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      My long quest to revive a ’90s Windows gaming cult classic / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 12:00 · 1 minute

    The elusive, addictive gameplay that has been haunting my dreams for years.

    As 2023 draws to a close—and as we start to finalize our Game of the Year contenders—I really should be catching up on the embarrassingly long list of great recent releases that I haven't put enough time into this year. Instead, over the last few days, I've found myself once again hooked on a simple, addictive, and utterly unique Japanese Windows freeware game from the late '90s that, until recently, I thought I had lost forever.

    Pendulumania is a cult classic in the truest sense of the word: Few people have heard of it, even in hardcore gaming circles, but those who have experienced it tend to have very fond memories of it. And while I shared those memories, it wasn't until this week that I've been able to share my effusive praise for a game whose name and playable executable had eluded me for well over a decade.

    Timeless design

    The mechanics of Pendulumania are incredibly simple. You use the computer mouse to control a metal ring, which is attached via an elastic string to a white ball. The object is to carefully move the ring so the stretchy string and gravity can nudge the ball around a 2D plane, crashing into floating scoring orbs to collect points (colored orbs that randomly appear can make the ball larger or the string stronger as well). Be careful, though; if the elastic string stretches too far, it will break and your game will be over.

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      ZAP! Atari acquires beloved retro homebrew vendor AtariAge / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 7 September - 19:19

    An Atari logo on top of Atari arcade cabinet graphics

    Enlarge (credit: Atari / Benj Edwards)

    On Thursday, Atari announced that it will acquire AtariAge , a popular online community for the Atari enthusiasts over two decades. AtariAge is best-known for selling Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800 console homebrews in high-quality cartridge form, as well as games, for the Atari line of computers and other retro systems.

    "Atari is now taking its retro-related IP seriously and is creating a wide array of hardware and software based on that IP, while also creating new, original content," wrote AtariAge founder Albert Yarusso in a statement posted on the AtariAge forums.

    Yarusso says he will take on a full-time role with Atari and continue to run AtariAge as usual but will have more time to focus on fixing up the site's games database, which he feels needs updating. Still, AtariAge is showing no signs of slowing down on the homebrew front, planning to publish 20 new games on a variety of retro platforms in time for the upcoming Portland Retro Gaming Expo in October.

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      Mac utility Homebrew finally gets native Apple Silicon and M1 support

      Samuel Axon · / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 21:47

    Users can install Homebrew via the Terminal in macOS.

    Enlarge / Users can install Homebrew via the Terminal in macOS. (credit: Samuel Axon)

    Popular Mac tool Homebrew has long been used by developers and others for package management on macOS, but as we lamented in our first M1 Mac review, it didn't support Apple Silicon when Apple's new Macs first launched late last year. Now, with the release of Homebrew 3.0.0, that's no longer the case: Homebrew now supports Apple Silicon natively, albeit not with every package.

    The volunteer Homebrew team made the announcement on the Homebrew blog alongside today's release. While the native support is not yet comprehensive, it bridges the gap significantly, and users can still run Terminal via Rosetta 2 to do what they can't yet while running natively on Apple Silicon. The Homebrew blog post says "we welcome your help" in providing bottles for all packages moving forward.

    Here's the full bullet point on Apple Silicon in the Homebrew 3.0.0 release notes:

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      Looking for a tiny but powerful PC? Check out the Minisforum U820/U850

      Jim Salter · / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 19:32

    Hong Kong-based miniature PC specialist Minisforum announced two new models of its signature NUC-like minis available for pre-order this week; the U820 and U850. These sibling models share the same basic form factor and specifications—they're palm sized boxes crammed with input, output, and storage ports as shown below. The U850 offers an Intel i5-10210U CPU, and its less expensive U820 sibling sports an i5-8259U.

    These systems measure 5 by 5 inches, at 2.5 inches tall, and come with VESA mount hardware which can be used to mount them directly to the back of most monitors. They support up to three simultaneous displays (HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C), and can make great homebrew routers thanks to their dual Ethernet interfaces.

    We should note that these systems are available for pre- order now, with shipping expected in April—but this is not Minisforum's first rodeo; it has been shipping miniature PCs like these for several years through direct sales and Amazon.

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