Short little observation regarding technology that occurred to me this past weekend at a larger upscale bookstore. I had simply ran into store to pick up a copy of one of my favorite periodicals — the mere mention of which brings to mind another blog I need to write about my negative feelings toward technology regarding things such as books, magazines, and even a general distrust of the delivery systems to keep my magazine in prime condition through out its travels until it reaches my hands. I hear you though, enough with the rambling, I am getting back to the topic.
I recall back in the early and mid-eighties when computers were still relatively new and I was one of the few that just had to figure out and learn everything that could be learned about them I got into a shareware software deal with a teacher of mine. Yes, I was the ultimate geek, I tinkered and learned about computers, bought my Timex Sinclair 1000 in 1981 (that took ten yards mown at ten dollars each), and was good friends with a teacher that I did not even have in class at the time. Anyway, we got about fifty diskettes in the 5.25 inch floppy variety loaded with software that was free, less the basic cost of the diskette itself. Most of it was shareware, which was in theory if you used it, send a bit of money to support the development of further projects, updates, etc and some of it was just freeware. Anyway, the average disk would have anywhere from just a few executables to sometimes approaching a few hundred. Keep in mind, these diskettes held the major amount of 360 kilobytes of information. Yes, that is kilo – not mega. So amongst the jewels of educational and business software, there were a number of computer based games – the vast majority of which were based on the classic board games that I had been playing the previous decade (that was the seventies for those of us keeping count).
So, what does this trip down memory lane have to do with my being in the bookstore this weekend and old being new again? in the bookstore, on the shelf right below the revamped, shiny version of the Stratego and Risk board games, was a new board game called Age of Empires III – oddly a board game based on a popular computer game. And the implication is that perhaps the previous two Age of Empires were done as board games as well. Interesting thing is Age of Empires, if not a direct lineage back to Risk and Stratego, is at least the offspring of something was influenced by the two a few generations before. The world turns, the circle is complete, everything old is new again.