If anyone reading the blog was watching SQLServerCentral back in 2006, you'd have seen an email interview I did with Steve Jones while I was still at MS. In there I talk about how I got into computers and taught myself 6502 assembly-language programming on an Acorn Electron (little brother to the BBC Micro) which I bought myself back in 1988 – none of this Java nonsense they teach in colleges these days! Those days served me well when I moved up to writing assembly code for multi-issue Alpha chips while at DEC ten years laters (see that story here).

Well, after a solid week of teaching here in Vienna we decided to have a relaxing day in the hotel – which turned out to be the right choice as its been raining all day. I had great intentions of working but then decided to download some games and abandon the day to mindless game-playing. After poking around I found a BBC emulator – BeebEm – and a bunch of my old favorite games that are now free – Citadel, Palace of Magic, Elite, Arkanoid, Repton, and Ravenskull. Although I've still got my Acorn Electron, I never get around to setting it up and playing with it – one day I'll do that to show the kids how computers used to be when Daddy was a kid.


Six hours later, plus a walkthrough guide and a game map (which I remember seeing when I used to subscribe to Micro User magazine and Electron User magazine – these guys scanned in every page of all 82 issues in color – wow!), I'd finished Palace of Magic. I must have spent weeks playing through the game when it first came out. One thing I'd forgotten was how annoying the old 8-bit sound could be – Kimberly's been sitting here with headphones on all day while she's been working.

Oh well, on to Arkanoid before dinner