Instead of talking about Drivey all the time, I thought it might be nice to mention another interesting driving simulator. Please cast your mind back to 1981, and imagine you were one of those lucky enough to own an IBM PC with CGA quality video…

DONKEY.BASAh yes, good ol’ Donkey… who doesn’t remember this timeless QuickBasic Classic…? Anybody…?

Actually, I don’t remember it at all, as it was just a sample program bundled with early DOS versions, and written by none other than [ wait for it… wait for it…] Bill Gates himself!

In 2001 he used it in a presentation to demonstrate how far VisualBasic has come [ You can read his speech here ]. To further illustrate the point, MS created a new version of Donkey to showcase all the great new XML-WebService-Dot-NET whizbangery they’re always ramming down our throats to make our lives easier.

Somewhat amusingly, I [haven’t tried that hard but] can’t even get the damn thing to work properly, even with the latest .NET 1.1 Framework installed.

Isn’t that ironic? Well, isn’t it…?

NB: I’ve gotta say, I’m way impressed by the small size of the old QuickBasic executables. I thought I was doing pretty well distributing a self-contained demo of Drivey under 300K, but the DONKEYQB.EXE file is only just over 40! I guess there was a time when 40K was how big a program was, but it’s very hard to imagine…