On February 1, 1991, John Romero, John Carmack, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack officially founded id Software. The group went on to revolutionize the game industry with franchises such as Wolfenstein , Doom , and Quake . Here’s a look back at id Software over the last 30 years, with a little help from those legendary developers. id Software: The House That Keen Built The story of id Software began in the late 1980s, when John Carmack, John Romero, Adrian Carmack (no relation to John), and Tom Hall developed games for a mail-order disk magazine company called Softdisk , located in Shreveport, Louisiana. After John Carmack devised a breakthrough scrolling technique for PC games in mid-1990, Hall, Romero, and Carmack created a new platform game— Commander Keen —based on the technology while secretly moonlighting at Softdisk. Soon the talented group began communicating with Scott Miller of Apogee Software , a pioneering shareware publisher. After some … [Read more...] about From Keen to Doom: id Software’s Founders Talk 30 Years of Gaming History
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Did you recently learn a new and exciting fact that you want to share with the world? Then you might want to use “TIL” to share that information. Here’s what the acronym means and how to use it. “Today I Learned” TIL stands for “today I learned.” People use it to share a fact that they recently learned. That fact could be something as simple as a new route on the way home, or it could be an obscure, interesting fact picked up on the internet. TIL is almost always spelled in all caps. It’s also frequently placed at the start of a sentence, immediately preceding the brand new piece of information. It can be used with a colon or a dash. For example, “TIL: Vatican City is the smallest country in the world.” RELATED: Celebrate Fortune Cookie Day with These Fun Facts The History of TIL Unlike other common internet slang terms that began in 1990s chatrooms and later spread into online vernacular, TIL’s history is much more recent. While its date of origin has been … [Read more...] about What Does “TIL” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
Thirty years ago—on January 15, 1991 —an American college student named Tim Sweeney released ZZT , a low-key adventure game with a revolutionary element: It shipped with a free, built-in game editor. ZZT’s success spawned Epic Games, Unreal Engine, and most recently, Fortnite . Here’s why ZZT was special. What’s a “ZZT,” Anyway? Tim Sweeney’s passion for programming began on his Apple II when he was a kid. After getting his first IBM PC in 1989 during his freshman year of college, he dove head-first into programming the new machine. While creating an MS-DOS text editor using Turbo Pascal in 1990, he decided to make the project more fun by adding game-like elements. That evolved into ZZT , which was released as shareware in 1991. The genius of ZZT in the early 1990s was that it wasn’t just a cute ASCII-based adventure. With every copy of ZZT downloaded, players also got an in-game world editor for free. That’s because ZZT’s text editor roots meant … [Read more...] about Before Fortnite, There Was ZZT: Meet Epic’s First Game
You might think that switching from Facebook Messenger to old-fashioned text messages would help protect your privacy. But standard SMS text messages aren’t very private or secure. SMS is like fax —an old, outdated standard that refuses to go away. Your Cellular Carrier Can See Your SMS Messages With SMS, messages you send are not end-to-end encrypted. Your cellular provider can see the contents of messages you send and receive. Those messages are stored on your cellular provider’s systems—so, instead of a tech company like Facebook seeing your messages, your cellular provider can see your messages. Cellular carriers store the contents of those messages for various amounts of time . Messages are often only retained for several days, but they store metadata (which number sent a message to which number, and at what time) for even longer. These records could be subject to subpoena in legal proceedings—for example, text message records are a common form of evidence in divorce … [Read more...] about Why SMS Text Messages Aren’t Private or Secure
Microsoft released Windows CE in November 1996 as a new version of Windows. Designed to run pocket-sized computers, CE brought the user-friendly Windows 95 interface to mobile computing for the first time. Its architecture also formed the basis of Microsoft’s later mobile computing and smartphone products. Here’s why it was needed. A Compact, Portable Version of Windows Windows CE was necessary because full desktop versions of Windows, then tied mostly to the Intel x86 CPU architecture, weren’t practical to run on the pocket-sized devices of the time. As a result, Windows CE represented an entirely different platform from its desktop OS cousins. It couldn’t run programs designed for Windows 95 or Windows NT. Windows CE’s design emphasized low power usage, compatibility with flash memory storage, and relatively low memory requirements. It also retained a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) similar to Windows 95 , complete with the Start menu, and even a built-in … [Read more...] about What Was Windows CE, and Why Did People Use It?