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  1. Hi everyone, Ever wondered how @nurmix posts AtariAge messages from his K/C? Wonder no more! I have a short view review of @Ron The Cat's K/C running Jack's Conversational Intelli-talk, the software he uses... Let me know what you think. Cheers decle --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sent from my Keyboard Component using Jack's Conversational Intelli-talk Cassette
  2. Unfortunately, a little bit of research suggests that properly straightening a warped PCB probably needs both heat and force... https://www.circuitrework.com/guides/3-2.html and there is some scepticism that it can be done without potentially compromising other components or solder joints... https://www.circuitnet.com/experts/88133.html I guess the good news is that given where you're at, you don't have much to lose trying something. Interestingly, despite what the 8-bit Guy says, it looks as though the ECS Music Keyboard was built by a reputable manufacturer, Pratt-Read. It seems they manufactured the keybeds for the Polymoog, Sequential Prophet 5, Oberheim OB-Xa and other famous synths. Their supplying Mattel is mentioned by Gary Moskovitz at 46:30 in his Intellivisionaries interview with @nurmix and is corroborated by this history of Pratt-Read: "A major blow came in 1984 with the loss of a large contract to manufacture keyboards for Mattel Electronics's Intellivision home video system. This was exacerbated by a slump in the piano industry in mid year." I guess the Mattel keybed came from the budget range
  3. I play Utopia loads with my son too... ...so I hope our thoughts aren't too late. We think the biggest thing is a bit of rebalancing of the rules / scoring. As was noted by @mr_me back in 2016 (and at the risk of spoiling the original game)... https://atariage.com/forums/topic/247426-super-pro-utopia/?do=findComment&comment=3408616 ...population size does not influence either the score, or the utility of units, and let's just say that this has a strong influence on strategy. We also find that we tend not to use aggressive units (PT boats and rebels), so something to increase their value might be good. With regard to suggestions made by others, we can see that both a single player mode and random islands would be great. However, as has been noted, the fixed weather pattern and the important place it plays might make random but fair terrain tricky. Perhaps one way round this would be not to tie each player to one island, but instead to allow them to build anywhere (perhaps with some incentive to cluster building to prevent scattering units anywhere). This might make for another ending to the game through territorial domination, and that perhaps might make the rebels more useful as a means of clearing land for you to occupy. Perhaps this would also allow the weather patterns to be changed from one game to another, and there might then a requirement for players to learn the weather pattern to find the optimal placing of crops and units. Anyway, I think that's enough for now. Needless to say we are very interested in progress. Cheers decle & hoalst
  4. Once again @ricardowilmers has come up with some really intriguing pictures! Let's start with this one, which confirms that Dracula is a ROM variant on Shock Vision: However, Mission X does not seem to be on Intelligame: Which is interesting because it is in its Shock Vision version: Then there is his switched AD&D / Dracula Intelligame cart. This is not the only example of a switched Intelligame title, we have one with Swords and Serpents and White Water found by Intellivision Brasil: However, I think this is the first time we've seen one with these titles. Initially it looks as though AD&D might be a ROM variant: However, I think this is just a glitch. Firstly because the Dracula title screen is unchanged, and as we have seen with Shock Vision, tweaking this is easy. Then there is an 1882 copyright date, and Copr becomes Bkpr and Mattel becomes Lapp`h. This data is all located together in the ROM and with the exception of ' becoming e, each switched character is only one bit away from its correct value. There is also another image with what appears to be the correct title screen. Nonetheless, it is a cool cartridge and this is the first time we've gotten to look inside one, so thanks for showing us it's guts @ricardowilmers! Internally it looks to be in great shape and is certainly a much more refined and sophisticated product than my copy of Intelligame Utopia, which seems to have been hacked together very cheaply (unbelievably it does still work!) @ricardowilmers, thanks so much for sharing these images. Before you ship this lot to @cmart604's dungeon of Intellivision , could you plug each Shock Vision and Intelligame cartridge in and take a picture of its title screen with the console and cartridge in view, just like this one you did for MissionX please? An image like this is enough for us to confirm which game is which, and also whether it is likely to be a ROM variant or not. Thanks once again.
  5. This is my current list of the 50 known Shock Vision and Intelligame pirate carts, gathered from images on the internet. Those with entries in the variant columns have been dumped and their status as ROM variations is confirmed (or refuted). Known ROM variations only differ by a hacked copyright message on the title screen. As a consequence, it is unlikely that any Mattel titles with stock title screens will be ROM variants. Ricardo's images added quite a few new titles to the list, for example Astrosmash, Frog Bog, Golf and Sharp Shot. However, whilst his collection is certainly the most comprehensive seen by some margin, it is still some way from being complete . I still find it interesting that for a football mad country no version of Soccer has turned up yet on either Shock Vision or Intelligame. @ricardowilmers, it is not clear from cartridge label in the image what game this is... Just for completeness, could you let us know what it is please? Thanks.
  6. Looking forward to seeing the end result! I think the toughest thing to source is a good connector / cable. I've discovered the connector I used does not fit the ECS (and possibly the Intellivision II) because the controller ports are heavily recessed. Like you I've found the narrow moulded plugs on the Genesis extension cables fit fine. However, because the cables have 9 cores the wires are very fine (and fragile) which is less than ideal. It looks as though original 2600 joysticks may have beefier cabling, I may try to pick one up and see: Edit: It looks as though a 2600 joystick cable is no good because pins 5 and 7 are not used and therefore won't be wired to the connector. Back to the drawing board. If you find a better solution, please let me know. Personally I'd go with 3 AAA's for the power source, the slightly small form factor opens up one or two cool options for packaging
  7. Happy New Year! Let's kick off 2021 with what I think is the first video of the Keyboard Component prototype / demo of Super Football... This version bears little resemblance to the mock-up in the 1981 Mattel catalogue... ...whilst the isometric view is present in the prototype, Mattel's artists seem to have gotten carried away. It wouldn't be possible to draw the green / pink transition of the field / end zone, let alone the blue diamonds, as the white goal line violates the 2 colour per tile rule (it's unlikely the K/C graphics could be used for the goal line because it would appear to be in front of the players / ball). Although the marketing blurb majors on the coaching / managerial aspects of the game, we can see the quarterback is highlighted in the catalogue image, suggesting the intention was that the player would have control of player movement, like other NFL titles. Also notice that there are 5 players per team, rather than the 8 seen in the demo, and no use of K/C 40 column text. We're pretty sure this version is a pre-production prototype / demo as the tape that Frank's recording was made from doesn't look like your typical production Keyboard Component stock... The following short video shows what the end zone looks like, and what happens when you "score". Whilst it's really hard to make progress down field, it is relatively easy to give up 3 yards as Red and hold your ground as Blue. We had intended to work our way backwards to Red's goal line and then sneak a yard to two to score as Blue. As you will see Mattel had other ideas... ...it seems the rules for safeties are not implemented correctly. These videos are a little glimpse into work by @Lathe26, @Knarfian, @Ron The Cat, @intvnut and myself to digitize and document the Keyboard Component software. Super Football is probably the simplest title to get working because it's small at just under 5K decles, and has no audio track or data saving features. As you can see during 2020 we have made good progress with both decoding recordings of K/C tapes, and building infrastructure to enable them to be played on a K/C without a working tape drive. We hope to share more as we go through 2021. Cheers decle
  8. Hi @nurmix Thanks for sharing the interview with Gary Moskovitz. Fascinating, as always. For those that want to know more about some of the projects Gary references documents can be found on the Papa Intellivision website: EECO - https://papaintellivision.com/pdfs/CCF10242011_00011.pdf Chemical Bank / Project Pronto - https://papaintellivision.com/pdfs/CCF10242011_00007.pdf It's interesting to note that the Chemical bank design detailed envisages reusing aspects of the Keyboard Component technology, keeping the 6502 second processor and text overlay, but ditching the troublesome tape drive, to create something akin to an intermediate step between the K/C and the ECS: Documents related to a number of other viewdata type initiatives can also be found, largely under the Other and Vendor headings. The possibilities of a connected world seem to have been a passion of Dave Chandler's team. One point made by Gary I would question is his suggestion that PlayCable had limited games. Assuming PlayCable would always be restricted to Mattel titles, I think it's clear Mattel did not look favourably on third party developers, there were 61 titles PlayCable could have broadcast in early '84 when Mattel Electronics closed. Of these, 48 were completely compatible with the PlayCable adapter. We know that 38 of these games were definitely broadcast on PlayCable, based on schedules and adverts, and a further four were probably broadcast based on personal recollections. Of the remaining six games: AD&D Treasure of Tarmin - no evidence whether it was broadcast Kool-Aid Man - no evidence whether it was broadcast (but probably wasn't because it was a niche marketing exercise) Scooby Doo's Maze Chase - although compatible, probably not broadcast because of ECS dependency Space Spartans - partially compatible, probably not broadcast because of Intellivoice dependency Tron Deadly Discs - restricted by Disney licence Tron Maze-a-Tron - restricted by Disney licence So PlayCable definitely broadcast at least 80% of the compatible Mattel games and probably broadcast somewhere between 87% and 91% depending on how you assess compatibility. Side note - It is interesting to consider that Mattel's restriction of PlayCable to first party titles had a bigger impact on the number of games broadcast on PlayCable (restrictions on 38 titles) than the over-hyped 8K RAM limitation (restrictions on 13 titles). Without this walled garden PlayCable might have had Pitfall!, Donkey Kong, Carnival and Mouse Trap in 82; and River Raid, Centipede, Donkey Kong Jr, Zaxxon, Frogger, Q*bert and Star Wars in '83. I'm not suggesting that these are the best Intellivision titles (some of them really aren't), but they are definitely marketable!
  9. Last chance to get your offers in to acquire one of three TV POWWW voice triggers. Remember, all proceeds go to Oscar. A losing offer costs you nothing, so PM me here on AtariAge with your pledge by midnight tonight. You have to be in it to win it! If it makes a difference, I've received an offer that I think is "nuts". So preparations have started...
  10. BBWW

    I sent a message but want to say here I would love a TV POW as well. I already did a personal donation but will pay a bit extra if I can get one. Thanks for doing this.

  11. Aye aye chaps, I'm a bit late to the party, but I'd like to offer up some TV POWWW goodies in support of Oscar. I will manufacture and sell three Intellivision voice triggers, as demonstrated in my Virtual Expo talk. All proceeds will go to Oscar. PM me if you are interested, three highest offers by close of play Sunday win! Substantial offers might tempt me into making limited edition TV POWWW cartridges to go with the interface, possibly with hand made boxes like the one I put together for IMDI if you go really nuts: (if this happens I think I will technically have "made a game"). Anyway, your chance to own something quite unusual in support of a good cause Cheers decle
  12. Hi everyone, I put together a voice activated replica TV POWWW system for my talk at the Intellivision Virtual Expo 2020 (big thanks to @Rev, @DZ-Jay, @Zendocon, @Steve Jones, @First Spear and everyone else involved in organising the event): In the talk I promised to publish details of both the little circuit I used, and the ROM containing the IntyBASIC recreations of the three unreleased TV POWWW Intellivision titles known to have been played: KSlots - the first sight of Las Vegas Slots, complete with POW branding KSoccer - a Roberto Carlos style shooting game KSpace - the single player version of Space Battle, where I think you get to take potshots at a Battlestar Well here we are, you can find the instructions to build the voice trigger circuit here and the game ROM in this zip archive: tvpowww.zip If anyone builds a similar system I'd love to see it, or should you have any problems getting my hack working, please just ping me a PM and I'll try to help you out. Cheers decle
  13. Hey all, First up, thanks to @nanochess and the team for organising this year’s competition. TV POWWW is a ROM I put together to support my talk at the Intellivision Virtual Expo 2020. It contains recreations of the three Intellivision games we know were used by TV POWWW, but that weren’t released by Mattel on Sharp Shot: The games are: KSlots - A POW themed version of Las Vegas Slots KSoccer - Single player Roberto Carlos style shooting game KSpace - Single player version of Sharp Shot Space Battle Like Sharp Shot, the games are pretty simple and can be played with either a controller or a voice trigger. The ROM and full instructions - including a link to how to build the voice trigger - can be found in this zip archive: tvpowww.zip Cheers decle
  14. I've put together a second video of Jack in action. This gets a bit further into the fitness test before it turns up its toes. I've also taken a direct feed of the Intellivision audio and mixed it in with the ambient sound, so Jack's vocals should be better. A few things to note... If you ever have the chance to listen to a K/C tape you will notice that the non-BASIC ones like Jack LaLanne have a weird tone at the start. This is notable because it is at a different frequency to program data (~1400Hz rather than 1500Hz). It is now clear what this tone is for. It is played back through the TV so that you can set the volume of the two channels on the audio tape as we see at the start of Jack LaLanne. This is done using two dials on the left side of the K/C, one each for the pre-recorded audio and the user recorded audio. I'm not sure if Jack is Year 2000 compliant, but as you can see I can set a current date of ??20 and a birth date of 1970 (presumably). So either it is compliant, or I'm in for trouble later, or I'm a Time Lord. You will notice that Jack mentions music playing when doing the exercise, this is also mentioned in the manual, but as you can hear no music plays. And there isn't any music on the audio tracks of the tape. I don't think the tape has started to have problems at this point so I don't think it is because some electronic music has failed to load, but perhaps I'm wrong. I'd be really interested if this music is intended to be generated by the Inty or if it was supposed to be pre-recorded and was then dropped for some reason. It doesn't seem that the intention was that the user recorded some music onto the recordable audio track, as it's not mentioned in the manual (this would have to be done using the K/C because the user recorded track is on side B of the tape and any music would have to be recorded backwards in order to play forwards on the K/C. It would also nuke anything on the user recorded data track). Once I get to investigating the audio side of the tape interface it should be possible to see whether the K/C is playing the pre-recorded audio at this point, with the intention that it contains some music. Finally, when the tape does fail it seems that it might be a mechanical failure. If I try to rewind the tape from this point the tape deck really struggles, suggesting the tape is binding. However, if I remove the tape it is not obviously stiff. I've tried a few things to free up the tape a bit, including fast forwarding and rewinding the whole tape, playing it all the way through on a regular deck, a bit of percussive maintenance to settle the reels and opening it up to make sure the slip sheets and rollers look OK. The results are unclear, sometimes things seem to improve a bit, allowing the video above, sometimes they regress. If anyone has suggestions for means to improve the mechanical playback of tapes that don't involve the application of kitchen oil or silicone lubricants I'd be interested to hear them.
  15. Some more progress on reviving the tape deck on @Ron The Cat's K/C. I felt it probably deserved its own thread this time: Still not certain what is wrong or why it's improving (I'm primarily focused on documenting the tape drive behaviour at the moment), but when the result is that we get to see and hear Jack after 40 years, who cares As you can see things are still not great as the options following the introduction fail with "BAD TAPE". So thankfully my and Ron's state of unfitness will remain for the moment and we're not obliged to "kick yourself in the backside every day".
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