Archive for February, 2010

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Atari 1200XL

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Atari 1200XL Ad - 1983Atari’s best 8-bit keyboard?

The Atari 1200XL (1982) is something of a cult favorite among Atari 8-bit computer fans due to its keyboard, which probably has the nicest feel of the entire 8-bit line. 1980s critics, while appreciating the unit’s keyboard, simultaneously derided the 1200XL for minor incompatibilities with existing software created for the earlier Atari 400/800 computers. I personally don’t like its recessed cartridge slot, but if you have an AtariMax MaxFlash multi-cart, you don’t need to change cartridges very often.

Over the past decade, I’ve often used my Atari 1200XL as an ideal machine for Atari text adventure games. Whenever I encounter software incompatibilities, I just break out the Atari 800XL or 130XE. Each Atari model has a flavor of its own, and it’s a pleasure to use most of them — if you choose the right machine for the right task (hint: don’t try to write a term paper on an Atari 400’s membrane keyboard).

[ From Interface Age, May 1983, p.14-15 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite model in the Atari 8-bit computer series? To recap, you’ve got the Atari 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL, 65XE, 130XE, and XEGS.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Target: Renegade

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Target: Renegade Nintendo NES Game Ad - 1990“You are the weapon!”

I was a big fan of the original NES Renegade back in the day, but I seem to recall the sequel, Target: Renegade, being a major letdown. Did anyone out there actually like it?

[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, November 1990, p.27 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite Taito game of all time?

The Evolution of Removable Storage

Monday, February 8th, 2010

The Evolution of Removable Storage on PC World

PC World recently published my latest slideshow, The Evolution of Removable Storage, which examines removable computer storage media of the last 60 years. You’ll find plenty of fascinating pictures and lots of written history as well. It’s less like a slideshow and more like an illustrated article in spirit. I hope you enjoy it.

Technologizer also posted one of my latest pieces yesterday: 15 Consumer Electronics Design Mistakes. It’s not perfectly VC&G-related, but it is part of a series with two previous Technologizer articles of mine: 15 Classic Game Console Design Mistakes and 15 Classic PC Design Mistakes.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Barbie and Hot Wheels PCs

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Patriot Mattel Barbie PC Hot Wheels PC Ad - 2000“Computers designed with kids in mind.”

[ From Parenting, September 2000, p.73 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Would you ever buy a PC with a themed case? If so, what would be the theme?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Mega Man Battle & Chase

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Mega Man Battle and Chase PlayStation PS1 PSX Ad - 1997“The Blue Bomber takes to the road…”

By the way, I’ve been posting a Retro Scan of the Week every week now for four years straight. It kinda blows my mind. That’s over 200 scans. Is there anything left to scan? You bet.

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, April 1997, back cover]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s the best Mario Kart clone of all time?