“Sherman, Set the Wayback Machine to 1987.”

Could this be original artwork from our favorite former jazz musician? Our sources say yes. This was originally published by Atari Magazines, in the April 1988 issue of ST-Log:

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Replace the arrow cursor with any shape you desire… and animate it too!

by Charles F. Johnson

Charles F. Johnson is a professional musician and, now, a semi-professional computer programmer/reviewer/author. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Patty and Spike, the world’s most intelligent (and gluttonous) cat. Charles is a SYSOP on the Analog Publishing Atari SIG on Delphi; his user name is CFJ.

How would you like to be able to change the shape of the GEM mouse cursor, customize it with a sophisticated editor, and install the new mouse cursor as the GEM default in place of that omnipresent arrow? Would you like to run your favorite GEM programs with your custom mouse in spite of their (and GEM’s) best efforts to reset it to the arrow? And what if I threw in the ability to have mice in two colors in medium and low resolution? Then, for the piéce de résistance, how about if I let you animate those customized mice—up to thirty-two frames, each with its own color information? If all this sounds like fun, read on… Mouse-Ka-Mania is for you!

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Introducing “Mouse-Ka-Mania!” This was an Atari program designed to do away with the old boring cursor arrow and allow users to design and animate their own. It was an early character mapping application with no real purpose except to amuse fellow geeks. Still, it’s interesting to remember how much computer technology has changed since then.

The name of the application was obviously a rip on Disney’s “Mouseketeers,” but that’s immaterial to this thread. Note the copyright upper right: Little Green Footballs.

This is not intended to be a Charles Bashing Post, just a curiosity to illustrate where computer graphics were 23 years ago, and the talents of a 34 year old married guy with a cat and a suspected affinity for amphetamines known on the street as Speeders, Brown & Clears, and Little Green Footballs.


26 Comments on ““Sherman, Set the Wayback Machine to 1987.””

  1. doriangrey1 says:

    Ah, but Spike left him and took Patty with him, Charles sued for possession of the Little Green Footballs, which coincidentally is why Spike and Patty left him in the first place.

  2. m says:

    Formerly known as CFJ … now it’s CFnJ.

    Or HWFWG … and loses.

  3. King Minos says:

    Interesting article, actually

  4. Briareus says:

    I found that stuff by accident… I was bored and decided to see what Wikipedia had to say about Charles Foster Johnson and Little Green Footballs. Out of curiosity, I checked out the editing records and found that there was a lot of action in 2009, but also in November of 2010. Somebody named Ludwig Von Quixote was messing around on the 1st. Other familiar 1.0 nics showed up as well, including Obdicut.

    Ever wonder what Obdicut’s nic stands for? OB/GYN dilation and curettage.

  5. King Minos says:

    Briareus :

    I found that stuff by accident… I was bored and decided to see what Wikipedia had to say about Charles Foster Johnson and Little Green Footballs. Out of curiosity, I checked out the editing records and found that there was a lot of action in 2009, but also in November of 2010. Somebody named Ludwig Von Quixote was messing around on the 1st. Other familiar 1.0 nics showed up as well, including Obdicut.

    Ever wonder what Obdicut’s nic stands for? OB/GYN dilation and curettage.

    so, an abortion fan, huh?

  6. pinkyflamingo says:

    Great post, I love anything to do with history.
    I shared it with my friends.
    http://digg.com/news/offbeat/sherman_set_the_wayback_machine_to_1987_the_diary_of_daedalus

    I just love this site and all the wonderful people here. Hugs to everyone from the Flamingo.

  7. garycooper says:

    Speaking of history, Dennis the Peasant had an interesting take on Fatass last year:
    http://dennisthepeasant.typepad.com/dennis_the_peasant/2009/09/influence-angst-and-charles-johnson.html

    Excerpt:

    When I met Charles, back in 2004, he was fiftyish and driving a somewhat battered Hyundai. According to Raj, he’d been cleaned out in recent divorce and didn’t have much more than that Hyundai, his computer and his bike. That’s got to be a tough thing to take at fifty. It is probably fair to say that Little Green Footballs and the blogosphere were about the only things Charles had going for him. Which is, quite frankly, somewhat sad.

    Sad, and dangerous.

  8. garycooper says:

    Daedalus :He was abusing Patty so she left him.

    I have been hoping for someone to unearth the ex-wife, and perhaps to have a few words with her about Mad King Fatass. Ah, a kid can dream, can’t he? 😉

    • Briareus says:

      garycooper :

      Daedalus :He was abusing Patty so she left him.

      I have been hoping for someone to unearth the ex-wife, and perhaps to have a few words with her about Mad King Fatass. Ah, a kid can dream, can’t he? ;)

      Google Patty Charles Johnson and you get this.

  9. nodasycofant says:

    doriangrey1 :
    Ah, but Spike left him and took Patty with him, Charles sued for possession of the Little Green Footballs, which coincidentally is why Spike and Patty left him in the first place.

    I notice in the “report from the boiler room” there is a Spikester…could that be the cat or maybe the cats kid? If so, then is cj’ being stalked by his x’s cat too? So many stalkers on the intrwebs. Just something to think about there cj

  10. PeteP says:

    Looks like at one stage of his life he had a real job.