300-baud

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Photo of the Week - Know your History! (07 - Bally BASIC (Bally Astrocade) (1978))

While I've done a few of these informally since the last one, the C-128DCR, which was number 6, I decided to continue the numbering from there since I wasn't going to do anything special at the moment with this other than take a series of photos. The Bally Home Library Computer or Bally Professional Arcade (and several other names over its lifetime), better known by its informal nickname, the Bally Astrocade, was a videogame console released in 1978 with the promise of future computer capabilities. While the full-blown add-ons never made it out from its two parent companies (Bally would give up on the system within a few years and a new company would form as Astrovision, but also never had much success with the technology), the first of two cassette interfaces was released in 1978, which ran at 300-baud. This 300-baud interface consisted of a beefy book, cartridge and interface cables that hooked into the accessory jack and the system's control port number 3 (it had four controller ports). You could then type in programs on the system's 24 calculator-style keys. Yes, people actually programmed on that!

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