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"Protecto Enterprizes" - Bogusware?

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Ran across this blog about a VIC-20 add-on device that was to allow 2600 play. Anyone hear of it?

 

Interesting article.

 

http://gamingafter40.blogspot.com/2010/05/and-by-fantastic-we-mean-sheer-fantasy.html

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4C1ZwEub0Po/S9yVJsgGxJI/AAAAAAAABkg/X9pPA9cXKQk/s1600/vic20_game_loader_ad.jpg

 

Has this been covered? I couldn't find a reference. I assume it was some mail-order scam but if not would be some rare hardware.

post-29937-0-75059000-1307257873_thumb.jpg

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A 2600 adaptor for the VIC 20 would be possible but it would only be using the computer as a power supply and maybe the video output would be via the computer. The adaptor would still have to have all the 2600 hardware inside.

 

However the claim that it will improve the graphics means that it is probably just a scam.

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According to Russ Perry it was not really a scam but it just wasn't released. Maybe the crash happened first, who knows.

 

Cool. I wonder if there is a prototype somewhere.

 

What do you think they mean by improving the graphics of the games?

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I read the advertisment again and it doesn't say it will improve the graphics.

 

I'm not sure what it means when it says you get "VIC 20 graphics and sound" when you use the game loader.

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Sounds like a crock.

 

As was said, the VIC-20 would barely participate in the exercise, it'd be similar to the 2600 adaptor for the 5200.

 

Since the 2600 can have variable number of scanlines under software control, it makes blending video from it and another source very hard.

You'd have to detect when the 2600 does a VSync, then follow suit.

 

I suppose in theory you could "enhance" 2600 graphics by having blended video and just adding backgrounds to games that don't actually affect the game itself.

You could have presets for X number of games, then detect what game is inserted by running a CRC formula on the ROM or similar.

 

But the end result would be much like the bezels and overlays you can do with MAME - they don't actually make any difference, but alter the game appearance.

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The July(?) 1983 issue of Creative Computing has a lengthy report from the Summer CES. There are several examples of this kind of product shown; along with announcements of several as yet unreleased Atari 2600 games.

 

The editors were (rightly) skeptical of a few of the more fantastic claims, but most things were reported as actual products that would be available for purchase "real soon now".

 

I don't think that issue is available online; I have a photocopy of the article in my files somewhere.

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Protecto Enterprises did exist as a company with some real products, and I remember seeing the 2600 emulator advertised back in the day. I have no idea whether it was ever produced, but the only way it could possibly work would be if it had a pass-through connection for the VIC-20 audio and video, and disabled those when using the 2600 mode; the only VIC-20 features that would be used would be the power supply and the RF modulator. Given that the VIC 20's RF modulator was better than the 2600's, video and audio quality could be improved versus a stock 2600. Still, I'm dubious how Protecto could have been expecting to make much profit at that price.

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What do you think they mean by improving the graphics of the games?

 

Yars Revenge before the Vic-20 Adapter:

 

SS-1.gif

 

Yars Revenge after the Vic-20 Adapter:

 

1303406929303.jpg

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heck if u could do that you could seperated composite audio and video which would improve the picture quality...

 

i too prefer the 'before' picture :)

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Me and the co-founder of Protecto used to beat on our vic-20's all hours of the night, but I was more an atari and apple guy. So I didn't get involved in the business much.

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Me and the co-founder of Protecto used to beat on our vic-20's all hours of the night, but I was more an atari and apple guy. So I didn't get involved in the business much.

 

Thank God you didn't put the word "off" in there. :ponder:

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