Hacking Your Machine, 1910 Style

Mac OS 7 Startup Screen

Mac OS 7 Startup Screen (via operating-system.org)

I spend way less time these days tweaking and fixing my computer than I used to. Back in the early-90s, I spent hours each week messing around with on my Macs trying to find the optimal configuration for the control panels and extensions.   I gathered custom system software that optimized my machine for home and work, but it was always a challenge figuring out how to get rid of conflicts and make sure that I still had enough ram to run things.  Watching those icons scroll across the bottom of the screen as they loaded during startup. And when they went to a second row, I was in heaven!

I always figured that I just grew out of that “tweaker” phase. These days, I like stuff that just works. (That’s not code for Apple. I let our temperamental Jetta go and have a much less fun Honda now.)

So I was intrigued by a fascinating account at the MIT Technology Review of a “Turn-of-the-Century Road Trip” from Newton, Massachusetts to Portland, Oregon in an Oldsmobile. And by turn-of-the-century, I mean the 20th century.  1910, to be specific!

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Re-Coding Hero Gender in Video Games

Lots of people have talked about gender stereotypes in video games. Few games have uniformly positive female images that young girls can look up to. Even fewer have female lead characters who are the heroes. Boys buy most games, so characterization follows.

Why wait for the companies to fix things? Mike Hoye didn’t:

“As you might imagine I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers,” he wrote on his blog.

Hoye decided to take matters into his own hands, and just fix the game. Since he was playing the game through emulator software, rather than on an actual GameCube, he was able to modify the games files in such a way that swapped gendered pronouns in the on-screen dialog. “Swordsman” becomes “swordsmain,” “milady” becomes “my lad,” etc.

Very cool.

(Ok, I feel obligated to say there are probably legal/copyright reasons not to do this. But still very cool.)

From John Herrman at (the oftentimes crazy) Buzzfeed via GM Seigler at parislemon.

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