Retro Video Gamer

Welcome to Retro Video Gamer => Introductions => Topic started by: socrates63 on September 05, 2020, 02:25:39 AM

Title: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: socrates63 on September 05, 2020, 02:25:39 AM
Hello, RVG world! I met TrekMD on another forum, and he told me about RVG. I'm really digging the landing page and the decor -- love the Space Invaders graphics. From what I've gathered, RVG seems to be a gathering of folks from all over the globe 👍

I live in the northwest corner of the United States in the suburb of Seattle with my two sons and wife. I've worked my entire career in the tech industry as a program manager for most of those years. I spent the majority of my career involved in software localization. If you used the non-US English version of Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, or 8, then my team's fingerprints are there somewhere 😀 I left Microsoft just before launching Win8, but even Win10 -- all the legacy parts of the OS anyway -- should still contain localization inherited from previous releases.

As far as retro gaming is concerned, my primary love is Atari. The 4-switch VCS (as it was known then) was my first console back in the early 80s. I think I was in 4th or 5th grade when I got it. At the time, my weekly allowance was $3 and the price of the VCS was $120. I made a proposal to my dad that if he bought me the console, I would forego a year's worth of allowance. "You'd save $36," I said to my dad. A few days later, we went to the store (Toys R Us) and bought the VCS, but he kept giving me my weekly allowance 🙂 Thank goodness that he did. Otherwise, I'd have been playing Combat by myself for a year, and that's not much fun for a kid with no brothers or sisters.

In middle school, I fell in love with computers. I hung around the computer lab for a year as a sixth grader since programming class and access to computers (Commodore PET) were only open to seventh and eighth graders. I got an Atari 800 with the cassette drive in seventh grade and for several years until I got the 520ST, the Atari 8-bit (800, 800XL, 130XE) was my BFF. I can't remember what ever happened to my VCS.

Fast forward almost 40 years to 2020, and I've been re-united with the 2600. Last year, out of nostalgia, I bought a Retron77, but I never opened the box. I discovered AtariAge forum earlier this year and got a 7800 five months ago. I recently found out that it has compatibility issues with some homebrews and that prompted me to get a light 6-switch 2600 in July. Two weeks after that, I jumped on a nice deal for a fixed up and upgraded 5200. The past couple of months have been a blast reconnecting with the Atari consoles from my childhood and discovering for the first time so many console games that I passed up because I was busy with my Atari 800. I even picked up a CRT TV recently to complete the full retro setup.

In case you're wondering, last year I picked up an Atari 800 and 800XL. I also got the devices to load programs from SD card but I haven't set them up yet. After storing them in boxes for many years, I threw away all my Atari computers, peripherals, and software when we moved nearly 20 years ago. Let's not talk about it. 😭

Outside of my love for Atari, I discovered retro gaming relatively recently -- 3 or 4 years ago -- by stumbling across videos by Metal Jesus Rocks (a Seattle-based YouTuber). That prompted me to get into all the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. I previously owned PS1, Xbox 360, and PS3 but only had a handful of games. I now have a sizable library of physical games (too many if you ask my wife). I also have a GameCube, Wii, WiiU, and most recently added SNES.

I will admit that I don't know much about games and consoles -- I don't know the details that many folks seem to know, but I'm a gamer at heart (although I suck at most games) and a life long Atari fanboy. I'm glad to be here and look forward to getting to know the RVG community better. Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: TrekMD on September 05, 2020, 03:25:54 AM
Hey @socrates63   Welcome to RVG and thanks for accepting the invitation to join! There's plenty to see on RVG.  Check out the threads and don't be afraid to post even on old threads.  We don't mind that.  Have fun!
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: socrates63 on September 05, 2020, 04:25:39 AM
Thanks, doc. Your advice (the dark Transformers series on Netflix 👍 just finished and I got the Mazinger Z blu-ray) have been good so far so I took you up on it 😆
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: TrekMD on September 05, 2020, 04:48:31 AM
LOL  OK, glad to hear it.  ;)
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: zapiy on September 06, 2020, 18:19:06 PM
Hey @socrates63, what an awesome intro, love your story and I hope to learn more about your gaming habits from your interactions here.

Welcome to RVG.
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: socrates63 on September 13, 2020, 15:30:55 PM
Thank you @zapiy!
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: davyk on September 16, 2020, 12:00:04 PM
Atari has been and will always be special to me.

The 2600 was my 2nd console, after a dedicated Pong. And I have been a fanboy ever since. The early arcade and 2600 era were the pioneering years and I consider myself lucky to have been at just the right age. I was 11 in 1977.

Have 2600s - a PAL 6 switch woody and a US 4 switch that needs some work. It has been modified for composite but one of the diff switches is broken and the mod needs some work as the wires aren't shielded sufficiently so I get video interference when the console makes sounds. :)  Will get around to sorting that out one day.

Have a Harmony cart. If you don't have one of those I'd recommend taking a look. Works with the 2600 and 7800 in 2600 mode and lets you play any game that can be copied onto it via an SD card. It opens up access to most of the homebrew games now - lets you sample them in case you want to buy the cartridge versions.

Also have a very small cart collection. Like a fool I sold everything in the mid 80s. Slowly growing a complete-in-box collection of a handful of my favourites.

Have a 7800 too but I really only play Asteroids on that which was built into the PAL console. I have a few other games such as Centipede and Donkey Kong but I don't play those that much. I would really like a US 7800 with composite mod so it works on my European CRT. I'd consider investing in a library of titles for it then as it's a really solid console if you like Atari arcade ports.

Never got into the computers - but that doesn't mean I didn't want one. They were just too expensive back then. An old style Atari 800 would be one other Atari thing I'd like to get. Maybe one day.

Early era Atari is the one thing I will buy associated tat for - art books, mugs etc. Can't help myself - especially when it comes to anything to do with Asteroids - a game I play obsessively still.

If you have been on Atariage then you might know about Stella? A magnificent emulator. The various minis and Retrons are based on builds of it. it is definitive and it's also a game development tool as it has a full featured debugger. I have used it to create 60Hz versions of PAL games to run on PAL console with a Harmony cart at full speed. :)   

Welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: Hello from USA (Seattle)
Post by: DeadVoivod on September 17, 2020, 06:41:00 AM
Welcome to the forum socrates63.

I was never so much into Atari, whether computers nor consoles. Although my first console was a Philips Videopac G7000 (Magnavox Odyssey 2 in the US), quite similar to an Atari 2600, and I played on that one quite a bit with my cousins, as like you I don't have any sisters or brothers.

Later in school I eventually got my C64, and my best friend had an 800XL, nice machine too. At some point our goal was to port M.U.L.E. from the Atari to the Commodore, a huge project, which of course never came to an end as you can imagine.

When I had my Amiga, another friend of mine had an 1040ST, although we preferred playing on the Amiga, was definitely the better machine for gaming, plus the audio was output to a big Kenwood amp with huge speakers, and we always enjoyed the big explosions in SWIV when you put the volume quite high.

Some years ago, I sold my quite big collection of computers and consoles. Although I don't have kids, and my wife is also quite accommodating I have to say, it was my decision. There's a thread in the forum with pictures of my "sold" stuff here:

I'm completely into ROM collecting, have probably every single set of every computer or console, and I like emulating the stuff. I do that already over 25 years, also during the time I still had some stuff set up. I think the whole emulation passion started with MAME 0.32, as I loved and still love arcade games.

Since 1 year, after coming from a HyperSpin setup, I discovered LaunchBox (and BigBox) and that is absolutely awesome. A lot of work, a lot of OCDing through collections, but also a huge amount of fun, LOVE it. If you're interested in a gorgeous frontend, head over to to give it a look, and why not a try.

Btw, I know Metal Jesus Rocks videos, they're great, nice guy.
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