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Posts posted by Mezrabad

  1. Of course, by then, I'd moved on to the Commodore 64, something for which, oddly, my parents had been willing to spend the money.

    Not that odd, a C= 64 could do a lot more than just play games.


    When I said "oddly" I meant that it wasn't odd at all. The tone was somewhere between sarcasm and irony. By careless oversight, I neglected to include an emoticon so I'm sure you're not the only one who mistook me seriously.


    Yes, of course, they were willing to spend the dough on a C-64; it was an actual computer on which we could potentially learn to do things. In that spirit, I learned to do things like play Gateway to Aphsai, about a half dozen Infocom text adventures, Hacker, Aliens and Impossible Mission. Obviously, their money wasn't wasted. :D

  2. That is flat out not true. The CV, Supercharger and 5200 were all released in the fall of 1982. By the time the SC price dropped, other games had dropped as well so it was more four times the typical cart. Communist Mutants was also competing with good vertical shooters like Phoenix and Megamania, which were far more interesting.


    So for the price of Starmaster, Parker's Frogger, Megamania and Asteroids you could get a Supercharger with Phaser Patrol. Not a wise deal.


    You are probably right about the price, after all, I had to borrow a Supercharger in order to play it. However, since the Supercharger was out of my price range you can bet that the ColecoVision and 5200 were even farther out. Of course, all that would change circa 1984, when the friend who loaned me the Supercharger was able to buy a 5200 for what was supposedly very little. Of course, by then, I'd moved on to the Commodore 64, something for which, oddly, my parents had been willing to spend the money.


    Still, I don't know of a game like Dragonstomper or even like MindMaster on the 5200, though I'm told ColecoVision has a pretty good version of Gateway to Apshai (Aphsai?).

  3. Aside from Party Mix, what's the big deal?

    I notice you didn't mention Escape from the Mindmaster or Dragonstomper.


    Those were the only two I got to play back in the day. My friend owned a Supercharger with those tapes, so I borrowed his once to spend a weekend playing the above mentioned two games. So unique, to me, was the experience that I made a mix tape of all the music that I had been listening to while playing the games so that I could relive them when I listened to the tape. When most people hear the music from Raiders of the Lost Ark they think of the movie; I think of Dragonstomper and Mindmaster. (Actually, what that means is that it's been too long since I've seen Raiders.)


    Those games took me to another place. There is nothing else, with the possible exception of Adventure, that I've played on the 2600 that compares with my experience with those two games. I was completely immersed in them for hours. It wasn't until I played Gateway to Aphsai on the Commodore 64 (two years or so later) that I felt, again, like I'd been to another place. Though my experience with Gateway was significantly enhanced by the fact that a friend and I played it as a team the first time through.


    I can't speak for the other Supercharger games, but Mindmaster and Dragonstomper were awesome for me. If you haven't played them, you should give them a shot, though your experience may differ from mine.

  4. Thats great. I had picked up a TV from Bruce Tomlin. He is in Austin too. Its funny that everyone in Austin seems to be dumping their old TVs. The only reason I picked it up was because it was a Sony PAL tv and I was there for something else. Otherwise the gas would not have been worth it.


    Actually it may just be the folks in Austin that live on our street (Bruce Tomlin lives up the street from me). Maybe it's something in our water.

  5. A game that was fun 20 years ago does not suddenly stop being fun. Our standards of fun have not really changed, which is what most modern reviewers of games would have you believe. They're ignoring the fact that people have been playing games for thousands of years. Is Chess less fun today than when it was invented? Go? Badminton? Ping Pong? It's probably pretty likely that what's "fun" to us is even mostly genetic - humans obviously have a built-in need for recreation and leisure and I'm sure there's a part of our brain that responds the same way today to various leisure stimuli as it did when we first evolved from cavemen.


    I don't think it is a matter of a game ceasing to be fun after a certain amount of time. It is more of a matter of now familiar elements initially being used in less refined ways that have now come to seem quaint. People playing Space Invaders now wonder where the powerups are; what happens in the next stage; how do we get to the end and win?


    "Oh, you mean you just shoot at them until your invevitable defeat? What fun is that?"


    I would imagine that there are formulas in the movie industry that are recognized as cliches and others that are recognized as tried and true and still work with certain refinements. I think the same applies in videogames. Some formulas still work while others seem played out. Try as one might to go back and enjoy those formulas objectively, for *most* people there's a feeling of "been there enough, done that enough, want something different."


    Of course, many of us here aren't *most* people so of course we're going to disagree more often than most with what the mainstream gaming press has to say about older games. However, what they say is going to apply and be useful for most people. Sad but true.


    If you have some time to kill, read my blog for reviews of all the hottest games that came out for home systems in the 70s. Classics Old games like W.I.N.! Blackjack! Fun with Numbers! Nim! A whirlygig of fun, sometimes.

  6. post-1571-1165000496_thumb.jpg

    Here it lies dormant. Worship its woodgrain.


    Here it is in action with a Hanimex Adversary, if I recall correctly.


    What I have is a Sylvania Solid State GT-matic COLOR TV. Free if you want to come get it. Any videogame systems hooked up to it in the pictures are not being offered for free, fyi.


    How big is it?


    Not sure. Here is a picture of it with an Odyssey 400 for size reference.




    Cosmetically, it's in great shape. Functionally, it only takes an RF Signal. This, for the most part, works fine, though there is the usual "noise" one expects with an RF signal. YMMV.


    Free for the first person who wants it, provided they can come to or live in/near Austin TX to get it.


    Also, does anyone know of an online community that I could join to try to give something like this away? Something like Craigslist but mostly free stuff? I know I've seen it discussed, but I can't find it in the forums so I'd appreciate a point-to. Thanks in advance.

  7. Hey, just a quick heads up. I just got through the Hair Dryer trick. It worked like a charm! The grips slipped right off and I was messing around with the leaf switches in no time at all. Ugh.


    I see what you mean by "hard to replace." Each tank lever operates with "leaf switches" (a good explanation of what they are is available at buildyourownarcadecontrols.com.) and my center leaf has broken through the middle of the upper screwhole (exactly where it is most likely to break, this is not an uncommon problem I imagine.)


    So, I just need to find another centerleaf, desolder the remainder of the first leaf and resolder the new one in and I'm done.


    In the meantime, I need to find me some "goo gone." While I had the hair dryer out, I was able to remove the damaged stickers from the front of the unit without further damaging them. I'll retain them for size references, where to cut the holes, etc, for when I figure out how to print out my replacement stickers.

  8. My wife asked me about a question she got on ebay just like this one. Did you try the the hair dryer trick yet? I was just wounding if it worked for you. FYI, the spring inside the Combat unit is a leaf spring of sorts. You might have a hard time replacing it. You might want to look in to getting another one for parts. I only say this because you are at the point I was a couple of years ago with my Coleco Combat. Good Luck! I hope this helps.


    That was me!! Thanks for the advice there and here. I haven't tried the hair dryer trick yet. I was really hoping someone was going to say "oh, there's a release switch somewhere you have to hit with a screwdriver" but I'm starting to think that isn't going to happen. LOL.


    I'll try the hair dryer trick and get in touch with Rob Mitchell. Bones, thanks for your advice, too.


    I haven't seen a Coleco Combat "fixit" thread anywhere, so I'm declaring this to be "the official."


    To refurbish mine I'm going to try to print up some of the decals for reapplication to the console. Has anyone ever done something like this? Any ideas what kind of sticker/printer paper I should use?

  9. Okay, I'm going to refurbish a beat-up Coleco Combat that I just won from ebay (the kind of win where actual shipping costs more than the final bid). Very happy to have it, one side works fine, video is a little warped but I get the idea.


    One of the sticks (left stick of black tank) has a shot spring, i.e. it just flops around like a dead floppy thing.


    Like the Vectrex joystick, I figure it wouldn't be impossible to disassemble the stick's base and replace the spring in it.


    Silly me, I can't get the damn grips off which will allow me to get into the base and take a look-see. I know this is possible, I'm just hitting a blank.


    Anyone have any suggestions? Am I missing something really simple here?


    Thanks in advance.

  10. Spend the time with your family instead.



    I agree, spend the time with your family, but if you must spend it playing videogames then pick four player games like Warlords. You could even get a Gamecube and spend time with your family playing Crystal Chronicles and Super Monkey Ball. Xbox Pirates is fun with four players, too.


    But seriously, take walks with your family, read to your kids, snuggle and watch movies with your sweatheart. If you are still single spend time with the people you love.

  11. I think that should stop some of the busy body deal crashers!! :P

    Hehehh. Yeah, well, there'd be the matter of proving it was for that third party's economic interest, especially if they don't end up bidding on or winning a relisting. Some people might do it just for the thrill of wrecking a side-deal that ruined an auction they were waiting on. The way that tort description read, wrongful interference in the name of economic interest is a no-no, but wrongful interference in the name of genuine righteous indignation isn't mentioned. ;)

  12. I thought putting some facts into to the "side deal vs. derail deal" discussion would be interesting, to me at least . . .


    There is a type of "intentional tort against a person" called "wrongful interference" and the definition that my business law textbook gives is:


    Intentional Torts against persons

    #8 Wrongful interference -- The knowing, intentional interference by a third party with an enforceable contractual relationship or an established business relationship between other parties for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of the third party.

    Apparently the "if the deal's done, leave it alone" philosophy (as found so prevalently in this thread) is such a common view that it's actually made it into our law system. If two people are entered into a contract, it is not only their obligation to fulfill the terms of the contract, it is the legal responsibility of everyone else to not interfere with the fulfillment of that contract for the purposes of advancing their own economic interest.


    So, if a sale on ebay is a contract, even a low BIN initiated by a buyer, then going in and intentionally interfering with that contract (presumably for the opportunity to get it in a relisting) could be considered to be for the advancement of your (the third party) economic interest and is actually illegal!


    If it is a side deal, then that probably constitues a verbal contract and would be subject to the same treatment.


    So, if a buyer makes a side deal with the seller, that may be outside of ebay rules (and to some of us it certainly seems unethical). However, unless a seller is entering into some sort of contract to "see the auction through" when they start an auction, then side deals or sudden low BINs aren't illegal, and messing with them after they've happened, is.


    So be aware, while side deals may bug us, I can't see that they're illegal; while derailing a deal you you think stinks for the seller may seem like an "poetic justice" thing to do plus might give you another chance to get that item, it's not only unethical, but you could actually be sued by either party and probably lose. You don't have to even be successful in derailing the deal. If you contact the seller and they perceive you are attempting to derail the deal, then they could even sue you!

  13. I normally don't do this but anymore, it's getting hard to find a game you are looking for only for it to be snatched by someone that made a side deal with the seller . . .


    If the auction is still going, and it's something that I need really bad or want, then I will send in an offer to the seller. It's cutthroat out there when it comes to collecting anymore.


    It's okay to be cutthroat if it's something I need or want really bad, because everyone else is cutthroat.


    However, I have a policy that if the auction is already won, leave it alone. The buyer won it fair and square.


    Even if they won it by playing cutthroat, they still won it and I leave it alone.


    Basically what I'm hearing (and not just from you, Hounder)


    If someone has won an auction via "cutthroat" means, so be it. They won.

    Since many are winning by "cutthroat" means, it's okay if I win the same way, BUT that's where it ends


    It's only okay to play "cutthroat" until an auction ends, BUT it's not okay to be cutthroat after an auction ends.


    "Hey, I know I cut your throat by making a side deal on auction X, but it's not right for you or anyone else to cut my throat after I've won the auction (by cutting someone's throat)."


    "I want to play by my own rules, but I don't accept someone else playing by their own rules."


    To run with the metaphor, if you have a policy of cutthing throats don't be shocked if you get cut.

  14. Trip to the Doctor: $25 copayment

    Anti-Biotics: $61

    Healthy 4 year old: Priceless


    Tales 0f Destiny II Factory Sealed, more or less the same minus the little girl.

    $85 shipped, Paypal cash only. Feedback on ebay as chronogamer and on DP as mezrabad.




    Antibiotics 61.00 WTF maybe z-pack back in the day. :) and not for a four year old :)


    It's for Omnicef, which was $125 but Insurance covered most of it. We couldn't give her Amoxocillian because she'd had that two weeks ago. The real annoyance of this is that after two doses of antibiotics had been given, the results come back from the lab saying negative for strep throat (which the doctor had been pretty certain it was) so $48 worth of the anti-biotics is going to go to waste, unless, someone wants to bid on the remaining doses. Heh.

  15. SOLD - for $80 shipped (I include price for those who are tracking prices of these things).


    Trip to the Doctor: $25 copayment

    Anti-Biotics: $61

    Healthy 4 year old: Priceless


    Tales 0f Destiny II Factory Sealed, more or less the same minus the little girl.

    $85 shipped, Paypal cash only. Feedback on ebay as chronogamer and on DP as mezrabad.



  16. And the person that did this is probably spouting off around here how unethical it is to buy a BIN when you know its cheap.


    Are you referring to my post? (Actually, I'd be thrilled if you were because it seems largely ignored.) :( Well even if you weren't, I feel like talking about it again. I'm not actually suggesting that it is unethical to take a BIN as a good deal (I don't think I even spoke of ethics). I'm saying that eBay is the wild, wild west and apparently anything goes. Some people have limits to what rules they will break, but if one person is willing to break a rule, then I find it difficult to sympathize with them when they complain about other people breaking rules just because that mixture of rule breaking doesn't happen to blend well with their own.


    My question about taking advantage of ignorance vs. taking advantage of greed was constructed to motivate some deeper conversation about what seems to be a double-standard rather than the easier-than-thinking-about-it isolated black and white statements about behaviors the poster considers unrelatable. I think the behaviors are more similar than most people think they are.


    For instance, derailing a deal is something most people are against because if vigilante actions like this were to take hold, then the posted "end of an auction" would cease to have any meaning. "Hey, the auction was over, I won, but some jerk just came in and derailed it!" However, when a Seller changes an auction to a Buy-it-now, especially at an interested party's request, or cancels an auction to engage in a side deal outside of ebay, they are doing just that -- changing the end of the auction. If a seller is ignorant of the value of an item and changes an auction to a buyer suggested BIN, then other bidders may be getting screwed as they are being deprived of their opportunity to bid the item up to its fair market value. The expected length of the auction has been changed. If it is okay to ask the seller to end the auction early for the convenience of one buyer (and at the expense of the other buyers) then why isn't it as acceptable to say to that Seller, "Hey the auction ended early and I didn't get to put in my bid which would have been $$$." Then it becomes up to the Seller to decide which is worth more, his contract or the difference between the $$$ and the BIN he posted at the suggestion of a buyer taking advantage of his ignorance.


    I don't get the sense that everyone here thinks it's hunky-dory to engage a Seller in side deals or sudden BINs, but I'm getting that only a few have no problem trying to derail such a deal. I'm asking what is the difference? In thinking about it, (after initially posting my knee-jerk reaction), I realize that both behaviors are part of an "anything goes" attitude and that if we condemn one then I need it explained to me why we shouldn't condemn the other equally, or , if we look at one as merely an annoyance and the other as unacceptable, why?


    I'm suggesting that disrupting an auction to get it changed to a BIN is as bad as disrupting a sale. If either is intolerable then both are intolerable. If one is considered okay, then why is the other not? Are we just making fine distinctions between different flavors of "jerk"?

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