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s-kelly

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About s-kelly

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    Space Invader

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    Chicago, IL
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    Games!
  1. Judging by the fact that Randy was the only one who did do it for so many years, clearly most other people DO choose not to do it. That was kind of my point...."Shhhhh...we have someone who doesn't think this sucks!"
  2. Whew! I can't believe I sat here and read through all nine pages of this thread! Having spent the time to do so, I have to add my two cents - late as they may be. While I did see a comment or two on the whole "service" aspect of what Randy is/was offering, nobody got into it all that much. Scott posted something in the way of calculating how much profit Randy may have made in doing these carts, but does anyone have any idea just how much it SUCKS to make carts like that? If Randy, or anyone else for that matter, is making two bucks, five bucks, or whatever on these carts, the service he is providing is far more valuable than whatever few bucks he may make on the deal. I even saw a post in this thread from Albert saying that he will be offering one-off, "no frills" copies of individual 4k titles for $10 apiece. Snatch those up while you can boys and girls because I don't think it will take long for Albert to realize that even though he may be making a few bucks on those $10 carts, it's barely worth the time and effort it takes to put them together. I don't intend to imply it's "hard" to make a 4k cart...it's easy as pie. But imagine doing it 100, 1000, or 5000 times. You begin to realize very quickly that you are providing much more of a service than you are entering into a money-making venture. That's my point with Randy...sure he made a few bucks in making the carts he did, but it is a tedious, horrible job. How many of you would quit your job if you were offered another job making 50% more than you do now, but you'd be working on an assembly line putting tiny wheels on Matchbox cars all day long? Sure, some people could/would do it, but I'm sure many people would rather a sharp stick in the eye than work on an assembly line...myself included. Frankly, I've always been amazed that Randy had done this as long as he has. Until about a year or so ago, there were no "boards" to buy. Randy was using regular, Atari-made, 4k boards and hacking them so they could use EPROMs which is much more time-consuming than the way 4k carts are made today with custom boards. Randy certainly made some mistakes in handling the whole situation. In my opinion, he should have asked Thomas for permission to make carts of the NTSC conversions. I don't, however, believe he had to ask for permission which seems to be the general consensus here. The whole thing about trying to order Joe's boards behind his back is outrageous. If he felt he wasn't getting a fair deal, and from someone who has made many circuit boards over the years...Joe's prices looked very "normal" to me, as someone else here said, grab a free CAD program and design your own board. It really isn't all that hard to do once you get the hang of it. Yes....there were plenty of mistakes made. It seems as though he looked at Atari Age as competition rather than looking at the big picture. I think it's naive to believe or suggest that everything Randy said in his newsgroup post was a lie. I don't know the circumstances better than anyone else who has read this thread and I don't know Randy all that well except for a deal here or there over the years, but I find it hard to believe that someone who, for the most part, people haven't had anything bad to say about in several years' involvement in the classic gaming community, is suddenly a complete liar. I'm sure there is, at the very least, some truth in what he had to say. Think ahead a few years for a moment. Let's say Atari Age does this for a while and despite their continued involvement in the collecting scene and the webpage and such, they decide they just don't have the time to do all these individual cartridges. I'm not saying this will happen, but it could happen. Where will we be then? Like I said above, it's not easy to find someone who is willing to do this kind of work - regardless of any profit that may be made. The ability to purchase a cheap copy of a rare, expensive title and play it on a real 2600 (as opposed to a ROM on an emulator) is not something the collecting community should be without. Luckily, there is one person who will definitely be offering a cartridge-making service to homebrew authors and possibly a second person. I've also talked to someone who is designing a device similar to the old "Prom Blaster" that will allow homebrew authors to produce their own cartridges without the need for an EPROM programmer or even a computer for that matter. So there will be choices, but how long with any of these guys be around? Look how quickly Junies disappeared... Well, it seems as though I've added about 14 cents to this discussion instead of the original two cents I had planned to so I should end this. My intention in posting this was not to take sides by any stretch of the imagination. Randy made some stupid mistakes...no question about it. Who here hasn't though? I know that if I put a paperclip into a cup everytime I made a stupid mistake, I'd be out looking for a 55 gallon drum right now. The contributions he has made, and they are significant, cannot be overlooked without doing a disservice to all.
  3. Well, the individual games can be a pain in the ass. My list of stuff is grossly outdated which means that anytime someone emails me looking for a game, I have to go physically check to see if I have it and it's difficult to find time to do that sometimes. Then you have the folks who email asking "Do you have a copy of Yar's Revenge" available? First of all, can't you find Yar's Revenge at just about any thrift store or flea market for a dime? Second, it's going to cost more to MAIL the cart than it's worth. One of these days I have to get out there and try to organize my stuff and re-catalog it. The thought of doing that, literally, makes me sick to my stomach. I did it once before a few years ago and anyone who lives within 100 miles of me may have heard a resounding "THIS SUCKS" off in the distance that day. That was me... :wink:
  4. Had we only been doing one or two games, we very well may have done color manuals, but doing four titles like that was VERY expensive and we simply did not have the cash to front for the expense of color manual printing. Sean Kelly
  5. A box for Chuckwagon could easily double it's price. Loose carts are relatively common as rare games go (comparing it to the likes of Eli's Ladder, Video Life, etc.) but the cart is very rarely accompanied by it's box. When a boxed version shows up for sale, all the "big spenders", who have had the cartridge for eons and probably need very few titles for their collection, come out and start throwing all kinds of money around since it's not very often something shows up that they need for their collection.
  6. I nearly pissed my pants reading this! Picturing Albert driving alone in his car talking to his laptop is just too much. Then some college girls drive up next to him with a lapel mic on his shirt and a picture of Larry Anderson in the Pac-Man costume on the laptop screen. Albert says: "Hey baby....wanna play some Pac Man? I have MAME with all the ROMs installed on this puppy - EVEN the sped-up version!"
  7. Well, I really don't have time for what could be a long debate on the subject, but regardless of what "employee number" he might have been, Al Alcorn has stated on several occassions that he started Atari with Nolan. In fact, John and I had dinner with him a few months back and while I don't have time to go through the notes of the conversation, I believe he stated the same at that time as well. Those of you who will be at CGE can ask him yourselves.
  8. While many of the celebrity guests at Classic Gaming Expo are repeat visitors, each year we get a few "first-timers". Check out some of the folks who will be attending CGE for the first time this year!! Al Alcorn What needs to be said about Mr. Alcorn that isn't already common knowledge among classic gaming enthusiasts. In case you didn't know, Al Alcorn started Atari with Nolan Bushnell and designed the first Pong machine (which he still owns by the way). Matthew Hubbard Among many others, Mr. Hubbard designed the highly sought-after Submarine Commander, Double Dunk, and Dolphin for the Atari 2600. Warren Robinett Mr. Robinett just recently confirmed he will be attending CGE 2002 and are we glad to have him! Not only did he design one of the most popular games ever made for the Atari 2600, Adventure, but he also was one of the very few who was successful at "sneaking" his name into the game someplace. The infamous "microscopic dot" in Adventure could very-well have been one of the first "easter eggs". Check out the CGE Celebrities Page for a complete listing of all the celebrity guests who will be in attendance this year. If you're planning on attending Classic Gaming Expo 2002, there are only FOUR DAYS left to pre-register and save yourself a few bucks. Pre-registration ends July 26th! Anyone wishing to attend who hasn't purchased their tickets by July 26th will have to pay for their passes at the door. Sean Kelly Classic Gaming Expo
  9. Actually, part of the problem is that I have never really messed much with the 7800 so I don't know alot about it. I do know enough about basic addressing that I thought I'd be able to get it working. It won't make it to CGE 2002, but we'll definitely work on it after the show.
  10. We'll be posting the details of the lottery system in the next few days on the Classic Gaming Expo webpage. Even so, there should be enough to go around. Sean Kelly Classic Gaming Expo
  11. Except for the fact that the manuals are printed in B&W.
  12. Yes, unfortunately it does. We had planned on doing 7800 Missing in Action as well, but we've had a hell of a time getting it to work on a circuit board other than the actual Atari proto board with the ribbon cable daughterboard. We will continue to work on the board design though.
  13. I know this topic has been discussed many times, but this time I'd like to have a serious discussion about having an Atari 2600 cartridge case made. As some of you may know, about three years ago, I actually DID make a replica of the Vectrex cartridge casing. I had a mold made and the EXACT copies (you cannot tell the difference between my cases and the originals made in 1982) are made for me in Taiwan. I would like to do the same for the Atari 2600/7800 now. Up until the past year or two, O'Shea was a reasonable option for buying Atari 2600 cartridge cases but, in my opinion, they have succeeded in pricing themselves out of the reasonable range now charging as much as $5 per cartridge. I think the time has come that a mold is made for replica Atari 2600 cartridge casings. The main advantage of having new cases made is the fact that they would not need to be cleaned. Anyone who has removed a quantity of labels from Atari cartridges (even the new O'Shea carts) knows it's the worst job in the world! A new casing, obviously, would not have a label on it and would be prefectly clean...just slap your label on it and you're good to go. I read a thread here recently about a company in Brazil that apparently has Atari cases available, but the problem with these is the fact that none of the circuit boards currently available are designed to fit into that Brazilian casing. The cases I'm considering doing would be exact replicas of an Atari-made case and would hold any 2600 or 7800 circuit board designed to fit into an Atari-made casing. One other not-so-important feature would be the idea that these cases could be done in any COLOR we desire. Like a translucent orange? Solid purple? Grey? Red? Whatever... Anyway, the reason I'm posting this here is to see what sort of interest there would be in cases such as these. The mold will cost $6000+ and between John Hardie and I, we're willing to cover most of that, but we cannot afford to foot the whole bill ourselves. We would need as many people as possible to pre-order (and pay for in advance) cases in order to be able to do this. The price on the cases will be between $1.50 and $2.00 apiece. If this is something you might be interested in, please let me know. I realize what some of you will say... "Why should I pay $1.50-$2.00 per casing when I can buy used carts for a quarter apiece and just clean them myself??" The main reason is time. Like I said, if you have ever removed labels before, you know where I'm coming from. Have you ever opened-up a 2600 cartridge to use for it's casing and found it loaded with dead roaches??? I have and it's not a pretty sight - believe me! Even the clean ones...half the time the label rips halfway through peeling it off and then you have to go back and try to get the rest of it with tweezers! We're in the middle of doing this for the CGE games right now and we can attest first hand - THIS SUCKS! I have done this before and I am SERIOUS about doing this again. If we can get a few people to support the effort and pitch-in a few bucks, by this time next year, a brand new Atari cartridge casing will be available to everyone. Sean Kelly
  14. Classic Gaming Expo New Products! The CGE New Products page has been updated to include pictures of many of the new games that will be released at the show this year. Visit the page at the link below and check out the boxes that these games will come packaged in. An interesting side-note... The artwork for both Pick Up and Save the Whales might look strangely familiar. There's a very good reason for that. The illustrations were drawn by the same person who did the artwork for Atari 2600 Miner 2049'er back in 1982! In fact, he also did the artwork for Springer and Miner II among others. We recently found him and hired him to do the artwork for Pick Up and Save the Whales. http://www.cgexpo.com/newprod.html Sean Kelly Classic Gaming Expo
  15. Snider-Man: LOL!! We had a pretty funny idea after the show last year. We could get a giant net and suspend all the games from the ceiling. The just drop them on the crowd. It would certainly make for some cool pictures.
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