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ZIF SocketZero Insertion Force Socket. A kind of socket for integrated circuits. A ZIF socket can be opened and closed by means of a lever or screw. When open, there the chip may be placed in the socket without any pressure at all, the socket is then closed, causing its contacts to grip the pins of the chip. Such sockets are used where chips must be inserted and removed frequently, such as in test equipment.
z26A popular Atari 2600 emulator for Windows and Dos. More Info
YMEIYet More Ebay Insanity. A term used by some in r.g.v.c. to describe eBay auctions where bidding is excessive, the seller is asking an exorbitant amount of money, or some other extreme situation.
WoodgrainWhat some people call the woodgrain version of the 2600. Sometimes referred to as a 'woody'.
VGRVideo Game Review (Craig Pell). Developed the first classic videogame rarity guide, although it is long since abandoned and out of date.
VCSVideo Computer System. The original name for the Atari 2600, changed after the introduction of the 5200.
VaporwareHardware or software that was never released and is now gone or perhaps never even existed. Not to be confused with a prototype (which is an existing object), vaporware is non-existent. That's not to say the vaporware doesn't exist somewhere in unreleased form, it's just that no one has yet gotten their hands on it.
Thrift StorePredominately found in the US, thrift stores sell used merchandise donated to them. Usually they are associated with some sort of charity, religious or otherwise. A good source for finding old videogame equipment.
Third PartyA company that produces software for a system that is not its own. For example, Activision making games for the Atari 2600.
SumguyName for a person fictional or real, usually referenced by a flea market vendor or a classic game collector. (Flea Market Dealer) "I had a big box of cartridges, but 'SumGuy' just bought them all". (Collector) "I stopped by the thrift store but they didn't have any games. 'SumGuy' must have beaten me to them".
StellaThe in-house name for the Atari VCS while it was in development. Named after a bicycle owned by one of the Atari 2600's creators, Joe Decuir. Stella is also the name of an Atari 2600 emulator that can be used not to just play Atari 2600 games, but also to help develop new games.
SpriteA small graphic image on the computer screen that can be moved around independently with a mouse or with keyboard commands. Examples are the ordinary cursor in its many forms, and the characters in video games.
Sega Master SystemSega's first videogame console, the 8-bit Sega Master System was a direct competitor to the NES and Atari 7800. Technically the system was quite good, but could never compete with Nintendo's licenses and marketing. Was replaced by the Sega Genesis.
SECAMSèquentiel Coleur Á Mèmoire (Sequential Color and Memory). This is the television standard for France, Poland, and some other Eastern European countries. For the purposes of classic video games, this may be considered the same as PAL, as PAL games will work on SECAM TV's, and there were no games specifically written to a SECAM standard.
Scan LineA horizontal line of pixels generated by a single horizontal sweep of the beam from a monitor's electron gun. The number of scanlines that make up a frame is the vertical resolution.
ROMRead Only Memory. For the purpose of classic gaming, this usually refers to a binary image of a game cartridge that is played through an emulator.
Reef Store DreamGeneric term for a videogame collector's dream in which he/she finds a fantasy store filled with prototypes, rare games, and other unusual items. Experienced by hard-core collectors. No kidding. Derived from one of the first descriptions of such a dream in which the dreamer visited a store simply called 'Reef Store'.
Rarity ValueDetermination of how rare a game is in relationship to other games. 1 is the most common, 10 is the rarest. For more information, look here. More Info Primary newsgroup for discussing all classic video games, including the Atari 2600.
PrototypeA pre-production version of a piece of hardware or software. In some cases prototypes were never released, in other cases it is simply an unfinished version of a product later released.
PALPhase Alternating Lines. This is the television standard used by most Western European and Latin countries. With most newer TV's, NTSC games will cause the PAL screen to roll. Some older TV's do not have this problem, or if you have a vertical/horizontal hold you can adjust it to the correct frequency. There will also be some color variances if you play an NTSC game on a PAL system and vice versa.
NTSCNational Television Standards Committee. This is the television standard used in North America and Japan. Any standard of cartridge will play in any system, the problem lies with the TV. With most newer TV's, PAL games will cause the NTSC screen to roll. Some older TV's do not have this problem, or if you have a vertical/horizontal hold you can adjust it to the correct frequency. There will also be some color variances if you play a PAL game on an NTSC system and vice versa.
Nolan BushnellAtari founder, eventually sold the company to Time Warner. Went on to found Chuck E. Cheese, Axlon, and other
Mystery CartA cart from which the label has fallen off, the only way to tell what it is is to buy it, plug it in and play it. Of course, the cart will most likely be common.
Multi-CartA cartridge with multiple games on it. Not to be confused with a standard cartridge with many game variations, a multi-cart is often an unlicensed software product that contains completely separate games compiled onto one cartridge.
Mr. FriendlySecond God of Thrifting. Evolved as a competitor to Bira Bira for those whom Bira Bira brought bad luck.
Minor Label VariationA minor label variation is a label that is different in some significant way from another cartridge of the same name within a Major Label Variation category (see above). For instance, Pole Position for the 2600 can be found in three Silver label variations, one where the end label is spelled correctly and then two misspellings as Ploe Position and Pole Posit'n.
MattelToy company that released the Intellivision in 1980. Mattel had a subsidiary called MNetwork that produced games for rival systems such as the Atari 2600.
MAMEMultiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Software that allows you to play thousands of arcade games on your computer using the actual game code. More Info
Major Label VariationA major label variation is one that differs significantly from another label produced by the same company. The longer-lived a classic gaming company, the more likely they are to have one or more major label variations. Atari wins the honor in this category, as the long life of the 2600 gave them ample opportunity to create new label styles to keep the 2600 carts "fresh". Using Atari as an example, they produced the following label styles: Text #, Text, Picture, Children's, Silver, and Red.
Lab LoanerA lab loaner is usually a finished or near-finished version of a game. In the case of Atari, these often came with black and white labels, and may be addressed to an Atari employee for review. More formal than a typical prototype, but still made for internal use only. For an example of a lab loaner for the 2600 from Atari, look here. More Info
Jack TramielBought Atari Inc.'s home computer and home video game divisions in 1984, and the new company is called Atari Corporation. He immediately fired 1000 employees and appointed his son president. He decided to shelve the 7800, and said the companies focus would be on computers. Many blame him for the demise of Atari Inc.
Heavy SixerThe original six-switch Atari 2600. It's heavier than later models and has six switches on the front.
Gatefold BoxA box style in which the front folds open like a book. Used for the original 9 Atari games, original 9 Sears games, assorted other 2600 titles, and most Intellivision games.
FTFor Trade. Used to preface message board posts when the poster is trading an item.
FSFor Sale. Used to preface message board posts when the poster is selling an item.
FryingA term coined by Russ Perry Jr. and Dave Perry. "Frying" refers to drawing out strange effects in a game system by rapidly switching the power on and off. One way to do this is to attempt to set the power switch exactly between on and off. While achieving this is rather impossible, the power will go on and off in your attempts, frying your system.
FlickerThe tendency for many games to look like the graphics are 'flickering'. This is due to hardware limitations that only allow a certain amount of objects to be drawn on the screen at the same time. One second of the screen will show 'x' object, the next will show 'y'. When run quickly, both objects appear to be on the screen at the same time, although they appear to 'flicker' as the screens change back and forth. This is most notable on the Atari 2600, although it is certainly not the only console to suffer from this ailment. Some game companies, notably Activision, banned their 2600 programmers from using this technique and they were forced to develop other methods of displaying multiple objects without flicker.
Flea MarketAn informal marketplace where individuals may sell their wares. Usually found in larger cities, a good source for finding old videogame equipment.
FamicomShort for Family Computer, the original Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in Japan in 1983.

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