Did a drawing of Noel, because she needs attention too. Her dad’s been frozen by the Icewarden, her mom went psycho and turned into a Ridgeback, and her brother ran off to find the Flamecaller. She needs a hug.
author’s note: yaaaay this is finally done! spent the last week or so writing it. this idea came out of nowhere but it’s probably the most fun story i’ve written. big ups to my cousin (i know you’re reading this lol) for helping me develop the plot because holy hell it went everywhere. hahaha hope you all enjoy
also tried to post this as one giant post, and while chrome and my phone’s browsing app (safari) handled it just fine, the app kept crashing, so i’m posting this in 2 parts. so sorry if you saw this before
Okay so i wanted to show y'all what I’m working with in terms of a computer
This is our baby, The Frankenstein.
Frankie was purchased as a new, shiny Gateway Laptop waaaaaay back in 2012, 5 years ago.
Actually, we didnt get Frankie. We got his parts, Jack and Diane.
See, Frankie is a horrific amalgamation of two different laptops spliced together.
Jack and Diane were Christmas presents that suffered a series of accidents. After a couple of fatal ones (charger port breaking, water damage, screen bustings, etc) we spliced them together into one working laptop and reinstalled our files off a USB drive. Jacks body, Dianes power cord and battery, some of her circuitry, and her screen since Jacks got busted in a fall.
However. At some point around 2014, dianes screen ripped entirely off of jacks body.
So then we hooked him up to an external monitor, very old one, could only use VGA(?), not HDMI
And then frankies files got corrupted and he slowed to a crawl and a bunch of his keys broke off
So we stored him away
Come 2016, we had another computer (Shoveguts, named for the fact that i had to go in now and again and shove his internals around to get a charge/get it working) fall apart on us and were working entirely off Squishy, a little chrome book that @trash-bot sent us
When during a cleaning spree, from the depths of the closet rose a box containing Frankie
So we got out a bunch of cords and hooked him up to a large HD TV as a monitor, wiped his memory, and plugged in all sorts of life support shit (bad speakers so now hes got a speaker system, cant charge so constant power, bad internal
mic so an old rockband USB one, etc)
So anyway thats what i have as a computer. It runs Steam, internet, Paint Tool Sai, and records video and shit so thats all i really need.
Another fine piece of retro computers joins my army! Say hello to Siemens-Nixdorf Scenic Mobile 500! Equipped with Pentium 100 MHz, 40 MB of RAM, 788 MB HDD, Chip & Technologies 65550 1 MB video chip and ESS1888 sound card, it’s a complete beast for DOS and other older OS. One of the downsides is the fact it doesn’t feature any kind of CD-ROM, but at least it has a functioning floppy drive, as well as a serial/parallel port, so I don’t complain this much. Who knows, I might pick up a PCMCIA CD-ROM/PCMCIA-to-SCSI adapter someday.
MS-DOS 6.22 works like a charm, as I suspected it would. The ESS sound card, and its OPL3 clone, sounds as good as the Yamahas I have in my other retro machines (YMF744B in Tecra 8100 and OPL3 SA-x in my oldschool rig). The screen quality is also great, for an old TFT monitor. However, when it comes to the video, this one doesn’t have a built-in BIOS function of screen scaling, so I have to use a small TSR program to force the full screen, otherwise I’d be playing the DOS games in a bit smaller window (the native resolution is 800x600, and the screen is downsized to 640x480).
Just for the kicks I also tried out Windows 3.11, and no problems here as well (though I had to search for appropriate drivers first). Really enjoyed a quick round of SimTower and other Win3.x games.
Overall, just like Tecra 8100, it’s a damn fine machine if you’re looking for an authentic DOS/early Windows experience, but worried about building from scratch and configuring a retro rig by yourself.
Oh and shoutout for @ms-dos5, as I know you like these kind of thingies. ;)
“were you always this tall?” “about the same height as you when I was your age.” “how do i get as tall as you?” “… don’t be so picky about the food Tessai-san cooks, you’ll be as tall as me in no time.” “seriously??” “seriously. do i ever lie?”
I’m definitely going to modify the details and colors based on what the boss wants (he hasn’t given me feedback yet though!! AHHH!!!) and the values I’m seeing on my new computer screen vs. my old monitor, but GOOD LORD this was THE MOST FUN JOB OF ALL TIME??!!! I can’t wait to show you the absolute final form of this beast. It’s quite large in real-life and I had to use my camera to capture her instead of the scanner, retaining the quality for publishing was a pain in the ass. This is a massively scaled down version, so unfortunately the details just don’t come through here.
Sorry for the watermarks too, I have do that for work related purposes~ I’m grateful that my boss and publishing team were looking for a more whimsical artist for their bio-illustration as opposed to a traditionally technical one!!
It was nighttime after her long shift when Charlie found him—the tousle-haired two-year-old sitting cross-legged in ratty footie pajamas practically swallowed by a foot of snow.
It wasn’t the first time a child had been abandoned in front of the fire station. It broke her heart every time, but she thought she’d never seen anything so cruel as the scene in front of her:
The blue-eyed toddler held a dead bird in his arms like a teddy bear, chubby cheeks stained with salt from crying. Held it so tight she thought she’d have to pry it from him. Instead, he looked up at her with round, pleading blue eyes, shoving the limp feathers in her face.
“Bowd,” he said through sniffles.
She took it from him gingerly, his eyes saying fix it. Not knowing what to do, she held it to her, staring at the broken, lifeless feathers.
She looked back up, reaching out for the boy.
“Come on, sweetheart.” she said, trying to use her best calming voice. Hoping not to scare the little one. Hoping he would come.
He sprung forward, almost knocking Charlie over, clinging to her tightly with a trusting expression. His body was warm. He should have been cold. He should have been dead. Instead, the little thing burrowed his messy-haired head in the crook of her neck, stroking the top of the dead pet with a finger.
“Bird,” she repeated, finally figuring out what he was trying to say. She looked at the dead bird, wanting to drop it as she looked at its glassy eye. She made a mental note to disinfect everything she’d touched after she’d disposed of it. But she couldn’t do it yet as she looked at the young boy’s eyes, glued to it.
Instead, she wrapped the bird up in a spare newspaper setting it on the seat next to the wiggly toddler.
His eyes went wide when the wings disappeared beneath the print and he wriggled free of the car seat, scrambling to the paper and ripping enough of it to expose the beak and head. He sent her a disapproving glare.
“Bowd,” he said, like a scolding.
She buckled him in the car seat, driving slowly, trying to organize her thoughts.
When they reached the house, she grabbed the toddler’s small frame easily, hefting him up and shutting the door. As soon as he heard the sound, though, his eyes darted to the newspaper still visible through the window.
“Bowd,” he said, reaching an open, chubby hand out. “Bowd.”
“I’m sorry angel,” she said. “It can’t come in. Birds have diseases. It can’t come in to the house.”
He may not have understood what she was saying, but the ultimate meaning seemed to reach him perfectly; the bird wasn’t coming.
The toddler began to cry, big blue eyes looking at her pleadingly, reaching a hand out towards the window, fingers splayed, this time in question:
“Bowd?” he plead softly. And Charlie felt her heart break a second time, almost giving in before she remembered it was a safety hazard.
“I’m sorry sweetheart,” she said. Slowly, the toddler resigned himself to his fate, his head dropping to her shoulder, going quiet.
She could feel the tears on her shoulder. She could feel the tremors of him sniffling quietly.
“Shhh,” she cooed, “It’s all right. I won’t leave you.”
They walked through the door to muted lights and the soothing sound of Dorothy’s voice coming from the library.
“And the little rabbit lived happily ever after.”
She turned the corner to see the comforting figures of her wife and adopted son, curled up by the fire, his eyes closed as he fell asleep in her lap.
“He finally fell asleep, the little stinker. Wanted to wait until his firefighter mom got ho—” Dorothy started, then looked up. Her eyes widened in understanding, then her brows furrowed in concern.
“Another one?” she asked, her tone sad as she looked at the small boy’s crying form, limp against her shoulder.
Dorothy carried her son over to the entryway, taking in the second tiny boy’s shaking form.
“Assholes,” Dorothy said.
“Dorothy!” Charlie scolded, giving a pointed look toward the two children.
“What?” Dorothy said without apology. “They are, aren’t they precious?” she said talking to the toddler, reaching a hand forward to touch his still-damp hair.
“Bowd,” he stuttered before Charlie pulled away.
“Better not touch,” she said, “We’re both probably infected with bird disease.”
Dorothy gave a confused look, but quietly took their son to the room, laying the second two-year-old down for the night.
“Goodnight, Dean,” Dorothy said with a kiss, then joined her wife again: “Sounds like it’s bath time.”