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ComputerSpaceFan
28-09-10, 09:29
Hi there, I just wanted to introduce myself, just joined.
I am from www.computerspacefan.com and I've been in touch with Scott on several occasions over the years.
I listen to the podcast fairly regularly and felt it would be a good idea to join the ranks in the forum.
Not sure if I should have posted this here or the Game Gavel User thread so I took a chance on the podcast one since that's mostly where I get my info from Scott, SoCal Mike and UK Mike.

Anyway, just saying hello to you all.

GameGavel
28-09-10, 09:32
Hey CSF,

Glad you are now registered here and hope to see you as a regular around here. Feel free to plug your site here whenever you wish.

ComputerSpaceFan
28-09-10, 11:03
Thanks Mike!
And I really like how your forums are set up. The "What's New" link is very handy!

miner2049er
28-09-10, 11:08
Hi there, wondered when you would show up ;)

You could maybe start by telling us all why you picked Computer Space in particular to build your site around.

ComputerSpaceFan
28-09-10, 11:51
Oh crikey, that's a long story. I'll boil it down a bit here.

Many many years ago a friend of mine introduced me to the amazing invention called MAME. I thought it was the greatest creation known to man since it meant I could play all my old arcade favorites from yesteryear.
All ... except one.
(Okay there are more than one but I had one specific one in mind)

I tried to find as much information as I could find about that weird looking machine I once saw as a little kid because I wanted to play it again. Only after digging around on the sparse sites that made any mention of it did I find out anything about Computer Space. But it was pretty hard to find any info at all and I always thought that was a crying shame given its place in history.
And when I decided it might be fun to dabble in making a website I knew immediately the subject matter I wanted to make mine about.

Duke.Togo
29-09-10, 12:20
Welcome to the club. I've never had the chance to play Computer Space; is it still not emulated in MAME?

ComputerSpaceFan
29-09-10, 12:29
Welcome to the club. I've never had the chance to play Computer Space; is it still not emulated in MAME?

Not possible on MAME, the thing had no ROM. But luckily I have a simulator for playing Computer Space on my site. Try it out, a lot of folks like it.

SubaruBrat
29-09-10, 03:13
Computerspacefan, glad to have you on our forums. CSF has served the community for years with this site, he tracks the known surviving Computer Space games and archives the history of the game and it's creators. It is hard to explain just how historically significant Computer Space is. There is an argument about what was the first video game, there were several firsts to be fair, but Computer Space was the first commercially produced coin-op video game. It was created without RAM, ROM, or a CPU. It is about 100 ICs working together to form gates, counters and memory. Each sub circuit does an individual job, track score, track where the ship is pointing, track the shot physics and collision detection, etc. It is a brilliant creation and a must own for anyone who wants to see the beginning of it all.

SRG
29-09-10, 03:56
Welcome CSF, I'd been to your site before :) I went back just now looked around a bit. Would you mind answering a couple questions? I've never seen one in the wild. 1.) I watched the videos of the game in play, was the star field an over lay or were those stars generated? If they are generated, is it random to prevent burn in? Is it consistent between units? 2.)I was looking at the page that tracks units, and noticed the serial numbers start in the 9's was there a reason for this?

SubaruBrat
29-09-10, 04:24
The starfield is generated by the star sync board, there are 3 boards in the single player and 4 boards in the two player game. In a galaga for example the starfield is generated by a single integrated circuit, in computer space the circuit is layed out on the printed circuit board made up of individual components. The board, and therefore the layout, is the same on all units. It is not designed to vary or prevent burn in. Word has it, and this is standard practice, that the serial numbers start higher to make it appear more units are out there than there are. The problem is later on it leads to confusion. My computer space for example is the 5th one made as far as we know, maybe it is the 5th, maybe the 15th or the 28th, who knows?

Here is the schematics and manual (http://computerspacefan.com/ComputerSpace.pdf) as hosted by Computer Space Fan's site

ComputerSpaceFan
29-09-10, 06:11
Looks like SubaruBrat covered most of it there. The one part I'm not sure of, and it's a darn good question, is whether or not the starfield is exactly the same on all units. Although a lot of folks have sent me pictures of their machines, the clarity of the images have not really been sharp enough for me to tell. That plus I've only ever seen my own Computer Space up close and personal, never seen another one turned on.
As to the serial numbers starting in the 9000 range, I agree it would probably be a way to make it seem like many more units were made than actually were. To the best of my knowledge only 1500 single player machines were ever built, I'm not sure how many still survive today.