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Infamous ET Atari cartridges landfill dug up


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42 replies to this topic

#31    theotherguy

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:57 PM

View PostPlanB, on 28 April 2014 - 10:53 PM, said:

Same here. Was familiar with this urban legend but convinced that it was nothing but. Some one get around to Bigfoot and aliens!

I thought the cartridges were just wiped and recycled.

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#32    Junior Chubb

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:40 AM

View Posttheotherguy, on 28 April 2014 - 10:57 PM, said:

I thought the cartridges were just wiped and recycled.

As far as I know cartridges cannot be 'wiped'. One of the pro's of cartridges is they are cannot (its very expensive) to pirate them. If they could be wiped and re-used I would guess the 'anti piracy' feature would be redundant.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to show me where the hell Helen of Annoy has been for the past couple of months.

#33    toast

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:58 AM

View Posteddword, on 27 April 2014 - 08:56 PM, said:

What a wastre of everyiones time,Including mine for writing this comment
What a waste of everyones time, including mine for reading this comment.

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#34    theotherguy

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:48 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 30 April 2014 - 10:40 AM, said:

As far as I know cartridges cannot be 'wiped'. One of the pro's of cartridges is they are cannot (its very expensive) to pirate them. If they could be wiped and re-used I would guess the 'anti piracy' feature would be redundant.

Well, you learn something every day.

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Conspiracy theorists are created by the government to distract us from what they're really doing!!!! Or not.

#35    :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR:

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 01:49 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 28 April 2014 - 08:17 PM, said:

Am I the only person who's "day was made" by this story?

Nothing more satisfying than a myth being revealed to be the truth...

I'm with you. I was always fascinated by this bit of video game history. Even happier to see it wasn't actually crushed. It's too bad the weren't able to do this last year, it would have marked the 30 year anniversary of the video game crash. Oh well.

Edited by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR:, 01 May 2014 - 02:41 PM.

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#36    DecoNoir

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:13 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 28 April 2014 - 08:17 PM, said:

Am I the only person who's "day was made" by this story?

Nothing more satisfying than a myth being revealed to be the truth...

I certainly agree! As someone who loves to study myths I found this extremely interesting, and like it or not, these modern day myths play a part in our culture.

Also, to people saying this was a waste of time and money, remember that nest time you turn on the TV and see another Kardashian spin-off.

I reject your reality, and substitute my own! Mostly because yours is boring as hell.

#37    mysticwerewolf

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:24 PM

if you want to get rid of something so that it will never be found then burn it and stir the ashes well.


#38    Mojohand

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 05:09 PM

Wow, just seeing that video still has brought back so many memories.  The game was so confusing and had no point or end...


#39    scowl

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 07:56 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 30 April 2014 - 10:40 AM, said:

One of the pro's of cartridges is they are cannot (its very expensive) to pirate them. If they could be wiped and re-used I would guess the 'anti piracy' feature would be redundant.

The cartridges could be read and duplicated. The guts just contained an inexpensive ROM chip on a PC board. There were devices that you could read them with (a friend had one for an Apple II) and it was possible to burn a ROM with the same contents. Experimenters who wanted to write their own Atari 2600 games (very difficult!) had a thing that plugged into the cartridge socket with a ribbon cable and had an EPROM (a ROM that you could erase and rewrite). There was something on the Apple II that would help you develop Atari games. It couldn't emulate the game but it could tell you if you got the extremely critical timing right (if your code took too long, the screen would fall apart).

What really made the retail cartridges hard to pirate is that the ROM was just one thing that needed to be duplicated. Unlike a floppy disk or a CD, you had to make a PC board and case for the ROM and it had to fit perfectly into the console to be marketable. I guess that's why Atari did its best to crush these cartridges and make them unusable.


#40    Junior Chubb

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:55 PM

View Postscowl, on 05 May 2014 - 07:56 PM, said:

The cartridges could be read and duplicated. The guts just contained an inexpensive ROM chip on a PC board. There were devices that you could read them with (a friend had one for an Apple II) and it was possible to burn a ROM with the same contents. Experimenters who wanted to write their own Atari 2600 games (very difficult!) had a thing that plugged into the cartridge socket with a ribbon cable and had an EPROM (a ROM that you could erase and rewrite). There was something on the Apple II that would help you develop Atari games. It couldn't emulate the game but it could tell you if you got the extremely critical timing right (if your code took too long, the screen would fall apart).

What really made the retail cartridges hard to pirate is that the ROM was just one thing that needed to be duplicated. Unlike a floppy disk or a CD, you had to make a PC board and case for the ROM and it had to fit perfectly into the console to be marketable. I guess that's why Atari did its best to crush these cartridges and make them unusable.

Cheers for the extra info Scowl :tu:

Always nice to have the ramblings of my memory fleshed out into something more concrete.

I have plenty of ROM images of cartridge games, but as you confirm no pirated cartridges.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to show me where the hell Helen of Annoy has been for the past couple of months.

#41    scowl

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 04:57 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 05 May 2014 - 11:55 PM, said:

I have plenty of ROM images of cartridge games, but as you confirm no pirated cartridges.

Which surprises me a little. The thing we used to read the ROMs on an Apple II and burn an EPROM cartridge was kind of expensive (at the time) but it had all the parts necessary to copy the code for pirated cartridges. Retail cartridges cost $15-$20 (double that for today's dollars) so there should have been a huge market for pirated cartridges just like there was for bootlegged albums and cassettes.

I think what stopped it was just the physical manufacturing of the cartridges which had to fit just perfectly in the console to work. And I bet that's why Atari did their best to smash these unsold cartridges to bits so they couldn't be reused.


#42    Asadora

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:45 PM

My husband had shared the following youtube link with me and I thought it was appropriate to share with the rest of this thread:)




To the people in the video, kudos to your retro gaming dedication!
:clap:

"From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light. Like those extraordinary stars of whose origins we are ignorant, and of whose fate, once they have vanished, we know even less, such men have neither forebears nor descendants: they are the whole of their race."  -- Jean de la Bruyere 1645-1696.

#43    Junior Chubb

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:34 PM

View Postscowl, on 06 May 2014 - 04:57 PM, said:

Which surprises me a little. The thing we used to read the ROMs on an Apple II and burn an EPROM cartridge was kind of expensive (at the time) but it had all the parts necessary to copy the code for pirated cartridges. Retail cartridges cost $15-$20 (double that for today's dollars) so there should have been a huge market for pirated cartridges just like there was for bootlegged albums and cassettes.

I think what stopped it was just the physical manufacturing of the cartridges which had to fit just perfectly in the console to work. And I bet that's why Atari did their best to smash these unsold cartridges to bits so they couldn't be reused.

I downloaded all my ROM images online somewhere, but have never came across a pirated cartridge despite playing SNES after (I think) Atari ST and Amiga with which piracy was rife.

I think you are right about the hardware, having to physically make the cartridges was a big hurdle to cross back then which is why Nintendo stuck it out with cartridges for so long. I would guess its a different scenario today, you could get the components knocked up in China at a good price maybe making cartridge piracy a viable option.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to show me where the hell Helen of Annoy has been for the past couple of months.




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