this could actually be my first post here^^
edit: it is! lol, more than two years membership, and heres my first post:D
i reckon its real, but whatever, i dont care for that argument.
i just felt like posting my ideas.
i read this whole thread through over the last 24 hours, and it seems to start out inquisitive, works up until it's pretty much proven completely real then the conspiracy theorists jump in, throwing doubt which if you read back a bit is relatively unjust. then nobody cares for a bit, now everyone is getting used to the idea that it's probably real, and that there are things to be done so it doesnt disappear again.
one point used to show doubt was that steve doesnt care about old hardware, yet doesnt want it dumped. if he's still a programmer working for anyone, he probably just says no to anyone with the intent of copying any work of his, regardless of how much he cares about it.
nagn2, i do think this should be backed up and stored by someone, not released without steves permission, regardless of how hard this may be to obtain. even if it is you who stores it. if you decide that having a copy on a cd or on your computer (preferably not, computers die faster) isnt such a bad idea, since it is legal and not any kind of infringement, then i'd say meet up with someone reputable from these forums and let them bring their equipment to your house and do it on your own computer, then theres no way for them to keep a copy. if youre anything like me, youre not going to want to invite someone off the internet straight into your home, organise to meet them in a public place as an ice breaker, talk over a coffee or something, you might even gain a friendship or at the very least a valuable contact to help with your buying/selling.
as said before, "dumping" a cart doesnt damage it, and it doesnt need to be opened. basically what it is, is copying the data off the cart onto a computer, the computer looks at the data like the 2600 does, only instead of using it for anything, it just writes it down and keeps it.
i've dumped a few games from other consoles (snes, gba), im not experienced, and i didnt give the copies to anyone, i just did it cos i obtained the hardware and couldnt resist trying it. however i can confirm that it doesnt change anything about the original cart, condition or otherwise.
enough rambling, im too good at that.