Monday, July 20, 2015

Some Updates and a Request for Help

First off, what's up with me? Not much. Some family stuff came up, so that's why I haven't made a post in forever.

Surprise of surprises, this post is not going to be about that tape. That seems to be a theme with this blog: I keep saying my next post is going to be about something, and then for one reason or another, I realize that I have to write about something else instead. In this case, I have some updates I wanted to share with you guys.


Let's start with a few updates on one of my earliest posts: the one about the Playskool Talk-Back Voice Recorder (no relation to the Yak Bak). First of all, that's how it was spelled, not Talkback as I had put it on my blog post.

Second, I've finally found one! ...On an auction sight. And it's been sold. But I can't see for how much because that requires an account. A paid-for account. I can't even share the pictures here because of copyright.

Third, the sound effects. I remembered three of them: one was a spring, one was a monkey, and one was a telephone. Looking at the picture, I can see another one: a bicycle horn. ...Well, the label is actually of a French horn or a trumpet or something, but I distinctly remember that the sound was a bike horn.


Next, I want to talk a bit about Learning Voyage and Classworks. These two have been my obsession recently. I have been trying so hard to find out more about them, but nothing doing. In the case of Learning Voyage, I don't even know who's behind them, Learningways or Davidson. I also don't know if they were exclusively for schools or not. If it was Learningways and not Davidson, then they probably were only for schools, which means I won't find a copy very easily. But that still wouldn't explain why I saw the intro cutscene on YouTube years ago.

Classworks at least has their old website archived, so I can still take a look at drawings of how the box looks, and I can also confirm that it originally came in two "pieces": one for the server and one for the workstations (those are the actual computers in the schools, which connect to the server that stores all the data).

I may see if I can talk to the principal at my old elementary school, and see if by some miracle they still have their old Classworks discs. Other than that, I'm running out of places to try and find old educational software for schools. Thrift stores are certainly an option, as are flea markets, but I wouldn't count on being able to find any of that stuff there. I can hope, and I can dream, but it's incredibly unlikely that I'll be able to find any of these nostalgic games again.

At least, by myself.

This is where you guys come in: please help me! Anyone who comes across or happens to have a copy of any of this software (Learning Voyage: Sand Trapped!, Learning Voyage: Swamped!, or Classworks Gold Edition), I would very much appreciate it if you would make ISO images of them, put them on a file-sharing site like Mega or Mediafire, and send them my way. No torrents, please, as I will not take any chances with that.

Man, I feel so silly asking for this, but I swear I'm not doing this for selfish purposes. ...Okay, I kind of am and kind of not. One part is for more accurate documentation (because I have been able to find very little if any), the other part is for nostalgia.

The reason I'm writing about all this is because I have to stop obsessing before the obsession becomes unhealthy, and I feel writing this stuff down helps me calm down. And it also fits on the blog, because these products really are obscure; one of my personal friends and one random YouTube user have heard of the Learning Voyage games, and none of my online friends have. My second cousin, who went to the same elementary school as me, said he vaguely remembers them from Classworks. Heck, in general he vaguely remembers Classworks.

Well, on that note, I'll ask y'all this question: Does anyone remember Classworks or Learning Voyage? Does anyone remember seeing that intro cutscene on YouTube back in 2006 or 2007 or so? As a refresher...

Dad: What? I told you to put the ant traps by the doors!
(cut to a bunch of bugs inside the family's home)
Boy: Whoops. I thought you said to put the trapdoors by the ants!

Which could be an inaccurate transcript, because I haven't seen that clip in years. Anyway, now I'm done ranting. Any help would be most appreciated, and thanks for reading! Next post will hopefully be that audio tape I was teasing. See ya then!