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Is there any reason NOT to buy a Harmony Cart?


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#1 Skylark68 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:34 AM

Just as the title says. I'm ready to pull the trigger, but lack of funds to spare for my classic videogame hobby is the only reason I haven't yet. I just want to know if anyone has a reason not to buy one.

#2 disjaukifa OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:40 AM

If you don't own a 2600 its pretty much a paper weight . . . . thats all I've got . . .

#3 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:44 AM

Just as the title says. I'm ready to pull the trigger, but lack of funds to spare for my classic videogame hobby is the only reason I haven't yet. I just want to know if anyone has a reason not to buy one.

As with emulators and the FB the problem with having so many games easily avalible is that it sort of cheapens the expirience. You find that you will jump from game to game with more frequency than you would if you were just playing the carts alone. Dont ask me why it just happens.

#4 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:46 AM

It might ruin your private life! :D

#5 disjaukifa OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:49 AM

It might ruin your private life! :D


Already on a 2600 Atari forum . . . too late for that :D

#6 atari181 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:00 AM

Been close to buying one many times, but I'm a purist and love having the cart and picking a game out from the shelf. Maybe someday, but for now I just switch em out and it feels good.

#7 Pioneer4x4 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:09 AM

If you already own every cart you ever want to try (with backups incase they fail), and don't mind handling/storing them, plus don't want to try anybody's works in progress on real hardware, oh, and never want to try modifying or creating your own program, then you could do without.
In addition, even if you have all of those reasons covered already, it is worth it just for the cool factor!

#8 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:14 AM

No

#9 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:46 AM

If you don't like having the majority of 2600 games at your disposal ready for play in a single cart, if you don't like saving wear an tear on your cart port, if you don't like saving the space form not having to sort and store hundreds of original carts, if you don't like being able to playtest a game before searching for it in the wild only to be disappointed when finally obtaining it, if you don't like being able to at least play some of the more difficult to obtain or pricey carts then definitely DO NOT BUY A HARMONY!!!!

#10 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:52 AM

Harmony is awesome, there are practically no reasons not to get one.
The only two I can think of are the slight and very minor problem trying to navigate the menu using a paddle and also the fact that having all your games on one cart does feel odd. It's like having an extensive collection of records and tapes and CDs and then after you get an iPod you feel like the collection is valueless now. It doesn't happen to me, but it might happen to some.

#11 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:56 AM

Yeah, only thing I can think of is controllers. If you don't like any 2600-compatible controllers, emulation might be better for you.

#12 the.golden.ax OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:18 AM

Waiting for a 7800 version.

#13 Pioneer4x4 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:26 AM

It's like having an extensive collection of records and tapes and CDs and then after you get an iPod you feel like the collection is valueless now. It doesn't happen to me, but it might happen to some.

I can see that point as well. That is why on my Harmony cart I have 2 major folders, "Owned" and "Wish List". I try to only use it for carts I already own, it feels better, more like a convience feature for my cart collection than a way of playing without collecting. Then when you get a new item for you, it is nice to move a bin from "Wish List" to the "Owned" folder. So in a way, it is an addition reason to get the actual cart to me.

#14 Dauber OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:49 PM

Reasons not to buy a Harmony cart:

- You don't have $50.
- Your significant other monitors your bank account daily and you don't have your own personal credit card.
- You HAVE a significant other. (Yes, I'm almost 13-years married AND I have the Harmony, but I hardly get a chance to use it.)
- You don't have a Mac or PC. (You need Mac or PC hardware in order to transfer the ROMs to the SD card.)
- The only computer you have access to is a Mac and the copy-and-paste function doesn't work. (For whatever reason, SD cards set up on a Mac are only recognized if you copy-and-paste the ROMs onto it rather than drag-and-drop)
- You already have all the 2600 games. That is, ALL of them, including bug fixes, alternate versions (like Asteroids with the splash screen), prototypes, homebrews, hacks, etc.
- You need to "fry" your games or use the power-on-reset trick on Space Invaders.

I think these are the only feasible reasons to not get a Harmony cart....

#15 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:13 PM

- You already have all the 2600 games. That is, ALL of them, including bug fixes, alternate versions (like Asteroids with the splash screen), prototypes, homebrews, hacks, etc.


LOL! Oh and you also will need a time machine so you can travel into the future and get any and all awesome hacks and homebrews that ever might be created as well. :-D

#16 PFL OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:25 PM

It's the best money I ever spent on an old console. It just works like it's supposed to. It's fast, intuitive and allows you to play all the new goodies that keep on coming out - For instance, Star Castle just got a Release Candidate today. I've already played it on my 2600 Jr*... :)





Erm, that was a lie. I got confused - I played the pre RC build though!

Edited by PFL, Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:34 PM.


#17 maiki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:53 PM

The only reason I can see is if you are a purist and want to play only the real cartridges on the real console.

#18 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:25 AM

- The only computer you have access to is a Mac and the copy-and-paste function doesn't work. (For whatever reason, SD cards set up on a Mac are only recognized if you copy-and-paste the ROMs onto it rather than drag-and-drop)


???? Huh? I've never copy/pasted mine, just dragged-dropped, and the Harmony works fine. Been doing that since Leopard at least.

#19 theloon ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:03 AM

I've owned a Harmony cart for quite a while now and never experienced a downside. This is one flash cart that doesn't nessiarily mean you'll be filling it with pirated ROMz because of the sheer amount of 2600 homebrew available.

#20 Deteacher OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:34 AM

I don't see any downside to purchasing a harmony. Only in the cases of the true purist would there be a downside, but having the Harmony allows you to play everything on real hardware instead of emulation. The Harmony cart is fantastic and reasonably priced. Get one...you won't regret it.

#21 Dauber OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:14 AM


- The only computer you have access to is a Mac and the copy-and-paste function doesn't work. (For whatever reason, SD cards set up on a Mac are only recognized if you copy-and-paste the ROMs onto it rather than drag-and-drop)


???? Huh? I've never copy/pasted mine, just dragged-dropped, and the Harmony works fine. Been doing that since Leopard at least.


Okay, I think I was a little bit over-stating something....here's what it sez in the manual:

On the Mac, it is necessary to copy and paste the files onto the SD card (rather than drag and drop) to preserve the file ordering.


I hadn't added stuff to my Harmony in a long time; I forgot that you CAN drag-and-drop, it's just that if you don't copy-and-paste the files won't stay in order. oops.

#22 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:46 PM

I hadn't added stuff to my Harmony in a long time; I forgot that you CAN drag-and-drop, it's just that if you don't copy-and-paste the files won't stay in order. oops.

I found FATsort and built a version for OS X. It's a fairly simple process if you're comfortable using the command line:
  • Plug in your SD card and figure out the Volume Name. My SD card is named HARMONY, so the Volume Name is /Volumes/HARMONY
  • In a terminal window do the following
  • Find out the Device Node, mine's /dev/disk2s1
    diskutil info /Volumes/HARMONY | grep "Device Node:"
  • Unmount (but not eject) the SD card using the Volume Name
    diskutil unmount /Volumes/HARMONY
  • Sort the SD card using the Device Node
    ./fatsort /dev/disk2s1
  • Eject the SD card using the Device Node
    diskutil eject /dev/disk2s1
  • You can now remove the SD card and put it in the Harmony.

This weekend I'm going to see if I can't wrap it up in a GUI utility that you can just drag & drop the volume onto and have it figure out the Volume Name, Device Node and let it run the 4 terminal steps.

If you'd like to use it via command line, here's the Intel build:
Attached File  fatsort.zip   18.8KB   63 downloads

I'm not sure if I can build a Power PC version via Lion, though somebody set up to compile an a Power PC Mac should be able to build it without any problem.

Edited by SpiceWare, Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:53 PM.


#23 Chris Leach OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:50 PM

Only if you would rather pile through 1000 atari carts rather than have them at the touch of your joystick!

#24 snstay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:09 PM

I take my harmony to the bar. Its a big chick magnet. AWWWWW YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

#25 Chris Leach OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:28 PM

Yeah! I bet...you get all the ladies at club 20!




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