Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take the ChipWits Challenge!

I've been playing ChipWits from the very beginning. I played it on my friend's Mac 512K (and he pirated me a copy for my 512K that my parents bought me: sorry Doug!!).

I spent a good chunk of the early 2000s trying to remember the name of the game. Somewhere along the line I lost track of the ChipWits disk I had. After stumbling upon Doug Sharp's accolades web page, the quest shifted to trying to find a binary for my Mac Plus (my original 512K board was destroyed after my college roommate poured beer into my Mac after I cut him off from Tetris).

Thanks to the collective memory of the Intarweb, I eventually found a copy of ChipWits. It crashed when I opened it on my Mac Plus!! Not to be deterred, I followed advice on the pre-polluted Macintosh Garden site and built an MFS RAM disk on my HD20. For some reason the old juju RAM disk actually allows you to run ChipWits!! Other users with similar old hardware were able to use similar setups to get the original ChipWits running on yellowed but loved early Mac hardware. Eureka! The _best_ early Mac game (well, until a working copy of "Feathers & Space" is available again) was available for those nerds who owned the right old equipment and who remembered this classic. Others, unfortunately, were left out: the old version of ChipWits was hardware dependent and didn't jibe with emulators. People who were interested in IBOL and a revolutionary way of learning to program were left out of the ChipWits game! And programming didn't really make sense without the documentation to get you started. So the quest shifted to me trying to find the photocopied manual I made when my friend pirated the copy. I eventually located the manual and scanned it, but it only got two other people to play ChipWits.

Enter Web 2.0 and a New Beginning for ChipWits!! Doug Sharp resurrects ChipWits like a phoenix from the flames! I managed to make my way onto the Hall of Pie with one of my new 'Wits programmed in the new version of ChipWits!!

This is one of the best programs to introduce anyone, young or old, to programming! IBOL is revolutionary! Build a robot today!

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