Showing posts from August, 2018

Printer Jam [Review: Hotel Artemis]

Hotel Artemis is a noir-ish crime thriller movie based around a concept - the secret hospital for criminals of the near future, a location - the art-nouveau-d├ęcor hotel that hides the hospital, and a character - the enigmatic Nurse (Jodie Foster). The Nurse runs the hospital, sees to the patients, supervises the surgical robots and enforces the hospital rules with only her one faithful orderly Everest (Dave Bautista) for backup.
The rules of this rather unusual establishment appear on a poster in the hallway. The first rule is "While on the premises, no fighting with or killing other patients" which seems pretty reasonable. Despite the rules there is a healthy amount of bloody violence throughout the film. 
Of course, whenever a movie spells out a set of rules, you can expect that someone is going to try to break them. Imagine how much shorter Gremlins would have been if no-one had fed them after midnight... in any case, this is a hospital that caters exclusively to rule-break…

BASICally speaking

A long time ago, before blogging was a thing, the Sci-Fi Gene has fond memories of learning to program on an early home computer, the BBC Model B. My efforts were written mainly in BASIC IV, with only a few very minor excursions into machine code. They were stored on C90 cassettes and later on 5" floppy disks - buying the double-sided disk drive was a major life event.

Most of my games and other programming experiments would be of interest only to myself. However one or two made it to the pages of user magazines and their monthly giveaway disks, and a few appeared on public domain lists. I was recently surprised to find that some of these games have been preserved at the Complete BBC Games Archive here - where they are playable online!

I present the games here not because they're particularly good - they're not, they're basic, derivative and barely playable - but because they're part of my journey and experience of the digital world, and because as a geeky teenager …