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Keatah last won the day on May 15 2018

Keatah had the most liked content!

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About Keatah

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    Missile Commander

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  1. Simplicity of the games appeals to young and old alike. Oldsters like it because they don't need in-depth manuals and thousands of rules. Young ones like it because they can comprehend the games straight away, and plug-in their imagination to gussy-up the experience.
  2. When I think retrobolox I think stance cars and speedbumps.
  3. Finally something interesting and useful!
  4. Having been there to see the first VCSs roll off the store shelves and enjoy Star Wars and the whole late-70's consumer electronics revolution get underway was really cool. A lot of the stuff was simple, microprocessors had only a few thousand transistors compared to today's SoCs with billions upon billions. These simple electronics left a metric ton of room for a child's imagination to be fully engaged in wondering how it all worked and all the possibilities the future could bring - especially if you read that futurism stuff like OMNI. These days vintage 486 rigs can and do have the charm of the first VCS and Intellivision consoles - if you pick the right games. There's really only a handful of games that defined that era. So pick and choose wisely. --- As far as emulation goes. It's a natural evolution of the early hardware. Its what comes next. And it will far outlast any of the physical consoles. I get nearly the same (if not all) satisfaction of playing Miniature Golf or Video Pinball on an i9 as I did back in the day. The only differences are the locales, which relatives are living or dead, and the lack of the sense of discovery of playing for the first time. Also missing is the sense of awe and wonder and surprise of your parents or grandparents bringing home new cartridges on a cold winter day. But those are more a sign of placement in time rather than a shortcoming of emulation. The gameplay is identical, the video output looks like that special high-quality "imaginary" CRT we all dreamed about as kids, the reliability factor is beyond the moon, and the game selection is solar-system-sized!
  5. But wasted time copying and pasting.. --- @Mr. Monk Nicely don. I will argue, however, that the sentiment can and does extend into the PC ecosphere. I completely enjoy my PCs today as much as I did the VCS when I was a kid. And even in the same way. How is that possible? Well for me it's simple, I either built my rigs from the ground-up or have added to them significantly enough they're considerably different than what the factory spit out. Assembling a PC, part-by-part allows you to negate or even totally eliminate the corporate drone feel of a machine. It offers many opportunities to infuse your magic touch. Oh sure the parts might be stamped out thousands at a time, but then so were the VCS's parts. The PC may follow a standard format, processor, memory, power supply, mobo, case, videoboard, and so on.. But much of those can be your own picking and therefore the machine vibrates with style and personality. My recent PC build is one all my own. Naturally. Spent over two weeks on it. Invested lots of TLC. And I don't mean TLC NAND. I also am not filling it with garbage either. And it has SSD cartridge slots in the finest tradition of vintage gaming. Hot plug in a standard SSD and a second desktop opens with lists of emulators and fav games. At the moment I have an Astronomy cart, X-Plane cart, Emulator cart, Doom Experience cart, and several others. I find a certain quality of art in some of the components of a PC. Their essence is not fully guided by human direction, but by the laws of nature or physics too. This applies to dense IC etchings like V-NAND and the main processor. Or having a 7-billion transistor graphics engine - that's mind blowing! We're at the point where human design motives clash hard with what physics allows - 2.5 nm geometries where ion guns are needed to draw parts and push molecules around. Where reflectors are etched into the chip, temporarily, to get access to certain sections not normally accessible. Then removed. Not unlike lowering equipment into a mine. Parts that are exposed to regular air to allow for corrosion etching on 100+ layers.. Crazy stuff!
  6. I always have spare parts, enough to make many kinds of repairs. All the logic chips, spare power supply, wires, cables, motor, stepper motor, head, and screws and fitting and key switches and more. I currently run at about 30%. That me and my spare parts box is about 30% the size of my main collection. When I'm done paring done my Apple II stuff, I will simply keep a spare machine and whatever parts I can store inside it.
  7. The Atari 400/800 were pretty hefty in and of themselves. Though I never hauled them around in my RadioFlyer like I did the Apple II.
  8. Some FPGA developers study Software Emulation, and it's the other way around too. I don't know of any gate-for-gate reimplementation of anything related to classic gaming or computing. It's all based on observations, schematics, interpretations of chip diagrams, logic analyzer output, and more. Even when all of those things are simultaneously available, liberties and assumptions are still taken. A TIA redone in FPGA is not likely to have the same voltage inputs and outputs for the controller ports. Not because it's impossible, but because it is often deemed unnecessary. A disappointment for something that's expected to be and can be just like real hardware. Consider the PokeyONE FPGA replacement for the Pokey chip. At first it only worked in one game, but then it went through many revisions. And with each revision it gained more compatibility. It is definitely not a transistor-level representation by any means. PokeyONE also won't work in the Atari 8-bit computers, because it is not a full implementation. People, especially "gaming journalists", need to get it out of their heads that FPGA = instant 100% accuracy.
  9. Inferior.. my ass. Apple is still around to the tune of a trillion dollars. And IBM PC has been adopted as the worldwide standard in computing. Where's Atari and Commodore? --- BTW I wanted to get a TRS-80 Model I/III at one time, before the Apple II IIRC. And my parents wouldn't let me, even if I earned the money myself and used some savings and got a loan from them and promised to work even more summer jobs next year. I could be running and climbing up the walls and they still said no. They said I'd be bored because the games sucked and were not in color. Having color capability was the single deciding factor determining which micro I got into. I had so much wanted a Model III because it looked like control console from NASA and would fit into my Lunar Lander "plans". But when I settled down and accepted defeat I was able to get an Apple II. New evidence uncovered this last year suggests they helped arrange some of my summer jobs and that allowed me to cover most all cost of the console. All about the same time I saw this little ad for the Apple II mainboard kit. It had hundreds of chips and therefore had to be a really smart computer. Later on I would get an MX-80 printer and by printing stuff for the neighbors and my fellow classmates I subsidized some of the cost of that ungodly expensive ($300 or $400) printer. In retrospect it was the right choice. And the Apple II is definitely easier to maintain and upgrade. Were we nuts paying that kind of money? I don't think so. There were many concepts I learned from the Apple II documentation that I have carried and used throughout the years. It was like a school outside of school. At 3PM when the dismissal bell rang, my classes (at home & self directed) were just getting started!
  10. The Commodore emulation scene has improved at a slower pace than the Atari 8-bit scene. I have WinVice in my arsenal along with C64S, CCS64, and Hoxs64. But I use WinVice almost all the time. I'm not a fan of FPGA solutions because they are updated less frequently and they don't have all the options and niceties that software emulators come with. Not to mention that SE have the power of the PC behind them for file organization and future expansion.
  11. A good choice. It's a course of action that is almost guaranteed to re-ignite even the smallest latent passion for the hobby. Not unlike stoking a fire and removing the ashen buildup on top to reveal fresh fuel underneath. I continually find that focusing on what I had and wanted as a kid is a great starting point. For example, while I have a number of Apple II consoles. I think I can get by with my original II+ and //e models. No need for a //c because my nostalgia stems from looking at catalog pics. I never had a //c as a kid nor was I particularly hard up to get one. So.. The selloff of a collection or part of a collection is never EVER a sad day. It's a refocusing and reaffirmation of your interest in the hobby. A coming of age. A desire to actually use what you have and enjoy it. A desire for clarity of thought. All of a sudden you're at the top! Burn away the junk till you're left with a lean setup that captures the essence of vintage gaming and computing. It's much better to have 1 or 2 classic machines up and running, tenable, usable, as opposed to a room full of shit piled meters-high. If the need to collect things is still present, redefine even that. Chase after small spare parts and hardware pieces and manuals. Manuals are a sleeper way of enhancing any collection, and you might even learn something from them. And spare parts are always useful, never know when you'll need a replacement 74LS04 or a certain sized screw.
  12. I never swear next to my software, might piss it off or something!
  13. Preservation of physical attributes and context and fine technical details is highly subjective and opinionated as to what's important. And its reproduction today is influenced by cost-cutting and other basic realities of business. Despite the fashion boxes that cellphone companies use I always thought packaging of the 70's and 80's was better all around. And don't even mention eco-friendly. I really don't give a rat's ass about the environment. And any one big company disposes of 20x the amount of waste I produce in one year, in one minute. So pffthhht! Examples may include things like making reproduction controllers that don't use the same dimensions and don't use the same materials. Or controllers that don't have the exact tactile response. Some people's idea of "retro" and "classic" and "vintage" gaming/computing might simply mean displaying or showing a Pac-Man icon or the Galaga ship. Or something "Mario'ish". Very generalistic. Very undefined. To some, retrogaming may mean two chairs (or a jaopy couch) on a plot of puke-green carpet, with a wooden console television, and wood-panel walls. Very idyllic. Very picturesque. Very much someone's vision of how they thought it was. Not 100% photo accurate. Yes details like the shape of a 70's font is different than something Metro'ish today. And that is important. Something as basic as color combinations. Back then it was Harvest and Earth tones, including Avocado greens. Today it is harsh contrast or Teal & Orange. Everyone is going to focus on different details and it is going to be rather difficult to preserve every nuance. Just even knowing what is important is a huge task. As far as the Roms go. They are more important than ever. They are as timeless as a photograph. They are the essence of the game. They are are 100% accurate and perfect representations of the games we played as a kid. They ARE the games we played as a kid.
  14. I believe that classic games (VCS, Odyssey^2, Intellivision, C64, and likewise) are part of a moving window. The people that are willing to pay big bucks for those will come and go. And then we're back to fodder value. I have observed this in the Apple II community directly. And, besides, there are multi-carts, emulation, fpga, and other methods by which to enjoy the games. I feel that only top-quality NIB CIB specimens may be worth any sort of money in the future. And they'll be worth something for reasons that common used stuff isn't. There simply are too many young people "coming of age" that don't give a rat's ass about classic games. They'll be interested in the stuff they had as children. Not grampa's games.
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