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Manuel Trujillo
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A #BlueMoon doesn’t necessarily mean that the Moon will appear “blue”. Learn more about this phenomenon here: http://go.nasa.gov/1UcgRe4
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We featured music artist Pharell Williams' favorite image from our Happiness Kids photo challenge in the September issue of National Geographic Kids magazine. Watch his newest music video, "Freedom," and tell us—and Pharrell—what freedom means to you using #MyFreedom.
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Something really cool... #AWESOME  
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10 Best Special-Edition Ford Mustangs
Since its debut midway through the 1964 model year, the Ford Mustang has lived a long and prosperous life, save for a few years here and there *cough*Musta #fordmustang
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Today in Geek History: Happy birthday, Harry Potter! May your day be filled with Chocolate Frogs and great friends.
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On this day:
At 31st July of 1987, the movie "The Lost Boys" was released.

Dracula, one of the most famous monsters in all of literature and film, has been the subject of many movies since the Silent Era. In most cases he was depicted as a charming and seductive figure who wore a cape and slept all day in a coffin. But of course there was another side to him, a dangerous one. 

By the 1970s and 80s the Horror genre experienced a major shift and people were taking classic tales and updating them in interesting ways. The 1979 version of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot' introduced viewers to vampires lacking the charm and instead were vicious and cruel. Almost a decade later Warner Bros. would bring us another new take on the legend, this time one more aimed at younger audiences and the film was both a hit and went on to have a major cult following.

Living in the modern era of overdone vampire stories, "The Lost Boys" makes for a worthy retro antidote. With films and TV shows full of characters who simply are vampires these days, "Lost Boys" reminds us how part of the allure of the vampire is the mystery and suspense created by not exactly knowing if someone is a vampire or even better - suspecting it.

'The Lost Boys' tells the story of teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam Emerson (Corey Haim ) who along with their Mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) have moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Santa Carla, California to move in with their Grandpa (Barnard Hughes). While in Santa Carla, Michael falls for a beautiful, but mysterious girl named Star (Jami Gertz) who runs with a gang and the leader David (Kiefer Sutherland).

Unfortunately for Michael, David and his gang are blood sucking Vampires and want to bring Michael into the fold. Worried about Michael, Sam enlists the help of Vampire killers Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander) The Frog Brothers to help Michael and kill the Vampires.

The direction by Joel Schumacher is brilliant and stylish, with Schumacher always moving and going wild with the camera with close-ups.zooms and great camera angles that keeps the film moving at a tight pace. The whole cast is wonderful. Jason Patric is excellent as Michael, with Patric bringing emotion and depth to the role. Corey Haim is brilliant and funny as Sam, Michael's little brother. Kiefer Sutherland is amazing and menacing as David, the Vampire gang leader. 

Jami Gertz is terrific and beautiful as Star, Michael's love interest. Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander are fantastic and hilarious as Vampire killers Edgar and Alan,The Frog Brothers. Dianne Wiest is wonderful and charming as Lucy, Michael and Sam's Mother. Barnard Hughes is outstanding and funny as Grandpa, Lucy's Father. Edward Herrmann is great as Max, a video store owner and Lucy's boyfriend. Brooke McCarter (Paul), Billy Wirth (Dwayne), Alex Winter (Marko) and Chance Michael Corbitt (Laddie) give good performances as well.

The film also has a great soundtrack with songs by Gerard McMahon, (Cry Little Sister, the theme from The Lost Boys), Lou Gramm (Lost In The Shadows), Echo And The Bunnymen (People Are Strange), INXS and Jimmy Barnes (Good Times And Laying Down The Law), Roger Daltrey (Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me), Ritchie Zito (I Still Believe), Run-D.M.C And Aerosmith (Walk This Way), Eddie And The Tide ( Power Play), Mummy Calls (Beauty Has Her Way), Clarance 'Frogman' Henry (Ain't Got No Home) and more.

Last, the mythology is amazing. Most horror films, and vampire films in particular, can be judged by the way they represent the source material. This movie addresses mirrors, garlic, sunlight, holy water, getting invited into residences and stakes through the heart. In some areas they deviate from the classical traditions, but do so in such a respectful way that this seems all the more perfect. Being traditional and new at the same time is hard, but mastered here.

'The Lost Boys' grossed over $32 million. Its tagline was: “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire." The film was followed by two direct to video sequels, 'Lost Boys: The Tribe' and 'Lost Boys: The Thirst.'

A different take on vampire films, and seemingly the prototype for modern teenage-vampire movies and shows, "The Lost Boys" delivers in the thrills, chills and laughter, and is a romping good movie to see!

#TheLostBoys   #LostBoys
#80sMovies   #Movies
#HorrorFilm   #Horror
#KieferSutherland    #CoreyHaim
#CoreyFeldman    #JasonPatric
#Vampires   #ComedyHorrorFilm
#Onthisday    #MovieReview
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This week, the world-beating "Sargon" chess software by  Kathe and Dan Spracklen, seen here working with an Apple II in-circuit emulator. They started in 1977 with a Z80-based Wavemate[1] computer, winning a tournament the following year[2], writing two detailed articles for BYTE[3][4] and selling program listings for $15. Soon they found the 6502 a better fit for their purposes: "...it fell to us to translate it to a 6502. And when we did that, we were quite amazed."
...
Kathe's brother ported the original Sargon to Apple II and by 1979 a later version was running on a 2MHz 6502 in a consumer chess machine.[5] (2k RAM, 8k ROM)

The Spracklens had a good run at chess world championships, using the Z80 and 6502 and later the 68000, dual 68000 and SPARC. They found a 1MHz 6502 faster than a 2MHz Z80, being particularly impressed with the short and fast branch instructions. More quotes at
https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/6502#Quotes

In their oral history at [6] there's a nice story about a month-long visit by AI expert Donald Michie, whereby they tried to bootstrap a chess program using what we'd now call big data methods.  It played brilliantly - like a brilliant seven-year-old.  It liked to sacrifice its queen, and they realised that's because the Grandmaster games they'd trained it on would include a queen sacrifice only as a brilliant move. Read it here:
https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/Kathe+Spracklen#Donald Michie

Other 6502 machines running at 16, 18 or even 20MHz have competed in world championships (overclocking in championships seems normal):
https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/USOCCC+1987
http://old.csvn.nl/comps1978.html

Back on the ground level, see
http://www.chesscomputeruk.com/html/chess_computers_-_the_uk_story.html
for Martin Bryant’s White Knight and later Colossus programs, developed on Apple II but sold for BBC micro and C64, then Atari and Electron.[7] Nearby we find a collection of computer chess articles from the period:
http://www.chesscomputeruk.com/html/publication_archive.html

For more on 6502 chess, see some of our previous posts:
https://plus.google.com/108984290462000253857/posts/TGtG4v81Bfw
https://plus.google.com/108984290462000253857/posts/4ayN7Mr4J1L
https://plus.google.com/u/0/108984290462000253857/posts/LMRa3Xsrjzy

Have you been beaten every time by computer chess? Or do you have the skill to win? 

[1] http://www.computermuseum.li/Testpage/JupiterII-1975.htm
[2] https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/Sargon
[3] https://archive.org/stream/byte-magazine-1978-10/1978_10_BYTE_03-10_Chess_for_the_Microcomputer#page/n87/mode/2up
[4] https://archive.org/stream/byte-magazine-1978-11/1978_11_BYTE_03-11_The_Sky_is_the_Limit#page/n17/mode/2up
[5] http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php/Chafitz_Sargon_2.5
[6] http://archive.computerhistory.org/projects/chess/related_materials/oral-history/spacklen.oral_history.2005.102630821/spracklen.oral_history_transcript.2005.102630821.pdf
[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_Chess
Fidelity Electronics (Fidelity International Inc.), was an American hearing-aid manufacturing company, founded in 1959, and in March 1970 purchased by Sidney and Myron Samole . Among its other cutting-edge technology, Fidelity Electronics produced high-tech, bio-medical products, ...
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On this day:
At 31st July of 1989, the Game Boy handheld video game device was released in the U.S. 

In the world of videogame hardware, there are successes, there are triumphs, and then there is Game Boy. Nintendo's handheld brand is the Rocky Marciano of gaming, consistently dominating for its entire career and retiring undefeated. 

The Game Boy was more than just a piece of plastic and silicon. A successful launch can make you money, but to dominate for more than a decade, you need a killer lineup. The handheld market was uncharted territory, and all the rules were different. It took time for Nintendo to find their groove, but over the coming years, they learned exactly what made a game work on the go.

Long before “Flappy Bird,” “Candy Crush Saga” and the countless free-to-play games that currently dominate the mobile gaming market, the Nintendo Game Boy was the first big name in portable gaming. Prior to the release of the Game Boy, several companies such as Mattel tried to develop their own lines of portable games and electronics, with little success. Milton Bradley released the first swappable cartridge Microvision console in 1979, but the lack of games and the small (16x16-pixel) screen kept the Microvision from seeing widespread adoption.

Enter Gunpei Yokoi, the creator of the Game and Watch series of handheld electronics. That basic but fun series bring some success to Nintendo, but Yokoi still sought to find a way to make the video game experience truly portable. The result was the Game Boy, developed by Yokoi and the Nintendo Research and Development Team One (R&D1).

The Game Boy was launched in Japan on April 31, 1989. Within two weeks, it has sold through its entire stock of 300,000 units. An American launch followed on 31st July, and managed to sell 40,000 units on its very first day. While Nintendo fought tooth and nail to get the NES onto the shelves of stores and into the minds of American kids, the Game Boy was an overnight success.

Atari's handheld, now called Lynx, arrived just a few months behind. The battle was over before it began. Atari's system had better graphics, better sound, a huge, full-color screen, and even a respectable lineup of original games, but Nintendo's practical approach won out. The Game Boy sold for $100 less than the Lynx, got more than twice the battery life, and it was only a fraction of the size.

Less was more, and Nintendo never forgot it. The Game Boy bested many contenders in the years to come. Sega entered the ring with Game Gear the following year. Their color handheld took the middle road, with a color screen and a conservative 8-bit spec, but even still, they couldn't take Nintendo down. Subsequent challengers practically sank themselves. SuperVision, Game.com, Wonderswan, and Neo-Geo Pocket would all try to take a bite out of Nintendo, only to chip a tooth and go home crying. 

The early games on the platform weren't very adventurous. Tetris changed a lot of rules, but the rest of Nintendo's first generation of games didn't stray far. The Game Boy was the child of the R&D1 division, and Gunpei Yokoi and Satoru Okada spearheaded the company's early attempts to build a library. 'Super Mario Land' stayed close to the proven formula, with gameplay that practically cloned the 1985 original, despite the new team and new scenery. The Game Boy was red hot when the system launched, and 'Super Mario Land' sold 14 million copies anyway, but R&D1 realized their new system had special needs.

To bolster their platform, Yokoi and Okada decided to leverage their own NES hits, starting with Kid Icarus. Myths and Monsters, unlike Super Mario Land, made some concessions for the small screen. The view was zoomed in a bit, and the artwork had stronger outlines and better contrast. They also made levels that could more easily explored, with some actual backtracking to accommodate the closer view. It scored a minor success for Nintendo, but they needed to pull out the big guns.

Metroid II was the obvious answer. With the game's original team behind the Game Boy, it only made sense, and the landmark platform/adventure was already long overdue for a follow-up. It was the first game on the platform with real hype behind it since the system launched, and the expectations were high. R&D1 didn't tamper with the formula, but doing it justice proved a feat in its own right. The detailed artwork was a new high water mark for the system, and the signature exploration remained intact. A battery save helped to make the whole experience friendly to the pick-up-and-play nature of handheld gaming despite its scope. The title is remembered as one of the lower points for the illustrious series, but at the time, few complained.

Of course, the system needed original titles too. For the first few years of the system's life, it was mostly given scaled-down versions of home or arcade games, without much in the way of appealing new characters. In 1992, all that changed with the release of Kirby's Dream Land. The unconventional character was unlike anything Nintendo had tried before.

After Sonic the Hedgehog's breakthrough success, "attitude" was the prevailing theme for platform mascots, and even Kirby's TV spot bellowed with a bit of irony that he was "one tough creampuff." But HAL's flying puffball was nothing but cheerful and adorable, and the breezy, casual gameplay and lighthearted atmosphere were hard to resist. Nintendo had added an enduring new character to their canon, and he would soon make his way to console games, spin-offs, and sequels.

By 1993, the Game Boy had hit its stride, but sales were already starting to decline. Nintendo answered as only they could with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, a moment that stands as arguably the finest on the system. In a year dominated by 16-bit consoles that made most Game Boy games look downright primitive, Nintendo managed to deliver a sequel to one of their most beloved series that didn't feel comprised. Recreating the look and art style of A Link to the Past, and the dungeon-heavy design of the original proved to be an irresistible blend. EGM hailed it as "a masterpiece" and the title went on to sell over 3.8 million in its original black and white incarnation.

In 1994, Nintendo decided to take a new approach to keep the market fresh. The Super Nintendo had a massive installed base, so they released the Super Game Boy to go with it. The device plugged into the SNES cartridge slot and allowed players to enjoy their handheld games at home, on a big, clear screen, and even with some limited color enhancements. Sure, playing your Game Boy games at home seems a little silly in principle, but some of them were addictive enough to be worth it.

The system premiered with an all-new version of the game that first catapulted Nintendo to international success: Donkey Kong. This was a far cry the faithful arcade ports that littered the Game Boy's library early on, however. It paid homage to the original in its first four stages, but quickly veered off in a new direction, building a clever puzzle game on the familiar foundation.

Mario could now do an assortment of acrobatic new moves, and the levels were complicated with all manner of switches and lock and key puzzles. The new take on the iconic arcade hit proved to be an enduring classic and one of the system's best games. The Super Game Boy's commercial life was short, with the SNES itself fading from view within a couple years, but Nintendo couldn't have given it a better start. 

The Game Boy's popularity waned slowly over the course of the next few years, with the release of games slowing to an absolute crawl by the mid-'90s. Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket to revitalize hardware sales, and in Japan, they released the Game Boy Light with an illuminated screen, but software sales continued to decline.

Nintendo's portable gaming record was impeccable, so few could question Gunpei Yokoi when he introduced a daring new system that would bring Nintendo's games into 3D. The Virtual Boy, released in 1995, was an interesting experiment that even had a few great games in its time, but it lived in an awkward place between handheld and home console, and its red LED scan screens (similar to those used in the Adventure Vision more than a decade earlier) hardly did the games justice. It tanked within the year. It proved to be a major embarrassment for Nintendo, and Yokoi took the fall. The industry legend was shamed into leaving Nintendo, even after all of his successes. Not long after, he met with a fatal car accident, leaving in his wake a lifetime of questions about what could have been.

Even after Yokoi's death, R&D1's creativity never stalled, however, and the Game Boy pressed onward. In 1998, Wario reprised his starring role in Wario Land II. A funny, imaginative, and highly original puzzle-platformer, Wario's second adventure changed all the rules. Death was removed from the equation, and injury turned into a tool.

Wario could be smashed flat like a pancake, lit on fire, or inflated in classic Looney Tunes fashion, and each would both hinder him as well as allow access to certain new areas. The witty design garnered praise, but arrived a low point for the system's popularity internationally, and failed to capture even a fraction of the attention of its predecessors. Game Boy had survived uncontested nearly into a second decade, but it seemed like the party was ending. The aging handheld needed a savior, and as luck would have it, Nintendo was about to find 151 of them.

The conventional wisdom in the world of console gaming is that systems sharply decline in their fifth year, and new ones must replace them shortly thereafter. The Game Boy's software sales had been in decline practically since the system's launch, but no contender could take it down. Sega hoped to topple the Game Boy at its weakest in the mid-'90s, but the only 16-bit handheld they actually released was a portable Genesis with even worse battery life than Game Gear. It seemed as if the handheld market itself was simply drying up. 

It wasn't until 1996, seven years after the original Game Boy was released and two past the system's expected life, that Satoshi Tajiri found an entirely new way to exploit the handheld medium. The Game Boy had link cables for competitive play for years, but it was nothing unique from the home experience. Tajiri imagined creating a truly social game, where players would have their own personal collection to share, trade, and compete with friends. This meant real life bartering, school yard discussions about the finer aspects of collecting, and myths about secrets no one had found yet. It was something that only Nintendo's ubiquitous handheld could do, and it would quickly have all of Japan talking.

The game, of course, was Pocket Monsters, a clever RPG where players explore the wilderness hunting for their favorite Pokémon. Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto suggested to Tajiri that the game be released in different versions with different Pokémon to force players to trade and socialize in order to complete their collections. It wasn't an overnight success, but it was a game built around word of mouth, and before long, any kids who weren't trying to catch 'em all felt left out. In 1997, an anime series propelled the series to even greater success, and the first wave of Pokémon games sold over 10 million copies in Japan.

The Game Boy and its successor, the Game Boy Color, have both combined sold 118.69 million units worldwide. Redesigned versions were released in 1996 and 1998, in the form of Game Boy Pocket, and Game Boy Light (Japan only), respectively. In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, 20 years after its introduction.

#GameBoy   #Nintendo
#Gaming   #RetroGaming
#Oldschool   #Onthisday
#Retro   #TheGoodOldDays
#HandheldVideoGameDevice
#80sMemories   #90sMemories
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Los jefes deben organizar la agenda, la carga de trabajo, y las reuniones, pero esos jefes nunca tuvieron jefes que les enseñaran.
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HOLIDAYS!!!!! Start in T-10... 9... 8...

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En el mundo Linux desde 1992. Con FreeBSD desde el 2002. Usuario de sistemas Unix-Linux. SysAdmin. BoFHer. Open Source Fan.
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