Jump to content
Compumater

Why No Basic Cart for the Odyssey?

Recommended Posts

 I've owned a few of these over the years, and while I never found it to be an impressive game machine I did like it enough to collect for it for a bit in the 90's.

 

 I always wondered why they never came out with a basic programming cart for it. It was the only system at it's time to include a full keyboard, so it would have seemed like a no brainer, but I never found one.  Did they ever intend to flesh this thing out and add a basic cart and maybe a tape interface?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Computer Intro is teaching assembly, not BASIC. As to why there’s no BASIC implementation it’s a fair question. If we could figure out who made Computer Intro they could probably explain that decision.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The odyssey2 only has 64 bytes of ram.  A basic cartridge would have to have ram and an interface to some sort of external read/write storage.  Someone who have to write a basic interpreter for that cpu.  The keyboard and character set lacks basic characters that would be helpfull for programming.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2020 at 3:44 PM, ubersaurus said:

Computer Intro is teaching assembly, not BASIC. As to why there’s no BASIC implementation it’s a fair question. If we could figure out who made Computer Intro they could probably explain that decision.

 

13 hours ago, jimj said:

https://www.the-nextlevel.com/odyssey2/collect/hardware/peripherals/ has some info on the "C7420 Home Computer Module".  I'm not sure if it'd work with an Odyssey though.

 

Good question! The learning Assembly cart with a 104 page manual is pretty cool, everyone wanted to learn BASIC and Assembly and elitists favored the latter - the O2 looked like a real computer so why not take advantage of that?

 

Atari had astronauts on BASIC Programming but the Magnavox O2 could program the NASA moon lander in Assembly. 

 

https://www.the-nextlevel.com/odyssey2/db/game/computer-intro-12

 

This is one area where Odyssey² truly outdid its competition -- when it released Computer Intro, a cartridge which allowed users to learn fundamental Assembly-language programming. The cartridge came packaged with a spiral-bound, 104-page manual entitled "A Beginner's Guide to Computer Technology" that featured a brief history of computers, an introduction to programming techniques, sample programs, key codes, and more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will say that Computer Intro, much like Atari's BASIC cart, has the same failing: no way to save programs. Bally got that one right for the Professional Arcade in producing a cassette interface!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/2/2020 at 3:02 PM, ubersaurus said:

I will say that Computer Intro, much like Atari's BASIC cart, has the same failing: no way to save programs. Bally got that one right for the Professional Arcade in producing a cassette interface!

This does make me wonder, though, how difficult it might be to make a pass through cart of some sort to add save functionality to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Magicard interface for the 2600 came with schematics to build your own cassette interface using a controller port. I wonder if such a thing could be whipped up for the Odyssey2?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, ubersaurus said:

The Magicard interface for the 2600 came with schematics to build your own cassette interface using a controller port. I wonder if such a thing could be whipped up for the Odyssey2?

I was thinking along the lines of the 2600 save key, but this is a good notion, too. (For that matter: Why not both?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/4/2020 at 12:55 AM, ubersaurus said:

The Magicard interface for the 2600 came with schematics to build your own cassette interface using a controller port. I wonder if such a thing could be whipped up for the Odyssey2?

Good idea, but connecting via the controller port I think is problematic. Most OD2s don't have detachable sticks. Some do, but the vast majority of them do not. It would most likely need to be built into the cartridge like the Bally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...