Never Forgets

From Slashdot: I remember buying 5.25″ floppy disks with Lifetime guarantees. I forget the name of the company, being pretty young back then, but they used to have an elephant head on their logo. I guess maybe they figured people might take the term “lifetime guarantee” seriously.

Ah, yes, Elephant Memory Systems. I still have stacks of folders full of pirated Apple II games saved on their floppies packed away in storage. As the two founding members of the Thieves Guild, which tended more towards the distribution end than the cracking front, Big Chilly and I used to spend hours and hours playing Wizardry, Autoduel, Aztec and other great games of the greenscreen era.

Unlike many of the retro games that are being remade, Autoduel and Aztec would actually make for good modern games. Falling through the floors, the creepy tentacled octopus things that have to be chopped to pieces by machetes, and the rooms that unexpectedly fill with water – until Wolfenstein 3D, Aztec was the only game that ever made me jump in my chair. Come to think of it, somebody should have done Swashbuckler 3D.

I think it was the Apple II that convinced me that I like computers better than the average human. I was a social reject until tenth grade, when the ranks of the Beautiful People unexpectedly opened as I grew taller and became a top athlete, but even so I was never quite able to convince myself of the supreme importance of the social hierarchy. I got invited to the right parties and while I sometimes went, it was never a priority.

I remember very distinctly the look of complete disbelief on the football captain’s face when he asked me if I’d be showing up for the bash at someone’s house that Friday night and I told him that no, I’d just gotten a new game the day before and I was itching to get home and spend the evening playing it. I’m not quite as bad as Big Chilly, though, who would sneak out of fraternity parties his freshman year of college in order to get back to his dorm room and play Wizardry – a game he’d played through in junior high – on his Macintosh.

People ask why I don’t get out more. Hmmmm…. I have a hot blonde, a 3.4 GHz machine with a monster 3D card and a 4.5 x 6 foot projection screen. I have no interest in the big room with green carpet – there’s nothing out there for me.

Elephant Memory Systems. “Never Forgets”.