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Status Updates posted by jaybird3rd

  1. John Adams on Independence Day, 1776: "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival ... it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

  2. "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was released in the US fifty years ago today, on June 30, 1971 (after premiering on 6/28).

    1. Random Terrain

      Random Terrain

      I saw it in the theater when it was new. A lady that babysat a bunch of kids (including me) took us all to see it.

  3. Project idea of the moment: wire an NES Power Pad (or a dance mat) to the Atari 5200 for Decathlon or Track 'n' Field.

  4. Today is Curt Vendel's birthday. Please consider donating: https://www.gofundme.com/f/24lkoij26o

    1. SlidellMan


      His death was shocking to me.

    2. Charlie Cat

      Charlie Cat

      God rest his soul. Thank you for all you done for the community Curt. 

  5. Yet another tornado has struck.  We lost several trees and power lines are obliterated.  It will likely be a few days (at least) before power is restored.

    1. Show previous comments  15 more
    2. schuwalker


      X, your post about taking refuge under a overpass reminded me about this video. I lived about 40 minutes east of where this was shot. This was a EF4. This basically leveled a town called Fairdale along Rt. 72



    3. x=usr(1536)


      @schuwalker: I hit the 'like' button on that is that we don't have one for, "watching that really does send more than a couple of chills down my spine."


      Great footage, though.  And an excellent lesson in why nature will quite literally eat you alive.

    4. jaybird3rd


      Well, we finally got our power restored yesterday afternoon, about five days after the tornado!  Our power meter was ripped down and damaged by a falling tree, so having to replace that was one reason for the delay.  Most of our neighbors got theirs restored a day or two earlier, which is good.  Now, to clean up all these toppled trees!

  6. Just sent my new Activision 5200 cartridge board off for prototyping (open this if you want to see it)!  Feels good to finally be working on hardware again.



    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. jaybird3rd


      ^ Thanks!  Removing the logo won't be a problem (and once the board is assembled, it would be hidden under the EPROM anyway).

    3. CPUWIZ


      Another note:  Ground the floating 7408 inputs, to be safe.

    4. jaybird3rd


      Thanks again!  That will be an easy change.

  7. I'm currently doing layout on a new 5200 cartridge board, my first.  The 5200 cartridge port pinout is ... interesting.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. CPUWIZ


      Let me know if you want any help.  I made a couple, including a bankswitched one. :)

    3. jaybird3rd


      ^ Thanks!  I think I've got it figured out; this is going to be a replacement 32K board for Activision shells, which are smaller and have the components on the opposite side from Atari's boards, so it's mostly a matter of untangling the traces in a very small space.

    4. jaybird3rd


      The new board is done and off for prototyping!  See here.

  8. Getting ready for another tornado ...

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. frankodragon


      I checked the convective outlook and it's not good.  A high risk for Alabama and Mississippi. It's like 2011 all over again. 

    3. x=usr(1536)


      @Bixler: neither had I until we moved here 5 years ago.  I have no shame in admitting that this was a type of weather I had never lived with, and was about two steps away from wetting myself over it when we got our first alert.  Thankfully, I got through it without any embarrassing damp trouser stains.


      By the time we got to our second alert, I was bored 20 minutes into it.  My wife and I plus our two cats were crammed into the tiny bathroom in the middle of the house, but having ridden one out previously I now understood how my wife (who grew up with tornadoes as a fact of life) got through it in a more or less blasé manner.


      That's not to say that it's a fun thing, but it's going to be what it's going to be and you're just going to have to see how things shake out.  Be prepared in advance for power, gas, and water failures, and have food, water, blankets, and medications to hand.

    4. jaybird3rd


      Well, the storm turned out (in my area at least) to be relatively mild, thankfully.  We've had a few bad tornadoes at this time of year—including an especially destructive one in 2018—so we're always extra cautious.

  9. The original "Star Wars" radio adaptation premiered on NPR forty years ago today, on March 9th, 1981.

    1. jaybird3rd


      For anyone who hasn't heard it, I'd highly recommend it: It is an intelligent adaptation of the original story by novelist Brian Daley, and features great performances by a top-notch cast.

  10. From the Intel MCS-51 manual (1981): "Program memory, like an elephant, is extremely large and never forgets information.  [...]  Data memory is like a mouse: it is smaller and therefore quicker than program memory, and it goes into a random state when electrical power is applied."

  11. The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 35 years ago today. I was one of the kids watching it live on TV. I was nine years old.

    1. Show previous comments  15 more
    2. doctorclu


      I was in the 7th grade I want to think when Challenger happened.   The "end of an era" comment above by MrMaddog reminded me of something interesting I found in the Astro City comic book series.   There were two timelines and the point that things split was the destruction, or saving, of the Challenger.   The comic series followed the slightly brighter, and more tech advanced world where the Challenger was saved.

    3. zylon


      I was in 2nd grade, but had the day off because my grand-uncle Joe took me to see it there. I still have the 35mm film he shot of it, just holding in the button. It looks like a flip-book.

    4. CPUWIZ


      I was six months in, working on my first game, but I do remember watching this in Germany.  Doubtful is was live over the pond.

  12. It's the night an assignment is due, so of course, I'm getting pelted with questions from students who are just starting it.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. frankodragon


      The "dog ate my homework" excuse won't be effective nowadays.  

    3. cybercylon


      Today's version of the "dog ate my homework" is "ransom ware ate my homework".

    4. wongojack


      LOL - That excuse works about as well as "the dog ate it" did

  13. Happy Birthday, @Bryan!  Thank you again for Castle Crisis, and for the UAV!

    1. CPUWIZ


      Ditto.  Bryan hasn't been here since April. :(

  14. Random thought: Watching an old MST3K, it occurs to me that much of the humor that made it great wouldn't work anymore.

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. GoldLeader


      That's a good point!  Although us oldsters still remember when more things were universal (and there was less stuff to start with).  It's harder to make certain references these days because a reference to, say, a series will depend upon if people have seen it.  But if it's a person (like a SNL impersonation of a political figure) or a movie reference, there'll still be wide recognition. 

    3. OldSchoolRetroGamer


      Fortunately I am old enough to get all those references but for sure I can see a lot of younger generation scratchy their heads at a lot of the jokes that referenced pop culture of the time. Sadly the updated MST3k while more modern with the references just lack the quality of humor and writing inho. Of course I still watch a lot of the original casts Rifftrax currently being produced which seems the perfect balance of quality hilarious writing and more modern references though being older there are still some odd ancient references thrown around but they DO tend to acknowledge that such references may not be understood today as they tend to laugh at themselves and pointing out how dated they are.  

    4. GoldLeader


      I wonder what Mikey will think of this Status Update?

      He won't like it.  He hates Everything!

      He likes it!  Hey Mikey!

  15. My local theater played "The Dark Crystal" this afternoon, and I couldn't resist.  I think it holds up very well, and it was so refreshing to see costumes and creatures and set pieces that were *not* CGI.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. joeatari1
    3. GoldLeader




      It would be cool to see in the theater for sure!


      Dark Crystal, along with Labyrinth are 2 movies I have on VHS, DVD, and UMD on PSP!

    4. doctorclu


      In the last few years I have seen anniversary showings of movies and Labyrinth was one of them.

  16. Happy Birthday, Albert!

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Albert


      Thank you Jay and everyone else!  :)

    3. SlidellMan
    4. mickmuze


      Happy Birthday!!

  17. Have you ever found yourself referring to something that happened "a couple of years ago," only to discover later that it was actually 20+ years ago?  Seems to be happening to me more frequently.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. MrMaddog


      Can't believe the 2000's is already retro, even the 2010's now...

    3. frankodragon


      It's hard to believe everyone was using simple english twenty years ago online.  Now everyone's using acronyms emoticons/emojis. 

    4. ls650
  18. There seems to be a law that everyone on YouTube is required to do a Mario Kart livestream. What about Atari Karts?!

    1. joeatari1


      I'd watch that JB3.  I don't have a You Tube channel so I won't be contributing though.  Let us know the day and time.

    2. GoldLeader


      Not really relevant perhaps,  but a week or so ago,  I found a tiny little torn piece of the manual to my actual go cart I grew up with when I was a teenager (It's dead now)...Then I dug under a stack of papers and found the rest of the manual!  My parents surprised the hell outa me that Christmas!  They'd already said no on the Go Cart and I was sure we couldn't afford it...But Christmas morning there it was!  It was from the Sears Catalog I think.  light blue, bench seat, scrub brakes, and a 5 HP engine that my brother made go faster with one tug on the throttle cable with pair of needlenose pliers!  Good Times!

  19. I hate to say it, but a sizable percentage of college students seem to be functionally illiterate.  If you provide written instructions on how to do something, they often cannot follow them.  However, if you explain it verbally to them, even using the exact same words as in your instructions, somehow that makes more sense to them.

    1. Show previous comments  13 more
    2. x=usr(1536)


      @frankodragon: I once received a resume from someone who claimed to have experience with token ring.  Note that this was in 2018, and in response to an entry-level IT support position.


      After a quick phone interview, it was pretty clear that this person was a) born after Token Ring as a network protocol ceased to be widely-found in the wild, and b) probably overselling his capabilities eight ways from Sunday.  Six or seven solid candidates were already lined up, so I decided to bring him in just to find out where and why he had decided to put 'token ring' on his resume.


      As it turned out, what he was referring to was a two-factor authentication token his mom had been issued by her employer.  It was RFID-based, and in the shape of a ring that could be worn on a finger.  Hence, token ring.


      Points to him for discovering the term 'Token Ring', but minus several thousand for bullshitting poorly.

    3. cybercylon


      Then you have the problem of either mom or dad calling the dean if you don't give an extension, hold their hands, etc. I tried teaching in higher ed many years ago and decided it wasn't for me. Unfortunately, education has become customer service, and that adds to the issues.

    4. GoldLeader


      My first thoughts (before I even read the above comments).  Learning is different for different people.  Verbal instructions are more immediate.  Have ya ever been playing a video game and your friend tells you something about it, because you're doing it wrong?  And you're thinking,  Oh,  That makes sense...Could swear I even read the manual on this one!   (Not disagreeing with most above points,  just a bit of Devil's Advocacy)...


      And (Conversely perhaps),   I'll bet if you Texted the instructions to them, then they could follow it!   For some reason Millennials, etc. will always pay attention in short bursts,  if their phone makes a noise. 

  20. Just got a Sears Super Video Arcade II (rebadged Atari 2800). Very nice machine! Cleanly laid out inside, and every chip is socketed.

    1. masschamber


      plus it has all those sweet leds.

    2. GoldLeader


      I almost forgot I have one of those too!  Mine has an S-Vid/AV mod, and TBH I'm rather glad you reminded me because my 2600 is having sound issues and my TV doesn't want to accept the AV in from the 7800 (only S Video, which has some color bleed for 2600 games), ummm Nevermind...Anyway Congrats!!

    3. jaybird3rd


      ^ I'll install a UAV upgrade in mine once I have the time to do it.  I had to open it up anyway because the console buttons and cartridge slot needed some cleaning.

  21. In a world gone crazy, it's so calming to revisit a rational conversation between three giants of science:


    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. IntelliMission


      The guy was talking about that but I was just thinking about how cool would have been for me as an 8 year old child to have THAT computer. I wonder if that was a PC and which games could it play. Anyone has any idea of what model that computer could be?

    3. jaybird3rd


      ^ I did some digging and looked more closely at my DVD copy, and the computer appears to be an Amiga 2000.  Clarke seems to confirm this, and even mentioned the software he was using, in one of his books: MandFXP from Cygnus Software.

    4. jaybird3rd


      Wow, I just realized that a descendant of that software, Fractal eXtreme, is still available from the same company!



  22. Some fool is setting off fireworks at almost 11:00PM.  I'm happy to put up with that on the 4th, but why on this random day and why at this hour???

    1. fdr4prez


      There are plenty of historical events to celebrate for today:



      maybe they are celebrating the first perfect 10 score by Nadia Comaneci


      or maybe Vin Diesel is having his b-day party near by



    2. Cobra Kai

      Cobra Kai

      Always have lingering fireworks because the fireworks stores always do huge clearance sales after the 4th. It'll probably be worse than usual because people still don't have much else to do.

  23. Woohoo!  We've reached 300K topics and over 4.5M total posts!

  24. "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."  — John Adams, 1776

    1. _The Doctor__

      _The Doctor__

      “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

      On July 2, 1776 the resolution was approved by 12 of the 13 colonies, with New York delegates abstaining. Be it noted however, one week later the New York Provincial Congress offered its support for independence, effectively making it unanimous!

    2. _The Doctor__

      _The Doctor__

      Here here! I'm all for not only celebrating the resolution, declaration, but also the signing of the document itself!

      On the 4th we are actually celebrating not just independence but the Declaration of Independence.

      Where my family lives we celebrate July 4 and then we celebrate 'Heritage Day', the day the Declaration was brought here and was signed. Would be so great to make the holiday a festival across a number of days!

  25. ^ Ooh, something new!

    1. Gemintronic


      Your new Aquarius expansion cart that adds a raspberry pi 0 as a co-processor?

    2. jaybird3rd


      I wish it were, but no.  I was referring to the new AtariAge Discord gadget in the upper-right.

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