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jaybird3rd last won the day on April 29

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  1. I'm not a fan, either; in fact, I earlier asked everyone to avoid the temptation to do that. As I've said before, AtariAge is not the place to relitigate feuds and drama from other venues, but anyone who wants to come here in good faith to have a reasonable discussion is free to do so ... as long as they can keep it respectful, on-topic, and in agreement with our community guidelines.
  2. That looks like the Atari 8-bit computer (400/800) version. The 5200 has a lot in common with the 8-bit computers, but its cartridges are totally different.
  3. It's pretty trippy. Their Pole Position and Centipede commercials were bizarre too, as I recall. I love the original game artwork for the same reason, including everything from the paintings on the boxes to the stories in the manuals. Atari's artwork in particular was criticized for being much more elaborate than the actual games, but as Tim Lapetino's "Art of Atari" documents, those criticisms missed the point. The artwork was a catalyst for the players' imaginations, giving them visuals and environments that they could superimpose onto the (relatively primitive) games as they played, just as the games themselves were catalysts for fun interactions between parents and children. To me, that special combination of ingredients was what made the classic video games so immersive and so memorable, something that I hope the Amico can recapture for today's families.
  4. Yes. I still remember when Atari "died" as an independent company, when the "reverse merger" with JTS happened in the summer of 1996. It's been a long and sad decline ever since, with Atari's ashes being passed around from owner to owner, each one more desperate to squeeze some residual value out of them than the last. (The only bright spot along the way, in my opinion, was the Hasbro Interactive era. They had their hits and misses with their Atari-branded retro remakes, but the best of them were really good games that I still enjoy playing today. They actually managed to add something positive to the Atari legacy, which is certainly more than I can say for the current owners.) I think the "Atari spirit" is to be found today in communities like AtariAge, particularly among the hardware engineers and homebrew programmers, who still practice that special mix of creativity and technical prowess that Atari—and Mattel Electronics!—had in their prime. I wasn't one who grew up with the Intellivision, but I quickly fell in love with it after seeing the first version of "Intellivision Lives!" on CD-ROM, probably in 1998/1999. What struck me immediately was that, unlike Atari, the Intellivision had never really gone away and had always remained close to the people who originally made it great, and I was very impressed by that. Keith Robinson was truly a visionary, and he was looking beyond hardcore gamers at least as far back as the Intellivision Productions 10-in-1 and 25-in-1 handheld TV games in the mid-2000s. They sold millions of those handhelds, and won awards and endorsements along the way from the likes of Parents Magazine and Grandparents Magazine ... the very same market that the Amico is pursuing now.
  5. ... and if someone actually does a Joust movie adaptation, I just hope it has a scene like this ...
  6. ... and I think we're all getting sick of pushy, rude collectors who demand that independent/homebrew publishers conform to their personal preferences, even though they evidently understand nothing of the economics of production or distribution. We could use a lot less of that.
  7. I just removed a bunch of posts related to the XE keyboard, and the keyboard upgrade offered by Best Electronics, because they have nothing to do with the topic of this thread. There is already a thread devoted to that upgrade, but because it has been inactive for a while, I decided to move the keyboard-related posts from this thread into that one. If you wish to continue discussing the keyboard upgrade, please do so in the other thread. Thanks!
  8. That's my impression as well. A few coworkers got Zune players when they were new, and from my limited experience with them, they did indeed seem to be perfectly good media players. Viewed in retrospect, it's easy to forget that a lot of these "failures" were in fact good products that were simply the victims of bad timing. Another example that comes to mind (from Intellivision's own history) is the Aquarius Home Computer System. In retrospect, it seems like a hopelessly misguided decision for Mattel to even try to get into that market, but as Mattel alumnus "catsfolly" helpfully explained a few years ago, the Aquarius made perfect sense on paper at the time. The late release date was what ultimately killed it; by the time it came out, the market had moved on and the intended price point had disappeared.
  9. But you see, that's the worldview of people who confuse cynicism with realism. According to them, to be "realistic" or to "speak the truth" is to expect the worst and to approach every endeavor with an attitude of cynical, scornful skepticism, whether it's warranted or not. If you're willing to step outside of your preconceived notions, and to appreciate the potential of something new and different—while doing your due diligence along the way, of course—you're "unrealistic," or "unsophisticated," or "naïve," or a "pushover," or "blind," or "in denial," or whatever. I can't imagine going through life with such a sour attitude, and I have a hard time respecting people who do, because those are the people who only know how to attack anything that doesn't fit into their comfortably accepted status quo, when they're not sitting on the sidelines and sulking. To paraphrase Crawford, the future belongs to the doers, not to the idle talkers. I agree. I realize that I didn't exactly help with my previous post, but as I've said before, I would much prefer to remain focused on the positive. I think it is useful to note their attitude from time to time, if only to contrast their mindset of failure with our successes. But as you said earlier, these people are "smallminded manchildren" who are beyond being persuaded or reasoned with (Lord knows we've tried!), and we don't need more of their negativity.
  10. Congratulations to Tommy and to Intellivision Entertainment for making such an excellent and exciting addition to the Amico team! Looking over the various videos about this latest development, and reading through the comments, I've noticed a recurring theme. I've addressed it here before, but I feel as if it bears repeating now. (Now, before anybody starts whining ... I've already stated that we shouldn't use these forums to "call out" specific individuals, or to post their external comments for the purpose of ridiculing them, but the following is a composite of several commenters' arguments, so nobody is being individually "targeted" or "attacked" here.) The argument goes something like this: "It's ridiculous to attack any and all critics of the Amico as 'haters.' I don't want the Amico to fail; I just don't think it can succeed. I've seen the games, and I'm just not impressed by them, and I don't see why anyone would want to buy a $249 console to play them, no matter who you add to the team. How is that being a 'hater'?" Well, if that's your genuine opinion, that's fine**, but realize that you're making a statement about yourself, not about the Amico. In other words, if you still can't understand the potential appeal of the Amico as a product, even with the team behind it and the attention building around it, you should at least consider the possibility that it may be because of a failure of imagination on your part, not because the product itself lacks merit, and that this may be a time to step outside your bubble and expand your horizons a bit. The most sensible thing to do at this point is to sit back and be quiet and let the marketplace decide whether it succeeds or not ... and if you're not content to do that, maybe you really do "want the Amico to fail" after all, and if that isn't being a "hater," what is? Something to think about, preferably before you fire off yet another tiresome batch of bellicose YouTube comments. I've said before that these "critics" remind me of the critics of Purple Moon, the company that Brenda Laurel founded in the 1990s to produce entertainment software for girls. She too came under attack from hardcore gamers and others in the gaming industry who had a vested interest in the status quo and felt threatened by her work, and I think Chris Crawford's remarks about them apply equally well to these "critics" of the Amico: Simply replace "Brenda Laurel", "girls", and "Purple Moon" with "Tommy Tallarico", "families", and "Intellivision Entertainment", respectively. I think the observation fits perfectly. ** (Just do the whole world an enormous favor and please don't beat other people over the head with your opinions, or claim that they're "not critical thinkers" or that they're "cheerleaders" or "Kool-Aid drinking cultists" who are "blind to reality" just because they happen to disagree with you.)
  11. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but the controls never really bothered me. When I played my first home version of Q*Bert—almost certainly the Atari 800 version—I don't know if I was even aware at the time that it was originally an arcade game, but I quickly figured out that the controls were rotated 45°, and that's just the way I learned to play it. I still configure the joystick the same way when I play arcade Q*Bert in MAME and elsewhere. Speaking of Q*Bert ... while I'm digging up 2.5D/3D classic game remake videos, here's a sample of the Q*Bert remake that Hasbro released in 1999/2000. Warren Davis—the creator of Q*Bert—has said that he would have designed this version differently, but I can't help but wonder if an Amico version might be something like this, only in HD. (This is footage from the PlayStation version, but the PC version that I played was mostly the same.)
  12. The closest that I know of would probably have been "Dig Dug Deeper" from the early 2000s:
  13. I posted a mini-tutorial on the CAQ2WAV tool in my 32K RAM Modules thread. See here. (This is one of the tutorials I'll be updating and posting to my Aquarius website, when it's finally ready.)
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