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Crowther's Original Adventure Source Code Found 309

Posted by kdawson
from the hollow-voice-says-plugh dept.
drxenos writes "I don't know how many of you are fans of old-school text adventures (interactive fiction), but Will Crowther's original Fortran source code has been located in a backup of Don Woods's old student account. For fans like me, this is like finding the Holy Grail."
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Crowther's Original Adventure Source Code Found

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:14AM (#20223229)
    4chan is responsible. Who else would call FORTRAN a "text adventure"?
    • by pla (258480) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:37AM (#20223389) Journal
      Who else would call FORTRAN a "text adventure"?

      Well, calling it a "programming language" certainly qualifies as "fantasy"... ;-)



      / Props to HPF, though
      // Still wouldn't use it unless forced to at gunpoint
      • by White Yeti (927387) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @09:04AM (#20224231) Homepage Journal
        program smite_em
        c-----
              IMPLICIT NONE      ! Catch typos and un-initialized variables.
              integer       IERR_smite
              character*200 ch_name
        c-----
              write(6,1)
        1     FORMAT(/,' This is one smiting program!',/,
             &   '   Enter name of smitee --> ',$)
              read(*,fmt='(A)') ch_name

              DO while(.TRUE.)   ! Endless smiting loop.
                 call smite(ch_name, IERR_smite)
                 if(IERR_smite.GT.0) goto 20
              End DO             ! smite loop.
        20    CONTINUE

              write(*,*)' Done smiting.'
              if(IERR_smite.LT.0) then
                 write(6,2) IERR_smite
        2        FORMAT(' ***Possible smiting error, IERR_smite = ',I)
              endif
              STOP
              END
        c-----
        c End of Main.
        c-----
      • Hey, stop picking on Fortran. Sure it's a lame language, but it has an excuse: it's very old now, and didn't know any better at the time, when computer science was young.

        PHP is MUCH WORSE than Fortran, yet it was written many years later. The foolish PHP implementors had no excuse to make such a horrible language. They could have learned from the mistakes of the past, but instead they repeated them much worse, and added many original mistakes that nobody had even been stupid enough to make before.

        -Do

  • rogue for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fifedrum (611338)
    yeah, can't say I'm anything other than a rogue, nethack, moria, umoria fan. the modern games with their "animation" and "pictures" and "sound" are just too easy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:16AM (#20223235)
    Increased memory (both RAM & Disc storage) availability has allowed us to make our code more readable.
    I looked at the various FORTRAN files and am amazed at the spaghetti GOTO maze which, although messy, was probably the only way to do things in FORTRAN at the time with no structuring capability.


    A random example:

    IF(K.NE.1) MASK1="177*M2(K)
            IF(((A(J).XOR."201004020100).AND.MASK1).EQ.0)GOTO 3
            IF(S.EQ.0) GOTO 2


    Wow! Is that the opposite of self-documenting code or what?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Holy Grail? More like finding the Arc of the Covenant. As it's being opened.

      Looking upon this madness leads only to ruin!
    • by SIGBUS (8236) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:26AM (#20223305) Homepage
      So maybe the inspiration for the "maze of twisty little passages, all alike" wasn't Mammoth Cave, it was the code itself.
    • Um, could you repost that please? It seems your original post got corrupted somehow. All I see is gibberish where the code should be.
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Yes, holy goto madness! I don't even understand the goto statements here:

      GOTO (5014,5000,2026,2010)KQ
              PAUSE 'NO NO'
      2026 JVERB=K
              JSPK=JSPKT(JVERB)
              IF(JTWO.NE.0)GOTO 2028
              IF(JOBJ.EQ.0)GOTO 2036
      2027 GOTO(9000,5066,3000,5031,2009,5031,9404,9406,5081, 5200,
              1 5200,5300,5506,5502,5504,5505)JVERB
      • by LMacG (118321) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @08:00AM (#20223607) Journal
        Ah, the old computed GOTO. In the first line, the value of KQ is used as an index to the list of labels. If KQ=1, GOTO 5014, if KQ=2, GOTO 5000, etc. etc. If KQ is outside the range (0 or greater than 4), then no GOTO is performed, so you'd hit the PAUSE statement. Looks like it's essentially saying "this shouldn't happen".

        2027 is similar, there's just a lot more possible values. That rogue 1 is a continuation indicator, it would have been in column 6 on your punch card.
        • by PCM2 (4486)
          AppleSoft BASIC had something similar that I used to write adventure games for the Apple ][:

          ON KQ GOTO 5014,5000,...
          (where KQ was an integer variable)
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ajs318 (655362)
            British BASIC dialects had something even better.

            The TRULY calculated GOTO/GOSUB statement!

            On a Beeb or Speccy, you could quite happily write stuff like

            50 INPUT A
            55 IF A<1 OR A>5 THEN GOTO 50
            60 GOTO 900+100*A


            This sort of thing didn't work on machines running Microsoft BASIC (which even used to throw a hissy fit if you tried to GOTO a non-existent line number. Beebs and Speccies just carried on from the next higher line number. Meant you could aim GOTO statements at REM statements without
            • by PCM2 (4486)
              If I remember right, Apple Integer BASIC (the version, written by Woz, that shipped in ROM on the original Apple II) would let you to GOTO A (where A was a variable). The Apple ][+ and later used Applesoft BASIC (based on Microsoft code), which removed the capability. But that's just a fleeting memory... I could be totally wrong.

              The decimal line numbering IS totally classic, though. Integer BASIC on the Apple had one main disadvantage when compared to Applesoft BASIC, and that was that all numbers were inte
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by fm6 (162816)

                ...written by Woz...
                Please. It's "The Woz".
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by ajs318 (655362)
                The Lynx was very much the exception, even in the UK (where most people wrote their own BASIC rather than licence one from Microsoft). It had no concept at all of integers; every number was stored within the program as a floating-point number (and only rendered at display time). If you used "2.5E4" for a line number, it would show up in any LISTing as 25000, because 25000 has few enough digits not to need to be displayed in scientific notation. If you used PEEK, you'd see instead of the ASCII codes for
      • That last GOTO would be like this in BASIC:

        2027 ON JVERB GOTO 9000,5066,3000,5031,2009,5031,9404,9406,5081,5200, 5200,5300,5506,5502,5504,5505

        i.e. a multiple-branch GOTO where the destination depends on the value of JVERB. That extra "1" on the second line indicatates that line 2027 got split over two physical lines; FORTRAN dates back to the days of 80-column punch cards.

    • by akheron01 (637033)
      Hah, if you guys think this is bad I'll bet you've never tried writing a game assembly more gotos than a billy g basic game
    • by junge_m (410514) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @08:20AM (#20223821) Homepage
      This is why the grandmaster of 'Literate Programming', Donald Knuth, has done a translation into his CWEB Language which is totaly devoid of jumps and other 'dirty' Fortan:
      http://www.literateprogramming.com/adventure.pdf [literateprogramming.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Wow! Is that the opposite of self-documenting code or what?

      Well...it doesn't *look* like Perl...

      • by ajs318 (655362)
        In perl, the relevant construct would be more like

        goto +(9000,5066,3000,5031,2009,5031,9404,9406,5081, 5200,5200,5300,5506,5502,5504,5505)[$jverb];

        (You need the + to force the expression to be evaluated in a scalar context. In perl 5, unary + coerces to scalar. In perl 6, if it's ever released, unary + will coerce to numeric and unary ~ -- the tilde is the "new" string-joining operator, taking the place of . which is now used instead of -> -- will coerce to string. Presumably there's a whole new
        • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @11:40AM (#20226303) Homepage Journal
          Yeah, Perl has gotos (computed and otherwise) but it also has block structure. Which is why few Perl programmers ever have occasion to write a goto. (I don't think I ever have.) Perl's readability problems are exactly the opposite of FORTRAN's. Where FORTRAN's designers knew too little about artificial language theory, Perl's designers know way too much! Indeed, Larry Wall started out as a linguist, and can't seem to stop dreaming up clever language constructs. The result is a language that has a nasty tendency to bring out the poet in the programmer. Why is that a bad thing? Because, as any English 101 student will tell you, reading poetry is hard work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
      Wow! Is that the opposite of self-documenting code or what?

      I would call it self-obfuscating.
    • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @10:01AM (#20224957) Homepage Journal
      Memory is not the issue here. Turbo Pascal was designed to run in a single 64K 8086 segment, and Pascal is the quintessential block-structured language. The real problem is that the designers of FORTRAN were totally ignorant of the principles of language design. They could hardly be otherwise: FORTRAN was the very first high-level language.

      But here's a sobering thought: Dijkstra launched his attack on the goto statement [acm.org] in 1968. Every programmer who's grown up with block structured languages would take it as a given that Dijkstra was right. But at the time, the concept was extremely controversial, and there was a lot of resistance — as evidenced by the fact that Crowther and Wood were still using computed gotos in 1976!
    • by russotto (537200) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @10:39AM (#20225469) Journal
      The code you're quoting isn't grossly messy because of the GOTO statements. It's grossly messy because PDP-10 Fortran didn't have a CHARACTER type -- instead, you could pack 5 characters to a 36-bit integer, with the low-bit unused. The M2 array contained integer masks with one bit set, the low bit of one of the characters. Multiplying that mask by octal 177 got you a mask which selected a single character, except for the first character where the multiplication would overflow. The octal constant 201004020100 is 5 space characters. The "S" flag indicated whether a space had been found yet.


      So the little snippet you posted goes to label 3 if the current character (selected by J for the integer and K for the character within the integer) is a space, and to 2 if no space has been found yet, and continues without branching if a space has been found but the current character is not a space.


      If A were, more sensibly, a character array, the above would be written as

                      IF(A(J:J).EQ.' ')GOTO 3
                      IF(S.EQ.0) GOTO 2

      which is no problem to read at all, despite the gotos.

  • by Smallpond (221300) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:17AM (#20223253) Homepage Journal
    I once wrote a script to find and delete copies of this and the star trek game due to the limited disk space on our PDP-11/70. It had to compare file contents because the sneaky bastards would change the file names to something like TPSRPORT.DOC to hide them.
    • by dmpyron (1069290) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @10:51AM (#20225601)
      I've got a box of cards (two, actually. Two and half, really. You could never get all the cards back into the box). All I need is a card reader and a 360/65 with OS 360 and TSO and I'm set for life.

      I've also got a programming card for an 029 and COBOL.

      We were the sneaky bastards that used to put random comments and unused character strings into the code to thwart people like you. Then I graduated and became a people like you. And was constantly thwarted by people like me.

      OS 360, RSX11D, RSX11M, VMS. RIP.
  • by ArcadeX (866171) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:24AM (#20223283)
    Had to go to wiki [wikipedia.org] for this one...

    William ("Willie" or "Will") Crowther (born 1936) is a computer programmer and caver. He is best known as the co-creator of Colossal Cave Adventure, a seminal computer game that influenced the first decade of game design and created a new game genre, text adventures.

    [edit] Biography
    During the early 1970s Crowther worked at defense contractor and Internet pioneer Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN). Following his divorce from his wife Patricia, Crowther began using his spare time to develop a simple text-based adventure game in FORTRAN on BBN's PDP-10. He created it as a diversion his daughters Sandy and Laura could enjoy when they came to visit. (Montfort, 2003, pp. 85-87)

    In Adventure, the player moves around an imaginary cave system by entering simple, two-word commands and reading text describing the result. Crowther used his extensive knowledge of cave exploration as a basis for the game play, and there are many similarities between the locations in the game and those in Mammoth Cave, particularly its Bedquilt section. (Montfort, 2003, p. 88) In 1975 Crowther released the game on the early ARPANET system, of which BBN was a prime contractor. (Montfort, 2003, p. 89)

    In the Spring of 1976, he was contacted by Stanford researcher Don Woods, seeking his permission to enhance the game. Crowther agreed, and Woods developed several enhanced versions on a PDP-10 housed in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) where he worked. (Montfort, 2003, p. 89) Over the following decade the game gained in popularity, being ported to many operating systems, including personal-computer platform CP/M.

    The basic game structure invented by Crowther (and based in part on the example of the ELIZA text parser) was carried forward by the designers of later adventure games. Marc Blank and the team that created the Zork adventures cite Adventure as the title that inspired them to create their game. They later founded Infocom and published a series of popular text adventures.

    The location of the game in Colossal Cave was not a coincidence. Will and his first wife Pat Crowther were active and dedicated cavers in the 1960s and early 1970s--both were part of many expeditions to connect the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems. Pat played a key role in the September 9, 1972 expedition that finally made the connection. (Brucker, 1976, p. 299)

    Will has also played an important role in the development of rock climbing in the Shawangunks in New York State. He began climbing there in the 1950s and continues to climb today. He made the first ascent of several classic routes including Arrow, Hawk, Moonlight, and Senté. Some of these routes sparked controversy because protection bolts were placed on rappel; a new tactic that Crowther and a several others began to use at the time. The community reaction to this technique was an important part of the evolution of climbing ethics in the Shawangunks and beyond.
  • Holy Grail (Score:2, Insightful)

    by biocute (936687)
    I digged out my Transformers toys when the movie was out, but playing with them doesn't give me the same thrill as they did 20 years ago.

    This, is probably the same.
    • by raddan (519638)
      Case in point: I rediscovered Scott Adams' text adventure stuff a few years ago. I grew up playing those games on my TI99/4A. I fondly remember playing Strange Odyssey and Pirate Adventure, thinking that games couldn't have gotten better than this. Anyway, games I spent weeks chugging through when I was a kid, I plowed through in about a half-hour. Fun, but not quite the same thing anymore. Another one, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, though hilarious to me when I was a kid, is now mostly annoying (s
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by FauxPasIII (75900)
      > I digged out my Transformers toys when the movie was out, but playing with them doesn't give me the same thrill as they did 20 years ago.

      Then your fandom is WEAK.
      /me cuddles his masterpiece edition Optimus Prime
  • at last! (Score:4, Funny)

    by pbjones (315127) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:25AM (#20223295)
    I may print it out and use it for wall paper. or etch it on silicon.
  • but fortunately I had the source.

    --
    phunctor
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe a lot of today's nerds are too young to remember, but ADVENT was one of the most important computer games ever written. Its influence is still with us today, from mere hacker jargon to standard features of many modern games. Scoff if you want, but this discovery has historical significance. There has been a great deal of speculation and debate over the years about Crowther's and Woods's relative contributions to the game, and Crowther's source code puts numerous questions to rest. If the history of co
  • An old copy of Creative Computing magazine had a spoof edition which, among other amusements, (IIRC) listed the entire source code for Adventure. I have it in storage somewhere; will dig it out this week and see if it matches TFA's discovery.
    • by drxenos (573895)
      I doubt it, as this version is before Woods turned it into a game (The original Crowther's version was just a simulation for his kids). But please do dig it out. I have made a hobby out of collecting all the various versions of Adventure (and also Zork--AKA Dungeon--,and Rogue).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mr2001 (90979)

        I doubt it, as this version is before Woods turned it into a game (The original Crowther's version was just a simulation for his kids).
        Not true, RTFA [uiuc.edu]! It explains that Crowther's original had puzzles and fantasy elements, intentionally changed parts of the map, and was designed with adults in mind.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Crowther's original was a game, and you can play it for yourself. Matthew Russoto tweaked the recovered source code so that it will compile under g77.

          http://www.russotto.net/~russotto/ADVENT/ [russotto.net] ... and David Kinder published a Windows executable.

          http://www.ifarchive.org/if-archive/unprocessed/ad v_crowther_win.zip [ifarchive.org]

          That file will move eventually... you will probably be able to find it from here:

          http://www.wurb.com/if/person/2 [wurb.com]

          There are also photos of the inside of the real Colossal Cave, including photos of what
        • by drxenos (573895)
          I did RTFA. I'm the one who ask for it to be posted here. Crowther's didn't write it be a "game" in the typical sense. He was going through a divorce and was missing his daughters. He was a spelunker and wrote a simulation of Mammoth Cave for them to play to be "closer" to them. He did not write it with adults in mind!
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            Crowther also had adult playtesters, including his sister (who asked for a cheat code, leading to the invention of "XYZZY") and his colleagues at BBN. One of the vocabulary words it recognizes is "f*ck". Woods added the scoring and reincarnation system, a timer, and the game's conclusion. But Crowther's version had treasures, simple puzzles, basic combat, and magic (the crystal bridge, teleportation). Crowther's version was definitely a game. It's all in the Digital Humanities Quarterly article.
            • by drxenos (573895)
              I didn't mean that it wasn't "game" per se. What I was trying to convey is that it not the same as what people are use to finding floating around the web, in magazines or other sources. What people are use to seeing are incarnations after Don Wood's took it and expanded it into a "real" game. That's why I think this is a valuable find, because it predates Mr. Wood's changes. I've collections many, many versions over the years. This is like none of them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slapout (93640)
      The text of some issues of Creative Computing magazine: http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/index/ [atarimagazines.com]

      Not sure if they have the issue you mention though.
  • by scottsk (781208) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:44AM (#20223449) Homepage
    The adventure source is a great find. I've been looking for the Scheme source tarball from the 1986-1987 period (i.e. when SICP was still new) for over a year, with no success. The changelog is online, and shows the work that was done in that period, but none of the tarballs still exists. Anyone have a Scheme distribution tarball from late 1987? I would like to run the code from that time along with the book to do screen captures, etc for something I'm working on.
  • Fight the power (Score:2, Informative)

    by ShawnCplus (1083617)
    Even though they are obviously overtaken by Graphical MMOs like WoW, MUDs are still fairly prevalent. There are still thousands of active MUDs/MUSHs/MOOs/BBSs and (extremely hard to calculate accurately) roughly 15,000 active players in the community.
    • by Rhys (96510)
      I'm continually amazed that I still get email from folks trying to install pieces of MUSH code I wrote nearly 10 years ago. As far as I know it would still work on the most recent version of PennMUSH, even if it is missing some key pieces of code (ex: chargen).
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ShawnCplus (1083617)
        I wouldn't really be surprised even though Diku and SMAUG are the most prevalent there are a lot of PennMUSH servers out there. Though people have destroyed Richard Woolcock's Godwars codebase and flooded the proverbial market with them I'm continually amazed at innovations people make in new games and many times I come across some that are much more complex than any graphical MMO. Richard Woolcock's Godwars 2/Gladiator Pits 3 codebase is insanely complex and has a fighting system that's richer and deeper t
  • At Last! (Score:3, Funny)

    by corby (56462) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @08:07AM (#20223675)
    Now, I will finally be able to unlock the Hot Coffee mod.
  • EAMON!!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WED Fan (911325) <akahigeNO@SPAMtrashmail.net> on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @08:31AM (#20223905) Homepage Journal

    This was fun. I remember running it on a teletype terminal in programming class (damn, thats old) BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. You couldn't do a quick CLS to hide the evidence when the instructor came by, "Do you think paper grows on trees?" he yell. Of course all was forgiven when we showed him our course work was done. Then, he made us write our own dungeon code.

    Much later, Don Brown(?) came out with EAMON [wikipedia.org], with a write your own framework. Fun fun fun.

  • For those of you who don't want to read through the google groups archive (I recommend you do, but this is slashdot), here are some relevant links:
    Original source, ported to g77 [russotto.net]
    The above, compiled as a windows binary [ifarchive.org]
  • ...the version that was available for the IBM PC? It was one of the original programs available on the PC and was, presumably ported, by that little company that provides DOS, Microsoft. In a nod to the future of DRM, it was also the first program I came across that was "copy protected"; you could make a single copy and then that was it.

    Man, that game was just so much freaking fun; I can still see that little bird driving the snake away to this day.

    XYZZY forever, baby!
    • by drxenos (573895)
      Yes, I have it. It created by Softwin Associates and published by MS. I also have the version they did for the Apple II (same DRM crap). There are "boot-loader" versions floating around the web. I also have another version for the Apple (I think done by Applesoft). No DRM, per se, but the disk is tricky to load and copy because it was a 13-sector disk.
  • For those who are interested, a C version of the game is part of OpenBSD:
    ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/src/games/advent ure [openbsd.org]

    I first played Adventure in 1979 via a TI Silent 700 [texasinstr...epairs.com] thermal paper terminal (with built in 300 baud acoustic modem) connected to a PDP-11/83 [pdp11.co.uk] running Seventh Edition UNIX [wikipedia.org] at Bell Labs. Yep, I'm that old.
  • by SimHacker (180785) * on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @09:41AM (#20224707) Homepage Journal

    Zork was the reason I got on the ARPANET, back around 1980 or so. I was using Bruce's Northstar BBS that had an adventure game that Bruce had written in Basic, and he told me how to play Zork: first, dial up the NBS TIP, connect to MIT-AI (the command was "@L 134", because the ARPANET had 8 bit host numbers, and AI was 134), and apply for an account to learn Lisp. Once that was granted, I connected to MIT-DM ("@L 70"), and logged in as URANUS, password RINGS, used :CHUNAME to change my user name, and waited until one of the two people playing Zork quit, to take their slot. Later somebody told me the magic words to use to get an account on DM, so I applied for my own account on DM, claiming that I wanted to "Learn MDL for calculus and algebraic applications". The source code to Zork was well hidden. DM ran a weird version of ITS that had some kind of file security or cloaking, it was rumored. I was always looking for the Zork sources, but never found it on DM.

    Years later I googled for a unique phrase that was only in the original DM version of Zork, and this URL popped up: http://retro.co.za/adventure/zork-mdl/ [retro.co.za]

    The original MDL source to Zork is really beautiful code that's almost as fun to read as it was to play. I had discovered a bug in the InfoCom version of Zork, which turned out to be in the original sources. When you're fighting the troll who's wielding an Axe, you can give anything to the troll and he will eat it. So I tried "give axe to troll" and he ate his axe, then cowered in the corner! Better yet you can go "give troll to troll" and he will eat himself and disappear, unfortunately not clearing the troll flag that is required to leave the room, so if you try to leave it prints a message saying the troll fends you off with a menacing gesture, and stops you from leaving. Sure enough, in the original sources [retro.co.za], there is a troll flag!

    -Don

  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @09:45AM (#20224757) Journal
    Along with Adventure, we spent a lot of time on a VAX 11/785 (I believe) playing a game called Hunt. It was multiplayer and each screen showed a top-down section of the maze you were in, like larn, only past that it was like a FPS -- you wandered around, finding ammo, then shooting at other players you saw, using different weapons. A certain amount of ammo let you shoot a bullet, somewhat more a grenade, somewhat more yet an enormous blast that blew up part of the maze, and a whole lot of ammo let you shoot napalm, that ran along corridors without destroying anything (but would pursue people who were running.) I've been trying to find the sourcecode for it for years but haven't even found anyone who has heard of it. Anyone here?
  • I'm probably going to get modded as either flamebait or troll for saying this, but I really fail to see the attraction here. As I see it, although the original code might be desirable to keep around as a reference for historical purposes, the state of the art in program design has advanced well beyond what that program has implemented. I'm not talking about the lack of any graphics or fancy features, what I mean is that this old code is almost structureless, difficult to understand, and appears virtually
    • by drxenos (573895) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @11:09AM (#20225851)
      I think you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. Do not look at its merits as a program, especially when compared to modern day games. Imagine you were a coin collector, and happened across an old coin thought to not even exist anymore. Or a comic collector finding a MINT copy of Detective #27 (there are no known mint copies). That is what it is like for me as a collector. Granted it does not have the monetary value of my examples, but money is not the point. It the historical value, and nostalgia for me.
  • by Da VinMan (7669) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @01:24PM (#20227661)
    This site is really slow right now, but at a mere 68 KB, this old gem is worth a look.

    Have a look:
    http://www.ifarchive.org/if-archive/unprocessed/ad v_crowther_win.zip [ifarchive.org]

    Not my work BTW. Credit goes to the crew on rec.arts.int-fiction.
  • by Mr. Protocol (73424) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @04:16PM (#20230175)
    This story mildly creeps me out.

    I worked down the hall from Willie Crowther when I was at BBN, and I asked him about why he wrote it ("I had some ideas on parsing response analysis I wanted to try"). I think I at least used to have a copy of the Fortran source code salted away on my account somewhere, though I'd probably have a problem laying my hands on it now. I just wasn't aware that anyone was looking for it.

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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