So last night I opened my 2600 up. This only occurred to me after having successfully opened up my 5200 controllers to get them working again and not destroying them.
Now I've gotten cocky. When I was a kid, it never would have occurred to me that the Atari could be opened up. My dad was the one who instilled in us the reverence for the thing. He taught us to care for it and how. To save the manuals and all the documentation. The man doesn't kid around. We've got instruction booklets for things we don't even have anymore.
So after watching
The main goal was to clean up the corrosion on the game select and the reset switches and to not break anything.
Fortunately (or unfortunately for the other equipment laying around) it was a success. I cleaned the case on the inside and spots around the face plate. It was while I was cleaning the face plate that I noticed this:
An ever so tiny chunk of the face plate glued back in so that I had even forgotten it was there. That's the way my father works and the care he puts into things. I was actually very moved by that little detail even though that's Dad's standard operating procedure. He never even played the thing, yet somehow he became the care taker of it. Probably remembering the good times we all had around it when we were younger. One of the few things we shared as a family.
When I told him over breakfast that I had taken it apart for cleaning, his eyebrows raised, but he was happy to hear I'd put it back together again and that it worked.