The Tech That Generated The Video Game Cartridge Revolution

A long, long, read on the history of tech that predates the NES, my beloved 8-bit video game system. I enjoyed reading about the innovations that lead to the beginning of the video game cartridge era. It’s unfortunate that the true innovators didn’t make out as they’re trumped by Atari, but a great read none the less.

Also read the comments to learn how video game piracy took place in the 70s.

The company where I worked had a PDP (something) and all the engineers and programmers had access to the system and storage. Being an engineer it didn’t take long for them to take apart the cartridge and realize what was or was not inside. With in a short time a small circuit board with a E-Prom programming socket was produced. When a new game came out the first purchaser would buy the game and bring it in to work.

The e-prom/rom would be read and stored on the PDP system then each programmer/engineer who wanted to use the new game/software would burn a prom and use it on the adapter board. It didn’t take long before the higher ups realized what was going on and they forbid the storage and use of the PDP from any more games. So the Programmers encrypted the files and hid them in side another file. One needed a decryption key and knowledge of where and what was stored inside this archive. The file would be transferred to tape and hidden in the company safe. So much for security.

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