief -- a state jail felony punishable by up to two years behind bars. But, Sigler said, if the student is a minor, he may not be charged, and if he is charged, the punishment could vary because he is a juvenile.

Sigler said he wasn't familiar with the specifics of the case.

Glenewinkel said the student wrote "Vikings," among other words, on one part of the building and it was possible that he wanted it to look like the graffiti was done by a Bryan High School student.

"It's hard to speculate what he was trying to do," he said.

----
The perpetrator had written many things on the outside (I didn't see most of it, but HA HA HA was written near the cafeteria) in several areas but misspelled "Vikings". It was only because of a tip that a woman called in to name him and Principal Buddy Reed was "disturbed" by the incident.

==MOVIES==
I recently watched "Santa Claus", MST3K-edition on YouTube. The first part is here. The movie is very odd...it was made in Mexico and dubbed into English (which creates voice-mismatches). The film is very odd because no real "Santa" figure was common in Mexico and involves way-creepy toy reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh, Santa's home being a floating castle in the sky and instead of elves, Santa has enslaved children child helpers from around the world (and highly stereotyped, at that). Oh, and there's Merlin, too. And devils. And, at least in the MST3K cut, not a clear distinction if Santa is God, Santa is under God, or completely independent of God altogether. Very odd.

==SCAN TIME!==
A rare menu from the short-lived Travis' Soul Food of College Station, TX.



That's it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fry's Electronics, March 2004




The scanner cut off the margins. It should fit on a regular 8.5 by 11 piece of paper. This location is also notable as being a former Incredible Universe location.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I feel dumb/70s PBS

The scanner that I use got reinstalled a week ago, so now I scan things. Yay.

But before I go, here's a strange remnant from the early 1970s Sesame Street.

What were they smoking?
(and was "Yellow Submarine" an influence?)

And after Sesame Street, you get this freaky logo video...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Northridge, Chinese Mall!

I probably should be posting this on Retail Addiction Blog, but too good to resist (plus, it'd be longer).

From:
http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-091230-northridge-mall,0,4810607.story

Old Northridge mall bought by Chinese investors; mall to open in 2010
Chrystina HeadFOX 6 Reporter
December 30, 2009

WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE - After six years of sitting empty Northridge Mall will be open once again. Most are wondering if the new Northridge Mall will be anything like the old one.

The answer is now, it will be nothing like the old Northridge. The person who purchased the mall is going for a completely different approach.

Pretty soon this vacant mall that many consider an eyesore will be open once again. A developer from China has purchased the former Northridge Mall in hopes of breathing new life into the area and bringing Milwaukee a type of mall that does not currently exist. Business Journal Reporter Rich Kirchen says, "There is nothing like this anywhere, they're saying they want to call this the china mall of North America."

The hope is to attract people not just from the Milwaukee Metro area, but from across the midwest. They want to bring in about 200 Chinese companies to sell their products at Northridge. The new owners plan to remodel the shopping center inside and out.

The new mall is also expected to create 300-500 jobs for the city of Milwaukee. The mall is expected to have stores that carry everything from clothing to furniture. All will be Chinese brands that are not currently available in the United States.

The mall is expected to open August of 2010. Some think that projection is a little optimistic, and that the mall will open closer to Christmas in 2010.


read about the old Northridge Mall here

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nintendo Fun Club News Scan!

The first issue is scanned here (though not by me). There's overviews Super Mario Bros., Hogan's Alley, Excitebike (the NES launch titles, if you haven't noticed), "The Super Mario-A-Thon", and video game tips.

The rest are here!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

PowerPoint 1.0

PowerPoint is a powerful tool in today's "business" world, but today we're going to look at a a PowerPoint that wasn't made by Microsoft. No, not a bogus knock-off, the first PowerPoint made by Forethought, which was later absorbed by Microsoft. To run PPT1, you'll need a Mac Plus (emulator) and the software, but because we're running short on time, we'll give you the links later.



PowerPoint fits on an 800k disk! Wow!






That's it?






PowerPoint was significantly thinner back then, it has since got bloated






Classic (some would say dated) patterns...classic Mac at its finest!






Whoops, wrong selection.



Sadly, PowerPoint was not able to read the resulting document and we had to resort to TextEdit to get at the meaty bits of PowerPoint 1.0. It was a nasty process, but it did extract the text.

I almost forgot where to tell you to get it.

Available at the Macintosh Garden for FREE!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Games Not Played: The Tower Bonus Edition

Here's something new I want to try and might provide content for those slow weeks, Games Not Played. This is where I showcase a game either not in English or perhaps a game never released. Settle down, I won't provide free ROMs, but I will give a few tidbits and helpful links.


Originally today I wanted to do a Famicom Disk System game that was basically an adventure/dating sim game featuring a Japanese pop idol. Although it had some merits, such as the option to choose what expression to use while talking (from |tsr's nes archive: "Obviously apologizing to a girl while grinning wildly is a bad idea, but looking suitably sad could have a more desirable result."). But I decided not to do it, instead focusing on something else...

The Tower: BONUS EDITION!


DATA BOX
Title: The Tower: Bonus Edition
Developer: OpenBook 9003
Publisher: ???
Systems: PlayStation
Release: November 1, 1996 (JAP)


The Japanese counterpart to SimTower's Wikipedia article, located here, sheds interesting light on The Tower: Bonus Edition, a PlayStation port and upgrade of the famed title (I believe there was also a regular "The Tower" port). Unfortunately, since it was all in Japanese, there have been some translation errors, rendering it basically unreadable. Some facts gleaned from it, though...

• It was released in November 1996, nearly two years after SimTower was released in the US.
• There are five locations to build, very similar to Yoot Tower (except in Yoot Tower, more modules could be added). These include Commerce City, Business City, International Restaurant, Resort City, and Liberty (the text implies that it is the Statue of Liberty, similar to the cancelled Yoot Tower product)
• A "City International Airport" location allows you to build a monorail instead of a subway.
• There are skywalks.
• There is a way to look inside a tower in really crummy 3D.

Box art from GameFAQs

Monday, January 11, 2010

To My Late Performa 550: A TIL Tidbit

This article has been brought to you by the Apple Support Base at http://support.apple.com/kb/TA34172?viewlocale=en_US. I dedicate this to my family's late Performa 550.

Performa 500 Series: Frequently Asked Questions
Last Modified: March 13, 2000
Article: TA34172
Old Article: 18290

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
This document contains the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Macintosh Performa 500 series computers.

Questions in this FAQ:

1) Why can't I get a microphone from an earlier Macintosh computer to work on my Performa 500 series computer?
2) Can I upgrade my Performa 575, 577, 578, or 580 to a PowerPC processor?

3) Can I upgrade my Performa 550 to the PowerPC processor?

4) Can I add a floating-point unit (FPU) to my computer?

5) Can my Performa 580 support an Apple IIe card? Can the other 500 series computers?

6) Can I install the Apple TV/Video System on my Performa 500 series computer?

7) I accidentally lost a program that came with my Macintosh Performa. How do I get it back?

8) Where can I get the latest Apple software updates?

1) Question: Why can't I get a microphone from an earlier Macintosh computer to work on my Performa 500 series computer?

Answer: The microphone used with many early Macintosh computer models is called the Apple Omnidirectional Microphone. It comes with a 1/2" plug. The microphone used with the Performa 600 series computers (as well as all new Macintosh models) is called a PlainTalk microphone. It has a 3/4" plug, the extra 1/4" of which is used to reach a power source that attenuates the microphone.

The correct microphone for use with the Macintosh Performa 630 series is the PlainTalk microphone, part number M9060Z/A. You can order this through many Apple-authorized retailers and catalog resellers. Their numbers can be obtained by contacting our 24-hour referral service at 800-538-9696.

For further information on the PlainTalk microphone, consult the online Apple Technical Info Library on the Internet at . Use the search string "plaintalk microphone" to locate the article "Macintosh: PlainTalk Audio Port Microphone Support".


2) Question: Can I upgrade my Performa 575, 577, 578, or 580 to the PowerPC?

Answer: The Macintosh Processor Upgrade Card (M3397LL/A, discontinued) upgrades Macintosh 570 and 580 series computers to Power Macintosh performance by replacing the 68LC040 processor with a PowerPC 601 processor.

The Macintosh Processor Upgrade Card, part number M3397LL/A (discontinued), must be installed by an Apple-authorized service provider, who can also tell you the current price. To locate an Apple-authorized service provider in your area, please call 1-800-538-9696.

For more information on the upgrade, use the Tech Info Library on the Internet at Use the search string "upgrade and kppc and 575" to locate related articles.


3) Question: Can I upgrade my Performa 550 to the PowerPC?

Answer: No, the Macintosh LC/Performa 520/550 series PowerPC Upgrade (M3395LL/A) is no longer available. The upgrade was available for several months, but has since been removed from the Apple price list.


4) Question: Can I add a floating-point unit to my computer?


Answer: A floating point unit (FPU) or math coprocessor does not always give you a speed increase. An FPU is useful only when running programs that do extensive mathematical calculations that call for an FPU to be used.

If you have a Performa 550 or 560 computer, you may have a math coprocessor or floating point unit (FPU), Apple Service p/n 922-0107, installed in a special socket on the logic board. If you own a Performa 57x, the only way to add an FPU is to completely remove and replace the 68LC040 chip on the logic board. This upgrade is not available from Apple but may be available from a third party vendor. Apple does not recommend or support replacing the CPU chip.

From the online Apple Technical Info Library on the Internet at - use the search string "FPU Upgrade" to locate the article "Macintosh Performa: FPU Upgrade Options."


5) Question: Can my Performa 580 support an Apple IIe card? Can the other 500 series computers?

Answer: The Apple IIe card is only compatible with computers that have the LC style processor direct slot (PDS). This includes the Macintosh Color Classic, Performa 400 series, LC/Performa 500 series computers (except the Macintosh LC 580 and Performa 580), and all Macintosh LC series computers except the Macintosh 630 family and Power Macintosh 5200 LC and 5300 LC computers.


The Macintosh LC 580, Macintosh 630 Family, and Power Macintosh 5200 LC and 5300 LC only operate in 32-bit addressing mode. Since the Apple IIe card is not compatible with 32-bit addressing, the Apple IIe Card is not compatible with these computers.

From the online Apple Technical Info Library (go shortcut "TIL") - use the search string "Apple IIe card and compatibility" to locate the article "Apple IIe Card: Macintosh Compatibility."


6) Question: Can I install the Apple TV/Video System on my Performa 500 series computer?

Answer: The Apple TV/Video System requires a special connection on the logic board. This connection is available only in the Macintosh 630 series and Power Macintosh or Performa 5200, 5300, 6200, and 6300 series of computers.


7) Question: I accidentally lost a program that came with my Macintosh Performa. How do I get it back?

Answer: If you have lost or removed a program that originally shipped on your Macintosh Performa, you can restore it with the program Apple Restore. This will copy files back to your computer's hard drive. To copy the files back, you will need backup disks. You were instructed to make a backup copy of your programs on floppy disks when you first purchased your computer. You will need these disks.


Using the Utilities disk which came with your computer, you can run Apple Restore in order to restore the data. This process is described in detail in Chapter 11 of your Macintosh User's Guide.

If your computer came with a built-in CD-ROM drive, you may not need to use the above process. The Macintosh Performa CD contains a complete backup of all the software which originally came with the computer. To restore this software, use the instructions included in the small pamphlet which accompanied the CD-ROM disc.


8) Where can I get the latest Apple software updates?

- Worldwide Web:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lost in Translation

Last night I was thinking about updating the FAQ: what if someone did want to translate TWR into a foreign language? Translating webpages, especially smaller ones, is very hard, so I would merely suggest that you plug it into Google Translate or something and hit the button. But just for fun, I did some tests...

Below is the original post from three days ago.


It turns out the fireworks stand we always went to is gone, which was heresy. Because there was a burn ban on 7/4, I wanted to compensate. Plus it was a new decade. Having New Years without fireworks is like Christmas without a tree, a birthday without cake, babies without diaper-changing, and presidential elections without Ralph Nader. The party went well. The low points came when my baby cousin kept calling for me but she really didn't care when I came. The second low point...I wanted to use the computer in my room, so I went in to get my chair back (it was "borrowed" for Rock Band). When I came back, four people were in my room. Thankfully, they were my cousins, not destroying my things, and being quick-and-decent. A similar case otherwise would probably involve fancy swordplay.

We translated into Spanish with Google Translate, the new de facto way of doing it.

Resulta que los fuegos artificiales están siempre íbamos a se ha ido, que era la herejía. Porque había una prohibición de quemar 7 / 4, quería compensar. Además se trataba de una nueva década. Vista de Año Nuevo, sin fuegos artificiales es como la Navidad sin un árbol, un cumpleaños sin torta, los bebés, sin cambiar pañales, y las elecciones presidenciales, sin Ralph Nader. El partido ha ido bien. Los puntos más bajo llegó cuando mi primo bebé seguía llamando para mí, pero ella realmente no le importaba cuando yo llegué. El segundo punto más bajo ... Yo quería usar el ordenador en mi habitación, así que fui a recibir mi silla (que era "prestada" para Rock Band). Cuando regresé, cuatro personas estaban en mi habitación. Afortunadamente, ellos eran mis primos, no destruir mis cosas, y de ser rápidos y decente. Un caso similar de otro modo probablemente por la espada de fantasía.

Back into English now
It turns out that the fireworks are always going to be gone, that was heresy. Because there was a ban on burning 7 / 4, wanted to offset. Furthermore it was a new decade. View New Year without fireworks is like Christmas without a tree, a birthday without cake, babies, without changing diapers, and the presidential election, not Ralph Nader. The party went well. The lowest point came when my baby cousin was calling for me, but she really did not mind when I arrived. The second lowest point ... I wanted to use the computer in my room, so I went to get my chair (which was "borrowed" for Rock Band). When I returned, four people were in my room. Fortunately, they were my cousins, not destroy my things, and be quick and decent. A similar case would otherwise probably invented by the sword.


Then we tried it with the older Babelfish.
Resulta los fuegos artificiales nos coloca fue siempre a se va, que era herejía. Porque había una interdicción de la quemadura en 7/4, quise compensar. Más era una nueva década. Tener Años Nuevos sin los fuegos artificiales es como la Navidad sin un árbol, un cumpleaños sin la torta, bebés sin el pañal-cambio, y elecciones presidenciales sin Rafael Nader. El partido fue bien. Los puntos bajos vinieron cuando mi primo del bebé guardó el pedir mí pero ella realmente didn' cuidado de t cuando vine. El segundo punto bajo… que quise utilizar la computadora en mi sitio, así que entré conseguir mi parte posterior de la silla (era " borrowed" para la banda de rock). Cuando me volví, cuatro personas estaban en mi sitio. Agradecidamente, eran mis primos, no destruyendo mis cosas, y siendo rápido-y-decente. Un caso similar implicaría de otra manera probablemente esgrima de lujo.

And came out with this
It is the fireworks places to us always went goes away, that were heresy. Because there was an interdiction of the burn in 7/4, I wanted to compensate. More era a new decade. To have New Year without fireworks is like Christmas without a tree, a presidential birthday without the cake, babies without the diaper-change, and elections without Rafael Nader. The party was well. The low points came when my cousin of the baby really kept asking me but she didn' taken care of of t when I came. The second point under… that I wanted to use the computer in my site, so I entered to obtain my later part of the chair (was " borrowed" for the rock band). When I became, four people were in my site. Thankfully, they were my cousins, not destroying my things, and being express-and-decent. A similar case would imply of another way probably luxury fencing.

We then noted that...

• Google Translate was far superior to Babelfish, yet the second-to-last sentence was done better by Babelfish than Google.
• "Fancy" became "Invented" in Google and "Luxury" in Babelfish. Luxury is closer.
• Babelfish turned "Ralph" into "Rafael" and cut out "presidential" entirely. But the sentence was still done better by Babelfish.
• Babelfish completely botched the first sentence.
• And the "Low points" sentence.
• I wonder why they put a comma after "babies".
• When nouns were put into Babelfish, "el" and "la" were added but not taken out when it went back to English, explaining the excessive "the"s.