Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

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Mayhem
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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Mayhem » Thu May 19, 2016 4:52 am

Thanks for all that info Ward, certainly makes for enlightened reading. Sometimes I've encountered that when trying to preserve games for the C64 or Vectrex, or occasionally for the Vic20, but usually it has involved physically buying the cartridge, as opposed to being loaned it. Ian Baronofsky (Ianoid on AtariAge) did loan me a couple of carts to dump and preserve (before returning) but that's been the notable exception.

You may have heard of Gamebase? I took over a Vic20 database in the mid 2000s of all (not just cartridges) games released, and have been slowly putting together an archive for the machine. It's probably going to approach near 3000 entries by the time the next version is released. That's probably way more games than you thought were out there, albeit that includes magazine listings, and duplicate entries if the same game was released by multiple publishers (fairly common!)

I think you'd be surprised Ward by how many entries in your cartridge "rumour mill" area have actually come out of the woodwork since the late 90s. And a number of titles you probably never knew about. Have a read through a few of these...

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6680
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7152
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5157

Oh, and a genuine copy of D*Fuse by Tymac (in solid blue case) was recently unearthed. Still not been able to secure dumps of the pile of OEM carts that Albert supposedly won/owns even now. Maybe we can hope there.

I'd move this spiel to a separate thread but only the admin (not mod like myself) can do it from a thread in the Announcements forum, as opposed to anywhere else. Maybe some admin can?

Wardster wrote:This is as good a time as any for me to say a public thanks for your mention in Retro Gamer. Adam Trionfo lives in the same U.S. state that I do (that is, in New Mexico -- but roughly 200 miles apart), and we sometimes visit one another's homes. When we do, we almost always end up talking about old video game stuff, etc., and this time he brought issue #154 of that cool magazine with him. And he pointed out the mention you did, on page 59. Coolness! Puts a smile on my face to see it!

I can't take credit there, the recent Vic20 article was written by Andrew Fisher (Merman) instead. I think since Imagine Publishing took over Retro Gamer, that's the first Vic20 related article in the magazine NOT written by me though heh.
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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby orion70 » Thu May 19, 2016 6:09 am

Thank you so much Ward for your early work of collection and for your list, which was THE document I (and many of us) used to build our shopping list :). Also, don't you think after Mayhem's post that it may be time to update it? :mrgreen:

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Wardster » Thu May 19, 2016 10:59 am

orion70 wrote:Thank you so much Ward for your early work of collection and for your list, which was THE document I (and many of us) used to build our shopping list :).


You're welcome-ized!

orion70 wrote:Also, don't you think after Mayhem's post that it may be time to update it? :mrgreen:


Adam Trionfo is here, at my place, for a few days. I read that post out loud to him -- (he's playing some cool old Atari 2600 games in the next room -- and yes, that means my two old VICs are currently semi- or non-working) and he had to laugh at that last comment. He said, "You're already getting volunteered for work!?" But seriously: I suspect the cart list is in very good hands, these days, what with Mayhem and others (presumably) having taken it over, and keeping it up to date?!?

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Wardster » Thu May 19, 2016 11:15 am

Mayhem wrote:Thanks for all that info Ward, certainly makes for enlightened reading.


Welcome-ization, all around! Jeff-20's been (gently) after me to come play on these boards, for a few months, but Real Life kept me from it until now. Adam Trionfo visiting, over here, usually brings out the old game systems for some play time and so on. (Otherwise, sadly, they tend to stay in boxes / closets / etc. more often than not, these days. But at least I still have most of that stuff, from years past.)

Mayhem wrote:Sometimes I've encountered that when trying to preserve games for the C64 or Vectrex, or occasionally for the Vic20, but usually it has involved physically buying the cartridge, as opposed to being loaned it. Ian Baronofsky (Ianoid on AtariAge) did loan me a couple of carts to dump and preserve (before returning) but that's been the notable exception.


I never really sat down and tracked percentages or anything, on cart loans versus cart buys ... but yeah, sometimes (even back then) a trade couldn't be made, and money was the only way to get that stuff out of someone's hands and into ours. I knew and Paul knew, as I remember it now, that sooner or later that would always be the case. And we assumed that with retro gaming beginning to become more and more popular, in little strides, even then: at some point certain items would be WAY out of the range of the average mortal with an average income. We tried to get there first, and have a bunch of things dumped and checked and ready to go (on real hardware, or so we thought) so that certain of the super-rarities would be playable in one (floppy disc?) form or another, even if a person didn't own the physical cartridge, itself.

Mayhem wrote:You may have heard of Gamebase? I took over a Vic20 database in the mid 2000s of all (not just cartridges) games released, and have been slowly putting together an archive for the machine. It's probably going to approach near 3000 entries by the time the next version is released. That's probably way more games than you thought were out there, albeit that includes magazine listings, and duplicate entries if the same game was released by multiple publishers (fairly common!)


I have heard of it, yes. Seen the C64 version. It's a very cool idea. And a really nice implementation of that idea, too. I hadn't yet checked out the VIC-20 version, but that'll be a "to do list" thing for the future.

Mayhem wrote:I think you'd be surprised Ward by how many entries in your cartridge "rumour mill" area have actually come out of the woodwork since the late 90s. And a number of titles you probably never knew about. Have a read through a few of these...

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6680
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7152
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5157



I'm sure there's oodles of stuff I'd never heard of. Tape games, especially, seemed nearly endless, back when I was trying to get scans of their label artwork and what not, for the CD-ROM Project that was well under way, but never got "released".

I'm glad that things kept going, and that stuff I'd never heard of, back in the day, continued to be found and archived.

Gotta say that when I first ordered a Behr Bones multi-cart, some few years back, that I was stoked to play Key Quest!

I read all of those links, above, by the way. Coolness! Thanks for sharing those links! (Got one for Key Quest, too?!)

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Mayhem
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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Mayhem » Thu May 19, 2016 2:49 pm

Wardster wrote:Gotta say that when I first ordered a Behr Bones multi-cart, some few years back, that I was stoked to play Key Quest! I read all of those links, above, by the way. Coolness! Thanks for sharing those links! (Got one for Key Quest, too?!)

Sort of, it got rolled into a general dumping process that included two other (correctly) unpreserved cartridges as well: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2069 . Key Quest was uncovered in 2004, but didn't get dumped until 2007.

(yeah, you'll soon figure out who is responsible for you being able to play Key Quest heh)

Oh, and there is an image of Vic20 Tac-Scan out there, but I'm sadly not allowed to distribute it (yet). There were plans to make a small reproduction run of the game with a proper Sega style box and cart, but the guy who was working on it has seemingly vanished off the grid. I got the ROM through him so I'm loathe to make it public until such time he comes back.
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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Wardster » Fri May 20, 2016 12:16 am

Me again. I read that latest link's info. Thanks much for that!

About this ...

> Tac-Scan exists only with the author Joe Sengir,
> he contacted Ward years ago to say he had it but
> I don't believe he ever made the cart available to
> dump otherwise Ward would have done it and
> made it available.


Just to throw more info out there -- my memory is that (as you say) no one ever gave me that ROM image and/or cart. If someone had given it to me, but told me to hang onto it, and I actually had it, I would say that's the case. But I remember that particular archiving adventure sort of "just ending" and not going any further. (That I was aware of, in any case. Not sure what others have or haven't done, regarding that particular cart, in my absence?)

As for the idea (mentioned elsewhere) regarding making cart dumps but not sharing them: in my experience, that almost never happened. Not on the VIC system, anyway. (Maybe once in a long while on something like the Arcadia 2001 system / family.) My memory of things is that, pretty much, the guys we were once getting VIC-20 cart loans from, knew what we were doing, and were all for releasing any stuff that we dumped. I never tried to trick anyone, or anything like that. But the subject, as I recall it now, anyway, almost never came up. (Probably because I'd made the technical part of my way of dumping VIC carts a non-secret -- so anyone that wanted to archive their own carts, and store their own dumps, could do it all by themselves and didn't need further help from me, on that.)

But on other system's carts -- especially the big mess that was the unrelated global "family" of consoles that looked nothing alike, and that had carts that looked nothing alike (see DP Collector's Guide on the Emerson Arcadia 2001) -- on the 2001, yeah, once in a very long while someone would want to buy a $$$ cart for themselves, for dumping purposes; sell it again; and have me hold onto the ROM image until some set time had passed, or whatever. But even there, it was very unusual, in my experience. I preferred to be a straight-forward, "what you see is what you get" kind of archiver. Which partly means that if I promised someone I wouldn't release something, then I wouldn't do it. But back then, it was probably easier to get things than it is now -- and the idea of people making me make such promises, back then, almost never happened.

I guess I'm just throwing that info out there, in anticipation of future "what's lurking on your hard drive" questions. And the answer, as Mayhem had already apparently assumed, was that I don't have any more VIC cart images hidden away. So whatever hard-working guys like Mayhem are telling others still needs to be archived ... or located ... within the VIC-20 library: I'm confident that info is correct, and a lot more up to date than I would know how to make it, at this point.

Switching subjects, a bit -- and getting more technical:

Some other minor tidbits I'll throw out there might include the idea that, in my experience, only a handful of EPROM chips ever really seemed to be "dying" out, of something like "bit rot". Some were; no doubt. But I think it was probably more of a case of someone "following the manual" and burning a particular chip's contents too quickly. I was always paranoid, and used the slower, more standard, less-hasty burning processes, whenever I'd burn an EPROM image. ("Every difference makes a difference" is a saying I wish I had known about, ages ago! It explains so much of the "magic" of processes!!)

But with that aside: my single biggest hassle factor, in figuring out if a cart was going to "read, cleanly" so I could get a good stable reliable cart dump, was the dirty-ness of any metal-to-metal contacts. Cart slot connectors and pins, mainly -- but sometimes also (if cleaning the cart slot really well didn't help) checking to see if there's sockets on a cart's board; and if so, wondering if the chip's legs were in bad need of cleaning; and/or the female sockets for the pins needed attention.

Over in the Bally Astrocade world, around 2008, as a favor for a friend, I had done some things like soldering a broken-off leg back on (well, a replacement made out of regular old tinned single-conductor wire, actually) to dump a bare EPROM. It refused to give stable reads, etc., etc. until I'd really cleaned the heck out of all the pins/legs, and fixed the missing one. But once the corrosion and such were dealt with, I managed to get a nice clean dump of something really rare. I mention that instance ("Fawn Dungeon" on the Astrocade -- a "back in the day" homebrew) because the pin's cleanliness DID pass a visual; and DID pass that "test," more than once -- but the reads were highly unstable and varied all over the place, every time I tried to read that EPROM's contents. To the less experienced person, the consistency of the inconsistency, as it were, might have looked like a case of "bit rot"? But it wasn't. Perseverance paid off, on (really, really!) cleaning things.

http://www.ballyalley.com/pics/hardware ... ngeon.html

Anyway ... just throwing some random thoughts out there, for others who might be more active than I am, on archiving; and maybe wonder about what tricks I might have used. Basic attention to things like dirty contacts solved most issues I ran across, back in the day.

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Seiyas » Mon May 30, 2016 12:28 am

hi to all, well my names is based on Saint Seiya characters.
Vic-20 has been my first computer :D

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby orion70 » Mon May 30, 2016 5:18 am

Hello Seiyas, and welcome to the best forum dedicated to the VIC (well, the one and only IIRC :P). So, a Knight of the Zodiac has joined us... Are you a son of the 90s? Where exactly are you from? We're from all over the world - more or less - so I'm curious if we can add another flag on the map, in some exotic country :).

EDIT: just visited your website and oh well... another Italian guy! Be welcome twice then!

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Seiyas » Mon May 30, 2016 7:25 am

thanks :)

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Statsman1 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:25 pm

Hi!

My name is based on my actuarial science and statistics degree, along with a complete infatuation with sports statistics.

In other words, a REALLY boring origin.

The VIC-20 was the first computer I owned, before graduating (so to speak) to the Apple II. I just bought two used VIC-20s and am messing with the datasette as we speak, or, I suppose, I write. The fact that I was getting load errors brought me here via Google search, but now I want to stay and see just what I missed with this beast 30 years ago.

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Muzz73 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:23 pm

Nice! Welcome!
BCNU,
Louis

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Statsman1 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:17 am

Thanks!!

In looking at the various posts, there are about a zillion things I couldn't even FATHOM that people are doing with their Vic-20s. I am obviously a complete noob.

So many things to learn, and all I can think of right now is, "Why won't my datasette work??" :D

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby ral-clan » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:41 am

Wardster wrote:Hello. Just saying hi to all, and thanking Jeff-20 for the invite! Looks like a very cool place to hang out!

-- Ward Shrake --


Wow! Ward Shrake! Nice to see you here. I conversed a lot with you via e-mail back in the late 1990s - early 2000s (Brent Santin). I even sent you a couple of cartridges for archiving/dumping which filled holes in your want list. I remember those early days e-mailing back and forth with Ianoid, Marko Makela, Paul LeBrasse and you - and yes - I was still on dial-up, and pre-emulation, then too! I also remember the days when I could pick up cheap (25 or 50 cents each) cartridges and equipment that would go for tens or hundreds of dollars today. I built the bulk of my VIC-20 collection via through-the-mail trades with other collectors back in those days (a cart I needed for a cart they needed). Then eBay came around and changed all that.

Glad you've joined our community here. I still think of the work you did as the foundation of all we are trying to create, discuss and preserve through Denial.
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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby Muzz73 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:48 am

Statsman1 wrote:So many things to learn, and all I can think of right now is, "Why won't my datasette work??" :D


No worries... When it comes to getting your VIC-20 running, that's serious business! :)
BCNU,
Louis

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Re: Introduce Yourself: What's your User Name based on?

Postby ForgottenGrove » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:57 am

Hello all!

Good to be here!

My username is one that I've stuck with for a while now across various sites; to me it sort of brings together my passions - I'm a gardener/estate worker by trade hence the Grove bit.. I used to do a lot of woodland work in old old woods (Forgotten) and of course my main hobby is early 8-bits (not really Forgotten as such these days, but you get the sentiment!)

I'm looking forward to spending some time here - I've got a lot to learn about the VIC 20, having only just got one this year!! Growing up in the 80's I had an Acorn Electron and later as I was finishing school a C64 (but not for long). I still have the Electron now (http://www.myAcornElectron.moonfruit.com) .....to be honest, the VIC is very charming and a pretty addictive machine so thats good competition for the Elk!

I'm learning about the VIC by fiddling about in BASIC and ive expanded it with a Penultimate cart on pre-order from http://www.thefuturewas8bit.com and an SD2IEC. I'm bidding on a c-1526 dot matrix at the moment as I'd like to be able to print out listings but the VIC won't plug into my Electron's Star printer.

Anyhoo, I've prattled on enough... Once again, good to be hear and I look forward to learning from you all about these amazing machines.

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