John Walker's Electronic House

When Moore’s Law Attacks

by on Jul.29, 2006, under The Rest

It’s always peculiar when trying to install older software onto a modern computer.

Wanting to play Gabriel Knight (thirteen years old), I had a quick go at simply sticking the CD in the drive and seeing what happened. It had a good go at installing, even wrote stuff to the hard drive, but became very muddled by the surrounding technology.

Fortunately a wise man on the internets had encountered the same problem, and thought to create a new installer for putting the program on XP. Hooray for internet people. And so with that it installed itself nice and sensibly, and even pre-set the compatibility settings for the game to run properly.

Except of course it doesn’t. When trying to launch the game apologetically tells me that it needs a display driver capable of displaying 256 colours or more.

How do you break the news to it?

“I’m sorry, I know this must be hard, but you’ve been in stasis for over a decade.”

“Computers run at… look, sit down. They run 32 million colours now.”

“Yes, I know… No, I know. The human eye can only perceive 10 million colours. You’re not wrong. But look, that’s how it is… No, it doesn’t make sense.”

“Look, would you like some time by yourself for a bit?”

8 Comments for this entry

  • always_black

    You shouldn’t anthropomorphise videogames. They hate that.

  • bob arctor

    My LCD monitor doesn’t do that many colours.

  • tedi Worrier

    How many colours can you name?

  • Mr Chris

    What does Brian think about all of this? Eh? EH? EH?

  • Tedi Worrier

    Aren’t rabbits colour blind? … which would make it 2 colours … or is that bees? or wasps or dogs or something.
    Did I tell you of the time I interviewed the Amstrad rep at the PCW show and he told me their PC512 was not monochrome … it was TWO- Colour?

  • David

    “Hooray for internet people.” Yup – if /you/ become popular enough, you can even make the internetLazyWeb do your bidding. (I think ~jwz first coined the phrase..)

    In this specific case, emulation is probably your best hope. DosBox ( will probably do the trick nicely.

    Teri: Even if rabbits were colour blind, they’d still be able to see more than two colours — there’s black, white, and 254 other shades of grey. :-)

  • Tedi Worrier

    …but in Amstrad’s case it was BLACK & 12 million shades of GREEN
    (That was n days when MSoft thought that 512 K was enough to rule the world)