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About MattelAquarius

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  • Birthday 07/18/1973

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    Washington D.C.

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  1. I never saw one, and they were only offered briefly. In retrospect, it was probably just a re-branded 3rd party printer, similar to the 4-Color printer, or they just intended to provide a custom cable, and not bother with re-branding at all.
  2. All the later Radofin titles were available in the U.S. by mail order, from a few different vendors. Among them: Bentley Industries, Crimac Inc, New Era Incentives, and The Aquarius Group. (Crimac and The Aquarius Group were probably the same company, being both based in Redwood, CA) I have the sales sheets from all these, and I really should scan them and upload them all. At one time, there was even an 80 column thermal printer offered. I would REALLY like to find one of those! -Jason
  3. I ordered my modem direct from Mattel Electronics while they were liquidating their last remaining inventory, must have been summer of '84?. By then, there was already no such thing as the Aquarius network, which according to the documentation, had a menu option for the CompuStore. I don't believe I ever attempted to contact the Compustore directly, however. I was 10 years old, and didn't have any money to spend that way. I was already getting grunts and groans from my dad about the $6.00 per hour CompuServe connection fees. More rambling memories... As you can imagine, after Christmas '83, it was nearly impossible to find Aquarius items at any stores. I sent in a subscription to the Aquarius User's club (advertised in the back of every catalog that came with Aquarius items), but the envelope just came back. I had no known way of getting any new games, peripherals, etc. I started calling any Mattel Electronics phone number I could find in the manuals. I was excited to have someone answer one, and a man said they had an order sheet he could send me for their last remaining stock. A week later, it arrived. At first, I ordered just a data recorder cable (not the actual recorder, that was too expensive). It was only a few bucks. That enabled me to seriously start dabbling in BASIC. My parents were pleased that I didn't try to order games right off, and saw my simple programming skills progress. So, later I was able to convince them to get the printer, modem, and data recorder. Not all were ordered at the same time. With just the data cable, I had a really hard time saving and loading reliably from a regular old tape recorder. It was a miracle to get the Modem program to load properly, until FINALLY I got the actual Aquarius Data Recorder. Regarding the order sheet from Mattel, I distinctly remember being disappointed that the "real" computer software, like FinForm and FileForm were crossed out (sold out). I wanted to further prove the worth of the computer to my parents, and I was sure I'd be able to help out with the budget and takes, if only I had that software. Almost immediately, I had to send my printer in for warranty repair (the paper advance button didn't work). My dad was surprised they were still accepting warranty returns, having known that they were "abandoned" already. He knew this, because when he bought it for my Christmas '83 present, it was already priced at fire sale rates at KayBee Toys. I devised a plan to get a "free" roll of printer paper by removing my roll before sending it into Mattel. I figured they'd need to put a roll in to test the repair, and would "forget" it there. It worked! I got the printer back with a new roll inside. Heh heh. I think I put a small pencil mark somewhere on the printer before shipping it, to see if I got the same one back. If memory serves, it was in fact the same printer. The best part was they included a new "catalog" sheet from Crimac Inc. That listed all the new (and new old stock) from Radofin. Then later, I received the famous order sheet from Bentley Industries. End of ramble.
  4. A hopefully simple cause would be the paper advance button/circuit having an issue. Try thumping the button with your finger. Alternatively, try sliding around the switches on the backside.
  5. That's a tough question to answer. AD&D is such an achievement for the Aquarius, I marvel at it every time I play. BurgerTime is a an excellent port, even considering the graphical limitations of the Aquarius. The music is spot-on, game-play experience is captured, and the graphics are surprisingly effective. Utopia is the ultimate 2 player Aquarius game. An outstanding port of the Intellivision game, just make sure you get the left island. NightStalker is a whole lot of fun to play, even though it seems it got a bit of the rushed or "budget pack-in" treatment by Mattel. The survival intensity in the original game play is there. Who doesn't love to see the robot graphics from the character set get some screen time? The spider is such a creative and effective use of the running-man characters, it makes me smile. Would have loved some more sound, though. SNAFU is an excellent port of the Intellivision game. A great two player game (should have had a third or fourth player option with the keyboard and Mini-Expander). I'm a sucker for those two music tunes. Astrosmash is my favorite in-the-zone game for the Aquarius. Other than the shape of the space rocks, and the single size of the spinners (though the speed varies to simulate the various "depths" of the spinners), it is a pretty dead-on port of the Intellivision game. Tron. Not one of my favorites. As a youngster, my friend had the Intellivision version, so the Aquarius version was my secret shame. In later years, I realized it's not really so bad. They could've tried harder on the graphics (the grid background), and game-play (where are the Recognizers?). Apart from that, it's not a terrible port. If I hadn't seen the Intellivision version as a kid, I would have been able to blissfully enjoy it more. Chess = Good. Always wanted that one, as a kid. Always wanted to play against the AI. Melody Chase. This one is not one of my favorites. I really think the programmer didn't get a chance to refine the game-play before Mattel pulled the plug. The sets go on too long, especially with a bonus set, and the game occasionally misses critical key-presses on the controllers. My suspicion has been there is sometimes a missed read of the controllers when the game is updating the music notes sent to the AY sound chip, as the player shoots more notes. If a newly struck note makes it to the right side of the screen, it gets added to the list of notes being played in the tune. If you happen to make a shot at that exact moment, it can be missed. The game allows MANY players, but I can only imagine the boredom of the third+ player waiting for their turns. Cassette games. There are many fun games of varying levels of polish that were only available on cassette tape from third party developers, mostly in the UK. You can play them on the emulator, or create your own cassette to play them on real hardware using tools with the emulator. Hopefully, in the future jaybird3rd, the creator of AquariCart, can find a way to compile them on a cart for easy access.
  6. Thank you Curt! Updated info has been submitted.
  7. Yes, I loved the screen showing the rooms and house. Very creative use of the Aquarius character set and colors. I would have been giddy to have this back in the day! As a youngster, I loved the movie "Electric Dreams", and this would have played directly into that.
  8. I can't remember if I used that link to update my info before. Unfortunately, hitting "submit" and "confirm" now, gives an error.
  9. This is awesome! Nice work! I will definitely need to get a setup going. Just need to rewire the cable, right? Amazing. Now I'm wondering if X-10 signals would get drowned out by my powerline Ethernet system. Maybe it would still work in a very local location, like you showed in the video. Oh well, I wouldn't use it for actual whole house control anyways, since Alexa, Wemo, and Hue rule my house nowadays anyway. I'll need to source some X-10 appliance modules, too. Thank you for doing this!
  10. I absolutely promise that this is my last name list. Please forgive me for these. BunsAway! BunsOfSqueal BurgerClimb BourgeoisieTime FastFood Frenzy CrazyCondiments FastestFood MotleyFood BurglerTime BiggerBuns ShortOrder! (Cook) A Tall Order KitchenTime BurgerStack BigStack Attack! WhopperTime PattyCakes BunStunner PartyFood Stack'em-n-Whack'em PepperPower PepperTime Stun-n-Run GrillerTime GrillerThriller
  11. BuggerTime DinnerBell (DinnerHell?) BerserkTime Burgzerk! Uninvited DinnerGuests BuffetTime BuffetAffray I'll stop, I'll stop.
  12. BurgerThyme "He who controls the Spice, controls the universe!" "The Spice must flow."
  13. Dug my Jaguar and games out of boxes for the first time since I moved to my current house 7 years ago. Thank you for these new controllers, as they are great. I am about to order 2 more! BSG loves these new ProControllers. Note: One of mine arrived with the 0 key pushed-in. It only took some light massaging to get it un-snagged and pop back up from below. The number keys are a little more recessed than the originals, but still work great. With the overlays on, there shouldn't be any deep pushes which could rarely result in getting "stuck".
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