Shopping for Software in Chennai
Earlier in the year I took a business trip to India. I'd been managing an offshore team there for something like two years but hadn't met most of them. I won't go into details about the trip too much here. I mentioned to them that I wanted to do a little shopping wherever they sold software/electronics. I wasn't looking for anything specific, just curious to see what was out there. They advised against trying "local" places and instead took me to Citi Center mall. It was a bit of a letdown because it was indistinguishable from a mall in the United States.
My favorite store there was one that looked almost exactly like a Barnes & Noble. Once you got past the books there was a huge selection of software & and video games there too. If anyone's curious, as of early 2009 the PlayStation 2 appears to be the dominant system in southern India. Their PC selection was much wider, a mix of legal & bootleg software. Maybe "bootleg" isn't the right term, it's that sort of gray space stuff you see at computer shows or small shops. I didn't have to look at it long before finding something that caught my eye - The Return of Mario and Pac-Man.
Looking at the game list on the back it's apparently a collection of shareware games that were scraped off old BBSs or the internet. Depending on the licensing of the games that may or may not be legal. If you're already using trademarks illegally then what's the difference in breaking some shareware licenses?
Super Mario All Stars - Title Screen
Alright, I'm going to look at these games in no particular order. Many of them didn't work so don't expect to see everything from those menus above. I was half-expecting Super Mario All Stars to launch a SNES emulator with the ROM but nope, it's some kind of Russian remake...
Mario Ping Pong
I wrote a version of Pong in an afternoon that is considerably better than this one.
Now for the real moment of truth, running a virus scan after trying everything on the disc. A total of 10 infected files were found although many of the viruses are the same. This is why virtualization is perhaps the greatest advancement in software this decade, no damage whatsoever to an actual PC.