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davidbrit2

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About davidbrit2

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  1. Worm War I and Entombed are both underrated two-player gems.
  2. I had always kind of wondered myself if the O2 sticks were analog (like the Vectrex), but nope, they're just digital, with a HUGE amount of travel. I don't have an O2 with internally connected sticks, so I can't comment on what the hookup looks like, but I'll bet it wouldn't be hard to splice in a piece of ribbon cable and run it outside the case to a DE-9 port.
  3. Odyssey joysticks are digital. All you need is a simple pin adapter to hook up 2600 sticks. I made some for my O2 with detachable sticks.
  4. The quality is actually pretty good overall, and with the heavily shielded RF cable I'm using, it even approaches composite. But the dark colors don't really stand out on black if they don't occupy a decent amount of a scanline. (I can see the robots just fine, but their thin shots are almost invisible.)
  5. I received copies of Jr. Pac-Man and Frenzy (+Berzerk) in the mail today, and they play great! But I noticed that some of the color choices are a bit dark for a CRT with RF hookup. The dark turquoise robots in Berzerk, for example, have nearly invisible shots when firing diagonally or vertically, and on the third board of Jr. Pac-Man, the large dots look almost identical to the normal dots. I have the TV's "Picture" (white-level) adjustment turned up to the max, and "Brightness" (black-level) set at a comfortable contrast level. Are there any simple ways to boost the luma (i.e. adjust the gamma curve) of the 7800 so the colors shift slightly toward white? I still need to play around with the TV's sharpness control to see if it draws out some harder edges to the darker colors.
  6. Okay, I kind of suspected it was just a quirk of the system. Thanks for confirming.
  7. My Astrocade will often - but not always - boot to a corrupt/glitched out screen instead of showing the menu. It might be a semi-random pattern of pixels, a corrupted "GAME OVER" display, etc. But when I press Reset, it goes right to the menu and works perfectly fine. Is this anything to worry about, or is it (relatively) normal behavior? I pulled off the RF shielding, and also ordered a heatsink for the custom data IC, which I plan to stick on before I run it too hard.
  8. That might be a stretch since the 1250 is a basic 4-function calculator with no programming capability. I just ordered a 1250 to add to my collection. I'll get some pics of the internals when it gets here, and if the keyboard contacts need cleaning, I'll do a deep tear-down of that too. Should be exactly the same process I used on my Astrocade earlier today!
  9. Shoot, I could have sworn I had a TI 1250 I could open up and photograph to compare, but I must have been confusing it with the 1000 I have (which uses an entirely different keyboard). Maybe I'll grab one on ebay since they're so cheap, then I can add it to the collection and get some photos of the internals.
  10. Yeah, it looked exactly like what I'd expect a TI 1250 keypad to look like, based on my experience with other TI keyboard internals and the x-ray photo of the 1250. It looks like the 1250 can be had for about $10-20 on ebay these days. It's just a basic 4-function calculator. Heck, you could probably replace the ribbon cable with a longer one and use the calculator shell itself as a "remote" keypad. My Astrocade is a "Bally Professional Arcade", and the board for the keypad had a label on it showing a 1978 date - presumably the manufacturing and/or assembly date. I don't know if later machines use a different keyboard design. I've got AstroBASIC arriving in the mail tomorrow, with manual and overlay, and I wanted to clean the contacts to make sure the keyboard response would be acceptable for typing in 1,800 byte programs on a 24-key keypad.
  11. I opened up my Astrocade to clean out the keypad contacts (gotta have bounce-free input for entering BASIC programs), and it looks like the keyboard is identical to that of the TI 1250 calculator. I don't know if that's the case for all production runs of the Astrocade, but mine has that distinctive TI keyboard design that I've seen from repairing a Radio Shack EC-4000 (TI-57 OEM clone), TI-30, and TI MBA, i.e. a layer of black tape covering rows of metal domes, and vertical row and column wires set into white plastic plastic. Looking at this x-ray photo of the 1250, you can even see the second keyboard row has its bottom edge hanging off further to the right, and its left edge slightly inset, due to being welded to the rightmost row line - exactly how my Astrocade keypad is constructed: http://www.datamath.org/XRAY.htm#Texas Instruments TI-1250 So, if you've got an Astrocade with a completely broken keypad, a TI 1250 might be a good cheap donor.
  12. I'm not a big fan of it, but I try not to stir the pot too much. A freely available ROM for a fan game, with the option to purchase a cartridge for novelty's sake is one thing, and that doesn't bother me much. If you love some old arcade game, and you love the Atari enough to do an unofficial port and release it as a freeware tribute, go for it! But I don't particularly like it when an unlicensed port of a very popular old game is only available commercially, with a demo (or no) ROM available to download free. It strikes me as abusive. For the record, I've purchased Baby Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, and Frenzy/Berzerk for 7800 - and I've got my eye on Pac-Man Collection - all of which are freely downloadable as far as I can tell (and in some cases are IPs that have largely been abandoned by their owners anyway). I would not be interested in purchasing a cartridge release of an unauthorized arcade port that isn't also freely downloadable in its complete form.
  13. Yeah, I love me some Frenzy and Berzerk. I suspect this will be the definitive edition for me, especially with co-op. Of course, Frantic for 2600, Frenzy for Colecovision, and the original 2600 Berzerk are all outstanding conversions too. And I might as well own the 2nd-hardest Pac-Man game, right after Baby Pac-Man. Though I think the 2600 Jr. Pac-Man is harder than the arcade version...
  14. This game is ending up costing me a bit more than I expected: I just ordered copies of Jr. Pac-Man and Frenzy.
  15. Hey, speaking of the left spine, I don't care about the left spine. The box looks great, and the game is amazing.
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