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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

RCA Studio II Interview

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#551 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:04 PM

An initial search online at the Hagley Library confirms that parts of Joseph Weisbecker's papers there include Studio II, Studio III, and Studio IV(!) information, and makes mention of the following:

 

"Next, Series 4 (1965-1980), Clippings, publications, ads relate mainly to Weisbecker’s RCA work and includes issues of various computing magazines with related articles. Series 5 (1965-1975) includes artifacts, mainly of board and computer games developed by Joe Weisbecker both for RCA and on his own with Komputer Pastimes"

 

 

http://h92010.eos-in...4659|1|14781037

 

Looks like I might be visiting the archives in the near future. Is there anyone nearby who might be able to look into this stuff?


Edited by Blazing Lazers, Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:08 PM.


#552 AguyinarRPG OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:23 PM

Sorry to bump in here, but some interesting new information has popped up which complicates the history matter.

 

A great new article from Benj Edwards popped up a few days ago, coincidentally just as I was starting to write up something for the Fairchild Channel F (and I came to this thread because I'm writing a Studio II piece now).

 

http://www.fastcompa...-game-cartridge

 

It goes into the conception of the cartridge, and how Fairchild partnered with Alpex to redesign their video game system into the Channel F. The references to RCA though are interesting. Firstly, Alpex presented the console to a number of television companies, including RCA. This is likely where they got the concept from (else it's a staggering coincidence). They didn't have the direct technology, but were working on the Studio II in May of 1976. The article also makes the claim of the Studio II being released in February of 1977 rather than January, though this seems unsubstantiated.

 

Whatever the case, this sheds some new light on the whole progression of the system. It could well have been conceived as a multi-arcade game cabinet, but the presentation from Alpex was in 1975, which would have put them on a strange course to transfer the game project so immediately. I'm interested to see if anything else comes out of researching this. This thread has been immensely helpful, and I gotta thank fauxscot a ton for his contributions. Just wanted to let all the historians know!



#553 ranger_lennier OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015 5:48 PM

I was looking through MESS's Studio II driver recently.

 

http://git.redump.ne...ivers/studio2.c

 

It identifies a number of clone systems, as so:

//    YEAR  NAME        PARENT  COMPAT  MACHINE     INPUT    INIT                       COMPANY    FULLNAME                                         FLAGS
CONS( 1977, studio2,    0,      0,      studio2,    studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "RCA",      "Studio II",                                    GAME_IMPERFECT_SOUND | GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, visicom,    studio2,0,      visicom,    studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Toshiba",  "Visicom COM-100 (Japan)",                      GAME_IMPERFECT_SOUND | GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, mpt02,      studio2,0,      mpt02,      studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Soundic",  "Victory MPT-02 Home TV Programmer (Austria)",  GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, mpt02h,     studio2,0,      mpt02,      studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Hanimex",  "MPT-02 Jeu TV Programmable (France)",          GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, mtc9016,    studio2,0,      mpt02,      studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Mustang",  "9016 Telespiel Computer (Germany)",            GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, shmc1200,   studio2,0,      mpt02,      studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Sheen",    "M1200 Micro Computer (Australia)",             GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, cm1200,     studio2,0,      mpt02,      studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Conic",    "M-1200 (?)",                                   GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )
CONS( 1978, apollo80,   studio2,0,      mpt02,      studio2, studio2_state, studio2,    "Academy",  "Apollo 80 (Germany)",                          GAME_SUPPORTS_SAVE )


 

This made me start wondering about where the various clones were released. In particular, the Victory. MESS identifies this as coming from Austria. The odd thing is, I once purchased a Victory system on eBay from a seller in Australia. Now granted, it's not impossible that someone in Australia could have imported a system from Austria and later sold it. But I could also imagine someone just getting the countries mixed up. Does anyone know for sure? Really, it's a good time to look over the entire list. old-computers.com says the Soundic Victory is from Hong Kong. But maybe it was just manufactured there? It also says the Sheen 1200 Micro Computer is possibly from Europe, while MESS says Australia.

 

http://www.old-compu...iew.asp?r=2&a=5

 

 

 



#554 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015 6:28 PM

Hello!

 

So visicom obviously is just from japan, I believe Apollo academy was exclusive to the UK, so a tag of Germany would be incorrect for it.

Sheen products I believe are exclusive to Australia, this would apply to their other systems they made as well.

Mustang I believe is exlusive to Germany, never seen it anywhere else and of course all info is in German.

Conic I believe is just a direct rebranding of the Sheen system, this and the Hanimex are the only ones I don't yet own and have never seen them up for sale ever.

I believe the conic was released in Australia, as their pong systems are huge there. Not sure if they were exclusive to Australia, I would guess they may have seen some release in Europe but cant verify that.

I know European collectors have had an easier time finding conic carts opposed to sheen, which makes me think maybe it had some release there, while I rarely ever see anything conic available at all anywhere.

The soundic victory definitely had release in Australia and thru parts of Europe, I know Spain and probably other areas. 

The Hanimex is just a direct rebranding of the soundic victory made exclusively for france I believe, system looks the same except for name plate, carts the same except for French manuals.

No evidence any of these others were ever released in Japan. Soundic is obviously just based out of Japan and probably why it got that tag...also they are probably who is behind all these systems hardware.

 

Hope that helps to some extent ;)



#555 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015 6:39 PM

Guys, just a heads up (Blazing Lazers is already aware). I'm finishing up an article on the RCA Studio II for an upcoming issue of Retro Gamer magazine. I've managed to track down the entire history behind it from 1971 onwards, plus have conducted interviews accordingly. I'll be sharing all my resources here once the article is published, and I hope everyone enjoys it. I know it's given me a newfound respect for the console as it has the few people I've shared the findings with so far.

 

One thing I'd like to ask for though is permission from some of the posters of the non-US models to use some of your pictures in the article (with credit). I don't really have another source for decent pics of those consoles.



#556 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015 8:06 PM

Sounds really interesting!

I would love to hear any info you have tracked down on the foreign clones.

I'm also happy to share/take pics of any of my clone systems if you need them.

I have the victory, mustang, visicom, Apollo and 2 versions of the sheen. All of these boxed except the Apollo and visicom.

Shoot me a pm if you want ;)

#557 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 2, 2015 12:26 AM

Soundic was very likely the brand behing most of the consoles and Pong clones of the world by 1978.

When you take down a Pong system, or a Hanimex console, you find inside a board labeled as SD-***.

 

I don't know if Hanimex is exclusive to France, but I can confirm that is is indeed a rebranding (I NEVER saw any original system from them, always label slapping) and is so far the only model of RCA clone I ever saw for sale in France.



#558 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 2, 2015 4:55 PM

Guys, just a heads up (Blazing Lazers is already aware). I'm finishing up an article on the RCA Studio II for an upcoming issue of Retro Gamer magazine. I've managed to track down the entire history behind it from 1971 onwards, plus have conducted interviews accordingly. I'll be sharing all my resources here once the article is published, and I hope everyone enjoys it. I know it's given me a newfound respect for the console as it has the few people I've shared the findings with so far.

 

One thing I'd like to ask for though is permission from some of the posters of the non-US models to use some of your pictures in the article (with credit). I don't really have another source for decent pics of those consoles.

 

Cant wait to read it! As the first home console I was ever aware of (via an ad in The TV Guide) I have a soft spot for the Studio II and thanks to Fauxcot, I have 2 consoles that work.



#559 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 9, 2015 1:52 AM

No real news updates to report today, though  I did get to talk to Joyce Weisbecker at the recent MAGFest here in DC. Really neat to hear about the thought process behind some of the decisions that were made back then. I also got her autograph for my copy of Speedway/Tag- as far as I know it's the only copy of a Studio II game autographed by its programmer!

 

Joyce_WSpeedwayauto.jpg

 

 



#560 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:15 AM

Guys, just a heads up (Blazing Lazers is already aware). I'm finishing up an article on the RCA Studio II for an upcoming issue of Retro Gamer magazine. I've managed to track down the entire history behind it from 1971 onwards, plus have conducted interviews accordingly. I'll be sharing all my resources here once the article is published, and I hope everyone enjoys it. I know it's given me a newfound respect for the console as it has the few people I've shared the findings with so far.

 

One thing I'd like to ask for though is permission from some of the posters of the non-US models to use some of your pictures in the article (with credit). I don't really have another source for decent pics of those consoles.

 

I still have my Apollo 80 cart scans for download which you can use:

 

http://www.thelimeyd...ollo80scans.zip



#561 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:51 AM

Nothing new as it's been mentioned before but inregards to Sheen/Conic/Mustang.  They were all part of the "M-1200 sub-family" as I like to class them as. They used the same moulds for the consoles.

 

Then Sheen M-1200 and Conic M-1200 intially had identical packaging.

 

Sheen_M1200.jpgConic20_M1200_F.jpg

 

 

The Mustang 9016  had different packaging but had the same "artwork" on the console itself.

 

mustang-9016-mpt-02.jpg

 

 

 

At some point Sheen repacked their consoles and games with newer artwork.

 

608041746_o.jpg

 

 

I do not know if the Conic also repacked their system as I've never seen any evidence of this.

 

Original game packaging for Sheen/Conic:

 

post-33467-0-25841400-1343532268.jpg


Edited by TLD1985, Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:53 AM.


#562 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:39 PM

Sorry for the multiple-posting

 

I've updated the Rom Dumped List just to keep people aware of what is missing.. which is mostly the Visicom games and the two special carts for the Studio II.

 

 

dumprca.png



#563 sut OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:57 PM

Any chance of uploading the Grand Pack rom please ? I don't seem to have that one.
TLD did you ever suss Sumo out for the Visicom ?

#564 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:04 PM

Any chance of uploading the Grand Pack rom please ? I don't seem to have that one.
TLD did you ever suss Sumo out for the Visicom ?

 

 

GrandPack rom is on this topic somewhere..  The rom files I have aren't accessable at the moment.

 

edit:  Here: http://atariage.com/...ager/?p=2803502

 

 

It's been a while since I had a look at sumo..  From memory it's pretty easy to play but I couldn't work out why some moves worked sometimes and sometimes they didn't.  It's probably due to the position of the characters on the screen or something.


Edited by TLD1985, Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:06 PM.


#565 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 PM

The article was turned in several weeks ago. It mainly focuses on the pre-evolution and development of the system, with one of the box outs giving a summarization of the various international models. Joyce Weisbecker wasn't able to get me all her answers in time, so I'll be posting her material here after the article is out. Likewise for all the other materials. Curt and I (atarimuseum) were also donated a bunch of the materials from the '77 CES that include the RCA Studio II press kit and materials which we'll be releasing as well.



#566 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:38 PM

The article was turned in several weeks ago. It mainly focuses on the pre-evolution and development of the system, with one of the box outs giving a summarization of the various international models. Joyce Weisbecker wasn't able to get me all her answers in time, so I'll be posting her material here after the article is out. Likewise for all the other materials. Curt and I (atarimuseum) were also donated a bunch of the materials from the '77 CES that include the RCA Studio II press kit and materials which we'll be releasing as well.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing all the material you've found.

 

 

I have been thinking about the missing "Demonstration Cart" and "Tester I" carts.   We don't know how many still survive/in the hands of collectors. 

 

I can guess that someone with these extremely rare carts that might be reading this topic probably doesn't want to annouce it publically to prevent lots of mesages asking to buy it. So if they do want to be quiet about it I would recommend they contact "ranger_lennier" who has helped get the missing euro carts dumped.  Also if they have the "Tester I" cart to get a nice scan of the back/front of it. :)

 

Luckily we do know what Tester I did so technially someone could recreate it if all copies truly have been lost.    

However never found any information on what the Demonstration Cart did. I do have some vague memory of a b/w photo of a Studio II with a cartridge in it and the RCA logo on the sceen.. so maybe that was a demo cart... however I've not been able to find this picture.. so it's possible I am remembering wrong I just imagined it.


Edited by TLD1985, Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:38 PM.


#567 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:09 AM

Multiple copies of the Demonstration Cartridge have been known to exist, at least 3 of them. We have the photograph of one several pages back that was probably the source of it being added to all the collector lists back in the 90's, another copy that the Bingo guy (possibly not Dan McIntyre) had, and a third copy with the white box that Tom Kieser wrote about in the trash find article and which was believed destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.

In addition to trying to track down all of those copies, I also called up or emailed about 200 people named Dan or Daniel or Danny McIntyre or some similar variant. Even obituary contacts. I still haven't contacted everyoneon this list I made, but I've got some doubts that Dan is the real name of the Bingo guy.

#568 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:48 AM

Multiple copies of the Demonstration Cartridge have been known to exist, at least 3 of them. We have the photograph of one several pages back that was probably the source of it being added to all the collector lists back in the 90's, another copy that the Bingo guy (possibly not Dan McIntyre) had, and a third copy with the white box that Tom Kieser wrote about in the trash find article and which was believed destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.

In addition to trying to track down all of those copies, I also called up or emailed about 200 people named Dan or Daniel or Danny McIntyre or some similar variant. Even obituary contacts. I still haven't contacted everyoneon this list I made, but I've got some doubts that Dan is the real name of the Bingo guy.

 

I think it is likely the guy died which is why he just "vanished".


Edited by TLD1985, Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:51 AM.


#569 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:03 AM

 
I think it is likely the guy died which is why he just "vanished".


I'm still searching, just in case. However, I do have one unlikely theory: it could be that the trash find Tom Kieser wrote the article about was one and the same as the stuff seen at PC2K1. Nothing really precludes that possibility, and the geographic area it was found in corresponds to the likely area the Bingo guy lived in, going by how he was able to stop at the Circle 40 indoor fleamarket on hisway back home from PC2K and discover Bingo there.

#570 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:18 AM

The article was turned in several weeks ago. It mainly focuses on the pre-evolution and development of the system, with one of the box outs giving a summarization of the various international models. Joyce Weisbecker wasn't able to get me all her answers in time, so I'll be posting her material here after the article is out. Likewise for all the other materials. Curt and I (atarimuseum) were also donated a bunch of the materials from the '77 CES that include the RCA Studio II press kit and materials which we'll be releasing as well.

This sounds awesome :) I'm greatly looking forward to this! Who donated the press kit, btw? Only one of the contemporary folks I reached had anything more than games and knowledge. Hopefully you found a copy of Bingo, or at least more evidence of it. Perhaps the press kit mentions it, or the press kit has a demonstration Cartridge with it.

There's also the store display from the Texas newspaper article some pages back, and the Bingo guy also supposedly had a display setup of some sort.

Edited by Blazing Lazers, Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:23 AM.


#571 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:23 AM

I'm still searching, just in case. However, I do have one unlikely theory: it could be that the trash find Tom Kieser wrote the article about was one and the same as the stuff seen at PC2K1. Nothing really precludes that possibility, and the geographic area it was found in corresponds to the likely area the Bingo guy lived in, going by how he was able to stop at the Circle 40 indoor fleamarket on hisway back home from PC2K and discover Bingo there.

 

I did post this info a while back.. the e-mail used on the usenet post was:  dan-jen@mindspring.com

 

Googling danmcintyre@mindspring.com brings up the following results  (http://www.siclook.c...ntyre_xLlg.html):

 

 

  • Address: 3304AldenPondLane
  • Zipcode: 8317
  • Tel: 8563586486 (+1-856-358-6486)
  • Fax : null
  • Website : DANNYANDJENNY.COM, SUSANMCINTYRE.COM

 

Both sites are still up.  The names on dannyandjenny.com are: Jennifer Rosenblum and Danny Rosenthal

 

whois information on susanmcintyre.com:
 

Tech Name: Dan McIntyre
Tech Organization: Dan McIntyre
Tech Street: 102 N Hayden Bay Drive
Tech City: Portland
Tech State/Province: OR
Tech Postal Code: 97217
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.5032869833
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: +1.5032867622
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: dan@mcintyredirect.com

whois information on dannyandjenny.com (seems to be a conincidence with the dan-jen e-mail..)
 

Admin Name: Daniel Rosenthal
Admin Street: 1301 20th Street NW Washington,DC,US 20036 e
Admin Phone: ph:1202725614
Admin Email: dannyportnoy-registers@yahoo.com


#572 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:32 AM


 
I did post this info a while back.. the e-mail used on the usenet post was:  dan-jen@mindspring.com
 
Googling danmcintyre@mindspring.com brings up the following results  (http://www.siclook.c...ntyre_xLlg.html):
 
 
Both sites are still up.  The names on dannyandjenny.com are: Jennifer Rosenblum and Danny Rosenthal
 
whois information on susanmcintyre.com:
 

Tech Name: Dan McIntyre
Tech Organization: Dan McIntyre
Tech Street: 102 N Hayden Bay Drive
Tech City: Portland
Tech State/Province: OR
Tech Postal Code: 97217
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.5032869833
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: +1.5032867622
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: dan@mcintyredirect.com
whois information on dannyandjenny.com (seems to be a conincidence with the dan-jen e-mail..)
 
Admin Name: Daniel Rosenthal
Admin Street: 1301 20th Street NW Washington,DC,US 20036 e
Admin Phone: ph:1202725614
Admin Email: dannyportnoy-registers@yahoo.com

The Seattle Dan was one of those I called earlier last year, and spoke directly with him. He confirmed that he is not the Dan McIntyre who was at PC2K1. Seemed amused at the coincidence, actually.

That Dan Rosenthal connection is new to me though, and it's actually very very local. I'll report back on it.

#573 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:13 AM

I'm afraid you're shooting a blank at this one too. After studying the web site, it seems Daniel Rosenthal met Jennifer Rosenblum on an online Jewish dating site in September 2005, and they married in October 2007.

 

Now, Philly Classic was in year 2000, which means if this is the same Dan who once went by McIntyre but then changed to the more Jewish related Rosenthal, he had envisioned to one day meet his future wife Jen and got an email address matching that, more than five years prior to them meeting online...

 

Rather I believe the domain name dannyandjenny.com may have been used by someone else before, then expired and this couple registered it for their marriage several years later. But that shouldn't put you off trying to call him.

 

You can also use Archive.org to look for earlier versions of the dannyandjenny.com website. The oldest record is from July 9, 2004 and then another record from August 30 the same year. Back then the site belonged to another couple Danny & Jenny who met in February 2000, got engaged in April 2004 and married on Maui in February 2005. However that site doesn't say anything about their location or even surnames. Apparently some time between February 2005 and October 2007, the domain name was expired or relocated to our new couple.

 

Whether it was Dan McIntyre in Portland who once got married in Maui, I can't tell, neither if the guy who went to Philly Classic in 2000 eventually scored a marriage in Maui.



#574 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:30 PM

Hey all. Issue 139 of Retro Gamer has been published and is just starting to be sent out to subscribers. Please pick it up and enjoy. I'm still interviewing Joyce Weisbecker and getting more material coming in, enough that I'm thinking of turning it all into a small book at this point. 

 

11041904_10152718354238596_4193346422337437189_o.jpg rcainside.png rcainside1.png

rcainside2.png


Edited by Retro Rogue, Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:31 PM.


#575 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:44 PM

Awesome! :D




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