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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Dec 14, 2013

Days of DOS Games

The above screen shots of  the DOS games is an introduction on this blog topic to share the memories of the early days of DOS games.

I was fascinated with the first IBM PC compatibles to play games on the personal computer in 1981, over 30 years ago.  Wasn't it crazy to use a home computer which spend almost two thousand bucks only to play games for entertainment, my friends thought.

Of course, the home computers were not used only for playing games. They are now used in schools, offices, factories, everywhere available to be computerized for work and play.

Bill Gates's Dream: A computer in every home
By Claudine Beaumont on 27 Jun 2008 (Source:

“When Paul Allen and I started Microsoft over 30 years ago, we had big dreams about software,” recalls Gates. “We had dreams about the impact it could have. We talked about a computer on every desk and in every home. It’s been amazing to see so much of that dream become a reality and touch so many lives. I never imagined what an incredible and important company would spring from those original ideas.”

It was Gates' vision, as well as his business brain, that helped to turn Microsoft from a small 30-man operation based in Albuquerque into the multinational behemoth it is today.

It now employs more than 80,000 people across over 100 hundred countries, and turns billions in profit.

The key moment in Microsoft’s history came in 1980, when IBM, then the major player in the computer market, approached Microsoft with a view to it making a BASIC (a type of computer language) interpreter for its IBM PC.

Motivational - Bill Gates Speech at Harvard

The origins of chess are not exactly clear, though most believe it evolved from earlier chess-like games played in India almost two thousand years ago.The game of chess we know today has been around since the 15th century where it became popular in Europe.

Developments in the 21st century include use of computers for analysis, which originated in the 1970s with the first programmed chess games on the market. Online gaming appeared in the mid-1990s.  The rules of chess game is unchanged since it was first designed centuries ago.

Chess is a game played between two opponents on opposite sides of a board containing 64 squares of alternating colors. Each player has 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 8 pawns. The goal of the game is to checkmate the other king. Checkmate happens when the king is in a position to be captured (in check) and cannot escape from capture.

There are a few chess game experts who do not need a physical or "virtual reality" game board on computers to play ... they visualize the game in the mind and speak it to his opponent.  For example, black piece g8 to f6 for knight to move, white piece pawn from d2 to d3.  The players have to concentrate on the game without distractions, and focus on the "mental chess board" in their minds.  Incredible!

Timeline of DOS Operating System here .

Text Based Games

It probably comes as a shock to anyone under 30 that computer games didn't always have graphics. At one time, computer displays were strictly text-based; the only images they could produce were ASCII art (made from strategic placement of letters, numbers, and special characters). Back then, PC games had to make do with very limited resources.  These games were interactive stories (somewhat like "choose your own adventure" books), allowing you to navigate through the adventure using text commands, your wits and imagination.

There were no 3-D animation, sound or multimedia effects to get online computer games on the Internet addicted.

Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen (left) and Bill Gates
Bill Gates developed the first DOS games -  "Donkey Kong"
 Once again a new world view is arising ... This idea is the culmination of all human history. It holds the promise of fulfilling the great aspirations of the past and heralds the advent of the next phase of our evolution. It is the idea of conscious evolution."
-- Barbara Marx Hubbard

My contemporaries in this lifetime in transition between days of the DOS to the present and future of the Windows.  We are in the "transition generation" in between DOS and Windows.  We learn and adapt to DOS and Windows Operating Systems to work and play little by little, bit by bit as the systems build and develop for a better tomorrow.
-- Thimbuktu

Donkey Kong By Bill Gates in 1981

Have fun with Days of DOS Games which were the latest in 1981, over 3 decades ago.  When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined.  The games tomorrow and the future gets better and newer with every generation.  "The Best Is Yet To Be".

 Bill Gates on the Past, Present, and Future of the PC
(Source: PC Mag, August 12, 2011) by Mark Hachman

The most significant innovation in personal computing over the last 30 years has been the evolution of natural interfaces, with the GUI, speech recognition, gestures and touch receiving equal weight, according to Bill Gates, a co-founder and the former chief executive of Microsoft.

As the PC turns 30, asked Gates, as well as other industry leaders, for their thoughts on the most significant innovation in personal computing, and how PCs have changed people's lives for the better – or worse. Finally, wanted to know what the future holds for personal computing – and maybe whether the "Personal Computer" would exist in its current form.

While Apple's Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak arguably invented and popularized the personal computer, Bill Gates, Paul Allen and later Steve Ballmer at Microsoft crafted and shaped the Windows operating system which became synonomous with the term "PC". The Apple Macintosh and Windows pushed the graphical user interface into the mainstream, driven by the increasing performance of microprocessors from Intel Corp., and later from chips designed by Advanced Micro Devices, Cyrix, Via Technology, and others.

"The truth of Moore's law has made remarkable things possible," Gates said.

"On the software side, I think natural user interfaces in all their forms are equally significant," Gates added. "We just take it for granted now, but the graphical user interface was an amazing breakthrough that made computers dramatically easier for almost everyone to use. Today, we're seeing speech recognition and speech synthesis technologies coming into the mainstream. Touchscreens on phones, tablets and PCs have opened up an incredible new world of applications. And we've barely scratched the surface with new interfaces such as those in Kinect, which incorporate facial recognition along with gesture-based and voice control."

Gates has evolved much as the PC has: in its infancy, the personal computer was a hobbyist product, and expanded into a consumer device, a business tool, and then an ubiquitous device that has helped shape human culture. In his role as the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has taken his technology and business acumen on the road, using technology as a tool to crack fundamental problems facing humanity: education, poverty, health care, and agricultural research, among others.

It's the role of the PC as a cultural touchstone for which Gates seems most proud. When asked if the PC had changed people's lives for the better, Gates replied, "There's no question that it has."

"The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of," Gates said. "Amazing developments in communications, collaboration and efficiencies. New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice people who would never have been heard. All of these have their roots in what the PC made possible, amplified and extended by other devices.

"But we're still falling short in some areas," Gates added. "Education is one example, where the impact of technology lags behind almost every other part of society. There's so much more that can be done to utilize technology in engage students, help teachers, and customize learning for each child."

The question now is how the personal computer will evolve. Clearly, the days of the desktop PC are over; in Oct 2008, laptops began outpacing the sales of desktop PCs, and that trend has continued to accelerate. And phones have made the computing experience even more personal; the addition of GPS chips to phones allowed the phone to provide location-based services, a capability that notebooks simply haven't been able to adequately duplicate.

Computing devices have become gateways to the Internet, Gates said, and will continue to serve that role.
"On a personal level, technology will be more seamlessly integrated into our lives. We see this taking shape now – so many things are becoming available in digital form and are accessible to us wherever and whenever we need it," Gates said.

"On a societal level, technology will contribute to solving many of our greatest challenges," Gates added. "In global health, it will advance scientific discovery, diagnostics, and delivery of health services to the world's poor. In education, it has the potential to ignite student interest in learning and help teachers understand what's working and what's not in the classroom. And in many other areas, including energy and the environment, computers already are and will continue to be an essential tool for data collection, analysis, and innovation."

And what's on the road ahead? Who knows.  "The next 30 years are going to be equally remarkable as the last 30," Gates said. "We're really still just at the beginning of what's possible."
 Bill Gates quotations

“Computers are great because when you're working with them you get immediate results that let you know if your program works. It's feedback you don't get from many other things.”
― Bill Gates

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
― Bill Gates

“Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world...if you do so, you are insulting yourself.”
― Bill Gates

“I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”
― Bill Gates

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
― Bill Gates

“The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.”
― Bill Gates



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