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Found 14 results

  1. I always wanted to ask: why were there such great games (original and ports) for Commodore 64 that never made it to Atari XL/XE series? Was the reason only hardware issues? What are the key factors that determined this situation? Forgive my ignorance, - Y -
  2. MAME 0.211 As we pass the half-way point of 2019, it’s time for MAME 0.211, with all the excitement that brings. In this release, SGI Indy and MIPS RC2030 workstations have been promoted to working. This is a major milestone in RISC workstation emulation. If you’re feeling nostalgic, why not try one of them out, and install IRIX or RISC/os, respectively? This release also includes better support for the China Education Computer Apple II derivatives, along with a preliminary software list. This opens a window to Chinese classroom technology in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Speaking of software lists, we’ve added over five hundred cleanly cracked Apple II software titles, and imported a whole lot of ZX Spectrum cassette images. Looking away from computer emulation for a moment, Game & Watch preservation keeps progressing, with the addition of Ball (the earliest Game & Watch release) and the panorama screen version of Donkey Kong Jr. The Gaelco/Salter Pro Cycle Tele Cardioline exercise system has been promoted to working, and the Pro Stepper system has been added. System 573 MP3 audio has been greatly improved in this release, and support has been added for more Bally pinball sound boards. ClawGrip added example programs from the V.R. Technologies VT03 software development kit. Gemcrush, a rare brick breaking arcade game, has been added in this release. There are lots of other improvements, including a fix for the fatal error when switching away from MAME in Direct3D full-screen mode. You can get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.
  3. If you're wanting to build a 2-stick Robotron controller or a large-scale 3D Printed single-player console, you may want to check this out: For even more detailed information, please see this video for how to print/wire everything up: All the latest information can also be found at : http://wagnerstechtalk.com/opencade
  4. came across this great sight on some of pioneers of computers and computer gaming. Articles on Bill Budge of pinball construction set, Dan (later Dani) Bunten of MULE and other interesting people are profiles. As well as some insightful articles on the early days of EA, Atari, the LISA and C64 (with a big mention of the TI99). http://www.filfre.net/ PS. some of his older post go over how to play some of the classic games. well worth a read.
  5. I've got it up on kickstarter leading towards the onespark event here in jacksonville, where it is also registered. check it out at www.theimagic.com thoughts and input welcome!
  6. I've been getting a lot of questions about why I'm getting out of hardcore collecting. I decided to write an editorial on Armchair Arcade to answer those questions. This AtariAge topic was a big help in getting me to finally make the right decision, and here's the link to what I wrote on Armchair Arcade, which I'm duplicating here. Hopefully in some small way this might help some other hopeless collectors who are looking for a way out. --- After I made the announcement on social media that I was auctioning off my videogame and computer collection, I received a lot of questions both public and private simply asking, “Why?”. Before I answer that, some background. I was born in 1972, so grew up as personal computing technology in all its forms grew up. Whether early videogames or early computers, I was pretty much there every step of the way. As I’ve recounted in multiple interviews, one of my earliest memories is sitting on my mother’s lap and happily playing with some type of pocket calculator. I couldn’t have been more than 3 (I also loved messing with the kitchen phone on the wall; I even accidentally called the plumber once). After we got our first Pong system a few years later – a Sears Tele-Games model – my passion for this type of emerging technology was well and truly set. Even then, I couldn’t get my dad to hook it up to the TV enough times (for some reason it wasn’t permanently attached) to satisfy my desire to play it. Fast forward a few years to age 7 and using my Communion money to buy my very own Atari Video Computer System (aka, 2600). My mom thought the purchase foolish and that it would be something I’d soon tire of like my other toys. Even with initially only having the two player-only Combat cartridge, I absolutely did not tire of it (many articles, books, and a movie later, and helping to work on the latest versions of the Atari Flashback systems, I’d say that initial investment – and continued passion – paid off). I was a voracious reader of Electronic Games magazine, a publication that was extraordinarily influential to me, starting with my initial purchase of the June 1983 issue in a local Foodtown supermarket. It covered just about every noteworthy videogame and computer system of the time, and I’d often “drool” at the various screenshots, or, fairly common for the time, artist renderings/mockups. Between the magazine, the occasional arcade game, and my Atari 2600, my interest in getting to experience all of the other games and platforms grew ever more intense. Naturally, being a kid, my ability to actually use all of that stuff, let alone buy it, was supremely limited. In any case, I got my first computer, a Commodore VIC-20, when I was 10, which was soon replaced by a Commodore 64. My friends also started to get systems of their own around this same time, with Apple II’s, Atari 8-bit’s, TI-99/4a’s, Mattel Aquarius’s, Mattel Intellivisions, and others being added to what I would get at least some first-hand experience with. At a local Odd Lots, I was able to get a ColecoVision. Without adding more length to the story, needless to say, my appetite for this stuff was never really sated. Even before it really had a name, I was a videogame and computer collector. I had little interest in letting go of the systems I had and getting to experience other systems either at my friends’ houses or at school, only added to my desires. Here and there I would get more games and soon enough, more systems, particularly as the 1980’s wore on and other people were moving on from them. Into the 1990’s, it was still fairly easy to find great stuff at yard sales, flea markets, computer shows, and the like, sometimes for just a few dollars. My collection continued to grow, although what I could acquire was slowed by college and not really having the time/space to make use of much of it. Even when I first moved out of my parents’ house at 23, my first apartment could maybe hold four or five systems comfortably. Eventually I was able to move to a condo with my future wife, then a house, then a bigger house, being able to liberate the rest of my collection from my parents’ basement and garage along the way. After getting my first book deal in 2005, I used that as an excuse to greatly expand my collection since I could now also have a dedicated room for all my stuff (this is the “then a house” one). It was indeed for “research” and “first-hand experience” and what-not, but it was also because I really wanted it. Of course, by this time, eBay was already a big deal, so that became both a blessing and curse to collectors everywhere. You could find far more stuff easily, but it was no longer for a low price. That also effectively killed most other value-based sources that proved so fruitful in the 1980’s and 1990’s, like the aforementioned flea markets and computer shows. Although my collection grew dramatically in that time, it was still relatively self-contained to just one room. That didn’t make moving to the next house (this is the “a bigger house” one) any easier, though. In fact, my collection was among the last things we moved, with help from various extended family members. It was definitely a burden. Unfortunately, the bigger house we moved to was yes, bigger, now with an enormous partially finished basement. My collection could and would now get completely unhinged, particularly as Armchair Arcade grew, I wrote more articles, and of course, worked on more books and the movie. More excuses to make use of my stuff meant even more stuff. Now, as I implied earlier, I’ve pretty much had an interest in every aspect of videogames and computers. I’d say the vast majority of collectors and enthusiasts limit themselves to one or a handful of platforms to focus their attention on. For me, that was never enough. I truly loved it all. My collection encompasses systems from every part of the world and every era. I’m equipped to run systems with just about any power or display requirement. I could satisfy every curiosity. What I think would probably be most surprising to those not into this kind of stuff, is that not only is there all the original hardware, software, accessories, etc., available, but practically every system – including some of the most obscure stuff imaginable – has thriving communities creating new things. Yes, new software, new ways to better use the old equipment in modern times (flash carts, connectivity, etc.), and more. That only adds to the things to get. While this can be manageable if you limit yourself to a handful of platforms, multiply that by hundreds of platforms and you see where the problem comes in. Now, we get to the crux of the matter. I was always pretty organized with my stuff. This was relatively easy for me even into the early 2000’s. Unfortunately, once I had that basement to fill and different rooms to work on and use different systems, that’s where the problem came in. As demands on my time grew – at one point I was working on three books at the same time – as I would use these various systems, I’d either be too tired or too disinterested in putting everything back neatly. The more stuff, the harder it is to easily use without unpacking a bunch of stuff, moving other stuff, etc. My basement hasn’t recovered since, since I haven’t had the many days (or energy) to devote to getting it in order. And even with as large as my basement is, I don’t even think I have the room for everything that’s there anymore. That’s what leaving stuff around does — makes it seem like you have room where you really don’t. The floor is not a storage place. I have a full-time job and several side jobs (fortunately, passion, not necessity), as well as a wife and three kids. My passions for videogame and computer stuff has never waned, either, so I have all the latest consoles and a great gaming laptop. All of those things take time and it’s time I want to spend on them, which leaves very little time left for older stuff, particularly older stuff that’s just not easily accessible and/or quick to set up. In fact, one of the reasons for my comfort in moving away from physical items now has been the trend in modern consoles and computers to be all digital. Digital stuff – no matter how many thousands of items you actually have – takes up no physical space (let’s ignore for a moment what ownership of something digital really means). That’s in sharp contrast to how things previously worked. It also helps that I genuinely enjoy how the modern stuff works, and in my middle-aged adult life, convenience is something I prize since my time is more precious than ever. One thing I’d like to stress through all of this is that I never put my collection ahead of more important things. I always placed my wife and eventually kids as my first priorities, and never sacrificed working hard at a good job and doing right by both me and my family. I resolved to succeed at my passion projects/interests without sacrificing the stuff that I deemed truly important. And even as my collection became untenable, I never let it spill out beyond the basement (at least much!). So yes, while I have an all-consuming passion, I still made sure it had its limits. So what does all this mean? It means that psychologically I’m in a great place since I can continue to pursue my passions, albeit with far less stuff bogging me down. By partnering with Bodnar’s Auction, I can get rid of everything, save for a precious few systems with minimal extras. I no longer have to feel guilty about keeping stuff I’ll never get to use (no matter how much I want to) out of the hands of people who might make more use of it. Unfortunately, I’m not taking requests for individual items, since that defeats the purpose of doing this all in one shot. Bodnar’s Auction has agreed to put my 100 best items up (although, honestly, that’s going to be hard for me to figure out) for auction online as well as at physical auction. Everything else will be strictly physical auction. The timetable right now looks like the auction will take place some time in March or April 2018, and may be part of their grand opening event at what they expect to be a new permanent location (still in New Jersey). As always, I’ll be happy to answer any questions. I also ask that when the time comes, to please help me spread the word. I’ll definitely be posting about this again once the auction is officially scheduled. While obviously I have a financial interest in making this a success, I’m still first and foremost a member of the community, and I really do want to see the people who would appreciate this stuff the most get it before anyone else. As good of a decision this is for me, it was definitely not an easy one. For those interested, here’s a small selection of the platforms that should be part of the auction (of course there’s tons of boxed software and accessories, collectibles, etc.): 3Com Palm IIIx Acorn BBC Master/Micro/Electron Amdek PC Amstrad CPC464/6128/GX4000/PPC640 APF Imagination Machine/M1000/MP1000/TV Fun Apple II/IIGS Apple Mac Arcade Retro Collecting Multiple Classic Computer (MCC-216) Archos 7 (6700) Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101-A1/EeePC 1000HE AT&T PC 6300 Atari 8-bit/ST/Stacy/Falcon/2600/5200/7800/XEGS/Flashback/Jaguar/Lynx/Portfolio/Video Pinball AtGames (various) Bally Professional Arcade (Astrocade) Briel Computers Altair 8800 Micro/Micro-Kim/PockeTerm/replica 1 Cambridge Computer Z88 Coleco Adam/ColecoVision/Telstar Commodore 128/64/Amiga/PET/CDTV/CD32/Plus-4/C16/SX-64/VIC-20 Compaq Deskpro Cyberpower GUA290 Cybiko Wireless Entertainment System/Xtreme Dell (various) Dick Smith Wizzard (VTech CreatiVision) Dream Authentics Excalibur Home Arcade Machine dreamGEAR Plug ‘n’ Play 50 in 1 EB Excalibur Fox Sports Football Key Chain Emerson Arcadia 2001 Enterprise 128 Entex Handhelds Epoch Cassette Vision/Super Cassette Vision Epson HX-20/Epson PX-8 Exidy Sorcerer Fairchild Channel F System II/Video Entertainment System (VES) FC Mobile FC Mobile II Franklin ACE 1200 Gadgets Small, Inc. Spectre GCR Game Consoles Worldwide GCW Zero Game Sporz TV Wireless Boxing GamePark Holdings GP2X F-200 Gateway CX210X Tablet PC GCE Vectrex Generic PCs Generic Pocket Arcade 256 Games in 1 Generic Talking Brick Game 118 in 1 – E-118T Gold Leopard King (GLK) GLK Book Education Computer M08 Grundig Super Play Computer 4000 (Interton VC 4000) Heathkit HERO JR RT-1 (robot) Hewlett-Packard HP TouchSmart IQ524/HP-85/Pavilions Hyperkin GenMobile/NES RetroN 1/RetroN 5 IBM 5155/5150/PCjr indieGO Odroid XU4 Intelligent Game MPT-03 Home Entertainment Centre Interact Home Computer System (Model “R” – 16K) INTV Corp. Intellivision III Jakks Pacific Dora the Explorer TV Game/Namco TV Games/Star Wars Blaster Strike Video Game jojoultimate Mini Universal Supergun (SuperGun, super gun) Kaypro Kaypro 4 (Kaypro 4 ’84)/Kaypro II Konami Konami Live Online Game Controller!/Handhelds Laser 128 EX-2/Compumate2 Leapfrog Leapster2 Lego Robotics Invention System 2.0 Magnavox Odyssey/300/Odyssey2 Mammoth Toys Commodore 64 30 Games in One Joystick! (DTV) MatchMaster MMDB04 Mattel Aquarius/Radofin version/Baseball/Enhanced Computer System (ECS)/HyperScan/Intellivision/II Maximite BasicBoxX (BBX) Computer MBR Control Dynamics S-100 Bus Chassis Memorex Spongebob Media Player Memorex Video Information System Player (VIS) MFJ Video Effects Titler 1480B MGA Entertainment (various) Microsoft Xbox/360/One Midway TouchMaster 5000 (arcade machine) Milton Bradley MBX Expansion System/Microvision Multitech Micro-Professor 1 (MPF-1) MX Plus Android TV Box Navman PiN Pocket PC NEC Mobile Pro 750C/PC Engine Super Grafx/PC-6601/PC-8001A/PC-FX/NEC Trek PC-6001(A)/Duo/Express/16 Next Thing Co. PocketCHIP (PocketC.H.I.P.) Nintendo 3DS/64/DS/GBA/GB/GBC/GC/SNES/NES/Famicom/Wii/Wii U Nixdorf Computer LK-3000 Nokia N-Gage QD Ohio Art Etch A Sketch Animator 2000 Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P OnLive OnLive Game System Oric Oric-1 Osborne Executive (OCC-2)/Osborne 1 (OCC-1) Oscar Vermeulen KIM Uno/PiDP-8/I Packard Bell Platinum Palm Z22 Panasonic FZ1 3DO Interactive Multiplayer/JR-200U Personal Computer/RL-H1400 HHC Philips CDI/Videopac G7200/Videopac+ G7401 Pimoroni Picade Pioneer LaserActive Pro Tech Video Game System Radica Sega Menacer/Space Invaders Radio Shack Color Computer/2/3/LCD Space Rescue/MC-10 (Micro Color Computer)/TRS-80 Pocket Computer (PC-2/PC-4) Raspberry Pi RCA Studio II Home TV Programmer REP Electronics GameMid (Game Mid) Retro-Bit Retro Duo V2.0 Black (RetroDuo) Royal (TA) Alphatronic PC (CP/M) Sears Video Arcade (Tele-Games) Sega 32X/CD 2/Dreamcast/GG/SMS/Saturn/Genesis/Nomad/SC-3000 Sharp MZ-800 (MZ-821)/Twin Famicom Sinclair QL/ZX Spectrum/+2/+3/ZX80/ZX81 SNK Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (AES)/Neo Geo Pocket Color Sony CD-I CD Interactive Intelligent Discman IVO-V11/HB-75P/HB-F1XD/PS1/PS2/PS3/PSP/TV Sord Creative Computer M5 (Socius, CGL M5) Spectravideo CompuMate/SV-318/SV-328 Tandy 1000/2000/Model 100-102-200/4/4P/I Tano Dragon Tapwave Zodiac 2 Tatung Einstein 256 Team Ubi Ubi TeleGames Personal Arcade DINA 2 in One Texas Instruments Compact Computer (CC-40)/T-58/TI-74/99-4a Thomson MO5 Tiger Game.com Tiger R-Zone Tiger Telematics Gizmondo Timex Sinclair 1000/1500/2068 Tomy Tutor 16K Computer Toy Quest Go Go TV Video VISION Toymax Activision TV Games Unisonic Champion 2711 Series Valentin Angelovski Flea86 (rev 2.1, prototype) Velleman Classic TV Game (MK121 NTSC) VideoBrain Computer Company VideoBrain Family Computer Model 101 View-Master Interactive Vision Vizio Co-Star Stream Player/I.Q. Unlimited Computer/Laser 310 Color Computer/Laser 50/PC-5/Socrates Educational Video System/V.Smile/VZ200 Watara Supervision Worlds of Wonder Action Max XaviX XaviXPORT Yamaha CX-5M II/128U Music Computer (MSX 1)/CX5M Music Computer (MSX 1) Yobo Gameware FC Game Console ZAPiT Games Game Wave Zenith Z-100 (ZF-120-xx All-In-One Computer)
  7. Here's a list of my current 8-bit collection, starting with the working units! One working 400. One working 800. One working 600xl. Just put together a working 800XL out of two junkers. One working 1200XL. And one working XEGS. Just enough 'safe' power supplys to go around for the XL's and the XEGS. Along with these, I have a couple 1050 disk drives, an 810 drive, and some other pieces parts floating around that I need to gather up again. I also have parts 400, another 800 that MIGHT move up to working status if I can get a keyboard, and another 1200XL that is in beautiful shape, but the keyboard currently does not work at all, not even the option buttons. Might have to try and take that keyboard apart like I did my first 1200XL and clean all the contacts. A very TEDIOUS process! Oh, I also have ingots... three or four so far.... Bleah...
  8. I've got it up on kickstarter leading towards the onespark event here in jacksonville, where it is also registered. check it out at www.theimagic.com thoughts and input welcome!
  9. What do you do with broken stuff? I get most consoles repaired these days, but I have a few controllers I really like (a six button w/turbo genesis controller, multiple 2600 controller, and a translucent green N64 controller) that I just can't figure out what to do with. I also have an extra Apple G3 laptop that I should sell for parts or repair. As I see it we have a few options with any given item. -Hoard until parts become available and you can fix item -Fix item -Sell for parts -Toss I'm torn. I hate throwing away something thinking it could be fixed, but also don't like having broken crap taking up space in my collection. What do you do for various items?
  10. Mord

    New Computer Project

    Sharing a post I made to Livejournal just to potentially get more responses. I'm mostly just looking for suggestions and opinions at this stage, I'll be doing my own research throughout the summer anyway before I start trying to buy components likely 1/month.
  11. First off, I want to say this: I am still working on finishing my collections and, sadly, am no good at rebuilding stuff. Also, I mostly play games on my vintage computers as I started late into the computer game (Windows 98) and most technical stuff goes right over my head. Still, I think there is room to further invest in one of the lines of 8-bit computers I have to make them daily drivers for more than just games and I have narrowed the field down to two makes. Atari and Apple II. Now, which one is the best choice? Atari 8-Bit: Several models to choose from, both computers and disk drives seem to have that famous Atari durability to them. Nice graphics and sound. A lot of programs on cartridge and most will run on the earlier 800 that uses the near bullet-proof 9 volt power brick. Diskettes seem to be durable as well. Downsides are: You need a separate power supply for every accesory you hook into the 8-bit line, which can add up to a lot of wires and power bricks. XL series is very closed-box and the XE series is a bit shakey due to cost cutting the Tramiels did. Black ingots! Apple II computers: Built in one form or the other and supported from roughly 1978 until at least 1993! Very easy to work on, just power down and pop the top. Units seem fairly rugged and the Disk II drives seem durable. I've had even better luck with the later 5.25" unidrives. If the power supply smokes, it doesn't seem to take the computer with it and it also seems it can be repaired and put back into service. Most diskettes boot up by themselves, with no need to fiddle with DOS. Just power up the computer or hit reset. First computers I can remember getting to touch and see when in grade school. Just seems like an overall workhorse and there is an odd friendliness to the design. Downsides are: You can't just plug these in to a TV. (Well I don't think so at least.) So, you need to find a working monitor which is getting harder to do. All programs are on aging diskettes which need to be run through aging disk drives. (I think there is a work around for that though.) Keyboard keys are REALLY easy to break off compared to the Atari. Graphics are ok, sound can be kinda meh. Oh, and too many of them and their parts are still getting ground up! Downside of both: All are getting older and will eventually need rebuilds of some sort. I currently have three dead and one spare power supply for the Apple II, but those come out in one chunk and probably could be shipped to someone for rebuilds. Power supplies in the Atari models seem split between power brick and on the board. So, which of these two makes would be the most practical to make into a daily driver? A computer that might still be able to have use in our modern world? I'm not ditching any of my vintage computers, but I would love to see if I can make one do practical things while still remaining what it is. Anyways, thanks for looking and sorry for the long post.
  12. I've recently taken the 486 computer I've had in storage since 2004 and put it back together. For the most part, it works! Well, as much as it ever did. The only thing of note is that the left ALT key on the keyboard doesn't seem to function. I'm not sure if there's just something wedged under it or if it's outright broken. *checks* Could be either. I'll know for sure if the crap I blew away from it was causing the problem the next time I turn it on. The right ALT key works fine at any rate so it's not that big a deal. There are things on it I'd like to get off like old qbasic programs, etc but to do that I needed 3.5" diskettes as that's about the only way to take anything off of it's 400 megabyte harddrive. Luckily I found some of those at Future Shop today! Might start using the comp just for fiddling around with qbasic rather than messing around with some other basic in a more current console. I've got ideas of what I want to test out, and I know that they should be within my capability since I've already done similar programs with qbasic back in the 90's. So the question is whether or not I'll remember enough of it to do anything productive.
  13. Our feature film documentary, Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution, is now exclusively online at Vimeo On Demand. I'd be happy to field any questions about the film, so ask away!
  14. Many of you already know about this, but just in case, I wanted to start the topic for my upcoming book, Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time, which will be released in February, but is available for pre-order now. This is the next entry in the Focal Press Vintage Games series, which started with the critically acclaimed 2009 release, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. In contrast to Vintage Games, which covered 35 of the most influential computer, console, and handheld games of all time (up to the book's publication date), Vintage Game Consoles covers 20 of the greatest game playing computer, console, and handheld platforms of all time (up to 2001, which means no platforms still actively sold (i.e., their history is still being written)). It's full color throughout, with 400 images, an extensive preface, and major section introductions to complement each platform chapter, which provides a thorough history of the industry through the lens of the very platforms that helped define it. Any questions? Ask away! (also be sure to check out my other recently released book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, and the next book to see release after Vintage Game Consoles, My Xbox One; March will also see the first unveiling of our major feature film documentary on the history of videogames (based loosely on the Vintage Games series books), Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution) Contents: Preface Generation One (1971 – 1984) Arcade (1971) Apple II (1977) Atari 2600 VCS (1977) Atari 8-bit (1979) Mattel Intellivision (1979) PC DOS Computers (1981) Commodore 64 (1982) Coleco ColecoVision (1982) Generation Two (1985 – 1994) Nintendo Entertainment System (1985) Commodore Amiga (1985) Sega Genesis (1989) Nintendo GameBoy (1989) Nintendo Super NES (1991) Generation Three (1995 – 2001) PC Windows Computers (1995) Sony PlayStation (1995) Nintendo 64 (1996) Sega Dreamcast (1999) Sony PlayStation 2 (2000) Microsoft Xbox (2001) Nintendo GameCube (2001) By the way, the cover art is by none other than Nathan Strum, long-time AtariAge member and renowned homebrew cover artist. For those not familiar with the style, it's meant to evoke my first (and favorite) childhood magazine, Electronic Games. I think he nailed it:
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