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About this blog

Mostly Atari-related projects, and other ramblings. Home of the Artie the Atari comic strip.

Entries in this blog

 

More cartoons! Now with 75% less!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about our students' 2021 Open Show. An eight-hour marathon of animated films, produced over the last two academic years (since we couldn't have a show at all a year ago). For the first time ever we held it online, since we still can't have large screenings in person. But that meant anyone got to watch it! Quite literally, from all over the world.   Of course, not everyone wants to sit through an eight-hour show.   But this Saturday night, you c
 

Cartoon Party-Time!

In previous years, I've posted about our end-of-school-year student film screenings for the Character Animation Program at CalArts (my day job, when I'm not working on homebrews).   Let's recap! 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 I wasn't blogging before that. But I've been editing these shows since '93 (when I was still a student!).   Anyway... oh, wait a second. Those last tw

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Twenty-three Skid-to-doo

Well, I figured before the last list hit three years old, I'd better replace it with a new one - clean out the completed projects, update existing ones, and add a few more. Latest updates are in red. Homebrews in development: Turbo Arcade (was "Not a SuperCharger Game")* Game graphics: In progress. Game audio: In progress. Development status: Active development. 2-15-21: New homebrew project. 3-18-21: Graphics in progress. Early non-playable proof-of-concept buil

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special - Spoiler-free review

Yes, there's a new Star Wars Holiday Special. The most infamous piece of Star Wars lore returns to Disney+, but this time in LEGO form (and yes... LEGO is supposed to be all caps).   If you're unaware of the first Star Wars Holiday Special... well, I just don't know how to describe it. It's unbelievable in its awfulness. Imagine some weird, unfunny mash-up of the worst 70's variety show you've ever seen, featuring has-been TV comedians doing painfully unfunny "comedy" sketches, a coupl

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Keepin' it clean

Yeah. Let's see you get that song outta your head. It's apparently been stuck in mine since 1977, since I remembered it verbatim while writing this blog entry. Note for note. Over and over.   What I'd forgotten until looking up the commercial is that it was basically an angle grinder for your face.   Anyway, I thought I'd briefly go over the repairs I did for John Champeau's other console, and also cover some tips about how I cleaned it up. Everyone has their own tricks for c

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

RF addendum

In my previous entry about improving RF on a 2600, I mentioned that I wanted to try two additional changes: A different, more flexible RF cable A different F-type to RCA adapter So, I made those changes! And now I'm blogging about them! Exclamation points!!   (I figured a new blog entry would be better than trying to squeeze all of this into the other entry's comments.)   For the cable, I went with another cable from Blue Jeans Cables, this one using Bel

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Fix your RF

By sheer coincidence, on Tuesday's episode of ZeroPage Homebew, James posted a poll asking if people used a video mod or stock RF to output video from their 2600s. Overwhelmingly, people answered RF. So the timing of this blog post is pretty good, since I've been working on this particular entry for well over a week.   RF tends to have a bad rap with the Atari 2600. It's the standard connection between your console and TV, and was designed for a time when the only input that TVs had wa

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

The Sixer Fixer-upper: Part 3

And now... the conclusion of my 2600 repair blog thing!   Or rather, the conclusion of this particular 2600's repair. Oooo... foreshadowing!   If you're looking for Part 1 or Part 2, well, there are links to them around here somewhere.     With the holes repaired, it was finally time to put everything back together. As with James' console, I wrapped the wires around the front of the board, and underneath it. Flat-taping them together, and using a little unshrunk hea

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

The Sixer Fixer-upper: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my 2600 repair blog thing! Didn't have to wait very long for that, did ya'?     Part 1 was just getting a little bit too long, so I decided to break this up into two parts. Or maybe three. Probably three. I haven't written that far yet.     In Part 1, when I wrote that I wanted my 2600 fixed permanently, there was still one thing that had been bugging me for years...     My 2600 has been taken apart and put back together so many t

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

The Sixer Fixer-upper: Part 1

So, I've been blogging again (in case you haven't noticed). I'd stopped blogging months ago due to the blog software here being a complete, hopeless mess. (This isn't a dig at AtariAge, but rather at InVision who makes the software, and absolutely ruined it during a previous "upgrade". The worst offense being the removal of categories, completely destroying anyone's ability to organize or find content.)   What started my renewed interest in blogging was when James (of ZeroPage Homebrew

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Tiny Arcade gets bigger

As I've posted before...   Oh, right. No categories. Hang on, let me search my own blog for the links...   Okay, I'll start over.   As I've posted before here, and here and here and here, I've been (and I'm loathe to admit it) collecting video games. But not cartridges. Not prototypes, rarities, or anything like you'd typically expect on AtariAge.   Nope, these are arcade games! Tiny little ones. Only 3 1/2" (about 9 cm) tall. Made by Super Impuse, I'd alr

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

The Day After Tomorrow - Spoiler-free review

So you may ask "Wait... why are you reviewing this film??"   Well, it's not the 2004 movie where the world is destroyed.   Nor is it the 1983 TV movie where the world is destroyed.   Nope. This is the 1975 TV special produced by Gerry Anderson of Space: 1999 and UFO fame. (And also Thunderbirds... but that never aired where I grew up, so I never watched that show.)   And the world isn't destroyed in this one. Although it does make reference to us having ru

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Herb Alpert Is... A Spoiler-free review

I've been a fan of Herb Alpert since I was a kid. We just about wore out the Tijuana Brass Christmas Album playing it every year. Then for some reason, in my early teens, I started really getting into their music. I'm not sure why, other than it was probably because I was getting into collecting records at the time (the Monkees), my folks already had a number of TJB records at home, and I was playing trumpet in band at school. And, well, the music was fun and catchy. It was already at least a do

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Bill & Ted Face the Music - Spoiler-free review

Continuing on with the continuation of my blog (and because I've only written 5 episodes of Artie so far), it's time for the return of the Spoiler-free review!   Unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, there aren't any movie theaters open around here. And even if there were, frankly, I wouldn't go into one right now unless the audience members were all sealed up in giant Ziploc bags and wiped down with a bleach solution, which would kind of negatively impact the whole ambie

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

The Stupidest Thing I've Ever Purchased

As you know if you've read my blog, I'm a fan of "Weird Al" Yankovic. I've bought all of his albums, books, videos, and many years ago went to one of his concerts (and really would like to have gone to more).   But one thing I didn't buy, was a boxed set of all of his recordings that came out in 2017 called Squeeze Box. Why? Well, first, I have all of his albums. And even though there was a bonus CD of extras called "Medium Rarities" there just wasn't enough on there to warrant buying

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Adaptability

Live - RIGHT NOW. The Virtual 2020 CalArts Character Animation Open Show: https://youtu.be/zjXrDox2a08   We didn't have a show in the Spring, and can't meet in person yet. So we're kicking off the fall semester remotely by screening the films online that our students were able to complete over the summer despite the craziness of the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting campus shutdown. Enjoy!

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

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