Wait forever to play a seemingly mundane game, but enjoy it all the same, just like when we were kids! Ahh nostalgia …
Want to remember (or experience for the first time) the frustration and mind numbing wait times of old Apple II classic games and programs? Sure you do, and the Internet Archive has the tools available for that nostalgic trip down memory lane!
Making the programs functional to play isn’t as easy as a copy/paste method some of us (allegedly) use while downloading via the Internet, however. In fact it appears to be much more involved. Using a method called “cracking,” the Internet Archive employs the expertise of programmers to lift the code from available disks, while doing away with frivolous items to get them to run more smoothly.
When the games were created — more than 30 years ago for most — a copy protection code was installed on the disc to keep people from copying the game to other discs. This is the challenge programmers face while moving the games to an updated interface. Once a programmer does this, however, they generally add their tag names on the games (called “crack screens”) as a claim to fame. An individual known only as “4AM” is behind the entire archive as it stands.
Says a blog by Jason Scott (which also has a bevy of other information about the cracks):
“What 4AM has been doing for the past year or so is re-cracking long-dormant Apple II programs with a new goal – to educate and to preserve. This has produced hundreds of new insights into Apple II history, some of which are seeing the light of day for the first time.”
So while the classics may not suffice for our current addiction of instant gratifications, they sure can bring back those heavily repressed memories of not being able to toss that god damned paper in time to grab the perfect score in Paperboy — great, here comes another round of therapy!