Odyssey 1

From: Doug Spence <ds_spenc_at_alcor.concordia.ca>
Date: Fri Jul 3 07:37:38 1998

On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, Ethan Dicks wrote:

> Wow! Nice (simple) Odyssey page.

Thanks. I prefer simple pages myself, even though I now work for a
company that provides not-so-simple ones. (Once I'm settled in and am on a
solid footing, I'll try to convince them to make their sites accessible
via Lynx. :) )

> I, too, have one. It's not the original one my family had in 197x; that
> one got cannibalized when I was a teenager for the parts. One of the
> program cards got chopped and soldered to the connector for a 44-pin VIC-20
> bus extender (yes, the cards are the same pin cound and spacing). A
> controller cable got a new lease on life as a C-64 printer cable (user-port
> to centronics connector).

I understand that these things happen, and at least you used it for
something useful instead of just tossing it into the dumpster like certain
other people would (I'm pissed off at what I found at the Salvation Army
yesterday). When something is merely 'old' it's easy to cannibalize it.
I was considering using the dozens of TI-99/4As that were sitting around
at the SA for spare parts for electronics projects, but I knew nothing
about electronics and the machines disappeared without a trace before I
started shoveling them up.

Actually, the first "collectors" machine I bought (i.e. the first machine
I bought that wasn't to be used as my primary computer) was a broken-up
old VIC-20. My actual intention was to teach myself something about
electronics, using the VIC. A friend of mine had done all kinds of
wonderful things with his VIC-20, he had even plugged a UART into it so
that he could use it with his 9600bps modem. He had actually been working
on interfacing a CGA card to the VIC at one point, but he never got it

Anyway, the case of the VIC that I bought was cracked and the cartridge
connector damaged, but otherwise it turned out to be functional, and it
didn't take long before I fell in love with the thing. I never did get
around to hacking it up. Or learning anything about electronics,

> We used to play that thing for hours and hours. My biggest complaint was
> that the overlays came in small and large, but we had a "medium" TV. My
> favorite was the sub hunt, followed by the haunted house.

I thought all of the overlays were fairly large. But I guess the folks
who could afford an Odyssey could afford a large set. :)

The TV set we had when I was a kid was the right size, but I don't think
it would have worked very well. The surface of the CRT was curved quite a
bit, but it had a flat plate of glass in front of it. It was an old
wooden TV set with turntable and radio that my parents had purchased
sometime in the 1950s. We didn't replace it (with a COLOUR set!) until

Which, I think, is the same year my brother brought home his first
computer. :)

I never had a video game system until I picked up an Atari 2600 a while
back at the same SA store that just junked all that computer stuff. <s>

As I think I mentioned, I've never powered up my Odyssey. I guess I
should, though, just to make sure it works. The battery compartment
doesn't look like it's ever had any batteries in it, though. The machine
seems like it's hardly been used.

> -ethan

Doug Spence
Received on Fri Jul 03 1998 - 07:37:38 BST

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