Storytime: The Label Room

Gaming was quite a different experience for me compared to some people. Not having really touched a console except for an occasional bout of SNES at a cousin’s house, any gaming (if any) was done on PC.

It was only about 2004 that I was allowed my first personal computer. Before that, my “gaming” machine was an old IBM 300PL desktop, running 512MB of RAM and had a 550mhZ Pentium III processor. Sat in the “label room” at my family business at the time, an empty spot where a commercial label printer was set up (hence the name). Said computer ran the machine.

The 300PL that I used to play on. Wonderful machine, barely had any compatibility issues!

The 300PL that I used to play on. Wonderful machine, barely had any compatibility issues!

Most of the games I played were older DOS games that I found on shareware sites. One collection of games in particular came from a driver CD called “MMCD”, containing 100 DOS games for your heart’s content. Many hours were spent on things like Tubular Worlds, Solar Winds, Zone 66 and even Word Rescue. The thing was so generic, it was even SoundBlaster compatible. Almost any old DOS game ran on it. Most games that were in Windows that I’d play as well, such as Comet Busters and Cluefinders. I The joys of an IBM…

I usually played in the afternoon, mostly after 4PM when my parents were out tending the store. I would have roughly an hour for myself.

Imagine my disappointment when I found out that when I bought my first, only and beloved copy of Halo, trying to install it on there. Didn’t work despite the required specs of 500MHz, 128MB of RAM and Windows 98 or newer. Halo would bounce around in my closet for 3 years until I got my first official current-age computer with a *proper* graphics card that solved everything.

That machine quit after we closed our store, sadly. As I had my new computer and discovered things like Homeworld 2 and DarkStar One, somewhere along the line the motherboard got damaged on the label computer, refusing to boot up past BIOS. Dad trashed it after I salvaged RAM and the drives from it.

The machine still lives on, though. The hard drive was my base copy for reviving my old “Millenium Project”. The RAM was installed into another computer. The CD-ROM and ZIP drive was also placed on the same rig. The P3 processor sits in a part bin of old computer stuff, more of a memento than anything.

One aim of my gaming channel is to show you the slice of life that I had experienced while gaming. While people swooned for PS2 and Gamecube games, I was in a little back room trying to get Scubaman’s quest to work. Or dumping energy into my engines to make it to that weird star in the radar in Solar Winds. Lastly even pushing little cubes in Nucleon. It would’ve been nice to be different, but it was my experience. If anything, it was unique and I actually preferred it over console gaming.

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