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Scott Stilphen

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Everything posted by Scott Stilphen

  1. Most kill screens are the result of what's called a byte rollover. With the nature of 8-bit systems, this typically happens when a byte is maxed out at 255, and then is increased beyond that. Arcade Pac-Man is probably the most well-known example, as the program only allows for a total of 255 screen. At screen 256, the program partially crashes, creating the famous split-screen. Running the game on modern hardware via an emulator doesn't negate the problem, because memory isn't the problem.
  2. It’s believed once you reach level 97 on the 16K version, Mario will instantly die when the counter turns over to 00000, but this doesn’t happen. I played the game to level 97, using the ColEM emulator, which is the footage shown here (filmed off an LCD, which is why the quality is terrible).
  3. I have a compilation list on my site of all the known appearances of Atari VCS (and compatible) consoles and games. Any I'm missing? http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/atari_tube/atari_tube.html
  4. Agree. It's more Star Wars than anything since Return of the Jedi IMO, even down to the use of the old-fashion screen transition 'wipes'. Some of the shows were 'meh' and many of them were clearly based on old stories. Some worked (such as the prison ship ep, which is a nice Dirty Dozen spin), and others not so much (such as the Seven Samurai-esque episode). At times, a little too much fan service (surely the Galaxy far, far away has other planets to visit besides Tatooine... right?). It'll be interesting to see where they go with it.
  5. I still have my black box for copying protected VHS tapes.
  6. There's a thread on KLOV about these, and someone just posted about their experiences working at one. Btw, does anybody have photos of one? Quote: Originally Posted by Cidco The Electronic Experiance arcades were owned by United Artists theaters and usually appeared in malls that had a UA theater. In addition to Golden Triangle in Denton, there were also Electronic Experience arcades in Northeast Mall in Hurst and Crossroads Mall in Greenville. One of the cool features of the arcade were monitors hooked up to the newest games embedded in the wall facing out into the mall proper. This allowed you to see if they had any new games without even going inside the arcade. Their sign was neon with an infinity mirror, but also had white lights around it that further enhanced the infinity mirror effect. Similar to the back glass of the Space Invaders pinball machine. The entryway also featured shiny red tile all the way around. I haven't had any luck finding pictures online of an Electromic Experience arcade. I've found one picture of Golden Triangle Mall taken in 1981, but it's just of the center court. I can find pictures of every other major arcade chain online, so it really drives me crazy I can't find anything from Electronic Expierence. I grew up in Decatur 30 minutes away from Denton, so I spent a lot of time at Golden Triangle and the Electronic Experience arcade. I actually have an Elevator Action and an Atari 720 machine that were purchased from the arcade. After the video game crash UA got out of the arcade business. So the Electronic Experience arcade closed in the mall and a Tilt opened up at another entrance across from El Chico. It wasn't as big and never had the same attraction to me as Electronic Experience did. Posted by SpaceTime Hello, Thank you for posting this! Your description is fairly accurate. Electronic Experience was operated by United Artist Theater Amusements and we would occasionally trade games with the theater behind the Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, Texas.. We were also allotted free movie passes. Here is my story of what it was like working at the peak of the video arcade boom.I worked at Electronic Experience (“The” is not in the name) for a few years and am seeking photos also. I keep hounding my old manager for them who I am still in contact with. I know he has some. We had an annual Christmas party after hours that featured a keg. Those are the photos I am looking for.The red neon sign was infinity as you say but the white marquee bulb lights were mounted under it on a mirrored ceiling (but not infinity) lighting the entrance foyer. The red tiled wall did have multiple monitors horizontally and vertically randomly arranged. Our technician, Bob Bender (RIP) performed a small miracle getting those analog signals to the remote monitors. It took four or five shielded RF cables per game to feed the remote exposed monitors in the “radiation closet” as I called it. High voltage monitors sitting on open shelves in a narrow passageway. Eventually, only one or two monitors displayed new games. The others stayed the same.The arcade had four full range speakers from Radio Shack and a stereo receiver and a separate cassette deck. You probably were listening to my mix tapes on Friday or Saturday nights. The rest of the time we tuned to different radio stations.We were allowed to play free games off the clock using red quarters. These were regular quarters painted with red nail polish so we could deduct them from the count. They were also used to credit a machine for a customer that lost a quarter.Our biggest money maker was Dragons Lair at .50 for three lives. That machine was minting quarters at about $3000+ per week if I remember correctly.Only one floor walker worked a shift and we had to dust the tops of the machines nightly. Glass was cleaned throughout the day. The insides of the games were dusted and vacuumed on a regular basis. Scuff marks on the cabinets were buffed out with black shoe polish. We also dusted the monitor under the glass which would accumulate dust quickly. Occasional visits from the home office resulted in a military type inspection for cleanliness. That arcade was spotless! We un-crated new games on a regular basis and tested them in the back room before they went to the floor. The prying eyes were dying to know what was back there. It was a small back shop and when I was in the small office I would leave the door open so people asking for change other than what the Rowe bill changer provided could preview the games. We installed a shaded pole squirrel cage blower in the back door of the cabinet of all new games to exhaust hot air. Needless to say, our A/C ran continuously but it maintained about 72 degrees unlike some arcades. Nobody anticipated the heat being generated by these machines. Once I found out that the air filters in our units on the roof of the mall were caked with dust, I changed them regularly and that improved the A/C even more. What a stupid place to put them!Leaving the shop while on the clock was prohibited so for food the floor walkers had to get some kid to pick up a phone-in order to a food place in the mall. The compensation was free games as long as they were at the arcade that day. We would put the red quarters in the machine for them for credits. Ten to twenty free games was a pretty good deal for running an errand. I would give them cash to pay for the food.Some kids said no, afraid that they would get in trouble for leaving the arcade (beginning of the helicopter parent). We got to know the regulars as this was their big Friday or Saturday night. After a while, the regulars were checking in to see if I needed any food. If not, I would have them pick up a soda. We didn't have a refrigerator.I worked at several arcades during the boom and Electronic Experience was by far my favorite. I made so many friends working at the mall. Eventually I was promoted to assistant manager and was responsible for the banking and the count. We had a special arrangement with the bank to purchase loose quarters in bags of $500 each. Busting rolls of quarters was pain. We quickly became a known as a source of $1 bills and quarters throughout the mall. We didn't mind changing the stacks of $1 bills to the local merchants because we literally had piles of them. Some of the merchants had privileges set up by my boss and always got all the free games they wanted and my boss got free meals everywhere.Great memories!
  7. Way late to the 'party', but I wanted to see if I could roll the score in this variation. Original hardware, as always:
  8. Updated my article to include this year's models.
  9. Nice job, Kid A. The coin door being lower has me stumped, though. I posted some photos on KLOV and they said the cabinet was originally either a Galaga, or the front panel was changed at some point, because the coin door is one that Cinematronics used.
  10. Yep, but that's not the only reason they were used: They’re old test coins. In the past, repairmen used them to check out the coin-operated pay phones, vending machines, and laundromat washers they were fixing in order to avoid being accused of stealing. That makes sense to me. They were “house” money. Red quarters are sometimes used by business owners as perks; they give them to their preferred customers for free plays on the coin-operated pool tables, pinball machines and video games. Red quarters were also used by waitresses to “prime” otherwise quiet jukeboxes in order to encourage other patrons to add their own quarters and keep the music coming. Somebody painted it as a sign of defiance. According to Answers.com, the red coins were part of a campaign in the 1970s to protest New Jersey officials’ decision to increase the toll on the Garden State Parkway from 15 cents to a quarter. They were once used for free laundry.For some apartment managers, free laundry is apparently a fringe benefit. Landlords will often give their building supervisors red quarters for use in the apartment laundromats. The managers would get their quarters back when the owner or laundromat vendor removed the cash from the machines. But what's a blue quarter mean?
  11. Updated with another development console and different games.
  12. This is 7800 console model that's been modified with Eckhard Stolberg's Atari 7800 Developers code. With the added PC parallel port cable, you can dump 2600 and 7800 carts, as well as develop 2600 and 7800 games. For 2600 games, you can upload files maybe 10 times faster than a Supercharger! See the link to Eckhard's page above for the software and instructions on how to use it. The system has also been modified to use a VCS/2600-style power supply in addition to the original 7800 power supply. This package includes: • Atari 7800 ProSystem with developer package • AC Adapter • (2) Atari Proline controllers (untested) • 38 game cartridges (listed below) Atari VCS/2600 carts Armor Ambush Asteroids Astroblast Atlantis Basketball Boxing Breakout Carnival Chopper Command Combat Commando Raid Cosmic Ark Dark Cavern Demon Attack Donkey Kong Dragonfire Fire Fighter Football Freeway Grand Prix Laser Blast Lock ‘N’ Chase Megamania Pac-Man Pitfall! Riddle of the Sphinx Sneak’n Peek Space Attack Space Invaders Space Jockey Star Voyager Starmaster Super Challenge Baseball Super Challenge Football Towering Inferno Trick Shot Word Zapper Atari 7800 carts Ms. Pac-Man All the cartridges have been tested and are fully functional as well. Price $100 plus $35 shipping (continental U.S.). http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/classifieds/7800/7800_d1.jpg http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/classifieds/7800/7800_d2.jpg http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/classifieds/7800/7800_d3.jpg
  13. That's Shane Breaks. He also appeared in the Paperboy flyer He started at Atari in 1979 and eventually became Senior VP of Sales before retiring in 1991. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 75. http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2007/06/column_replay_atari_talks_gaun.php https://myemail.constantcontact.com/RePlay-eNews--AVS-Buys-Lieberman-Distribution--Shane-Breaks-Passes-Away-at-Age-75.html?soid=1102037583727&aid=u89VY6V-h0Q
  14. Aside from a few 'test' units (some of which were sent out to developers broken), nobody has seen it physically. One source of Atari Pokey chips just stated it ran out: https://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthread.php?t=456401 "Well, in the last year, HSS (HighScoreSaves.com) has sold almost 1000 Pokeys....now the sad day is here....no more stock. Barring any tubes that may have been misplaced in the move, my supply is dried up. We had about 200 to 300 when we finished up the Braze kits and included those in the Asteroids Multi....and I purchased approximately 700 from the UK years ago. I did basic testing....IIRC, only one or two ever came back as a return. I'd pop them in a Millipede PCB to test function. Did it happen with each one? No. I'd be there for weeks. They were all NOS from the UK, the Multipede were a mix of both. " I asked him if Vendel had bought any from him, and he said probably not since he didn't recognize the name. Arcadechips.com mentioned they have a few left, but there's a limit of 1 per customer, and they want $60 (!) each for them: http://www.arcadechips.com/product_info.php?products_id=168 So unless Vendel had the foresight to purchase several hundred of these years ago (which would really be out of character for Vendel), the only way the XM will see the light of day is if someone is able to make a reproduction of it (at least 2 people have been working on it, with the latest being the PokeyONE, at $40 each, but it's not a fully-functional Pokey and only works with Atari arcade machines: https://hotrodarcade.com/products/pokeyone-atari-pokey-chip-replacement-for-atari-arcade-games?fbclid=IwAR3u92zWhFkpFnCVQTZVpDpH8v0uUKpkN8Pj1X2-tbyCKZ-L-6AwdFx-raY). And since the XM was advertised - and sold - as featuring a real Pokey chip, the 'elephant in the room' isn't going to go away until he finally comments on it.
  15. 6 months later since my last post, and still no XMs. Now I read he's redesigning the board yet again, this time for SMD components? I thought he purchased all the through-hole DIP parts for these years ago, along with new soldering tools? And how's that going to work with POKEY chips, because there's no SMD version of those? He sure knows how to p--s away money, especially when it's someone else's (in this case, the nearly 200 people who prepaid for this thing close to 9 years ago). He also stopped giving updates on Atariage, instead using his Facebook page, where he apparently last posted about spending time fixing some 1200XLs...?? This project might not have started out to be a scam, but that's exactly what it is at this point. It's flat-out fraud. If you prepaid for one of these things and never thought to press him for a refund, what in the world are you waiting for? The 10-year anniversary? If this thing ever ships (and that's a huge 'if' at this point), you could always reorder it, but at least get your money back, and get off that circus train.
  16. Not really, when you consider they were 2 separate companies at that point. Jack Tramiel started Commodore with selling typewriters and calculators. He was purely a hardware guy. That's all he ever really knew, and he didn't give 2 squats about the software side of it. Yeah, you'd think he would have learned that with the C-64's huge success, but right on the heels of that, he wanted to release a computer to compete with the Timex Sinclair - truly low-end hardware - when all his engineers were hoping to jump into the 16-bit market and compete with Apple and IBM. It's no surprise most of them left Commodore right after that. When his own Board kicked him out, he bought Atari for the sole purpose of getting revenge against Commodore. Atari's legacy as the dominant video game company meant nothing to him, and him laying off a huge majority of the in-house programmers and mothballing the then-new 7800 was proof of that. The industry was passing him by before he took Atari over, and all he did while at Atari was try and catch up to it. Douglas Newbauer started Solaris in 1984, and continued to work on it after leaving Atari (when Tramiel took over). He was just another outside developer contracted to make VCS games, and all 3 of his (Solaris, Radar Lock, and Super Football) were the result of that. I don't know how accurate that Marketing claim is (ex. could it only do that if it was simply moving sprites around w/o doing anything else), or if that figure can be surpassed by today's programmers (Bob C. would probably know better than anyone).
  17. Desert Falcon was an Atari Inc.-era title that was developed by GCC. Atari Corp. didn't develop many games in-house, instead choosing to sub-contract development out. I know Rob Zdybel did Atari 8-bit Bug Hunt and Lynx Warbirds in-house, but I don't know if he did any others. As far as VCS development, I don't think anything was done in-house under Tramiel, aside from Dave Staugas writing the code to support a light gun (for Sentinel and Shooting Arcade).
  18. Atari made a pile of bad decisions once Warner took over. In regards to the home market, after the 8-bit computers were released in 1979, Atari didn't release any new hardware under Warner, which is truly shameful considering all the time and money that was spend on developing new hardware internally. On top of it, they turned to GCC to design their next game console. Quite simply, under Ray Kassar, Atari was brain dead.
  19. There's 2 pieces to the dust shield plus the spring. It's not really that complicated. Besides, you don't really have to take it apart to remove or replace the board. I have several hundred Atari shells for sale at $1 each: http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/classifieds/cases/vcs_cases.html
  20. John Champeau proves once again why he's the best at doing arcade ports for the VCS (and puts the 7800 version to shame in the process):
  21. This is an early 7800 console model (with the Expansion port) that's been modified with Eckhard Stolberg's Atari 7800 Developers code. With the added PC parallel port cable, you can dump 2600 and 7800 carts, as well as develop 2600 and 7800 games. For 2600 games, you can upload files maybe 10 times faster than a Supercharger! See the link to Eckhard's page above for the software and instructions on how to use it. One corner of the case has been cracked, but the system works perfectly fine otherwise. The system has also been modified to use a VCS/2600-style power supply in addition to the original 7800 power supply. This package includes: • Atari 7800 ProSystem with developer package • AC Adapter • RF cable with coax adapter • 25 game cartridges (listed below) Atari VCS/2600 carts Air-Sea Battle Asteroids Berzerk Bowling Casino Circus Atari Combat Defender Demons to Diamonds Dodge 'Em Football Haunted House Home Run Human Cannonball Maze Craze Missile Command Night Driver Pac-Man Space Invaders Super Breakout Video Pinball Warlords 7800 carts Dig Dug Ms. Pac-Man Xevious All the cartridges have been tested and are fully functional as well. Price $100 plus $25 shipping (continental U.S.). *** THIS IS SOLD ***
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