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Reviving the video gaming era of the 80's

Where it all began.

Through the change of technology in time, many things have developed, become faster and more efficient, but just like anything, computers had their beginning.  Computer technology first started appearing in the 1830's in another form.  The worlds first computer appeared in 1930, then called a differential analyzer.  This would be the worlds first general purpose analog computer.   The first robotic voice was heard in the mid 1930's.  The technology improved which led to the invention of fully automated calculators in 1939, and then in 1946, the first all purpose electronic digital computer called ENIAC.  At this time a single computer was no-where near as fast as they are today, and most amazing of all, the computer power that sits on top of your desktop or in your lap, once filled an entire room..

ENIAC Computer
Invented in the Mid 1940's

IBM PC Computer
Released October 1981

In 1951 a device that could handle both alpha and numeric data was created, which then became the first computer to be available commercially.   Through out the late fifties and sixties data processing technology rapidly improved as vacuum tubes where replaced by transistors.  Computers started using Integrated circuits through the mid sixties and seventies, which used much less power and were more reliable. During this period, computers were capable of handling much more data, which led to the use of colour and graphics.  bit processors came into the picture, which enabled computers to display higher quality visuals, such as moving graphics and pictures.  In 1976 Texas Instruments invented the 16 bit processor (TMS9000).  Different variations of this chip would be inserted into many of the video gaming systems of the early 80's.

The greatest change in computer technologies came throughout the 70's and 80's,  These included the first Intel processors in the early 70's.  The worlds first micro-computer was created in 1972.  In 1975 Allen and Gates created a 8080 BASIC Interpreter, which would be the start of MicroSoft.  Jobs and Wozniac established Apple Computers.  Michael Shrayer writes the worlds first word processor called Electric Pencil.  TV Dazzler makes a 128x128 colour card, which would be used to give home computers their graphical colour capabilities.  This same year, the 13 cm floppy disc was introduced.  The Apple II and TRS 80 Computers were released for the first time in 1977. 1978 saw the appearance of the first low cost printer, the Epson MX 80, the Atari 400 and 800 Video Game Systems, the worlds first speech synthesis toy which was the Speak and Spell,  The Video Games of Pac Man and Space Invaders were released at the end of 1978 and early 1979.  The Commodore Vic 20 was introduced in 1980, and by 1981, IBM released the desktop PC computer, (monitor keyboard, and hard-drive).  1982 saw the appearence of Symantec Norton Utilities.  Apple introduced the worlds first mouse operated computer called the Apple Lisa.  At a cost of $10,000, the computer had modest sales.   1984 saw the introduction of the Iomega removable disc drive, touchscreen computers, Word Perfect word processing software, and the more affordable version of the Apple Lisa; the Apple Macintosh, which was only one quarter the price.  Bill Gates introduced the operation system, Windows 1.0 in 1985, when PC's started becoming notably faster and capable of more operations. 

Commodore Vic 20
Introduced in 1980

Commodore Vic 20
Opening screen when first switched on.

During the early 1980's, the Home Computer and Video Game Market exploded with many different systems and software packs.  Many computers were available such as the Commodore Vic 20 (the joke computer), Apple Iie Europlus, Spectrum ZX, The IBM XT, The Osbourne portable PC, and many more.  The Video game consoles available included the Mattel Intellivision, Atari 800, commodore 64 (with that incredibly catchy add "are you keeping up with the commodore"), and others.  With the popularity of Home Computers, the amount of low cost software saturated the market, and by 1984, the world was into a software creation frenzy, with whole sections of Department Stores and entire shops, dedicated to selling nothing but the software and programs for these computers.

Along side all of this, the popularity of arcade video gaming never died.  The software creating frenzy spilled over to the arcade market, and new games where introduced every week.  With the high turnover of new game titles, it would eventually become inevitable that some games would disappear, never to see the light of day again.  As personal computers became more powerful, the emulation of older video game systems started attracting interest, from those people who were wishing to get into some sentimental video game playing.   

By 1997 the first Multi Arcade Machine Emulator was created (MAME), for emulating the exact game code of arcade games, that were dumped through the hey-day of video gaming.  During the 80's and early 90's, many older game titles got dumped as new games took their place.  Until the introduction of MAME, these dumped games would never see the light of day again, as there was no other way of playing them.

MAME (multi arcade machine language) is a emulator application that can be installed on to any of today's personal computer systems.   Users would obtain rom files (files that contained each individual game), and store them inside a directory of the program.  After installation, the games could then be chosen from a menu interface, and the game would appear, exactly like it did in the arcade.  This is because the programming language inside the rom files, is the same language used in programming the actual arcade machines from back then.  The same thing was done also for the Intellivision games.  A number of other emulation systems followed, including one for the Commodore Vic 20, Spectrum ZX and etc, but neither of these caught the same level of attention, as the MAME system and Intellivision.

     Introduction to computers and the start of computer games.
     History of Mattel Electronics and the Intellivision Video Game System.
     Games Review Page One  -  Space Armada.
     Games Review Page Two  -  Pinball.
     Games Review Page Three  -  Snafu and some game bugs.
     Pretty Patterns in Snafu.

     The all time top five games.
     Games Review Page One.
     Games Review Page Two.
     Games to avoid.
     The worlds best MAME Links.

O T H E R   S I T E   M A T E R I A L

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2PR FM Internet Radio Site Contents:
     Recent developments.
     Man in space  -  The history and the cover ups.
     The Philips D8514 power-play machine - Analog technology at its impressive best. 
     Sydney radio, the way it was in the 1980's.
NEW  -  Retro Television  -  before the days of plasmas and flat-screens.
     The 2PR Story  -  From a dream to reality.
     Frequently asked questions about 2PR, who we are and what we do.
     Hot Retro Links List  -  The worlds best retro links  -  And it's all free!!!.

     Intelligaming  -  Reviving the video gaming era of the 80's.
     The complete guide to copying your LP records to CD - LP2CD.

     The all time top 30.
     EMI's Where Were You CD Series.
     EMI's Seventies and Eighties Complete Box Sets.
     CD Reviews from our first Website back in November 2000.
     CD Reviews from our first Radio Program in November 2002.
     CD Reviews from test site  -  July 2000. 
     Retro CD and Album Links List.

     List of programs in 2PR archive  -  For exchange purposes only.