Friday, July 30, 2010


From Nintendojo's "Requiem for a System": the article "64DDenied". It focuses on the Nintendo 64DD. Sorry, no OCR. Click on scans for a better view. Not available on

After this, it's full speed ahead on the Spirit of 2005. It may continue into the fall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Meijer vs. Walmart!

I went on vacation, and I finally got a chance to see Meijer stores and other Wal-Marts. So, what was the prognosis?

First, let's go over a few things. I was spoiled by size by my local Walmart: 254,000 is huge, and I'll rarely get more than that.

I visited two Meijers and one Walmart Supercenter (in Marquette, MI)

The first Meijer I visited was north of Ann Arbor (en route to Flint, I believe) and was very dated. Signage was all in teal and had early-90s-type italic fonts. There were no drop ceilings, but it was still low. There wasn't even alcove shops in front, just a large window. It was the type of store that almost felt like a craft store, but the 1990s look was just enough for me to think "this needs a renovation" rather than "I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a Lisa Frank notebook around here somewhere" or "why don't they stock Nintendo 64?"

Photos coming soon.

The second Meijer I saw was much more akin to an actual hypermarket. It had alcove shops, higher ceilings, and more. It had towels and more. Unfortunately, I couldn't check the departments and Made in Whatever as well as Kmart. I do, however, have a directory.

I was disappointed that the "restaurant" was only a Starbucks Coffee, but they did have a barbershop, an actual butcher, a substantial produce section, and non-food dry goods.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter (it was branded as "Walmart", but a "Wal-Mart Supercenter" labelscar was visible) in Marquette was much better than the local one, despite being smaller. It too was an expanded Wal-Mart, and had a McDonald's (instead of a Subway), a pharmacy as an alcove shop, a portrait studio, and even an arcade. The arcade, sadly, was just a bunch of animal crane games and one of those "bubble of plastic" things. Said Wal-Mart also had some gourmet cheeses.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, the College Station Walmart directory, showing us that bigger isn't necessarily better.

Leave comments, ask questions. And another blog post will follow by tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010


First off, let's get one thing straight. This is NOT about the PC-FX, the Japan-only sequel to the TurboGrafx-16. This is about something ENTIRELY different.

When I was younger, my family only used Macs. I didn't mind it...the graceful Macintosh was a lot cooler looking than the Windows flavors available at the time, except with one minor difficulty.

Most games were available on PCs.

By the time I actually came to this sad truth, there was only one option other than getting a full PC. It was a product called Connectix Virtual PC with a promise to put a virtual PC in your Mac. It had previously made the Virtual Game Station (a commercial PlayStation emulator) that seemed to run OK, so why couldn't VPC open a world of games I never knew? Unfortunately, my family never bought it, and one of the reasons became painfully clear: it was much slower than an actual PC. Unless I really wanted to play Minesweeper or some early DOS game, let's face it...I was out of luck.

But I found out a far more awesome example...things called PC cards. Sadly, despite being faster than VPC, they were discontinued as expansion slot-less computers (like the iMac) took over (and more Mac ports of PC games became available). So I gave up. Years passed. Eventually OS 9 was completely obliterated and Boot Camp appeared, which although being a great solution, rendered OS 9 in a position of emulators. However, during that time, I found out that PC cards were not only super-expensive, but also not as fast a PC.

In late 1998/early 1999 Mac magazines (such as MacAddict) published ads for Orange Micro's "PCfx!", a card designed for game playing.

Pretty awesome, huh? And where'd those list of PC games come from? They stopped at F, but I'd like to see the whole list. If I was a bit older in 1998, that would've been the coolest-looking thing since sliced bread, and I would beg that Mom and Dad order it off a catalog (MacPowerhaus was one such catalog vendor, not the maker of the product) so we could install it in our Mac clone PowerWave tower right away. $650 for an awesome thing would run all the games we wanted, right? Wrong!

As you can see (click it to make it larger), the "PCfx!" would've been a disappointment in many aspects. You could play 1997-era games and 2D games, but it wasn't enough to run the latest games of 1998, and certainly not of 1999. At that rate, a little more could pay for a much faster actual PC. Given that the PCfx! was one of Orange Micro's last PC cards (the OrangePC 660 was faster, but more expensive), it was no surprise that PC cards fizzled by 1999 (the fruit-colored iMacs had no expansion of any kind). Orange Micro made other peripherals after the PC cards died, but it too perished in 2003. And that's the end of the story.

Anyway, since I'm back, it's full speed ahead for my other blogging and type pursuits. Webpages will be created, BATs will be produced. Blog posts will pick up. Already, in the schedule, there's two webpages, a little less than half a dozen Spirit of 2005 posts, and "Meijer vs. Walmart".