THINGS were looking bad. The editor was on to me and it wasn't to wish me happy birthday. The review I'd been assigned had been dragging on for days. Deadlines weren't getting any longer. I had to do something, and do it fast, or it was curtains for me. I don't know if you've ever been in fabric retail, but it isn't a pretty sight.
Tracking the software down wasn't hard - Icon Design had set it up. Software houses were like that, you could never trust 'em, always on to some scam or other, and nearly everyone on the take. It was getting so a guy couldn't make a decent living.
I took a look at the box and got that weird feeling - you know, when you think you've seen it all before. I told it: "Of all the in-trays in all the offices, you had to fall into mine". I guess I felt kinda dumb just talking at it, so I slid it into my disc drive. "Play it, Sam." I said.
Sam was my Amiga. I'd known him since he was very young. We were like brothers. We had our ups and downs like any other partnership, but on the whole we got along swell. He was a good kid.
Sam was doing the driving so I sat back and lit up. I told myself to be sure and get round to fixing that power cable some time. Sam stopped at the light. We were there.
OK, so I'd been wrong about this set up. Something was different here and it made me uneasy. There was always someone trying to work a new angle, and it always ended up messy.
Hey, what kind of a stunt were these boys trying to pull? This looked a little like a Workbench screen. There was windows all over the place: Inventory, graphics, exists, text - it was all there. Someone was cracking funnies, but I wasn't laughing.
I pulled over a window and he came easy. I was surprised. I told him I was going to have to rearrange his features. He didn't look too worried. I re-sized him, sent him to the back and to the front, then dragged him around for a bit. He was unruffled. I was surprised.
I gave the same treatment to the rest of them, all except the graphic which looked too big for me to handle. They lapped it up. This was impressive.
Being an ace at this sort of work I soon discovered that I could pick up objects by clicking on them and dragging them to the inventory window. And if I opened up an object, its own little window appeared.
To move around I could either click the appropriate part of the screen or on the little squares in the exits window. Any other actions could be performed by clicking on the words in the top right corner. If this is what's meant by user-
I soon had the full story. I was playing the part of Ace Harding, down and out in Las Vegas and on the receiving end of some unwelcome attention from the mob. I had to get back to Chicago to try and sort it all out. But it's more than 106 miles to Chicago. I haven't got a car, never ind any gas, I'm out of cigarettes, it's light outside and I've mislaid my sunglasses.
This was going to be no picnic. It couldn't even be comfortably described as a peanut butter sandwich. But I had to complete it. I knew if I didn't I'd regret it - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of my life. And so will you.