44 next month. And interesting stories to share: My father gave me the INTV I when I was 9, it was one of the most surprisingly things he has ever done to me. He and I don't know till today why he made it. He just can't remember and as he was ( and is) such a penny pincher That I think he was abducted by a superior race or something like that. Interesting that I was the only boy in a giant radius with that console as it was more expansive that the VCS and my neighborhood that time was not very pretty , a decadent one indeed. So I got cartidges only on my birthdays or Christmas and to not go crazy I had to rent but nearest rental shop was 9 miles away and There is only 2 lines (bus) that make that route (even today, what a lack of development !). One line pass from hour to hour and the other one each 20 to 30 min. I can still fell the smell of the shop even today, it was a mixture of lavender with new plastic. The shop was divided in 3 sections, one for VCS 2600 , one for Intellevision and one for Odissey and I still remember the way the labels were organized , the carts were behind the counter and you have to choose the label and give to the attendant which picked the cart, inserted into the console, tested and gave back to you. A lot of games were just cart and manual (no box and no overlay). This journey took a round trip of at least 2 hours and a some courage to make it. Boy, what you do when you have 9 ! Generally I was carrying a school bag with an English dictionary inside it , because a lot of carts were smuggled and with English instructions so I took that return time to read the manual, as I was learning English with private classes that helped me improve my skills.
The rental shops started to broke by 1985 and and I started to gather money by all possible means (selling remnant of wires of a popular one, pass under the bus roulette was another) and when we finally move from that neighborhood at 86 I had kind of 25 carts. Continue to buy because there was a medium network called fotomania that still had some inventory till the 90's and I bought some of their carts and I think I got near 40. After we move my console broke and I didn't find anybody to repair, so I became from 86 to 94 without play a single game, but still hold my carts because I had some hopes. In 89 I went to a tech school and learned electronics earning a tech degree but I never got the console working because I couldn't find the schematics. In 94 the internet finally appeared in the country and one of the first things I remember to find was some intellivision sites. I bought a working console at that time I think I paid 30 dollars (if I knew how it would cost today!) from US but it was NTSC and It played back and white so I have to wait another way to change my TV console and play again but that time I was already working and didn't play so much. Some time later I broke up badly with my parents, went to live alone and married. When I get in peace some years later , one the first things that I asked was for my console and my young sister said she throw everything away because that was garbage old stuff , I felt very bad and didn't know if she told the truth or if she sold my collection or gave to my other brother but I lost and started everything again and today I had 18 carts, I guess, but I finally will put my hands at the LTO flash and I think I will have great times again. I think I remains with this console because of all happiness that came back to my mind when I'm playing.
I can't say that I became electronics tech ,and computer engineer after, just because of the console but it had a huge influence on those paths, Till today I have the good habit of read all the manuals , datasheet and so, without any problem, hate or impatience, in fact I hate to power anything that does not have a manual, it helped me persisted on my goals to learn english (I even was awarded a plate when I was 9 for outstanding performance) and it still pushes me up to learn microcontrollers (MCU's). The CP1600 is an outstanding piece of hardware , ahead of its time, it's a GI(general instrument) product which became Microchip which is one of the biggest MCU's companies in the world and it holds a core very similar to the PIC family that is one of most popular microcontroller lines of all times and still a top selling product. Well, that's a good partner for all this journey, how one can't love it after all this ? Cheers..