Saturday, April 12, 2003

Nothing New Under the Sun

So, I was teaching a DevelopMentor class at Rice university, and went out for lunch with one of the professors. He asked me if the license plate on his Corvette meant anything. It said, "Zork". I said, "Of course! I'm not that young." Turns out he was one of the original three developers! My brush with fame. :)

Interestingly in these days of JVMs and CLRs, he told me that Zork used a virtual machine architecture. In fact he wrote the VM, another guy wrote the game engine on the VM, and the third guy wrote the story. Which is how they were able to port it to other platforms easily. It just goes to show you that there's nothing new under the sun.

You can apparently still play Zork in several places online. Here's a downloadable version I found Googling for a few minutes.


  1. Was this an open class like a one time deal or what? Rice tells me it must be pricey whatever it is. The reason I ask is I live here in Houston, and even tho you've never met me and have no idea who I am, I would've liked to have caught ya while in town...

  2. Well, actually it was free for Rice - MSFT paid for it. But it wasn't open: it's part of MSFT's academic tour. They're trying to show the top universities in the country how cool .NET is, and this is one of the ways they did it.