The Movie Monster Game (Epyx)

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In 1981, Epyx released Crush, Crumble, and Chomp for home computers. The game was fun, but quaint and resembled other computer games from the early 1980s, featuring basic graphics and gameplay. Epyx did not obtain any official movie licenses for the game, and so it featured monsters with names like “The Glob,” “Mantra,” and a tribute to our favorite giant lizard, “Goshzilla.”

In 1986 Epyx released the unofficial sequel to Crush, Crumble and Chomp. The Movie Monster Game, released for Apple II and Commodore 64 home computers, allowed players to take control of several monsters, pick a city, and do some serious damage.

The game begins by allowing players to choose one of six monsters, put them in one of six different cities, and then choose one of five different “movie plots.” This allows for lots of mixing and matching to produce unique games. You could have the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (I mean “Mister Meringue”) terrorizing New York, Tarantus the Tarantula searching for his offspring in Moscow, or our old pal Godzilla doing what he does best — going berserk in Tokyo.

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The Movie Monster Game was unique in the fact that Epyx did actually acquire proper licensing for the Godzilla character, and displayed the character prominently in advertisements and even on the cover of the box.

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Check out the following YouTube video in which DerSchmu destroys a bit of San Francisco using Godzilla. It’s a smashing good time!

(Movie Monster Game pictures courtesy of MobyGames)

30 years of the iconic Apple Mac

Mac Icons

In February 2014, the Apple Macintosh turned 30 and Apple celebrated with a very nice little microsite that, amongst it’s many photos and anecdotes, included a small icon for each of its machines. At the time I thought that the icons were really cool and I wasn’t the only one!

Graphics website Nice F’ing Graphics decided that the icons were so good that they needed to be turned into vector images and shared with the world!

Vector Mac

Whilst I have no use for the Illustrator file that they shared, the white-on-black icons are a thing of beauty and I’d happily turn some of these into wall art!

Apple Mac

How many of the icons here do you recognize? And which is your favorite? For me it has to be 1998’s iMac. At the time, the iMac blew me away and I coveted the machine for years. The Apple microsite for 1998 is a great read too, detailing a trip to the Isle of Man to provide kids with internet access for the first time – all from a bus full of Mac’s!

You don’t use Crest? You won’t have any Teeth…

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I loved Crest commercials when I was a kid. So of course I begged and pleaded with my Mom during every supermarket trip we made to please buy Crest. I am not sure why, maybe Crest was more expensive? But she hardly ever bought it. When I became an “adult”, I started buying Crest, but at some point I bought Colgate and I have never looked back (accept for a crazy summer with Aqua Fresh).

Well Crest, how do you like those apples?

Blank Memorex

Blank Memorex 5.25 Floppy Disks

There was a time when you could walk into any computer store (or even Walmart!) and pick up a box of ten Blank Memorex floppy disks. In case you haven’t visited Walmart in a while, those days are long gone.

Whenever I run across boxes of 5.25″ (also known as 5 1/4″) floppy disks, I always snag them. These here are single-sided, single density — sometimes known as SS/SD, or 1S/2D. Each disk stores roughly 180k worth of data per side. With a disk notcher you could also write data to the back side of the diskette, effectively doubling your storage space.

SS/SD disks were used on most pre-PC systems, including the Apple II and the Commodore 64. That’s what I use them on, anyway. Double Sided/Double Density disks could also be used on those older systems, although there is no increase of storage space for drives that can only access one side of the disk. The format most PC users are familiar with, double sided/high density (DS/HD) diskettes are the ones that stored 1.2 megabytes of data. These disks can not be reliably used on older single-sided disk drives, which is what makes SS/DD and DS/DD disks so valuable these days.

As 5 1/4″ diskettes were being phased out in favor of the (then) newer and smaller 3 1/2″ diskettes, it was not uncommon to see boxes of 10 floppies selling for $4-$5. You could get disks in bulk for much less. Ironically, $5/box for these 10 packs is now considered a decent deal, and 10 packs of floppies such as these often sell for $10 or more on eBay and other auction sites. As you can see, I enjoy picking them up. Especially the Blank Memorex disks.

If you want to hear more stories about old floppy disks, check out this old episode of my podcast, titled (unsurprisingly) “Floppy Disks.”