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  1. As many have already stated, stick with the C021697 ANTIC. I tried to replace RAM in a 1200XL with 256 refresh and it wouldn't work with the old ANTIC. So if the 130XE has RAM that requires 256 refresh, the older one might not work.
  2. 1. The game you are ashamed you never played. 2. The game you are ashamed you love. 3. The game you think everyone else should be ashamed they love. 1. Have to join the M.U.L.E camp. BITD it was an obscure game to me and as many have said, I typically played games solo so I guess I was missing an essential element to really experience it. 2. Any of the cheesy Hockey games. I've been a hockey fan since I was 7. Not sure how a kid who grew up in So Cal and South Florida became such a fan, but I spent some time playing hockey whenever I could find an opponent. None were very good, but it didn't matter. 3. Caverns or Mars or any other game similar (i.e. River Raid, Blue Max). Just seemed dull, repetitive. I would fire it up and usually quit early.
  3. I really like these cables Cory makes from 8-Bit Classics https://www.8bitclassics.com/product/atari-xlxe-5-pin-din-to-s-video-composite-av-cable/ It has S-video (Y/C), composite and L & R Audio. Well made!
  4. Wow, this is some timing. After writing about buying spare parts for the "just in case" situation, I fired up one of my 1200XLs and the keyboard did not respond. Don't think its the mylar as it was fixed via Bob Woolley's Retro-bits article. I'll first try another keyboard as I have a spare or three. If it's still dead, I'll try the 4051s and then the POKEY (yes, I have spares on those too). Darn it, this is going to make the decision to downsize a bit harder sell now.
  5. I have already been pondering the hording question and this thread has really made me evaluate the "why" do I have so much. I absolutely have more than I could ever use, to include spare parts and my kids do not and will not find any value in these items when I pass. So why did I buy so much? 1) Some of it was just "a good deal" and "how can you pass this up"? Before you know it, BAM!, you have five of something. 2) Sometimes it's with good intent. I buy more to acquire a better cosmetic version of something, say a 1200XL, with the intent of selling a lesser specimen when found. I was pretty good at that early on, but then I forgot to sell the one after I bought another. 3) Fear of running out of parts has something to do with it. You can already see a shortage of spare parts (Best, B&C and eBay). The "better get them now before they're gone" seems to get me. 4) Simply buying something and changing your mind because you saw something today you had not considered. I wanted a dot matrix printer and noticed that Epson MX-80 were few and far between. Finally saw a FX-980 and bought it at a good price. It was huge. Then a saw a NOS Epson L1000 Action writer (i.e. LX-500). Bought it not realizing 24 pin printers don't play so well with 80's Atari software when it come to graphics. Then I found two very nice Star N1000s and bought them. I sold off the FX-980 at a loss, but now have three dot matrix printers. I really only needed one. 5) The "better to have a complete spare or two just in case" you drop it on the floor and destroy it beyond repair. O.K that one is a bit of a stretch, but I think about it a little. When I get some time off, I may just decide to downsize my collection.
  6. Unfortunately, the one in your photo is not the kind that has screws hidden under the rubber feet. The ones that do also say "For use with Atari 400/800 Computers". Are you sure its dead? The reason I ask is that one very common failure of the 1200XL over time is the poor solder joints on the power and L1 & L2 LEDs (loose connections). The result is "no red light", but the machine still works. Did you hook it up to a video display to verify that you also get no picture? If not, might be worth a try.
  7. I can really relate to your #5 tip "Tip 5 – Resist the urge to expand now". I totally agree that we are at or just passing the peak in nostalgia bringing folks back to retro computing. As you state, in 5-10 years all us "Atari kids" will be ready to retire and there won't be as many new enthusiast to replace us. We have all we sought, buying up all the stuff on eBay the last 10 years and the demand will wain. Supply is always dwindling, especially spare parts, but not as fast as demand will. Sad to say, but I think you are right. Then some of us with large collections will be able to unload some really nice stuff, but most likely at a nice discount compared to today's rates. I've already noticed in the last year that demand seems to be on the downturn. Atari 1200XLs don't go flying off eBay immediately when they are offered below $180. I noticed an ATR-8000 just sitting on eBay for $200. I like that SIO2SD, SDRIVE MAX and UAV are plentiful. This could however be a double edged sword. If the market is saturated with SIO2SD and SDRIVE MAX devices, prices will fall and some folks offering these wonderful devices might not find it worth their while to run a new batch. Look at Incognito. There is clearly a demand for a substantial new run, but apparently not worth the effort for anyone to pick up the torch. If someone wants to breathe some new life into these machines, they need to make an "Incognito like" card that works on a 400. Basically, a 400/800 that can run the XL OS and has at least 64K.
  8. Someone on AA (can't recall) said it best in a single sentence. "The 400/800 was Atari's last good decision and it appears to have been a complete accident" Someone, maybe Ray Kassar, made the fateful decision to change direction and make the 2600 follow-on a home computer to compete with Apple. Incredibly smart and gifted people made an amazing machine ahead of its time. ANTIC and GTIA were the predecessor to video cards (Nvidia and AMD) POKEY was the predecessor to sound boards (Sound Blaster) SIO was the predecessor to USB. First plug and play. Atari got there in ~1978!! Had those same people (i.e. Jay Miner and company) been allowed to develop the next big thing, I think we would have seen something even more amazing. With Warner's management, Atari Corporate and the Tramiels, Atari didn't stand a chance. If Warner hadn't bought Atari, there might have never been a home computer, just a 5200. We'll never know. One thing is for sure, something magical happened in Sunnyvale in the late 70's. A group of the right people at the right place at the right time made an amazing home computer using 1970's tech.
  9. Do you have a copy of the 5200 version of Missile Command? Never knew it was different. Would greatly appreciate a link to its location as Missile Command is a top 10 for sure. Thanks
  10. Had some time today to compare these XD-901s to my EtekCity units. They appear to be identical in design and function. The only difference is the silkscreen brand name on top. I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the output for NTSC 1080P using the S-Video input. Very clear sharp picture that is actually better than straight S-Video to my 2009 Samsung 46". For $22.99, you can't go wrong with this unit. I ended up buying three off Amazon in the past two weeks. I'm running a 1200XL with the ClearPic 2002 video modification. I also have Omniview 80 and the text is very clear and sharp through this unit. I have surrendered to the fact that HDMI will be around a while and I will likely soon run out of native S-video displays. Looking to the future, these babies are the ticket for me. All my monitor cables are S-Video, not separate Y/C (from 8-bit classics). My test included 40 and 80 column test clarity and Defender. Defender is a good test for the following reasons: 1) Some units over brighten the color and the scrolling mountains on Defender are orange-ish to red in appearance. Some converters make them look white. 2) The spaceship has three distinct colors. the canopy and center of the ship are a hot pink, the rest of the ship is light pink and there is one green pixel on the tip of the vertical tail. These sections should be very defined with sharp borders. 3) The humans should have three very distinct color bands (head, body and legs).
  11. https://www.amazon.com/Orei-XD-901-S-Video-Multi-System-Converter/dp/B004UNYX9M/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 They will be back in stock on June 24th according to Amazon. They are back to $22.99 also.
  12. The History Channel aired a two hour "Video Game Wars" special on Sunday. The first hour was pretty much dedicated to early Atari. Only mention of the 8-bit computers was a reference to Atari dumping 400 and 800 hardware from the El Paso factory that was closing. It wasn't bad and I learned a few things. Lots of Nolan Bushnell, Al Alcorn, Manny Gerald, a little Joe Decuir and a lot of Atari employees. When they covered the Ralph Baer Magnavox Odyssey, I think they go too far. 1) Yes, Ralph Baer made a Pong like game first, but it was awful compared to Atari Pong. The Odyssey Hockey was just tennis pong with a different overlay. Physics were all wrong (huge), no sound, no score. It was awful compared to Atari's arcade products. The 2600 was an order of magnitude better and the Odyssey just wasn't in the same league as the VCS. 2) Baer (actually Sanders his parent company) sued Atari and Nolan settled. There was a condition that was pure genius on Nolan's part. Sanders as a condition of the settlement had to go after all the Pong copy cats that had come out. Atari paid a small price and got Baer to sue his competition. Not in the show, but I've heard Nolan say he purchased huge amounts of IC chips and components that were used in consumer electronics. More than Atari could use, but he tied up the supply of these components to hinder the competition. They speak in some detail about Atari (Nolan and Al) claiming that Atari had to be working on a replacement even before the 1979 Christmas season. Manny Gerard disagreed (Manny was right, but only for a bit). Well wasn't the 400/800 that new system in 1978? No mention of the 400/800 effort. Biggest revaluation from Manny was that Atari Corp management killed the company. That and Atari's inability to control crap third party software. For me, the 2600 had run its course by 1981. I had all the cartridges I wanted and the new stuff was not keeping up with expectations. Superman, Missile Command and Adventure were amazing cartridges. Pac-Man and Defender were terrible.
  13. I pick one up too. Received it yesterday. It appears to be virtually identical to the one I bought branded as Etekcity a couple years ago. This unit produces very nice sharp up-scaled video. Very pleased with its performance. Like the Etekcity unit I reviewed in another thread, it has the HDMI input (pass thru) so you can use it as a switch if you are short of HDMI inputs on your TV.
  14. You are correct. The input side is different, but the enclosure is similar. Can't see other side, but the additional HDMI pass-thru may have been omitted on this design. Found mine now marketed as a Monoprice unit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Monoprice-Composite-S-Video-HDMI-to-HDMI-Converter-9994-75292AL/352621534173?hash=item5219e19bdd:g:qI4AAOSwtwVckP5M:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!35758!US!-1 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenkeng-Composite-S-Video-Stereo-Audio-to-HDMI-1080P-Converter/264341514815?hash=item3d8bfb6a3f:g:Ag8AAOSwhZhc7inJ https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=9994&gclid=CIzahfiH3eICFReewAodWREMzA https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-109994-Composite-S-Video-Converter/dp/B00CQLIQD4 https://www.walmart.com/ip/Monoprice-9994-Composite-S-Video-and-HDMI-to-HDMI-Converter-and-Switch-with-HDMI-PAL-NTSC-Support/39457809 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFukuT46HII
  15. I have the one in the first photo. Mine was marketed as Etek City, but it looks identical (see attached thread). I really like it. What was unique about this one verses the other cheap units is that it has an HDMI input as well as S-video and composite.This gives the added function of using it as a switch between and existing HDMI signal and your Atari if you are short on HDMI inputs on the TV. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/236810-inexpensive-s-video-or-composite-to-hdmi-video-up-converter/?hl=%2Betek+%2Bcity&do=findComment&comment=3210033
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