The nick mainly stands for "Reverse Engineer", a favourite hobby of mine. From a young age I was driven to tear things apart to figure out how they worked, much to my parent's chagrin. Luckily they eventually came to appreciate it when I would take apart a broken item, figure out how it was suppose to work, and fix it.
A few years back I hacked
and wrote software
for the CVS/PureDigital digital cameras, and managed to get personal mentions in slashdot, gizmodo, and hack-a-day. In the same vein, I also published an article for the 2600 Hacker Quarterly called "Hacking the Hawking HNAS", which provided instructions on how to get under-the-hood access to a neat little fileserver.
In recent years I've turned my attention to the system of my youth, the Atari 2600, and its baby brother the Atari 7800. Here's a list of some of the stuff I've worked on...
- 7800basic... my port of batari Basic to the 7800. Actually, it was a bit more than a simple port, given the advanced graphics capabilities of the 7800, compared to the 2600.
- Naughty List... a 2600 game patterned after the classic game Blitz, and part of The Byte Before Christmas multicart. I also created the title screen for the multicart and contributed code to another game in the cart, Christmas Adventure.
- 21 Blue... this is a 2600 homage to the Strip Poker game from Artworx that made its way onto many retro computers. The challenge of displaying shaded bitmap graphics on a machine known for pong and combat was intriguing, and doing an "adult" homebrew on the 2600 struck me as funny.
- 2-button game hacks... after a bit of experimentation I found that the 2600 could read 2 buttons on a Sega Genesis controller, and hacked 2600 Defender so you'd no longer need to dive below the cities to use the smartbomb. I enjoyed the result so much I decided to update more games to use 2 buttons, and fellow 2600 hackers even joined in on the effort!
- reading 4 buttons on a modified Genesis controller... I worked out a simple 10 cent hardware modification that allows the A, B, C and START buttons to be read on a 2600.
- The bB Titlescreen Kernel... I have a belief that if you're solving a problem that other programmers also have, you should spend a little more time and create a library, leaving the community better for your involvement. Since I knew I'd need to tackle a title screen for my 2600 games, it was only natural to write the TSK, so other coders could benefit.
- AtariVox work... I've been on a bit of a Vox kick lately. AtariVox is a neat bit of gear that allows you to add voice and data loading/saving to 2600 games. I wrote some bB AtariVox docs [1,2,3] as well as hacking AtariVox voice support into Nukey's Berzerk 2-Player and my own Q*Bert Arcade hack. Then there's my AtariVox Spell&Speak toy. It should also be noted that AtariVox sings to the 21 Blue theme, and says saucy comments during certain events in the game.