Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spinoff Links

Holy Bricks! I Love Everything About Lego's New Classic Batman TV Series Batcave Set. Holy (insert Lego pun here) Batman! This is a fantastic looking set. It's nearly $300 but you're getting a lot of Lego for your money. 3 vehicles, 9 mini figs and a HUGE playset with lots of features. It sure beats the pants off the Batcave set my son already has.

They really hit it out of the park with the little details on this set, from The Joker's hidden mustache to the pictures of Martha and Thomas Wayne beside the fire poles. I really hope they make more of these sets based on the old TV show. I can't imagine ever fitting this thing in my budget but I'd love to have a Adam West Batman.... I mean my son would love it.

Kurt Busiek on Loss of Public Domain. Kurt Busiek, noted comic book writer and cool guy I talked too once, had a lot of interesting takes on copyright and public domain. It's funny to think that every time something interesting is set to enter public domain the copyright laws keep getting extended. It's almost like some big entertainment company has a vested interest in keeping others from using their beloved mouse mascot.

Agents of SHIELD’s “Marvels Most Wanted”: ABC orders pilot for Marvel spinoff. So Marvel doesn't want me to watch Agents of SHIELD anymore? The show is already on my "I'm not sure I'm enjoying this anymore and there are good shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime I could be watching" list. Take away Adrianne Palicki and things are looking pretty grim.

5 Huge Products That Failed Because Of Hilarious Oversights. I like Cracked but this is a great example of how you can't always take their lists at face value. One of the items on this particular list is the IBM PCjr a computer that was a spectacular failure. Cracked attributes the failure almost 100% to the terrible keyboard the PCjr shipped with and while the keyboard was really really bad It wasn't the single thing that doomed the machine.

You could make a much stronger argument that the PCjr was ill conceived right out of the gate, targeting a market that wasn't there. It wasn't 100% compatible with the standard PC software most businesses ran so you couldn't bring work from home. It was far more expensive than offerings from Commodore or Atari AND it didn't run games very well.

It was a serious computer that couldn't handle serious software AND an overpriced hobby computer that couldn't play most games. It came with weird features no one would use like swapable ROM cartridges and a co-axial output so you could hook it up to your TV. Rumor has it that IBM intentionally nerfed it's compatibility because they were afraid of businesses buying PCjrs instead of the hgher end work stations.

Who cares if the keyboard is terrible (something they addressed almost immediately anyway), at the price they were asking (some $3,000 in today's money) why would anyone want one?

The funny thing is that the Tandy 1000, which was a huge hit, is based on a lot of the same hardware as the PCjr but by cutting the price, simplifying the peripherals and making sure it was near 100% compatible with PC software Radio Shack sold a ton. It was the perfect entry computer to the PC market, not the flawed mess IBM tried to hoist on customers.

And now both of us know way more about the IBM PCjr than necessary.




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