Halfway through the third book of the Hitchhiker's Guide
series, there is a throwaway reference
to a doomed starship, one whose incredible splendor was matched only by the cosmic absurdity of its maiden-day annihilation.
But the story didn't end there. Unbeknownst to many fans, this small piece of Adamsian lore was the inspiration for an ambitious and richly-detailed side-story: a 1998 computer adventure game called Starship Titanic
Designed by Douglas Adams himself, the game set players loose in the infamous vessel, challenging them with a maddening mystery laced with the devilish wit of the novels.
The game was laden with extra content, including an in-depth strategy guide
, a (mediocre) tie-in novel
by Terry Jones, a whimsical First Class In-Flight Magazine
, and even a pair of 3D glasses for one of the more inventive puzzles.
Key to solving these puzzles was the game's groundbreaking communications system -- players interacted with the ship's robotic crew
through a natural language parsing engine called SpookiTalk, whose 10,000+ lines of conversational dialogue spawned 16 hours of audio
recorded by professional voice actors, including John Cleese
, Terry Jones
, and even Douglas Adams himself in several cameos (spoiler cameo)
. Want to experience the voyage for yourself? Then watch this narrated video playthrough (intro (ads)
- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9? 10 11 12 13
) ...or click inside for a information on how to run the game for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux (along with a bunch of other goodies!). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 22, 2010 -
announced today, it will open a small number of stores to compete directly against Apple. Some think it's a dubious
idea. "In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them."
posted by Xurando
on Feb 13, 2009 -
Mac Vs. PC
. Inspired by Transformers
, this short visual effects piece shows us what would happen if our home computers could turn into robots and started beating each other up.
posted by Effigy2000
on Dec 22, 2008 -
Chromatron 1, 2, 3 and 4
just became freeware. In these little standalone puzzle games for PC and Mac, you align splitters, benders, and mirrors to direct colored laserbeams into like-colored targets. Enjoyably difficult, and an example of great game design. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2
on Nov 28, 2007 -
Comedy duo, Ramenz
(ラーメンズ), aka Kobayashi Kentaro and Katagiri Jin, also known as the Japanese versions of Mac and PC
, have recently done a number of shorts collectively called "The Japanese Tradition." Apparently, these tongue-in-cheek pseudo-instructional vids about famous aspects of Japanese culture (Tea
, and Relationships
) have been fooling a lot of non-natives into thinking they are actual guides. (YouTube, each approx 4-6 min).
posted by ikahime
on Mar 29, 2007 -
With hundreds of die hard PS3 fans camped outside Metreon, site of the San Francisco Playstation store and home of the official US launch for the Playstation 3, PC Gamer magazine showed up and presented one die-hard PS3 fan with arguably the hardest choice he'll ever have to make; to give up the right to own (or be gifted) a Playstation 3 for the next three years in exchange for a free $7,500 custom-built Falcon PC and "a better gaming experience
." Here's what happened
and here's the signed contract
posted by Effigy2000
on Nov 18, 2006 -
Slips of the tongue
are usually a result of the sound structure of an utterance. For example, saying 'Martin Luther Koong Junior', where the vowel in 'Koong' might be taken from either of the two flanking words. Freudian slips
are much rarer. Why then, are these two
people losing their jobs? [More inside]
posted by fcummins
on Mar 30, 2006 -
It turns out, in the PC game business, no copy protection
doesn't mean everyone pirates your game. This makes some
people angry. From the article:
"For example, we were quite disturbed to discover that the company that makes Starforce provided a working URL to a list of pirated GalCiv II torrents. I'm not sure whether what they did was illegal or not, but it's troubling nevertheless and was totally unnecessary."
posted by graventy
on Mar 11, 2006 -
On January 19, 1986, the first PC virus — Brain
— was detected. It was virtually harmless, and the Pakistani creators claim that
it was only intended to protect their copyrights. (They did, after all, include their own address and phone number in the machine code.) In the past 20 years, though, both creating viruses
and destroying them
have become billion-dollar industries.
posted by Plutor
on Jan 19, 2006 -
Google and Wal-Mart to launch the Google Computer
[GoogleFilter] - Rumor-merchants around the industry are abuzz with speculation that Google is about to launch a no-frills, $200 networked computer via (ahem) Wal-Mart. They will also announce Google Cubes, media and home automation control devices. Will this be a watershed event or an infamous folly? Film at 11.
posted by LondonYank
on Jan 3, 2006 -
with that new videogame you got for Christmas? Text-only
walkthroughs don't do it for you? Then try Stuck Gamer. Video walkthroughs for a pretty good number of games. Including, thanks the Lords of Kobol, Ninja Gaiden
posted by WolfDaddy
on Dec 26, 2005 -
The John Markoff of the New York Times [registration required]
reports that Google plans to roll-out a text and file search tool code-named Puffin
for finding information stored on PCs. The move is seen as a defensive one; Microsoft plans to include PC searching in its new operating system, scheduled to be released in 2006 (at the earliest).
posted by tranquileye
on May 19, 2004 -
You thought web standards were bad, how about PC, DVD and Recorder standards too?
Well, the FCC has officially mandated that vendors making devices such as dvd players, recorders, pc's, must include (by July 1, 2005) copy-protection mechanisms which will prevent sharing of most digitally broadcast
content. Broadcasters will have the option of adding a 'flag' to data streams which will prevent users from sharing digital content ala mp3's. Yes, there will be ways around this;yes, old systems will still work (maybe), but in the end, the FCC has just established a new technological standard which will end up in all of our new computers, dvd players, tivos, post 2005. Want to do something about it? Sorry. Too late.
posted by jeremias
on Nov 5, 2003 -
In their day, Trilobyte was at the height of the computer gaming world. Their first title, 7th Guest
, made them an instant success, and their follow-ups, 11th Hour
, were equally well-received. But as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Haunted Glory
, from the GameSpot archives, documents the rise and fall of Trilobyte.
posted by ewagoner
on Aug 7, 2003 -
A study posted at Adobe's website
describes how traditionally Mac-centric tasks (rendering using After Effects, Illustrator & Photoshop) are all faster on a PC. These kinds of studies are a dime a dozen; what's interesting isn't which platform is faster, but that Adobe would host a page proclaiming the PC is the "preferred" platform for such tasks. Given the notoriously fickle folks at Quark, I would have pegged Adobe as the biggest Mac boosters in the third party software market. Are times changing?
posted by jonson
on Mar 26, 2003 -
Is this the most non-PC TV show
ever? As we become more and more desensitised to humour that makes fun of those less fortunate than ourselves, where do we draw the line?
posted by dg
on Feb 2, 2003 -
An article at robgalbraith.com
, a digital photography site, has sparked a fascinating discussion
of the merits of Macs vs. those of PC's, as they apply to digital photography. Actually, the article and discussion aren't terribly interesting, but the fact that the discussion is a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and opinions and not a take-no-prisoners flamewar, is.
posted by Mr_Spook
on Jan 13, 2003 -
Xupiter and other crap
You geeks out there probably already know about the hell that is xupiter, and other parasite programs from Hades. I had to learn the hard way.
posted by konolia
on Nov 30, 2002 -
there was a link, here at MeFi, to a project aimed at creating a DVD full of PC demos from back in the day. Well, they've finished
. (They say if you pre-order now you'll get it in time for Christmas.)
posted by krisjohn
on Nov 26, 2002 -
Using Internet Explorer, Outlook, or Outlook Express on a PC? There's a new hack in town
, ready to exploit cross site scripts like nobody's business. Do yourself a favor and disarm ActiveX on your settings.
posted by mathowie
on Jul 12, 2002 -
Wal-Mart sells Windows-less PC's
Did you know this? I didn't know this. Guess I'm gonna have to make Wal-Mart my one stop shop for guns AND computers. I guess I have to stop making fun of people who shop there. Definitely will have to lay off the redneck jokes. Is there such a thing as a redneck geek? Oh, wait, never mind
posted by WolfDaddy
on May 6, 2002 -
Best Case Ever.
As in computer case, just in case you couldn't case it out. dig? anyways. like someone else said, this thing says 'geek pimp' all over it.
don't be a hater!
posted by jcterminal
on Apr 23, 2002 -