Soronlin

Computers do not do anything without software. Nothing at all. They don't sit there with an empty desktop. They don't complain about a missing boot disk. They might not even switch on. Everything a computer does is done by its software. Back in the late 1970's when the first personal computers came out, everyone who had one knew what software was. Software was what you wrote to get the computer to do something. Pretty soon companies like Microsoft sprang up to sell software to people who didn't want to write it themselves. These days writing your own software is highly unusual. Software is what you buy. It comes on DVDs that you put into a computer and "install". But what actually is it?

rurwinrurwin 27 Mar 2010 22:4220 May 2011 15:42

Back in the year dot, we all knew what software was and how it worked. Computers just sat on the coffee table and did nothing unless you bought some software for them, or you wrote it yourself. Most people did write software, even if it was just a trivial program to balance their cheque-book or make farting noises. My second computer was an Acorn Atom. I built it myself from a kit and wrote my dissertation on it using a word-processor I wrote myself. The screen was an old black-and-white TV (a Thorn 1500 for TV geeks). From time to time the picture went and I had to open the back, carefully swing out the circuit board and wiggle a valve. Anyone who knows the Thorn 1500 will know exactly which valve that was. Later on I fitted a couple of switches to it that reversed the screen left-to-right and top-to-bottom, so you could watch it in mirror-image or upside-down. It kept me amused for an hour or two. This week I bought a new telly, and the manual has instructions for upgrading the software. If I wanted to, I could even program it myself, but I wont. It does its job well enough without me adding bugs to it. It may be a computer, but I only need a television.

rurwinrurwin 27 Mar 2010 10:1819 May 2011 12:54

This game ran at Ambercon UK 2009. It is only here for nostalgic reasons.
Read Harmony Ackerman's journal here.

Game Description

Title: The Mystery of Miss Trees
Players: 6
Mode: Tabletop

Life at the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans is not a bed of roses; the academic regimen is punishing and the discipline is worse. So when you were offered a chance to visit with the school's principle benefactor and see the sights of New York high society you jumped at the chance. Maybe you were a little too eager; losing your chaperon on the plane was bad enough, (how do you lose someone on a plane?) but when you reached Miss Flaumel's house, things got seriously strange.

rurwinrurwin 26 Mar 2010 17:5819 May 2011 12:26

This game ran at Ambercon UK 2007. It is only here for nostalgic reasons.

It was two years ago…

In six days, they say, the world was created.
In three days it died.
One day for society to crumble.
Two days for TV, Radio and government to fall silent.
Three days for everyone you know to die.

And on the fourth morning the birds were singing but the roads were silent; their only occupants wrecked cars and decaying bodies. The cities vast charnel houses; their houses tombs…

Except for you. For you no coughing; no paralysing weakness; no delirium; no death. For you the infinitely harder course — to live on, and, perchance, to found a new age of Humanity.

The moving finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
— Omar Khayyam

rurwinrurwin 26 Mar 2010 17:2419 May 2011 12:36

This game ran at Ambercon UK 2006. It is only here for nostalgic reasons.

It Was One Year Ago…

In six days, they say, the world was created.
In three days it died.
One day for society to crumble.
Two days for TV, Radio and government to fall silent.
Three days for everyone you know to die.

And on the fourth morning the birds were singing but the roads were silent; their only occupants wrecked cars and decaying bodies. The cities vast charnel houses; their houses tombs…

Except for you. For you no coughing; no paralysing weakness; no delirium; no death. For you the infinitely harder course — to live on, and, perchance, to found a new age of Humanity.

The moving finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

And in that inverted Bowl we call the Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help — for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

Earth could not answer, nor the Seas that mourn
In flowing Purple, of their Lord forlorn.
Nor Heaven with those Eternal Signs revealed
And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn.

While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyam the Ruby Vintage drink;
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee — take that, and do not shrink.
— Omar Khayyam

rurwinrurwin 26 Mar 2010 17:0119 May 2011 12:38

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