Hi, I’m the Atari joystick connector. You may remember me from such..

Posted by Gozan in 09-28-2008, 01:25 AM

Originally Posted by Anasui Kishibe:
The Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive controller has the exact same pin layout and connector as the Atari 2600. You can actually plug a Genesis controller into an Atari 2600 without any modifications at all and use it as normal

That’s because the connectors were an industry standard:

Originally Posted by Wikipedia:
From the late 1970s and all through the ’80s, DE9s without the pair of fastening screws were almost universal as game controller connectors on video game consoles and home computers, after being made a de facto standard by the use of such game ports in the Atari 2600 game console and the Atari 8-bit family of computers. Computer systems which use them include Atari, Commodore, Amiga, Amstrad, and SEGA systems, among others, but exclude Apple and PC systems and most newer game consoles. Used in the standard way, they support one digital joystick and one pair of analog paddles; on many systems a computer mouse or a light pen is also supported through these sockets, however these mice are not usually exchangeable between different systems. DE9 connectors are also used for some token ring and other computer networks. DA15 is used for Ethernet Attachment Unit Interface.
 Posted by ruby_onix
Originally Posted by Gozan:
That’s because the connectors were an industry standard:

In 93/94, Atari sued Sega for violating 70 different Atari-held patents. One of which, I remember people mentioning at the time, was for using that off-the-shelf controller port in the Master System and the Genesis. They settled out of court, with Sega giving Atari $50 million in cash and agreeing to buy another $40 million worth of Atari stock (so basically, Sega lost $90 million).

That’s why everybody stopped using that port.

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The atari 2600 is like, really really old

Posted by dave_d in 09-13-2008, 05:08 PM

Well here’s one I was thinking about recently. The first successful video game system, the Atari 2600, only has 128 bytes of ram. To give an idea how little memory that actually is if you took all the memory from every 2600 ever sold(about 30 million) and put it all together you’d end up with about 3.5 GB of RAM. (IE less than what alot of us on this board have in our PC’s right now.)

Cacildo´s note: I had this exact same model of Atari 2600, with the wood detail. It was beautiful and the box had some pictures of games i didnt had and happy 80´s people playing em… it was amazing.

Steve Jobs and the Breakout incident

Posted by TJ Spyke in 01-27-2008, 11:09 AM

Originally Posted by Staccat0:
Here is something I was blown away by:
Apple god Steve Jobs used to work for Atari and was asked to design the chipset for the hit game Breakout. He enlisted the help of Steve Wozniak who made the game so efficient that Atari’s engineers couldn’t understand it well enough to use in the final build. However Bushnell (Atari’s founder) was so impressed he gave Jobs a $5000 bonus which jobs kept secret from Woz. Millions of dollars later this information helped to create a rift between the two.
One can safely assume some of this atari money went into the young Apple computers…

Also the founder of Atari also created Chuk E. Cheese. He is currently broke BTW.

Some corrections.

It’s Chuck E. Cheese. The guys name is Nolan Bushnell, and he is NOT broke. Just in 2006 he started an interactive entertainment restaurant called uWink Media Bistro. Customers can order food and drinks via screens from their tables. They can also enjoy games, movie trailers and short videos from their tables. The first opened in Woodland Hills, California.

Your info on the Breakout situation is off too. The incident is desbribed in Steven Kent’s book “The Ultimate History of Video Games”, but I will summarize:

Atari wanted to release Breakout, and wanted to keep costs as cheap as possible. The company saved about $100K for every chip removed before production of the game began. They wanted their engineers to reduce the number of chips but nobody wanted to volunteer. Steve Jobs agreed to do it (this was also around the time that he and Wozniak were developing the Apple II) and got Woz to do it for him (Jobs never actually designed anything at Atari). The average arcade game from Atari at the time had 75 chips, and Woz was able to get it down to about 20 or 30. The problem was that nobody else could reproduce that design and eventually Al Alcorn (head of Atari’s R&D) had to get another engineer to do the job. Bushnell and Alcorn disagree on the exact amount that they paid Jobs for it. Bushnell says he offered $100 per chip and gave Jobs a $5,000 bonus since Woz had removed 50 chips. Alcorn says that they offered $1,000 for every chip under 50 he got, and since Woz got it to 20 that meant Jobs got a $30,000 bonus. 

Here is where your info is wrong though, Jobs DID tell Woz about the bonus; he just lied about how much it was. Jobs said it was $500, and he would give Woz half. Woz would later find out the truth while on a airplane years later while reading a biography on Jobs (and got confirmation when he talked to Bushnell). You are right in that it caused a rift when Wozniak found out since he didn’t think Jobs would ever do something like that to his friend.