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Matts's Blog - New adventures


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Well this has come a surprise over the past 6 months. Earlier this year I picked up a C64 and 1541 II off eBay having started watching a number of retro videos in the period proceeding that purchase. All of a sudden I was back into my youth playing some classic games from the past - much to the probable annoyance of my wife and kids (I'd previously planned and built an Arcade cabinet [Nintendo - Donkey Kong] over a 10 year period so just another thing to clog up the house) though my son seemed to appreciate a game of Wizball.

Not long after for some reason I started searching for some Atari 2600s to 'do up' ie clean, re-cap and sell (profit, any profit pfft!). So now 6 months later having spent a (fair) bit of money (this hobby isn't cheap in Australia) I still have 3 2600jrs each with a least one joystick and 1 to 3 games ready to sell all nicely presented in a box. I've certainly enjoyed the process of buying, cleaning and learning to solder and repair and have even got pretty good at doing it.

During this I thought hey lets get one for myself - so I picked up a Vadar and modded it for RGB output (tried a 3rd part one which output was average - so I built one myself in the end). Now this was early on and my soldering skills nearly killed it but I persevered and it's now working quite nicely (also got some joystick parts for Bests and fully restored).

Next up I wanted more so I then picked up a light sixer which was sold as not working. Replaced the power socket which got it working and then cleaned up some rough soldering around the switches eventually finding the RIOT was faulty also. Replaced that with a spare I had and now working nicely. Then for some reason on my final testing I must have shorted the joystick and nothing on the left was working arrrr. So my first post here asked for some help and eventually socketed the 4050 and unsoldered/re-soldered the joystick port and we are back up and running. The kids will not appreciated the history of such a beast but looking forward to opening my Christmas present shortly!

Anyway, been a long time coder of games [remakes of stuff I love generally] using products such as Amos, BlitzBasic (all forms), Monkey etc as well as VB.Net which I've built a commercial product for my business (since seen the light and now coding a redo in c#). So hey I'd love to learn to do some stuff for the 2600!! So the last couple of weeks I've tried to plug away in assembly picking up bits and pieces but really going nowhere. So on the weekend I started looking at batariBasic and I've got to say for getting up and running very quickly this is a great tool. I've got a game I recently came across on the PC (and also the c64) which is simple but a bit of fun - so armed with batariBasic within a day I've got a little man running around animated and so forth.

So (hopefully) going forward I want to remake this game on the Atari and maybe some others. The key will be finishing and not abandoning - fingers crossed!

Wish me luck!

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