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Intellivision computer module

It was the heyday of the first age of video gaming. Atari and Intellivision were kings of creation and they couldn't keep up with the demand - though they tried. Any accessories would sell. So in the early eighties, something ambitious was produced: a component that attaches to the Intellivision, turning it into a computer with 2K RAM.

the front and back of the box the Computer Component came in

It came in this box, which does an admirable job of convincing the perusing Intellivision-owner that you need this thing to live.

the ITVCC, with its keyboard and power adapter

Here's what it looks like. It has its own power supply, and attaches through the game slot.

the double controller plug, alone and then inserted into the ITVCC

The keyboard attaches with this funky plug, which one inserts in both controller sockets. It's either the keyboard or controllers; you can't hook up both at the same time.

the Intellvision with the ITVCC and keyboard attached

Here's what it looks like ready to go. It turns the already massive Intellivision into an unholy hybrid behemoth of seventies and eighties technology that will not fit on your shelf, no way, no how.

It works, too. When turned on, the machine produces a blue screen with a blinking line; it waits for its input. It understands BASIC, though it only accepts a specially developed version that has some abbreviations. The back of the device has ports for a tape deck and floppy drive, though I don't have either with the right plug, so I haven't played any games from my collection on it - I assume it will work.

I'm not that motivated, though, because of one thing: it overheats and turns off after about a half hour. No exceptions. The first time I used it I was happily programming along, writing a little programme to see what the device could handle, and poof, there it went. Never again. I don't know whether this is my unit being shitty, or whether it was just poorly designed. It does feel and look cheaper than the Intellivision itself.

a shot of the Intellivision with the ITVCC attached, the game BurgerTime inserted, and a controller plugged into the ITVCC

The unit attached at the game slot, but it also has a game slot of its own. The first thing I though was I can use proper controllers now! Alas, not the case. The games play just like normal, and you have to use those weird controllers just like normal.

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