When I first starting buying Atari 2600 consoles for modding purposes back in 2000 (right after my website became famous) I was lucky enough that my first Atari 2600 Junior had the ultra-rare “single chip” variant inside.
Of course this was “portablization catnip” for me so I desoldered it and tried to make a custom PCB. My skills at the time weren’t up to task and I feared the chip dead. Had I know then how rare it was (I’ve never found another since) I probably wouldn’t have tried but can’t change that now.
Flash forward to fall of 2018 and I come across the project in a junk box while moving out of the Ben Heck Show shop. Decided to give it another go and I have help this time – my friend Parker Dillmann has an intact single-chip 2600 Junior so we can cross reference to it.
Hey – I’ve got a cool project that I’ve been working on which will be featured on the next Ben Heck Show and I thought I’d give my blog readers the exclusive sneak peak. Atari is releasing a few classic games as XBOX downloadable content and to help promote them we’re going old school and building an Atari inspired XBOX 360 laptop straight out of 1977. A few cool things that you can do while you’re waiting for the full episode on element14.com/tbhs, Revision3, or Youtube…
1) Goto Atari.com to stay up to date on how you can enter for a chance to win the Atari XBOX featured in this episode.
Also, don’t forget to come visit The Ben Heck Experience at the Midwest Gaming Classic next weekend in Milwaukee, WI. Stay til Sunday and see my pinball-related panel with arch nemesis Jeri Ellsworth! Play Bill Paxton Pinball and check out the prototype for my next one. We’ll see you there!
This month marks the 10 year anniversary of my work on the web! While the original VCSp was done in spring of 2000, the original GeoCities site itself wasn’t created until the fall. Shortly after, it moved to Classicgaming.com where it stayed until spring of 2004, when I started my own domain “Benheck.com”. I went with that name because it was an available 7 letter dot com – couldn’t pass it up! Little did I realize I was creating my new nickname. Oh well.
It’s been a long, interesting journey since then and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me along the way and bought my products.
As a fun treat, you can visit a replica of the old site by clicking the image above. This is the oldest working replica of the old site I could find in my archives. Almost all of the old data / stories is on this site as well, just check out the Site Archives link on the lower left to pick a year.
Stay tuned next weekend for the reveal of the new XBox 360 Slim laptop (and watch my show to see how we built it).
For a personal list of what I felt were my best, worst, most influential and favorite projects of the last decade, continue reading!
I thought about doing one of these years ago, right after my first Atari 2600 portable actually, but after taking a look at the motherboard (which is a lot more complex than the Atari 2600’s) I got cold feet.
My feet are much warmer now and thus here is an Atari 7800 portable I’ve done by request. For some reason I am just not that intimidated by “complex looking” electronics anymore, I don’t know why! The 7800 motherboard is a bit larger than the 2600, thus the unit is larger, but I slapped on a bigger 7″ widescreen to make up for it. (Kind of like the iPhone ads that allegedly use giant hands) Quick specs:
Rechargeable batteries built-in
Combination driving / paddle controller
Weighs less than a gallon of milk
A/V output jack, like all my old portables used to have
For the making-of story and more pics than I usually post, click below. There’s also a video where I describe the functions. Now that this is done I can allot more of my time to “Possumus Man 2: Possumus Woman!” (Working title)
Unfortunately the flashback scene in Possumus Man 2 now takes place in the 60’s, rendering my bumper sticker props useless.
My hack pick this week (not that I manage to do this weekly but whatever) is Richard DaLuz’s “Super Genintari”:
There was once a time when a person had to use separate consoles for playing their Atari 2600, NES, SNES or Genesis games… This filled the land with sadness, despair and an overabundance of power bricks, threatening the very fabric of the universe! (Or at least clogging up power strips)
But now, in this brave year 2008, Richard has come to rescue us all. The “Super Genintari” combines all these fine systems into one easy-to-use beast that goes great with any decor. (Includes giant glowing Pac-Man icon) I especially like the chunky solid selector buttons.