|04/05/2013||Last call for Japanese Ultima games and books. I'm placing the order with my source next week, so LMK if there's anything you want.|
|03/20/2013||Question for the Ultima collectors out there: How interested are you in Japanese Ultima games, clue books, and other tie-ins? How would you value these in relation to their North American counterparts? Higher, since they're harder to obtain, or lower, since they're all written in Japanese?
I have an opportunity to purchase a sizable quantity, but wanted to gauge the interest first, to make sure it's worth it.
|02/08/2013||Okay. The automatic postage calculator should finally be fixed for both domestic and international Shoppers. Talk about an ordeal. The USPS started blocking direct page calls from YOIS last year, so I had to recode my process. Their API is kinda persnickety, their documentation is outright wrong in several places, and their technical support is as annoyingly unhelpful as... certain individuals from SWCollect I won't mention by name. It's like trying to read braille using your elbows. If anybody needs to pull USPS postage rates for their own website, just email me and I'll send you the code I used, save you a lot of aggravation. And if you do still encounter an error with it, please let me know.
One thing that's changed is Media Mail. USPS is telling me I can no longer use this method unless every single item in your order is a book (and the fact that Infocom games have the browsie doesn't count, in their eyes). So the Shoppe checks first, and won't offer it unless it qualifies. Sorry about this. It's their call, not mine, and I don't want to lose money on returned packages. Same with international orders, I have to declare the full value on the customs forms. Please take that into consideration when deciding how much to spend.
I know I haven't done much with the site lately, but wanted to reassure everyone I'm still here and still collecting. Admittedly it's much slower without eBay, but I'm still not going back to them. I do have a couple of big boxes full of various items that I need to list, but I'm waiting until Rick Thornquist's book comes out (hopefully this year) since it reveals a number of relatively unknown items, of which I've slowly been accumulating stocks. Yeah, still as capitalist pig-dog as ever. (Not selling any of it off-Shoppe, so please don't inquire.)
|10/03/2012||Anybody in Germany who can order a couple of items off of Amazon.de for me? I'll pay you back, or offer items from the Shoppe of equal value as a trade. Thanks in advance.|
|09/10/2012||The "yois.biz" redirect is currently down due to the GoDaddy hack. You can still get to the server by entering the hostname directly: yois.if-legends.org. Though if you're reading this, I guess you already knew that.|
|07/25/2012||Okay, I could use some help here from anyone familiar with PHP and XML.
I am trying, and have been off and on for weeks, to update the Shoppe's postage calculator so it uses the U.S. Postal Service's rate API (as my old method is no longer working). Their API is an absolute pile of crap, and their technical support is just as bad. I have tried everything I can think of to fix it, so I am down to asking for assistance.
I will offer your choice of any item from the Shoppe, excluding ultra-rarities, to anyone who is able to figure it out. Please contact me if you wish to undertake The Challenge, and I shall provide the full details.
No wonder the USPS is going bankrupt.
|03/06/2012||Having a problem with the USPS website when calculating postage. It's returning an error message when the Shoppe attempts to open a pricing page, but if I enter the URL in my browser it works fine.
I have a case open with them, but for now you'll need to go to the page itself (there's a link in the YOIS error message) and choose the postage option you want. Then I'll either send you a PayPal invoice, or you can initiate a payment and manually specify the item cost and the shipping cost.
Not the most convenient methods, but the issue is on their end and there's not much else I can do until they fix it.
|01/26/2012||I realize it's been ages since I've posted anything other than new sales items here, and perhaps I'm late to the party and everybody already knows about this. But I wanted to make everyone aware that Infocom collectors now have to worry about re-minted zorkmid coins possibly being passed off as originals.
Another collector, Jason Joyce, wrote to me saying he had found a Zork Trilogy which appeared to be complete, except the zorkmid was not an original. In his exact words:
"After I got it back home, I noticed the Zorkmid didn't look or feel right. Significantly lighter than the other Zorkmid I have. After a casual inspection turned up a seam on the edge of the coin (not centered, but toward the obverse side of the coin), I knew why.
Apparently someone's gone in to the Zorkmid "minting" business by cold casting coins with a mold, resin and bronze powder."
This thread is a fascinating step-by-step of how he did it, complete with photos, including a comparison between an original and his re-mint showing the difference in the metal. The discussion is a couple of years old, but I wasn't aware of it until Jason pointed me toward it. I'd heard of interest in making new zorkmids before, most notably Robin Lionheart's Zorkmid Project, but this thread is the first time I've actually seen one made.
My position on this remains the same as I told Robin years ago. So long as the recasts are clearly identifiable and are not being sold as originals, I have no problem with this. The creator, whose name appears to be Todd, clearly states his intent to mint more of them, and if he has it would definitely explain how one ended up in the original package Jason found. Even if Todd is honest, you can bet there are people who are not, and who may try to pass a replica off as an original. Be careful if buying on eBay, and always ask to see pictures of both sides, and the edge to check for seams. They were originally in a small plastic baggie, not loose, so that's a good indicator of authenticity. Zorkmids are valuable and highly sought after these days, which makes them an obvious target for counterfeiters.
(Also Todd's comment about the coin never being sold by itself is incorrect. Infocom did offer them through The Status Line at one point, both as contest prizes and through direct sales toward the end of the company's lifetime.)
|01/25/2011||Just a heads-up to my international buyers: The U.S. Postal Service went and changed their site again, and instead of displaying every mailing option at once now has them hidden behind tabs that need to be clicked to display. This means not all of the shipping prices are coming across correctly, most notably Priority Mail which is displaying as "$0.00".
Much as I'd like to be able to, I can't afford to give everyone free Priority Mail International shipping. I'm awaiting a response from them, but until then I'll be contacting overseas buyers and letting them know the shipping quotes manually.
Sorry for the inconvenience. And damn the U.S. Postal Service, or at least their webmasters.
|01/13/2011||Please let me know if you've recently had an open trade expire but didn't get the advance warning, or if you didn't get a confirmation email when you registered. I have reason to suspect that some ISPs are incorrectly flagging the automated emails from YOIS as spam, and blocking them. I'm looking into it but the more data I have, the better. Thanks.|
|06/29/2010||I've just been informed that the art dealer who sold me the Zork Chronicles and Lost City of Zork paintings has also managed to track down the original cover artwork for Wishbringer! I should know more in a couple of weeks.
Enchanter, unfortunately, appears to be lost. The last I heard it was owned by Byron Preiss, the author and book publisher (who co-wrote Dragonworld). He passed away in 1995, and his company filed Chapter 11 a year later. No idea what happened to the painting, but if the original owner happens to see this, I'd greatly appreciate being contacted.
|05/10/2010||Okay, here's the big news, a bit late: I have acquired the original paintings used as the cover art of the two Avon Zork novels, The Zork Chronicles and The Lost City of Zork! Pics coming, eventually. I'm in the process of tracking down Enchanter and Wishbringer.|
|04/27/2010||I'm in the process of listing the sell/trade items I've accumulated over the past few months. Anybody still need a BattleTech pin? I've got one. Quite a few loose parts and cluebooks as well.
(This is not the "significant news" I mentioned the other day. Should have that by the end of the week, or early next.)
The Shoppe's postage calculator is finally fixed. Sorry it took so long.
I know I've barely posted in over a year, but in about a week or two I should have some very significant collection news to share with everyone.
|03/29/2010||If you're getting an "Unable to acquire postage data" error trying to check out, I think the USPS changed their page layout on me again. I'll look at fixing it when I have the time. In the meantime you can just email me and I'll quote you a price based on the items you've reserved.|
|04/23/2009||I've just imported every listing in the Shoppe over to my GameTZ account. (Actually the GameTZ staff did it, I just provided them with the database extract.) If you're a member there and want to build up your score, I'm happy to work the trade through their system.|
After three whole months, I am finally down to the Last. Frikkin'. Box.
And for all intents and purposes, we're done. The last box is just 30-odd copies of Third Courier, and I'm not gonna bother listing them all. I've already put up a dozen or so, and the Shoppe is overflowing with duplicates as it is.
So that's the entire TomMage haul, and probably the last Shoppe update for awhile. Hope you had fun, I sure did.
|04/15/2009||2 boxes left! (Sorry for the delay between updates, things got kind of busy at work and I had to work through lunch.)|
|04/02/2009||8 boxes to go...|
|04/01/2009||9 boxes to go...|
|Legends of Zork is live! Haven't had a chance to try it yet.|
|03/31/2009||I've listed another box of games. We're down to the final 10 now. Think I'll try to make a push to get everything else listed within the next 2 weeks.
And with that, I give you (as promised), 8-bit nudity.
|03/28/2009||Just heard from another collector who confirmed that both Goodnight, Cruel World and Parisian Knights by Abstract Concepts were definitely unreleased. (Info thirdhand but originated from Fergus McNeill himself.)|
|03/23/2009||Listed one more box, mostly MicroProse / MicroPlay titles. That's probably all for this week unless I feel really ambitious.
Coming up next: 8-bit nudity!
|03/19/2009||Another 3 boxes of items listed. This update has the bulk of the SSI games, though there are a few more coming. I'm starting to feel a little burnt out by all of this, so I may take a couple of weekends off, or at least cut back to a single box at a time for awhile. Plus I still need to shelve a lot of the stuff I've listed. And get more shelves.
BTW just in case you didn't notice, I've listed most of the badly-damaged items for very cheap, $2 or $3 at most. And I'll go lower if you're buying in bulk, just to move them.
|03/16/2009||I've reactivated my account over at Game Trading Zone, if anybody wants to do their trade through that site. Right now I'm trying to find out if I can bulk-load my available list with the Shoppe's data.|
|03/14/2009||Just added 3 more boxes' worth of new item listings. Only 15 more boxes to go!|
|03/07/2009||New items are up, 5 boxes' worth! I also recoded the page to only display items added within the past week, which should make the list a bit easier to sift through. Lots of damaged items, lots of Slash... Remember that huge lot of 10,000 games that Tom bought years ago, from a guy in Pennsylvania (Eli Tomlinson, I think)? A lot of this stuff came out of that, before he sold the remainder to JocksitterDragon.
On an unrelated note, don't use BillMeLater.com as an online payment service. I found a fraudulent charge to my account this week, and getting them to reverse it has been... a lot like dealing with eBay. (Check the 2006 news archive if you're curious.)
|03/04/2009||Well, between a busy work week and a fraudulent charge to my BillMeLater (I better not find out it was anybody here B-), I haven't gotten much done on adding the latest batch of items. Aiming for this weekend now. I don't think I'm doing anything Friday night.|
|02/26/2009||Another box listed. Mostly crap this time around, but at least it's priced cheap. Grab a $1 or $2 item with the rest of your order. I'll try to get a few more boxes catalogued this weekend and listed early next week.|
|02/25/2009||Got the last of the stuff from Tom on Sunday. Not nearly as much this time, a full trunk and part of the back seat. Still need to sort it into keep versus recycle.
|02/20/2009||New items are up, 3 more boxes down! There's one more box of budget IF stuff -- Keypunch, Mastertronic -- then we'll be into the non-IF games. All 20 boxes of them.
On Sunday I'm heading back up to Tom's place to get the last shelf of stuff. (Yeah, there's more!)
|02/17/2009||Just a quick note on some of the games from this huge lot. A couple of people have asked me about the "smoke odor" in some of the descriptions. I've noticed it when opening some of the boxes to catalogue the contents, but not really on the boxes themselves unless I sniff 'em up close (weirdo). I mention it in the item descriptions when the scent has made a "strong" enough impression on me, in case this is something that really bothers you. Personally I'm more turned off by a box in rotten condition, but I know some collectors who absolutely loathe the smell of cigarettes on their games.
For what it's worth, I've also found that spraying a little Febreeze on a soft cloth and wiping the game box or materials with it can sometimes help alleviate the odor. I'm kind of pressed for time and trying to get these listed fast, so I haven't done it myself. But if it makes the difference between a sale and not, I'd be glad to do it and let you know if the odor subsides.
Aiming for Thursday for the next update, which will add 3 more boxes. More Sierra, a number of Telariums and tons of Mastertronic.
|02/14/2009||I've just listed the first two boxes of games from the TomMage haul: Infocoms, Sierras, several copies of Realms of Darkness by SSI, and a few oddities. Unfortunately in the list below it's mixed in with the other stuff I added recently. Sorry, not much I can easily do about that. Just have to pick through the list again or wait a few days for the older stuff to disappear.
Much more to come.
|02/04/2009||Just listed some new items. Note that these are not from the TomMage haul. These are items belonging to a friend, and some of my own, that I was planning to list before I bought up the huge lot. Finally getting around to uploading them.
I'll start on the first box of TomMage stuff tonight. It's going to take awhile -- I need to price, weigh, and write descriptions for every single piece, then generate a script to bulk-insert them, since that's still faster than entering them all manually.
Anybody in the Peoria area looking for a temporary job? B-)
|01/31/2009||This past week I finally got through the entirety of the TomMage haul. That means it's all sorted, now I have to actually describe and list it all. Trying to push myself to get a little bit done every week, so expect regular updates this year. A few highlights:|
Here's the final tally:
Infocom games: 1 large box.
|01/24/2009||As of today I can see my floor again.
This is a great way to unwind in the evenings. I'll come home from work and spend an hour, hour and a half working through the pile. I've started eating dinner later, so I'm not hungry enough to have something right before bed, plus I'm getting lots of exercise from all this lifting and bending down. And some people say this obsession is unhealthy. Pfff.
|01/23/2009||Still digging into TomMage's lot. This is how far I got last night. The sad part is this is just organizing it. I still have to write descriptions and list all this stuff.
|01/21/2009||Since almost all of my actual gaming over the past two years has been on consoles, I've added a list of console games I'm looking for. There's also a link on the Want-List page. I'll trade Shoppe items or offer cash for any of these.|
|01/20/2009||What a weekend! My father and I took separate cars up to TomMage's to clear out a ton of his games that were taking up space in his parents' basement. Check out this haul:
We loaded up more than five bookcases of games, five shelves apiece, two rows per shelf, and came home with two cars stuffed full. Now I have to go through all of this and organize it. Expect a massive Shoppe update, or maybe more realistically, a series of smaller ones.
|01/14/2009||This looks interesting. A company in Ireland has signed a deal with Activision to create a Zork MMO. Looks like it'll be graphical, rather than text-based, and will play on PCs and iPhones. No word yet on subscription costs.|
|01/06/2009||New members: Is anyone having trouble registering with the site? I got an email from someone who said the form wasn't accepting Alaska as a valid state. Haven't had time to look at it, but I'm wondering if anybody else had similar trouble. Thanks.|
|09/05/2008||The postage calculator is fixed... again. (Damn U.S. Postal Service, they keep changing their website!) Let me know if you continue to have problems with it.|
|07/02/2008||Okay, I'm pretty sure the postage calculator is fixed now. Please let me know if it still gives you problems.|
|06/24/2008||Well, seeing as it's been over a year since I quit eBay, I decided it's about time to put the auction deadbeats list to rest. 90% of the people on the list, I can no longer remember the details of why they were added. Those who remain here are the jerks I actually remember in detail, the ones who went beyond mere deadbeatery into the realm of scamming and cheating. Their legacies will live on long after I'm dead.
Also I'm aware of the problem with calculating postage, I just haven't had time to fix it. Until then, if you're buying and ready to checkout, just mail me and I'll calculate the postage manually.
|03/18/2008||Been cleaning out my storage room, so I'll be listing some new items today. Found a couple of very early Broderbund titles.|
|02/04/2008||I'm doing a YOIS trade with a collector in Europe for some console games, and realized others might be interested in doing the same. I have want-lists handy, and can track down most U.S. console games (I know some titles are unreleased or banned in other countries) if you have a method around the regional lockout.|
I've been working since before Christmas to organize and catalogue the 10+ boxes of games I've accumulated over the past year. There are now over 300 new items added. The Shoppe is stuffed to the rafters.
Apologies to those of you who are signed up on the waiting list, but... With this many items I just didn't have the time to list them all individually. Instead I used a bulk-insert script which unfortunately meant bypassing the waiting list check. So if there's something that would have matched, you won't get a notification or reservation. To be honest I've thought about doing away with the waiting list altogether, as nearly every entry is for something either so rare or in such pristine condition that I'm extremely unlikely to ever get it in. Let me know if there are any strong opinions on this one way or the other.
And finally, I'm afraid I have no idea what the deal is with the SWCollect list. The last I heard it was supposed to be up again soon, however that was weeks ago. If I do hear anything I'll post it.
|12/03/2007||If you tried to access if-legends.org yesterday, you may have noticed it was down. Stefan tells me we had a hard disk crash and the server went down to prevent any data loss. The defective disk got replaced and everything should be working fine now. Sorry for any inconvenience.|
|09/30/2007||Okay, we should be completely migrated over to the new server now. I haven\'t noticed any problems, and have had several orders come across successfully. But let me know if you find anything that doesn\'t work.|
|09/25/2007||Sorry to anyone who had trouble accessing the site the last couple of days. Stefan migrated us to a new server and I just got the yois.biz domain name pointed to it. The new main page is at http://yois.if-legends.org.|
|08/13/2007||Update on the Planetfall 2 auction: The winner is a member of SWCollect and he's going to make sure the game (it's a playable version) is made available. I'm getting a copy from the seller too, turns out he's a former Activision employee I bought a bunch of stuff from a few years back.|
|08/10/2007||Anyone thinking of bidding on the Planetfall 2 demo currently listed on eBay, beware.
The seller has 88.2% positive feedback, which is pitiful. Even if he got it from "someone at Infocom", I'm reasonably sure this is just a copy of the demo that came on the Masterpieces CD, which has been freely available at Jim Leonard's site for years now.|
|07/20/2007||The Shoppe is temporarily closed for a couple of weeks. Vacation is coming up, plus I'm dropping completely off the Internet for a few days to avoid any Harry Potter spoilers. (Yes, I'm a freak... This is news to us HOW? B-)|
|07/04/2007||Happy 4th everyone! I'm celebrating the freedom of my country by cleaning up a bunch of the crap I've been dragging into it. Unearthed a big box of Adventure International styrofoam packages (arcade stuff, no adventures, sorry) and am currently adding them to the Shoppe database, along with the latest thrift and computer recycler acquisitions.|
|06/12/2007||I've finally gotten around to fixing the postage calculator after the USPS rate change. If you've been having problems getting shipping quotes from the site, it should be fixed now. But let me know if you see any odd behavior. I still haven't learned all the new mailing rules yet but I'm working on it.
There have been significant changes for international postage. First and most noticeable, there is no longer any "surface mail" option. Everything goes either First-Class Int'l (if it's light enough) or Priority International. The good news is that insurance up to about $65 is now included with any international packages. The bad news is the overall cost is way up, especially to Canada.
|03/18/2007||I've been asked to participate in Get Lamp, a documentary film about text adventures. More details as I get them myself.|
|11/17/2006||After seeing the insane prices they're fetching, I decided I can wait another 4 months to play Twilight Princess. My Nintendo Wii is listed on BidVille. First bid wins. (Please don't bitch to me about the price, bitch to everybody who's bidding even higher on eBay.)|
|11/14/2006||It's amazing, in the last couple of weeks I have had THREE people ask about buying my eBay account. Wonder why nobody wanted it when it was still open? I'm trying to get eBay to stop the cancel process so I can sell it. Right now it's up to $20 but the other two buyers haven't made counter-offers yet.|
|10/27/2006||This is going to sound like a strange request, but... If any of you get any of those "419" Nigerian scam e-mails, can you forward them to me? (Address is at the bottom of the page.) These are the e-mails from somebody in Africa, or sometimes other places, offering you a cut of a huge sum of money if you help them out by sending smaller amounts for various "fees" and such. Of course it's a total scam, but I found a great website that messes with these people, and I want to try something. I promise it'll be a great story and I'll post it in its entirety when I'm done.|
|10/26/2006||It is done. As of this morning I am no longer a registered eBay user. It's a surprisingly quick process to cancel an account, faster than listing an auction I think. They tell me my user account may still appear in their system for up to 180 days, but I can no longer use any eBay features that require me to sign into the site. I am DONE with this putrid company and everything they stand for.
One of the screens I had to click through as part of the process stated that someone from eBay customer service might contact me to see if there is any way they can get me to stay. OHHHHHHH GAWD I hope they do.
|10/23/2006||About 5 days left... I have lowered the starting bid on my eBay account auction to $10.|
|10/19/2006||We're down to 10 days remaining on my eBay account auction, and still no takers. If the $50 starting bid is too high I will consider lowering it at this point, so feel free to e-mail me with your own offers. I'm going to unload the account one way or another, but would prefer to get something, anything, for it. Beandip the Kitty will thank you. If you already have an eBay account they have a way to merge the two and consolidate your feedback.|
|10/10/2006||I had faint hopes for a moment this morning, when I saw a message from eBay in my box. It turns out they wrote to tell me that the "violations that were committed by a third party have been overturned". Gee, thanks, only took you morons an entire WEEK to answer the e-mail I sent last Tuesday. God, is it any wonder I'm quitting??
On that subject, my account auction has had almost 100 hits since yesterday. That's a lot for BidVille. If anybody wants to bid on it just e-mail me and, assuming you're capable of forming sentences so I don't mistake you for a Nigerian scammer, I'll let you in. (Yes, the irony of blocking zero-feedback bidders on an auction for a way to bypass zero-feedback-bidder blockers is not lost on me. B-)
|10/09/2006||Well, I thought long and hard about my eBay griefs last week, and after much consideration, I came up with a course of action that supports my desire to dump eBay, Jim's idea of exploiting them to make money, and Peter's suggestion that I give it some time first (20 days ought to be enough). Let me know what you think, if you're so inclined.
If no one else wants it after this time, then I will quietly close the account. However it may turn out, I can rest assured that I will:
To me, that's a LOT of peace of mind. In return, all I have to do is:
Others will disagree, but to me this sounds like an excellent trade-off. Just imagine, the best deal I will ever get from eBay could be from leaving it.
Hmm, that might be profound if anyone besides me was sayin' it.
|10/05/2006||After getting some thoughts from the SWCollect crew yesterday, I've decided to give eBay one more chance. Howard found an old e-mail for Bill Cobb, the President of eBay, which people could supposedly write to at one time to get personalized, non-canned responses. (It's firstname.lastname@example.org.) That was a year or so ago, no idea if it's still being checked. But I feel I deserve some sort of compensation for all the trouble caused by the screw-ups of eBay's customer service. It doesn't have to be much, just something other than words.
I'll let everybody know what Bill / his secretary / the canned response / the undeliverable mail notice says. Or if I don't get a reply, I'll let you know that too. I'll give them until Saturday morning. That's 48 hours, which is the longest eBay's normal mail system is supposed to take.
|10/04/2006||Just when I thought it was all over...
This morning I signed into my e-mail and there was ANOTHER VeRO violation notice! That's right, after all the time and effort spent talking to people yesterday, explaining my situation over and over, they STILL managed to fuck it up. In addition, the rest of my valid auctions Tricia said would be relisted yesterday weren't, and I found a discrepancy between my current balance on the summary statement and the details. Not a big one, just a couple of dollars, but I'll burn in Hell before I lose any money over this mess.
Back to chat, and another hour and a half pissed away on this. I had two sessions going at once, one with VeRO and one with billing. The VeRO guy got all of my valid auctions back and assured me the VeRO violation notices would stop. The balance, the billing guy explains, is out of whack because my account is currently in the invoicing cycle. (They billed me my remaining balance when they suspended me.) He says this is a known issue they are woring to resolve, and assures me the numbers will clear up when the process is complete. You better believe I'll be checking up on it, and taking it up with my credit card company if the numbers are still wrong.
I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. I've given myself a lot of time to ponder this, both during times when I was furious and after I'd calmed down, and I think if I get any more hassles over this, I'm leaving eBay permanently. I will close my account with its 1500+ feedback and will never buy or sell there again. People who know me know that when I say things like this, I am serious. This was not a decision I made lightly. Getting suspended really made me take a good hard look at the role I let eBay play in my life. Would I still be able to collect without them? Perhaps, although certainly not as easily. I'd miss out on rare items, auctions by former Implementors like Brian Moriarty, and bargains on more recent console stuff I like to play. On the other hand, there have been times in the past I've felt like a slave to eBay, getting caught up in bidding and spending far too much money. The grief of the past few days alone makes me question whether it's worth it.
Check back tomorrow morning for my final answer.
|10/03/2006||Hmm, it seems eBay is not nearly as competent as I thought. I got a suspension notice from them this morning, apparently whoever fixed my hijacked account did not report this to the VeRO people, and my account is now suspended due to the bogus DVD auctions I did not list.
NOW I am pissed. Stay tuned, this page is my bitching soapbox.
Okay, here's what's happened so far. I tried using the same LiveChat link from yesterday, and got someone who identified him/her/itself as "Golden G." (Last name "Goose", perhaps? Or maybe he's a rap dude and the "G" is for Gangsta? Word.)
Anyway, short story long, Golden tells me his department did not suspend my account and thus is not able to reinstate it, blah blah blah. You can read the whole chat transcript if you want. One interesting thing was that this individual chose not to tell me about the satisfaction survey I could fill out if I held down "Ctrl" when I closed the LiveChat window. Possibly because he saw I was very unhappy with the answers he gave me. Fortunately I remembered how to do it from yesterday. B-)
Golden mentioned asking in the general LiveChat, so I go back to eBay's main page and try there. It's a lot faster to get someone there, but same problem, nobody has the power to do anything. Janet (that's who I got) did try to reassure me by "checking on" my case and telling me Trust & Safety was reviewing it "right now", but long story short, eBay does not handle suspension issues over the phone or through chat.
Next thing I did was try the link in eBay's suspension notice e-mail, but that took me to this horrible page telling me I had to snail or fax them some documentation proving who I am, along with a statement promising never to list bogus items again. Screw that, it reads like I'm signing a confession for something I did NOT do. I poke around Help a little more and come up with this link, which allows me to appeal my suspension through e-mail. I hate this because there's no way to know how long it might take before they decide to respond, but at the moment it's all I've got.
It's hard to describe the frustration I'm feeling over this. It's like being falsely arrested for a crime, and not allowed to speak to anyone who can do anything to help free you. They say anytime someone compares something to Hitler or Nazis, they automatically lose their argument, but screw it, that's exactly what eBay looks like to me right now.
Much more to follow, I'm sure.
I've made some more progress. Because one of the items was bought before eBay canned them, I had a buyer's e-mail. I contacted him, explained the situation, and asked for a copy of the auction if he still had it, or any information he might have on the hijacker. Even though we didn't have a valid eBay transaction. (Heh, what are they gonna do, kick me off the site?? B-)
This guy was awesome. He was very understanding about the auction (and I felt really bad because he told me it was a present for his wife's birthday), and he forwarded me a copy of the PayPal transaction. Yeah, he'd already paid for it, I'm working on getting that straightened out now too. Hopefully eBay communicates better with PayPal than they do with themselves, and the money was already refunded to this guy.
But the good news is, I got a name for the hijacker, "Guotong Wu", and an e-mail address, email@example.com. He'd left my account information alone, and just entered his own PayPal e-mail address when listing the fraudulent auctions. So it looks like the people on SWCollect who suggested this were right. (If I haven't said this already, thanks to everybody there for their support, and for putting up with me while I deal with this, I really appreciate it.)
Not surprisingly Google came up empty. But it was enough to send to eBay and PayPal as proof that this wasn't me. Just for the hell, I e-mailed the guy and asked how he accomplished the hijack. I'm sure he'll respond as soon as eBay completely eliminates the possibility of fraud from their site. B-)
Hey, I can joke again, things are looking up. Still waiting on eBay to unfreeze my account, and I suppose I'd better check the bank account I use on PayPal and make sure I can still use that... I don't trust PayPal to not overreact just like eBay did. Fortunately I think I only had like $1.66 stored there.
Oh, and if anybody out there happens to know this Guotong Wu guy, and can tell me where he lives, I will pay you for the information.
FINAL UPDATE: (Unless more shit happens tomorrow morning.)
And just like *that*, things are back to normal.
I got a call (an actual phone call) from Tricia at eBay, who reinstated my account. She even said she'd reinstate the valid auctions I had running when this whole mess started, except they'd show up in my "Sold" tab where I could then relist them. Yes, apparently they can do that. I refreshed the page as she was saying this, and saw 3 of them appear right away. The others, I'm still waiting on, but she assures me they'll get here sometime today. I wish I shared her confidence.
I offerred her the information my detective work had turned up on the hijacker, but she said the appropriate department already knew about the PayPal transaction and was working with PayPal to pursue it. The buyer has already gotten an e-mail explaining how to go about getting his money back.
Tricia was unable to determine for certain how my account was compromised. She says there were two password requests on Monday. One was mine, but she says there was one other one. That one could have been when they reset my account and sent me a new password, or possibly by someone who got into my e-mail, she wasn't sure. I asked her if it could have been an eBay flaw, but she didn't seem to have any idea how that could have been. They couldn't determine what time the password requests happened either. Anyone else waiting to exploit eBay security, there's one weakness for you.
One thing I did get her to do was get her to pass on a complaint to a supervisor, to reprimand the person who reinstated my account the first time. She said that person was supposed to (but didn't) forward the info to the VeRO people so they would know not to suspend me because of the hijacker's listings. I asked if there was anything eBay planned to do to make amends for the time and trouble they cost me. One guess what the answer there was. Just for fun, I searched Help and found the page where you can permanently close your account. There's a contact link there where you can write them with your concerns before you actually go through with it, and I sent them a quick message. We'll see if I can squeeze anything out of them.
Our company has caller ID so I wrote down the number she called from (866-317-3229) but all it gets you is an automated recording. Tricia says eBay support staff's phones can only make outgoing calls.
In the end this just reinforces what I've always believed about eBay. 99.9% of the time things go very well. But that 0.1% when they are bad, they are abysmally bad. And I'm the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure there are many far bigger horror stories out there than mine.
Hey I just realized, this was practically a Shoppe column!
|10/02/2006||I know it's been forever since I've posted anything here, but this one's important. This is a good message to save in case this ever happens to you. And it CAN.
My eBay account was hijacked early this morning. I tried to sign on repeatedly but it would not take my password. I also found a message from eBay that a bunch of listings had been automatically cancelled because the activity was suspicious. This was not a phish, it had my actual name and other info on it, and no links to bogus sites. The e-mail listed a bunch of DVD box sets I did not put up for sale. There was even one e-mail from a listing that ended, and when I looked up the item number it said the listing had been removed from their system. Apparently the hijacker listed a bunch of items at a bargain BuyItNow of $100. I was impressed, eBay was pretty damn sharp picking up on this.
I tried requesting my password by email, and the system accepted the answers to my secret questions, but I never got the password. I figured whoever took over my account changed the e-mail address, but none of my other information. Immediately I Googled for eBay's phone number and kept hitting "0" to coast through the automated system, until I got a message that their customer service is 8:30 - 5 PST. So I went online to eBay's safety center and reported my account as compromised, then started a LiveChat session. I caught this just after 8:00 AM CST, and there was a wait of about half an hour before I got a representative, which was close to LiveChat's estimate, but still long IMO.
Once I got a rep I had to verify my phone number so he could call me and see that I was the actual account holder, then we went back to chat. He had me confirm that I did not list the DVD box sets, copy-pasted some of eBay's standard answers about security and fraud, then reinstated my account with a temporary password.
He told me my email address had not been changed, so I'm guessing the message eBay sent out when I clicked "Forgot Password" just got lost in my spam filter. None of my contact information was touched, and I don't believe my password was ever changed, eBay simply blocked my account when they caught the suspicious activity. All of my existing valid auctions were left alone (both by eBay and by the hijacker). They did not bid on anybody else's auctions using my ID. My PayPal account was not touched, because it has a different password than the one I use for eBay. If you use the same password for eBay and PayPal, CHANGE IT NOW.
I have no idea how the person who hijacked my account got my password. Obviously I don't share it with anybody else. I am well aware of phishing e-mails and never respond to them, or click any of the links in them. I use anti-spyware and personal firewall software. Somehow, somebody got through. I'm in the process of calling all my credit card companies and verifying that there haven't been any fraudulent charges, and am on alert for possible identity theft. So far it looks like the eBay account was the only damage. Aside from the initial wait time I was very impressed with their response to my crisis.
|08/27/2006||Seems like forever since I got anything new in, doesn't it? This stuff is getting harder and harder to find in the wild, but I've accumulated enough for an update. Lots of incomplete/damaged Infocoms for cheap, if you need parts. Also one of my Cornerstone book trades fell through so I have that now too. (Hint: It's not going cheap.)|
|06/16/2006||I'm back from vacation. TomMage, PixZ and I had a great time exploring the caves in central Kentucky. I tried to get us into Bedquilt (the inspiration for the original Colossal Cave adventure) but it turns out they only let scientific expeditions in there anymore.
I know some of you have been seeing the "too many connections" error when you go to view any YOIS pages, I've been encountering it too. IF-Legends' hosting provider is supposed to be looking into it. It's intermittent, so if you run into it just try coming back later. I'll post as soon as I find out what's going on.
|04/01/2006||Just posted a new column. Heehee, I can't wait to see what everybody says about this one!|
|01/30/2006||I was getting that "Too many connections" error again today. Usually it seems to happen around 2:00 - 3:00 in the afternoon (Central Standard Time). Anybody else running into it?|
|01/17/2006||Has anyone else been getting this error on YOIS? I've had this happen a few times today. It actually took me several attempts to get this posted.
Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /home/sites/site7/users/yois/web/libyois.php on line 57
Error connecting to YOIS database.
|01/16/2006||Posted some more auctions over at eBay, check 'em out. It's all junk this week, but the coming weeks will feature some recent adventure games for PC and PlayStation.|
|12/29/2005||Added my infamous mousepad auction to the Miscellaneous Diversions page.
Also, don't forget about the Postal Service rate increases that go into effect January 8th. I'll be keeping my tradition of charging only the actual shipping costs, but they will climb a bit higher. See USPS.com for full details.
Watch my eBay ID as I should start listing stuff again come mid-January. MobyAuctions will pick up again probably around February.
|12/15/2005||Wanna get free cool stuff, like an iPod or game systems? If you help me earn mine, I'll help you get yours. Here's all the details. I learned about this from somebody at work, and I've seen it work. He's gotten a bunch of free stuff from this site.|
|12/03/2005||Any Shoppe visitors in Japan? I need a Japanese address for ordering a game-related item off of Amazon.co.jp, as they won't ship it to me in the U.S. I'll order the item myself, then pay you back for mailing it to me, plus a little extra for your trouble if you'd like. Thanks in advance.|
|11/25/2005||Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving. To add my little part to the holiday-shopping mayhem, I've listed some new Shoppe items below, treasures unearthed during my Vault cleanup. Also got some game consoles on eBay if you're looking for one. (No XBox 360, sorry.)
Watch for more MobyAuctions on Sunday.
|11/21/2005||Picked up a half-dozen more boxes of Jim's stuff the previous weekend, and I will be listing some more MobyAuctions until mid-December.
This one, however, is entirely mine! B-)
|11/06/2005||*Whew*, almost lost the YOIS.BIZ domain name! I renewed two years ago and didn't realize the credit card I'd used was no longer active. So when it tried to auto-renew the charge didn't go through. Think I rescued it from squatters just in time. B-)
BTW, don't forget, the last batch of MobyAuctions ends tonight. I'll be listing a few of my own items for a couple of weeks, until I can get back up to Jim's to haul another carload back. Should be later this month, assuming gas prices remain tolerable.
|10/31/2005||The seventh and final (for now) batch of MobyAuctions is up. These have gone so well that I've decided to list some items of my own, recently uncovered during a massive Vault cleanup effort. Watch this page, I'll post as soon as I start listing them.|
|10/23/2005||I spent part of my weekend digging through the unfiled items in my collection room, and found quite a few semi-rare duplicate pieces to sell. (No, I don't have a list, before anybody asks.) Since the auctions of Jim Leonard's games have been going so well, I thought I'd try listing a few of my own in the coming weeks.
Speaking of auctions, the sixth batch of Moby items will go up later tonight.
|10/18/2005||Followup on "weblogic81":
I don't know which sickens me more: That he tried to snatch someone else's game away in the first place, or that he doesn't see anything wrong with it and genuinely can't comprehend why I left him a negative.
|10/17/2005||Listing the 5th batch now.|
|God, I can't believe the depths of deceit some people will sink to! I got the following e-mail shortly after my latest round of Moby auctions closed last night:
(I did respond ASAP. To see my response, please refer to his feedback.)
|10/10/2005||Fourth batch of auctions is going up.|
|10/03/2005||I'm putting the third batch of Moby auctions up now.|
|09/30/2005||Say hello to "Beandip", the new YOIS Official Mascot. (My previous kitty died back in May.) I adopted her this week. She's very sweet and loves to sniff around my piles of vintage games and hardware, but is also trained to scratch the crap out of anyone who attempts to open original shrinkwrap. B-)
|09/29/2005||Well, I finally did it. I finally got so sick of gas prices that I've started walking or riding a bicycle. What this means for Shoppe customers is that I might be a few days slower mailing packages out. I don't really have an easy way to carry them on the bike so I can only mail out one or two small ones at a time, whatever I can fit in my backpack. The larger lots will have to wait until I have enough packages to justify a drive, or until the weekend when I have time to walk there.
Sorry for any inconvenience but I am thoroughly sick of getting raped at the pump every time the big oil companies get their collective panties in a bunch. I've even given up driving around looking for games, that should tell you how strongly I feel about this: I hate gas prices more than I love game-hunting. (Don't look so surprised, this is the same crazy nut who posted fake auctions to weed out cheaters awhile back. B-)
|09/26/2005||Second batch of Moby auctions is up.
Oh yeah, in case you didn't notice I have a digital camera now, which means I can easily get pics of a game box from multiple angles and do full spreads of the contents. Anybody who wants pics, just ask.
|09/19/2005||Jim (Leonard) has recently had to trim down his game collection, and I offerred to take care of selling it for him. There's a variety of stuff, both collectible and otherwise. I'm doing this in lots of 10 - 15 items per week and spreading out the rarer stuff so everyone can afford to bid. The first batch is up now. Nothing really rare yet, just a few things to whet your appetite. Show your support for MobyGames and the founder of SWCollect by bidding and giving these items a good home.
Also I have to say I'm surprised at how quickly I was able to list stuff on eBay. They've turned themselves around quite a bit since the last time I sold. While there are still 5 screens to go through before the auction posts, it's fast (though that could be the DSL) and I was able to navigate them all swiftly and without having to make the same changes every time (for postage preferences, etc), since eBay saves all that and it actually works. I think the only things I had to change were the category, title and description, and the item's weight for postage.
|08/30/2005||Well, it turns out the "Masterpieces Plus" seller is blacklist material after all. One of his would-be bidders e-mailed me back and said he tried to sell to them privately. That's a C.E. no-no on two counts, selling a known fake (which he knows it is cuz Ken and I both told him) and working a private deal after ending the auction early.
His eBay ID is "wamboyil", and his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I recommend you avoid buying from him, even if he sells items that appear to be legit.
|08/28/2005||Okay, here's (I think) the end of the "Masterpieces Plus" story. The seller never wrote back a second time, but he did end the auction early after cancelling all bids. I wrote to the bidders and told them it was a copy just in case any private offers showed up. One thing that did concern me was this auction the seller won awhile back. My graphic designer friend found it and told me this type of book is used for matching colors between a computer screen and paper. It's not proof by any means, but it does show that the guy has the information needed to print a good fake if he wanted to.
|08/26/2005||Heads up, gang. We may have another faker on our hands.
If you noticed this auction you might have been wondering if it's a legitimate release. (Thanks to Sven for pointing me to it.) I ran it by Ken Love, my Infocom contact at Activision, and here's his response:
I'm holding off on blacklisting the seller until he answers my e-mail about where he got this from (or chooses not to answer, which would tell me all I need to know). Also notice his location, Joliet. If he is the one who made this, it means I've finally found a counterfeiter whose ass is close enough for me to kick.
UPDATE: Got a response from the seller:
I explained to him about collectors, and how they wouldn't be pleased to discover they were bidding on a copy, maybe he should mention that and give them a chance to back out. Also asked for the ID of the guy he got it from, we'll see.
|07/24/2005||A new column has just been posted, and it's a doozy! Read about what I learned when I went undercover to root out backdoor auction bidders.|
|07/11/2005||Getting really psyched for the Video Game Summit this Saturday. If you're in the Chicagoland area, please think about attending. It looks to be a lot bigger this year, they have a local EB Games on board as a sponsor. TomMage, MobyGames' Jim Leonard and I will all have booths there. Hope to see some of you!|
|06/30/2005||Forgot to post this yesterday, but the T-shirt seller has added text to his auction to clarify that his shirt is not a 1980s original. (See how easy I am to get along with when people just do that? B-)|
|06/28/2005||Hooboy. Look what we've got here. I'm already on it. It's definitely not a 1980s original, I can tell from the colors. I've contacted the seller, explained Infocom collectors a bit, and asked him to post more info about where it came from, so we'll see. Just wanted to warn everybody.
The other two game-specific ones, listed by "senorjakehughes", are authentic.
|06/11/2005||I'm listing new Shoppe items today! Scroll down past the news updates to find them.
Update: Okay, that's everything. Go nuts!
|06/09/2005||Those of you with waiting list entries will be getting an automated message from the Shoppe today. This is part of an annual cleanup script that lets me know if anybody's e-mail address is no longer valid, so I can take those entries down. There is no need to reply to it. Any questions, please let me know.|
|06/05/2005||I returned from visiting friend and fellow collector Pix_Z in L.A. last night, absolutely laden with new Shoppe items. Most of it I couldn't fit on the plane and had to mail back to myself, about 4 boxes full! Keep watching this page and my BidVille listings, as I'll be listing everything in the coming weeks. I spent way more than I planned on this trip and need to make some of it back. Lots of big-box SSI games and a number of rarities.
Went to Hollywood, Sea World, Tijuana, and an area Renaissance Faire. Did some classic gaming at Dave and Buster's, and played Laser Tag at UltraZone in San Diego. Met Hugh Falk in person, saw his extensive collection, and had dinner with John Romero. (Was gonna pop by Eyal Katz's multiple addresses by surprise but didn't get around to it.) Wish I had the time to write a column about it all.
While you're waiting for me to list everything, check out Pix_Z's newly launched site, QuestChest.com. She's been accumulating boxes of stuff for awhile, and is just now getting around to listing it. Which means: Lots of good complete games to snatch up before anyone else discovers them! Negotiable prices, much like the Shoppe.
|05/19/2005||Just a heads-up, I will be leaving on vacation next week. Any orders that aren't completed by Friday night will have to wait until I get back.|
|05/11/2005||Personal message to Arlie (westjrarl): I can't contact you through e-mail, my replies to you keep bouncing. I still have the game if you want it, but please create a free Yahoo or Hotmail account and write me from there. Thanks.|
|04/29/2005||A number of Shoppers have wanted to bid on my BidVille auctions, but couldn't because their accounts have zero feedback. I require a minimum score of 1 to block the Nigerian scammers from doing a TakeIt and wasting my time, but have come up with a workaround. Just go to this auction and enter a winning bid of one cent. I'll leave you a positive feedback and then you can bid on my real auctions.|
|04/17/2005||*Sigh*... Well, that makes two. I've just had another very prominent collector admit to me that he made a behind-our-backs deal on eBay. He's on the list now, and though he tells me he's getting ready to sell his collection and leave the hobby (entirely unrelated to this incident), I have to stand by my little principles and not bid on anything, even his really rare stuff.
I want to assure everyone that I am NOT enjoying this in any way. I wonder if I'm going to run out of potential trading partners. Let's not do this anymore, okay?
|03/28/2005||Well, I finally had to do it. I finally had to blacklist a collector I knew for pulling the old underhanded auction trick. The seller in this listing wrote me back identifying him by name. Kills me to do this, but I've said before that I would. (I know Eyal's involved too, but the seller hasn't named him yet.) The game hasn't been sold, as the owner is still trying to figure out what to do. I sent him my suggestion: Relist and keep it up, no matter how many backdoor offers you get.
So. The seller was "bombarded" by private offers, and he freaked. Everybody who wrote him now has to wait on pins and needles for the outcome. There's bound to be some mistrust and upset feelings among collectors over this, and I'm anticipating hate-mail from the guy I just blacklisted. Everything is proceeding exactly as I wrote in that column almost 10 months ago. Hate to say I told you so, but...
Actually I love being able to say I told you so. In fact, I think I'll say it again.
I told you so.
|03/24/2005||I just noticed this on eBay. See? I TOLD you my shrinked copy was not the only one in existence. You can stop bugging me to open it now. Go bug Stuart instead. B-)|
|03/23/2005||Just finished my two-day overhaul of the Shoppe's inventory list. Everything you see should be described accurately now.|
|03/21/2005||Wow, almost a month since I've posted anything here. But at least I've been putting the time to good use. I've manually gone through the Shoppe and corrected the missing items that seem to have plagued a couple of users in particular. In the process I found about 50 games that weren't listed in the database! It's like finding buried treasure on my own game shelves! Take a look below, I'll be adding them throughout the day.
I still intend to do another column... someday.
|02/23/2005||International Shoppers: The problem with postage calculations should now be fixed. I've completely overhauled the countries table and patched the site to interact better with the USPS's. Please let me know if you continue to get the "unable to acquire postage data" error.
Update: Okay, now domestic should be corrected too. When I fixed one problem I introduced another. (Heh, just call me eBay.)
Everyone: Be listing a few new items shortly.
|02/08/2005||Seems our buddy "Jeff Cowe" (Eyal Katz) has gotten smarter following the auction interference column. His latest strategy when he finds a rare item is to mail the seller and ask them to add a BuyItNow to the listing, hoping the seller will bargain-price it and he can snag it before anyone else spots the BiN!
Take a look at this auction. Scroll down to the questions from other buyers. But before you get mad at the seller, do a search and you'll see that he didn't actually sell to him off eBay. I asked what happened, and it turns out "Jeff" got all pissed at having his (fake) name publicly posted along with the question he asked! So the seller ended the original and relisted it.
What's interesting to me is the seller's response to the question. Very non-sequitur. It reads as if Eyal also asked him if he had any other Sierra games, but for whatever reason the seller left that question out but included his response to it.
Oh, and Eyal? I know "Eyal" isn't your real name either. Ho yeah. Little piss-monkey. B-)
|02/03/2005||Take a look at this. A boxed Mount Drash in a VIC-20 lot for $100 BIN! Talk about the seller not having a clue about his item. Even more amazing is the close time, a mere 17 minutes after listing! The winner, "oxbowsnake", must have search bots running that text-message him or something on a match.
This is Boxed Drash #5 by my count.
|01/29/2005||Oh MAN! I just found this diamond in my e-mail today and couldn't resist sharing it with everybody. This is in response to the column I wrote about auction interference. Sort of. It starts out that way but kind of goes off on several tangents further in. Of all the hate messages I've ever gotten, it's one of my absolute favorites.
Gosh, has it really been over six months since my last column? I need to see what I can do about that.
|01/26/2005||YOIS will once again be present at this year's Video Game Summit in Lombard, Illinois. TomMage, Jim Leonard and I had a blast last year. If you're in the area, hope to see you there.|
|01/10/2005||This is kind of funny...
I've been getting a ton of Nigerian scammers contacting me through BidVille lately. One even tried to send me a (very bad and obvious) fake Western Union payment notice. So I've started having some fun with them in my own special way. Which is easy because none of them can spell or utilize grammar.
The latest guy's e-mail asks me for a postage quote using "UPS expresso". I write back saying that I could not do UPS expresso and suggesting UPS cappucino instead. So, heehee, the moron writes back and asks me how much that costs!! What a doof! (I told him it would depend on whether it was purchased through Starbucks or a non-chain.)
|01/07/2005||I've just added about 80 new items, most of them from a huge Commodore score on eBay. A number of clue books, plus lots of loose disks for $1 or $2 (the disks, not the cluebooks), great if you have otherwise complete packages. The non-collectible remainder of the lot will also be going up for auction tomorrow at BidVille.|
|01/02/2005||Okay, I think things are back to normal. IF-Legends' provider turned on the flag I needed, and the cookie issue seems to have fixed itself.|
Yet another issue has arisen with IF-Legends, this time with the cookies used to manage logins. Let me know if you're having problems logging into the site, or if it's just me. I'm seriously looking at moving YOIS to another server if our provider doesn't fix this very very soon.
What a way to start the new year.
|12/30/2004||Wow, I just looked at this page and realized it's been a month since I wrote anything!
I'm still here, and still collecting, though I've gotten pretty heavily into console gaming lately. I've bought up a few computer-related items, but I haven't seen too much lately (in my price range) that I'm really after. I've gotten several requests for a new Shoppe column, and would love to do one, but I'm still about half burned-out on writing from earlier this year. We'll see, though.
Right now the main news is there's a problem with the PHP configuration on IF-Legends, and it's blocking YOIS from opening any remote URL's. I first noticed it when my automated eBay searches stopped working, then tonight I realized it's affecting the shipping cost pulls from the USPS as well. Have e-mailed the admins, hopefully will get it fixed soon. In the meantime you can e-mail me for a postage quote. Please include your shipping address, as well as the web address(es) of the item(s) you are interested in.
Oh, and the Shoppe isn't really closed, but the notification has a link to this page, so I figured that way more people would check it out and see what's going on.
|11/29/2004||'Nother Mt Drash up for auction. (Should I just stop posting these notices? It's become almost commonplace.)|
|11/26/2004||In case anyone is planning to order Shoppe items as gifts this year, the latest Priority shipping date for Christmas deliveries is the 21st. They didn't give media or global air, but I would figure allow at least 10 days, so the 15th. Keep in mind those are the shipping dates, and it may take me a day or two to get your e-mail and get packages together, so please plan accordingly.|
|11/19/2004||A few new items added.|
|11/16/2004||Well, it looks as if "thecaptains" isn't going to tell me who successfully tempted him on the Drash auction, so he's earned a place of honor at the top of my blacklist. Don't deal with this jerk, he can't be trusted to follow through on his promises.
So... *ahem*... Gosh, I sure would like to have a boxed Mt Drash. I feel so inadequate because I don't have one. If anybody out there recently acquired a boxed Mt Drash, say, on eBay, and wanted to feel really superior to me, the best thing to do would be to e-mail me and brag about it. I should also mention that I would pay $12,000 for one. Yeah.
|11/13/2004||Haven't yet received a response from the seller as to why the latest Mt Drash auction was ended early... though of course I have my suspicions.|
|11/10/2004||I'm behind this week, so everybody else has probably already seen the latest Mt Drash on eBay. Unfortunately, he's got it listed at a starting price that doesn't encourage bidders. Unfortunately II, he put up lots of detailed pictures and didn't watermark them. So remember these scans, guys. If there's ever a Drash fraudster, he'll be using them.
Keeping score, this is the fourth boxed Mt Drash that I've personally confirmed.
|10/30/2004||There were a few more issues with not being able to add records to some of the DB tables yesterday, but I think I got them all corrected. Please let me know if you run into any.|
|10/29/2004||Yesterday YOIS was inaccessible for most of the day due to a hardware failure on the server, which forced IF-Legends' hosting provider to move us onto a new one. Somehow the database password didn't get set correctly following that move, so every page that accesses the YOIS database (which is pretty much all of them) came back with errors.
It's back to working now, and there shouldn't have been any data loss since access to the site was interrupted. Stefan tells me that their last successful backup was at 6:00 CET (Germany time) on the 28th, or 23:00 PM CST on the 27th. The last YOIS database backup also ran on the 27th. I didn't notice anything missing from the Shoppe transactions, but if you entered a trade request late on the 27th or early on the 28th, it may have been lost before I ever got to it. Check your user history page and let me know if anything is missing. Apologies for any inconvenience there.
Please let me know if you run into any further issues with the site.
|10/23/2004||Just listed a few new items.|
|10/22/2004||We're going live with a new system at work this weekend, so I'm putting in a lot of overtime hours. If I'm slow to respond to e-mails, that's why.|
|10/20/2004||I've divided my deadbeat list into eBay and BidVille sections, since an ID on one auction site may be a different person on the other. (And since I don't sell on eBay anymore.)|
|10/13/2004||Just a warning, for those of you using one of those spam-blocker services where people sending you messages have to click a link and fill out a form to get "approved". I HATE these damn things! They always seem to fail on me even if I jump through the hoops correctly. So I'm not wasting any more of my life screwing with them. Please add me (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) to your list in advance, or you won't get a reply.|
|10/12/2004||Well. I've officially hit burnout on my other writing project, at least for the time being. So I'm taking a hiatus from my hiatus, which I guess means I'm ready to start on another Shoppe column.
Somewhere in L.A., Eyal Katz is wetting himself. B-)
|10/02/2004||Ugh. Been sick as hell the past week, just getting over it now. I'll be adding some new Shoppe items shortly.
You know what they say about laughter and medicine, so in case anybody else is feeling under the weather I thought I'd share this doozy of an e-mail I got the other day. Read through this abomination word by word and just TRY not cracking up. The caps and "alternative" punctuation style are all his. (Hers? Its??)
Heehee, I just got an idea. Next person who bugs me with "Did you get my mail?" I'm going to give this guy your address and say you have a hundred of the item he's looking for. God have mercy on you. B-)
Bad news first. It looks as if the Vintage Computer Gaming Conference (VCGC) is officially defunct. We printed up some way-awesome invitations that looked like 5.25" floppies and were even sealed with a silver write-protect tab. These were sent out to several big-name classic game authors, but we didn't get a single reply before the deadline. I have mixed feelings. On one hand I'm a bit relieved, as the cost of putting on the show, in both money and time, was looking a bit steep. On the other, I'm quite disappointed that so many old-time authors would be so indifferent to a show looking to honor their contributions to gaming history that they wouldn't even reply, even just to say, "Sorry but I can't make it." Eh well. Maybe we'll try again in a few years, see if the climate has changed.
Lee Seitz writes (on SWCollect): "Boy, those Infocom games certainly are flexible. How many different ways are there of playing them now? Well, add one more to the list. To celebrate the new radio series, BBC Radio 4 has done a Macromedia Flash version of Hitchhiker's Guide. If you live in the U.K., you can even contribute graphics to it as part of a contest."
Finally, IF-Legends is moving to a new server soon, possibly next weekend. It's the Shoppe that's been holding up the works, being the largest site here, so I'm doing my best to make things easy on the admins. Watch this page, as YOIS will likely be down for a few hours until the DNS servers switch over to the new domain location. I'll post the exact date and time once I have it myself.
|09/20/2004||TomMage came down for the weekend (finally got to see the house) and we spent the better part of two days hitting thrifts, the live auction downtown, and the annual ham radio and electronics expo. Had a blast, thanks Tom!
Don't miss the shrinked Suspended mask at eBay, by one of the SWCollect members.
|09/17/2004||Okay, it's been an extremely busy week and the "why haven't you answered" e-mails are starting to appear, so let's do a quick review session. If you've been with the Shoppe a long time, you know how much this irritates me; please don't do it. If you're new, I refer you to the appropriate FAQ. Your patience is appreciated.|
|09/12/2004||Finally got around to listing a bunch of stuff on BidVille (uid="morrodox"). Lots of old hardware, game systems, etc. Help me get my storage room cleared out a bit.
And I forgot to mention it at the end of August, probably because of the tepid response, but the YOIS story contenst mentioned in the last column is off. I got a grand total of three entries, whoopee. I'll see if I can find something nice for those who did participate.
|08/31/2004||Decided I'd better take a minute to explain what I've been up to lately, as a couple of people have remarked on how quiet I've been. (Guess my big mouth is easily missed when it's not spouting off.) What's happened is, I've started writing again, and it's gotten pretty serious to the point of taking up a lot of my time. It's not Shoppe columns, in fact it's not gaming-related at all. It's just something I've felt very strongly compelled to do, and I just have to see if I can. Hope that makes some sense. I'm not ready to say exactly what it is yet, but if it ends up going anywhere I'll definitely announce it here.
One thing I did do was reopen the Shoppe, now that all the backlogged transactions have been caught up. I tried to refresh the lingering transactions from people I know are serious about eventually following through, but if you get a sudden non-payment message, it's probably overdue since I had them set on non-expiry.
|08/21/2004||Just a warning, Eyal Katz's "jeffcowe" user ID is back to active status on eBay. Good time to update your block list from my deadbeat page.|
|08/14/2004||Adding some more items, from the large Apple II lot I won on eBay. There were even a couple of Zork Users Group items for Deadline that the seller didn't mention! I've already got 'em, so offerring them to another lucky (and well-paying) Shopper.|
|08/10/2004||Just added some new trade items (scroll down).|
|08/09/2004||It's okay to ignore the "closed" warning on the main page. I'm still here, I've just got a backlog of pending transactions, so I put up the closed sign so the Shoppe doesn't automatically expire them.
Sorry if it seems I've been neglecting the site lately. I do have a bunch of new pieces I'd like to write vault pages for. Been busy working on the deck while the weather's good, plus I've started writing again. (Should really channel some of that creativity into a column or two.)
|08/05/2004||I've been getting quite a few mails lately asking how much some item costs. If you're new, please read the FAQ page to learn how YOIS works. Prices are flexible and you can make an initial offer or have the system quote you one. You do need to be registered to request a price. (This prevents other dealers from using the site as a glorified price guide.)
BidVille update: They were good on their promise to give me several days to revise my auctions. I cut out the links to my main and deadbeat pages, that should satisfy them. Despite this slightly oppressive turn, they're still infinitely less fascist than eBay.
Yes Eyal, I'm still watching your hoodlum ass. And yes, a Google on "jeffcowe" does indeed lead to my page. Can't find the column you're stumbling for? Did you try the site map page? Of course you did, I saw it! Maybe you should ask PacBell for help. (And that's all the news coverage I'm giving you until the next column is ready. A few other Shoppers sure enjoyed these posts though. Buh-bye. ^v^)
|08/03/2004||Hi, Eyal! You find what you're looking for on this page yet? ^v^ (P.S. Nice DSL.)|
|07/30/2004||Heads up if you use BidVille. I got this from them today:
"Hyperlinks to personal websites and other auction sites must be placed in your About Me section of Bidville. It is a T.O.S violation to have a link on your auction listings and all listings with these links may be subject to removal by our fraud division. Our apologies for the confusion and we thank you for your understanding in this matter."
What IS it with these auction places and their phobia of hyperlinks? I mean come ON, the main reason I moved to BidVille is to escape big-bully eBay, now BV is slowly turning into its punk-ass little brother. I guess I should be grateful they wrote and warned me. I asked them to give me a bit to get to changing the listings, as I have a lot of them and not a lot of time, so we'll see what happens. You'll hear about it here, I promise.
BidVille, if you happen onto this, remember Yahoo Auctions? They pissed away their chances of competing with eBay when they started acting like it, charging listing fees. Don't make the same bonehead mistake.
|07/27/2004||Two eBay items of note: First, Jim Leonard of MobyGames is moving a bunch of his collectible software on eBay, 10 items per week, working up to the valuable stuff. (Told you I'd plug your auctions, Jim.) And second, "Jeff Cowe" has made his latest eBay ID's feedback private. (Got somethin' to hide, do we, Eyal?)|
|07/26/2004||I went to my first-ever auction this weekend, an actual live auction. A co-worker told me about a place downtown that has one every weekend, for all sorts of junk, and I found some game system stuff there. Got outbid on two lots but won a stack of old Atari manuals. If you've never done a live auction before, you've got to try it, it gets pretty intense. Entirely different strategy. You've got to examine the stuff closely and decide what you're going to bid in advance, then try not to get caught up in the competition. Bidding usually starts a bit high but they drop the price fast if there are no bids, and keep throwing stuff into the lot until someone bids. I had a blast, plan to make it a regular Sunday thing.|
|07/22/2004||I'm back, and things are slowly settling down. VGS was great! I stayed over with TomMage Friday night, driving three hours with a couple thousand dollars' worth of vintage games in my trunk. Then Saturday we got up early and drove in to the show, where we had to drag everything through the lobby and down an elevator, so I got my upper-body workout. There were about 10 tables, and TomMage, Jim Leonard of MobyGames, and I all had ours together. Probably 50 - 60 people came through and looked at our stuff, so it was definitely a small show, but I moved some items and made some contacts. One guy and his son flew down from New York for the son's birthday, and he said it was the coolest one he'd ever had!
Shoppe's reopened, though I've still got a lot to catch up on. Nobody reserved anything that sold at the show. VCGC organizers, I promise I'll get to your mail backlog over the weekend.
|07/16/2004||Just a quick note and a heads-up before I head up to Lombard for VGS: I'm taking several boxes of Shoppe items with me to sell/trade, but I'm probably not going to have net access to update the stock while I'm there. So if you buy from the Shoppe this weekend, please be aware that there's a chance I won't have a particular item anymore once I get back. You may want to hold off paying for items until I get the list updated and officially take down the "closed" notice. (Feel free to go ahead and reserve 'em, though, just in case I still do.)
Thanks, hope to see you at VGS!
|07/15/2004||Okay, I simply have to share this one with everybody!
The other day a guy bid on a bunch of old PC software I had up on BidVille. Not collectible games or anything, just junk, stuff that didn't even meet the Shoppe's modest standards. He sends me this big long wordy e-mail ALL IN CAPS. Not once, not twice, but three times a scammer. And not because my reply wasn't fast enough, they were all within 10 minutes of each other. He says he has businesses in five different countries, the U.K. and four in Africa, and asks for shipping quotes to each one. I oblige.
Here's where it gets good. This morning he tells me he's prepared a cashier's check for $4000, he's going to send it to me. I'm supposed to cash it and send the money and stuff to his Nigeria address, less the $300 he's letting me keep for this absolute POS software he's buying.
Um, I'll take "Internet Scams" for $200, Alex.
Watch for updates if this happens to get even funnier.
|07/13/2004||I'm back... But still getting caught up, and also preparing for the VGS this coming weekend. I had about 110 e-mails waiting, so don't be surprised if it takes me awhile to get to yours. I'm leaving the Shoppe closed until next week.
Fun development on "jeffcowe": He is now NARU on eBay. I'm not sure if it was me and the other collectors reporting his off-eBay finagling, or maybe he dumped the ID himself after I blacklisted him, or he may have gotten caught bidding on several auctions using multiple identities.
Check it, two other recently created, recently terminated, high-rolling accounts have also been NARU'd: "*ryujin*" and "froddo711". Not 100% sure these are him, but if they are, a couple of them have bid high ammounts on the same auctions. Could be bid shielding, and maybe eBay caught on. (BTW, it's spelled "Frodo", you doof.) At any rate, he's back as "beamishwilly".
Oh, and bombshell time: This guy is also Eyal Katz. Yeah, THAT Eyal Katz. Several of us have known for awhile, and have been keeping track of which rare items he's won in case he attempts to start up "production" again. So far he's confined himself to bidding so I haven't had to rush out a column. Full story, including how we found out it was him, coming soon. In the meantime, it goes without saying, but... Don't buy, sell, or trade with him.
|07/06/2004||The Shoppe is temporarily closed. I'm away on vacation, but will fill any waiting orders when I get back. (If I'm not responding to your e-mail, this'd be the reason.)
If you're in the Midwest, don't forget about the Video Game Summit in Lombard, IL, on the 17th. TomMage and I will both be there, as will Jim Leonard of MobyGames. Stop by and talk with us, and maybe go out for dinner afterward. I'm hauling up several boxes of my best trade items for people to look through, plus some console and non-collectible stuff I don't list here.
|07/04/2004||Congratulations to 'jeffcowe' for being the first buyer to make the YOIS blacklist for auction interference on listed eBay items.
Told ya I'd do this! You all thought I was kidding, yeah?
|07/02/2004||Just remembered the 5th is a postal holiday since the 4th is on Sunday. But if I get your payments by Monday night I'll get your packages ready and mail 'em while on vacation. Anything after will be sent after I get back.|
|06/30/2004||Heehee, I had so much fun today! I got another one of those "from eBay" scam mails, so on my lunch break I went out to their site and just started filling in fields, except instead of actual information I typed in really horrible rap lyrics. I was just making up nonsense as I went, and entering it! I did it about 50 times! Too bad I didn't save any of it, or I'd post 'em here for all of you to laugh at. But I did give the scammers a real secondary e-mail address and ask for copies, so maybe they'll write me back.
Serious, now. I'll be leaving on vacation beginning the 6th. I plan to make one last shipment of packages on the 5th, probably in the afternoon, then I'll close the Shoppe. Any payments you send after that will have to wait until I return in a week and a half. I'll post the usual notify message on the main pages about the Shoppe being closed.
|06/22/2004||Happy 25th Infocom Anniversary! On this day in 1979, four months after the final touches were made to the original mainframe Zork, the company was founded by a subset of the Dynamic Modelling team at MIT, among them Marc Blank, David Lebling, and Stu Galley.|
If you're not registered with BidVille, I highly recommend it. It's still early, but they're looking to become the eBay alternative that Yahoo! Auctions was before they pissed it all away. I have quite a few auctions running there continuously, as do a few other collectors. (Plus if you mention "morrodox" as your referral, I get free special-feature points).
|06/18/2004||I posted this on SWCollect but thought I'd ask here too. We've about got a budget down for the software collectors' expo (originally "SCExpo", now "VCGC" for Vintage Computer Gaming Conference), and it's going to cost us several thousand dollars up front to put together. If anyone is interested in donating some venture capital, you're invited to share in the profits (if any) from the show.
Also the response to my collecting story contest has been less than overwhelming. In fact I've only been whelmed twice so far. This isn't eBay, so you don't need to snipe with your entry. I won't be posting any of them until the deadline is over. But if I don't have enough entries to make it interesting come August I may have to scrap the contest.
|06/16/2004||New trade items listed below. I've also got an extra "Human Never Stands So Tall" Infocom poster on the way, courtesy of eBay. I was surprised when my bid actually won; I figured it'd go a lot higher. Anyway, I'm entertaining early trade offers on that too.|
|06/11/2004||Got another interesting question on the auction interference column:
For your column on ebay: What if a member persuades a seller to change his auction to a BUY IT NOW option (placing other member's bargain offer as price)? you may want to add this...as being "cheating", too ;-)
Ooh, now that's a possibility I hadn't considered! I'd rank that as more fair than an off-eBay sale, because at least other bidders would get a chance to grab it... It's not guaranteed that the seller would be right there to get the buyer's message, and vice-versa once the price got changed. Still a form of auction interference though.
|06/08/2004||Happy YOIS Anniversary! Two years ago the current site went live. The only reason I remembered is I got an automated e-mail from the Shoppe reminding me to do cleanup on the waiting list entries. So. If you're on the list but have an outdated e-mail address, please get it updated soon or your entries will get wiped.|
|06/06/2004||Just posted an addendum to the column's auction interference article, adding some very intelligent points a reader made, and my responses (you tell me if those are intelligent as well).|
|06/05/2004||New Shoppe column is up, just in time for the weekend. This time I've got the first-ever YOIS contest, recommended summer reading and vintage-game book list, my personal thoughts on game storage, and a company profile for Avalon Hill. I also drop a nice bombshell at the end, about people who e-mail eBay sellers and work private offers behind the scenes and what I intend to do about them, so you may want to at least read that if you're one of those people. (I assure you, I mean every word of it.)|
|05/31/2004||I'd just like to say a brief thanks on this Memorial Day to the armed services people who gave their lives so that weirdos like us can spend ours hoarding all this great vintage crap. For the record, the going rates are now $809 for a shrinked Starcross saucer, and $380 for a shrinked Suspended mask.
And if you haven't seen this EGM article on today's kids and classic gaming, do take a gander. It's an absolute scream. B-)
|05/28/2004||I got an e-mail today from someone suggesting I do one of my expos?s on Centsible Software, complaining of reshrinked games being sold as new, poor or rude customer service, etc. I checked out a couple of Amiga boards and it does not seem to be an isolated incident. Personally I've never had a problem with Centsible. From my experience they sell a lot of loose materials, unboxed, but I've never gotten poor service or an obvious reshrink from them. So, I'd very much like to hear any Centsible stories the rest of my readership might have. Got a new column coming up, and if I get enough material I'll do an article on them.|
|05/26/2004||Hmm, I think Drash's reputation is starting to precede itself. $606.65 was the final price on the latest auction, but with reserve not met. Obviously the seller expected a lot more since the listing expresses excitement over $700 - $800 for a loose cassette, and his had instructions. I wonder how many people held back because they were afraid of what the reserve might be? However, it seems the seller contacted the high bidder and agreed to sell, relisting with a BuyItNow so he'd have eBay's protection (such as it is) on the transaction. For the record, the winner was "king_dragon", and I believe I know who this is, though I'll wait for him to confirm before I go posting it here.
On a semi-related note, does anybody else think eBay's new "My eBay" page has the butt-fugliest layout you've ever seen?
|05/18/2004||I've added a number of new trade items, see below. If you're wondering about all the "torn-off box covers", well, it's a new one for me too. I bought a large lot of Amiga games and that's how the guy kept them, in plastic sleeves with all the materials but just the front part of the box which he cut or tore off. Brutal, just brutal. I can't imagine it saving much shelf space either.
I also have the latest MobyScale changes up, following an intense discussion on SWCollect last week.
And in case anybody was wondering what happened to the first Mt Drash auction (loose cassette), the seller informed me that he pulled it when he saw the second go up rather than compete with it and probably lose money. Not sure if he'll be relisting it or just keeping it for himself and watching the value appreciate (or depreciate, whatever the case may be).
|05/16/2004||Okay, here's another first in the world of Drash: We now have two concurrent auctions! Personally if I were the second seller I would've waited. This is definitely going to impact price, though the second one does have instructions.
So the total count is up to... what, eight now? Nine if you count another user on SWCollect who implied he has it too.
|05/15/2004||This is actually starting to get a bit mundane, but... We have another
Drash up for auction, a loose cassette this time. That makes what, five in the last eight months, after an eight-year dry spell? Amazing. And all it took was someone to list that first copy back in September. Hmm, wonder if I should put my shrinked PC Cyborg up to see if any more come out? Naaah...
Be interesting to see how the loose cassette price has been affected since the appearance of two boxed copies.
This past week I got back a number of vault items I had the original authors sign for me. (Yeah, I've recovered from the Kitchen incident and am back to doing that again.) I've found this is a great means of tiding myself over until something I need appears on eBay, or until prices on rares come down a bit... Have you seen some of the going rates lately? *Whoo!*
In other news I've got another column in progress, two actually, one dealing with the return of an old "friend". Part 2 of the Secret Column should be ready in another month or so as well. Haven't read the Secret Column yet? You're missing a good'un!
And it's settled, TomMage and I are both definitely going to be at VGS in Lombard on 7/17. If you're within driving distance and planning to attend, we'd love to meet you. Here are maps if anyone needs them.
|05/05/2004||For any collectors within driving distance of the Chicago suburbs, I'm going to have a table at the Video Game Summit in Lombard, IL on July 17th. TomMage has expressed an interest in being there too. We'd love to meet other collectors, have dinner after the show, etc. (Will remind everyone once the date approaches.)|
|05/04/2004||Just in case any of you were thinking of bidding on this one, be aware that it's not an original advertisement flyer, but a page cut out of a magazine and framed by the seller (which I suspected after seeing this one... Note how the other side of the page shows through). The seller has confirmed this to me, but hasn't mentioned it in his auctions so I wanted to pass along the word.|
|05/02/2004||$2650 is the final price on the latest Mt Drash. A difference of $955 from the last one, though it could be attributed to anything from the increasing number of copies to the poor condition of the box to the missing registration card. Winner was "mayhem_uk", the runner-up in Fortran's auction.
BTW, anybody know what happened to that Magnetic Scrolls Myth that was scheduled to end today? It was right here last time I checked. Normally I'd suspect someone made the seller a private offer, but when that happens the item's page is still up with a lame excuse for why the auction was ended early. This one's just gone. Only explanation I can think of is that the seller got NARU'd.
|04/24/2004||The initial draft of the online CURIOUS guide is now up at GOTCHA. Currently it supports sorting and searching, and is printable if anyone is so inclined.
Heard from another person who has the "no-stone" variant of the Wishbringer grey, and have revised my theory about it in light of this new evidence.
Is it just my imagination or has there been an awful lot of rare stuff going up on eBay lately? Normally it's not uncommon for me to go a month without seeing a single item on my want-list, and lately there have been four or five in one week. Spring cleaning, I guess.
|04/22/2004||News flash! Another Ultima: Escape from Mt Drash hit eBay about this time last night. Seems the recent auctions are starting to bring them out of the closets and attics. Taking bets on what this one will go for. I'm gonna say... $2800.|
|04/21/2004||It's new item time! Scroll below to see what's just arrived. A few rare pieces this time. Serious offers only on those, please... I've had an unusually high number of cheapskates lately. (To those people: I'm not an idiot, okay? Well, maybe I am, but I'm still an idiot who knows Roberta Williams Anthology is worth more than $30. B-)|
|04/06/2004||Okay, here's a bit more info on Bidiots: Basic listing is free. There's a 2% final value charge if the item sells, so it's not completely free like BidVille, but still cheaper than eBay. Their category placement is a bit of a pain, spanning multiple screens, one for the main category and one for each subset. There is no number shortcut for entering a category. Listing spans four forms plus a preview screen, compared with BidVille's one, and whatever eBay's is up to now. However they do offer up to 15-day auctions, with 10 automatic relists. I'm not sure if there's a fast relist after that or if you have to go through the form gauntlet again.
Given that they cater to vintage technology, I'm going to try listing a few items there this weekend. Will report back on my success, compared to BidVille.
|04/01/2004||Oh. My. GOD. SHRINKED MOUNT DRASH on eBay!!|
|03/31/2004||Anybody tried this auction site yet? Bidiots.com? Looks to be exclusively for computers and games, still relatively low-traffic but growing. If anybody's listed there, I'm interested to hear how it compares to BidVille. (Already know it's gotta be simpler than eBay!)|
|03/28/2004||My co-buyer on the Infocom films and slides has changed his mind, so if anybody else wants any of the duplicates they're up for grabs. It's all post-Infocom material from Activision. I have pieces from Return to Zork, Grand Inquisitor, LGoP2, both LTOIs, and a couple of the Activision Collections. These are original photos and screenshots taken by the developers when creating the packaging and ads, and some behind-the-scenes set pictures. I have a full list available, just e-mail me if you'd like to see it.
I've also added Vintage Computer Auction to my links page. This is a relatively new online auction site that's geared exclusively toward old technology. That and the fact that listing is free make it another great alternative to eBay.
|03/22/2004||After years of speculation, we finally have an auction value for a boxed Ultima: Escape from Mt Drash: $3605! Peter Olafson took it with a double-snipe in the final 20 seconds. This blows away the previous record of $2000 for the first shrinked Starcross saucer ever sold. Absolutely unreal. Congratulations to both the buyer and seller.|
|03/21/2004||Check out the Computer Gaming World Museum: Stephane Racle has cover and content scans for the first 100 issues of CGW online, with more to come.|
|03/20/2004||Lots of things happening in the past week:|
|03/15/2004||Just in case you hadn't caught it yet... FortranDragon is auctioning his (boxed) Ultima: Escape from Mt Drash. It's already over $500.|
|03/08/2004||I just discovered that YOIS got a mention and a link in a GameSpy article on finding older games. Nifty!|
|03/07/2004||I added a bunch of new trade items earlier today, including the duplicate Questbusters issues I now have after a nice score on eBay. Plus a few more at BidVille.
Also, thanks to a Shoppe visitor's trade, I was finally able to replace the Hayden Crystal Caverns that got mangled by Dan Kitchen's negligence. (Guess who's not signing this one?)
|03/06/2004||Received word that Silas Warner, best known for the original Castle Wolfenstein (and Beyond) passed away earlier this week. He was a phenomenal talent, and he will be missed.|
|03/02/2004||Thought I had him: A couple of weeks ago I won an auction for a large number of Questbusters newsletters, which came the other day. As I was going through them I found some writing on the back of one issue, a phone number with "Talk to -> Shey" underneath. It just might be an old phone number for Shay Addams! (Column readers may recall my Vegas quest for him.) Of course I called immediately, only to reach the cell phone of some woman who'd had the number for over a year and had never heard of Shay. Next step, write to the address on the back of the QB issue, and see if they're still in touch with him. Keep ya posted. (For cover scans of nearly all QB issues visit Howard Feldman's Computer Game Museum -- note the new URL.)
Collectors are also encouraged to check out the CURIOUS scale, employing the latest wickedly cool acronym from GOTCHA. This is a work in progress for cataloguing the relative availability or rarity of games ("C" = Common, "U" = Uncommon, "R" = Rare, etc.), in a central data mining repository. Contributions are welcome if you have expertise with a particular company's games. Eventually I will be including CURIOUS scarcity ratings on Shoppe items' pages.
Plans are slowly getting underway for the first-ever Software Collectors Expo, in the same vein as Classic Gaming Expo and PhillyClassic, but geared more toward computer gamers. Right now we're looking at the possibility of joining forces with the Vintage Computer Festival. Watch this page for updates and announcements. If you're interested in helping with organizing the show, please join the discussion group.
Oh, and I picked up an Apple IIGS on my latest game-hunting expedition with TomMage, so I can now verify IIGS disks if anyone needs it done. Got my 486 PC back up too, thanks to several members of SWCollect, so I can once again check and copy 5.25" disks.
|02/03/2004||I'm still a bit behind with open trades and transactions... When I wrap up a column everything else tends to get put on hold, but I promise I'll get to it in the next couple of days. LMK if you get an expiry message and I'll keep your trade open.|
|02/02/2004||From Jim Leonard, regarding the SWCollect mailing list:
"Just a quick note that the email@example.com list is having an issue because of the recent mydoom email virus. Currently, the list works, but no member add/remove requests can be processed. So if you recommend someone to the list and they can't join, that's why. I hope to have the problem corrected after February 12th when the virus self-destructs."
|02/01/2004||A new Shoppe column has been posted, just in time for Groundhog Day! This time around we look at the new Shoppe (the house I bought last year), protecting your collection investment, Ultima: Escape from Mt Drash, why "Games Aren't Readable"... and a little something about T-shirts. B-)|
|01/30/2004||I know I haven't posted much lately. Had a few really busy weeks at work, and there's a system go-live this weekend. I've got a new column almost done, and I'll post it once all that settles down. This one is worth the wait, especially for long-time followers of the Shoppe.|
|01/27/2004||Added a few more items, see below.|
|01/24/2004||Just heard the news: Last week Legend Entertainment, the last great commercial I-F company, has officially been shut down. Bummer. Thanks to Marco for passing on the news. I wish Bob Bates the best of luck in his future endeavors.|
|01/18/2004||Still recovering from an extremely busy work week, so I'm just now getting the latest batch of packages together. If e-mail response seemed slow lately, that's why.
Be sure to check out the first issue of Armchair Arcade, a new webzine about classic gaming. Bill Loguidice's article on game packaging includes a shot of my Starcross saucer.
|01/07/2004||I've heard from a couple of people who have gotten an error message when trying to sign up for the YOIS mailing list. Checking the list, I see a number of recent subscribers with "unconfirmed" status. If you're having trouble getting signed up, please let me know.|
|01/05/2004||The latest Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash auction (the second in eBay history) closed at $765 last night, down exactly $100 from the first one. Once again this was a loose cassette, no box or instructions. They're slowly starting to come out of the woodwork, it would seem.
The seller held a private auction, but if the winning bidder would like to come forward on the swcollect list, we'd love to hear from you. (We just like to keep track of who has the valid copies of Drash to guard against fraudulent claims; we promise not to bug you about selling, copying, etc.)
|12/30/2003||Hey gang, sorry I haven't done much with the site lately. My New Year's Resolution is to catch up on my lists and on testing a bunch of backlogged changes to the site, mostly behind-the-scenes stuff no one else will notice. I'm also aiming for mid-January for the next column. This time around I'm writing two at once, for... well, you'll see.|
|12/23/2003||Heehee, that TomMage... Check these out!|
|12/22/2003||Adding a few more items, below.|
|12/19/2003||Went to check some 5-1/4" disks today and discovered my 486 PC isn't working. If you need any disks verified, it'll probably be after the holidays before I'll be able to do it. Go ahead and reserve the item(s) now, though, and I'll keep the transaction open until I get this resolved.|
|12/07/2003||I can't believe a classic game author could be so careless and disrespectful.
I just got my Hayden games back from Dan Kitchen, whom I sent them to so he could transfer the disk contents to image files. I also asked him to autograph them for me while he was at it.
So, instead of putting them back in the nice sturdy box I sent them in, what does he do? He sticks them in a flimsy padded envelope. As a result, my once-mint Crystal Caverns now has a huge dent in it. Thanks a lot, Dan. I would have thought someone so interested in having a working copy of his game would have shown a little more care toward the original packaging, not to mention respect for another person's property. Last time I try to do an original author a favor.
So. Anybody got an [F/NM] Crystal Caverns? I'm offering primo trades.
|12/06/2003||TomMage pointed this out to me. Seems Detroit, YOIS's favorite urban piss-hole, hasn't changed a bit since I went there almost 3 years ago. (I'm still going back someday. LMK if you want to tag along and help me document the squalor and lack of civilization. B-)|
|12/04/2003||Malinche Entertainment's Greystone is now available.|
|11/23/2003||Sorry for the lack of updates. My broken toe is healed and I've been making up for lost jogging time. I'm listing more items, scroll down to see just the new stuff. Quite a few Sierra Quest collections. I'll probably finish the I-F stuff tonight and get to the rest tomorrow.|
|11/10/2003||Finally got the rest of my shelves up today! It'll be great to finally have the sale items unboxed and off the floor. Next step, get TomMage down here with his digital camera to take some pics for the column.
Did everyone else notice this auction? 128 games, closing about $15 apiece, though I'm sure the Wing Commander special editions skew the average significantly. Lots of good stuff, though, one of the highest collectible-to-crap ratios I've ever seen in a large lot (most of which close at far below the individual item values).
|11/09/2003||HE DID IT!!! At 9:02 my time tonight, he FINALLY found the news page! I think we're all more than a little proud of our Timmon right about now. (Okay, who helped him? B-)|
Yep, someone must have told the little fella about my column update because he paid another visit to the Shoppe at about 10:50 my time last night. It's not on the for-sale page, ya twit!
Heehee, this is fun! Like watching a monkey try to drive a car.
|11/01/2003||A demo of Greystone, the second I-F title from Malinche Entertainment, is now available for download. The full game is due out on November 28th. It's set in a real mental hospital in New Jersey, and the author got an exclusive look inside while doing research for the game. Haven't had a chance to try it yet myself, but from reading the designer's journal on Malinche's site, it sounds awesome.
Speaking of Malinche, I've finally gotten around to posting the concluding chapter to the Timmon counterfeiter column. (Hi, Timmon!) Read some actual e-mail that Pentari: First Light author Howard Sherman got from this loser (yes, apparently he CAN talk)!
Speaking of counterfeiters, I assume many of you have already noticed this putz hawking his self-burned Infocom CDs on eBay. A couple of people pointed him out to me, but I see these all the time -- people selling crappy CD-Rs full of out-of-print games for a mint price, and other people actually paying for them. The only difference is in this case they're all Infocom games. Here's the link if we want to mass-report him to eBay. It's tempting, but it doesn't really hurt collectors as there's no threat of anyone mistaking it for a real compilation, so jokers like this guy are just not worth my time to do a full-fledged column.
Speaking of columns, I'm holding off on the next one until ShopKo gets the remainder of my sale-item shelves in, so I can include good pictures of the new Shoppe. Depending how long that takes I may finish a different one in between. I've now got the overwhelming bulk of vault games bagged and shelved, and will be working to get my BidVille auctions updated with some reduced bids and a few new listings, over the next couple of days. Expect a batch of new Shoppe items to go up early next week.
And oh yeah, a guy from PC Gamer U.K. is doing an article on Infocom collecting and has sent me some questions. Will let you know when the publication date approaches.
Geesh, rains it freakin' pours. Think that's everything.
|10/24/2003||Shoppe is reopened. Had a great visit with fellow collector Pix_Z and game-hunting in Chicago with TomMage. Got some really nice digital pictures of my Infocom posters, expect some new vault pages soon.|
|10/16/2003||Got another collector coming to visit for a few days, plus my e-mail client's acting all screwy, so I'm closing the Shoppe until things settle down.|
|10/13/2003||Son of a bitch. Son of a goddamn, motherfucking bitch.
I am SO FUCKING PISSED at eBay right now. Their POS server went down last night and my snipe (and probably a few other people's) didn't go through. Of course eBay didn't extend it, those fucking incompetents. This is why I don't sell there anymore.
Sorry for the language, but Jesus Christ.
|10/05/2003||Thanks to the collector who pointed out today's User Friendly webcomic. This is actually pretty close to what it was like when I moved (well, the game boxes part was). They also have an Infocom-related t-shirt (don't worry, it's not a fake job B-).|
|10/04/2003||The Drash auction closed at a mind-blowing $865! That's for just a loose cassette, remember! I'll have an article on Drash in the next column. If the winner would like to contact me and share his/her perspective I'd welcome it. (I promise to protect your secret identity if that's what you want.) Meantime, let's be careful out there, people: There are bound to be scammers out to make a quick buck after seeing this. I know people who own originals, who have said they'd be glad to act as appraisers if needed.|
I'm back to walking a little again, thanks to a bracing shoe. Plan to get more of the vault games shelved this weekend. Wanna see an X-ray of the broken toe? I looked it up in the radiology database at work. The physician's report calls it a "mildly comminuted transverse fracture of the second distal phalanx." ("Captain, our inverse particle warp field can't hold against the gravimetric fluctuations in the space-time continuum!") I thought about uploading a picture of the actual toe, but it's still pretty bruised and purple, and you're already traumatized from my cat story.
|09/28/2003||On a more positive note, the Ultima: Escape from Mount Drash auction is back up. I've already started the bidding.|
|UPDATE: Easy come, easy go. I was outbid in the Drash auction. Eh well.|
|09/27/2003||SHIT. I somehow managed to slam a door on my foot last night and am now on crutches with a busted phalanx on one toe. The good news for Shoppers is, I won't be jogging for awhile, so I should have extra time to take care of stuff around here. The bad news is, I won't be lugging any large boxes to the post office anytime soon. If it can't fit in my backpack, it's just going to have to wait, at least until I can get a friend or co-worker to act as pack mule. This is also going to hold up getting the vault shelved (and I was up to "Z" under Infocom). Like I said: SHIT.|
|09/26/2003||Wow, what a week for Ultima collectors! First one lucky guy scores a complete Escape from Mount Drash, then this goes up on eBay. Unfortunately it looks like a few too many would-be bidders wised the seller up on the game's rarity, as he first added some information lifted from Underworld Dragon's pages, then ended the listing early when someone made him an offer he couldn't refuse (error in the bid amount, pshyeah RIGHT!) If the buyer reads this, I'd love to hear how much you paid him off. B-)
So, that's a total of four confirmed copies in existence... and I know of one other collector who's been negotiating with a guy claiming to have two! People falsely claiming to own Mt Drash are more common than the game itself, though, so we'll see.
UPDATE: Okay, here's the story with the eBay Mt Drash:
The guy hasn't sold it yet. He pulled the auction when he realized the ultra-rare status of the game. That happened when he received only one bid, but a TON of e-mails from people asking him to close the auction and sell it privately. (I suspect everyone else was waiting to snipe so as not to draw attention to it.)
He tells me he's going to relist it separately with an "appropriate" starting bid and reserve price. I've already cautioned him about providing any large, detailed scans of the tape, and about watermarking any he does post, as Mt Drash is an obvious counterfeiting target.
|Speaking of which, remember our friend timmon? Well Pentari author Howard Sherman has successfully gotten eBay to end his latest auction for a bogus copy of that game. Heheheheheheheh. >B-}|
|09/25/2003||Here's a gross but true story that happened a few days ago:
I came downstairs one morning to get another boxload of vault games to bag. One thing I had done due to lack of shelf space was to take some of the box lids off (they're those big rectangular office paper kind) and set some of the games I'd get to later on top of the lids. Because I'm shelving my collection in alphabetical order, see.
So anyway, I came downstairs and discovered that my cat had apparently been nosing around the disorganized vault area, and she had hwarfed on one of my Infocom folios! Either she got a sudden upset stomach and had to let it hurk up where she was, or she has something against Stu Galley's The Witness. Fortunately, (1) she just got the corner of it, the rest dribbled onto the storage box, and (2) I had the shrinkwrapped one on top of the opened one, so I was simply able to wipe the gastric ejection off with a damp cloth, and you can't even tell it happened. So everything's fine, and puddy-puke is now banned from the vault area when I'm not around.
THAT, fellow collectors, is why you should always leave your games in the shrinkwrap!
That's all. Go eat dinner now. B-)
|09/23/2003||Updated the Cornerstone Database Database, which has actually been on its own page for awhile, though I may not have mentioned it before. I've added details about the elusive slipcover and shipping carton, plus a couple of new items obtained by the winner of that shrinked one on eBay. There is also information about Micro/Answer package, and a correction about one of the flyers, which I found packaged with an issue of The Status Line when I was picking up for the move. (All this reorganizing has turned up a ton of stuff I'd forgotten I even had! Look for a massive new trade pile once I get it all sorted out.)|
|09/20/2003||Just got back from a local ham radio and computer swap meet, where I scored a few Shoppe items -- LTOI2, Willy Beamish -- plus my own boxed copy of The Neverhood for $2.50 (!)
Tons of stuff to do with the Shoppe, I hope to finally get to some of it this weekend. For starters, the mailing address on the order form page is finally updated. Speaking of which, my Earthlink account is now defunct. Check the e-mail link at the bottom of the page if you need to update your address book.
|09/11/2003||I'm going to be unavailable for the next several days, so I've marked the Shoppe as closed.|
|09/10/2003||Okay, new one for international buyers: Some countries -- so far Finland is the only one I know for sure -- now require a phone number on the customs forms for Parcel Post packages (over 4 pounds). They won't ship without it, I've tried. Eventually I'll be updating the Shoppe registration page to reflect this new requirement, but that's a when-I-have-time, which isn't now. In the meantime please include a phone number when you're placing Parcel Post orders. If you forget, don't worry, I'll remind.|
|Just a reminder, my BidVille auctions are closing this week. Grab some stuff at a lower price (or make me a counter-offer on any of my stuff, you can do that, this isn't greedy-ass eBay). If you miss a close, don't worry, the unsold stuff will automatically be relisted.
I'm about a quarter of the way through unpacking and bagging the Infocom vault stuff.
|09/06/2003||Been working to unpack and re-bag the vault all week. Right now I'm up to the letter "I", and a rather prominent company there. B-) I believe I've hit on (for now) the safest and most practical solution for keeping dust and wear off my games. The short version: Comic book bags. The long version: Coming in the next column.|
|Oh, and check this out. I've found a kindred spirit. B-)|
|09/03/2003||A few brief items of interest from over the long weekend:
I finally unpacked the vault! Well, some of it anyway. About six boxes. Watch for a column tour of the new Shoppe, once I get everything up.
The waiting list has been cleared up; there were 5 users with invalid e-mails. I plan on doing this about once per year to keep the list clean. If you need to update your info, you can do it at your profile page, or, for slower results, send me an e-mail.
I've also had a couple of instances where PayPal didn't notify me when a Shoppe payment came through. Of course, they blame everyone but themselves... I notice this trend started right about when the eBay blob absorbed them. But anyway. After you click through their payment pages, you'll be given a choice of two buttons. Clicking the "return" one will take you back to a Shoppe page that will send me another notice, to ensure your payment isn't overlooked.
Oh, and Pentari author Howard Sherman is on the trail of Timmon. (Hi, Timmon!) I'll add an update to the column to let everyone know what happens. Timmon's also been selling Megatraveller cluebooks, but everyone already knows they're his cheapo reprints, right?
|08/27/2003||New column is up, on the latest peddler of fake collectible crap. I know I'm behind on filling Shoppe orders, and promise to get to them in the next couple of days. Thanks for everyone's patience.|
|08/25/2003||If you have entries on the YOIS mailing list, you will be receiving a message from the Shoppekeeper this week, just to confirm that your e-mail address is still valid (as it's been over a year since I last checked). There is no need to respond; all I will be doing is making sure your mail doesn't get bounced back undeliverable. E-mails that do get returned after several attempts will be cleared from the waiting list, to keep things tidy. If you need to update your e-mail address, you can do so at your user profile page.|
|08/24/2003||Finally, a major update! I'll be adding new Shoppe items throughout the day, starting with the Infocoms. Also got a few new vault pages added, scroll down to see the list. And I've just done a major update to the deadbeat page (apologies to those of you who sent me your lists and had to wait so long to see them go up). The latest column should be ready later today or early next week.
Don't forget to check my BidVille auctions!
|08/19/2003||All right. Finally getting caught up a bit around here. I've just added about 30 more BidVille auctions, and I hope to get the new Shoppe items up this weekend, along with the latest counterfeiting column. (Speaking of which, he hasn't tried to list any more, probably scared since I... well, you'll hear about it in the column. B-)|
|08/14/2003||Okay, I'm back. Had some nice finds while on vacation. I'll try to get to the waiting Shoppe transactions this weekend.|
|08/04/2003||I'm going to be occupied with other things for the next few days. Have marked the Shoppe closed so any open trades don't expire. I will get to them when time allows.|
Well, I never got any replies to my e-mails about the DVD/CD-R games, though the seller did respond to a question about shipping from a different eBay ID, so he has been checking his mail. Which means he's choosing to ignore me. I gave this guy his fair chance to share his side of the story, but he has apparently decided not to, so now I can only share mine.
His eBay ID is timmon, and you can get his name, e-mail, and physical address from his web page through some of his completed auctions. "Timmon" uses private feedback to hide any complaints against him, and private auctions to prevent anyone (like me) from contacting and warning his buyers. Hoping some of them will see this, and realize before they pay that they've been ripped off.
That is, if in fact they were unaware that they didn't bid on an original package to begin with. (Not sure why anyone who knew they were fakes would bid, as the game code is widely circulated as abandonware.) Compare his Usurper auction with the real thing. I'm interested to know what the mysterious "Orb of Qyntarr" is, guessing a cheap marble he found and stuck in the case, but I don't want to give him $17 to find out.
Turns out printing and selling his own versions of commercial games is only part of this joker's racket. Two of the games he listed, Ghost Train and House of the Midnight Sun are not "classic" 1980s text adventures at all, they are recent Z-code games available as freeware downloads. The author himself has told me that he did not give "timmon" permission to package and distribute them for profit, and in fact had never even heard of the seller. I'm still researching the Traveller RPG supplements on his website, but there's a chance he may not have the rights to print and sell those, either. Plus I'll soon have one of the actual game packages in custody for a full analysis in a future Shoppe column. Check back in a couple of weeks.
|07/30/2003||Heads up, fellow collectors! Looks like we've got another live one... I'm currently watching a guy who's auctioning what look like classic text adventures in DVD cases with a self-printed cover.
Still gathering information, not ready to publicly expose this guy just yet -- I've learned my lesson from the last counterfeiter... the column on whom IS coming someday, I swear! -- but keep your eyes open, and if you see anything that looks fishy LMK and I'll nod or shake my head, as appropriate. (Just remember, a seller who keeps both his feedback AND his bidders' identities private is a seller who's hiding something.)
Watch this space.
|07/27/2003||Just got my DSL connection working (finally!), and it R3WLZ! I'll be dropping the dialup soon, so my Earthlink address will no longer be valid. E-mail my YOIS account (which will not change) if you'd like the new one.|
|07/21/2003||Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up, any package mailing from me is probably going to be delayed a few days. Yesterday some crazy lady ran a red and nailed me making a left turn, now I am sans car while it's in the repair shop. (Nobody hurt, and no collectible games damaged. B-)|
Wow, looking at the news page, it's been awhile since my last post.
I've just listed over 100 items, both Shoppe and non-Shoppe, on BidVille. I think this is going to be my new site for auctions, as I've just about had it with eBay and their idiotic fascist rules, and the constant outages, and their cheapskate half-price listing days. What the hell happened to the free ones, is that a bad word now? Anyone else who feels the same way, you're invited to join me, maybe we can start a small vintage software community on BidVille. Seller registration only costs $5.00 for six months, there are NO listing fees and NO final value fees, you get almost twice as long a title for your auction, and you can have auctions up for 30 days with automatic relists. (Oh, you'll still see me bidding on eBay because of the vast selection, but I refuse to pay for their seller "services" anymore until they get their act together.)
Working on reshelving and updating the Shoppe items. Expect an updated list the weekend after this one. Major update coming to the deadbeat list, too.
New Shoppe column in the works, no ETA yet. ("Research" on the T-shirt one is still ongoing. B-)
|06/15/2003||Just a quick note to all Shoppe visitors with open trades/transactions:
I've finally more or less caught up on the offers, and have refreshed the transactions to today's date so they won't expire. This enables me to finally take the "closed" message down (as I'm sure everyone is sick of looking at it). That also means your trades will expire if you leave them untouched, though. LMK if you get the automatic warning from the Shoppe and I'll refresh them again if desired.
Thanks for everyone's patience with this while I dealt with other things in my life.
|06/10/2003||Hey gang! I have a source for a mask and saucer, if anyone needs either or both. The owner tells me: "The saucer has four small cracks in the edge that don't penetrate beyond the bevel. The mask has no cracks at all. The spot in the saucer where the staple went has some yellowing. Otherwise, both are still white... The pullhole in the cardboard where you open up the saucer [is] creased but not ripped."|
|UPDATE: Heard from one user who keeps getting blocked when trying to send e-mail to this guy. Is anyone else having the same problem?|
|06/08/2003||Today is the first anniversary of the PHP/MySQL Shoppe! I was hoping to do something special to mark the date, but just haven't had time... Maybe next year.|
|06/03/2003||Back from a desperately needed break. Things are about caught up. Those of you who haven't heard from me on trade offers, you should soon.
Also a heads-up... When I went into my post office to mail some games today, I was told that the USPS is instituting a new policy where they may ask you to open up packages being sent by Media Mail, to verify that the items inside do indeed qualify as such. Apparently a lot of people have been fibbing about the contents to get the discounted media rate. As I understand it, books, music, movies and software can all be sent media rate. Hardware and magazines cannot. If you regularly ship Media Rate, be prepared for the possibility of having your packages inspected. If you regularly ship non-media items by Media Rate, this may be a good time to break the habit.
Okay. I've already received a number of "why haven't you responded" type messages and just wanted to make sure everyone understands.
If you check the Shoppe pages, you'll see a message that it's currently closed. This is because right now is a seriously overwhelming time for my Real Life. I've just moved and am still settling in, the Shoppe is in total disarray making it difficult to find anything, work is extremely busy and stressful, and I need to go away for a few days next week. In short, right now I simply don't have the time to put together packages or even answer e-mails personally, so I've stopped all Shoppe business until I do.
Don't worry, I've set it so your transactions will not expire, so you won't lose your items to anyone else. But that means even if you pay me, your items will not be shipped for another week or two (most likely two), until I get back and re-oriented. If this is not acceptable to you, or if you obtain the games you want from other sources, feel free to go ahead and cancel your transactions; I won't be offended. And I hope you will not take offense at not receiving a personal reply. It's not me ignoring you. It's me literally not having any time. Once that changes, you will start seeing responses from your Shoppekeeper again.
Thanks for listening. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.
|05/21/2003||Okay gang, things are REALLY overwhelming right now with work and getting things settled, so I'm closing the Shoppe to prevent anyone's transactions from being expired due to my inability to reply. I will get caught up when time permits, no idea when that might be, probably not for another week or so. Apologies for the inconvenience. (Please don't send why-haven't-you-responded messages, as we all know by now that it never does any good. B-)|
|05/18/2003||The move went almost perfectly (my console-gaming desk has one new dent in it), and I'm wired again. Still working on transporting the vault... I made it very clear to the family members who assisted with the furniture that no one handles my collection but me. B-) Will try to catch up on Shoppe business in the next few days.|
|05/15/2003||New Shoppe column, featuring PhillyClassic coverage (finally!) and an amusing look at hunting in thrift stores.
Things are going to be pretty disorganized for a couple of weeks, as I'm moving the big furniture this weekend and then have to set up Shoppe again in the new place. Might take me a few days to fill orders or answer questions, but trust me, I'm not ignoring you.
|05/04/2003||I finally had a chance to sort through my old computer magazines today, when I carried them over to the new place, and I took the opportunity to better organize them. It was a blast. However I did find out I'm missing some issues. If anyone has spares I'll trade you games or duplicate mags to get them. Here's what I still need:|
|04/28/2003||Closed on the new place today! Now I just have to haul the entire collection over there.
Once I get settled in I'll be looking for a complete, working Apple IIgs system with a color monitor. Preferably something within driving distance so I can pick it up myself.
Oh yeah, I was surprised this PC Myth on eBay didn't go higher.
|04/16/2003||Finally got my personal collection packed up for the move. It fills 33 boxes (12" x 17" x 9").|
|04/11/2003||A landmark event: Today YOIS had its first user booted off the waiting list for repeatedly failing to respond to notifications. (It does happen, people!)|
|Added a new Infocom site to the links page.|
|04/08/2003||I've just been informed by the folks at atariarchives.org that the complete text of the book Creating Adventure Games for Your Computer by Tim Hartnell is now available for online reading. The BASIC programs, compatible with most computers from 1983, are also available for download.|
|04/01/2003||PhillyClassic was great! Thanks again to Joe, Paula, and Jeff of The Origin Museum for their hospitality and for making the whole thing happen. And thanks to Dan Chisarick, Stuart Feldhamer, and Howard Sherman for making an appearance. It was great to meet you all. Coverage of the show in a new Shoppe column, hopefully coming soon.
Shoppe responses may be a bit slow over the next few weeks, and scans may have to wait. I'm slowly getting things boxed up for the move (new home, and closer to a new workplace, more on that in a future column as well), and there's a lot of it!
|03/28/2003||The Shoppe is temporarily closed while I'm at PhillyClassic.|
|03/22/2003||New Shoppe column! Articles include an interview with Eli Tomlinson, a professional printer's analysis of the Eyal Katz Sierra fakes, and the "Cornerstone Database Database".|
|03/20/2003||Got my copy of Pentari the other day, and it's really neat. It's a thin folder with a couple of really nice props: A letter from your character's commanding officer, and a real antique-style metal key. Author Howard Sherman informs me that my CD is the very one pictured on Malinche's website.|
|03/16/2003||WOW... All I can say is... WOW. What a day it was:|
A few letdowns: I genuinely expected that shrinked Quarterstaff to go higher, and the Suspended too. But my guess is a former Infocom employee slash eBay seller is very happy right about now.
I'm still on a high from the snipe adrenaline. B-)
|03/14/2003||Fixed an issue with the mailing list. If you couldn't sign up before, you should be able to now.|
|03/13/2003||Just released: Pentari: First Light, a new commercial text adventure game, the first with actual packaging since 1998's Once and Future. Pentari is available in two versions: A software-only downloadable ZIP, and a folder with a couple of neat props. (Bet you can't guess which one I ordered!)
Read the JustAdventure+ press release for more details. I'll post info on the packaging here, once mine arrives. Could be a good future collectible to hold onto, considering how scarce Once and Future is today. (How many of you are still kicking yourselves for not picking up that one when you had the chance?)
If you're coming to PhillyClassic at the end of the month, the author will be selling them there, so you can pick up your copy in person and save on shipping.
|03/11/2003||Fixed an issue with the detail page for trade/sale items, where it would throw an error if you weren't logged in. Shouldn't see this happening anymore.|
|03/08/2003||I've overhauled the search code this week. It now handles searches on multiple words (both "AND" and "OR" type queries), and also matches platform name in the description (useful for finding games with multiple formats in the same package).|
|02/23/2003||I just added two boxes full of accumulated trade items. Lots of Sierra Quest games, some AD&D gold/silver boxes, and some early Apple II titles.|
|02/18/2003||Finally getting things caught up around here. If I haven't closed your trade yet, I will get to it this week. Two whole boxes of new trade items to put up, hopefully in the next couple of days. It's good to be back working on the Shoppe again.
I've also had an opportunity to examine a couple of the Eyal Katz Sierra fakes in person, thanks to Vintage Sierra. My observations, and those of a professional graphic designer, coming in a future column. (And I'll get the other column posted, with a full explanation for the tardiness, as soon as I can... though it'll be awhile.)
|02/09/2003||Well, for the moment the planned Shoppe column is going to be put on hold, as I need to wait for some... stuff. (Asking my readers to trust me on this one.) In the meantime, if you have any questions about 80s game T-shirts, please don't hesitate to ask.|
|02/02/2003||It looks like I'm definitely going to make Philly Classic. A number of software collectors are planning a gathering at this year's show, including the founders of the Origin Museum. It's the last weekend in March. Hope to see some of you there!|
|01/18/2003||Just heard about TradeGamesNow from another collector. This is a fairly new site that allows people to swap their used games, a possible alternative now that GameTZ is going paysite.|
|01/11/2003||I finally made it. As of today, I'm in the Thousand Club on eBay. I wonder if they still give out pins for that. If I get one, I'll definitely auction it. B-)|
|01/10/2003||Had an amazing phone chat with Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum last night. Among the many topics was the possibility of getting a group of software collectors together at this year's Philly Classic weekend. I figured we'd hang out, swap collector stories, bring some of our rare items to pass around, etc. Please e-mail us if you'd be interested in something like this.|
|01/03/2003||eBay has been experiencing intermittent outages (lasting about an hour or so, but not long enough to extend impacted auctions) for the last couple of days. If you are planning to snipe, you may want to reconsider placing a maximum proxy bid an hour or so in advance.
eBay's continued dedication to incompetence is inspiring. Hopefully this is the year the entire site will crash and burn.
|01/01/2003||Happy New Year, everyone.
My resolutions for 2003:
|12/29/2002||New trade/sale items and some new vault pages today. Scroll down to find both.|
|12/27/2002||Slight change to the waiting list. Thanks to a certain smartass (now banned from using it), new entries will not show up until I pre-approve them.|
|12/19/2002||Breakthrough on the Eyal Katz fraud situation: One of the original collectors who contacted me has identified a company named Hed-Azri as the sole Sierra distributor in Israel. They've already forwarded his complaint to their solicitor, though I'm not sure they've yet confirmed that Eyal works there. If you were ripped off and haven't been contacted through GameTZ, you should report it as soon as possible, as Hed-Azri will probably want testimony from people he's scammed.
I have a feeling Eyal is going to start feeling some pressure very soon. (Yesss, precious, we squeezes it... Nassty thieving Katzes, gollum, gollum! B-)
|12/18/2002||I will be unavailable to answer Shoppe inquiries until 12/21.|
|12/09/2002||Update on the Eyal Katz fraud:
One of the collectors he scammed got a reply from the Israeli Police, which basically said because this is international fraud, they can't open an investigation based on e-mail complaints. You will need to report it to your local authorities and any national fraud agencies, who will then report it to Interpol if they decide an investigation is warranted. Interpol would act as the go-between for law enforcement in the two countries.
Remember, power in numbers. The more complaints they get, the more likely they'll follow up.
|12/08/2002||This week I cleaned up the mess in the corner and was surprised to discover a number of duplicate Infocoms in it! They're listed below, along with some open but undeveloped InvisiClues and maps.
Just a reminder, if the waiting list flags you for an item, you need to click the link in the e-mail and respond, even if it's not what you want. I mention this because a lot of the InvisiClues generated matches, and I don't yet have the code in place for it to differentiate games from hint books. Take you five seconds, and it'll ensure your entries stay on the waiting list for when the right item does match.
|12/05/2002||If you were among those defrauded in a deal with Eyal Katz, here's a site (in English) for the Israeli Police. Click on "General Information", then "Have you seen or heard anything?" for a little background on how they will use anything you submit. There's an e-mail link at the top of the page (click "Contact Us"). Be sure to request any appropriate paperwork. Remember, power in numbers. More complaints increases the chance they'll look into it.
Happy Hannukah, Eyal. B-)
|12/04/2002||If you've had problems today with the www.yois.biz domain, it's because
Go Daddy, the provider I use for redirection, has had their servers down for an upgrade of some sort. I have no idea how long the downtime will last. You can always get in through http://www.if-legends.org/~yois.|
|11/30/2002||My top 10 wanted games are back on the want-list page. I just had a rotten snipe week on eBay (0 for 3) with the top games, so now's a chance to get a really good trade.|
|11/29/2002||For anyone who needs Shoppe items to arrive by Christmas, here are the U.S. Post Office's guaranteed delivery dates:|
International surface mail normally takes 4 - 6 weeks, so I can't guarantee packages sent this way will arrive in time.
BTW, the above dates are the ship dates, once the USPS actually has the package. Keep in mind it normally takes at least a day or two, depending on how busy I am, to put everything together and actually drop it off.
|11/25/2002||If you use eSnipe to place last-second eBay bids, BE CAREFUL! eBay has been experiencing page-view problems on some servers for the last couple of days, and I noticed it myself while my auctions were closing. The other day I heard from one collector whose bid cancellation wasn't processed by eSnipe, and just tonight I missed a great item when my snipe didn't go through.|
|11/24/2002||If you haven't tried Citibank's c2it yet, I recommend it as a free alternative to PayPal. Within the U.S., there are no fees for the buyer or the seller. I am considering this service as a PayPal replacement when eBay raises PayPal fees (and they will). The disadvantage is international transactions with c2it are expensive, a $10 flat fee. So I'll probably keep PayPal support around for non-American collectors unless another option presents itself.
More fun with the eBay/PayPal merger in the next Shoppe column!
|I finally had time to add a bunch of new items I've been accumulating over the last few weeks, about 50 of them. Lots of unboxed Apple IIgs bargains, quite a few Adventure International styrofoam folders, and lots of miscellaneous. Scroll down to find the full list of new stock.|
|11/21/2002||Today marks the six-year anniversary of YOIS on the web! Thanks to Jay Goemmer of Downbelow Station (who originally helped the Shoppe get off the ground by giving it a single page of its own) for reminding me, and congratulations on his daughter's sixth birthday tomorrow.|
|11/19/2002||The Eyal Katz column is now back up, and I suppose I owe everyone an explanation for why it was down this past week:
One of his buyers was negotiating a refund, but Eyal, apparently thinking this person actually co-wrote the column with me in addition to providing information on the Sierra fakes, refused to budge while the page about him was still up. In an effort to help this guy get his rather sizable chunk of cash back, I took it down. At which point Eyal's responses abruptly ceased.
In other words, the little rat lied again. So the page is now back up, and Eyal Katz gets yet another black mark on his (already badly stained) reputation. As he has shown no interest whatsoever in redeeming himself, I cannot envision any circumstances in which I would take it down again. Read it, pass it on to your friends, and by all means e-mail Eyal and let him know what you think of his behavior.
And in case you still have any doubts regarding this puke's integrity, check out his GameTZ page, where the bad trade reports continue to pile up like unsold copies of Big Game Hunter.
|11/15/2002||I've successfully ported the YOIS mailing list over to the Shoppe from its old provider. Newcomers, please let me know if you encounter any difficulties trying to sign up. (If you were already on the list before, you don't need to re-subscribe.)|
|11/12/2002||This week I'll be phasing out
as the central site for the YOIS mailing list, simply because it's easier for me to manage it myself. This move should be completely transparent to subscribers, and adding / removing your address will work the same way as before.
Remember, you don't have to be registered with YOIS to join the mailing list and receive notices of new columns and other happenings.
|11/09/2002||After almost a solid week of investigation, e-mails, and lies, the story of a rip-off artist printing fake Sierra folder packages is now available in a special
This one's important! Everyone interested in protecting the integrity of this hobby needs to read it.
I've got a ton of Apple IIGS games and Adventure International styro packs on the way, but I've been working on the counterfeiting story all week and haven't had time to go through the packages yet. Hopefully this weekend.
|11/06/2002||Important! Do NOT buy any Sierra items from an "avi", "David Wolf" or "Eyal Katz" in Israel (bezeqint.net e-mail address). They are fakes! Full story coming soon!|
|11/03/2002||If you're tired of looking at a long list of past purchases on your history page, you'll be pleased to know I've revised the page to display only open transactions. You can still bring up an entire account history by clicking the link at the top.|
|11/01/2002||Just fixed an issue with the international shipping calculations: The shipping page pulls data from the U.S. Postal Service page, but the USPS changed their text so it reads "Airmail Letter Post" instead of "Airmail Letter-Post", so my script wasn't finding the right amount. If you weren't getting a regular (uninsured) airmail option before, you should be now.|
|10/30/2002||Okay, for those of you who missed my cheese Danish auction, I've preserved it here, along with another funny listing I did back in March.|
|10/27/2002||I think I've made eBay's "watch" list. They just e-mailed me saying how one of my completed auctions violated their listing policies... even though the broken rule involved doubly linking to PayPal (now an eBay company) and the auction didn't generate any bids. I'm sure glad they took the time to hunt down that serious crime instead of engaging in time-wasting garbage like stabilizing their site.|
|10/26/2002||I've fixed the "name" error with the registration page. If you've had problems getting registered, you should be able to now. (Rotten work week, or I'd've gotten to it sooner.)|
|10/23/2002||At LAST, some new vault pages! Scroll down to find a list of the latest ones, and check 'em out. More to follow.
I've also built a site map for the Shoppe, a good page to bookmark for the fastest possible navigation. It's accessible from both the FAQ and main index pages.
|10/17/2002||Aww, damn. Just got a message that eBay cancelled the cream cheese Danish auction. I did save the text, and I'll repost it here shortly for those of you who missed it. Anyone who still wants it, please e-mail me, we'll negotiate privately. I don't need eBay to sell a six-year-old stale pastry, I can do it myself! B-)|
|10/12/2002||Heehee, check this out. I absolutely kill me. B-)|
|10/11/2002||More eBay/PayPal fun: eBay now assures me that only transactions related to eBay auctions are currently of interest to them on PayPal. Non-auction payments, and payments related to other auction sites are not. (Note she said "currently". Right now the two sites are not prepared to share information, as the merger has just gone through.)
So. For the time being I will keep PayPal support around, until the two sites become fully integrated, which eBay customer service informs me will occur before the end of 2002. At that point I may or may not cease accepting PayPal, depending on the response I get from the two parties after it's happened.
For those interested, here are the phone numbers I've been using (obtained from The Auction Guild's website):
I encourage everyone to call (don't e-mail, no humans ever read them) and voice your concerns. If you don't have any, you should.
|10/10/2002||Is anybody having problems with the vault pics not showing up? I've heard from one person who can't seem to get them to appear, and am wondering if anyone else can duplicate this (since I can't).|
|10/09/2002||You're gonna love this. So I called eBay last night (longer wait, but slightly better hold music than PayPal), pretending to be a PayPal user who has never used eBay before, and asked the same question. THEY claim eBay will NOT be able to access non-eBay transactions on PayPal. eBay informed me that the two are still entirely separate companies, even though eBay now owns PayPal. On a hunch, I called PayPal back this morning, and (wait for it!) they now tell me the same thing!
To be continued...
|10/08/2002||My conversation with PayPal wasn't at all promising. After the nice support rep consulted the FAQ and tried to spew back the same answer I got through e-mail (stimulus, response), I managed to convince her to run my question by a supervisor. In a nutshell: Since eBay now owns PayPal, eBay can indeed access a user's entire transaction history if they want to, including bank account numbers and non-eBay transactions. This is very unsettling to me, and the very reason I avoided signing up with eBay's Billpoint.
So. I am closing my account and will no longer be accepting payments through PayPal. You're going to see some changes to the Shoppe in the next few days. I know it'll slow down turnaround, but this whole eBay/PayPal merger just gives me a very bad gut feeling. Special apologies go out to my international buyers, whom this will inconvenience the most. I will search high and low for another option.
|10/06/2002||Well, my initial inquiries to eBay and PayPal weren't at all promising. Both spewed out the exact same vague answer given in their FAQs. Copy, paste. Stimulus, response. Buncha freakin' amoebas working customer support. I've also posted to the appropriate eBay forum, and I plan to call both companies on Monday to see if the quality of their phone support exceeds e-mail. (Wouldn't take much.)|
|10/05/2002||Well, the eBay/PayPal merger has gone through, and I personally could not be more concerned about it. I for one do not want eBay to be able to look through my entire PayPal history and see how much money I make from all of my (non-eBay related) transactions. Based on eBay's incompetence with problem resolution and past failure to listen to its users, would you trust them with your bank account number? I've heard too many Billpoint horror stories to have any sort of confidence.
In addition, this merger virtually guarantees eBay's continued monopolistic stranglehold on the online auction industry. With eBay and PayPal joining forces, who can possibly hope to compete? eBay's new inside access to the inner workings of PayPal gives them a distinct advantage over every other auction site.
I have written to both sides voicing my concern and asking them to specifically state how much PayPal account information eBay will be able to access. Depending on their answer, you may see significant changes to the Shoppe in the coming days. If I'm not satisfied with the response I get, I may stop accepting PayPal payments, both through eBay and the Shoppe.
Watch this page; I'll keep everyone posted.
|09/29/2002||I've just added ComputerGameCollector.com to the links page. This is a new and very ambitious site working to bring software collectors together. Post your own collection online and view other other people's lists. There are forums for discussion, and premiere features (being offerred for free indefinitely) include eBay auction and search tools. It's not quite off the ground yet (could really use bulk-upload features for large collections), but definitely worth watching.|
|09/23/2002||In case you missed it, the Eli Tomlinson auction drew over 18,000 spectators, but not a single bid. I'm not surprised: Most serious collectors can't afford it, and there aren't many dealers with the resources to move that many pieces. Eh well, hopefully he'll have the online store up within a year or two.|
|Sorry for the delay, everyone... Couple of busy weeks followed by a busy crappy week. At any rate, the rest of the new Shoppe stock is up now. Don't miss the Cornerstone books (I finally got a plastic case of my own, thanks Tom!) and the Personal Software Zork manual. Quite a few waiting list matches, don't forget to respond to those. You can do so from transaction history if you've lost the original e-mail.
My CGE pictures didn't turn out like I'd hoped. There was plenty of light in the ballroom and I used the flash for good measure, but most of 'em came out really dark. I'll try to get around to posting the halfway decent ones this week though. I know, I really should buy a digital camera but I've been burned twice and just can't make myself hock up the cash again.
Next step, some new vault pages. It's been over a year now.
|09/10/2002||The Eli Tomlinson quarter-million games auction is up. Come join the spectators (or bidders if you're rich enough). The auction text has a link to a brief PC World article about software collecting.|
|09/06/2002||I won't be around this weekend to answer Shoppe requests. TomMage and I are going game-hunting in Chicago on Saturday and hitting Six Flags on Sunday. Should be a blast! Everyone with paid outstanding orders will have their stuff shipped tomorrow morning.|
|Starting tomorrow, this guy will be auctioning probably the largest single collection of software in the world on eBay. (Thanks to Dirk Backenkoehler for passing the site along.) About 250,000 pieces (!!!), half of it pre-1990, 60% mint shrinked. Everything from Amiga to VIC-20, plus an enormous detailed database of everything.
He's informed me the bidding will start at $250,000 for the entire lot, so if there are any rich collectors out there willing to make a sizeable investment (and rent a small fleet of trucks), here's a chance to live off selling games for the rest of your life! (I can't possibly afford that, or I'd consider it myself.)
|09/04/2002||The latest Shoppe column is now up, featuring my personal take on the 2002 Classic Gaming Expo and a heartwarming tale of revenge against a spammer. Photos from the CGE will be posted as soon as I get my film developed, hopefully next week.|
|08/28/2002||Got about three-quarters of the new items listed now, including a Sci-Fi Classics triple pack! Just a reminder to waiting-list users, I've seen the Shoppe flag a number of matches as I was entering items. Don't forget to respond to the e-mails sent out to you.|
|08/27/2002||Got some more items added today, that's about half of them. Still have the bulk of the Infocoms to go, but there's some good stuff. (Check the Cranston Manor!) More tomorrow, and later this week.|
|08/21/2002||Okay, I've begun going through my backlog of new items. Check the list below for the newest additions to YOIS stock. Just a few for now, I'm testing some code enhancements on the admin side. I have two whole boxes of Infocoms to add, so if you're on the waiting list, watch your e-mail so you don't miss first grab. Getting these and the new column finished are my top priority this week.|
|08/17/2002||More deadbeats (thanks, Harry!), and I added commas to the list so it's easier for everyone to copy and paste them into your blocked bidder list on eBay.|
|I've also added a check in the transaction history page, designed to prevent abuses of the Shoppe's automated offer system at the hands of a few people (who apparently thought I wouldn't notice >B-). The Shoppe now makes you wait a full day before permitting you to cancel trades or transactions. This should discourage sneaky buyers from repeatedly making and cancelling offers in order to sniff out the lowest accepted price.
(No names mentioned, and no hard feelings... Actually I'm grateful you found this... Just be aware you won't be able to do it anymore.)
To anyone who ever needs to do a legitimate cancel, don't worry. If you intend to cancel a trade the next day but forget to do so, the Shoppe will eventually send you a reminder, and in time will even clear it out for you automatically.
|08/14/2002||The Shoppe is back open. CGE2K2 was great, lots of stories to tell. I'll try to get the new column typed up for this weekend, plus a few Shoppe mods I came up with during the trip.|
|Also updated the eBay deadbeats page with a couple of collections that other people were kind enough to send me. Remember, if we work together we can keep these losers away from our auctions, so please share your list if you have one.|
|08/08/2002||I'm leaving tomorrow for Las Vegas and the 2002 Classic Gaming Expo. Expect a new column chronicling my take on the event shortly after I return. The Shoppe will be temporarily "closed" during this time. You'll still be able to browse and reserve games, but no trades will be negotiated and no orders shipped (and no outdated transactions will expire) while I'm away.|
|08/06/2002||Finally got around to updating some vault pages today, correcting misinformation and adding some new trivia I've uncovered. I'm about halfway done with the backed-up changes. No new pages yet but I hope to add some in the coming weeks, after I get my new scanner hooked up.|
|07/27/2002||I've modified the Shoppe's cleanup script to send out notices warning people with reserved items a week before they expire. This should help eliminate the frustration of having to re-reserve a forgotten item.|
|07/12/2002||Updated the column back issues page with some old Usenet messages I dug up, including the post that first announced the web-based Shoppe back in 1996. (Still looking for any columns prior to 10/4/1997, if anyone happened to save them.)|
|06/30/2002||New domestic postal rates are in effect starting today. I've just updated the Shoppe's shipping code to pull rates from the revised USPS page. Please LMK if you encounter any problems with it. Priority Mail is now entirely zipcode-based, and insurance is an additional 20 cents. International shipping is not changing at this time.|
|Tidied up the master items list a bit, and the main vault page quite a bit more (corrected some entries, fixed some typos, added some new stuff I've acquired). Added the missing I, Damiano scan for the Bantam package. Also added Vintage Sierra to the links page.
The new Shoppe has now been live three weeks, so I've also started the daily cleanup process. If you have unclaimed waiting list items, unpaid buys, or open trades, resolve them quick or risk the items being unreserved!
|06/22/2002||Added a bunch of new sites to the links page: American Games Shop, C64 Game Guide Shop, Dr. Feelgood's, RetroDirect, RetroGamer, Sauron's Corner, SinTech, the Tolkien Computer Games Pages, and TradeInPost. Check 'em out.|
|06/08/2002||The PHP/MySQL edition of Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe launches!|
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