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  • Birthday 12/14/1968

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  1. Exatron and Entrepo were the same company, thus no redesign took place between them because again, they were the same company. Dispute me all you want. I'm done.
  2. Of course there were two designs. One with the Exatron/Entrepo, and one with the Coleco-developed DDP. I never said otherwise. All I said was Exatron and Entrepo were the same company, so no redesign there. This is true. Your post said there were three designs....Exatron, Entrepo, and Coleco.
  3. Exatron and Entrepo were the same company (or one was a division of the other or some such thing). See Video Games magazine, June 1983, page 49.... "Last February the Exatron Corporation changed its name to Entrepo (meaning "a storage place")." So I don't see how / why there would have been any redesign. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exatron http://www.trs-80.org/exatron-stringy-floppy/ Exatron is still around, by the way....
  4. That would be my guess too. If the Smurf game engine is designed properly, which I sure it is, it would be simply a matter of swapping out the tile table and updating the corresponding tile-attribute table, and the game would work correctly with the new tile set. Voila, a new Smurf game! I know it's not quite that easy, but that's the general idea and likely what Coleco did for the demo, imho. I've always thought Smurf was the one of the few games that was completely unique and original to the Colecovison. It's not quite a side-scroller, but definitely influenced what was to come on other platforms such as the NES. A shame it never saw a sequel....
  5. Oh how I wish I had known how to get around the SmartWriter blank-line-prints-as-a-line-and-a-half bug back then. It would have changed everything. But 13 year old me barely understood what a bug was, let alone how to work around one. I remember feeling quite bad that I couldn't figure out how to print out a paper for school that wasn't all goofed up, as I had given my parents the hard sell about how awesome the Adam was (never mind that it could play Super Games, ha ha). We didn't have a lot of money so it was a big purchase for them at the time. It's hard to understand how such a simple and obvious bug somehow slipped through, when many much more complex features like cut / copy / paste seem to work pretty well. The only think I can think of is that the word-processor team and the printer team were working independently, and they didn't have time to test the two pieces together until it was too late. You're spot on that each Adam owner was largely an island back then. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, and was the only person I knew that had one. I did subscribe to Family Computing, as that seemed to be the only magazine that supported the Adam, but I didn't join any user groups (don't know why). Anyhow, I'm not trying to disparage the Adam -- I love it otherwise I wouldn't be here. Just sharing my experiences with it as a kid....
  6. Looks very nice! What a treat -- it's so rare for a Colecovision / Adam prototype to turn up that this really special (now if only Super Smurf would)....
  7. Look, I love the Adam... but the software WAS quite buggy (I've always felt the hardware was pretty solid). SmartWriter: The fact that anyone could print out a decent looking paper on the Adam is nothing short of a miracle. The blank-line-prints-as-a-line-and-a-half bug always caused my papers to come out looking horrible -- each page always got progressively worse, and pretty soon pages would start spilling off the paper and lines would get lost. As a kid I had no idea what was going on, and assumed I was doing something wrong. Of course, now I know otherwise. The fact that Coleco never offered a fix for this bug is particularly egregious in my opinion. Something as simple as a blank line is broken! (my solution at the time was to go back to using AppleWriter at school) SmartBasic: Again, very buggy. I forget all the bugs, but the one I do remember is that each time a program was LISTed, a blank space was added to any/all DATA statements. Eventually they'd grow long enough to exceed the maximum line length and get dropped. So I was constantly having to retype those lines to fix them. Even as a kid, I knew this was a bug. Something as simple as LISTing a program is broken! (my solution at the time was to go back to using Applesoft BASIC at school) I don't think Coleco was prepared for the jump in quality and testing that needed to occur when moving from games to apps. It's one thing to screw up a player's high score in a game. It's a very different thing to screw up a term paper or BASIC program. People will forgive the former, but not the latter. This is why I think they should have initially just released the EM#3 base as the Super Game Module for Christmas '83, and delayed the release of the keyboard and printer another year....to give themselves more time work out all the software bugs. P.S. I do think Coleco attempted to step up their software quality with the later releases such as AdamCalc and SmartLogo, but by then it was too late...
  8. Is this true even with the two +12v lines on the EM#3 jumpered together? (just wanted to make sure....obviously if they aren't the data drive definitely won't do anything)
  9. Yes, I stand corrected -- I just checked the tech manual. What I was mis-remembering is that the Adam has two separate +12v signals, one for the printer and data drives, and one for the logic. I'm sure this was done to separate the noisy induction motors from the quiet logic needs. It does make me curious though what would happen if a person tried to power an EM#3 with only a single drive from the Colecovision's supply, thus creating a true "Super Game Module"
  10. I agree. For Christmas 1983, Coleco should have released the EM#3 in black and should have called it the Super Game Module. The printer and keyboard could have been sold later as optional accessories (maybe for Christmas 1984). There was no reason to rush those out, and it would have taken the pressure off Coleco to design, test, and release so much hardware and software in such a short period of time -- and more importantly it would have fulfilled what Coleco had been teasing/promising it's existing customer base. Why they didn't is simply mind-boggling and defies logical explanation. It really is a strange case of 'less would have been more'. But for whatever reason there was a pervasive 'video games are a fad' thinking among the all the CxO's back then, and everybody wanted out of the market and into the computer market...Atari, Mattel, Coleco, etc. It's really too bad. There must have been something in the water they were all drinking....or maybe it was Steve Job's computer marketing skills even back then.... But anyhow, if you still want the Super Game Module... buy an EM#3, ditch the keyboard and printer (notice that none of the super games require either), and paint it black*. Someone did that here (though personally I'm not really a fan of the silver drives).... So Coleco never really scrapped the Super Game Module. They just disguised it so well as a computer that it's hard to spot.... * I'm being a bit flip here, as I believe you'll also need to supply -12v for the drive(s) to run. But there's existing solutions to this, as well as an exciting potential new one that's about the size of a credit card: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4nYqfZlnMY
  11. I don't know that any of them are really 'production ready' at this point. I think the game play for all of them needs to be dialed in more. Skiing is probably the most playable, and I like what's there so far. Horse Racing has some pretty weak AI (there's actually a lot of code in the game for it, but you'd never know it). Maybe eventually I'll get them to the point where I'm satisfied with them, but not yet. I just wanted to show them off a bit because I think they're all finally in a semi-playable state....
  12. Thanks for the kind words everyone. For whatever reason, as a kid these were the two games I wanted the most out of the catalog that came with the Colecovision unit. I think it was the 'real life' aspect of them that captured my imagination, for whatever reason. So with that in mind, I tried to stay true to the look and feel of how they might have been done back in the day, as best as I could anyway....
  13. What's weird is that all three games use the same startup code (they all pull in and compile a common file)...
  14. Thanks for the testing I do all my development using BlueMSX v2.8.2, so it's weird we would see a difference there. I can try to investigate more later.....
  15. Interesting. I've tested it both on both BlueMSX and on my actual Colecovision unit (using Atarimax Ultimate SD). What are you running it on?
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