Monday, September 19, 2011

Will the Eighties Never Die?

Things are going to be a little quiet on the Chrontendo front in the immediate future. Chrontendo is currently on hold (not on "hiatus" or anything of that nature.)  I've recently put together a new PC, and it will take a little while to get everything set up.  Having gone from Windows XP to 64-bit Windows 7, I now have to unlearn many habits and learn the peculiarities of the new OS.  I still haven't figured out how to add a "show desktop" button on the taskbar.  And, having to reinstall programs means having to deal with all sorts of missing DLLs and whatnot.

On top of all this, I feel sort of unfashionable by having a huge, clunky desktop computer.  We are repeatedly informed that we are now in the "tablet age" of computing, and that powerful desktop machines are a thing of past.  Everything is now done through online applications and cloud computing.  Supposedly everyone loves the iPads, but I have no idea what I would do with it if I had one.

Also, we are in the middle of getting our roof replaced, and have been getting quotes from contractors for the last two weeks.  Do you know what Dr. Sparkle just loves doing? Writing checks for amounts with lots of zeroes on the end. Hooray.

Earlier, I posted a terrifying picture of an old man in leather pants. You may be wondering, "Dr. Sparkle, why did you make us look at that horrible picture of that scary old man?" The story behind this is that my wife dragged me to a Human League/Men Without Hats show the other week.  Yes, you heard that correctly, I just went to Men-Without-Fucking-Hats concert.  The dude in the leather pants is the guy from Men Without Hats, and he was dressed in that exact same outfit when I saw them, right down to the little bitty cowboy hat (irony?)

Pic from here.

Both bands were operating in the "one original member" mode.  To be fair, this line-up of Human League featured the three vocalists from the second version of the band, when they were producing all their hits.  MWH consisted of the singer and three hired instrumentalists. Strangely, I was more curious to see MWH than Human League, simply because I had no idea of what sort of band they really were.  When you think "Men Without Hats," what pops into your head?  Probably a dwarf jester dancing around.

They turned out to be fairly standard synth-pop band fronted by a guy who pranced around on the stage looking like a gayer version of Bono. At two separate points during the show, he did a dance move thing were he pretended to be popping imaginary bubbles floating in the air.

Human League, the headliners, were the *better* band, I suppose.  At least they had a drummer.  The main dude (who was once known for his wacky hair style and is now completely bald) came out dressed in a black leather raincoat buttoned up around his neck, a hoodie obscuring almost all of his face and a pair of sunglasses.  He was suffering from the delusion that he was Banksy, I guess.  Or maybe it was some sort of comment on the London riots.  One of the singers was a skeletally thin woman wearing a Euro-trashy evening dress thing and an absurd amount of sparkly bracelets, earrings, tiaras, and shit.  All three singers did a few outfit changes throughout the show. I couldn't tell of the whole thing was supposed to be ironic or not.  Despite having sat through an entire Human League show, I still have no conception of what Human League is supposed to be about.

Pic from here.

I should point out the show was at an Indian casino, and took place in a room the size of a small theater/large bar.  I'll charitably describe the room as "two-thirds full."  It was a very odd venue to see show and the room seemed more like it was more suited for a real-estate seminar or something.

Sorry for taking up your time with non-video game related stuff.  There should be an Episode 41 related update before too long.  Also, I should start posting older episodes of Chrontendo on Youtube in the near future.


Anonymous said...

There's already a Show Desktop button on the taskbar :)

In the corner to the right of the clock

qaylIS aka Nicolas Deußer said...

Don't get me startet on the iPad, its a religious thing people like that shit. Everytime I have remotely to do with Apple on a professionel level I realize that Apple Products use aesthetics over design and usability. And the apple alone cost 300 bucks at least. I had bought an iPod once, and I have to say it is the worst Music-Player I ever used. If you compare it with older Hard Disc Players it is inferior in allmost every category, except the display, which was really good.
I hope Apple dies. Horribly.

Canageek said...

Down with tablets, up with real computers!

Cornervizion said...

Sorry for dropping the odd-post the last few months as I'm still trying to sort out my net-access.
But I wanted to drop a line to say that I've been enjoying the last few episodes. The 1988 Computer and Arcade round-up along with the explaination of Skate Or Die's controls were my personal highlights. And it's also great to see Chronturbo appear too.

Re: The recent concert. It's great to see the old 80's pop bands still doing the rounds. I only heard of "Men Without Hats" from them being once mentioned in a Simpsons episode. And I must confess, being an 80's music afficianado I'm a big Soft Cell/Marc Almond fan and have saw him a few times in my hometown. I'd love to have seen the Human League. So I was a bit jealous about you seeing them :-)

One last note, Regarding Apple, Qaylls is spot-on I wouldn't touch any of their products with a barge-pole. The whole DRM issue is a contributing factor to this. (Same goes for the Steam service too!)

Lady Jaye said...

Ivan, the lead singer of Men Without Hats, released a techno album a few years ago that was met with negative reviews. The bubble thing you refer must have been during "Pop Goes the World", the band's other big hit (at least here in his hometown).

Re. computer change, I did the same thing as you recently, replacing an old P4 Dell tower running XP Pro with a new i5 tower running Win 7 Home 64 bits. It's day and night with the old computer in terms of speed. When it comes to video editing, a desktop is a must (unless you're willing to pay a lot more for a laptop that's powerful enough to do the work).

Chris Sobieniak said...

I miss the 80's!

Chozo said...

Heh, my wife wants to drag me to that very same show. The bands are coming our way in a couple of weeks. But I've already got big plans to see if I can beat Contra without using the code.

Doctor Sparkle said...

Wow! There really is a Show Desktop there. With my settings, it appears simply as a tiny, unlabled rectangle in the corner of the screen. How the hell could anyone be expected to know what that button does? Thanks for the tip.

LJ - One of songs was "Pop Goes the World" but the dude also did the same bubble-popping moves for another song, which was something about bubbles and rainbows, I think.

I have nothing against 80s synth music - but I think most of it works better on record. Especially nowadays, where such shows tend to feature guys staring at Mac Books. Say what you will about Apple, they have the musicians market locked down.

The new computer is pretty darned fast, and I'll probably have a video about it at some point.

Anonymous said...

I think most people notice that "show desktop" button the same way I did - accidentally moving the mouse into that corner and having the desktop appear. I've always been a [Windows]+D user, myself.

RE: Synthpop bands with one original performer still milking their one hit single, I find it sad how common a practice it is. I guess it's better when it's at least the songwriter that's out there performing it, as opposed to the bands that "re-form" without THE key member (Queen, the Doors, I hear Sublime is back in action).

GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

I'm a huge fan of eighties synthpop. Not a massive Human League enthusiast, though. Sure, Dare is swell, but aside from a few singles here and there, I find most of their other material pretty weak. I much prefer the Human League splinter group, Heaven 17. They, perhaps tied with Ultravox, are my favorites.

Men without Hats is definitely underrated, though. Not that everything they ever did was great, but they surely deserve to be remembered for more than just "Safety Dance." Pop Goes the World is great album, start to finish. Every single track sounds like it shoulda been a hit single.

Alexander said...

You are right. I totally agree with you, qayllS.

Anonymous said...

I watch your videos on my Ipad at night in bed and I find them comforting :)

DXS said...

Good luck with your ew set-u Dr.S.I'maMac-head, but not an iPad freak: frankly I don't understand the appeal whatever.

If it was a tablet Mac running OSX 10.5, that would be brill, but it isn't, so it sucks IMHO.I'm not big on the entire tablet genre: I use desktops, laptops and netbook systems, and a PDA. I don't see the need for a giant PDA unless it matches what i can do with a netbook or laptop, and they don't do it for me.

I do prefer OSX for graphics, publishing and video; Windoze for CAD, and Linux for very geeky stuff, like encryption. I don't advocate any one over the other these days, especially as you can run all three on the same, fairly generic hardware now without little extra effort.

Anyhow, I hope you get back in the saddle soon... I miss my Chrontendo-series fix. I actually just downloaded Ep-02 of Chronturbo: It's not much of my cup of tea (too new, and mostly generic sports titles at that stage) but I need something to fill the void.

You do have some amazing NES & Famicom games in store for you soon though, including one of my personal top picks for the console ("New Ghostbusters II", Japan, 26-12-1990/Europe ??-??-1990), not to mention a Tetris-a-thon, with puzzle games in every direction about to burst at the seams on the console, and some really good RPGs.

If you want any advice on any titles to give more love 9and screen time), feel free to write.

The Professor said...

GAH! This wait is killing me. I need my Chrontendo!

qaylIS aka Nicolas Deußer said...

I just wanted to watch that Saefety Dance Video, to kill some time...but it is geoblocked in germany, cause of GEMA (for your interest, look here:ür_musikalische_Aufführungs-_und_mechanische_Vervielfältigungsrechte ). Sometimes it sucks to live in germany... .

Doctor Sparkle said...

New Ghostbusters II? A Hudson game, apparently? Never heard of it, but now I'm curious.

qaylIS - Are folks in the BRD not able to use VTunnel or something to watch forbidden videos on Youtube? In the case of Safety Dance, it's probably best you avoid that video, since it's goddamned annoying.