[stella] Black Box Development system

Subject: [stella] Black Box Development system
From: Richard Kennehan <rkenneha@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 16:20:29 -0400
I have been researching the development environment
used to create Atari 2600 games, and I have read about
the "Black box" used at Atari.

Programs were assembled on a PDP-11 model 20
mainframe, which then produced a paper tape that
contained the BIN.

This paper tape was then loaded on the "Black Box"
which was an emulator/debugger which had a paper tape

The guy who wrote "Superman" mentioned this during the
Classic Gaming Expo 2001.  It was also mentioned by
Jed Margolin, the Hardware Engineer for many of
Atari's Vector arcade games.  His excellent web-site
about arcade development can be found here:


My question is, how did the programmer view the
emulator/debugger's output?  Was it connected to a
display terminal?  Or was it a series of Hex LEDs that
hand-held calculators used?  Or was it connected to a
printer, like the KIM-1 system sometimes was?

Do you Yahoo!? 
Yahoo! Mail - Find what you need with new enhanced search. 
Archives (includes files) at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/
Unsub & more at http://stella.biglist.com

Current Thread