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ColecoVision/ADAM misc scans, third party controllers, and other stufff


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#26 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 7:24 PM

 

I had never heard of an X-10 system for the Adam until this thread.  I know it was released for other computers in the early 1980s and was planned for the Mattel Aquarius. 

 

I noticed there isn't a DSK or DDP image of the X-10 software on the internet yet.  If anyone still has a data pack or disk with this software I would be happy to convert it to an image and upload it here.

The X-10 hardware used was not ADAM specific. You could buy the hardware in any electronics stores that carried it and then hook it up to the ADAM via one of the numerous Serial Interfaces that were available. To complete the package, you would need the software driver that was written by Chris Braymen for ADAMLink of Utah/Alan Neeley. I have attached the disk image which you probably already have in your collection, but didn't realize.

 

I don't recall the exact module number of the X10 hardware used or if it matters, but anyone with a Serial Interface and the software driver could get this all working on the ADAM. I guess it's time to do some searching thru the PDF newsletter... to bad we don't have PDF scans of the ADAMLink of Utah newsletter!

Attached Files



#27 ed1475 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 9:07 PM

The X-10 hardware used was not ADAM specific. You could buy the hardware in any electronics stores that carried it and then hook it up to the ADAM via one of the numerous Serial Interfaces that were available. To complete the package, you would need the software driver that was written by Chris Braymen for ADAMLink of Utah/Alan Neeley. I have attached the disk image which you probably already have in your collection, but didn't realize.

 

I don't recall the exact module number of the X10 hardware used or if it matters, but anyone with a Serial Interface and the software driver could get this all working on the ADAM. I guess it's time to do some searching thru the PDF newsletter... to bad we don't have PDF scans of the ADAMLink of Utah newsletter!

 

Thanks for the disk image.  I guess I did already have it. 



#28 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 7, 2017 12:49 AM

This picture at the following website looks like the 1200 baud prototype modem was a ADAMNet external modem. The one Coleco released for the ADAM was a internal 300 baud modem. Over the years in the 80's and early 90's people were using 2400 baud, 9600 baud, and 19,200 baud modems with a third party modified version of ADAMLink V and/or CP/M modem software. People who owned Micro Innovations dual serial with parallel interface also could output in a 80 column terminal mode while online. In the late 20th Century DSL became popular then Cable modems became popular in the early 21st Century around 2002. However no third party company every developed a Ethernet jack for the ADAM computer as far as I am aware. This would have been ideal for people that are on a 100% wired Internet connection like CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6a, CAT7A, and CAT8. But of course the ADAM computer is not powerful enough to offer browsing capabilities like Internet Explorer 11 64 bit.  

 

https://colecoadam.w...200-baud-modem/


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Sep 7, 2017 12:55 AM.


#29 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:33 AM

Here are some pictures of the ColecoVision, Expansion module #3 ADAM computer, and Standalone ADAM computer with and without the Supergame module. In addition, the Expansion Module #3 ADAM tray was thrown in the picture in case someone has not seen it before. It was common in the 80’s since it came with all the Expansion module #3 ADAM computers so that the ColecoVision would have a tight and accurate fit, since once the ADAM expansion is hooked up, there is no good reason why the average person would want to disconnect it.    

Attached Thumbnails

  • ColecoVision.JPG
  • ColecoVision with Supergame module.JPG
  • ColecoVision with Supergame module pic2.JPG
  • Expansion Module #3 ADAM tray.JPG
  • Expansion #3 ADAM computer.JPG
  • Expansion Module #3 ADAM computer with Supergame module.JPG
  • Expansion Module #3 ADAM computer with Supergame module pic2.JPG
  • Standalone ADAM.JPG
  • STANDALONE ADAM with Supergame module.JPG
  • STANDALONE ADAM with Supergame module pic2.JPG

Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:35 AM.


#30 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:13 PM

In 1983 everyone used 256K Digital Data Packs with the Coleco ADAM. Then in 1984 Coleco came out with a 160K 5.25 inch floppy Disk Drive for around $199.95, which made Digital Data Packs less popular. However most ADAM owners never experienced the Coleco disk drive since a small QTY were made before Coleco stopped computer and videogame production in January of 1985.

 

This is what the Digital Data Pack retail package looks like.

 

The DDPs with the big label like that were actually pre-printed for ADAM software that was never released.  I had one like that once, and under the big label it read "Jeopardy"



#31 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:14 PM

 

The DDPs with the big label like that were actually pre-printed for ADAM software that was never released.  I had one like that once, and under the big label it read "Jeopardy"

The Digital Data Pack big labels like you mentioned, the ones I peeled off are completely blank with no second label. Therefore, it must be a select few Digital Data Packs that have a second unreleased Coleco label under the main label. It sounds like what happen is Coleco was getting ready to release Jeopardy on Digital Data Pack, and at the last minute instead of releasing it, must have erased all the Jeopardy Digital Data Packs and popped a blank label on so that they could sale the Digital Data Packs as a blank. Its too bad Coleco did not release Jeopardy (A Coleco employee did copy the 256K Digital Data Pack to 160K disk and with a Coleco letter head claimed it was public domain and then it was sent to all the official ADAM dealers and clubs with the two copyrighted screens removed. Jeopardy in its unaltered state had two boot logos like Family Feud). There were rumors that they had color box art and manuals made up for Jeopardy (If true those might have been tossed away or a few select Coleco employees own those rare unreleased boxed copies).

 

Over the years what has kept the ColecoVision/ADAM interesting is all the stories of the unreleased hardware and software that the Coleco employees took home before the layoffs occurred. The items that were not taken home were either tossed out or the spare parts were used for other products or erased and relabeled. Some of the unreleased hardware and software (especially software since it can be copied by the average person), has been released into public domain.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:23 PM.


#32 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:42 AM

Anyone have a copy of the Coleco letter about the game going public domain?

#33 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:53 PM

Anyone have a copy of the Coleco letter about the game going public domain?

I never personally saw the Coleco letter. However in a monthly ADAM user group that I attended. There were a couple of people in that group that had connections to one or two former Coleco employees. At least one person was able to get a Coleco letterhead with the claim on the letter that Jeopardy was released into public domain. Then someone removed the two copyrighted boot logo screens and changed the one boot screen for Jeopardy to say public domain. Then the unreleased copies of Jeopardy along with Subroc the Supergame was sent to all the big ADAM dealers and USER groups like ADAM’s House and NIAD in 1985. Jeopardy and Trolls Tale is listed as public domain in ADAM House newsletters and NIAD newsletters. Take a look at page 20 of the January 1986 NIAD newsletter. There must be several thousands of copies of Jeopardy floating around since people could purchase it for basically for free with a cost of around $5 for the disk or Digital Data Pack copy from multiply sources. When I requested my copy of Jeopardy and Subroc the Supergame on disk, I asked for the unaltered version with the original copyrighted screen boot logos from the guy that distributed it to all or most of the ADAM dealers and ADAM user groups. In the March/April 1994 version of NIAD and also ADAM HOUSE newsletter, there were many more unreleased Coleco programs being offered for public domain with the small cost of around $3 for the disk. On page 22 of the March/April 1994 version of the NIAD issue Jeopardy, Troll’s Tale, Subroc the Supergame, Dam Busters the Supergame, Temple of Apshai, and the unreleased 5 screen version of Donkey Kong Junior the Supergame was being offered as public domain (many of these were being offered as early as 1985 and 1986 by various ADAM users groups and ADAM dealers). Walter’s software fixed some bugs with Jeopardy, Donkey Kong Junior the 5 screen version, and Temple of Apshai, along with other unreleased software. In the case with Jeopardy it was the original Coleco employee that copied a 256K Digital Data Pack to 160K floppy disk (program needed fixed so that it would not crash after the last question pack). In the case of Donkey Kong Junior the Supergame 5 screen version it was some minor issues that made the hidden 5th screen appear without the required secret Coleco code being entered.



#34 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:30 AM

Thanks, these old newsletters are great. The Niad Jan 1986 newsletter says "Coleco has informed us that any software that has not been officially released by them and does not contain any trademark or copyright names can be released into public domain.". The problem is almost all Coleco games have secondary IP involved. Some trademarks might have since become inactive.

#35 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:53 AM

All, or most, of these Coleco developed titles that were released to the Public Domain happened before I started working at NIAD, but I did see and read the Coleco letter that was mentioned in the previous post. It simply stated that all copyright/trademark information would have to be removed and if this could be done, the software was free to be used however one wanted... preferably shared freely with all ADAM owners via Public Domain.

This requirement to remove copyright/trademark information is why you will see different versions of these titles... some hacked to make these changes and some with all the original title screens with copyright/trademark info.

#36 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:02 PM

Back in the 80’s Toysrus sold many Coleco products including ColecoVision/ADAM products (In 1985 they had a good supply of ADAM disk drives and neat hard to find ADAM and ColecoVision products). Now it looks like that retailer might not be around to much longer. With the popularity of the Internet many retail stores are shutting down nationwide. Toysrus is $5 billion in debt and has filed chapter 11.

 

http://www.twice.com/news/retail/toys-r-us-joins-chapter-11-club/66092


Edited by HDTV1080P, Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:04 PM.


#37 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:00 PM

I have read that Coleco was working on or planning on coming out with either a Laserdisc expansion module or the less reliable and cheaper RCA Video-disc system as an Expansion module. This would be used to play videogames like Dragon’s Lair with the exact same picture and sound quality as the original arcade version. This expansion module most likely would have been an expansion module for the ADAM computer system that used either a RS-232 port or a special ADAMNet interface box (Plus families would have been able to watch movies for entertainment, and not just the ability to play videogames). However, some articles I have read claim that Coleco was looking at the cheaper and less reliable RCA Video disc system instead of the Pioneer Laserdisc system. This would have been a mistake for two reasons. The first reasons is, Dragon’s Lair came out in 1983 on a 12 inch optical disc that was exclusively released in the arcade and later on Dragon’s Lair 2, Space Ace and others were Laserdisc based games. If Coleco would have went with the Laserdisc option, the existing Laserdisc games could have been easily reproduced in existing million dollar Laserdisc factories. It would have cost money to port games like Dragon’s Lair over to RCA’s Video Disc system that used a needle and groove like a record. The second mistake, is if Coleco would have been successful with the ADAM computer the RCA Video-disc system was a format that went out of production in 1986 since the Pioneer Laserdisc format won the format war for disc based movies. From 1978 to the year 2000 the Laserdisc format existed in North America. When the DVD format came out in 1997 the Laserdisc format died in the USA 3 years later around the year 2000, and Pioneer stopped making Laserdisc players in 2009.

 

It’s very hard to predict the future, however looking back at history, most the time Coleco was going the cheapest route when it came to new technologies. While it’s great to offer low cost videogame and computer products for the consumer, the problem is going the cheapest route sometimes results in quality control issues and tape, disk, and other media that will become obsolete in the near future.        

 

In the Arcade the Laserdisc games were always NTSC standard definition quality. Digital Leisure has performed a master scan of the original film source, and they have created a 1080P quality version of Dragon’s Lair, Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp, and Space Ace on the Blu-ray format that is much better quality then the original arcade versions.  

 


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:11 PM.


#38 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:57 AM

The coleco vision graphics chip has a unique feature of tranparent background pixels. When mixed with an external video source the coleco vision can have its graphics overlaying real video. If they had some sort of video disc expansion, unique games could have been created using real video as a background. I would have expected the interface to go through the regular expansion port.

Laserdisc would have been ridiculously expensive for 1984. Games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace have limited gameplay and little replay value. Such an addon would have been an expensive gimmick. Going into the later 1980s and after the end of the arcade golden age, the coleco vision would need more original games rather than depending on arcade conversions. And the coleco vision was attracting third party developers creating original games like "Fortune Builder" and "Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress".




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