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Hardware Hacking Businesses Classic Games (Games) Apple Hardware

Atari 2600 Mac Mod 146

XxtraLarGe writes "MyMac.com has videos of a couple of guys modding an Atari 2600 case to a Mac OS X System. The cool thing is, it looks like the 2600 can still play cartridge games too!"
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Atari 2600 Mac Mod

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  • Coral Cache links (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:02PM (#11597678)
    Hmm, their site does not have any images, just movies and mentions that they were already having bandwidth issues before it was posted on slashdot. So you probably want to use the coral cache links below. I managed to get the first three links primed before the story went live.

    Article [nyud.net]
    Movie 1 [nyud.net]
    Movie 2 [nyud.net]
    Movie 3 [nyud.net]
    Movie 4 [nyud.net]
  • by The_Mr_Flibble ( 738358 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:02PM (#11597682)
    I mean in a few yours it might be worth something.
    It's still in it's box.
  • I was worried... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spytap ( 143526 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:03PM (#11597687)
    I was worried that this was going to be another story about peopel cramming shit into a Mac Mini Case. Not because I think they're desecrating the mini, just because if it becomes a trend, it's an incredibly boring trend to read about.
  • Nice. (Score:5, Funny)

    by PopeAlien ( 164869 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:03PM (#11597689) Homepage Journal
    Finally a Mac for gaming!
  • by Saven Marek ( 739395 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:03PM (#11597693)
    That's nothing, Apple managed put a G4 mac [apple.com] into a Sonos case!!! [gizmodo.com]
  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:05PM (#11597712) Homepage Journal
    Was the atari 2600 named so because of the captain crunch toy whistles? After all, Steve Jobs worked there in the 70s, and also was one of the ones involved with those blue boxes.
    • I know that it was originally called the VCS. It was renamed the 2600 at the time that the Atari 5200 shipped. (2600 is 1/2 of 5200...)

      Also the 7800 is 5200 + 2600, even though the 7800 didn't play 5200 games.

      • Atari console naming (Score:5, Informative)

        by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:44PM (#11598159)
        The official name of the 2600 was the "Video Computer System" (VCS) and that was indeed the official name until the Atari 5200 came out. However, the catalogue/part number for the VCS was CX2600 right from the start, and that is where the name came from. When the Supersystem was announced/introduced (part #CX5200) the part numbers became official model names probably to emphasise the difference between the two.

        Atari was known to employ some engineers with a twisted sense of humour and perhaps a history of cracking/phreaking activities (Steve Wozniak for example). Given that they allegedly code-named their products after well-endowed female coworkers it wouldn't surprise me that the original product number was inspired by the frequency in Hz that opened up the telephone system to phreakers.

        In any case, I believe there was no real marketing angle to the choice of model numbers apart from simply using multiples of the number 2600 to indicate successive generations--1st gen = 1*2600, 2nd gen = 2*2600, 3rd gen = 3*2600. No compatibilty was impled, as a base 5200 couldn't play 2600 games and a base 7800 couldn't play 5200 games.
      • > Also the 7800 is 5200 + 2600, even though the 7800 didn't play 5200 games.

        Minor nitpick: the 7800 does play 2600 games. It's the 5200 that doesn't.
      • by suso ( 153703 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:47PM (#11598206) Homepage Journal
        Ok, that's an acceptable explaination I think, but its just weird. Especially considering the timing. I mean, if you look up Steve Jobs in wikipedia.com [wikipedia.org], it has this paragraph:

        "In the autumn of 1974, Jobs returned to California and began attending meetings of the "Homebrew Computer Club" with Stephen Wozniak. He took a job at Atari Inc., designing computer games with his friend, Wozniak. During this time period, it was discovered that a slightly modified toy whistle included in every box of Cap'n Crunch cereal was able to reproduce the 2600 Hz supervision tone used by the AT&T long distance telephone system. Jobs and Wozniak went into business briefly in 1974 to build "blue boxes" based on the idea which allowed for free long distance calls.

        Which almost links the two together. Were did the catalogue number come from? Did Atari make 2,599 items before they made the 2600? Also, seeing as Jobs and Wozniak liked to hide numbers in their products, like the Apple I's price being $666, I would think that they could have done the same with the Atari VCS. Perhaps only they know the answer to this.
        • The Apple I was priced at $666.66, not $666.00. I also remember that this price was arrived at via some formula involving the price of all the parts, not picked arbitrarily. When they discovered that the formula produced this number, someone suggested they change it, but Jobs wanted to leave it alone because it was a memorable number.

          That said, I think its pretty doubtful that Jobs and Woz had influence over the part number designations at Atari. First of all because Woz never worked for Atari. He designed
      • the 7800 didn't play 5200 games

        How many did it play?
    • by curtisk ( 191737 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:29PM (#11597956) Homepage Journal
      From here [classicgaming.com]

      The Atari 5200 Supersystem was named for its part number in the Atari catalog, CX5200. Following this trend, Atari renamed the VCS the 2600.

      It was called the Atari VCS until the 5200 came out...and the 7800 is just a continuation of the 2600 mulitples

  • Yea (Score:4, Funny)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:05PM (#11597717) Journal
    And we just tried to jam 20,000 http requests into their Atari 2600 case. Didn't work.
    • Poor Guys (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think sites should get a seal to display if they can stand up to a slashdoting. Might even be a selling point for hosting houses. ^_~
  • Uhhh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gruneun ( 261463 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:07PM (#11597732)
    So, after realizing the 2600 games are no longer being produced, they chose OSX for it's extensive list of titles?
  • by CTO1 ( 850830 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:09PM (#11597748)
    They managed to triple the number of games that their new Mac can play!
  • by booyah ( 28487 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:09PM (#11597751)
    MacMod - The Atari 2600 Macintosh

    Building the iAtariMac

    What the heck is this? Actually, it is the LONG overdue, been sitting in development hell purgatory, first MacMod.

    What is MacMod? An idea and concept that sprung to life in the minds of Tim Robertson and Chad Perry way back in the summer of 2003. The idea? Wouldn't it be cool if there were a video show online that was like a combination of American Chopper and Junkyard Wars, but about Macs?

    What? You don't think that is a cool idea? Obviously, we did, so we actually did it. We created a show, named it MacMod, and filmed the whole thing over a six-week period starting October 2003 and finishing December 2003.

    The goal? Turning a vintage 1970's Atari 2600 game consol into a Macintosh computer, running the latest and greatest Mac OS X. The catch? Try and keep the Atari looking stock, up to a point.

    The problem? Neither Chad nor Tim had ever done anything like this before. Not just "how to build it" but "how to film and present it" were questions they pretty much made up the answers to as they went along.

    Firstly, they had to obtain both an Atari 2600 and a Macintosh. The first was easy, Tim already had two Atari 2600's, and they used one of those. The second was not as easy. Neither Tim nor Chad wanted to part with a perfectly good computer to use and, probably, destroy. Neither was confident that the build would be successful, and it was asking too much for either of them to give up a working Macintosh for this show.

    The solution? A sponsor! Enter Tekserve! Who is Tekserve? Only one of the best Macintosh resellers in the world, located in New York City, but servicing clients worldwide. They started out as a Mac service company, but have grown well beyond those humble beginnings. Today, they sport over 125 employees!

    Tekserve became the silent partner during filming MacMod. Without them, this project could not have happened. It was Tekserve who supplied us with the needed Macintosh to use for this project. Please visit their website today for more information, and be sure to tell them it was MyMac.com who sent you.

    This project should have been online a year ago, but it was not meant to be. We ran into many more problems after filming wrapped than we want to go into here. Suffice it to say, we did finish the project, but not alone. Special thanks go to Jim Allard, who was present every day during filming. While you the viewer never see or hear Jim, he was the invisible third man of the show. This would not have happened without him. Tad Scheeler was the talent behind our animated opening, as well as helping film during day two. MacMod would not look the same, or have whatever polish is present, without Tad. Adam Karneboge lent his help in technical matters, as well as providing a part we sorely needed. And Chris Seibold stepped in at the last minute to provide the over-the-top narration the show needed. Without these people, MacMod would never have happened.

    Now you can watch, in four parts, the entire build process. There is both a large and small version of each episode. If you are bandwidth challenged, view the smaller one. If you don't mind downloading a large file, enjoy the better detail in the larger ones. And if you would rather have a DVD copy of all four episodes, email us and we can give you more details. (Detail may be posted here in the future if there is enough interest.)

    Warning! You will either think this is either really neat, or really stupid. If you think it is stupid, that is Tim and Chad's fault, not those who helped us.

    QuickTime is required to view MacMod
    • This project should have been online a year ago, but it was not meant to be. We ran into many more problems after filming wrapped than we want to go into here. Suffice it to say, we did finish the project, but not alone. Special thanks go to Jim Allard, who was present every day during filming. While you the viewer never see or hear Jim, he was the invisible third man of the show. This would not have happened without him. Tad Scheeler was the talent behind our animated opening, as well as helping film durin
      • them: "The caveat SECRET-SPOKE is classified CONFIDENTIAL-HVCCO-- which is itself, UNCLASSIFIED" me: "wha?"


        I once had a guy assure me he was read-on for "Hampster-Cornhole" when he wanted access to our SCIF.

        -Peter
        • I once had a guy assure me he was read-on for "Hampster-Cornhole" when he wanted access to our SCIF.

          Heh. I think I was read on to that SAP. Reminds me of the smoking area "inside the fence" where our multi-building SCIF was. Smoking had been banned inside the fence by the weirdo installation commander, but those of us who were serious chain smokers never had time to go the half mile to get outside the fence while on duty. We had a corner behind one building with sand filled coffee cans where we'd hide whi

  • Sweet (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:11PM (#11597776) Journal
    ... it looks like the 2600 can still play cartridge games too!

    <Napolean>Sweet...</Napolean>

    Can it play Duke Nukem Forever too?

    Oh, wait...
  • by kiwidefunkt ( 855968 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:12PM (#11597782) Homepage
    Proving once again that x86 nerds with too much time are not the only nerds with too much time. There's PPC guys, too.
  • video?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jxyama ( 821091 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:12PM (#11597785)
    >MyMac.com has videos

    i think the submitter should be requested to use past tense ("had") when linking to a video. ;)

  • by chipster ( 661352 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:12PM (#11597789)
    Today it's;

    "The...twen-ty-six...hun-dred...please-slash-dot-m e!"

  • by RackinFrackin ( 152232 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:13PM (#11597800)
    Does it have a mouse, or do you move the pointer using one paddle for x and the other for y? That might suck, but you'd have two mouse buttons!

    Disclaimer: I didn't read the article.
  • by cliveholloway ( 132299 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:14PM (#11597808) Homepage Journal

    ... then check out Ben Heckendorn's Book [amazon.com] that was due to be published this week (the guy behind the portable PS2 [slashdot.org], Ben Heckendorn [benheck.com]).

    Surprised no-one on /. has reviewed it yet :) Time to hassle Ben for a review copy...

    cLive ;-)

    disclaimer - I work for company that hosts his web site (so I must be a masochist by inviting slashdot visitors ;-)

  • Wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by BrK ( 39585 )
    So, this story is all about how people took some hardware and stuck it in a case that wasn't originally intended to hold that hardware?

    Oh, gee. What an original concept.
    • Yea, it's really pretty lame.

      I on the other hand have done something completely original. I cut two holes in the side of my case and put FANS there! The amount of extra cooling my AMD K6-2 300 overclocked to 366MHz gets is unbelievable. I'm thinking next I might even spray paint the case!
  • Theres a lot of footage of them just clumsly poking the thing or driving around that could have been edited out... making this a neat single movie at half the lenth! half decent mod tho'... think i'd prefer a working ibook and an atari.
  • Historic consoles (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tie_guy_matt ( 176397 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:17PM (#11597827)
    I don't think moding historic computers/consoles is a good idea. Now they are just old and kindof cool, but in several years they will be truly historic and of great value. When most 2600s will be greatly increasing in value the modded ones will be worth much less. After all by then a G5 running Mac OSX won't really be that great. I guess it is ok to do the mod as long as you don't damage the original console and can bring it back to the original condition. But people please don't destroy antique or very soon to be valuable antique hardware. I'd rather see it restored to the way it was brand new in the 70's and 80's!
    • I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the Atari 2600 to be worth much more than its original MSRP in my lifetime.

      As it stands, it was a system comprised of off the shelf parts. I would speculate that in the future just the empty shell alone would be fetch as much as a complete working unit, considering the shell was the only original part of the unit. Also with the two different shell types, Atari and the Sears "Telegames" with fake woodgrain, one might be worth a bit more than the other. Not including the
    • > When most 2600s will be greatly increasing in value the modded ones will be worth much less.

      Dude, we're talking about a 4 switch 2600 here. While not quite a-dime-a-dozen I'm sure you can pick up at least one for a dime. The chances of these becoming rare and desirable in our lifetimes are ludicrously low.

  • depressing. (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScouseMouse ( 690083 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:20PM (#11597868) Homepage
    This sort of thing depresses me.

    The only thing that keeps me going is that some day one of these people is going to put a PC board into something like a Vax or a Sun 1/2, and then all the aincient bearded ones will descend on them and murder them all and use their entrails to grease an old Fujitsu Eagle (Look it up).

    Then you could argue there lifes wont have gone to waste. :-)



    (Note for those of you with no sense of humor, i am Joking but only mostly)
    • Too late. You have seen the VAXbar, right?

      I'm not going to post a link. If someone doesn't know what it was, either STFU or google it. n00bs.
    • I get depressed because it makes me wonder where my life went wrong so I don't have time to do dumb, pointless stuff like this.
    • The Eagle Has Landed!

      Fujitsu breaks through the $10,000 barrier with the new Eagle blah blah blah.

      Yeah, I remember the Eagle. Something like 80lbs, and what, 200Meg?
      When our Pyramid tech came onsite to replace one, I wondered why he needed a hand truck to move a disk drive up from his car, and I REALLY wondered why he needed my help to get it into the rack.

  • Great! (Score:2, Funny)

    by DorkFest ( 857124 )
    Now my ActiVision titles can live again! Megamania River Raid Freeway Pitfall I'd play these games until I had blisters from the joystick!
    • I had River Raid on my 5200. Good God did that game get hard fast. I wore out the already weak controllers on the 5200 with that one.

      That was my favorite out of all of the Activision titles. Pitfall was ok, but I'd always go left because I could do the right direction jumping onto the crocs for some reason.
  • by Nine Tenths of The W ( 829559 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:24PM (#11597904)
    Can it play ET? Mac fans need something to compensate for the fact that Daikatana was PC only.
  • WOW (Score:2, Informative)

    by Reo Strong ( 661900 )
    Apparently, neither of these guys had the time to actually google for instructions on how to disassemble a powerbook...

    btw, http://www.pbfixit.com/Guide/?p=Pismo*00 [pbfixit.com] is a nice place with good pics and step by step instructions for taking Apple Laptops apart... it has already helped me twice this year...

  • Interview (Score:3, Informative)

    by whitlock ( 796252 ) <adam@adamwhitloc k . com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @01:00PM (#11598391) Homepage
    Meh, I interviewed Tim about the mod a few days ago. Here is a link: http://macmod.com/content/view/219/ [macmod.com]
  • Netbsd (Score:2, Funny)

    by espergreen ( 849246 )
    OR they could have simply ran netbsd on the orginal hardware :D
  • Posting multiple 100MB+ movies and he says, "bandwidth was much more of a serious issue than I thought."

    I shall file this in my "No Shit" folder.
  • Game Console Hacking [amazon.com] by Joe Grand, Albert Yarusso [atariage.com], et al already has a step by step guide of how to install a mini-itx board into an Atari 2600. Is doing something similar with Mac hardware so much more difficult that it's news? I've recently purchased myself some torx drivers to convert a couple of Powerbooks into digital picture frames [krisjohn.net]. At the moment the big problem is where to get the frames. Can I have a Slashdot story when I've got one converted?

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