Ma and Pa Caponi still enjoy playing Frenzy!


I am always surfing the world wide web for anything having to do with the Coleco ADAM computer.  Not long ago I came across an interesting video of an older couple playing Frenzy (the sequel to Berzerk) on an ADAM computer via the ColecoVision slot built-in.  I wanted to know more about what I was watching so I reached out to the poster of the video and this is what he AND she had to say. OH, and watch the video at the very bottom.

Hey Justin,

The older couple in the video are my in-laws and my wife as well. The back story is in 1983 my father-in-law Sam, bought this Adam computer for his oldest son who was starting college at the time. Based on what Sam tells me about buying this computer, a big draw for getting an Adam was it came with a $500 college scholarship. There is a YouTube video of the commercial highlighting the scholarship incentive. My wife was supposed to get that scholarship but it never panned out.

My in-laws used the computer for a couple of years until in 1985 when they made their way from Long Island down to Greensboro, NC. I’m not sure when, but sometime after arriving in NC they mothballed the Adam. So the Adam collected dust in their attic where it was out of sight out of mind for a couple of decades. Around 2010 my in-laws offered the Adam to my wife and I when they were doing some clean up in their attic.

Not much changed for the Adam. My wife and I didn’t have much use for it so we took it home and it collected more dust in our attic for the next six years. A couple of months ago we decided to clear out some of the clutter and sell what we could on Craigslist.

I got the Adam down from the attic, dusted it off, set it up and hooked it to a small non-digital TV I was also trying to get rid. To my amazement the Adam started up without issue! I didn’t test it out too deeply but I did test out the handful of games my in-laws had bought over the years. All but one worked.

One of the games was a knock off of the old 80’s shoot-em’ up arcade game “Berserker” which Coleco branded “Frenzy.” When I told my in-laws I the system up and running my devoutly religious mother-in-law confessed that she loved playing “Frenzy” as a way to get out her frustrations by shooting at the robots in the game. So while I had the Adam set up I invited her to come over and play it before I sold the system. The video I posted is from that day. I especially like how my father-in-law is backseat driving her while she is playing!

The ad for the Adam sat out on Craigslist for about three weeks or so without a single bite. Finally a guy, an Electrical Engineer, who lived over 100 miles away on the other side of Raleigh came out and bought it. We sold it for $80. That price included the small TV. Later the same day we had another person who was interested in buying it. Perhaps I could have gotten more. Well it’s not an exciting story but that’s the story.

– Mike

Thanks for your interest, Justin. Mike pretty well summed it up, except that I was supposedly the one who was to reap the benefits of the mythical $500. scholarship – it didn’t happen (Oh, I had to pay for school without Coleco’s help, thanks) but “the struggle” propelled me to academic excellence.

– Marie


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