A comical catch-all of odds and ends

Terminal Disease

There’s a new strain of mumps running rampant through Massachusetts General Hospital and doctors are doing nothing to stop it. That’s because mumps is actually MUMPS (Massachusetts General Hospital Utility MultiProgramming System)—a new computer language. MUMPS includes an application programming language, all linkage editing and loading tasks, a database-management system and a data-communications monitor. It was originally written for minicomputers but it has spread and infected about 4,000 centers throughout Japan, Europe and the United States. There’s even one military installation in Europe that is exhibiting symptoms as well. MUMPS is available for the Apple, Super-PET and some Z80 systems. We don’t know about you. but we’re waiting breathlessly for the next medical computer language: MALPRACTICE (Medical Analytical Language for Programming Real And Computer Time In Complex Emergencies).


McDonald’s reputation is built on the fact that it delivers food in a very speedy way. But no matter how quickly that’s done, if you’re hungry. it still seems to take a long time—especially if you order something without ketchup. What could be a better way to while away the time than by playing video games? With this in mind, McDonald’s has approached a manufacturer about designing a video game that would take your order and then allow you to play a game until the food arrived. First you beat the game. then you eat. A classic case of eat and won.

Space Inn-Vaders

There’s a new item in hotels that can be requested when you call room service. Along with your scrambled eggs. toast and coffee. you can also order Donkey Kong, Ladybug or Cosmic Avenger (among others). The latest development in the hotel business is the inclusion of a video game console in the room—a ColecoVision to be exact. For five dollars extra per night. you can rent a ColecoVision and the use of an assortment of cartridges. Universal Concepts, Ltd. is the brains behind this deal. They’ve already begun installing units in Howard Johnson motels. Now, when someone asks you for a hotel recommendation, you can say, “The beds were lumpy and the food was mediocre, but the graphics were great!”

Oy Maze?

What’s round and uses a maze? If you said Pac-Man, you’re wrong. It’s a skullcap worn by Joseph Reif. Reif, a lecturer in Ramat Gan. Israel, added a new twist to this tradition. He designed a maze for his skullcap and had a friend crochet it for him. Reif says it has become something of a conversation piece and the people sitting behind him in synagogue have had trouble following the service because they were trying to do the maze. It may not be electronic, but it’s something to take your (skull) cap off to.

Bringing Up Baby

When people talk about second generation video games, I don’t think Donkey Kong Junior is exactly what they have in mind. Donkey Kong Junior is the successor to the very popular Donkey Kong. In the new game, Donkey Kong has been captured by Mario who keeps him locked up in a cage. Donkey Kong Junior, a little ape, comes to rescue his forlorn daddy. Players can make him jump in four directions and he can slide down a single vine or climb up two vines at a very high speed. Avoiding obstacles such as ape-eating birds and energy pods, Junior has to maneuver his way upward so that he can grab the keys away from Mario and set free his hairy parent. Since Donkey Kong Junior seems to be every bit as cunning and clever as his father, it’s safe to say he’s a chimp off the old block.

Sexual Interface

There are a million adult computer games in the Naked City and you can keep track of them by subscribing to The Dirty Book—a user’s guide to erotic software. In addition to program reviews, The Dirty Book features articles and amusements such as The Binary Hooker and dirty crossword puzzles. While most of the programs reviewed in the issue we saw were for the Apple and TRS-80 computers, perhaps future issues will get into heavy PET-ting.

May The Source Be With You

A long time ago. indoor plumbing wasn’t necessarily standard equipment in any given living space. Now it is. So it’s not unreasonable to think that home computers will become standard equipment in your living space sometime in the future. A building in lower Manhattan—built in 1896—is being converted into lofts. and Jonathan Rose, who is doing the converting, is including a home computer in each. Each computer is to be linked up to The Source, a personal computer data bank with access to about 1,200 user services. Those who don’t want the computer can knock $700 off the price of the apartment. Of course. those who don’t want the apartment can knock $186,300 off the price of the computer.

Source Pages

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