Friday, July 23, 2010

Old Tron Memories

The media hype about the upcoming Tron movie brings back memories of those days.  I was using a Tandy Model 100 as my writing machine at that time.  It had 32K of memory which could be used to store text or programs.  I could get a short story or parts of a larger work in there.  I remember taking the Model 100 under my arm and writing under a tree in the park.

Of course, it also had BASIC and I wrote programs as well.  With the ability to set and test pixels on the little screen, I wrote a Tron Lightcycle program.  It was single or dual player, using the arrow keys for one player and the F1-F4 buttons for the other.  The single player played against the machine.

I posted it somewhere online and got some nice comments on its playability, but I've long since lost track of it.  Even Google can't find it.  It might have been on a BBS, rather than a web site, and many of those never made the transition to the web. I don't even know if I have a local copy.  So much of my early work, especially software, was stored off on cassette or floppy and I no longer have the ability to read what media I have left.  Old story scraps are in a little better shape since I can still read the scribbles on rumpled paper.

It's a shame.  I'd like to fire up the program an dodge around the screen again, just for old times sake, but I'll never find it again.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Nobody at Apple is Colorblind

I have come to the conclusion that nobody who makes Apple software is colorblind.  The image above is the little chart in iTunes that tells what I have loaded on my iPad at the moment.  Now, I suppose that most people can instantly see what how much audio and video I have loaded, but I can't.  The bluish stuff on the left is all one color, unless I look really closely.  Maybe the books section is just too small to see, but I certainly can't detect it anywhere.

I went to the Vischeck website and ran their on-line converter with the Deuteranope settings which seems to match my kind of colorblindness and created this version:
which looks very nearly identical to what I see above, but supposedly is designed to show normal people what us deuteranope's see.  I'll have to take their word on that.

In the past, working as a beta-tester for the nice people at The Omni Group, I ran across a similar problem where their red checkmarks and their green checkmarks looked the same to me.  They kindly changed the colors so it was light green and dark red (or the other way around, I don't really remember) and the problem was solved. Many of these problems for colorblind people can be easily fixed, often with a quick visit to the Vischeck website and a minor tweak of the colors.  I guess I need to find Apple's suggestion line.