When I was a child, I was a warrior. I fought many battles with PC games I wanted to play, waged on the blue fields of a DOS editor. My weapons were HIMEM, EMM386, and time. The war was long, and difficult, but like many who’ve been through war, I look back at it with fondness. I miss it. These days, shit just works, and that makes me nostalgic for the days when it didn’t.

The most infamous battle I fought was actually not with Tie Fighter, as today’s comic depicts, but with the game NHL 1998. It was the first game in the NHL series that “boasted” 3dfx Glide support. I put “boasted” in quotes there because that’s really not something you want to boast about. I spent a solid week getting the game to work with my video card, and when I finally saw that sweet EA logo come up on the monitor, I screamed in joy, and then turned it off. I didn’t bother playing the game; I had already beat it.

I think this kind of experience is important. It makes you appreciate the fact that these days, you don’t need to fight with extended memory, IRQ, DMA, MSCDEX and the like to make things work. If I ever have children, I fully intend to give them, as their first computer, an old 386 computer with a 3dfx card, 4mb of ram, and NHL 1998. It will be a test. If they succeed in getting it to work, they’ll get a newer computer. If they fail, they never get to use a computer again. MSN, Windows 7, and the internet must be earned with blood, sweat, and crying.

The war must never be forgotten.

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