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Nathan Strum

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Everything posted by Nathan Strum

  1. I'm not a programmer (nor do I play one on TV...) but I do consider myself a "homebrewer" and I'm particularly proud of that label. As far as I know, the computer use of the term originated with the Homebrew Computer Club, which just about any nerd worth his salt* would've given his eye teeth* to have been a part of. To me it's not a mark of denigration at all. I consider it a privilege to be associated with the programmers that have graciously asked me to work on their games. And it's always done for fun. The fun of creating a game for others to enjoy. The fun of showing off a newly discovered programming trick. The fun of realizing a decades-old dream of creating your own game. The fun of being part of this community. The fun of just making something really cool for the sake of doing it. The documentary "Triumph of the Nerds" referred to it as "Impressing Their Friends". As for professionalism, the programmers I've worked with absolutely obsess over their games. Refining, debugging and honing every last bit to make them the best they can possibly be. And I can speak to Albert's own obsession with producing absolutely first-rate, professional packaging (mainly because of all of the times I've had to go back and fix things after they've gone off to be printed ). And FWIW, AtariAge presently has more 2600 titles than any single publisher ever had, except Atari. And AtariAge is gaining on 'em. As for Audacity, I can see why they wouldn't consider themselves as homebrewers: they programmed 2600 games for a living back-in-the-day. That was their profession, and even though it isn't anymore, it would probably seem weird to them to revisit that part of their careers and rebrand what they're doing as something different. I will say though, that even though they're a "real company", by repeatedly distancing themselves as being "professional" and not hombrewers, they're implying that all homebrews are not professional. And while some are not, I take issue with that sort of blanket generalization. After all, being a "real company" does not guarantee high quality either. Apollo was a real company. Even Mythicon was a real company. Effectively though, they're just as homebrew-y as AtarAge. They even say as much at 10:10 in this interview, where they talk about how each game is handmade by "volunteer manufacturers". Wouldn't a "real company" pay for that labor? To me, whether it's "independent developer", "homebrewer", "third-party programmer", a "real company" or whatever, when it comes to making games for a niche, hobbyist, fan community, it's all the same. It's just semantics until you've got a spot in the aisle at WalMart. In the end, it's really the games that will tell the tale. So far, in this new endeavor, they've made one. * How about that? Two completely antiquated idioms in one sentence!
  2. reCAPTCHA: protecting humanity from the robot apocalypse, one crosswalk at a time.

  3. There are a few screenshots of the QR code in the ZPH interview (29:29): And 34:48:
  4. I was a little uncertain about dendrology at first, but now it's kind-of growing on me.

    1. D Train

      D Train

      It's a great thing if you're really looking to get to the root of the matter.

    2. Kiwi


      Yeah, it's good to branch out.

    3. ZeroPage Homebrew

      ZeroPage Homebrew

      Springing into something new May blossom into a full blown obsession resulting eventually in a fall.

  5. That is the worst looking turducken I've ever seen.
  6. Jeff, Beau, and their lesser-known sibling Truss.

    1. x=usr(1536)


      Wonder if any of their kids have ever had trouble in school that led to suspension.

    2. retrorussell


      Don't forget the other sibling, Brooke Lynn.

  7. Interesting... I suppose someone could've moved here with it and it ended up in an eBay lot. If it wasn't PAL, I don't know why the sticker would be there. I suppose it could've been repaired or factory refurbished at some point and the wrong label ended up on the wrong part. There's a thread about this sort of thing here: The consensus seems to be that the games will run fine, but the colors will be wrong. I'd suggest running games that you own in Stella, switching palettes between NTSC and PAL, then seeing what the games look like on your console. That should tell you what the console actually is.
  8. I always thought the lyrics to "L.A. Woman" went "city at night". Turns out it's "city of night". Learn somethin' new every day...

    1. Cebus Capucinis

      Cebus Capucinis

      Could be worse, you could mistake Manfred Mann's infamous line "Revved up like a deuce"....

    2. bubufubu
    3. CPUWIZ


      Excuse me, while I kiss this guy...

  9. Two words: spray paint
  10. I'd strongly suggest ditching the switchbox for an adapter (or better A/B switch) and getting a good quality RF cable (or even just moving your existing one away from sources of interference). You could clean up that picture a lot. I wrote up a couple of blog posts about improving RF here: https://atariage.com/forums/blogs/entry/16992-fix-your-rf/ and here: https://atariage.com/forums/blogs/entry/17013-rf-addendum/
  11. Did they have anyone hopping around on the top of their truck?
  12. I literally just figuratively built a city on rock 'n' roll.


    Feel free to play the mamba, if you'd like.

  13. Light at the end of the tunnel!

    1. Albert


      Glad to hear you got your second shot!  Yeah, from what I've heard of the Moderna vaccine, the second shot tends to knock people out the day after.  Not looking forward to that!  First shot was fine, just minor pain at the injection site. 

    2. Nathan Strum

      Nathan Strum

      Mine was Pfizer. I've heard Moderna kicks harder, but it really depends on the individual.

    3. sramirez2008


      Congrats on your full vaccination! My second Pfizer shot is April 12th and I can't wait. Other than a little soreness in my arm, I had no issues with the first shot.

    4. Show next comments  30 more
  14. I may have to stop telling you when you're wrong, because if you guess right, then what do I do? Probably more than the code-names themselves.
  15. Well, last week was Arbor Day. Today is a snow day!

  16. I miss Aerlan as well - he's still so new to the 2600 that everything is exciting to him. Plus, I miss his philosophical nuggets of wisdom that pepper his language.
  17. I hope you don't stop doing what you enjoy. I personally avoid spoilers, and know enough to not watch something involving them. If you're doing a playthrough of a VHZC game for example, that's fine - but I tune it out because I want to discover the game for myself. I find the show far more engaging when you're discovering a new game, because that's what interests me the most about the Homebrew scene. But the show should be what you want it to be, and people can choose to watch the parts they connect with. You certainly put up enough spoiler warnings about it. I didn't watch it for that reason (so thank you for doing that). Similarly, during the reveal, when Tanya was playing the game, I hid that part of the screen behind another window so I could hear the interview, but not spoil the game for myself. It's up to people to choose to watch something that may spoil a game for them or not. You shouldn't have to censor yourself if people can't control their ability to not play a video.
  18. Fully agreed. ZPH is much more entertaining to watch when they're discovering a game for the first time and working their way through it. Waiting for Aerlan or Darcy would've been great. (Although it's frankly annoying when they don't read the instructions at all beforehand... programmers put a lot of thought, time and effort into those.) When I know ZPH is going to do a play-through of a full game (any full game) I tune out. I get that one of James' passions (okay... obsessions) is completing games, but I have zero interest in watching complete play-throughs. The exception being if I've already played through a game, and want to see if I've missed anything.
  19. Nope. Although I have pondered whether or not Paperboy could be done on the 2600. The Lynx version plays quite well, so you can make it work without the bicycle handlebar controls. I think Paperboy could be done if you can scroll a large playfield-resolution map diagonally to draw the houses. Most of the target sprites are vertically separated. The bicycle sprite could be done with row shifting. I've never tried mocking any of this up though.
  20. Celebrating Arbor Day early this year.

  21. Updates: 3-18-21: "Not a SuperCharger Game" updated from "Speculative project" to "Early development". Graphics are in progress. Early non-playable proof-of-concept build. 3-9-21: "Historical Documentary": Graphics are in progress.
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