* Originally published on Retroist.com
As fans of nostalgia, wouldn’t you like a podcast that discusses the history of gaming? Maybe delve into how various video games companies started, or who created the first coin-op video game, or get a better understanding of video game mascots? Me too. Wish there is a podcast like that… Actually, there WAS a podcast EXACTLY like that and with your help, maybe we can bring it back.
“Play Value” debuted around 2007 from a now defunct media company called “On Networks”. The show had several hosts, but the main group seems to be Dan Ackerman, TJ Allard, Libe Goad, and Jeff Rubin. Are you familiar with VH1’s “I Love the 80s” show? Play Value had a very similar theme, but the personalities are better on the Play Value podcast. Just my opinion… There are just over 20 episodes of Play Value and they can be view on this YouTube page.
After watching the limited number of episodes, I can’t help but feel depressed that there aren’t new episodes being created. I think retro gaming is even bigger now than it was 6 years ago (makes sense, right?) Back in April of this year, I took to Twitter and pestered those hosts about the Play Value podcast. All four of them either retweeted me or favorited my tweet. That’s a good sign. Perhaps they too would like to see the podcast come back.
When I mentioned getting something going on Kickstarter to bring the show back, TJ Allard replied: “Hmmm now that’s a very interesting idea.” If you go to Jeff Rubin’s blog, he writes, “If they make more and call me, I’ll be there and make sure everyone knows.” I am asking my fellow retroists to tweet and/or email these hosts and tell them that you want PLAY VALUE back! I don’t know the legality of bringing a defunct podcast back from the grave, but where’s there’s a will, there’s a way.
Kerry Decker’s “The Nightlife Show” was a cable television show based in Florida. It may have been a public access show, but I can’t get a definitive answer. Moving on… Kerry was ALL about video: cameras, video cassette recorders, etc.. In September of 1986, he decided to do an episode about computers, but not just ANY computer, the Coleco ADAM computer. The first time I watched this video, I wasn’t sure what to make of it; he starts out saying that he hates computers. As someone who is fond of computers, those words cut me like a knife. I kept watching. Eventually, Kerry talks about a computer that is easy to use and understand, a computer to make people hate computers less. The ADAM computer. Sadly, this video is incomplete. The original tape is lost and gone forever and what he have left is an incomplete episode. Shame. I would have like to have seen what else he had to say regarding the computer that this blog is about. Please watch.
The title of this blog post is a tad misleading. Computers & Electronics magazine did write a review for the Coleco ADAM computer, but that was back in 1984. Charles Rubenstein is the author of this review and gives the ADAM computer fans what we been craving; a positive take on this device. The article is chock full of photos and a diagram on how the ADAM works.
As with my last post, Brochure for the Coleco ADAM computer’s software, I have included full page scans of the article, below, so you can read it for yourself. Enjoy!
* The option to view each page in full-size is available below each photo in the slideshow *
I still get the Sunday newspaper. Comics, store circulars, and with some luck, some boxing news in the sports section (my favorite sport). I could easily see all this stuff, online, for free, with the exception of paying for internet access. However, there is something about seeing stuff, that you care about, on paper. As part of my vintage computing hobby, I try to pick up brochures and ads for the classic computer systems. I came across this one on auction and knew I had to have it: ADAM software, peripherals & accessories.
In this brochure, Coleco shows off the ADAM computer, the 5.25″ disk drive, 300 baud modem, 64K memory expander, a monitor cable (would love to see that in action), educational software, productivity software, programming languages, games and more. This is the kind of paper work that I would have looked at over and over again until I convinced my parents to buy these goodies for me.
I scanned every page as best I could, uploaded them, and placed them below this blog post. Clicking on a photo will load a larger, better quality picture of the brochure pages. I hope to have more goodies like this in the coming months.
Coleco ADAM tractor feed accessory
I said it before and I’ll say it again… I love getting my hands on prototypes and mockups. So when my friend, Howard Eglowstein, showed me these photos, I fell out of my seat. Being that Howard is a former Coleco employee, having access to this stuff is probably trivial, but for a fan of vintage computing, this is priceless.
As a kid, I wanted to be able to print out pictures, but the ADAM SmartWriter printer used a daisy wheel, which means it can only print text. The next best thing would have been a tractor feed printer which would allow of continuous print jobs without the need of placing a new sheet of paper in the printer for every page printed. This would also allow for banners and with some creativity, you could print out some big messages like, “HELLO WORLD!“
Hmm, I printed a lot of documents as a kid; would have been nice not to have to wait by the printer to feed a new sheet of paper every minute or so.
Jen and Dan using the ADAM computer circa 1983
I am always scouring the internet looking for information, photos or just references to the Coleco ADAM computer. Bing searches, Twitter look ups, Facebook groups… These are just a few of my tools to find what I’m looking for. Not long ago, I came across a blog that mentioned my beloved computer system. I found The Jennifer Diaries. Here’s is the author’s description: “…The Jennifer Diaries were discovered in a closet in April, 2009. The diaries document the coming of age of a suburban girl growing up in the United States. The Diaries offer a comprehensive view of Jennifer’s transformation from child to adult…“ The diaries are a fascinating read. Not only do you get a look into a person growing from child to adult, you get to see pop culture references, of the time, in the diary entries.
In a few entries, Jennifer mentions the ADAM, which was a Christmas gift to her and her brother. Like me, she has fond memories of that computer. Unlike me, she has a great photo of her using the system. Yes, the photo above. If you would like to read that entry, please click: ADAM and the forbidden fruit. Oh, and be sure to comment on that entry!
I try to get my hands on as much ADAM marketing and paperwork as I can. In one of my many ADAM pick ups, I came across this envelope:
Inside is an offer for a free subscription to ADAM Family Computing Magazine. I never knew about that magazine until I got this envelope. Actually, I have a hard believing this magazine ever existed as I have never seen one.
If anyone has one of these magazines, please let me know! Thanks.