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Why I (Still) Love the Good Ol' Atari 2600

posted Dec 4, 2009, 7:35 AM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Dec 4, 2009, 7:42 AM ]
Rich Rodriguez over at the The Pandapolis Blog writes about Why I (Still) Love the Good Ol' Atari 2600 the other day.

On my birthday in 2006, my mom gave me an Atari Flashback 2 Classic Game Console, a miniature version of the classic Atari 2600 video game console with 40 built-in period games (plus 2 more via a secret game key) and two replica joysticks. She knew that I always loved Atari games, and in the midst of the retrogaming craze of the mid 2000's she bought one at the Wal-Mart she worked at. And maybe my already owning the Flashback 1 was a hint. :)

I love that Flashback 2; right now it sits on top of my analog TV, the joystick parked on top of the digital converter box. Most of the classic Atari games are on the console--Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Crystal Castles, Millipede, Lunar Lander and the Activision icon Pitfall.

Rich then goes on to talk about the history of the original 2600 and the difficulties of programming games for it.

I continue to be amazed at how programmers used the 2600's simplicity to their advantage. Because it is so ancient and primitive, the 2600 is considered one of the toughest computers to program for. You have to write code for every single scan line for the console's analog TV screen output.

All in all, I think Rich does a great job explaining the technical details of the Atari 2600 in nontechnical terms.  I suggest you click on over and read it.

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