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About raindog

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    upstate NY, USA

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  1. I miss him. Horrified to hear the news, and that it took a year and a half to confirm. I suppose that's the way it'll be with most of us, those who never see other AtariAge members in real life. Kurt was a hell of a guy, and I miss not only his presence, contributions and bottomless generosity here, but our (rare) private conversations that touched upon other subjects than racing the beam. The world sucks a little more without him.
  2. I assume by now everyone's heard of this... http://www.polygon.com/2016/7/14/12193472/mini-nes-classic-edition-faq-nintendo After skipping the Colecovision and Intellivision ones last year (shocking to even me) because I have no more tube displays in my home except my still-working Vectrex, the inclusion of HDMI in this one appeals to me. Is anyone aware of any other plug'n'plays with HDMI outputs, or am I just gonna have to duct tape my Raspberry Pi to my USB repro Atari stick?
  3. Fixed the Wikipedia article... in addition to being unsourced, I really don't think a reference to software obfuscation should be one of the two historical points offered for hardware obfuscation. The article as a whole could use some help, but it probably requires a hardware greybeard, not a software one.
  4. Sure do wish IPB had a "notify only on replies from the original poster" option. Loving DINTAR's work, but I just couldn't care less about what Tod Frye did almost 35 years ago.
  5. As the guy who made what's now called PMA, I have zero problem with people considering my hack to be less accurate than the others that have been made in the 16 years since I made it. Atari did all the work and I just had the clever-at-the-time idea of hacking another game into a plausible Pac-Man, but it's been long since surpassed. I also don't suffer from reading comprehension deficiency, so I understood what you meant
  6. I can only answer #3, but I do own an original Odyssey which my parents bought in '72 or early '73. The overlays are plastic transparencies, and came in (I think) 19 and 25" sizes. No such thing as a 36" television in those days, so you might be stuck getting some repros made at a UPS store or something.
  7. Yes, anything is possible if you just use the power of make-believe.
  8. Reality check... two of my hacks have been among the more popular cartridges in the AtariAge store over the last 15 years, but even combined, the "profit", by which I mean my gross revenue, amounted to well under $1000, putting my hourly rate for hacking far below minimum wage (if I'd taken cash, but for the majority of it I took AA store credit to pay it forward). Actual "profit", as in net income, was well below zero, and people writing games from scratch will spend far more time at it and thus come out further in the hole. But I didn't do my hacks or demos for profit and neither do most Atari 2600 coders. We're doing it for fun, and hiring a lawyer to negotiate a contract isn't fun... trust me. If you're putting together business plans for your VCS projects, you're doing it wrong. Really, really wrong. I assume that's why companies like Ebivision no longer exist today. It doesn't matter how underserved a market is if it's too small to cover expenses. That's why most of us would rather ask forgiveness than permission. What kind of damages could they get? They send a C&D, another demake goes away (unless you're smart enough to release your source so that others might continue it in a non-infringing way) and that's the end of it. Even if you jumped through all the hoops, all you've achieved is working for a company for below minimum wage. If I have to beg someone for something before I start a project, I'm going to either work around them or not do the project. I'm not going to change Pac-Man into a fish or Mario into a raccoon or come up with yet another Flappy Bird/Man Goes Down or whatever. I'm going to sit it out. As soon as hobbyists start treating the hobby like a business, I get disenchanted. This is why I find the current state of Atari homebrew, and threads like this, so dismaying. You are not going to get rich or even make any significant money at all. So just GPL your damn code already and stop pretending your hobby is your job.
  9. Deleted my own reply, for contributing to the problem I myself was complaining about.
  10. Deleted my own reply, for contributing to the problem I myself was complaining about.
  11. Just another example of how AtariAge forums are the opposite of [stella].
  12. Yeah, that was the one. I've certainly used more capable macro assemblers in the 30 years (sigh...) since, but I didn't realize at the time how high of a bar CBM was setting, especially considering how slow and primitive their stock BASIC was.
  13. That's strange, I got a macro assembler on my C64 in about 1984. Kind of primitive, but (apart from when I've done hand-assembly) I've never used an assembler that didn't have macros.
  14. Q*Bert strikes me as strange too, given that they just renewed several of their trademarks in July but I can't remember a Q*Bert product being produced (even as a plug-n-play or mobile app) since the late '90s. Maybe they were planning on doing something for the 30th anniversary and it got away from them... but no, it's not a project I'd start either, with a trademark renewed so recently. Edit: I forgot that Q*Bert appeared in Wreck-it Ralph, and (at least in wikireality) will be appearing in another movie next year. It seems Sony owns the character these days, and Sony is indeed very aggressive.
  15. I'm sorry to have to differ, theloon, but I never sought distribution rights from Namco (or Atari, for that matter) for my Pac-Man hack which has been, by far, my most successful 2600 project. Not taking risks, whether that risk is of rightsholders coming after you or of a large amount of your time making a game that squeezes everything out of the 2600 and does something technical that genuinely hasn't been done before, means you're just one in a sea of unremarkable 2600 homebrews. Using something like batari BASIC makes your game even less notable because, frankly, it requires less effort. That's fine if you're in the "scratching your own itch" category, but not if you're looking for either attention or money in exchange for your time and effort. But those in one camp rarely understand those in the other two, so your opinion isn't surprising. Putting a known name on it makes it more notable. That can be good if, as with the ever-improving Pac-man clones, you've improved over your predecessors. But it can be bad if you make the modern equivalent of ET. To seek permission is to seek denial. Even if you change the name and graphics (c.f. PR) you're still risking aggressive rightsholders coming after you, so you might as well do what your heart tells you. Just keep in mind that if you approach rightsholders, you're on their radar from the beginning if they decide to say no. I certainly didn't. If not having the title will damage your passion for the project, use the title or cancel the project. It's the only way to keep more anonymous, me-too games from appearing now that bB has enabled everyone with a half-assed idea to implement it.
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