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Archive for January, 2010

Install-a-Games

Tuesday, 12 January, 2010 | Posted in Good Ideas by David Morgan-Mar

So, I was installing Visual Studio today at work. (The reason is unimportant and I can’t tell you anyway, since it would probably violate some clause on my employment contract…) The install took so long that I actually had to leave for the day before it had finished. While installing, it shows one of those pseudo-progress indicator splash screens that doesn’t actually give you any useful indication of how far along it is – you know the sort of thing. And since Microsoft apparently know how long the darn thing takes, they try to amuse you by having it cycle through a series of cunningly designed ads which tell you how great their product is.

Which just seems like a waste of processor power.

Back in the day, when you used to load games on to your Commodore 64 computer from a cassette tape and it took up to half an hour to actually play the tape and read all the bytes into memory, they had things called Loadagames. These were tiny footprint games that could be loaded into memory within the first few seconds of the tape read, and that you could then actually play while waiting for the main game to load. An example is Invade-a-Load.

This is what modern software installers should do! Rather than spend half an hour staring at the uninformative and annoying “progress” screen while installing something, and unable to do anything else because you need to have all the other apps closed, you could actually be playing a cool game!