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Everything posted by awhite2600

  1. I had a similar problem with the Vectrex that I acquired about a year ago. The volume was always too loud. At the advice of another user on this board I pulled off the volume control knob and sprayed some high end electronics cleaner into the stem. (The knob will come off. I was afraid to pull too hard at first.) After waiting a few hours for everything to dry the volume control worked perfectly. Just be sure to get a cleaner that is safe for plastics. Don't use WD-40.
  2. I echo what TPA5 said above. You mentioned wanting to use a wireless USB mouse and keyboard. If my memory serves me correctly, Windows 98 typically required drivers for USB peripherals. I remember having to install drivers for things like flash drives. Not sure if drivers for mice and keyboards were built into the OS like they are today.
  3. I don't think that it's a pirate cart. Looks normal to me.
  4. There is a small chain (5 stores) that has a store near me and another store on the other side of town. Their prices for newer games and systems (PS2 or newer) are always very fair. Prices for retro games can occasionally be good. I've picked up a couple of less common, CIB Intellivision games for under $10. Anything slightly uncommon always has an outrageous price. The 2600 Star Trek game was $55. The reason, "It's a rare combination of Atari and Sega". An untested Coleco Pong clone was $50. A bare Vectrex was $250. They have had a box of some rarer 2600 titles behind the counter for over a year. I don't even bother to ask about prices. A local flea market has had a permanent video game dealer for about 20 years. My son and I call her The Russian Lady due to her slight European accent. She has lots of inventory, mostly loose carts for NES and newer, in glass cases with clearly visible price stickers. Again, common titles are relatively cheap. Anything slightly rare is behind the counter and grossly overpriced with big signs proclaiming rarity. The odd time that there are Atari carts they are unpriced. Any time I've asked about prices it's $10 and up - because they are old and rare. I've stopped even asking.
  5. I used the same trick when ordering a birthday gift for a family member. Amazon indicated that the item would ship in it's original packaging - potentially ruining the surprise if the courier arrived when I wasn't home. I ordered a cheap accessory to go along with the gift. They both arrived packaged in a larger shipping box.
  6. Even with programming tricks it would be difficult to work with only 32 K of chip RAM. There's a lot of data that needs to be in chip RAM - display, sprites, blitter objects, copper data...and sound samples. A tight squeeze. Even simple Amiga games would also require at least a few KB of RAM for game data. This all assumes no / limited OS and "bare metal" programming. As others have stated, the bigger stumbling block would have been the cost of the other hardware - the 68000 and the Amiga custom chipset. Saving a few dollars by reducing the RAM to only 32K wouldn't have reduced the cost of the console that much. I suspect that even a "console" Amiga with no keyboard, no disk drive, no serial/parallel ports and reduced RAM would still have to retail for well over $500 in the mid-80s. This whole argument reminds me of the Neo-Geo console. The price would be too high for the high end experience.
  7. Entering everything myself was a major drawback for a while. I stopped updating the list because I fell behind. I ended up re-inventorying my entire collection to ensure that my spreadsheet was up to date. I won't make that mistake again. At least the redo allowed me to ensure that all of my doubles were correct and separate from my main collection. I now have an up to date list of my 800+ games. I will admit that the various apps do offer benefits such as pictures, rarity, price trends.
  8. I just use a Google Sheets spreadsheet to track my collection. While not as comprehensive as some of the apps out there it allows me to customize to my own tastes. I have one spreadsheet with a tab for each system that I collect for. I can customize each tab as needed. For example, my Intellivision tab has a column for the number of overlays that I own for a game. I can flag the sheet for offline use - which is great for a flea market near me where cell service is spotty. As an added benefit, I can open the document on a PC, iPad ... anything with a browser. Best of all - it's free.
  9. I completed the survey. Looking forward to seeing the results.
  10. I made a few entries to this similar topic in the past. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/184816-whats-the-oldest-computer-youve-seen-in-use-today/ While I don't personally use any 8-bit or 16-bit computers for real work, I often run into them as part of my job. I had a client that used a Commodore PET to control a wood drying kiln. This setup was in use until just a few years ago when the PET (with a large, custom interface board) finally released the magic blue smoke. They even loaded the software from cassette tape each day. Another client uses an Atari 8-bit computer to control a mail sorting machine. I have a wonderful client who makes specialized automotive parts. They seem to be stuck in the 80's. Even their office furniture looks like it was purchased before the premier of MTV. They use a Japanese PC with a strange version of DOS to control a machine that makes tools out of wire. (There are pictures in the post above.) They also use a PC running Windows 3.1 to print labels for all of their packaging. I helped them with this PC just last week. The client wants to move to a newer version of the software. The upgrade would require an arduous process of exporting over 800 labels one at a time and importing them into the newer software. We are looking at a way of moving the entire setup (including Win 3.1) to a newer PC - which is still 10+ years old. The label printers are all serial and the software uses a security dongle in the parallel port. If we can get everything working on a newer PC they will likely continue to run Windows 3.1 for another 20 years.
  11. I skimmed through the article in the link. Wow, did that take me back. I was a C-64 guy - so most of the Apple ][ references in the article were too foreign to understand. I cracked quite a few games in the C-64 era. I had a bunch of self developed techniques that I used over the years. One of my favorites involved intercepting the communication between the C-64 and the 1541 disk drive. Many games would load normally (encrypted or not) and then "talk" to the disk drive to execute the copy protection. I would insert code into the original loader to save this communication to RAM when an original disk was used. I could then substitute a modified loader on the cracked copy to load the saved communication and "play it back" when an unprotected disk was used. This method worked very well on quite a few games. Sometimes a few other techniques were required if the programmer used additional protection methods. My favorite trick when stumped by someone else's code was to take a break and walk my dog. It was amazing how much I would figure out by taking a 15 minute break in the fresh air. My days of cracking came to an end around the time that most C-64 games moved from a fairly standard disk format to custom formats. It wasn't that I couldn't crack that type of protection. I just graduated school, had a full time job and got bored with cracking games.
  12. I stopped into my local game store on Friday evening. This is the same store that was trying to sell a MagiCard online for $3,000. See details and pics in this post. The MagiCard is likely a reproduction. The seller told me via email that he has received an offer for $2,000. This store usually puts less common games in their display cases or half out of view behind the counter. Most things in the display case have a price tag on the bottom so that you have to ask the clerk about the price. They had a loose copy of Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator in the display case. The label was a bit beat up, but I asked about the price as I don't have a copy of this game. $49.95 "No thanks", I say. The clerk comes back with, "It's a rare cross over between Sega and Atari". Sure pal, whatever you say. I will admit that this store does price less common games quite fairly. I've picked up a few "uncommon" games for $5 to $10 - which to me seems fair for a retail store. They have boxes full of common 2600 and Intellivision carts for $1 or $2. They also price quite fairly for more current games - PS3, XBOX 360, etc.. Edit: I forgot to mention that this store also has a Coleco Telstar console priced at $49.95 and a Vectrex (with no carts) for $299.95.
  13. Gyruss. The Parker Bros version is quite good considering the limitations of the VCS. A DPC+ version could improve the music (think Pitfall II) and possibly help to reduce flicker. Burgertime. Just echoing what many have already said. Ms. Pac-Man. Another game where the original is already quite good. After seeing the great Pac-Man 4K and 8K versions released lately there is room for improvement in Ms. Pac-Man.
  14. I've been communicating with the seller via email. He believes that he has an original board and the Sunmark manual and overlays. The seller's logic is that the Sunmark website shows an EPROM while his board has another type of chip. I see that "high voltage's" Sunmark repro has a non-EPROM chip. The seller has received a fairly high offer already. He has taken down the ad until he can confirm the board as genuine or not.
  15. To me...not even $100 cool. I will admit that 8088 systems with 3½" floppy drives were a bit uncommon.
  16. Interesting replies. I wasn't aware that there were authorized remakes / reproductions of the MagiCard.
  17. I found a MagiCard for sale at a local gaming store. An ad is posted on Kijiji, a popular Canadian online ad site owned by eBay. The store is reputable. I've purchased games from them in the past. They have several physical locations. I'm in no way interested in purchasing the cartridge myself. The seller is asking $3,000 Canadian (approx $2,150 US at current exchange rates) - which is way out of my price range. While the manual and overlays look legitimate, I am wondering if the cartridge is real. It appears to be a bare board, not the extra long cartridge shown in the scans here at AtariAge. Here is a link to the ad and picture. http://www.kijiji.ca/v-old-video-games/london/ultra-rare-atari-magicard/1129648661 Does the cart look real? While I realize that prices for rare carts fluctuate all the time...is the price fair?
  18. I'd have to choose my original Xbox. I only have a small collection of games. It isn't modded. I almost never play it. Wouldn't be missed.
  19. As a fellow Canadian I often look on Kijiji for vintage games in my area. Prices are almost always too high. Everyone is convinced that Atari systems are "old, rare and valuable". Depending on where you live you may find a system for a fair price. You just have to check the site often and be patient. Local thrift stores are hit and miss. They don't have many Atari consoles like they did years ago. Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army and Value Village are starting to charge a lot for Atari stuff. They also think that these things are rare and valuable. Another option is to put a wanted ad on Kijiji. You may get lucky.
  20. Used up all the Blue power. That's awesome. I love it when people that don't understand technology create wild answers to explain something. This kinda reminds me of the time in 1982 when my Dad played a pinball game on my VIC-20. The shift keys controlled the flippers. He kept jiggling the computer like you would do to a real pinball machine. When the jiggling didn't help his game he proclaimed that the computer was defective and walked away.
  21. Plasma TVs can suffer burn in too. My parents have a 60" plasma that they bought about 10 years ago. They watch a lot of SD TV channels - at the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. There are noticeable large bars on the left and right of the picture when a 16:9 channel is viewed.
  22. I tried to explain that the Intellivision does not know what kind of TV is is attached to. I even explained that the warnings on the box were there because some games were dependent on color for game play. (Horse Racing is a good example. We had this game.) I wasn't able to convince my parents. Eventually the Intellivision became less used, so nobody cared what TV I hooked it up to. To this day my Dad doesn't have a good grasp on technology. I stopped trying to explain things years ago.
  23. My parents were the exact opposite. We had an Intellivision growing up. The original box and all of the original games said, "For color TV viewing only". So my parents insisted that using the Intv on a Black & White TV would ruin the console. Most of the time the Intellivision was hooked up to the color TV in our living room. Sometimes my brother and I would move it to the B&W TV in my bedroom - despite my parents' objection. After about a month the Intellivision broke. A common occurrence with some of the early Intellivisions. While my parents were able to get the store to replace the console under warranty, my brother and I were blamed because we had used the Black & White TV a few times.
  24. I've never overpaid for anything, fortunately. I collect only what I can pick up for a reasonable price. If a seller wants too much I just move on. I have accidentally mixed up 2600 and CV carts a few times. I collect for both systems but have ended up with duplicates due to the similarity in cart sizes. As stated above, the Parker Bros. are the easiest to get wrong. I've also made the mistake of buying a cart that I think I needed only to discover that I already have it.
  25. I have one or two of those boxes myself. If you remember back, Toys R Us used to display the game boxes on a wall. You'd take a ticket under the box, pay for the game and then pickup the game at a secure cage near the exit. Often times the last copy of the game cartridge would be in the cage but the box was still on the wall. They would give you the game in a generic box. Other times the display box would get thrown out, the last copy put in a generic box and then sold in a clearout bin.
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