937 Might Be.

I’m loading this page early because it looks like there’s gonna be storms. So if this is the only writing that appears under the page that means that the storms knocked out the internet, or worse.

I spent a little while today trying to get an Atari 2600 working. The casing is in pretty good shape. I think it’s one of the later versions that had more compact insides. As far as I can tell it’s in working order… but I can’t get any television to work with it. I’m not 100% sure the power supply is okay. Unlike everything they make now there’s no light on it to let you know it’s having power supplied to it. I don’t hear the sound of power though. Usually when I turn on any electrical device larger than, say, an iPod, I can hear a high pitched sound comming out of it. Either the Atari is too small to do that, it doesn’t make that noise, or it’s not getting power. I have no intention of keeping the thing. I just want to get it working so I can sell it. Of course it’s probably worth less than $30 at best, so sinking time into it is a losing deal. I just happen to have a big sack of games for it and I’d like to know if they work before I try to sell them. There’s Adventures Of Tron, Donkey Kong Jr, and Warlords that I can remember off the top of my head. The cartriges are filthy, and a few have no outer markings anymore, so I have no idea what they are. I’m not sure I could identify many of them even if I could play them. Old Atari games are basically all “One grouping colored squares harasses another grouping of colored squares in an ill defined way”. Anyway, if I can’t get it working to a point where I can check things out I’m just going to sell it as is, and whoever bites will have to try their luck at it. I suspect all the catriges will work if they are cleaned. Cartrige games are pretty hard to fuck up. You have to really want it. That was always the best thing about Nintendo paks. At worst all you needed to fix one was a fine grain sandpaper, usually some water and a q-tip would be enough to get one working.

Whoever had this stuff last didn’t take care of it. The controllers are a mess. Those are fairly easy to replace though. The cartriges are absolutely filthy. I don’t know how these were stored, but they have dust on the insides. Really fine dust. There’s not a lot I can do about that. Hopefully it’s not something that will hinder them from functioning. It would bug me knowing that it was in there if it were me though. Provided you dry them fast enough a person can just dunk a game pack for a few moments without doing any real harm. Most of the inside bits are metals that water won’t do much to. Still, you want to get them dry as fast as you can. A hot sunny day with low humidity is perfect for that sort of activity. I hate to try it with these because the stickers on many of them are only held on by a few atoms of craked paste. I don’t think they would survive the ordeal.

It’s kind of a shame that I can’t get the thing running. I’d like to fire up Warlords. It’s about the only game I saw in the bag that’s still fun. I’m not much for really old games. They were tedious even when that was all there was… but that was all there was. Food Fight, Warlords, and Yar’s Revenge are the only ones I can think of that I can still tolerate to play anymore, and Yar’s Revenge is pushing the limits of my patience. If it looked as cool as the box art made it seem THEN I might be able to play it some more. XD An armored bug warrior is pretty cool. They should update that concept and actually make it like the instuction booklet made it out to be like.

The Atari was always kind of a sad reflection of how the games looked in the arcades. I always remember them looking better at a convenient store. Up until the home systems actually started matching the arcade ones. Which led to the death of the arcade over time. I don’t really have any tears to shed over the death of the arcade. Generally they sucked, and were run by people who likewise sucked. At least in my experience. Better to spend all your quaters at once and then have all the games you like as long as you like.


Wes wears round glasses that cover his eyes and hangs around with someone he constantly calls “sir.” Apparently, he’s Marcy.

Reminds me of the joke about the optimist child who got a roomful of manure for Christmas. He started diving around in it, laughing excitedly: “With all this manure, there’s GOT to be a pony in here somewhere!”

hey crave, thanks for introducing me to questionable content, been up three nights reading it and now have terrible sleep deprevation… pretty much the same thing that happen when I started reading this comic. i sleep now thxs again.

This will sound completely counter productive to your Atari Situation, but you are going to trust in the knowledge of a random stranger on the internet, but drop it. like from waist high. Alot of times when old electronics sit for too long dust will build up on the electronics and sorta cake on from humidity, so it’s less dust and more.. mud.. It will cause things to fire badly… dropping it in many cases is enough to shake this crap off, and get it working again. Plus the Atari is basically is tank.

Your Atari is probably too old to make the high-pitched squeal from its power supply — that’s later technology. A voltmeter would tell you in a moment if things were working (maybe $4.95 at Harbor Freight or Radio Shack) — there should be 5 volts at many places on the board. Further debugging requires more knowledge and equipment than you evidently have. I just found a 1977 catalog of video game ICs — almost makes me nostalgic for black & white blocks chasing each other around the screen.

Oh, dang, I must be getting old. My brother and I had an Atari system when we were kids. According to google image search it was an “800xl”. Took the same cartridges, but we also had a peripheral that was basically a cassette tape player built to act as a mini reel-to-reel magnetic drive (the 410 drive, apparently). Only had two or three games on cassette tape though, and they were pretty lame compared to the cartridge ones.

In fact I remember even the cartridge games being pretty a big hit-and-miss gamble as to quality. There was no way to tell what a game looked like or how it played before buying it (sometimes there’d be screenshots on the box, but they were usually tiny and vague and most didn’t even have that).

IIRC the cartridges were pretty durable in terms of the ROM board. They had this spring loaded retracting part though to protect the contacts which would get pushed back when you stuck them into the cartridge slot, and those would get suck/jammed sometimes, preventing you from putting the cartridge in properly.

I’ll admit I don’t have much nostalgia for the old Atari. It was always only the most pale anemic imitation of what it promised. I think “Tass Times in ToneTown” on the IIgs was the first home video game I really got into (my parents were Mac People from Mac’s beginning, though my dad had a Kaypro II with the original text based “Adventure”). I never had an NES, but I did get a first gen Game Boy just for “Super Mario Land” and played the crap out of it.

Hey crave. What do you want for the Atari and games? I don’t care if it works. I can get my hands on a power supply, if that’s the problem. also did you find those Batman comics yet? Decide on a price?

I wanted to get a buck each for the games at least and was hoping for 30 for the system. Since it’s not working I’m not sure though.

..I really thought Wes might be a force for good – that Thomas was wrong about him. It’s amazing that he’s not distancing himself from Reggie .. or at least it seems to me I’d be running for the hills. Reggie is such an obvious loose cannon.

It takes a severe level of optimistic oblivious to think that a store that is barely making end’s meet could host an employee started nerf war using guns and ammo that were to be thrown away that had a car as a prize for the winner(s). Just what is Reggie high on?

Crave – wanted to let you know the .com version of the site seems to be acting up; it seems to have deleted all comics since sometime in April of this year. Not a big deal, I’ll just switch my bookmark back to .net, just wanted to let you know.

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