Monday, December 19, 2016

4 Years

So, um... wow.

It's been 4 years since I made my first post on this blog. Is that crazy or what?

It's hard to imagine that I was just starting college when I first decided to have a new blog, and here I am now just about ready to get my Associates in Computer Science.

But this isn't about my personal life; this is about obscurity. And boy oh boy, I've gotten obscure stuff that I never expected to get. In my humble opinion, the ball started rolling in 2015, when I made the (very inaccurate) post about Learning Voyage. That day was completely awesome, as that's when I discovered the names of so many games I played as a kid that probably nobody else remembers. And all because of one little program: ClassWorks.

As some of you may recall, I hinted in my last post about a project I'm working on involving ClassWorks. I'm still not ready to reveal what that project is, but believe me when I say, it's going to be completely awesome! I hope to have it done by 2017, but (as always) no promises.

Speaking of 2017, I hereby resolve to start updating the blog more regularly. I've got some plans for the blog, including but not limited to:
* Videos of the Learning Voyage games
* Scripted reviews of some books, audio tapes, and vinyl records
* The aforementioned ClassWorks project
* The usual random computer game nonsense

I already have a topic lined up for my next post, so I'll reveal it here.

Coming... sometime: a blog post about the Waterford Early Reading Program (WERP)!

Can't really think of much else to say here. Can't even come up with a joke ending. Anyway, see you in 2017!


Sunday, July 24, 2016


Howdy, all. I know I haven't posted here since May. And there's a reason for that.

Remember how excited I was about finally seeing a video of Learning Voyage? Well, that was the same day I got a job offer, which of course I took. Bottom line, I'm now a working man. It's so awesome to finally have a job! This is also why I've been busy and haven't updated the blog in some time.

Now, one of the great things about having a job is that I get money. And having money means I can buy stuff. Don't worry, I'm budgeting things. I'm using my money wisely, only making the occasional eBay purchase. Such as the Learning Voyage games, at least in the re-branded "Learning Center Series" form.

Yep, I bought those games on eBay today for a great price. They should be coming later this week or over the weekend. When I finally have them, I can actually make a proper review of them. Should be fun.

Wanna know what isn't fun? Buying a 20 year old piece of hardware that I wanted to cover for the blog, like new, only to find out that because of its age, it didn't work. It had never been used, but because of its age it didn't work at all. I won't go into full details now, because I want to surprise y'all. If I can get it fixed, and that is a big "if", expect it whenever I have it working and can find free time to make a review. But for right now, it doesn't work.

One final piece of news: I am working on a project related to Classworks. Once again, I won't give you all the details. You'll have to wait until the project is actually completed, which might take a while.

But between these projects, my job, and school (I'm almost ready to get my Associates), it's been hectic. I haven't found a lot of time, or a lot of subjects, for the blog. Just know that I'm here, I'm alive, I haven't forgotten about the blog, and I am planning to write a proper post eventually. After the Learning Voyage games, I've got some other things in mind. I'm not going to try to do a theme for each month like I tried the last time; that's simply too much for me.

What I'll do instead is what I've been doing: review what I want, when I want to. Things like Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley would probably take a long time to get the footage, since that's a point-and-click adventure game, versus games like KidPhonics, which is just a phonics-themed activity center. (Speaking of KidPhonics, maybe I should go back and do a proper review of that game?)

So yes, bottom line, stuff is gonna happen. It's exciting. Hope you're looking forward to it! As always, if you have anything obscure you'd like to see me cover, please let me know. See you next time!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Triumphant Return

And what a return it is, my God.

Thanks to the awesome Lingyan203 on YouTube, I have discovered more information about the Learning Voyage games!! He uploaded a video here (not embedding it because it's not my video), and INSTANTLY the nostalgia came back.

...Except of course, I was wrong about some things. This post is going to correct what I got wrong once and for all!

So, to start, the family's names. They are called the "DiscoverCraft Crew", because they are the crew of a floating museum called the DiscoverCraft. The dad is named Parsec, the mom is Nanosec, the son is Arno, and the daughter is ZZ. I didn't even know that when I made my original post(s) about these games.

Next, the lines I remembered from the intro. It turns out the museum was invaded by sand worms, not ants.

Parsec: The only way sand worms could have gotten into the engine room is through the back door, and we put worm traps by the back door!
Arno: Uh-oh. I thought you said, "Put trap doors back by the worms"!

And the clown dunking game. It was actually called the "Dunkolator", but there was no way I could have known that because A) I forgot, and B) the only information available was from Classwell's website. Once again they were guilty of "Cowboy Bebop At His Computer". As was I for trusting their information. Also, the puns I remembered from that game were "Here's an exhibit that's bound to make a big splash!" and "Do not try this at home; our clown is a drained professional!" I was pretty close, sure, but I didn't have the quotes exactly right.

Oh yeah, and the "exhibit" thing. The hub for both games (not just Swamped as I had thought before) is a museum lobby, because the DiscoverCraft is a museum. Each minigame is presented as an exhibit in the museum. Watch the video for more.

Last and most importantly, I have found out that the Learning Voyage games were eventually re-branded as part of Davidson's Learning Center Series. Sand Trapped was Davidson's Learning Center Series: 3rd Grade, and Swamped was Davidson's Learning Center Series: 4th Grade. Surprise of surprises. And you know what else? Those releases are actually fairly common! I've seen them at thrift stores many times, and I've also seen them on eBay for a few dollars each. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for them next time I go to a thrift store.

So anyway, that's about it from me. Now I can finally shut up about these games, and instead continue to talk about ClassWorks. In fact, I've got a "History of ClassWorks Gold" video in the works right now. I will also begin to talk about some other games that were featured in ClassWorks, such as Math Sequences and The First "R".

In addition, I found a disk image of another Apple II game I played as a kid: Quilting Bee by MECC! I've got a lot of exciting stuff planned (well, exciting to me, at least). But for now, it's one huge mystery solved, and about a dozen more to go. Until next time, remember to keep on discovering your crafts.

...No? All right, I'll leave the humor to the clown.