Back in July of 2011, I learned about using the Windows Console API to make applications with DOS-style character-mode displays. The console API is not as direct or as fast as the original DOS character-mode display, but it's as close as you can get these days without writing your own character-mode display.
The very first Windows Console application I wrote was the almost-obligatory Snake game.
One of the more complex Windows Console applications I wrote was an interactive cellular automata editor and player. It isn't anywhere near as fancy as Mirek's Cellebration, but it can do a lot for something so small and simple. The default ruleset is Conway's "Game of Life" but the the application can read a custom ruleset description from the command line.
Inspired by the Lua mission scripting I added to the Battlezone unofficial 1.5 patch, I tried creating a similar setup for the Windows Console API. In hindsight, this ended up being much less awesome than I thought it would be.