PDXCUG Meeting Highlights

Vol. 1, No. 8 - December 9, 2010 - Meeting Highlights

Guest Speaker: David Lamkins, former Activision & Parker Brothers Employee

We invited guest speaker David Lamkins to discuss his early days as an Atari 2600 video game developer both at Parker Brothers and Activision.

Note: Here are some factual updates from what he says in the discussion:

  1. ~25:00 during discussion of how the big game makers provided incentives for their programmers: Parker Brothers initially paid a straight salary (in contrast to Activision and Atari).
  2. "One sprite per line" - actually, the Atari 2600 could display two: one per player.
  3. Flickering sprites on the Atari 2600 is due to multiplexing, not the HREMOVE technique.
  4. Rex's golf game developed during our time at Activision was on the Commodore 64, not the Atari 2600.

Demo: Rare Auto-boot ROMs for Your 1540/1541

Put a disk in the drive, turn on the computer and watch it auto-boot!

Member Dan brought his VIC-1541 disk drive and auto-booting ROM. When the computer turns on, the ROM in the disk drive looks for a specific file to exist and, if found, will auto-boot the file.


Show & Tell: Commodore and 3rd-Party Disk Drives

Members Dan, Earl, AgentFriday, and Goog all brought various types of disk drives that work with various Commodore computers.


Vic-1541 (White Case)

Member Dan brough his white Vic-1541 with the dual-boot ROMs installed. The switch you see isn't yet hooked up, but was placed there to fill a hole.

Commodore FSD-1001 Disk Drive

Commodore FSD-1001

Member Earl brought his Commodore FSD-1001 IEE-488 drive. It typically hooks up to his PET, but he brought his IEEE Flash 64 cartridge (by Skyles Electric Works). which allows you to plug it in to your Commodore 64. But unfortunately, we couldn't get it working.

Excelerator Plus Disk Drive

Excelerator Plus

Member Agent Friday brought one of his many 3rd-party disk drives. This one is called the Excelerator Plus.

CardCo Card Drive

Card Drive

Member Goog brought his brand-new Card Drive, by CardCo. This is in MINT condition and still has that 80's-style "new electronics smell". Oh, yes, do you remember what that smells like?

Frogger Comparison Across Gaming Consoles & Computers

Since our guest speaker was directly involved in one of the most popular games for the Atari 2600, we thought it would be fun to see how Frogger compared across several of the different consoles and platforms. We compared it on the Atari 2600, the Atari 130XE, Intellivision, the Vic-20, the Commodore 64 and the original arcade game (via MAME).

Frogger on the Atari 2600

Atari 2600

Frogger on the Atari 130XE

Atari 130XE

Frogger on the Intellivision


Sorry, didn't take a picture of the screen.

Frogger on the Vic-20


Frogger on the Commodore 64

Commodore 64

Arcade Version of Frogger on MAME

Arcade (MAME)

Cool Stuff

Happy Trails on Intellivision

Happy Trails on Intellivision

Here's a pretty fun little game - Happy Trails!

Gorf on Commodore 64


Gorf is another great game - on the Commodore 64

Commodore Joysticks

Commodore Joysticks

Triangular handles makes for some interesting marks on your hand when done playing.

Activision Explorer's Club Patches

Activision Explorer's Club Patches

Here's a small sample of Goog's Activision Patch collection.

Evening Snapshots

Silo 64
PDXCUG Members
Phoenix Power Supply
Phoenix Power Supply
PDXCUG Members
PDXCUG Members
PDXCUG Members
PDXCUG Members
PDXCUG Members
PDXCUG Members