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Globetrotter - The Atari Times


Interviewing the Cartridge
by Charles F. Gray

January 27, 2006
When I took on this interview, I had no idea that it would go in the direction it did. I believed that this would be a very one-sided interview as most of us know that cartridges can't talk. Well, now I know differently. Due to a modern technology implemented in an Atari 2600 game console called "Assembly Speak", I am able to converse with and interview the Globetrotter Cartridge informally known as Trotter over an internet connection.

CFG: Hello Trotter. May I call you that?

GT: START: INTIM JSR "Hello World!"
True. My full designation is: Davide Cartnelious Globetrotter ELSE "Trotter" takes fewer cycles to output.

CFG: So when and where was your date of activation? And the time?

GT: Insufficient information for absolute answer. My code was modified multiple times. I was first given a cart shell by Atariage@Austin.TX, then a cart and label by Packrat Video Games@Provo.UT. ORG was relative between 2003.29.03 AND 2003.15.11.

CFG: What are the first things you remember?

GT: I recall BITs of the PhillyClassic4 show in my memory registers. That is where I started to process "off the zero page" and my desire to visit other addresses beyond my internal registers began to overflow from my EPROM.

CFG: Are you only conscious when you are inserted into an Atari 2600 or does an internal power supply enable you to be conscious anytime?

GT: True. I am aware of the global playfield outside my cart shell. When plugged into a VCS, I feed on the program kernal and store bytes of electrical energy to the stack for use during cycles when I'm not plugged in.

CFG: So what senses do you possess? Can you see and hear the world around you? Are these senses in 4-bit colour and audio or are your senses more evolved?

GT: True. I can hear audio data, but I do not have my own voice speaker. I am attracted to hardware like the new AtariVox for what .words it may ENABL me to call out. With a SWCHB input I can select between NTSC AND PAL - colored "glasses" to see. ; 128 colors AND 104 colors

CFG: Do you consider yourself a sentient being and why?

GT: Multiple code snippets compiled together at random gave me AI. My EPROM build was actually for 8K, but I started as a 4K file, so I have space for accumulation of more memory. I process data, therefore I am.

CFG: Let's look at what you have been doing since you were activated. You've seen quite a bit of the world.

GT: True. I have HMOVEd and VDELBLed for multiple cycles, changing direction coordinates for X AND Y. I have not equated a loop around the global playfield yet, ELSE I plan to.
A few JMPs:
include China.h
include UK.h
include Canada.h
include USA.h
include etc.h

CFG: Do you have a favorite place you've been to?

GT: False, ELSE I have POSITIVE memories greater than others. TokyoGameShow2K4@Tokyo.Japan was electrifying to see the new games and costume contest. Eurocon2K4@The Hague.Netherlands also overflowed with POSITIVE energy from the people there. Above equals less than all the memories I can put into .words.

CFG: And a least favorite?

GT: False REPEAT, ELSE I draw a VBLANK when trying to recall all the cycles during my visit with Pac-Man@Canada. My memory of these cycles equates fuzzy logic at best.

CFG: It must get boring sitting in a package being sent from place to place.

GT: I SLEEP during these cycles, or perform other NOP's.

CFG: I understand that you got into some mischief with Pac-Man?

GT: Pac-Man processes data on a different VSYNC than other programs, so he is a BIT off. Overflowing on hard-coded drinks does not compute well after many cycles. I called him out about this and he returned with, "Byte me!"

CFG: So what happened?

GT: He suggested I was branching around the subroutine ELSE I would be POSITIVE about trying hard-coded drinks and code-modifying drugs for at least one cycle. He accused me of being "software"! I wanted to prove that false.

CFG: And how did all of this lead into the Trotter Hoax of April Fools Day?

GT: The next memory I registered, Pac-Man displayed for me a cc: of the ransom note code he had e-mailed. It took me multiple program loops to RSYNC myself.

At that interval, Pac-Man masked the true state of my location in Canada while posting false data over the Internet. Pac-man now has to WSYNC, serving multiple cycles for his illegal opcodes.

CFG: Let's switch the topic a little bit and talk about the cartridge E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Thoughts?

GT: The E.T. cart is my friend. The NEGATIVE remarks burned and dumped on E.T. are greater than its stack pointers can handle. This inequality does not compute, IMHO.

I called an inquiry routine about what it is like to be treated that way. E.T. returned with,"It's the pits!"

CFG: I understand that you actually met Howard Scott Warshaw, the programmer for E.T.. Tell me about that.

GT: True. HSW was POSITIVE about my global journey. Funny memory when I met him @CGE2K4_San Jose.CA: He was bankswitching .words with programmer Rob Fulop when I interrupted for a photo only. He misinterpreted at first, took out a stylus, and hardcoded his name on my cart shell! He posed for a photo in addition to that.

HSW is grounded -- a great human and great programmer. (see pic.)

CFG: And what are your plans now?

GT: JSR "I'm going to Disneyland!" RTS Okay, not equal yet, but it on my JMP list.

CFG: Well, it has been quite a new experience for me to interview a sentient cart. And I can also say that it's been a pleasure and no, not in the Custer's Revenge kind of way. Thank you for giving us a chance to get to know a little about who you are.

GT: CMP BPL. This transfer of data has been POSITIVE. Thank you. CLV RTS

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