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"Candy" prototype

8-Bit 400 800 cartridge prototype 2600

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#1 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:21 PM

I'm new to these forums and just replied all of this in another forum but thought to get best results that maybe I would start my own thread.  Here is what I wrote in the other thread.  Thanks.

 

I was wondering if anyone here might be able to help me.  Bill Loguidice suggested I write something here in the Atariage forums for some help.  

 

My good Friend Doug Hardy who was one of the engineers who helped design the 2600, 400 and 800 just recently passed.  When I say design, I mean the casings/consoles, cartridges and how everything went together. His name is on several Atari patents including the cartridge. He was part of the team at Fairchild and engineered the cartridge there and literally the day he finished and the prototype was done he walked out the door and went to Atari.  He gave me what he said is the very first "Candy" as he called her still. This Atari 400 according to him was the first prototype they put together after they finished with all engineering and had all the parts.  You can tell by the way it's able to be taken apart and the fact that there is no serial number plate on it that it's a prototype.  It does have a handwritten number on the inside of the machine itself.  All pieces are still there including of course the electronics.  Doug always told me that this machine was something special and so I want to see if there is anyone I can talk to about it.  If anyone wants to send me a message or contact me I would love to find out more. 

 

By the way, I have him on audio talking all about how he ultimately came up with the design for the cartridge and how it wouldn't wear out plus stories of the 2600, 400 and 800. I'd love to see how I can put that on here somewhere so people can hear his story.  I also have some really good stories from him on audio/video talking about the atmosphere at Atari (yes it was some crazy times) and how corrupt it became once Warner took it over.  

Any help would be appreciated.

Dennis


Edited by atarikid1968, Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:22 PM.


#2 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:23 PM

My first thought is talk to Kevin Savetz.



#3 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:26 PM

All i can say is "WOW' - i'm sure many people will help you here. In the mean time, costco can do conversions for you if you dont have the means to do them yourself. If the audio is already digital, just dump them into http://wetransfer.com and post the sharing link here.

 

Good luck!

 

I was wondering if anyone here might be able to help me.


Edited by fibrewire, Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:26 PM.


#4 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:32 PM

Thanks for both suggestions.  I just did a search on Kevin and will look to try and reach out.  As for the audio and video files, yes they are already digitized and will look to organize them and post what I can. His stories were amazing and how they designed things in right frame of mind (if you get what I mean) just blows me away.

Thanks!



#5 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:36 PM

Here's Kevin. He's interviewed a lot of important people in the Atari scene and preserved a lot of history:

 

http://atariage.com/...ser/803-savetz/



#6 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:38 PM

That would all be awesome to hear and see. I'm still amazed that machines that are over 30 years old still have so little problems with the cartridges....it was one heck of a design.

 

Would love to see pics of that Candy ! :)



#7 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:47 PM

When he came up with the design they had built a machine that would input and remove a cartridge 1 million times and the very first prototype cartridge passed the test the very first time.

 

I will reach out to Kevin for sure.

I will also post some pictures of Candy tomorrow when I have a chance.



#8 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:50 PM

Sorry to hear of your friend's passing.  Amazing info that you have preserved though, thanks for trying to get this out to us.



#9 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:02 PM

When he came up with the design they had built a machine that would input and remove a cartridge 1 million times and the very first prototype cartridge passed the test the very first time.

 

I will reach out to Kevin for sure.

I will also post some pictures of Candy tomorrow when I have a chance.

You might want to talk to Joe Decuir, one of the designers of the 400/800. Kevin can get you in contact with him.

 

Allan



#10 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:00 PM

Hi there, I have the pictures to post on here just don't know which is the best way.  When I click on images it asks me for a URL.  Is there a way to just upload images to this forum?



#11 BillC OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:07 PM

Hi there, I have the pictures to post on here just don't know which is the best way.  When I click on images it asks me for a URL.  Is there a way to just upload images to this forum?

You have to select the [More Reply Options] button to the bottom right of text window.

You will then have button below the window to select files on your computer to attach to the post.

After a file is attached you can also select to add it to the post which allows direct viewing of JPG and GIF files in the browser.



#12 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:19 PM

Atari 400 A.JPG Atari 400 B.JPG Atari 400 C.JPG Atari 400 D.JPG Atari 400 E.JPG Atari 400 F.JPG Atari 400 G.JPG Atari 400 H.JPG



#13 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:21 PM

The pictures were taken one at a time as I removed the pieces just like they made it to be put together and taken apart.  It's pretty cool to see the work they put into it and how they were making it all fit from all aspects.



#14 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:46 PM

It's cool to the original label from the early promotional pics. I wonder why is was changed. Too hard to read at a distance?



#15 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:12 PM

Wow! Neat!

#16 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:29 PM

Incredible images!  Thanks again for sharing.



#17 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:40 PM

Atarikid68

Please contact me immediately-

Those items actually belong to me. My friend Doug got very ill several months ago and unfortunately Protective Services came and had to take him into a home.

All of Those items were put out on loan by Doug and belong to me, see please PM me to discuss.

Curt

#18 Paul Westphal OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:55 PM

I Emailed the first post to Joe Decuir.


Edited by Paul Westphal, Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:57 PM.


#19 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:07 PM

Really cool piece of computer history you have there! 



#20 RodLightning OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:53 PM

Very cool pictures. Thanks for posting. Do you have the two smaller boards that go into those slots (CPU and RAM) ?

Edit: Also looking forward to hearing about the chain of ownership on this particular prototype. Interesting stuff.

Edited by RodLightning, Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:57 PM.


#21 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:07 AM

Just wanted to give everyone an update on this:

 

Dennis and I just spoke.   I thought he was someone who was loaned items by Doug before his passing.  Dennis and I are both aware of this same person and we're going to work together to try and track him down.   The Candy proto is in fact Dennis'.    Although I had it for a short bit when I visited Doug many years ago, Doug had promised it to Dennis and it is in fact his.   He and I are going to be working on a project for a Memorial for our friend Doug and we'll let everyone know about it once its done.

 

Anyone who wants to learn more about Doug and the amazing stories he was involved in while at Atari, please do read Atari Inc: Business is Fun and ready the chapters on the 2600 and the 400... specifically read the section called "Somebody get me a Mallet"

 

Thanks everyone.



#22 ClausB OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:10 AM

Nice find!

 

I notice two similarities with my pre-production 800 (http://atariage.com/...ering-serial-26):

1 - rainbow logo

2 - cart slot has only 24 pins

 

Thanks for posting the photos (that's more than Curt ever did).

 

Any chance of posting a higher-res photo of the motherboard? Both sides? I would be willing to make a schematic. Also, are the CPU and RAM boards there?


Edited by ClausB, Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:17 AM.


#23 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:16 AM

Thanks Curt for explaining this to everyone.  

As for the question about any other pieces, the pictures are showing everything that is there.

 

What I'm trying to do is of course share what Doug had helped create and most importantly help get Doug Hardy's name out there.  Doug was very instrumental in the design work on these machines as well as designing the cartridge itself (hence his name being on the patent).  I will work with Curt to put something together about the 400 itself as well as Doug.  

I'd like to share some of the stories as well about Atari on here straight from Doug's mouth and look forward to that as well.

 

Thanks.



#24 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:21 AM

Glad you guys figured it out, and it's really great that you're working together on honoring your friend. :thumbsup:

#25 atarikid1968 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:07 AM

IMG_3615.JPG

 

ClausB here is a HDR picture of the motherboard. Sorry but I'm not the best photographer.  I can try to take better pictures at a point where I have some more time. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 8-Bit, 400, 800, cartridge, prototype, 2600

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