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Everything posted by awhite2600

  1. I'd be careful to avoid any trademarks owned by either Electronic Arts or the NBA. I believe that both are very protective. You could call it One vs. One Basketball and be fairly safe.
  2. What was used in the Flashback 2? I don't believe that it used an FPGA or emulation. I know that the FB2 wasn't 100% compatible - but it did allow for physical cartridges if you added the cartridge slot. Was it just a fairly close recreation? If so, could a similar chip be designed with improved compatibility?
  3. While not directly related to this conversation, I'd like to mention some trivia about the Commodore tape format. When a program is saved to tape, it is automatically saved twice - one copy after the other. When a program is loaded, the first copy is read into memory. The second copy is then read and compared to the first copy in memory. If the two don't agree then the computer will display the dreaded ?LOAD ERROR. Having two copies slowed down the load and save process by 50%. On the plus side, there was a built in "verification" that would help to prevent a program that didn't load correctly from running. Back in the day we used to use the double save trick to our advantage. We would note how long a program normally took to load. On subsequent loads we could stop the load process just past the half way mark - resulting in faster load times. This trick only worked with pure machine language programs. BASIC programs didn't set the end of memory flag until the end of the verification - so programs stopped at the halfway point wouldn't run.
  4. The C64 was very popular in the US (and Canada). Granted, most North American users had disk drives not cassette drives. As a result, cassette based software is not as common in North America. In Europe, disk drives were very expensive so cassette based software was more common. Any regular audio tape will work with a C64 tape drive. Chrome and metal tapes are not recommended. In theory, you could record an audio file of a C64 program using a standard cassette deck and the software that carlsson mentioned above. In practice, the file may not load unless you have the sound levels just right. I volunteered for a large Commodore user group back in the day. They had a special cassette desk for duplicating tapes of public domain software. I was told that the deck was modified to eliminate high frequencies and use a very specific volume level.
  5. I'd turn down a system that I don't have if it didn't come with games and those games were expensive to buy. Otherwise, I'm open to having it in my collection.
  6. Is this a used monitor? Looks a bit dusty. The manufactured date looks to be 2011. Too bad there aren't any current models with those types of inputs.
  7. Not a diagnostic cart. It's a pirate cart for running copies of games that are burned onto EPROM chips.
  8. What's required, from a programming perspective, to read a driving controller? I know that they work very different, internally, than a paddle. Would a driving controller hack require substantially more kernal time than reading the joystick registers? I'd love to see a driving controller hack for Enduro, Pole Position or Gyruss.
  9. At one point it was rumored that Coleco was working on a port of Dragon's Lair that would use a CED player interfaced to an ADAM computer. It is not known if development was begun. Coleco eventually released a version on floppy disk that just used standard ADAM graphics and different game play.
  10. An 8K RAM expansion cartridge for my Commodore VIC-20. As it was just a cartridge for the cartridge port, installation was beyond simple.
  11. I agree that determining a "rarity" as well as the monetary value of a homebrew release will not only be difficult, but very subjective. It would be cool to have a comprehensive list of homebrew releases with information about release date, number of copies produced, is it still being produced, is the ROM released, screenshots, packaging info, etc. I know that some of this information already exists on various websites. I don't think anyone has tried to document a release count. Knowing other interesting facts such as at cease and desist filed against Princess Rescue or the limited licensing terms of Boulderdash would be interesting. For some titles it may be hard to determine the release count - especially if the author or publisher has left the scene. For games released through the AtariAge store, Al may have a record of how many copies were sold.
  12. On a similar note, whenever I see the name of the fashion company DKNY, I always think "Donkey Kong New York".
  13. I suspect that the DPC would have been a significant cost increase for a game. I suspect it would have been reserved for premier releases as it was for Pitfall II. Once the crash occurred, I doubt that Activision would want to risk releasing an expensive title. If I remember correctly, David Crane was working on an even better DPC just prior to the crash.
  14. I agree with so many of the points stated above. While the classic car comparisons are a good comparison, as other has stated there are differences. When comparing something like an arcade machine to a classic car, we can look at a few commonalities. If both items are usable and appear like the original, then I don't think that most collectors would care. For example, if the arcade machine was recapped, had a power supply rebuilt and had new side art it would seem just like the original. The same goes for a classic car that has had engine components replaced, new brakes installed and the original battery replaced. Where you start to cross the line is when a CRT is replaced with an LED, the original logic board is replaced with a Raspberry Pi or the controls changed to a new configuration. Again, it really depends on the collector's desire to be "original" and the use of the item. As some have said, if it's just a shelf piece then who cares if the insides are rotten and non-functional. If it's a machine to be used then it has to work.
  15. Is anyone able to provide some more details about the "special RAM, ROM and bankswitching" that's used? It sounds like a Melody board was used for the existing reproductions. Is the board modified in some way? There are only so many techniques that can be shoved into a cartridge. When you consider that the game was originally made in the 80s then it would certainly be less complex than the ARM based processor in the Harmony.
  16. A license like that will probably be VERY expensive. Rights holders don't offer licenses for cheap - even for something like a homebrew game with 100 copies.
  17. I'll take the Commodore PET. That's the first computer that I ever used. I already have one, in working condition. Wouldn't mind a backup.
  18. There was also the AMax cartridge for the Amiga that let you run 68K Mac software. It was part hardware and part software emulation, The cartridge had to contain Mac ROMs - installed by the user. The boot sequence dumped the ROMs into Amiga memory and started the emulation. The cartridge allowed you to connect Mac floppy drives to the Amiga as the variable speed format could not be read by standard Amiga floppy drives.
  19. The box and manual that exist for Extra Terrestrials were created for the reproductions. I did the design for both. The artwork was based on the graphics on the cartridge labels. Nobody is certain about original boxes or manuals. Some of the creators think that there might have been one, but don't remember for sure.
  20. Prototypes of video games are still very collectible. In this case, the prototype is likely as valuable (or close in value) as one of the few release copies.
  21. Herman Quast, the original programmer thinks there was a box and manual - although he doesn't own either himself. I spent quite a bit of time talking with Herman. Probably more time than Syd Bolton did. I've even contacted Herman a few times in recent years to try to get more information. Perhaps there wasn't a manual, but its also possible that there was. I agree that to date, none have been found. The prototype was very much like the finished game. It was completely playable - other than a bug. I know because I have played that copy several times myself. This was the first copy donated to the museum. You can see a picture of it here. It's the copy with the "version x1" writing on the back. The main differences were some of the music and the fact that the "dots" that disappeared were not always the ones that your player collected. I cant remember why this version was not dumped in the same way as the final version. For the final version, one of the donated copies was opened, the EPROM unsoldered and the contents dumped with an EPROM reader. There were plans to dump the prototype with an Atari 7800 that had been modified for dumping cartridges. The Stella issue was present in both the prototype and released versions. Originally, the dumped version DID NOT work correctly on Stella. This is due to how the RSYNC command was used in the game. This issue was fixed (allowing Stella to run Extra Terrestrials correctly) in Stella 3.8.1.
  22. When the first copy was rediscovered there was some local media coverage. Newspapers in Brantford and Hamilton (next to Burlington) ran articles. Others may have as well. TV stations in Hamilton and Kitchener did a story. I appeared in the Kitchener news story. Watch it on YouTube here. I'm the one in the orange Atari shirt. Some national media even picked up the story. It was the media coverage that caught the attention of the lady in Hamilton that owns a copy. Syd Bolton loved to promote the museum and had connections with most of the local media.
  23. I'd like to know too. The OP of this thread mentions that his copy was found near Brantford, Ontario. Brantford is approximately 30 miles southwest of Burlington, where the game was produced. One of the other known copies was found in Kitchener, about 45 miles northwest of Burlington. The Personal Computer museum is in Brantford. I grew up in Brantford and know the area quite well.
  24. That does make six copies that I know of. Did Wonder007 mention that he has a copy in an earlier post in this thread? If so, that would make seven...and I'd like to know where this copy came from.
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