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Albert

Atari 2600 as a PC Case

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http://www.retrosystem.com/index.htmLooks like someone has found a use for old console and computer cases. Retrosystem removes the guts from Atari 2600, NES, and Amiga 1000 systems and replaces them with a modern PC that will run Windows or Linux. The Atari 2600 model features an 800Mhz CPU, 128MB of RAM, 5GB hard drive, DVD-ROM, various ports, and more. When ordering, you can upgrade the hard drive, memory, and other components.

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Thats amazing! I was surprised to read that it retains its 2600 functionality, I thought they wouldhave completely gutted it.

 

I was also expecting it to be much more than $999. I appreciate the specs a bit low but its certanily good enough.

 

Of course, I cant imagine there being 5 PCI slots and an AGP slot, that could be a minor drawback but its still the coolest pc ive seen in a long time 8)

 

Adam

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I'm fairly certain that all the atari 2600 functionality is through emulation on the modern PC. The NES and Amiga software is also emulated as stated on its webpage. Would be cool if you could plug carts into it but maybe when motherboards get even smaller in the future. :D

 

 

-O

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That's awesome! The prices aren't too bad either. I'd definitely get one, but I'm guessing you can't put extra cards in it and I need my soundcard.

 

-Paul

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AHHHHHH

 

NOOOOOOO

 

The 2600 system is more powerful then the computer im useing right now :sad: :D

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Wow! What a cool idea. Seems like they are using laptop components for this. Given the substatial modifications required the price is not bad.

 

8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

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Id like to see photos of the DVD open and also I would like to see the rear-end of the beast as well.

 

The 'photos' and 'spec' buttons arent working on the site though :sad:

 

Adam

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To bad that the Atari doesn't function as a Atari, on the page it says "Commercial Atari 2600 Emulator with over 40 licensed games included. " in the Specs area.

 

Perhaps they could get a Junior Atari system to put inside it to actually work like a real Atari. If not they could probrably fit one after it has been made to the "portable" Atari system size. ;)

 

Very inovative idea none the less. Looks like they went beyond the Atari prototype "Graduate" computer hardware. :D

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I can't believe this! I am in the middle of doing the *EXACT* same thing with a 5200! (The only thing I have left is to find a broken 5200 - I don't want to ruin a working one).

 

This is the link to the motherboard I belive they are using... (It's the one I am using, and it sounds like the same specs) This motherboard is very small; I originally tried to make it fit in a broken 7800, but I couldn't do it. It will definately fit in a 5200 (with some room to spare)

 

http://www.mini-itx.com/hardware/images/ha...rdware0011L.jpg

 

If anyone's interested on what it looks like, I'll let you guys know when I'm done.

 

The only difference is mine will have the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Intellivision, and Odyssey2 emulators in it (yes, I have all of those consoles) :D

 

Someone beat me to the punch :(

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I can't believe this!  I am in the middle of doing the *EXACT* same thing with a 5200!

You'd better hurry, because these dingbats are patenting "their idea". Or at least trying to, but things as they are, they may manage it.

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Tearing the parts out of working machines from the past to use them to create botique PCs seems a bit like gutting a 15th century cathedral to put in a Scientology meeting hall.

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anyway i don not see how they are going to accomodate the Atx power supply, even the baby atx uses more room than the atari console provides givin its interior limits and ventilation would have to be a factor todays modern Pc cpu's run hot as hell

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iYou'd better hurry, because these dingbats are patenting "their idea".  Or at least trying to, but things as they are, they may manage it.

 

I know our patent system is woefully broken, but I will be dismayed if they somehow manage to patent this. Where is the invention here? All they did was take off the shelf hardware and fit it in existing cases. Maybe they crafted some individual parts to help with this process, but they should patent those parts and not the idea of shoehorning a PC into a 2600 case.

 

Okay, I found the paragraph on their site that talks about this,

 

We are patenting this process of customizing old computer and game console cabinets to be Windows, Linux or other contemporary operating systems based on x86 systems. Contact us if you are interested in licensing from us. For those who wonder 'Why Patent'? - the answer is simple. We don't wish to jump on individuals who do their own customized retrosystem. We want to protect our idea from other companies that might try to recreate our concept.

 

There has to be prior art with regards to this, which would invalidate any patent they might receive. People have turned all manner of items into PCs, and I can't imagine they are the first to take a video game system, gut it, and put a PC inside. From my understanding of patents, ideas cannot be patended, but instead, "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof".

 

Here is a quote from a page that talks about what can be patented:

 

A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion. The patent is granted upon the new machine, manufacture, etc., as has been said, and not upon the idea or suggestion of the new machine. A complete description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required.

 

Therefore, they are not going to get a patent on the idea of taking a videogame system and turning it into a PC. Also, this is a relatively obvious idea (computers are already embedded just about everywhere, why not an old game console?), which will also further weaken such a patent, in my opinion.

 

Also, this came up on Slashdot today, start reading from this comment.

 

..Al

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This is pretty cool (apart from the patent bit that they'll never pull off). I'm very intruiged to see where the DVD slot goes on the 2600 casing. The only major omission I think they've made is they haven't included support for original VCS joysticks (theres already an adaptor you can buy to do that) - anyone know how many USB connectors it has?

I love the s-video thing though, being able to play your VCS emulator (and MAME, come to think of it) through your TV is just plain cool.

 

If my iMac (god forbid) ever dies, I might turn it into some kind of tiny Jamma cabinet:)

The only project of this type (sort of) that I'm really aching to do right now, is turn an old Sinclair ZX Spectrum into a Mac keyboard - I've no idea how to pull it off tho:(

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I think it is a hoax .. because the pic looks fake .. and there are no additional photos to show the back or even the motherboard ..

 

Plus cooling is a question ..

 

A DVD tray would have to come out of the front .. which would mess up the woodgrain.

 

And who would really want a PC inside a console? The Atari console is perfect as it is! It would become corrupted with WINDOZE/ INTROLL inside!

 

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

:wink:

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I think it is a hoax .. because the pic looks fake .. and there are no additional photos to show the back or even the motherboard ..

 

Well, they already have pictures showing the internals of an Amiga 1000 on the site, but no pictures of the 2600. However, I found some pictures of the 2600 by trying the same naming convention they used for the Amiga! Here are the 2600 pictures:

 

Atari 2600 - Front

Atari 2600 - Back

Atari 2600 - Beauty Shot

 

You can see the DVD drive is on the front and all the ports should be accessible on the back. It's just a small PC motherboard with everything you'd need (video, audio, network, etc.) all integrated onboard. However, there are a few things that suggest this is simply a mockup and not a working example:

 

1) There is no power supply! Not going to get very far without that.

2) The motherboard is not actually mounted in the case, it appears to just be sitting on a foam sheet, the kind that often accompany motherboards in their boxes. Nor are there screws in any of the visible mounting holes on the board.

3) The ATX port cover on the back doesn't appear to be lined up vertically with the ports, and the board would need to be further back in the case.

4) In the first picture it looks like a cut was made in the top portion of the graphic for the DVD drive. My guess is that this location didn't pan out, so the bottom (under the MB) was used instead. Very much a "work in progress" as opposed to a production unit after you've gotten the kinks worked out.

 

I would like to see how they fit a power supply into the case, though. Does anyone know of any ATX power supplies that will work in that form factor?

 

While I don't think this is a hoax, I bet these pictures weren't publically posted so people wouldn't quickly denounce the 2600 as simply a mockup. Maybe they won't actually complete the first one until they get their first order? After looking at the pictures of the 2600, they are doing nothing special, so the idea of a patent is ludicrous.

 

..Al

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I've got a spare 2600 case from my portable and an old laptop...hmmmm....where's my screw driver? :D :D :D

 

I can't see that they've got any chance on a patent, it's like me putting feet in someone else shoes and then saying that nobody else can do it, it's just silly...

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Pics look interesting .. So I'll recant my hoax statement ...

 

Still more novelty than practical. For the do-it-yourselfer .. would get satisfying results ...

 

Rob Mitchell, Altanta, GA

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This idea isn't new. I can't remember the page where I read it. But I know that at least a year ago, I read where one individual had actually put all the needed parts for a working PC into his original NES deck. The CD Drive came out through the front loader lid. It actually looked really cool!..Also there were pictures of the thing in action etc...

 

Heck the reverse of that, I have seen pics of people modifiying Lian Li cases...and Have seen one that has the following in it...a PS2, Xbox, NES, A2600, and a Gamecube all of that...plus is still had a standard Mobo with an Athalon in it to be used as an actual PC! I may have read about that one here at AA in fact...

 

Oh well, the idea isn't new and is in fact late by at least a year if not longer.

 

:twisted:

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Heck the reverse of that, I have seen pics of people modifiying Lian Li cases...and Have seen one that has the following in it...a PS2, Xbox, NES, A2600, and a Gamecube all of that...plus is still had a standard Mobo with an Athalon in it to be used as an actual PC!  I may have read about that one here at AA in fact...

 

:twisted:

 

I remember that too, it was on AA.

 

Adam

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yeah, it's nice, but... where's the power supply? and where's the floppy? and u can't expand the system... It's a nice idea, but for me ain't worth the money they are asking for it... Just my two cents

 

Osbo

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Legally, I don't see how they can patent that. First of all, there's nothing new about that idea. MAME cabinets are no different. I know there's a company (I've since forgotten the website...) that guts old tv sets and cabinets (like the one shown on the new DP message board) and puts in current technology. Secondly, they didn't design the case or the components inside it! I'd really be surprised if their patent pursuit when anywhere.

 

I'd be curious to see what games (and emulator) they licensed, and how. One they mention is "Starfire" -?? Plus, they also refer to the 2600 as the first video game system.

 

If this is a hoax, then they didn't do enough research for it :)

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