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Atari!

screen shot improved ET gameMy first computer-like device was a Phillips G7000 Video Console. For that also a cartridge named "Computer Programmer" was available, and my parents bought it for my brother and me. As a kid I was unable to cope with the complexity of its Assembly language; so the cartridge with the number "9" started to be my first personal nemesis of the art of computer handling. I never learned proper Assembler.

Others are more successful: The Atari VCS 2600 was a similar system, its games like that ones of the Philips unbelievable simple to whatever kids are used to today. But there are still people fascinated by what's behind of that technology, and they still fiddle around with that machine code. That's close to how computers really work – have a look:

         -------------------------------------------
         - Score no points for remaining energy
         - with the difficulty fix enabled (6 bytes)
         -------------------------------------------
         139D: LDA $F8     ; 3 ; A5 F8
         139F: BNE +2      ; 2 ; D0 02
         13A1: TAX         ; 2 ; AA
         13A2: TAY         ; 2 ; A8

Anyway, the original game by Atari had some major flaws and proofed a commercial flop for the company. Still, some people had fun fixing this old code and making the thing playable. What kids today would think about that game?

Have a look at neocomputer org and read about their computer gaming archaeology. That's Indiana Jones for the tech people.

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