compiling memories

A post from Peta on lint today, referenced a quote from Graham Nelson. I never knew him but I recalled that I used to be in a related usenet community, though it must be said, I mostly lurked and rarely engaged. The community was devoted to interactive fiction, or as I knew it growing up: “text adventures”. Nelson helped reverse-engineer the code base used by Infocom to create their wonderful text adventures and built a platform called Inform, so that other people could write and share text adventures.

infocom titles

My singular contribution back in the, I think early 90s, was to compile that Inform code (written in C) tailored for those using the 68030 based Amigas. This was not a big contribution and simply involved running it through the compiler and uploading the resultant executable to an ftp site. This was back in the days when I was studying computer science at Wollongong Uni and had a commercial C compiler (then Lattice C, later owned by SAS I think) on my amiga to aid me in my work. I did have internet access to the uni computers but this was rather slow running at 300 baud so having my own compiler made a lot of sense. I didn’t really understand, or have much experience, with gnu and other such tools, at that point.

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