[Cerowrt-devel] nostalgia

David P. Reed dpreed at deepplum.com
Fri May 8 14:00:21 EDT 2020

Yeah. In 1969, Bruce Daniels was a neighbor in my dorm (Random Hall, MIT) and Tim Anderson was working in the same office space at Project MAC as Carl Hewitt in around 1974, when I was, among other things like working on Multics kernel and building MACLISP, helping Carl with implementing Planner, and Tim started working on Zork soon after that. This was before the Apple II existed, it's worth remembering.
Something worth noting about this: the ONLY computer gaming worth anything at the time was being built by students in ARPA funded labs like MIT Project MAC, and Xerox PARC. Not ARPA funded games (those came much latter as battle simulators were interesting), but games were great for computer languages. In fact, the Planner effort was entangled with the Muddle language, which I think the Zork folks worked on with the folks working with Carl on Planner around that time.
The idea of a "packaged software product" really didn't happen until the Apple II started taking off (along with the TRS-80). There was no such thing, no such market. But what was really smart about the Zork guys was that they saw that opportunity for what it was, and started their company. And in some sense, they were the "killer app" for gaming (given the character displays of the early PCs like the Apple and Tandy machines). Just as Visicalc was the killer app for business. (Printers were so terrible that word processing had no real opportunity for business users, just for hobbyists, that came later with laser printers that became cheap). My point here is that there are folks who have something just about ready for a technology change, and thus they can, if smart, move first and define the industry that results.
On Friday, May 8, 2020 2:58am, "Dave Taht" <dave.taht at gmail.com> said:

> https://github.com/MITDDC/zork
> I still haven't finished zork II. Had to reverse engineer zork 1 to win.
> --
> Make Music, Not War
> Dave Täht
> CTO, TekLibre, LLC
> http://www.teklibre.com
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