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Blog Comments posted by alex_79

  1. Quote

    BTW, if you do much in the way of console repair, I can't recommend getting a proper desoldering gun highly enough

    So true. The one I have a is a just chinese desoldering station, so the build quality and duration are not comparable to a good brand tool like the one you linked, but I had it for a few years now, and considering that I paid about 70 EUR for it, I can't complain. (it's the same as the one in this EEVBlog video, that is sold with various different brands and costs about 80 EUR shipped right now in Italy from ebay).

    Despite the cheap construction, It works great and I would instantly buy another one in case it would break. I cannot go back to a solder sucker and desoldering braid.

  2. Stumbled across this blog post today, and that ship in the screenshots looked familiar...

    It turns out that "Comitoid" is nothing more than a slight hack of an early WIP by Piero Cavina which eventually became that little gem that is "Oystron".
    Thie binary posted by Piero in this old message of the "Stella mailing list" is the original rom that has been hacked. Only 25 bytes differ between the two!


  3. I wasn't interested in this product when I first heard about it, as I think a PC running Stella and connected to the TV can basically do the same thing (and much, much more). USB adapters for original controllers already exists as well as a vast selection of USB controllers from arcade sticks to d-pads, and cartridge dumpers have been produced for other systems and are possible for the 2600 too, if one really wants the "illusion" of playing the original carts (There have been examples of DIY projects like this one: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/212299-atari2600-cartridge-reader-play-your-real-cartridges-on-an-emulator/).

    That said, I admit that given the small form factor and low price, I might consider buying one in the future IF the software side is improved to solve the severe issues Thomas mentioned in the review. As Nathan said, it shouldn't be a shipping product in its current state.

    I overall like the design, although it looks like the buttons and switches are placed without much thought: I would have preferred to have the original 5 switches (TV-TYPE, LEFT and RIGHT DIFFICULTY, SELECT and RESET) all aligned on the front panel, with the same labeling and order as in the original 6-switch console, and separated from the emulation related buttons (save/load, aspect ratio). The TV-TYPE switch on the back is an issue for any game using it for gameplay. I also would have preferred toggle switches for difficulty and TV-TYPE (I think it would be trivial to modify Stella to support them), while a soft power switch would have probably been better, allowing the CPU to finish write operations before shutting down thus reducing the risk of corrupting the files on the SD card.
    Oh, and the cart port is backwards!!!! I'm disappointed that Hyperkin didn't correct this even if it was pointed out after the first prototype was shown. It has been speculated that it was an intentional choice for people not familiar with the original console, but I find it a questionable choice neverthless because, in this way, both the end and main label are upside down when the cart is in the system.

    In order to convince me to buy this console, it NEEDs to have the following features:

    - Stella 5. There's no going back!

    - CRT effects, phosphor emulation, TIA interpolation (I'm not a fan of a raw TIA image displayed on a 50+ inches TV with big flat square pixels. It really detracts from the experience in my opinion)

    - File browser with support for directories, no limit for number of files and long file names (8 characther DOS-style filenames? C'mon, the Harmony cart displays full filenames on a 40 years old console!)

    - The Cart dumper should work with all the classic bankswitched carts. It's more a novelty for me and not something I' would likely use very much, but since it's there, it should at least play the original games as advertised. I know it could never play everything (compumate, supercharger, flash carts, modern homebrews using coprocessors, etc) but Batari wrote code for the harmony cart to work as a dumper years ago and it autodetected correctly many classic schemes, so we know it is possible to make it work.
    It would be also nice if you could save the dump on the sd card, there are still a few dumps of classic games missing, and revisions of already dumped ones still to discover, but the current solutions to dump games are not user friendly and tipically also require soldering skills. (I know this is outside the scope of the product, but I think it would be a nice addition and probably easy to implement)

    - It would be nice if the controller ports could support other controller types (at least driving controller and keypads should work. Adding Trackballs, Genesis pads and maybe the booster grip would cover almost every game ever released). I know autodetection could be problematic or even impossible for some of these, but a selection menu would be prefectly fine (autodetection could be reserved for paddles and joysticks that are the most common ones).

    • Like 3

  4. Great review. Saw the movie yesterday and I enjoyed every bit of it. I liked it more than "The force Awakens", toward which I have mixed feelings.
    I need to rewatch it when it will be out in home-video, but right now I consider it my 3rd preferred movie of the saga (after StarWars and The Empire Strikes Back)

    I agree that CG recreated Tarkin and Leia looked a bit creepy, but in this particular case, (and since the two characters have little screen time) I think it was the right choice. A recast would probably have bothered me more.
    The characters were born on the big screen in the first place, so everyone ever only imagine Leia as Carrie Fisher and Tarkin as Peter Cushing. And the events in the movie take place just before the original StarWars, so you want them to look like in that movie.

    > "Although borrowing the planetary shield from Spaceballs was probably unnecessary."

    It's fun that you mention that, when I saw The Force Awakens last year, the scene where the Starkiller base "recharges" the weapon, made me think to the "Spaceballs" scene where the Mega Maid sucks the air out of the planet with the giant vacuum cleaner...


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