Tuesday, October 4, 2016

RC2016/10: Challenge proposal

I know I'm a little late on joining the Retrochallenge, but I've been dealing with the flu the past few days, so I haven't really had the energy or state of mind to write up my proposal.  But here I am, better late than never!

For this challenge, I'm going to try something different than my last few entries.  Instead of a programming challenge, I'm going to try for a bit more of a nostalgia trip.  For the month of October, I'm going on an extended flashback to the early 90's with DOS and Windows 3.1.  My original concept for this challenge was to only use DOS/Windows 3.1 for everything non-work related, but I quickly determined that just wasn't feasible.  The web is just too big a part of our lives now, and the lack of strong encryption and support for modern web standards makes a lot of it inaccessible.

So I'm going to take a middle road.  Although I'll still be using my iMac for my online surfing, I'm going to perform several specific tasks using DOS and/or Windows 3.1 and blog about those.  The tasks will be:

  1. Manage my personal budget.  I currently do this in Google Sheets, but for the month I'll use some DOS or Windows-based program such as Excel or Quattro Pro.
  2. Manage my weekly game with friends.  Once a week, I play a role-playing game named Champions with a group of friends.  I have two Java programs that I wrote that I use to help me run this game, so I'll come up with DOS or Windows replacements.
  3. Computer games.  Even though my first computer was a Commodore 64 and I have fond memories of playing games on it, my greatest affection for old games really comes from the early DOS and Windows years.  Civilization 1 & 2, Colonization, Harpoon, and Doom, among others.
  4. This blog!  While I won't be able to post it online using Windows, I'll author it on my DOS/Windows machine and then post it using my iMac.

So that's my challenge, to jump back 20 years digitally and see how much of my life I can manage using software that's 20+ years old!