As mentioned previously, I've been going great guns in an attempt to make my overly large collection of 400+ videogame and computer systems more accessible and immediately usable. In other words, figuring out how to waste less of my precious time setting up this stuff and use more of that time actually using what I want to use. Part of that initiative is to take the most "important" computer and videogame systems and put them front and center - and ready to go - in various rooms. I'll discuss the classic videogame consoles in more detail in another post, but basically I've set up a 32" Sony Trinitron CRT to supplement the other basement TV and can now plug in various consoles in that area quickly and easily, though I've changed up where (and how) I'll be making the actual systems themselves accessible. Anyway, where last we left off, I couldn't get my Amiga 600 or 1200 to work, which left me to choose between my Amiga 500, 1000, or 2500HD (with 8088 Bridgeboard). I chose the latter.
With the above in mind, it was of course bugging me that neither the 600 or 1200 were working, so I resolved to address the issue within my limited skillset, and of course when time permitted. Long story short, the 600 is dead, but the culprit in the 1200 was a deceased 40MB hard drive, which was easy enough to remove and replace with a Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software. In the mean-time, I also got a PAL Amiga 1200, stock, with its own Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software.
As mentioned previously, I've been re-thinking my collecting activities, including selling off the non-working and duplicate portions of my collection, which presently consists of over 430 videogame and computer systems and countless thousands of related software, accessories, and literature. Naturally, part of that reasoning was "thinning the herd" after all these years, because - even though I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space for these types of activities - it has long since reached the point where I well and truly have too much to handle. Why has this become an issue? There's simply too much stuff, there's no time to use it (that would need to be my full-time job), and, when I do want to use it, it takes up most of my available time just setting something up, only to have to break it down and put it back on the shelf again. It's innefficient, and frankly, no fun anymore.
With that in mind, in addition to the thinning - which will take a very, very long time of course in a collection I've been cultivating for over 30 years now - I've been plotting how I can make better use of what I have. Like I said, I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space. I have a large basement area, with about half unfinished, which is used for storage, and the other, finished half, consisting of an office room, hallway, workout area, and den area. The main floors of our house contain our active systems, including the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Co-Star, various computers and handhelds, etc., but they are not an option for me to make use of for classic items, other than on an occasional basis. That just leaves the basement, which is, of course, fine, but also limits my flexibility.
Anyway, even though each area of the basement is brimming with stuff and each section serves a specific purpose, either on a permanent or temporary basis, I decided that my best course of action is to pull out the truly must-have-accessible systems from the hundreds available and make them accessible at a moment's notice. This was not easy to do, as I have a genuine passion for each and every system I own, but the bottom line is is that some systems are more interesting, more "useful," or I simply have a critical mass of items for them that they can't be ignored. I decided I'd tackle that task with my classic computers first, followed by my classic videogame systems at a later date. I cleared space on my big L-shaped computer desk in the office area and proceeded to select the systems that met my criteria and would fit on the desk (I'll have some flexibility when I set up the classic videogame consoles to make a little use of the den area as well).
While I have many different models in most of the specific computer series I selected, I tried to choose the one model in my collection that would give me the most bang-for-the-buck. This in and of itself was not easy, as there's rarely a "most perfect" choice when it comes to choosing the ideal model in a series, which in this case also involved being a good fit for the available space. The systems I chose were as follows: TI-99/4a, Apple IIgs, Atari 600XL, Atari Falcon, Commodore Amiga 2000HD, and Commodore 128DCR, with a special appearance by the Radio Shack Color Computer series, which I'll explain at the end. So yeah, as hard as it was, no Sinclair Spectrum, BBC, IBM PCjr, Coleco Adam, Imagination Machine, MSX, Interact, Exidy, etc., etc., items, even though I'd love to have those out and ready to go as much as the others.
My initial goal - which I was able to accomplish - was to set up a basic system configuration for each and make sure it was working properly. I actually had a slightly different mix of specific systems, but, after testing, found some things didn't function as expected or didn't work at all. Over time, I'll add to each system I've set up (and address the other stuff that's not working) until each and every one is set up properly with their respective disk drives, flash cards, transfer cables, etc., to be fully usable with all of the stuff I have available. At the very least, with these minimum configurations, they're ready to go for most quick usage scenarios. I also decided it was important not to have any of them plugged in full-time, so everything gets hooked up and powered up on demand. This is actually simple and will not delay my usage in any way. In fact, the way I have the various monitors and TV's set up, I can hook up other systems as needed without too much fuss, which is another bonus. Anyway, here are the photos and additional explanation:
I thought this type of discovery deserved a bit of a higher profile, so here goes. Digital Press forum member, "Seaquest", posted about a game his father found about four years ago. I'll let Seaquest's words describe the finding:
"The Cat S.O.S game (Caterpillar scheduled oil sampling game)along with a colecovision was given to every cat dealership in 1983 to support the S.O.S. program. The customers would play it while waiting in the lobby. The game was made by the company Nuvatec. It was never sold commercially and could only be found exclusively in cat heavy equipment dealerships. My dad (who worked at cat) found that they were about to discard of both the game and the console so he saved it and gave it to me to add to my collection.
The game consists of a bulldozer that rides around and pushes dirt. Each dirt pile represents a "job". To keep from exploding you have to send in oil samples to the cat dealership ,then you will be told if the oil is good or bad. If you fail to do this occasionally your oil will go bad and your bulldozer will explode. To clean the oil you have to go to the cat dealership. The goal of the game is to make the most money from finishing "jobs".
I am pretty sure I have one of the last copys left in existense. If anyone knows anything about the value or has any questions please send me a message. Thanks!"
As you can see in the forum topic - which also contains more images - someone has already taken the charge to get the data off the cartridge and create a ROM of this amazing find!
Anyone remember the mediocre Donkey Kong conversion from Coleco for the Mattel Intellivision? It was a bookend to the awful Atari 2600 version. While I firmly believe there's zero legitimacy to the theory that Coleco intentionally crippled these releases to make their ColecoVision pack-in look all the better, there's no denying that the programmer could have done a better job. Want proof? Thanks to this thread on AtariAge for the reminder, it looks like Beeslife, of stunning Moon Patrol port and update, Space Patrol, fame, just may be at it again with an equally impressive Donkey Kong conversion (NOTE: As of writing this, there's no word of Beeslife involvement, if any, or if this is simply just a proof of concept, since it's still built off of the original Coleco version, despite the addition of the missing screens). Check out the animated screenshot to the left and be sure to visit the Beeslife Website for more of them. Let's hope it gets finished up (whoever that task falls to) and makes it to a release on cartridge! It would be an excellent companion to the upcoming Opcode Games Donkey Kong conversion for the ColecoVision.
Some sad news for those of us who know and love MaximumRD, host of the popular YouTube program dedicated to classic gaming hardware. A Canadian investigation into his activities has led to his arrest and indictment. While the details of the case are still vague (repeated calls to the Toronto officials revealed little info), it appears that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have accused him of tricking local residents into thinking that the ColecoVision and games such as Lady Bug and Donkey Kong are just as fun as modern games. Indeed, apparently a few people who bought ColecoVisions from him enjoyed them intensely for months before realizing they weren't awesome. I was able to get in touch with a few of these poor kids, who still think that playing Mr. Do is just as satisfying (if not more so) than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Rob's ColecoVisions were confiscated along with several other contraband consoles that clearly weren't nearly as good as anything out today because they suck.
I will continue to reveal information as it comes to me, but by all means do *NOT* insinuate to anyone that classic games and consoles are "just as fun" as the latest offerings from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Doing so isn't just libelous; it's immoral.
Exciting news for ColecoVision fans, as Opcode Games' in-development expansion module for the classic platform, which, among several other things, will provide much needed RAM to the 1K console, has been officially blessed by Coleco Holdings, and will leverage the name of Coleco's original advertised - but never released - Super Game Module, a device with which it shares some similarities. Read about it here for the announcement and here for the details on the module. For those interested, one of the first games out of the gate that will make use of the low cost module is Donkey Kong Arcade...
Hello, everyone. I'm debuting a new regular video series entitled, "Armchair Arcade TV". The first one, with the surprising name of "Episode 1" is on little known Centuri arcade game, Route 16 (Route-16), from 1981, with feature coverage of its first home translation for the Emerson Arcadia-2001 and its family of systems. Other games and systems are also featured. This is my first time on Adobe Premiere and on a new computer system, so the usual issues cropped up in the creation of this, but naturally these will improve in all ways over time, including the host segments. In the mean-time, enjoy the first episode. The full transcript follows the video.
LOL, pretty funny stuff here, and well produced! Just how cool is Little Miss Gamer, eh? :)
From the guys who brought you the Mr. Chin MSX conversion, comes Pyramid Warp/Battleship Clapton II, which ships next week and Zippy Race, which is accepting orders now. Each game is $60 and comes boxed with a manual. I'm looking forward to mine.
Check out their Website for more information on the games, with more details on the announcement below: http://www.colecovision.dk/collectorvision.htm
Pyramid Warp/Battleship Clapton II: http://www.colecovision.dk/coll-warp.htm
Zippy Race: http://www.colecovision.dk/coll-zippy.htm