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28c3: The Atari 2600 Video Computer System: The Ultimate Talk

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Description:http://events.ccc.de/congress/2011/Fahrplan/events/4711.en.html

Sven Oliver ('SvOlli') Moll: The Atari 2600 Video Computer System: The Ultimate Talk
The history, the hardware and how to write programs

Going more retro than the Commodore C=64: The Atari 2600 VCS was the breakthrough for video games in your own living room. This lecture will cover a bit of the history on how it came to live, describes the hardware used and shows how to write your own code for it.

The Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS for short) was the first wide-spread gaming console. It features 128 bytes of RAM, 4k bytes of addressable ROM. This was enough to keep it in production for more than 13 years.

This lecture divides in three parts:

The first part will cover the history on how it came to live. Learn why the Atari 2600 is technically half a Commodore creation. Learn why Motorola was really angry about that deal. Can you imagine on how the software was created, since there were no PCs or workstations available at this time? Get to view the probably first easter egg in the history of video games.

The second part will provide an intern view of the chips used in the Atari 2600: the 6507 CPU, the 6532 RIOT (RAM-I/O-Timer) and the TIA (Television Interface Adapter). It will also show why "racing the beam" is so important.

The third part will show how to write your own code. What registers you have and how to use them. Using emulators, the Harmony cartridge and a self-designed cart that will hopefully be finished by the time of the talk.
Tags: 28c3
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