Re: [stella] Linking 2600 consoles?

Subject: Re: [stella] Linking 2600 consoles?
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 12:25:50 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 11 Apr 1997, Songbird wrote:
> While I'm on the path of crazy ideas... how about this for a simpler
> pseudo-networking idea:  forget trying to link joystick ports together,
> because that does require CPU intervention to transmit/receive the data.
> What about creating a joystick with not one but two cables coming out of
> it?  One would plug into console #1, port #1, and the other into console
> #2, port #2.  The game in both cases would again keep the focus around
> player #1.

A distribution amp for joystick signals, essentially.  Good idea.

> Of course, you'd still need some way to "sync up" both games to start
> simultaneously... maybe wait until the fire button is pressed on each
> joystick before starting the game or something.  You still could get out
> of sync as the game continued, however...

No, I think the double button press sync idea is a good one, and should
result in solid sync.  I mean, both units will be running at the same
exact clock speed so they shouldn't fall out of sync.

One problem, though.  The CPU still has to track the status of the 2nd
player.  That means if player 2 (offscreen) dies, it has to know it.  But
the CPU with the player offscreen isn't likely going to calculate player
missile collisions offscreen, so we get back to the problem of actual data
communication between machines.  You can't simply track basic screen
location of the offscreen player.  You have to know exactly what he's
doing, and that will steal CPU cycles.

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