Saturday, October 31, 2015

Filler video

So... remember that filler video I was supposed to make last week?

Finally got around to it this week.

The video says it all. I'll just say I was supposed to do Tonka Space Station this week, but due to extremely annoying technical difficulties I was unable to get any footage of it. Anyway, I have declared November to be Hasbro/Playskool Month. It was originally going to just be Hasbro Month, but then I realized one of the computer games I wanted to talk about was not published by Hasbro. (Very late edit: Yes it was.) Why I thought it was, I don't know. (Very late edit: IT. WAS. PLAYSKOOL OWNS HASBRO.) The game in question is Playskool Play-Doh Creations for Windows and Mac, and that's going to be for next week's blog post. And I may as well reveal what I have planned for the week after that as well: Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley.

Anyway, sorry for the short (and late... again...) post this week. See ya next time!


Monday, October 19, 2015

More apologies and random memories of LodgeNet

Here we go again. I'm always late with my blog posts. Even when I write a schedule I'm still late. Sorry, but I'm going to have to postpone Type to Learn (and the other stuff I had planned) if I want to keep up with my schedule. I'll be making a filler video on Friday (a filler video that was planned for Friday anyway), then I hope to be back to my regular schedule by next week, assuming I can get the footage I need.

While we're on the subject of filler, anyone remember LodgeNet? I realize this isn't the most obscure thing to talk about, but I feel like LodgeNet is becoming less common and more obscure as time goes on. So what am I talking about?

LodgeNet was/is a system in hotels (hence the "lodge" part) whereby you could watch movies on pay-per-view, view hotel services, listen to music and play video games.

Yes, you read that last part correctly: you could play video games at your hotel. But of course, it cost money: 6 bucks an hour, to be specific. This is why my parents didn't let me play games when we went to hotels, unless I brought one of my handhelds with me (back when LodgeNet was still common, I didn't have any home consoles).

No, no, no. My nostalgia didn't come from playing games or watching movies (which our parents did let my sister and me do once). Rather, it comes from the freaking "LodgeNet Welcome Channel". Over the years, the Welcome Channel changed a bit, but the basics stayed the same. You'd turn on the TV and it would immediately go to the channel and say "Welcome, and thank you for choosing our hotel. We hope you enjoy your stay with us!" Or occasionally, "Welcome to (area), and thank you for choosing (name of hotel). We hope you enjoy your stay with us!" Some versions had it repeat the message in Spanish, French, and German. During all this time, this amazingly awesome and cheesy piano piece played. I wish I knew what it was called, and I really wish I could find a full-length, high quality version of it.

Later versions went into detail about all the cool extra stuff you could do on your TV, but the very first versions (which are what I'm nostalgic for) had only one message besides the welcome message: "Press the yellow Menu button for movies, video games, and hotel services." or something to that effect. I do remember "Press the yellow Menu button," and that's about it. That really sucks. I so wish I could find the full version of that intro, but the only videos I can find are of the newer versions of LodgeNet, some of which don't even use that awesome piano song.

It's possible to purchase LodgeNet remotes, game controllers, and even the boxes themselves on eBay. Sadly, they would serve no use and wouldn't actually allow me to re-create the experiences I had with that welcome channel, since everything was on a server (hence the "net" part). Yep, it worked the way Classworks worked: you'd have a server that held all the main software, then you'd use a device (in this case a set-top box rather than a computer) to interface with the network server and the software. So, where's the LodgeNet server software itself? Who knows? If I would ever come across that, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat, but sadly, that doesn't seem likely. It's about as likely as finding an old copy of Classworks.

Sorry for the random post, but it's just something I wanted to talk about. Friday is going to be a video about Quiz Show, a game I made a post about even though I have no pictures of it. Some parts of the post are better heard than just read. I hope you enjoyed your stay with--no. That's not going to end right.