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Turbo-Torch

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Everything posted by Turbo-Torch

  1. Maybe it's a regional thing, but the 5200 never seemed to be promoted in my area. I first read about it in Atari Age magazines. All the major department stores had kiosks you could play, and that dates back to Pong systems. For some reason, I can't recall ever seeing a 5200 on display. Maybe because they knew the controllers would shit the bed after a week? lol Sunday sales flyers always showcased the 2600, even when it was in the $120 range. If the 5200 was featured, it was a little afterthought in the corner. I have a 1982 Wards Christmas catalog and the entire rear cover is for the 2600...a best buy at 132.88. Inside there is another page dedicated to 2600 games and accessories. You'll also find the Odyssey 2, Intellivision and a page dedicated to the new ColecoVision. No 5200 at all. Going back to the store demo kiosks...I believe it was Sears where I first played the ColecoVision and was blown away by Donkey Kong. It actually looked and played like the real deal. Almost immediately, every kid in my school wanted a CV. 5200 wasn't on anyone's radar. Coleco did things so much better. Release the system in August with the hottest arcade game at the time and now it's on everyone's Christmas wish list. It's also out in time to be featured in every major department store's Christmas catalog. Atari waits until November and gives you a 1976 arcade game as the pack-in, which was already done twice on the 2600. A few months earlier with Ms. Pac-Man or Zaxxon as the pack-in would have given Coleco some competition that Christmas.
  2. Probably not what you're looking for, but the TRS-80 Model I, III and 4 had an adapter called TRISSTICK that plugged into the expansion port and used a standard Atari joystick for games. It was made by Big Five Software, but most games from other companies supported it.
  3. Can this be considered libel and/or defamation? Now that's something I can see a person getting sued over.
  4. Really? So what's the name of this museum? Or is it a secret that you can't let out?
  5. I'd suspect those people are on the extreme end of the autistic spectrum, not much different than someone who eats foam from couch cushions or has 100 cats living in their house. There's probably a few people in this world that would like to see an L88 Corvette with the original engine oil that turned acidic 50 years ago, along with the original battery that's leaked and corroded everything surrounding it. Fortunately, those people don't count and wouldn't be able to afford the steering wheel off such a car.
  6. Best Electronics had brand new NTSC 130XE motherboards (with warranty) for less than what the defective PAL boards were selling for on eBay. I paid $79, but that was at least 2 years ago.
  7. I use Kester 186. Whether you have rosin core solder or not, you'll still want to add flux for an easy bridge.
  8. Some flux with a dab of solder and it'll flow over from the pin to the trace nicely.
  9. I'd reflow those two jacked up solder joints and see what happens.
  10. So I guess someone got a good deal on this one? You'd think a seller would look at completed auctions. https://www.ebay.com/itm//265090060382 I'm a huge fan of anything made by Atari, but this is one of those items that I would have grown tired of within 5 minutes and then shoved in a closet.
  11. Do they also have feedback showing they actually sold? The Asteroids supposedly sold along with PacMan to the same buyer. $10,500 for a pair of games that might be worth $25 on a good day? Probably still crates of those 99¢ boxed games in an old Oshea storage cave. If any sellers were trying to artificially inflate/influence the market through shill bidding, wouldn't they still have huge eBay commission fees, or is there some way around that? Or is this all real because some self appointed game expert at WATA looks at a $10 game, puts it in a plastic case and now select idiots are willing to pay $10,000 for it?
  12. https://www.ebay.com/itm/202974871862 https://www.ebay.com/itm/203113295832 https://www.ebay.com/itm/203046989658 I can't figure out what is going on here. According to their feedback, people have supposedly paid some of those prices. If they were trying to pull some kind of bullshit, wouldn't they still have a sales fee on that $8500.00 2600 PacMan?
  13. Tandy really seemed to love the 8" format. 8" drives were pretty much played out by 1980 and they should have moved to 360K DSDD 5¼ after that. The SSDD 8" drives used in the II were 480K...not a huge difference. In 1988 they were still using 1.2mb 8" drives in the 6000! At the same time you could buy a Tandy 4000 with a 1.44mb 3½ drive. Also, that 4000 was a 386 with a larger HD, double the memory and high resolution color for the same $3500 as the 6000. Although you did have to buy a monitor for the 4000. That said, I have a new pair of 8" drives that I intend to use as externals on my Model III...just because they're so damn cool.
  14. Really basic, but a low battery will cause exactly what you're seeing. I was playing with a bench supply and about 7.5 volts was the threshold. Also, look at the straight brown zebra strip under a magnifying glass. The side that was in contact with the solder pads will have little indentations from being compressed for over 40 years. Be sure to put it back the same way. The stepped zebra can only go back one way. Edit... Are you using the green foam pad off the old screen?
  15. Are you talking about Block Buster? If so, have you tried any other games? My Block Buster seems to have bit the dust after I replaced the screen. The Speed and Go buttons in the center no longer work, so I can't even start a game. All the buttons on Baseball, Bowling and Connect Four work fine, so I'm assuming the cartridge simply failed. When replacing the screen, I used a microfiber cloth to clean everything, including that damn polarizing lens. Whatever that lens is made out of became supercharged and wanted to cling to anything within several inches of it. That may have zapped the game which was where I was working. Then I ended up removing the lens because it looks way better without it...I think it may have darkened unevenly over the years. I just ordered another Block Buster off eBay, hopefully it'll work.
  16. Sweet! 👍 It's like my Mircovision just had cataract surgery.
  17. I bought my 2600 when I was 11. I have older sisters that were married, so I had brother-in-laws and they loved my Atari. My one brother-in-law decided he was finally going to take the plunge and buy his own Atari system and asked me to go along to the mall with him. There was this cool dark edgy stereo store called Playback that we went to and the game systems were in the back. 2600 was $199, Intellivision was something my $249 and then there was the Odyssey 2 for $179, and that price caught his eye. In addition to the cheaper price, the salesman told him he could choose 3 free games of his choice and that sealed the deal. I didn't know anyone who owned the system, had a bad gut feeling about it and tried talking him out of it, but it didn't do any good. Total of 4 games with the pack in, fancy looking joysticks and an impressive keyboard...I was having seconds thoughts that this thing may be better than my Atari. He liked it, as did my nephew (just 4 years younger than me and like a kid brother). I noticed right away that all the games were borrowing from a fixed character set and the sounds were limited. Alien Invaders Plus was one of the games he chose, it was good, but nowhere near as good as 2600 Space Invaders. Games like Bowling/Baskeball were just sad, yet football was way better than the initial 2600 version. Then came the day he bought KC Munchkin (while the Atari world was still waiting in anticipation for Pac-Man to be released). Till today, KC Munchkin is in my top 5 favorite video games. Fast action, cute animated Munchkin, great sound, no flicker, moving dots, multiple mazes AND you can create your own mazes! Months later 2600 Pac-Man comes out and I was ready as I had the money saved up. Bought it on release day and was so disappointed. If it weren't for the box and manual showing the game screen, I would have thought I bought a broken game. Then he got another phenomenal game called UFO. Not only could I shoot the UFOs, but I also had shields that allowed me ram them. UFOs combine and can track you. Then the killer chain reaction domino effect of exploding UFOs. Screw Asteroids, this game upped it 10X over. Pick Axe Pete is another awesome game that I found fun and highly addictive. Attack of the Timelord might be a bit better than Astrosmash, and Freedom Fighters was also fun. For me, the system has nostalgia because I played the heck out of it bitd and the games I mentioned above make it worth owning. Back in the 90s when thrift stores were full of 2600, 5200, Intellivision and Colecovision consoles, the O2 was almost non existent, and the few I found were roach motels. About 20 years ago I picked one up on eBay for next to nothing and it included The Voice. Yeah, a voice module is also something I always wanted for my 2600 back then and it never happened. Of course the O2 was never any competition for the 2600, but it's far from a worthless system that many make it out to be.
  18. Update for anyone that runs into a similar problem... I picked up another Odyssey 2 at a local video game store for $34 and it works fine. I removed the 8244 GPU from my old O2 and put it in the new working unit and the problem followed it. Definitely a partially failed GPU. Anyone have a working 8244 kicking around that they'd let go for a reasonable price?
  19. Odd issue. My O2 boots up to a gray background and all black background games play in gray. If I play UFO, any gray colored UFOs are invisible. If I jump pins 11 and 12 on IC4, I get normal black backgrounds, but light gray object like UFOs are still invisible. All other colors seem fine. I swapped out IC4 74LS00N with one I had on hand and it didn't make a difference. Should I suspect anything other than the 8244 GPU at this point? And if that is the cause, are they unobtainium? I assume the 8245 is PAL (not that it would be any easier to find).
  20. Maybe turn the knob and find out?
  21. It was slow on the native 386 20mhz and not what I'd consider playable. Although, I didn't try to shrink down the view; I'll have to give that a try. I just installed it on my other P70 which has the same AOX board and memory, except the AOX was upgraded with a Intel Overdrive 486 DX4 100mhz (not 75 as I thought). Plays excellent with no lag at full screen which is cool for a 1988 PC.
  22. It has two slots, one 32 bit and one 16 bit. The AOX is using the 32 bit and I still have the 16 open. I downloaded Doom 1.9 to my current desktop PC and then copied the files to floppies using a 3.5" usb drive. I was able to use those floppies on the P70 and installed Doom. Doesn't work too well. Running on the AOX, I can get all the way to the start screen but it crashes as soon as soon as I start the game. If I boot without the AOX to the original 386, it starts and plays fine, but it's not very fast. And the monochrome doesn't look as good as I thought it would lol. I'll have to try messing with the config.sys settings or try a different version of Doom.
  23. It uses an ESDI hard drive and the expansion slots are Micro Channel. The plasma display is red monochrome but it's like watching a plasma TV, razor sharp contrast and no motion blur. If you plug in a VGA monitor, you have full color and the plasma automatically turns off. The keyboard is one of the best. It was made by Alps and uses plate springs...nice tactile feedback and clacking noise with each key press. The big downside to this system is the Micro Channel slots. The MCA Sound Blaster or ChipChat cards are incredibly rare and expensive...like in the $1,000 range when they turn up. I see TexElec has an Adlib compatible card called Resound for $60 that I'm thinking of trying. Unfortunately no game port though. I think Doom would look bad ass on that red display. I'm gonna have to give that at try.
  24. I have a 1988 IBM P70 that uses DOS 6.22. This unit can run in two different modes. It's IBM's highest spec P70 with the 20mhz 386, math coprocessor, 8mb of ram and 120mb hard drive. It uses a VGA red gas plasma display, 1.44mb floppy and full size keyboard. These were crazy specs for 1988, and more impressive is that it's a portable the size of a large briefcase. It also has a VGA port on the back so you can use a normal color VGA monitor. It has a Kingston AOX MicroMaster upgrade board using one Micro Channel slot. That brings it up to a 486 with 64mb of ram. That AOX board has also been upgraded with a Kingston 5x86 133mhz Turbo Chip. At startup I can press O to boot to its native 386 configuration or let it boot to the AOX 5x86 configuration. I also have another twin of this, but with a 486 75mhz CPU.
  25. First computer to show up in my shitty private Catholic school was a single Commodore 64 with a color monitor. I was in 8th grade, so this was 1983. That one computer got its very own private classroom. The day it arrived, each class (1st to 8th) got to visit and view it in awe as a special event. No one was ever allowed to actually touch the damn thing and we were constantly reminded how lucky we were to have it. The upper grades had "computer classes" in that room where we'd get to watch the psychotic bitch 7th grade teacher try and do things with it. By that time, I already had my Model III upgraded with full 48K, an RS232, a DC-Modem I and was playing Black Dragon on Compuserve. 1984 was the start 9th grade at my awesome public high school. Orientation was about 2 weeks before school started and we were allowed to roam around and explore. I remember walking into one classroom and there were DOZENS of Model III systems. Go around a corner into another room and it was full of real IBMs with amber monitors! I never did have a class with the Model IIIs, but I did have Pascal programming and Word Processing on the IBMs. The XTs were upgraded to AT models with hard drives and color monitors by my junior year. The teachers were also phenomenal, they knew the systems and software inside and out. Now going off topic, that Catholic grade school was a like a business that thought it was so big it couldn't fail (sort of like Atari in its heyday). If one kid left, there was a replacement the next day because there was a waiting line to get in. 7 masses on the weekend and each was a full house. Big fund raising carnival every July that took over part of the downtown area. Insane tuition cost. The cash was rolling in and they could do no wrong! Yet, we had senile nuns and mentally disturbed women teachers who couldn't hack it in a real school. Some of our text books were literally from the 50s and 60s. Our history books didn't include anything about Vietnam or the moon landing, because neither happened yet. The playground was a bare asphalt parking lot, not so much as one swingset. Then to get one cheap ass computer and told how lucky we were. Karma caught up. After 10 years my generation was starting families and no one in the right mind would send their kids there. Attendance dropped so bad in the mid 90s, they started combining 3 grades in one room. Today, one classroom (out of over 20) is used as a preschool and that's it...about 98% of the school is vacant. They often hire my company to do work and I love taking photos. It now looks like something out of a Nightmare on Elm Street movie mixed with Chernobyl. Garbage cans collecting water from the leaking roof, ceilings falling in along with ancient artifacts and writing on chalkboards left from nearly 2 decades ago. The Commodore sat to the right of the creepy purple desk/shrine thing. Hell, it might even be in that closet lol.
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