In the early 1980s, when computer games were frequently distributed as lines of code that required manual entry, Harry McCracken, a teenage TRS-80 enthusiast, and future Fast Company technology editor, had a text adventure with the title Arctic Adventure published in The Captain ’80 Book of Basic Adventures. As originally published, the game’s code was compromised. McCracken finally fixed it forty years later.
Early computer magazines were densely packed with pages of code that eager PC enthusiasts could type in and experiment with. People recall sitting in front of old computers for hours as a preteen, hunting and pecking all over the keyboard as they enter someone else’s BASIC code. Once they enter all the code, they either have a game to play or several more hours poring over the code to determine what they’d entered incorrectly.
McCracken Was Still in High-School When Publishing Arctic Adventure
According to PC Gamer, young McCracken was in high school when he wrote his arctic-themed adventure game. McCracken was inspired to create a survival game by the work of legendary adventure game developer Scott Adams. The player was tasked with returning to their base before succumbing to the harsh arctic environment. He had no prior knowledge of the arctic and conducted no research, which is fine. It’s not as if anyone on Wikipedia was going to fact-check it.
The game was published, McCracken was paid, and he continued to create games before focusing on creative writing. He got feedback on Arctic Adventure from someone associated with the software company owned by the book’s editor, Bob “Captain 80” Liddil, who informed him that the game did not work.
Better Late Than Never!
McCracken spent the next four decades or so doing things unrelated to Arctic Adventure, having never received a copy of the book in which his code was published and not keeping a copy of the code for himself.
He recently got his hands on a copy of The Captain ’80 Book of Basic Adventures, however, thanks to internet archivists, and with the help of a TRS-80 emulator for his iPad, he was able to type in his code and get the game running.
A New Dinosaur With Very Short Front Limbs Was Discovered In Argentina
A new dinosaur with very small arms was recently discovered in Argentina. The newly found species roamed the Earth some 70 million years ago, and all indications show that it likely was a skilled predator. Despite its predatory nature, the ancient reptile had front limbs that were shorter than those of the T-Rex.
Geumesia Ochoai Was a Dinosaur That Used Its Powerful Head and Jaws to Capture Prey
The fossilized remains of the new species were discovered in Argentina by a team of researchers from the London Natural History Museum. They named the new dinosaur Geumesia Ochoai and determined that it was a species of abelisaur, which is a clade of dinosaurs who had tiny front limbs and relied on their powerful jaws and heads to capture their prey.
According to the research leader, co-author of the study, and professor at the Natural History Museum in London, Anjali Goswami, the new dinosaur was quite unusual even for members of the clade. It had key characteristics that suggested the fossil belonged to a new species and provided important new information.
The New Dinosaur Species Was Found In an Area That Has Not Been Studied In Detail In Terms of Ancient Fossils
Abelisauridae were a family of theropod dinosaurs that prowled mainly in Patagonia and areas of the ancient southern supercontinent Gondwana. Today, Gondwana is recognized as South America, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula. So far, Abelisaurid fossils have been found in rocks across South America, Africa, India, and Europe, with some 35 species from Argentina. While most of these 35 species were found in Patagonia, the new dinosaur was discovered near Amblayo, in the north of Argentina. According to professor Goswami, this was a region that the paleontology community had not studied in detail before.
Now, the team hopes to uncover more specimens of Guemesia Ochoai and its relatives. They want to learn and understand more about life in ancient Argentina. Professor Goswami also stated that understanding huge global events like mass extinctions required global datasets, and there were lots of other parts of the world that have not been studied enough. She even pointed out that tonnes of fossils are probably still waiting to be discovered.