Home » Somehow This International Scout Image Relates To An Air BnB And Atari: Cold Start

Somehow This International Scout Image Relates To An Air BnB And Atari: Cold Start

Cs Airbbscout
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Today’s Cold Start is a bit late because Matt and I are on West Coast Time, the result of being out in Los Angeles for the LA Auto Show and, more importantly, our Auto Show Party with the Big Barrow of Shrimp. The image and car I chose for the Cold Start is sort of inspired by the Airbnb we’re staying in around Pasadena, not too close to the show because David is a cheapskate. When I saw the place, I thought “damn, this looks like the administrative office of a state park.” But when I went inside I realized that it in fact looked just like the administrative office for a state park. Because it does. Because it was some sort of office, and all that’s been done to change that is swap some desks for beds. It’s weird. I can’t prove it was a state park office, but the building just feels like thatwhich is why I picked a forestry-service International Scout for the car.

Here, look what this place is like on the inside:

Cs Airbb

This is an office. It feels, looks, and smells like an office. The lighting is office-awful, as in your options are buzzy flickery-sickly overhead fluorescent lighting or pitch blackness. The bathroom’s lights are on a motion sensor, too. The kitchen area is so much a break room I expected to open the fridge and find tupperware with moldy casserole in it labeled CHERYL’S DO NOT TOUCH.

Anyway, it’s home for the next few days while we cover the show. Maybe it’ll feel better when I make us all flapjacks on the copier.

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Oh! The Atari part! Right! So, because the Scout was a Forestry Service car, I wanted to put it in a forest-y background, so I took this opportunity to show something I’ve always felt deserves more recognition: The Atari 2600 E.T. game’s background graphics. Specifically, these background graphics:

Et 2

As you may know, E.T. is considered one of the worst Atari games ever made, a colossal letdown and fuckup to such a degree that there’s landfills full of the cartridges. And, sure, the game isn’t good. But, it’s not all bad. I think Howard Scott Warshaw’s (the game’s desgner) graphics are really quite lovely, especially given the limitations of the system, and this forest background I think is genuinely one of the best seen on a 2600 bar none.

The background layer of what the 2600 could draw on screen, called the playfield, was even more limited than the foreground, moving graphics. The pixels were all four normal pixels wide, so you’re drawing with dashes, and you can only use 22 of them per scanline, which is only halfway across the screen, so the other half had to be either duplicated or mirrored. That’s a lot of restrictions.

Sure, fancy programming can work around a lot of this, but most games just dealt with the limitations, like this forest did, but still, somehow, it looks so good. It feels like a forest. It’s a repeating pattern of dark and light green trees, and it works. It even feels like an evergreen forest. I respect it so much.

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get my pants out of the filing cabinet. Under P for pants or did I do T for trousers?

 

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Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
6 months ago

That looks like the kind off place where a security guard wakes you up and says, “WHO told you that you could sleep here?”

CivoLee
CivoLee
6 months ago

My parents couldn’t afford to get my sibling and I an NES or even a Sega Master System like many other kids got, so they got us an Atari 7800. Most of the games we had were new old stock 2600 games, including E.T., because most retailers in our area (Pittsburgh) didn’t carry very many new 7800 games (which showed the console’s technical inferiority compared to Nintendo and Sega all too well, but that’s what happens when you pull a product that was designed for an earlier market out of mothballs to compete with newer products instead of spending the time/money to develop something new).

We knew it wasn’t the best game ever, but we had enough fun with it once we started playing on the setting without scientists carrying you away or FBI agents stealing your health powerups. We even thought the title screen’s chiptune rendition of John Williams’ theme was pretty impressive and you could tell a great deal of care was put into the artwork and packaging. It wasn’t until much later when I started using the internet that I learned just how much everyone else hated it, and it was a little bit jarring.

Albino Kangaroo
Albino Kangaroo
6 months ago

I live in AirBnbs full time and have yet to see one like that pop up in my feed. What strange filters were used to find that place? I am in California this month but near Santa Cruz, so a bit to far a away to join the festivities this weekend. California is expensive so instead of a full house we have a cottage a nice 1 bedroom cottage out in the redwoods. Gives the dog a place to run around a bit.

I fully support more (any) tuned adverts so the AT staff can enjoy better accommodation.

But youve seen it run
But youve seen it run
6 months ago

P for pants. Clearly. Come on.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
6 months ago

Huh. That IS supposed to be a forest, isn’t it? I never got that. I always thought it was an open field (maybe one that was mowed like an MLB ballpark where you get different lines and patterns in the grass). I was even more frustrated when ET would fall into those invisible pits that were impossible for him to escape from because it’s just an open field! How is the pit invisible?!

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
6 months ago

Maybe file under O for occutrousers, especially since you’re occupying that space?
https://writing.stackexchange.com/questions/63158/is-it-standard-practice-to-use-a-computerised-find-and-replace-when-localising

Grendl
Grendl
6 months ago

I hope it doesn’t become awkward when the cleaning crew comes in during the night.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
6 months ago

Gonna have to strongly agree with you about ET’s graphics. That forest screen always gave me a real sense of being lost in dense woods, so it totally worked. Also I was also crazy impressed with the opening screen which had a picture of ET on it that seemed way more detailed than the 2600 was capable of producing. I remember looking at it as a kid and thinking “Why can’t we have those graphics in the rest of the game?”

Alas, I’m pretty sure that any other graphic capability they could have squeezed into that little cartridge got blown on Atari’s staff coke budget.

Gilbertwham
Gilbertwham
6 months ago

That’s not a hotel, it’s the Backrooms. You need to get out of there, fast.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
6 months ago

Clicked for Scout. Now have IH blueballs. Going to go search for Scouts on marketplace now.

masterbuilder
masterbuilder
6 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Gird your loins, man. Prices have gone out of sight in the last two or so years.

SquareTaillight2002
SquareTaillight2002
6 months ago

Your temporary digs look clean and efficient. So there’s that.

10001010
10001010
6 months ago

I must have missed this episode of The Office

mabus
mabus
6 months ago

Only Torch could ever find a way to tie an IH Scout to the 2600’s ET. I wonder if the Scout in the picture was assembled in Fort Wayne back in the day. Speaking of which… the old IH test track was recently razed for an auto auction lot. Sad times. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/last-vestiges-proving-grounds-power-plant-latest-traces-of-harvester-to-vanish/

flyingstitch
flyingstitch
6 months ago

Do NOT enter Room 101.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
6 months ago

“Maybe it’ll feel better when I made us all flapjacks on the copier.”

Looks like you’ve got more to deal with than just a time zone issue. There must be some rift in the continuum as well.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
6 months ago

Obviously you file them under O for Over-pants, because you put them over your underpants…. Do the British call their underpants undertrousers?

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh Jones

Knickers.
Or is that just the women?

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh Jones

Pretty sure they call underpants just “pants” (they say “trousers” for what we call “pants”), which can lead to some comical misinterpretations.

JDE
JDE
6 months ago

almost looks like a model car rather than an actual running Scout.

alwaysbroke
alwaysbroke
6 months ago
Reply to  JDE

It’s the lack of rust. I’ve never seen a scout you couldn’t see through

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