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jaybird3rd last won the day on April 29 2020

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  1. I had almost no fashion sense as a kid—and, frankly, as an adult too—so I never paid close attention to what other people were wearing. My general impression is that the kids who were around me looked more like the "Mr. Wizard" kids than anything else, but beyond that, it's hard for me to remember specifics. I had a bowl cut in those years, but it wasn't any kind of fashion statement: I was one of five children, and Mom had to cut everyone's hair, so she opted for the quickest, simplest cut possible for everybody. I also wore parachute pants, but that was probably because we got them super-cheap on clearance after the fad had already come and gone; I would have been blissfully unaware that they weren't considered "fashionable" anymore. Most of my clothes and shoes came from sacks of old hand-me-downs, and my younger brothers "inherited" them after I was done with them, and quite a few of my peers were in the same boat. That's why I know it's a mistake to assume that everyone in those years was always walking around with the loudest cutting-edge fashions. Not everyone could afford the luxury, and even if my family could, I know for certain that I would not have been interested in the least. I was much more interested in computers and technology—especially the Atari machines, to bring this back around on topic—and in retrospect, I don't think I was mistaken.
  2. Here's the thing, though ... I grew up in the 80s, too, and the average person did not look like that. The mental image of the 80s that a lot of people seem to have—particularly those who weren't even born at the time, including (I suspect) the models in those pictures—is a neon, glittered, acid-washed, frizzy-haired nightmare, like a Juicy Fruit commercial turned up to 11. It's the same mistake that movies often make: if it's supposed to be set in the 80s, the cars and the décor and the fashions should not all be the most exaggerated examples from the 80s, because at the time, there would also have been a mix of the 70s and 60s as well. If you want to know what a typical 80s kid actually looked like, just look at the kids on "Mr. Wizard's World": relatively conservatively dressed, not all that different from a lot of kids today.
  3. (You can now edit this post, as requested.)
  4. I joined eBay on 2/27/2000, so it's been almost exactly 21 years for me. Wow.
  5. Thank you! And congratulations on getting your Aquarius!
  6. Correct. The Aquarius Printer and Data Recorder shown with the ECS in promotional literature had Intellivision nameplates, but they were never released with them, as documented here.
  7. I absolutely agree. I've talked about this before, but I loved that Atari 2600 games were often accompanied by stories in the manuals, and also by vividly detailed artwork on the cartridges and covers. These were all enormously helpful for priming my imagination, giving me a dramatic context and visuals that I could superimpose onto the games while I played. This was a tremendously immersive experience because it engaged me on different levels: there was what was happening (and what I was causing to happen) on the screen, and there was also the story that I was actively building and unfolding in my own imagination, and each had the effect of amplifying the other. Many of the games were also abstract enough that if you wanted to, you could apply any number of different stories to them, so they didn't get "stale" nearly as quickly. Modern games, by contrast, try to pack a complete story—complete with cinematic audiovisuals—into the games themselves, and for me, this often has the effect of crowding out the gameplay. Because they attempt to be complete cinematic experiences, you're intended to enjoy them much more passively than the classic games, which is not as interesting to me. Granted, they are games, so there obviously has to be some interactivity there, but as impressive as they are as technical achievements, a lot of the modern games seem to be very much the same when it comes to their gameplay mechanics; lots of "Call of Duty shootie shootie" over and over again. They also demand a much larger time investment than I can spare, whereas many of the classic games were designed for the arcade, and thus had to hook the player and provide a fun experience in a much shorter amount of time. I've been reading a book recently about parsing algorithms. The author illustrated the cover with his own ASCII art, featuring a knight riding a dragon. In the book, he described character art in this way: I like this quote very much, especially now that I program games, because it's an elegant expression of programming as an art form—particularly for classic systems which have a limited memory capacity and instruction set, and graphics that are limited to a low resolution and a limited palette of colors. If art thrives on restrictions and limitations, as a number of people have observed, then the limitations of these classic systems needn't prevent anyone from creating an immersive experience. On the contrary, I find those limitations to be creatively engaging: they present a set of well-defined constraints to the programmer/designer, and the challenge is to find a way to create something immersive and fun within those constraints.
  8. No problem! I moved your posts to the other thread, along with a few replies.
  9. I've just granted edit permissions, so you should now be able to revise your post. Sorry to keep you waiting!
  10. Great to see you here! That's a gorgeous printer: small, quiet, and fun to demonstrate for people who have never seen a pen plotter in action before. It uses an Alps plotter mechanism which was shared by other home computer printers of the time, such as the Atari 1020. As much as I love the 1020, though, I think the Aquarius version of this printer has the better design; it's a very nice cosmetic match for the system. Besides the problem of finding (fresh) replacement pens, the biggest issue with these printers nowadays is that the plastic pinion gears on the stepper motors have cracked from age. One of our members is currently offering replacement gears made of brass, which should be a permanent solution to this problem.
  11. I've removed a few posts which diverted the discussion here into a different issue entirely, but I'll take the occasion to say this. Normal, fulfilled, well-adjusted people do not waste months of their lives repeatedly looking for "creative" ways to be duplicitous and sneaky, going out of their way to post supportive comments here on the forums while taking the opposite side and engaging in trolling behavior elsewhere under a different identity. If anyone here is so butthurt beyond belief over the Amico—or over any of the people behind it—that you still feel compelled to behave so immaturely, then for your own sake you must stop it, and seriously reconsider what you are doing and why you are doing it. The same goes for the handful of miserable individuals who are still shadowing the Amico threads here—not to participate in the discussion like intelligent and civilized people, but for the purpose of taking screenshots and posting them to anti-Amico and anti-AtariAge hate blogs, annotated with the kinds of derisive, insulting, and bigoted remarks that they know we would never tolerate here. I'm not posting any links, but those of you who are doing it know damn well who you are and what I'm referring to ... and you can be sure that we are perfectly aware of who you are, too. You can tell yourselves all you want that it's "parody" or "satire" or "done for entertainment purposes only," or that in doing it, you're being some kind of "hero" or just having innocent fun. In fact, it's petty, vindictive, corrosive, and hateful behavior which can accomplish nothing positive for anyone—and is perhaps most damaging to yourselves. It's long since gotten way out of hand and it needs to stop soon, before we have to take steps to stop it.
  12. The discussion here has recently branched out to a discussion of emulation on the VCS. This is an interesting topic, and the discussions have been positive and informative, but it would be better served (and easier for others to discover) in a dedicated thread. Anyone looking for these posts will find them in this new discussion thread, and any further posts on the subject should be made there. Thanks!
  13. This particular discussion has to include the Intellivision II. I like the Intellivision II design, though I know it has its critics, but I do wish that the power/reset button had been different. It used a dome switch internally, which offered little to no feedback, and it combined power and reset into a single switch: momentary contact reset the console, and pressing and holding for three seconds turned it off. I would have much preferred separate switches, as in the original Intellivision.
  14. In response to ongoing bad behavior by a few individuals, Albert recently posted the following warning in the Atari VCS subforum: This warning applies equally to all threads here in the Amico subforum. There is nothing wrong with objectively and dispassionately stating a critical opinion, but those who are tempted to come here only to heap negativity and ridicule on a console that they have never used and claim to have no interest in buying, or to mock its backers or supporters, need to find something better to do to amuse themselves. Anyone who engages in trolling in any of the threads in this subforum—and that includes everything ranging from outright ridicule to mocking memes to snide, subtle little digs—will be immediately banned from the thread(s) in question without further warning. If such trolling continues, said user will be banned from the Amico subforum, or potentially from the entire forum.
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