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awhite2600

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Everything posted by awhite2600

  1. I agree completely. I have emulators setup on various computers, consoles, handhelds - all with large rom sets. I find myself playing the same subset of games over and over.
  2. Do I only get to pick one? Vectrex. For the reasons mentioned in other posts. Amiga CD32. The platform had potential. Too little hardware was released (especially in North America) for developers to push the machine or port / upgrade existing Amiga games. Microvision. Existing hardware has not lasted. Make a version with all released games built in.
  3. I was never a fan of Pascal. I had a buddy in the late '80s that loved Pascal. He convinced me to get a Modula-2 compiler for the Amiga as it was similar to Pascal and affordable. I could never get my head around the language enough to write anything beyond a very simple program. I do know that the original Great Plains Accounting product was written in Pascal. Both the popular DOS version and the almost unknown Windows version. This is not the same as the current Dynamics GP product - which is written in C++. As for older languages. I learned COBOL, Fortran and RPG in school. In about 1988 I wrote a couple of very minor COBOL programs that became part of a large system used by an investment bank.
  4. There is a small town near my home where the phone numbers all start with 666. I always said that I'd love to have the phone number 666-1313. The last time I checked it was used by a pizza place in the small town.
  5. When I met the programmer of Extra Terrestrials a few years ago I asked him how he developed a 2600 game single handed and from scratch. His electrical engineering background enabled him to determine the hardware requirements of the ROM cartridge. He then dumped and disassembled several commercial games and used his programming knowledge to reverse engineer the 2600 system. He couldn't remember what tools or systems were used. He did admit that his game took longer to develop than anticipated because he became addicted to River Raid.
  6. As an English speaking Canadian, I seldom watched the one French language channel that we received in the early '80s. I had no idea that these commercials existed. Thanks very much for sharing.
  7. I used to have retro game dreams every few months back in the late '90s and early 2000's. This is when I would frequently find games that I needed at local thrift stores and garage sales. Now that finding games in the wild is more difficult, I don't seem to have the dreams very often. The last one I recall was about a year ago. I don't remember the details. Almost every dream involved finding strange looking and unheard of games for the 2600 or other systems of the era. I'd always wake up just after making the discovery.
  8. Very cool. Would love to see this happen. I've always been surprised that shells have been made for other systems. I guess they don't have the overflow of common games in easy to reuse shells like the 2600 does.
  9. I'm fine with leaderboards and high score tables. As for being reset at the end of the day...that was more of a technology factor in older hardware in the days before flash storage or battery backup. P.S. Love the Seinfeld reference.
  10. Badges and Achievements. Maybe I'm old school, but I'd rather just say that I made it to Level X or got XXXX score. I don't need to earn a badge for collecting 100 stars or mark an achievement for moving the first 5 pixels in a game without getting killed.
  11. I can add a bit more info. I was was a volunteer at The Personal Computer Museum when the first carts were discovered. I am no longer associated with the museum. I have been in contact with the owner of the "fifth" known copy. At one point I was going to meet her to look at the cart. Having handled the other known copies I could offer my opinion on the legitimacy of the find. Due to some scheduling issues, the meeting never took place. I attempted to work something out but the owner went quiet. I contacted the owner by email within the last year. I asked if she still had the copy and if I could asssist in authentication or a sale. The owner politely but firmly asked not to be contacted again. She did state the the owner of the company that originally produced the game had authenticated her copy based on her pictures. Sadly, it sounds like this remaining copy will remain with the current owner.
  12. I think you need more than just a ROM to be able to switch between 40 and 80 columns. The PET that I have contains a small circuit board, two switches (that must be switched together) and a lot of wires. I don't know if something more modern / simple is available.
  13. All of the Commodore 8-bit machines contained two character sets. One was upper / lower case. The other was upper case / graphic symbols. Most 80 column PETs powered up in upper / lower mode while the 40 column PETs powered up in upper / graphics mode. To switch character sets on a PET use POKE 59468,14 for upper / lower mode and POKE 59468,12 for upper / graphics mode. The Commodore PET FAQ at http://www.zimmers.net/cbmpics/cbm/PETx/petfaq.html was my resource for this. On the VIC-20 and C-64 you could toggle the character set by pressing the Shift and Commodore keys together.
  14. I can't remember how the 80 to 40 column program worked on the PET 80xx models. I think it tweaked some registers on the video chip to produce a 40 column display, centered within the 80 column display. While the program generally worked for anything written in BASIC, it won't fix machine language programs or anything that updates the video ram directly. Most games write directly to the screen memory for better speed and control. The 80 column PETs were always targeted at the business and educational markets. As a result, I don't remember any good games that were compatible with the 80 column machines. All of the arcade style games such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, etc were written for the 40 column PETs. I have an 8032 that I picked up about 25 years ago at a flea market for $5.00. Someone hacked some switches, an extra ROM and other circuitry inside. The switch allows me to select either 40 or 80 column modes with complete compatibility. You do need to power off to switch modes. It's the best of both worlds. I don't think the product was released commercially - it looks hand made.
  15. I'm not a chip expert. The EPROM looks to be a 2716 which would be 16 kilobits or 2 kilobytes. That's not very big. The board has 4 sockets so it was obviously designed for larger "programs" when individual chip storage size was low. Could these have been software cartridges an early '80s portable computer of some sort?
  16. Selling a product with only "a simple SD slot" would be a product that is only useful with pirated ROMs. By selling the console with a physical 2600 cartridge slot the user is limited to playing games that they own - even if the device dumps the cart and runs it from RAM. It's been stated that the console uses Stella and will be compatible with Harmony carts. Hopefully that means that the version of Stella used will support things like the ARM processor in the Harmony as well as some of the new bus stuffing style techniques that are being developed. I wonder if the firmware in the console will be user upgradable?
  17. There's a page with some info at http://www.pixelpower.on.ca/supervision/
  18. I have a Jay Miner autographed copy of Untracard as well. I purchased it at AmiExpo in Chicago in the early '90s. That's probably where your copy came from. Jay was there with the author of Ultracard to promote the product. I also have a picture of Jay standing next to me. I remember my disappointment with Ultracard. I had purchased it with the thought of creating some cool applications. (and to get Jay's autograph.) Sadly, the product was not as good as promised.
  19. This guy wasn't trying to scam anyone. His ad wasn't so much an offer for sale as it was a request for advice. I tried to provide some clear, summary advice to allow him to sell what he had. The guy just seemed to be completely disinterested but did thank me for helping when I left. The funniest part was that in the five minutes that I was there the seller kept doing other things in his garage. It reminded me of those Law & Order episodes where the cops show up to question someone and the suspect just "goes about their business" while being interviewed. The ad has been removed. I don't see a repost with more pictures or a better description. Garbage day in the area is today. I wonder if everything gone.
  20. I just wanted to share a story that happened to me over the weekend. I noticed an ad about a week ago on a local buy / sell site. The poster claimed to have an Atari console and 24 games. He was looking for a price suggestion as he had no idea what to ask. What caught my attention was the only picture in the ad - a heavy sixer box. The address in the ad is also less than a 5 minute drive from my home. I contacted the seller and offered my assistance in determining a price. He asked me to drop by on Saturday. I was prepared to offer a fair price if he had a heavy sixer in good condition. When I got there I was directed the garage. I saw the heavy sixer box from the ad. The seller pointed to another box and said, "the games are in there". In the box were about four common 2600 games and a bunch of Intellivision games in a couple of organizers. I looked in the Atari box but found only a few dirty joysticks. I asked about a system. The seller said, "it's under the games". And what did I find? A grungy Intellivision System III. No heavy sixer. The seller told me that he was selling everything for a friend. I told him he could try to get $50 for everything. I advised him to post another ad with more pictures. He didn't even seem to care when I explained that the box and system / games did not go together.
  21. Most favorite games from back in the day: Gyruss (My favorite game on any platform. The C64 version is quite good.) Master Of The Lamps Commando Archon Jumpman Honorable mention: Pitfall II M.U.L.E.
  22. I remember getting one or two PS1 demo discs from Pizza Hut in Canada. I might still have them. My son was the primary PS1 user at the time and was only about 5 years old. He had a habit of not treating discs very nicely.
  23. I used to have these "Reef Store"* dreams frequently about 15 or 20 years ago. That was when games were cheap and plentiful in thrift stores. I still have game related dreams now and then - but not very often. Mine always involve finding a bunch of never before seen 2600 games in some sort of junk store. As soon as I realize that I've found something cool I wake up. * Reef Store was a name given to these dreams on Usenet. It started when someone had a dream about finding games in a store called "Reef Store".
  24. I remember drooling over this ad back in the day. I was always suspicious that the ad didn't show a device - just a box. I knew that the VIC-20 and Atari 2600 had similar CPUs. I questioned how the device would deal with things like different color palettes, the single joystick port on the VIC and of course the cost. I'm not at all surprised that the product turned out to be vaporware. At the same time I wonder if anything was ever developed. Was there a prototype? Was anything tangible displayed at CES?
  25. In the late '80s I worked as an IT manager. We had about 50 PCs. Electrical equipment kept getting fried at an alarming rate. Simple voltage checks with a multimeter didn't show any problems. We ended up renting a voltage logging machine for a few days. Its a device that records the voltage over time on a paper adding machine tape as a line graph. We discovered brief voltage spikes over a few days. I can't remember the exact cause. I think it was a faulty HVAC component that was feeding voltage surges back into the power line. Our electrician figured it out pretty quickly from the graphs, changed the equipment and the problem went away.
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