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Everything posted by MAC-42

  1. I did. It showed nothing, but I know that their listing is not entirely complete--I've been to arcades that are not in their database. (They're usually newer or out of the way. Or both. Easily missed stuff.) No matter, we're back home now anyway.
  2. I take the family away for the weekend and I miss a lot, it seems! Fantastic, Mord! Thank you so much for putting this together and sharing it!
  3. Been on the east coast of the state with the family, so I've been a bit out of touch. (I'll have a look at your PM in a minute.) That's good news! It's nice to know that I'll be able to chop a step out of the workflow. Your very welcome and thanks again for the tremendous effort! I could, Walter, but I'd be really embarrassed to do so. It'd be like me walking into the Louvre and plopping my hastily-scribbled crayon drawings next to the Mona Lisa. It's not entirely ready to be displayed next to the work that Bob or Frankodragon or the other really talented people have done and are doing. I had planned on really working on it in the earlier days of the year, but as I say, I've had some issues pop up that have been taking time away from this. Besides, I seem to be hitting some serious bugs all of a sudden. It could have been me late at night when I should have been sleeping, or my youngest taking a poke at the keyboard when I wasn't looking. I'll dedicate more work to it and share it when it isn't flaking out...and when it is less horrific.
  4. Does anybody know of any arcades between Daytona Beach and Palm Bay, Florida?

  5. I'm heading out to Titusville this weekend with my wife and eldest to take her to KSC. Just wondered if there were any classic-type arcades in the area that anyone would recommend. We all enjoy both pinball and the classics of the arcade, and I thought it would be a good idea to have some extra plans up my sleeve in case the KSC visit is a rain-out. I tried searching but didn't come up with anything. I'd probably be willing to go as far north as the Daytona Beach area and as far south as the Melbourne area. Thanks for any advice!
  6. Yeah, my parents played with my video game stuff. Mom and Dad used to squabble over my Coleco tabletop Pac-Mac; they'd play Pac-Man and stuff on my 2600; they'd play Night Stalker on my Aquarius. Interestingly, they did all this after I went to bed. Rare was the day they'd play with me. Guess it was bad for their image as strict parents or something.
  7. I'm more than a little late in getting this posted; I picked this up some time ago but have had some minor health issues arise recently that have taken valuable time. Just wanted to share my thoughts on CPUWiz's MCP Devkit and let you know how valuable I find it as someone who plays at being a developer for the 7800. For people who really develop on the system, or who know better how to make the console sing than I do, please take this a recommendation that you give this kit serious consideration for a place in your development toolkit. When CPUWiz first announced this kit, I was extremely enthusiastic. In my free time, I'm slapping together a simple shooter game in 7800basic. (It spends most of its time being held together by chewing gum and bailing twine, but hey.) Circumstances prevented me from jumping at it when it first became available, but I got in touch with CPUWiz as soon as I could. We made the arrangements and by the end of the week, it was in my hot little hands. CPUWiz also gave me some helpful hints about some of its features that are very cool but are hidden under the GUI a little. It has been a fantastic tool, largely supplanting my need to test game revisions in emulation to see how they work. As good as emulation for the 7800 has gotten recently, especially in MESS, it's always nice to know that your code won't shatter into a million pieces as soon as you throw it at real hardware. Speaking of using real hardware, I've known how to modify my 7800 into a proper dev system for some time now. But it took me forever to get around to upgrading my 600XL to 64k and replacing its (socketed) ANTIC chip, for pity's sake! How was I going to find time to squeeze that in? Well, the beauty of CPUWiz's kit is that it allows little old me not to have to worry about performing surgery on a 7800 to use it as a development system. This kit provides a completely non-intrusive way to get yourself up and running. One very nicely made intermediary board sits between a PC's USB port and my Atari's right joystick port. You just install a little software on the PC, drop the provided cart into your 7800, and you're ready to work. Configuration involved installing a driver, which anyone can handle, and...to be honest, I don't think I had to do anything else. Ease of use is a big plus, no? You do need a PC environment for the software to work. As a Mac guy, this was a trivial concern for me; as I believe I said when this kit was announced, I'd be willing to crawl on my belly through broken glass to use Win95 if that's what it took to make this work. I do all my work on my Mac, dump the binary over to the PC, then operate the software in Windows using Remote Desktop. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd be a little surprised if this device didn't work using Windows in a VirtualBox session. Either way, I can live with a little Windows in my life if it lets me test my work out on real hardware. The long and short is this: If you're a developer for the 7800, I think you owe it to yourself to pick up the MCP Devkit. It's worth every penny. And it, along with 7800basic, has let little old me have way more power over the 7800 than I rightfully should. If you're a real life, honest-to-goodness actual developer, or you think you could be, I shudder in awe to think what you could do with a tool like this. I heartily recommend it, and I thank CPUWiz again for his efforts on this and all his projects.
  8. MAC-42

    Smoke Gun

    Bingo bingo! The bug is worked out. Yeah, I imagine that was a little tricky to nail down. Very specific circumstance that triggers it. Well done!
  9. MAC-42

    Smoke Gun

    This is a nice little game. I'm poor at it. Think I've got a bug for you. Twice now, I've died as I jump from the first screen to the second. I never come back to life, and can be shot repeatedly until the game ends. Here's a screenshot for you. (I'm not getting shot at this time; instead, the purple guy is just stomping all over my corpse. )
  10. Yeah, I remember this. I think this guy also has *INVESTMENT GRADE* Ms. Pac-Man carts, too, or did a while ago. Even my wife, the Level 58 Accountant and Finance Mage, found them laughable. And I didn't even have to explain about, ya know, common carts or anything.
  11. I...don't care for it myself. I don't have the visceral hatred of it that Mike and Carrington on No Quarter have, but I don't care for it. Kind of a good question, I guess, since Vanguard originally ran with the opening bars of the Star Trek: TMP theme and managed to get caught. You'd have thought that Lucas and Co. would have seen that.
  12. That'd be a surprise to me. I'm fairly sure batari is still hard at it, including developing some new hardware to augment its usefulness. No videos yet to my knowledge, though. Patience is a virtue, especially since no money has changed hands and there is no waiting list for one. It will come to pass eventually.
  13. This is the thing of it, really. It's not like you gave the 5200 36 hours and turned your nose up at it because, as the kids say, reasons. I'd say a couple of years is time enough to get a feel for whether or not the thing is for you. You definitely gave it a fair shot. I myself use my 600XL almost strictly as a computer, but I can't play Mr. Do! on my 5200. (I recommend that game for the 8-bit, by the way.) I'd say the biggest stuff you're missing out on are the Trak-Ball games, but that's only if you already have a Trak-Ball. (I play the daylights out of Missile Command + and Centipede, and would keep the 5200 for those games alone.) I think Keatah's advice is best. Just pack the 5200 up for a bit and emulate the 8-bit. See how it goes. Better that than to part with the 5200 only to decide a week or two later that you really did like it better. You lose out on nothing this way, and get to make a good, educated decision.
  14. "Plays on black and white or color TVs." There's a statement that'll date you when you're showing this off to your kids, eh? (He says, knowing this from personal experience. )
  15. MAC-42


    No. They're still being worked on. Now, move along before I set the dogs loose on you for daring to ask. (I keed, I keed.)
  16. Just bought the 7800 Pac-Man collection as an early birthday present for my middle daughter. ...And Scramble for me. :)

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Trebor


      Sweet. Happy Birthday to your daughter, MAC!

    3. DoctorTom


      Good collxn, real good.


    4. MAC-42


      Well thank you, Trebor!

      Yes, these should be fun indeed.

  17. I may be misinterpreting--Greg2600, please let me know--but I think this is his point. Nintendo flooded the zone with contractually-committed developers producing some pretty good-quality games for their system--and they produced some pretty fair games themselves--and it smothered the 7800 for the most part. You're both right, though, about the 7800 as a modern homebrew environment. Both in software and in hardware, whether you're talking about the XM or CPUWiz's VersaBoard or whatever else, the 7800 has for the longest time sat fallow and is now seen as a virgin frontier for some really talented people. Even if only a few are able to appreciate it, it's nice that the system is being treated as a serious system that can be developed and exploited now. I'm glad the old thing got a second chance. (And see? All that without being bitter about Nintendo. Heck, I even gave a NES and a stack of games to my brother- and sister-in-law for Christmas. It's a nice system. I just didn't want it fouling up my Ataris' air. )
  18. Sorry, I couldn't help vomiting all those emoticons out. I've tried playing Asteroids with that CX78 and find it positively ghastly! I can use it for Mario Bros. or Galaga or Scrapyard Dog sometimes...games that are (mostly) bidirectional, I guess, but just don't get as good a result on other sorts of games. How do you get a handle on the thing while playing Asteroids?
  19. Thanks again to both of you for your efforts!
  20. That may well be the case, but there are costs that we on the outside of the fishbowl are not accounting for--that, frankly, I didn't even think of--that Al laid out above. Of course, the higher the price, the fewer people will be willing to pony up. But if it's not worth it for Al to do it, then we don't get this rather nice convenience at all. And we're all back to square one. If the ROM image prices are going to be lower than the cart prices, then there's another way to look at this. In a way, if you have a Harmony cart, you could be said to be "bringing your own cart" to the party anyway; you could look at that situation as though you're getting a discount of sorts for just buying the ROM image. Or, you could spend more money and buy the full cart and manual. As a potential buyer who would appreciate the convenience of ROM-only purchases, I don't see a disadvantage here. I can understand resistance to higher price points, of course. I'm looking forward to the option, though.
  21. I tend to agree with Al on this. As iesposta mentioned above, I bought D2K for $10 and don't regret it a bit. Worth every penny. I'd do it again with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. As much as I would like to, I don't buy 2600 games, either older or modern, because I simply don't have the space for them. (I buy 7800 games because the library is much smaller and more manageable.) I have a number of ROMs of newer, completed 2600 games that I have never paid for, either because they came with my Harmony cart or because the folks who made them offered the ROM images freely on AtariAge. I'm mindful of the fact that they put a lot into these games--all the more so now that I've started monkeying around on the 7800 with a game of sorts of my own!--and that I'm benefitting from their generosity in the process. I'd love to see a way to make sure that people get something for their efforts, and I'm not at all against splashing out $5 or even $10 for the effort put into high-quality, entertaining and original games that I can then just slap onto my Harmony cart. I don't think that's unreasonable at all.
  22. Great write-ups. Thanks for posting these. Always nice to see others enjoying the 7800. If you plug a second controller into the 7800, you'll have Robotron at its best. The controller in the right port will allow you to shoot in different directions. I missed this detail when I was younger, so I really missed out on the real fun of this port until I was an adult.
  23. I wouldn't let it bother you too much, Bob. Paradoxically, not having those extra speech parts occasionally wakes me up to the fact that this is a port on the 7800 and I'm holding a ProLine in my hand rather than working my MAME controls on the arcade version. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. Nevertheless, it does show me just how good the work on this game was and just how authentic a reproduction it is. Big to Schmutzpuppe for that amazing voice work! I still get giggly when I hear it.
  24. I'm pretty sure that the first home computer I ever laid eyes on was the one I got for Christmas in 1983. It was the Mattel Aquarius. Now, I didn't know a computer from a hole in the wall--I was 5 years old, and my grandparents bought it for me. Neither of us knew that the Aquarius had already been discontinued by that point. All I knew was that, in addition to the 2600 my parents bought me for my birthday six months before, I now had a computer. It never could do much, but I did learn some of the most basic aspects of BASIC. (That was all you could learn, as Mattel Electronics didn't include the full MS BASIC in ROM, holding it back for purchase as a separate cartridge.) I also had fun with the primitive version of Night Stalker and the kinda neatish conversions of Snafu and Utopia. My parents bought me a subscription to 3-2-1 Contact magazine and I would try to adapt the BASIC type-ins to work on my Aquarius. It was often merely an exercise in frustration. It was through these magazines, though, that I became aware of the Atari computers. And a local department store used to carry XLs around this time. I knew Atari, of course, via my 2600. "Do you mean to tell me," I asked myself, "they also make computers? Wow!" I tried from then on to persuade my parents to pick me up an Atari 8-bit, right the way on through the XEGS. Never happened, of course. I took care of the XEGS and 600XL over the course of the last year and some more. The 600XL and the Aquarius sit together on my desk now. (The Aquarius is a replacement. Lost the original in a move after 6 or 7 years together.)
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