Nov 172011
 

Humpty Dumpty 1947

I have always been a great fan of Pinball machines.  I remember when I was very little, watching big kids playing a mysterious game at the local arcade.  It had crazy blinking lights, bells, strange hammer sounds and the big kid playing it looked like he was about to push the whole thing over with the violence of his movements.  I wasn’t even tall enough to see what was going on under the glass!  Once I got old enough to reach the flipper buttons and see the playing field, I was completely hooked.  I must have spent $100s a year in quarters up until the point that most of the arcades disappeared.  Luckily, in recent years a few new arcades have sprung up and I can enjoy playing again!

Humpty Dumpty Under the Glass

When I looked into the history of these machines, I was surprised to find that they have been around for a long time.  The evolution of the pinball machine took at least 300 years to get to from a simple bowling game to the complex ones we have today.  By the 1930s,  the machine had gotten; spring launchers(1871), coin operated(1931), electrified (1933),and  reactive bumpers(1933).

In 1947, Gottleib (Chicago, IL) released the next step with the inclusion of flippers in their game, Humpty Dumpty.  At first, Humpty Dumpty was too low powered and needed 3 of the 6 flippers to get to the top, but with a few tweaks, only 2 were needed.   The flipper idea really took off and soon other companies were offering kit to convert older machines to use flippers. With this innovation and others, Gottleib was able to top the market for many years.

Manufacturer: Gottleib (Chicago, IL)

Model:  Humpty Dumpty

First Producted: October, 5 1947

Flippers: 6 flipper bumpers

Production Run: 6,500

Design:  Harry Mabs

Artwork: Roy Parker

 

 

Nov 162011
 
IBM PC Junior

IBM PCjr

One night in the winter of 1985, my dad came home with a used Commodore 64 in a old cardboard box and suprised my brother and me with an early Christmas present .  Try as we might we could not get the cassette tape drive to play the one space game included with the mess of components.  We exchanged the C-64 for a newer IBM PCjr and were were not disappointed.

It came a wireless keyboard, optical mouse, dual floppy disk drives and even had the option of a hard drive!

We had access to hundreds of games including; Solitaire,  Leisure Suit Larry and King’s Quest I!   My brother and I  spent hundreds of hours playing games and typing up papers for school and printing them up on the dot matrix printer.  Eventually, we got a 2,400 baud modem a connected to many local BBSs and even used an early version of email. The system still works and my mom uses it for storing recipes!

Manufacturer:IBM

King's Quest

Model: PCjr

Production Run: 1984-1987

CPU:  Intel 8088  (4.77 MHZ)

RAM: 64 kb  (Could be upgraded to 640 kb)

Disk Drive: 2 5.25 floppy disk drives

Operating System: DOS 2.10

Units Shipped: 500,000