- AGH EDITORIAL -
LYNX PROTOTYPES -- THE BUCK STOPS HERE
I should've seen it coming from a billion miles away.....
There I was on eBay, having quite a laugh surveying the endless
array of items fetching ridiculous prices, when I stumbled across
an advertisement that I knew was bullshit the moment I saw the
Authentic Atari Lynx Prototypes!!!!
I e-mailed the guy asking him to describe the so-called
"prototypes," and just as I had expected, he gave a generic
"Hey, it's the real thing OK? I guarantee it!"
These are guaranteed genuine straight from Atari's R&D
laboratories! Loopz, Centipede, Marlboro Go, Road Riot 4WD,
sold as a set. Best offer takes all!
To make matter worse, during the following few weeks I witnessed
no fewer than three other individuals trying to pawn off the
same Lynx titles on eBay. And more than a few AGH readers
e-mailed me asking whether they were authentic Atari prototypes.
A person who won one of the sets even e-mailed me describing
the games, saying how excited he was to now own several rare
pieces of Atari history.
I get the impression a lot of people are paying money for these,
thinking that they are getting the real deal. Sorry to burst your
bubble, but they're NOT.
Loads of mail-order dealers are offering them for sale. Video 61
sells them. Some guy in the Netherlands also sells them. They
even pack them in fancy Atari packing tape to make them look genuine
(the stuff that Don Thomas sold when he cleared the Atari warehouse
with the "Wacky Sales" during the last days of Atari. I couldn't
care less if they at least mentioned that the items were copies, but
for them to misrepresent them as genuine protos is just plain wrong.
Loopz was never even sent to Atari. The first time
that anyone except the programmer - Rob Nicolson - saw it was when
he sent it to Ian Pleasance, a good friend of mine.
Harry Dodgson, a Lynx developer, hacked it into a bootable image, and
as at the time Ian didn't have the Pinky/Mandy (develoment system),
he unfortunately gave it to someone else who leaked it... the same
goes for Centipede and Marlboro Go.
Harry let this person (name withheld) have access to the
Lynx Development (lynxdev) list and file area for a while. The thing
is, Lynx carts weren't really given out as protos or loaners. The
game images were put on the Lynx developer BBS, but only in the format
that could be loaded into a development unit. They never gave out
any bootable EPROMable images, so there is no way that most of these
protos could possibly be genuine.
Want further proof? The only ones that were ever given out in
beta/loaner format were Road Riot, Raiden
and Fat Bobby, as they were given the security codes
ready for production masking. The other thing is that the loaners did
not use standard green PCBs whereas all the copies do! Genuine loaner
prototypes have all been seen on a purple-ish type breadboard (PCB).
It's a sort of purple/beige/pink-ish color shade. The PCB color of the
fake ones are green.. If I can borrow a digital camera I'll take a
picture. I can't really put them on my scanner since it'll do a nice
job of erasing them.
It's unfortunate that people pass these off as prototypes. I wonder
how many speculators are sitting on these 'genuine prototypes' ready
to try and sell them off for a pile of cash. I hope that all of you
will use extreme caution the next time you're presented with the
chance of obtaining one of these fakers.
- Please send comments or questions to Keita Iida