Hamdy Canes, ham-flavored candy canes for the holidays

Oh boy, here we go. Archie McPhee has just announced their 2019 candy cane flavors. The star of this year's line-up are the ham-flavored ones, which are aptly called Hamdy Canes.

When the holidays come around, that can only mean one thing: ham! As much ham as you can eat! We think ham flavor is going to be the pumpkin spice of Christmas. Eventually, you’ll be able to get a ham latté. To get the ball rolling, we’ve created Hamdy Canes! You’ll get six ham-flavored candy canes in a box illustrated with a personified ham with a cane. It will cure what ails you. We could make all kinds of hammy jokes, but we’ll stick with the meat of the product. Each candy cane is 5-1/4" tall with pink and white stripes.

Right now you can get a box of six of them for $6, you sicko.

While you're there, pick up boxes of the runners-up too: Kale Candy Canes and Pizza Candy Canes. (I know what I'm secretly gifting in this year's Yankee Swap!) Read the rest

No Man's Sky as a Commodore Amiga slideshow

No Man's Sky is a beautiful game of interstellar exploration: something about its epic psychedelic wonder stays with you even after you've internalized its procedural patterns. Blake Patterson wanted to see how well a classic Amiga 1000 would render some of its scenery. Granted, an Amiga isn't going to counting frames by the second, but it was the first machine to offer thousands of colors on-screen at once and its peculiar pallete trickery gives NMS an even weirder look.

Investigating a reasonable way to convert the images, I discovered a fairly amazing Java-based application known, colorfully, as “ham_converter” which uses extremely optimized algorithms to get the most out of the Amiga’s bizarre HAM mode. The results, rendered in a 320×400 pixel interlace (and a 4:3 aspect ratio), are well beyond the quality that I recall seeing my Amiga 2000 generate with early, basic HAM converter programs, rendering MCGA images to the screen in HAM mode back in the early ’90s. In fact, they are so good that their shockingly high quality takes a bit of the “retro” out of this post; the images look a little too good! And, just to let you know this wasn’t just a click-and-drag process, the systems involved in the conversion were: a gaming PC [specs] able to run the Java app, an iMac [specs] not able to run the Java app (apparently) but also running an FTP server, an accelerated Amiga 2000 [specs] with a LAN connection and a floppy drive (and an FTP client), and the Amiga 1000 [specs] with a floppy drive, SCSI hard drives, and no LAN connection.

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