Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I'm stuffed to the gills with useless trivia. Like this bit, as I stare at the selection of salad dressing at work.

Ranch salad dressing. Ever wonder why it's only Hidden Valley that makes Ranch dressing? Everyone else makes "Creamy Ranch" or "Ranch with _________." But only Hidden Valley makes Ranch. Well, you see, Hidden Valley Ranch is a real place. It's a dude ranch, down in the states somewhere. And, Ranch salad dressing is the house dressing in their 5-star restaurant. When customers started wanting to take some of the salad dressing home cuz it was so good, the Hidden Valley folks got the bright idea to market it nationwide.

Therefore, only Hidden Valley makes Ranch dressing because they invented it and they own it.

I'm full of this stuff. It's my goal someday to be Jeopardy!. (Seeing that the Who Wants to be a Millionaire fad has run its course.)

Right now, I'm going on a nostalgia trip. I've been downloading a bunch of my favourite shareware games from about 10 - 12 years ago. Only problem I'm discovering is most of them don't work in Windows XP. The controls get all messed up.

Yeah, remember when shareware was, like, common? You'd pick up a floppy disc at the store for only $3.99, and there'd be a game on it! Then, when you play it, you get the warning, "If you like this game, then register it for $10 and you'll get all this stuff!" The incentives to get you to register were generally things like the source code or a much more professional version of the game. Probably the guys who perfected this was Apogee software. They became 3D Realms, spun off their most popular shareware character - Duke Nukem - into a 3D shooter, and now they're big, baby! Anyway, their shareware strategy was this: the game you bought for $3.99 was actually the first part of a trilogy, and once you registered, you'd get the complete trilogy.

I really liked the Apogee shareware games, mainly because most shareware games in the early 1990s looked like they were some grade 10 kid's computer programming assignment. Then, I got Apogee's Secret Agent, and it was as good as a Nintendo game. I much perfered the similar Crystal Caves. The only shareware game I actually registered. Back in university, I went looking for Crystal Caves to download one night, I found I could get it at the Apogee/3D Realms website. And there it was, download Episode I of Crystal Caves. "Or," the website said, "Enter your credit card number, and, for just $10, you can download the complete, registered version." So I figured, what the hell?

I keep saying I'll go back for Secret Agent someday, but, now, I see that running Apogee games in Windows XP causes Windows to crash.

Next Issue...The Hunt for Red Rock Rover

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