05 November 1995

Good find spoiled by being PAL

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

This weekend I found very little. However, one of my finds was Demolition Herby by Telesys (my first Telesys game). Unfortunately, when I got it home, it scrolls like crazy. I assume that it must be PAL, although who the *&@#% in Huntsville, AL would have a PAL cartridge?!?!? To exacerbate the problem, my TV doesn't have a horizontal control. I tried it on three different systems (2600 jr., 7800, and 2600A). Anyone in the U.K. or Australia got an NTSC copy of Demolition Herby they'd like to trade? 1/2 8)

[The 8) is a smiley indicating I wear glasses. The 1/2 before it means I was half serious and half kidding about my question. After all this time, I might be misremembering, but I think it was when I bought this cart that I also saw a PAL copy of RealSports Tennis, which I didn't buy. If that's correct, it was at the Downtown Mission Thrift Store back when it was on N. Memorial Parkway between University Drive and I-565. As of today, I still don't have a NTSC copy of Demolition Herby. —March 7, 2010]

29 July 1995

Weekday Finds [2600 games in Birmingham, plus meeting Ralph]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

I was recently laid off (anyone hiring?) and had some interviews around Alabama. Of course, I had to take a look for Atari 2600 cartridges since I was going out of town.

In Tuscaloosa, I determined it was impossible to find the Salvation Army store because the address in the phone book was 514 14th. No st. or ave. or anything else. I checked the 500 block of both 14th St. and 14th Ave. without success, so I went to another thrift store I had walked right by on the way to my interview without noticing! Nothing at all.

Next, I returned to Birmingham and went to Goodwill. I found the weirdest thing there. Two Atari cartridge cases with the circuit boards removed! In all my time collecting, I've never seen anything like it. I thought it was strange when I found the first one, but the second one blew my mind. Other than that, I found one common that I've already forgotten the name of.

I also stopped by two huge thrift stores on my way out of town. The first had many Combats, Asteroids, Pac-Mans, and Space Invaders. Then I found a few others, but I already had them. I picked up three labelless cartridges for $0.25 each. I am now the proud owner of two Froggers and an Enduro. 8( Make me an offer.

I had much better luck at the second store. I found Infiltrate, M-Network Football, and Omega Race! I frantically searched the store for a Booster-Grip adaptor without success. I did find a Colecovision controller, though, so I got it. Unfortunately, as I was standing in line, I noticed the Omega Race cartridge had lots of corrosion on it. I bought it anyway, but I am unhappy to report that so far it doesn't work. I got most of the green stuff off, but not all of it. Any suggestions? Also, the Football cartridge does not work either.

I did meet another collector while I was there and hopefully we can get together and do some trades. That turned out to be the best part of the trip.

[I found another job within a month or so, luckily.

On a later trip to Tuscaloosa, I found the Salvation Army Thrift Store. The problem was I was on the wrong side of town. It was on the east side and I was on the west (or something like that), so I was ten blocks off. That hadn't occurred to me at the time.

The two big thrift stores were over in the Roebuck/Center Point area. I believe the first was an America's Thrift Store. I've forgotten the name of the second, but the collector I met was Ralph Hulcher. We later got together with some other Birmingham collectors, but then fell out of touch, unfortunately. — 2 July 2010]

01 June 1995

Tip of the Moment (cat in bushes)

Tip of the moment: If your cat which usually stays inside gets out, look behind the hedges.

Our cat, who has never been an outdoor cat, got out one night without our realizing until we went to bed. We did not see him and he did not come when called. As I drove around the neighborhood calling, my wife kept checking around our house. A neighbor saw her when he came home and came over to help. "When my cats get out, they usually hide in the shrubs," he said as he checked. There was our cat, hiding in the hedges beside the house. If he ever gets out again, that's where we're going to check first!

[From my "Past Tips of the Moment and Past Thoughts" page. This was the first post that started the whole "Tip of the moment" thing on my home page. I didn't keep track of the dates beyond the year, so the date is a guess.

Below you can see how I posted the tips and thoughts to my home page. — 28 May 2009]

14 March 1995

Another week's finds [Compuvision, James Bond 007, Microsoft Arcade, & Space Jockey]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

Well, I've had another good weekend. I looked in the new phone book and discovered there were some thrift stores I hadn't been to yet. On the way, I stopped at a couple yard sales and got a Bentley Compuvision. It's not much different from another pong system I already have, so I'll probably get rid of it. Anyone interested?

I finally got to the thrift store. With a little digging, I came up with Sky Jinks, Keystone Kapers, and . . . James Bond 007! I got the owner to sell me just the cartridges for $1 each, rather than buying yet another system.

I also found some copies of Microsoft Arcade cheaper than normal. I finally bought one for myself, now if I only had a computer good enough to run it on. 8( I tried it out on a friend's computer and it works fine. I have two copies for sale: $20 each, postpaid. As best I can tell, it's about $38 in the stores. If someone has seen it cheaper, please tell me.

Sunday, I went to a nearby town and happened to stop at a wholesale outlet store. It's basically a store full of damaged, discontinued, and overstock merchandise. They had stacks of boxed Space Jockey cartridges, cheap. On the other hand, they wanted $4.98 for Space Invaders! Anyone want Space Jockey? I've got three extras available now. If there's sufficient demand, I might go back and get more. Make me an offer, money or trades accepted.

Can't wait for yard sale season to get into full swing!

[This post was so old, I actually wrote it with indented paragraphs. I late quit that and started separating them with blank lines because it was so much easier to edit them with vi that way.

I think I've still got that Compuvision. It turns out they're rather common and nothing special, so no one wants it.

I honestly don't remember which thrift store the "new" one was any more, but the wholesale outlet store was in Decatur where Sears used to be on 6th Avenue. Unfortunately, I've forgotten the name.

I believe the copies of Microsoft Arcade came from Bud's, a remainder chain that primarily disposed of old Wal-Mart merchandise. (Bud was Sam Walton's brother.) It was in the shopping center at N. Memorial Parkway and Mastin Lake Road. It's space has since been torn down and rebuilt as a Lowe's.

I don't recall if anyone took me up on my Microsoft Arcade offer or not. I think one person might have. And I did wind up going back to pick up several copies of Space Jockey, some of which went to Jerry Greiner, a major collector of the time who also sold games. — 1 July 2010]

04 March 1995

This week's finds [SwordQuest: Fireworld, Super Cobra, & Star Trek]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

Well after being out of the country for a month, I came back and started reading this newsgroup and caught the fever again, maybe worse than before I left. I hit as many thrift stores as I could this weekend. I came up empty mostly, except for one store.

This particular store is run as a business, not a charity. Apparently, the owner had just recently gotten an Atari 2600 & games in. They were all in wonderful condition, almost like they were new. Most of them still had the manuals in great shape, too. Unfortunately, the selection was small and I had most of them. I ended up buying three: SwordQuest--Fireworld, simply because it had the manual & comic in almost perfect condition; Super Cobra; and ... STAR TREK, complete with the manual and joystick overlay! They were $2.50 each, well worth it.

I am very pleased with Star Trek. It's a rather incredible translation of the arcade game for the 2600. Of course, it's not perfect, but I don't think it could have been much better. Thank you Sega and Lady Luck!

28 February 1995

Interesting find in Oz

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

On my recent trip to Australia, I spotted a few odd cartridges. There was this guy at a "flea" market called Paddy's market selling brand new Atari 2600 hardware & games. Amongst his games were a pirated copy of The Empire Strikes Back called Star Warriors. The front was simplistic artwork of an AT-AT firing at the Millenium Falcon & an X-Wing. The back had a screenshot, so I knew what it was. I didn't make note of the supposed co. that made it.

Another interesting item was a set of 4 Activision games all sold in one box. I don't remember all the titles now, but I didn't have any of them. One was Plaque Attack, I think. I also saw a game by Atari I'd never heard of called Motorodeo. I noticed that the boxes were the same as the boxes the last few games Atari release came in, including the "Winners don't use drugs" message from the FBI. I checked a non-shrinkwrapped copy to be sure it was PAL. There was a big P sticker stuck to the bottom of the cartridge.

Now that I'm back, I discover Motorodeo is rated ER by VGR! Furthermore, I find that PAL games MIGHT have worked on my system, just with screwy colors. I'm going to be kicking myself for a long time for not buying those games! Oh, well, at least I got my joypads (see separate message: Joypads found in Australia!).

[Fifteen years later, I still wish I'd had more money to buy Atari stuff while we were in Australia. —March 7, 2010]

Joypads found in Australia!

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

G'day, mates! I'm back from a month long trip Down Under. I had a wonderful time. I didn't bother to do much searching for classic video stuff because they use PAL-B equipment. I had a very fortunate incident, though.

I went to a "flea" market (Not exactly, but I don't know what elese to call it.) called Paddy's Market in Sydney. After we'd gone almost all the way around, I came upon a gentleman selling Atari 2600 games & hardware, including 2600 Jr.'s WITH CX-78 JOYPADS! Needless to say, I was excited. He had a package deal: One 2600 Jr. system with two joypads, a cartridge, and a 7800 joystick (CX-24) for $25 (Australian, of course); all brand new! I grabbed one up, quick! That's about $19 US! Best Electronics was selling joypads for, what, $15 EACH? I also needed another 7800 joystick because one of the ones that came with my system has a broken button. (Okay, so I don't really need another joystick since I have the joypads now. It doesn't hurt.) I'll be saying goodbye to wrist strain now!

In case you're wondering, the game I got was the Atari version of BMX AirMaster. It's still shrinkwrapped in a slightly squashed (due to being in luggage) box. I haven't decided what to do with it yet. Anyone want to make a ridiculous offer (or trade) for it? Remember, it's PAL-B.

As for the system, I'll sell, for shipping cost only, the PAL-B 2600 Jr. with cord & Australian adapter (220 volts, slanted plugs) in the box with all documentation. Note it does not come with any controllers or games.

[I did have someone respond and pay for shipping the PAL-B 2600 Jr. to him. While it would have been an interesting addition to my collection, I can't keep everything! —March 7, 2010]