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10:53am on Friday, 21st May, 2010:

Old Documents


Today, I scanned a photocopy I have of a document Roy Trubshaw wrote about 30 years ago, to send to a friend. I've written a suggested date on the front of November 1981, but Roy had left Essex University by then so my current guess is it was November 1980 instead. The document was, I believe, a write-up of Roy's notes on the language used by DUNGEN (ie. Zork) to define the game; it looks a lot like MUDDL (which Roy designed for MUD1), which came as a surprise to me as I always thought he'd based MUDDL on the definition language of ADVENT, not DUNGEN. Oh well, you learn something every day.

Here's the first page after the title, so you can admire Roy's girly handwriting:

The reason I'm mentioning this is because my photocopy was stapled together, and I had to remove the staple so I could get the pages to lie flat in my scanner. Here is that 30-year-old staple, to the left of one from my current stapler for comparison:

That is one mighty staple. It's some kind of tempered steel, stronger than a safety pin and with legs twice as long as a modern staple's. I doubt I could even fit one like that in my stapler, which is a shame — it would laugh at the inkjet paper that's been giving me problems recently, ha ha ha! They don't make them like that any more — or at least, if they do then it's for construction work, not for holding sheets of paper together. It's just the size of it: the amount of steel that went into making staples 30 years ago must have been enormous!

What a staple.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).