I updated the facebook page
Thanks, Willie! It looks great, and I see that the name change to Bally Alley Astrocast has already taken effect.
My dad brought one home when they came out. he bought a second white one later one and gave me the original.
Did he have to buy a second one because the first one overheated, or did he get the white one especially for you because you were hogging his machine?
Loved that system up until I got my Atari 800 computer, but I still played the astrocade quite a bit for games, no so much for programming once I got into the 800.
I used a Commodore 64 as my first home computer, but the Atari 8-bit systems are nowadays my favorite 8-bit home computers. That's why I like the 5200 podcast-- it certainly gives more coverage to the Atari computers. I have this urge to start a short podcast covering Atari 8-bit books that cover type-in programs. However, that might fit best as a segment on some other Atari podcast.
I had an Atari 5200 with a very large collection of games, but once I realized all of those games had been ported, in one way or another (officially or unofficially) to the computer line, I dropped the 5200 in a heartbeat. It's too bad I dropped that system right onto my foot: I smashed it up really good. As the doctor bandaged me up, he told me that Atari 5200 foot injuries had been very common in the 80s, but it had been several years since he'd seen anyone drop that gigantic system and break so many toes.
(Yeah, all right, you caught me: I never actually dropped a 5200 onto my foot... but if I had, then above story likely would have occurred, right?)
I spent lots of time making games with the original bally basic using the tape interface box, then really got into making games when the newer astrobasic cart came out with the built in tape interface.
Do you still have any of those tapes with your own BASIC programs? If so, then we'd surely archive them and add them to BallyAlley.com.
I conbtributed an article to ballyalley.com some time ago on how to fix a astrocade that died due to having the bottom vents blocked and it overheats [ ]
Yes, you contributed "Bally Astrocade Repair Procedures #1" to the Astrocade FAQ:
I'd say people ask more questions about how to repair an Astrocade than about anything else about the system. Over the years, I've pointed to the FAQ many times. I'm sure your contribution must have helped many people, Willie.
I also spent lots of time at my dads work helping repair machines and was able to mess around with the Zgrass expansion a little.
Ah, you're one of the few who got to play with the Z-GRASS expansion. That's pretty cool! Was it the add-under (low-res hardware) or the UV-1 (hi-res) unit? We're going to cover the Z-GRASS unit in some (possibly far-off) future episode of the Astrocast. For a system with such a small library of cartridge games, there is an awful lot to talk about. I'm not sure we'll ever be able to cover it all. In a way, I feel as though the BallyAlley website has been leading up to this podcast. I'm too lazy to have this podcast alone, so thanks (again) to Chris and Paul (the co-hosts/contributors)-- for without them I'd just be some guy who has an Astrocade website that looks like it was made in 2001... because it was made back then!
not to mention the constant negative feedback we were getting, it is the only podcast i got so many negative feedbacks on for some reason, guess we were not covering the 5200 like some wanted )
Negative feedback? That's too bad. Your podcasts are more laid-back than others, but who would complain about that? After all, the price of admission (free!) allows you to do whatever you want. It's your own show. You did the right thing by moving on: if you feel you're not appreciated, then it probably wasn't fun anymore.
Colecovisions Podcast is still going strong even though we have a really wild recording schedule (its hard to coordinate available times). I am almost done with the Channel F Files (my first home video game console I owned that was mine) and plan on doing the MicroVision Pixelcast next (that will be a very very short series [:P] ) After that I plan on getting into the Arcadia 2001 [:)]
I've only listened to the first few Colecovisions podcast. I had a hard time listening to that one because it wasn't edited. Now that I've gotten used to your style, I'll likely revisit it, as the Colecovision was a great system-- and it introduced me to Jumpman (via the Jumpman Junior) cartridge. I have very fond memories of the Colecovision, but it's a system I don't own anymore (though I did get the recent Colecovision flashback-- which is, well, not the same at all).
I've never played a real Channel F, although I've used it under emulation. That's a system that's hard to appreciate for me. I do love it's huge palette of colors. A few years back I played a homebrew version of Space Invaders on that system. Very interesting.
In the 90s, I had a few Microvision systems: only one of them worked correctly. I had about five or six games for it. I can't remember which ones (Star Trek and the pack-in Breakout clone are the only ones that I remember). The resolution on that unit was miserable... but workable for, I think, 1979. I'd listen to this podcast-- and it would be really cool to hear from someone who programmed anything on that system.
I have the Arcadia 2001 with quite a few carts, plus the multicart that Ward Shrake made. Did you know that a new multicart was just released for it? It was made in Germany. I had the PCBs mailed to me a few weeks ago. I forwarded them to Ward and he's going to put them together. The Arcadia 2001 has some true stinkers, but also some interesting carts too. Will you be covering the non-US carts? I hope so, as those are actually some really great game. I programmed a small program on the Arcadia called "Mothership." Chris and I pulled out my Arcadia 2001 a couple of months back, I think it he liked it more than he expected. Certainly I know that he expected the resolution to be lower. I ended up playing Macross on it quite a bit that evening; I had a really good time with it. If you need a co-host for this Arcadian 2001 show, then let me know-- I'd be game!
Let me know what I can do to help out behind the scenes for the Bally Alley Podcast! I love that machine!
If (more like "when") I think of something, then I'll let you know. Thanks for all that you do in (and for) the classic gaming community, Willie!