[ExI] old software fun

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 17:25:26 UTC 2015

On Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 9:35 AM, William Flynn Wallace
<foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I bought a PC Junior around the early 80s.  It came with a plug-in called
> Managing Your Money, by Andrew Tobias.
> It had a program that calculated how much life insurance you needed, so I
> started filling it out.  After filling out things like smoking and drinking,
> I filled in age (around 40 then, but clearly missed a keystroke).
>   Immediately I got a popup that said:
> You are four years old and you smoke?  Are you crazy?  (verbatim).
> It is still the funniest error message I've ever seen.

I ran an emulator for a TI99/4a so I could re-live the game "Tunnels
of Doom" it was originally a cartridge but the game saves were stored
on cassette.  Both the saving and the loading screens had the very
specific text "Please wait 200 seconds ... " I found that specificity
to be the oddest part of revisiting that game 30 years later.  It was
a fixed amount of data and cassettes ran tape at a fixed speed.  200
seconds was absolutely the amount of time it would take.  (the
emulator actually forces you to wait 200 seconds too)  The variability
of today's hardware makes any realistic estimation of wait times
practically impossible or more difficult than lazy programmers care to

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