Why read lengthy articles on the history of Atari when you can hear stories first-hand? Hear Nolan Bushnell (and a few others) tell all about how a little company named Syzygy became Atari, in clips both new(ish) and old; tune in for four episodes of Once Upon Atari, featuring Atari staff reminiscing about the good times and bad; and visit Alamogordo, New Mexico, home of rocket sled land-speed records and the grave of Ham, the first chimp in space, with Zak Penn as he digs for the truth behind the legend of the buried E.T. cartridges in Atari: Game Over with fans and Howard Scott Warshaw, the man who made the Atari E.T. game in five weeks. [more inside]
Atari cartridge art and artists "The original Atari featured a wealth of games with box art that was quite a bit more imaginative than the “grizzled man holding a gun” template that’s so popular today."
In 1975, the blockbuster movie Jaws was released. The series culminated in 1987 with a fourth movie, Jaws: The Revenge. The NES game Jaws (online) was released that same year, incorporating elements of both the original and fourth movie. But you probably don't know about the game that Mirrorsoft commissioned in 1984 from the husband-and-wife coding team, Dave & Sara Crud. They made a ZX Spectrum movie tie-in for the original film, only for rights holders to back out and leave it unreleased for nearly three decades ... UNTIL NOW! Or at least that's the backstory MeFite malevolent wrote. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
We all know that E.T. for the Atari 2600 was a terrible no-good awful game (previously, previously-er). But could it be that our received wisdom about the cartridge is just wrong? Yeah, probably not ... But to be fair, follow this in-depth guide to hacking the ET ROM and you, too, can transform the game into something far more play-worthy (and don't worry, you can still turn ET into its ninja form).
Atari VCS Demo 2012 - Liquid Candy by Noice [slyt] VCS or 2600? Ah, who cares about nomenclature, just enjoy. If anyone knows how the heck this is done on a VCS, please comment.
"The original Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was quite the disaster and though it did sell a few million copies many would argue it was the beginning of Atari's end. And rightly so. Dennis Debro's brand new and properly indie Pac-Man 4k, on the other hand, hopes to make things right by cramming a way more faithful post of the original pill-chomper arcade game to the very same and now very retro machine." (via IndieGames)
Phone Trips - an audio archive of the Phone Phreaking community. Phone phreaking was the practice of hacking into phone systems and networks in order to explore these networks and their connections [1 2]. Many people first heard about the phenomenon in a 1971 Esquire article, Secrets of the Little Blue Box, which included input from Captain Crunch. Crunch discovered that you could access telephone networks by blowing a 2600 Hz tone, from a whistle given away free in cereal boxes, into telephone handsets. "Have you ever heard eight tandems stacked up?" asked Crunch in the interview. Well, now we can, thanks to a large audio archive of phone phreaking. [more inside]
Behold the gAtari 2600. An Australian musician performing under the pseudonym cTrix specializes in creating chiptunes using a combination of games consoles from 1977 - 1992, including a Commodore 64, Amiga 500, a clear-cased Gameboy, and an Atari 2600. The latter is possibly the most striking setup, incorporating the Atari (running custom-written sequencing software) into an oversized guitar body, with a fretboard packed with Boss stompboxes and a great pun as a name — gAtari.
"A day in the FBI was never like this before! You are Special Agent Dale Cooper and you’ve found yourself trapped inside of the Black Lodge, a surreal and dangerous place between worlds." Black Lodge is an Atari 2600-style action game for PC and Mac, created by Jak Locke as a love letter to both retro gaming and Twin Peaks. [more inside]
"So I hit up a garage sale over the weekend and bought a genuine, working-condition Atari 2600, with a huge stack of games nearly mint in their boxes, for a song. I thought I’d scan the box covers and give you all a look back into the fun of yesteryear."
It's the 1981 Atari product catalog!
An old dog learns new tricks The venerable Atari 2600 may no longer be at the forefront of high-end gaming, but that won't keep it down for long. Its new career? Drum & Bass synthesizer(warning: ugly, ugly site), complete with MIDI.
Project Evil - Number stations appear on VoIP and it just seems very mysterious. Slashdot picks up the story. Now all is revealed.
distellamap is a series of graphical representations of the code and data in Atari 2600 game cartridges, created using the Processing programming language. The results are rather pretty. Also by the same author: mario soup, a representation of the sprites in Super Mario Brothers. (via artificial.dk)
Adventure - based on the classic text game of the same name - was the first game ever to contain an easter egg. It seems laughably primitive these days, but when it first hit shelves, Adventure was a programming masterpiece. The text version of Adventure (by Willie Crowther and Don Woods) required hundreds of KB and a mainframe computer to operate, so much that Atari brass told Warren Robinett not to even bother with a 2600 version. He did anyway, and the results are near legendary. The 2600 version of Adventure went on to sell over a million copies at $25 a pop. For his effort Robinett recieved absolutely nothing beyond his $22,000/year salary. Play the 2600 Adventure. (Flash) If you're one of those who requires some eye candy, why not download the Quake 3 Adventure Map, instead?
A firsthand account of the RNC arrest sweep in NYC by 2600 editor Emmanuel Goldstein, who was covering the protest for WBAI radio and Indymedia. Complete with photos and video.
The MPAA speaks about Emanuel Goldstein. For a very long time, the MPAA has been suing the website and magazine 2600 for posting the DeCSS source code on its website. This is a FAQ from the MPAA's homepage. The incredible irony in seeing the words "Emanuel Goldstein" mentioned brings to mind (obviously to many of you) 1984.
Court of Appeals upholds ban against DeCSS. More significant than the banning of DVD cracking is the edict directed towards 2600, which has been forbidden to post any links related to DeCSS. My concern with this decision is whether the current decision may be interpreted in a broader context, preventing others from linking to sites that aren't as sexy as Mom and Apple Pie to the powers that be. Maybe I'm overreacting. But could we see bloggers forced to remove certain links and led to the Tombs if they refuse? Discuss.
Is linking illegal? New York Times article about DeCSS linkage fiasco involving 2600. If linking is illegal, the Web is SOL. This is insane.
Verizon Wireless is jumping on the copyright lawsuit bandwagon. This time they're picking on 2600. Me thinks they're playing with fire.
Questions raised about Mediaboy... er mafiaboy. Is he real?