Retro Computing

Today I’ve got two sites of interest for the retro computing crowd. The first is the Retrozone: New school tech for old school gamers. Here you can find popular console gaming system controllers that have been converted to USB devices so you can use them for gaming on your PC (perhaps with an emulator for some of those old games). They also have kits to convert some of the less popular (or available) controllers you might own to USB. Such a kit might also be useful if you desired to build your own controller from the ground up.

Secondly, I recently heard about a possible connection between an early Atari interface and USB. The Atari museum website seems to agree:

Atari’s first two computers were called the Atari 400 and Atari 800 Personal Computer Systems. These computers had a large assortment of “Intelligent” peripherals which communicated through a custom bus called the “SIO” (Serial I/O) which compared to today standards is a rather simplistic version of the USB (Universal Serial Bus). In fact the USB and the Atari SIO have a lot more in common then many would think. One of Atari’s original computer engineers, Joe Decuir who created the Atari SIO bus is also one of the team of engineers at Microsoft to help design and holds patents on the USB.

While I don’t know the specifics of the SIO interface or how it compares with USB (other than just being a serial interface) it is an interesting tidbit of knowledge and something I don’t remember hearing anything about when USB was introduced.

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