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geX

John Romero sells book he used to learn Objective-C

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"In 1993 id Software started to create DOOM. We created this game on the NEXTSTEP operating system then compiled the game for DOS PCs. This is the book I used to learn how to program in Objective-C in 1993 to create DoomEd, DOOM's level editor, and later QuakeEd, QUAKE's level editor. This editor was also used to create Heretic, Hexen, and Strife levels."

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/271845952864

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I can't believe he's selling it, you'd think he would want to keep it for memories.

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Avoozl said:

I can't believe he's selling it, you'd think he would want to keep it for memories.

He has a ton of other stuff for memories.

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I wonder, what's in John's mind right now? Why is he suddenly releasing all this stuff and even selling his "old arms", so to speak?

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I wish I just rented my books in college. I shouldn't have been overly sentimental, and kept them. Now they just collect dust on my book shelf. I probably could have saved a ton of money.

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Guess I'm lucky (?) I finished my studies in a commie country where students' textbooks were subsidized/free ;-)

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Maes said:

I wonder, what's in John's mind right now? Why is he suddenly releasing all this stuff and even selling his "old arms", so to speak?

He said he's doing some "spring cleaning".

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Then the spring cleaning must also be at a spiritual level, as resources and source code don't take up physical space (well, not as much, at least) :)

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I wonder how legal it is for him to share these resources and stuff, which could be seen as trade secrets or whatever, not to mention that he posted so much iwad contents, which would get any other user in trouble with the moderators. :D Mostly just joking but it's kind of interesting, isn't it?

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Maybe John is preparing to create something new and awesome, and needs to cleanse his spirit, body and abode before the great quest can begin?

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Well, it was sold in a bidding auction after all. When I first checked the link, the price was around $160. Seems textbooks used by gaming industry gurus are in high demand ;-)

Maybe for his next items he should try Sotheby's?

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I just picked up his signed NeXTstation slab he listed and signed d!zone collectors edition.

The signed d!zone collectors edition I'm going to give it to a wad creator of my choice once it arrives here because a lucky modders/wadder really should have such a thing.

but Romero's NeXTstation... Im going to build a doom pedestal shrine for it. Really blown away I got my hands on that. kind of in shock

eventually I'd like to reach out to the guy from smugmug who has Carmack and rest of Id teams nextstation systems and cube to see if he'd be interested in donating all of them, including mine from romero, to the video game museum in Frisco texas... per Linguica suggestion

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Buckshot said:

but Romero's NeXTstation... Im going to build a doom pedestal shrine for it. Really blown away I got my hands on that. kind of in shock


Hold yer horses O_o

If you are not joking here, do you realize what a forensic hard disk analysis might reveal, provided the original is still there and hasn't been wiped...?!

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I believe it's his personal NeXT machine, not one of the ones used to do Doom's development.

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Maes said:

Hold yer horses O_o

If you are not joking here, do you realize what a forensic hard disk analysis might reveal, provided the original is still there and hasn't been wiped...?!



Likely more DOOMed stuff that was recovered from that machine a week ago.

So here's the story on how that NeXTstation came to be in my possession (its currently in shipping, on its way to me)

I'm 100% certain he wiped the drive before shipping it.

Story goes, about 2 weeks ago, he was listing some stuff for sale on his facebook and twitter page. I noticed he had a NeXT programming booklet for sale, so I jokingly asked him if he still had a NeXTstation to sell. You can't imagine my surprise when he replied "sure do, my personal slab. give me a few days to list it".

2 days go by, and boom, out of the blue, all that big pile of DOOMed stuff he just suddenly posts. a day later, he posts the NeXTstation for sale. My guess is he drug it out, intended to wipe it for sale, found all that stuff on it, backed it up, grabbed some of the data and released it here as a suprise, wiped it, then listed it. I bought it.

He claims it has no association with id data... of course that's the standard runaround for ex-id employees according to Linguica who confirmed to me that John Carmack gave the dude who now owns SmugMug.com the other remaining NeXTstations years ago. He told that dude to wipe them if he ever sold them, that the data could never be handed out and not acknowledge they were ever used as id dev machines. I assume same logic applies with Romero's station.

If that's the case... I don't want to get anyone into trouble, and thus, no data leaks from me from anything on that drive. You and I both know Zenimax/Bethesda are lawsuit crazy over their IP, so I'm not going to test them.


Could it be that it was truly just his personal home computer all those years? Hell of a long time to hold onto such a thing, and seems to be sentimental value to it. Also, NeXT machines would have been terrible home computers... as they were workstations for development and graphics design much like SGI and Sun. Nobody would have used these for browsing the net and playing games, lol. Especially at their $7000-back then (and about $16,000 by todays inflation) price.

No sir, this machine will live out the rest of its time on a shrine im building for it in my living room here in Cincinnati, OH. At least for the first few months. After they complete the huge Video Game Arts Museum in Frisco, Texas, I'll be sending it there for everyone to see and safe keeping. Don't really feel any one person should be tucking this thing away in a giant ass shoebox. It's a part of FPS gaming and id history.

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Buckshot said:

2 days go by, and boom, out of the blue, all that big pile of DOOMed stuff he just suddenly posts. a day later, he posts the NeXTstation for sale. My guess is he drug it out, intended to wipe it for sale, found all that stuff on it, backed it up, grabbed some of the data and released it here as a suprise, wiped it, then listed it. I bought it.

I don't think so. I'm sure I remember, several years ago, seeing Romero post a photo of an old CD-R clearly labelled as being the Doom dev stuff. I don't remember where he posted it now; maybe it was Twitter or Facebook. But I really doubt he's booting up his old NeXT machine to copy stuff off it - recall that the slab you bought was put up for sale without a monitor. Hard to see how he would have done it.

Buckshot said:

Also, NeXT machines would have been terrible home computers... as they were workstations for development and graphics design much like SGI and Sun. Nobody would have used these for browsing the net and playing games, lol.

Well, ironically, the first web browser was actually developed on NeXTStep.

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fraggle said:

I don't think so. I'm sure I remember, several years ago, seeing Romero post a photo of an old CD-R clearly labelled as being the Doom dev stuff. I don't remember where he posted it now; maybe it was Twitter or Facebook. But I really doubt he's booting up his old NeXT machine to copy stuff off it - recall that the slab you bought was put up for sale without a monitor. Hard to see how he would have done it.


Good point, but simply reading the drive using a pcx scsi card could have gotten the data grabbed from it. Course im just running off speculative information that I can piece together, so I may or may not be wrong about it's origins.... but I mean, come on, lolol, its too coincidental.

either way, it's a personal signed NeXTStation from John Romero that's he's been keeping around for 20+ years . I can't say anyone else has such a thing that I immediately know. Even if it was just that... still.... hell of a thing to have.

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Well, regardless, try sneaking a peek into the old HD -better yet, take it out of the box and make a full image of it with some appropriate software, and then examine the image with a hex viewer. Who knows, you might be surprised. I presume NeXT boxes used SCSI hard disks? Perhaps the hardest part might be getting an appropriate controller (there are several types of SCSI interfaces/cables).

As for NeXT boxes making poor home computers...well, no more than what your average Linux box was in the early 2000s (or Slackware, today) ;-)

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Maes said:

Well, regardless, try sneaking a peek into the old HD -better yet, take it out of the box and make a full image of it with some appropriate software, and then examine the image with a hex viewer. Who knows, you might be surprised. I presume NeXT boxes used SCSI hard disks? Perhaps the hardest part might be getting an appropriate controller (there are several types of SCSI interfaces/cables).

As for NeXT boxes making poor home computers...well, no more than what your average Linux box was in the early 2000s (or Slackware, today) ;-)


Im actually working on a bleeding skull pedestal to stand it on that has bloodfalls from the skulls and lights in the skull eyes and red lighting. Atop it I'll mount the next station, and atop that, the exclusive edition of the gaming heads DOOM Knee Deep In The Dead statue diorama (the exclusive edition lights up at the base).

Plenty of pictures and video to come :)

Id say theres roughly a 80 to 90% chance something DOOM or Quake dev related is on that machine, even if it's been wiped, unless the drive was replaced of course or a boot and nuke DoD wipe was done on it. That's just following logic around the scenario of how this slab came to be for sale and events that occurred at/around its time of listing.

Of course, me trying to get any of that data without his permission.... that would be a dick move.

Very easy to get SCSI to PCI-X or USB adapters. In fact I have like hundreds of those adapters and cards at work for old servers and equipment we keep in storage.

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fraggle said:

I don't think so. I'm sure I remember, several years ago, seeing Romero post a photo of an old CD-R clearly labelled as being the Doom dev stuff. I don't remember where he posted it now; maybe it was Twitter or Facebook. But I really doubt he's booting up his old NeXT machine to copy stuff off it - recall that the slab you bought was put up for sale without a monitor. Hard to see how he would have done it.


Well, ironically, the first web browser was actually developed on NeXTStep.




Fraggle... the big giveaway was that he was posting NeXT documentation just prior to listing this (after I suggested if he had any NeXTstations to auction off), and that the documentation was in fact used in DOOM development (which he acknowldeged on that listing).


Maes... NeXTstation would indeed made a terrible home computer. Though it was Unix at heart, its interface/apps/design was just not for casual use. Most Linux distros are pretty home friendly and have been for a while, with many similar apps and tools we'd use commonly on say, a windows desktop. the development/server side and editing side is always there in the background, or at the base for those who want only that and nothing more.... but if I were to give you a NextSTATION (or a SUN SPARC, or SGI INDY or OCTANE) to use for home, and this was still the 90's, you'd ditch it for a common PC or a MAC in a heartbeat, lol. They were very limited to just those functions as they were designed to be. No huge App or device support.

Fraggle brings up "well it WAS used to develop the first web browser" and I brought up "it WAS used as the first web server". Yes... but not because being a browser was what it was intended for. Again, a high-end workstation... pumping out that development and server-magnitude tools :)

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Fraggle: Found it from his posts here last week (couple days before he listed the slab, but a day after he mentioned listing it on FB)

Pretty sure this is the smoking gun that proves that slab had some role in DOOM (or at least DOOMed) development.

http://s23.postimg.org/dhjl1l05n/smokinggun.png

also there's some circumstantial evidence that kind of confirms the listing had much lower intended visibility compared to his other listing (all of which also appeared on twitter [publicly viewable], except this one).. as if low visibility was intentional.. but that's again, thats circumstantial.

the role it played will defintley be as mysterious and uncertain as the crystal skull or shroud of Turin as far as Id dev team Hardware legacy goes, but interesting to consider, nonetheless.

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Buckshot said:

Fraggle: Found it from his posts here last week (couple days before he listed the slab, but a day after he mentioned listing it on FB)

Pretty sure this is the smoking gun that proves that slab had some role in DOOM (or at least DOOMed) development.

http://s23.postimg.org/dhjl1l05n/smokinggun.png

How so?

EDIT:

fraggle said:

I don't think so. I'm sure I remember, several years ago, seeing Romero post a photo of an old CD-R clearly labelled as being the Doom dev stuff. I don't remember where he posted it now; maybe it was Twitter or Facebook.

With a bit of digging, I found what I was referring to.

First tweet that was a link to the picture on yfrog.com (picture seems no longer available).

Follow-up tweet which gave some context about what was on the disk.

So Romero just has all this stuff on a CD. He doesn't need to boot up a NeXTStep or mess around with any old SCSI disks.

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fraggle said:

How so?


He, ironically, references NeXTSTEP OS code for DoomED moments before posting a NeXTSTATION, and just after posting documentation he used for C development on NeXT for DOOM, lol

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Buckshot said:

He, ironically, references NeXTSTEP OS code for DoomED moments before posting a NeXTSTATION, and just after posting documentation he used for C development on NeXT for DOOM, lol

Yeah, I don't find that particularly convincing I'm afraid.

Just for reference, I was privately given the DoomEd source by Romero 10 months ago because I offered to do an OS X port of the code. See code here. The DoomEd public release came just after he put the Objective C book up on eBay. I suspect that the auction prompted someone to link him to the Doomworld thread and he decided to just release it. The NeXTStation went up a day or two later and he's made it clear that he's doing a spring cleaning - didn't you say you specifically asked him if he had one?

Re: home computers, NeXT workstations were the coolest computers to own in the early '90s which is partly why they were used for Doom in the first place. And after Doom the id guys were millionaires - remember the stories about how they all bought Ferraris? I'm sure John had more than enough in the bank to buy an extra NeXT machine to use at home.

I certainly hope you don't feel like I'm raining on your parade. Owning any NeXTStation is pretty cool (I've always wanted one myself) and having one formerly owned by John Romero is doubly cool. But I fear you may be trying hard to convince yourself this is something more than it actually is.

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fraggle said:

I certainly hope you don't feel like I'm raining on your parade. Owning any NeXTStation is pretty cool (I've always wanted one myself) and having one formerly owned by John Romero is doubly cool. But I fear you may be trying hard to convince yourself this is something more than it actually is.



You're not. Just adding to mystery that is this machine, if there is any mystery to it all. You're logic is based on fact that Romero himself stated that. Can't deny fact. But I'm basing my logic of pre-existing statements and a very coincidental and ironic sequence of events surrounding the sale of the system. Ironic and interesting, and very cool... but still... just theoretical coincidence and past ex-id alumni statements to destroy copyrighted data from making out of of loop. So long as you don't rule it as impossible, but rather improbable, Sir Fraggle ;)

http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/283/235/7e3.jpg

I, for one, love these kind of debates, because of all the extra cool shit we uncover while digging for the facts. Everyone learns a little something in the process. Also, I see your point about id team's endless supply of $$$ during their heyday.... as here is Carmack's daily commuter parked in no-parking spot and some random run down apartment complex back in the day :P

http://he1t.net/photos/qcon01/day1/images/DSCF0048.jpg


Regardless... I feel pretty much like this right about now

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5P65riax4gk/VD4RSrgsu7I/AAAAAAAAC90/EqXSrFgsggs/s1600/4285d653470373677e4af63847340bc0.jpg

or this

http://www.thelandofshadow.com/mordorgate/2darkservants/gollum/gol4.jpg

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Buckshot said:

that's the standard runaround for ex-id employees according to Linguica who confirmed to me that John Carmack gave the dude who now owns SmugMug.com the other remaining NeXTstations years ago. He told that dude to wipe them if he ever sold them, that the data could never be handed out and not acknowledge they were ever used as id dev machines.

What? I posted that Don MacAskill had possession of Carmack's old NeXT machines, which is something he's publicly mentioned before. I didn't "confirm it to you" and I've never said anything about some "standard runaround" where people deny that computers were used for development.

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