April 22nd, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, snapshots, Benjs Room, Atari 2600, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Expansion Module 1, Yars Revenge, Donkey Kong, repair, Polaroid, 1995
The carpet pretty much looked like that even when it was clean.
Here's a retro-flavored Polaroid instant photo I took of my bedroom floor some point in 1995. I was 13 or 14 at the time, and I had just received a stack of Beatles CDs (upper center-left) the previous Christmas — along with my first CD player, integrated in boombox form, which can be seen seen in the upper right portion of the photo.
But I'm not posting this photo because of Beatles CDs. On the floor sit a number of retrogaming consoles and accessories: to the left is an Atari 5200 console, and in the lower right you can see a ColecoVision and the corner of an Intellivision. There are also a few Atari joysticks, a copy of Yars' Revenge for the 2600, and three copies of Intellivision Donkey Kong.
[ Continue reading [ Retro Scan of the Week ] Fixing My ColecoVision Expansion Module #1 on the Bedroom Floor, 1995 » ]
February 25th, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, The Eidolon, Lucasfilm, advertisement, Compute, first-person shooter, Rescue on Fractalus, Koronis Rift, Atari 800, 1985
Disney now owns this game.
In 1985, LucasFilm Games released one of the earliest first-person shooters, although they didn't know it at the time. In The Eidolon, players fluidly navigate corridors from a first-person viewpoint, shooting monsters that they encounter along the way.
The Eidolon utilizes a novel and technically impressive vector graphics engine to dynamically generate tunnel interiors from various angles as players maneuver through them. The engine also served as the basis of other LucasFilm titles like Rescue on Fractalus! (1984) and Koronis Rift (1985).
Although this game appeared on the Atari 8-bit computer platform (which I grew up with), I never got a chance to play it until about ten years ago. If I had seen it in the 1980s, it would have immediately become a favorite.
[ From Compute!, November 1985, p.33 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite pre-1996 first-person shooter?
February 22nd, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro GIF, GIF, art, Atari, Jaguar, CompuServe, 1993
Click to see other views of this image: [ Original Size ] [ 2X Zoom ]
Just two days ago, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 at a press event in New York. It reminded me of the last time I eagerly awaited a new console launch. That would be way back in 1993 with the introduction of the Atari Jaguar (check out the original press release at that link).
I was a huge Atari fan at that time, and I was also very active on the "GO ATARI" forum on CompuServe. From that forum, I downloaded this early Jaguar press image in 1993. It's an official press image created and uploaded to CompuServe by Atari Corp. itself — quite possibly the very first one.
[ Continue reading [ Retro GIF of the Week ] Atari Jaguar Debut Photo » ]
February 18th, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Atari, Atari ST, Atari 520ST, advertisement, rip-off, Compute, 1985
"There's only one word for these prices: rip-off."
[ From Compute!, November 1985, p.9 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Which was the better machine: the IBM PC AT, Atari 520ST, Mac 512K, or Amiga 1000?
December 24th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, BRE Software, Atari, Atari ST, Christmas, flier, catalog, 1988
BRE Software's Atari ST Public Domain Software Christmas '88 Update
I found this neat holiday-themed BRE Software Atari ST catalog in a pile of documents that I received from my wife's uncle when he gave me his Atari ST collection a few years ago. It features both public domain and commercial software for Atari's 16-bit computer series.
(I wish I could get my hands on the Christmas demo disks mentioned on this page. Only $4.00 each or $9.95 for all four.)
The entire document is four pages long, and I've scanned the whole thing so you can download it in PDF format, complete with searchable text.
Merry Christmas from VC&G.
[ From BRE Software's Atari ST Christmas '88 Update, 1988, p.1 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever given a vintage computer or video game-related present to someone for Christmas (not when it was new, but when it was vintage/retro)?
December 17th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro GIF, Christmas, art, Atari, Atari ST, BBS, GIF, CompuServe
Click to see other views of this image: [ Original Size ] [ 2X Zoom ] [ 3X Zoom ]
Among the few GIF files I saved in the early 1990s (outside of those uploaded to by BBS), this warm, inviting Christmas scene remains one of my favorites.
In the image, we see a living room with a roaring fireplace bedecked with four Christmas stockings, a richly ornamented Christmas tree presiding over a large pile of presents, and a holly wreath over the mantle. Two candles flickering above the fireplace add an extra detail that completes the picture of a perfect holiday scene.
As the years have passed, I have forgotten where I acquired this GIF file, labeled XMASTR.GIF. I revisit this image every now and then, and I always wonder about its origins. Now is as good a time as any to look into them.
[ Continue reading [ Retro GIF of the Week ] Christmas Fireplace » ]
December 3rd, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Quickshot, Bondwell, joysticks, controllers, NES, Genesis, Super NES, Atari, VGCE, 1991
INSIST ON QUICKSHOT! THE GENUINE PIECE!!!
I own a few QuickShot joysticks, but I don't believe I've used any of these particular models. Third-party console controllers weren't all that popular in the age of the NES (relative to the 2600 days, at least), likely because the NES's own pads (and the NES Advantage and Max) were so good to begin with. Same with the Genesis and Super NES. That fact alone probably killed a few third party video game peripheral companies that were hanging on from the Atari 2600 era, although the QuickShot brand lived on until the late 1990s.
[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, August 1991, p.21 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Did/do you commonly use third-party controllers for your classic video game systems? Which one is your favorite?
November 29th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Atari, Curt Vendel, Marty Goldberg, Pong, books, anniversaries, 1972
Just a few days ago, renowned video game historians Marty Goldberg (formerly of ClassicGaming.com) and Curt Vendel (Atari collector extraordinaire) published their epic Atari history book, Atari Inc.: Business is Fun.
And by epic, I mean 800-pages epic. Its launch coincides with the 40th anniversary of the legendary video game company, which happens to be this year. (In fact, the 40th anniversary of Pong's public debut happens to be today.)
I haven't gotten my hands on a copy of this massive work yet, but I thought I'd let you guys know about it because it promises to be an interesting read.
September 10th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Atari 8-bit, Atari 800, Atari 400, Atari, AtariWriter, word processors, Personal Computing, 1983
"You won't find a bluer word processor package anywhere…"
[ From Personal Computing, November 1983, p.43 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What was the first word processor software you ever used?
December 19th, 2011 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Christmas, stocking, Atari, Atari ST, DungeonLords, Analog Computing, 1988
Santa has little respect for floppy disks, shoving them in there without sleeves.
[ From ANALOG Computing, December 1988, front cover ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: When's the last time you used an Atari ST series computer? What did you run on it?