RIP Jerry Lawson

Week in retro 2022-12-03

The next weekend is the time for another dose of subjectively selected curiosities, which were worth noting this week, or the discovery of which is worth sharing.

Pong is 50 years old

On November 29, 2022, the iconic “Pong” turned 50 years old.

The game was created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney (founders of Atari) in 1972 and became a real phenomenon, changing the electronic entertainment market forever.

In the game of Pong, the player controls a long, thin pallet, which he must bounce the ball with before it leaves the playing field. The ball bounces off the pallet and the walls, changing direction and accelerating as time passes. The player who is the first to be unable to bounce the ball loses.

Code golf, or: an optimization challenge. “Code Golf” is a game of achieving a given effect with the least amount of code. If you wanted to compete against the developers of Pong in this regard, it is worth asking: how many lines did the source code of the Pong game have? Zero. Pong was not so much programmed as designed, its implementation was a logic circuit:

Pong was the first electronic game to gain great popularity and bring its creators huge profits. The game was available in many versions, including for game consoles, for personal computers and in the form of slot machines. Pong became so popular that it became an icon of popular culture and a symbol of the development of electronic entertainment.

Despite the passage of years, Pong is still very popular among players around the world. Many older (Arkanoid, Breakout) and modern games are based on the mechanics used in Pong, and the game continues to appear in new versions for various platforms. Pong is not only an important element in the history of electronic entertainment, but also continues to enjoy great popularity among players around the world.

Jerry Lawson would have turned 82

Jerry Lawson, known as the “father of game consoles,” would have turned 82 this year. Lawson was the founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and one of the pioneers of electronic entertainment, creating the first game console with interchangeable cartridges, known as Fairchild Channel F.

Lawson was also a member of the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of computer enthusiasts that included people like Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. His work contributed to the development of electronic entertainment and ushered in the era of game consoles, which continues to this day.

In recognition of his achievements, Google displayed a special logo, called the “Google Doodle,” on December 1, 2022, in honor of Jerry Lawson. Google Doodles are special versions of the Google logo that appear on the homepage on selected days of the year to celebrate important events or people. In this case, Google recognized Jerry Lawson as an exceptional representative of the electronic entertainment industry and honored him with a special logo.

Although Jerry Lawson is no longer alive, his legacy and contributions to the development of electronic entertainment remain unforgettable. His work contributed to the creation of many games and consoles that are popular to this day, and his name is valued in the electronic entertainment industry.

CP/M System Guide reprints are selling!

If you want to grab your own paper copy of the “CP/M Plus System Guide” also available online, the documentation of how CP/M 3.0 works, you still have a chance, but 30% of the print run is already in users’ hands!

This is my own initiative, the first reprint officially published in the name of my company. If the modest print run sells out, the rest of the system’s documentation will also appear in the future, perhaps even with a nice cover, but certainly with an ISBN number and thus — lower VAT.

An extremely interesting news was shared by the buyer of one of the copies:

I’m currently working on a computer project based on the Polish MCY7880 processor and will want to run CP/M on it. I seem to have this documentation in PDF, but the paper one is always more convenient. 🙂

We’re looking forward to it!

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