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Rose-Tinted Recollections

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Ship of Theseus: was, Activision Cartridge New Labels

Got my last three carts from eBay vendors.  Robot Tank, Starmaster and Megamania.  Don't have natural light to take a picture of Megamania, so I'll provide it some other time.   Opening the Robot Tank cartridge, I found a surprise.  It uses a new blob-type ROM chip with all epoxy.  Of all the cartridges I opened in this project, this is the only one.  So most likely this was a latter run of Activision cartridges.  All the other ones had the larger chip.       

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AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol in New Labels

Activision (Re-)Labels: Critical mass

So over the last few days, quite a few cartridges started making their way into my collection.  I did one major batch/rush over a couple of days to get as many as I could.  Just because I'm basically doing reproductions by adding these new labels, I decided to keep the costs reasonable as an additional challenge.  Basically keep each cartridge under $10 (Canadian).  I was able to do this with the only exception being Robot Tank which ended up being $14.  Everything else was from $2 to $10.  With

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AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol in New Labels

Atari Cartridges: New Labels Continued

So after some more cleaning, I ended taking another look at the Stampede cartridge and getting its new label attached.   The big issue is that the game would not play.  I remember that one of the two cartridges wasn't working and simply never got to it.  Tried it on my usual 7800 and took out my 2600 as well.  It would not work.  I tried another alcohol-based clean on the contacts with Q-tips and it wouldn't work.   So I gave in and opened the case.  The contacts did look ver

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AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol in New Labels

Adding new labels to my Atari 2600 Cartridges

So I did receive the labels yesterday afternoon, which was a great coincidence, since I was just going to prep four cartridges for the eventual arrival of the new labels.  I received about 40-50 of them.  All the Activision ones and ordered one single Spectravideo cart for Planet Patrol.   So I'll start with my dupes: Keystone Kapers, Planet Patrol, Space Shuttle and Stampede.     I did do more of a clean, scrapping some of the residue of the Keystone Kapers and Pl

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AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol in New Labels

Getting Atari 2600 cartridges ready for new labels

So a couple weeks ago I stumbled upon this post from pboland where he's selling replacement labels for cartridges.  I was intrigued because I have a full set of Activision cartridges, but the labels on the majority of them are in a poor state.  After doing the math and needing some new distraction, I decided to order a full replacement set.   Now, I think I will probably not touch the more rarer carts like Cosmic Commuter, Ghostbusters, Rampage, etc but will do the more common one.  I

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AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol in New Labels

And now I have my 800 multicart: AVGCart

After getting my 800XL a few days ago, I decided that I wasn't going to start a new cartridge collection for my new 8bit computer.  I have too many things that I rarely use and to be honest, between my 2600 and 7800 games, I also just don't have the time.   So enter the AVGCart!  Received it two days ago and was just waiting for my work schedule to clear up so that I can have a nice couple of hours to set it up and play with it.  I also ordered the SIO cable in case I came across

I finally got an Atari 800XL!

As a kid, I recall seeing the 800XL in a department store in Hamburg and thinking that this was the natural evolution of things Atari.  I had the Atari 2600, so seeing this computer with a a cartridge slot at the top, two joystick ports and then the select/start buttons on the side made it seem that this was the next system to get.     I actually don't recall any cartridges being played on the display models and none of my friends had a computer.  We mostly had 2600s and we swapped gam

Intellivision controller membrane replacement

Other than my main Atari 7800 console, the other (retro) console that gets a workout in my household is the Intellivision.    I've always found the controls frustrating, especially the disc. Since I have two systems, I can actually compare what they are supposed to be like since one seems to have the controls working properly.  The unit that's a bit more beat up cosmetically is the one that seems to function better.  So I'd like  to get the main unit we use working in the same way. 

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Atari vs Activision

Yes, yet another Activision versus Atari blog entry!   I read DoctorSpud's recently on Robot Tank and it reminded me of how this was Activision's version of Battlezone.  DoctorSpud also made a comparison of how Enduro was their take on Pole Position.  So I started thinking of how many times that happened.  Most of us know of the lawsuit that Atari initiated against Activision and we also know that Imagic was sued over Demon Attack being close to Phoenix.  I get it, they paid top dolla

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My Arcade is done!

This is something I've been meaning to for the last 3-4 years.  I've been slowly collecting all the necessary items but in the last 3-4 months I sprinted towards the end.   I've always wanted to build my own MAME-type home arcade and have a bunch of games ready for me to play with.   I knew I wanted to use MAME because I've been using since it was first released eons ago.      The monitor   I also knew that I was going to use a LCD monitor; at leas

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - The Final!

So here we are in the final! It was an action-packed semi-final where we saw two great bouts. The finalists are: Enduro (Activision) vs Super Football (Atari) Both finalists had to deal with some tough opposition, especially in the later rounds. Enduro had to deal with a preliminary round and there was quite the discontent that such an illustrious title had to even qualify for this tournament. Going against one of its predecessors, Night Driver, proved to be a good warm-up for Enduro.

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - Semi-Finals

What a tournament it has been we have seen some upsets (Atari's Golf, Imagic's Trick Shot, and Activision Skiing) and some unexpected games make it into the latter rounds (RS Volleyball, HES' My Golf). We had quite the quarter-final with potentially some controversial wins. Our four semi-finalists are Enduro (Activision), My Golf (HES), Pole Position (Atari) and Super Football (Atari). It's certain that most 2600 collectors and owners would have a copy of Enduro or Pole Position, while

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - Quarter-Finals!

And then there were eight! We're down to outstanding games any of which could be anyone's favourite sports game of all time. It was an exciting round of 16 and now we move on. The four bouts are: California Games (Epyx) vs Enduro (Activision) Decathlon (Activision) vs My Golf (HES) Pole Position (Atari) vs Pete Rose Baseball (Absolute) Super Football (Atari) vs Track&Field (Atari) There no underdogs in this round, all solid performers who made it this far on merit. 1.

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - Round of 16

So we're down to 16 great sports games on the Atari 2600. It was an exciting first round. Some great match-ups coming up: BMX Airmaster (TNT Games) vs California Games (Epyx) Enduro (Activision) vs Winter Games (Epyx) Decathlon (Activision) vs Skiing (Activision) Tennis (Activision) vs My Golf (HES) Pole Position (Atari) vs Realsports Boxing (Atari) Realsports Volleyball (Atari) vs Pete Rose Baseball (Absolute) Super Football (Atari) vs Summer Games (Epyx) Track&Fi

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - First Round

Oh my, there has been quite the delay from the preliminary round to the first round. All things considered, these 2600 games have been around for years, so a few months won't matter. So the 12 qualifiers from the preliminary round, join another 20 games for the 32 contenders in the first-round. The match-ups were done randomly, the only restrictions are: preliminary participants don't get paired together we keep games from the same company separate in the first round So the match-

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Modding the Flashback 8 HD - Part Two

Adding a game to the Flashback 8 HD Some prerequisites: in this example I'm adding the Double Dragon Arcade ROM from KevinMos3 ( Available at http://atariage.com/forums/topic/154984-hack-project-thread-galaxian-arcade-double-dragon-xenophobe-etc/ ; also note that there is a very nice label he created you have to have added the USB connector the Flashback Android Debugger Bridge (ADB) a bit of patience First a walkthrough ... There are two key items to remember during this mo

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Modding the Flashback 8 HD

Preparing for modding your Flashback 8 HD Console I will go over the steps to get everything set up to be able to add/modify the games on your Flashback device. 1. USB Connection   Unlike the Flashback Genesis model, my Flashback 8 HD (as all other variation appear) does not come with a USB connector, or SD-card slot. After doing some digging around, there appear to be numerous Arduino board variations.   So basically we need to add a USB connector to the board. Luckily, this is not

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - Prelimary Round

So, there is a collection of 24 games that will try to make it past the first hurdle in becoming the best Atari 2600 sport game ever. There are some titles here that will put on a brave face and try to punch over their weight class. Barely 4kb lightweights against some 16kb behemoths? Who will make it past the initial round and get a good chance to claim the title? For the dozens in the forums, and the three following blogs, this is the best in sports entertainment! Let's get ready to ruuu

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Atari Games Elimination Tournament - Sports Edition - The Participants

So which game is truly the best sports game on the Atari? Which is more innovative? Truthful to the sport? Best graphics? Most accurate controls? And more importantly, is it fun? I've listed 44 games that should be consider. I've skipped all the Pong variants, boardgames, and pretend sports or variations. No Steeplechase, but there is Trick Shot and Skeet Shoot. No crazy Math Grand Prix, no Fishing Derby, no Wall Ball. I was going to limit myself to games that I owned, but thanks to t

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Favourite Atari 2600 Arcade Ports

Atari was probably the first company to license arcade hits to complement their own library which they offered on the VCS and soon third-parties followed suit (Parker Bros, M-Network), or in case of some others (Sega, Bally Midway, etc) ended up spinning up their own companies to make and publish these home console versions. It's interesting how Coleco basically went with the arcade-conversions only, which were so prominently displayed on their boxes. As a kid, I remember seeing that and be

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My Collection - Part Seven

Seems a bit odd posting about Intellisivision on the AtariAge blog, but it's one of the things I also collect. What started my collecting of Atari (again) was the Intellivision. I never owned one when I was a kid and to be honest, I didn't know anyone that actually had one as well. I did see them in the stores and usually played the demo games. NASL Soccer was very impressive to me at the time with its 3D-like view and a scrolling playfield. There were a lot of things about the Intellivisio

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My Collection - Part Six

Here are most of my controllers for the 2600/7800, I have a couple joysticks and a joypad with the TV unit downstairs. The majority are original Atari ones and I didn't realize that I had 3 sets of paddles. I ended up refurbishing a 3-4 CX-40 with parts from Best Electronics. New rubber handle, new button/spring and for a couple of them I changed the contacts. Much cheaper than to get brand-new joysticks and except the usual markings on the rubber handle and scratched buttons, nothing wro

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My Collection - Part Five

I can't say I have a very extensive 7800 collection. These are the loose carts that I own. That's probably true for most folks since it's library is a lot smaller than the 2600. I've come into the 7800 market only in the last 2 or 3 years, after I bought a 7800 console from Best Electronics. The reason was for me to get was to get something with a working AV mod since my attempts on an Atari Jr were poor. In fact, the only Atari consoles I own now are two 7800s. I ended up buying a coupl

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My Collection - Part Three

Hm, interesting, so it seems I have 90 Atari loose cartridges including some duplicates/variations. For some reason I thought I had more. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of common cartridges here. You have your standard Combat, Air-Sea Battle, Yars Revenge, Defender, Asteroids, Missile Command, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Berzerk, and maybe Adventure. 90% of the people that have an Atari probably have 3 or more of those in their collection. Those are the mainstays. I have the common paddle

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My Collection - Part Four

It's funny, I've never gone out of my way to buy boxed and especially BNIB items. Yet I've accumulated quite a few boxes. That takes a couple of bins in storage downstairs. A few months ago I bought about 25 boxed games in a fairly good deal from a local retro store here in Toronto. They gave me about half-price from the individual cost and a lot cheaper than what I usually see on eBay especially for sealed items. It was a spur of a moment thing and have to admit, the thrill of owning them

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