Wingnuts have been following LOAF's adventures to build the perfect Pentium, Macintosh and Amiga over the last year, but the question has loomed - what's next? Well, in short, it's another DOS-based machine, but it's also so much more! Due to the vast array of special hardware that PC Wing Commanders are compatible with, it's become impractical to keep them all going on one machine. This also presents an opportunity to build an ideal rig for the earlier games that run too fast on higher end computers. But I'm not doing the story justice - follow the real adventure at the CIC Forums here! The fun is just about to begin. And for those on the bleeding edge of the Internet, track the action on Tumblr.
What ever happened to Bandit LOAF?
When we last left our hero, he was on the top of the world. The Amiga had returned from New Zealand and been lovingly reconstructed, a thoroughly unnecessary VR helmet sat atop Karga's yellowed frame... all was right with the world.
One part of the story you didn't hear is that Karga is not the happiest computer in the world today. As the man who would be Maniac said: you bojo, those boards don't work on water. Unless you got power. And I don't, at all. The VR helmet's bizarre USB competitor, Access.BUS (real thing!), sucks so much juice down a weird hole that Karga can't power her lengthy joystick-and-keyboard mess.
Add to that the issue of Wing Commander I, II and Privateer 2 running too quickly. There was hope early on that Mario would create patches, but he's bogged down with other projects and parts of his life that don't involve Wing Commander (?!) So it's time for an executive decision. And that decision is: split Karga in two and give one half to each villager.
Karga will remain the idealized Wing Commander Prophecy machine, featuring a Soundblaster Live, 3dfx card and so on. All the DOS toys will go to a new computer, to be named. And this is the story of how we build that computer. The ideal candidate should be able to run Wing Commander I to Wing Commander IV with enough ISA slots to handle some of my oddities. Maybe even so many ISA cards I can do something more. I haven't even properly specced it out. This is seat of the pants stuff right now.
Which brings us to the turbo button.
What's a turbo button, you ask? That's a stupid question, you exclaim angrily in response to my assuming you would ask that question. It's obviously a button that makes things turbo! Well hah-hah, smartass, you're completely wrong. It's actually a button that makes things SLOWER.
Now I know what you're thinking: knowing that, why would anyone ever press the turbo button? Under what circmstances would you possibly not want your computer to be as fast as possible? Well, people are dumb. But that isn't the reason. In the early days of personal computing, processor power multiplied far more quickly than software had been designed to cope with. So when your office upgraded to blazing new 286 computers sometimes the fifty thousand dollar custom spreadsheet program built for your IBM ATs just didn't run anymore. Thus, the turbo button.