Author Topic: Can I make a game on this?  (Read 8920 times)

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Offline Sitarknight

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Can I make a game on this?
« on: November 01, 2012, 07:50:04 pm »
Hi there,

     Long time no show on this site for me, ahhh the college life is so busy >.< I recently went into a store that sells used stuff and picked up an Earthlink Mailstation 150, for about $9. If you've never seen the device, it looks kind of like a laptop, but with a monochrome screen (picture included). I bought it mainly just for amusement, but I'm curious if I could potentially make games on the device considering it has a full keyboard and some internal memory. I can't imagine it would be very powerful, but it would give me something to do on the device rather then just have it collect dust and read the emails left on it from the previous buyer.
*Please note: I am not technologically literate in the slightest. Hopefully when I take my video game design classes during my Bachelor's level schooling will I learn a thing or two.
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Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 12:12:45 pm »
Could you? Yes, possibly. It depends on how open the platform is. If there is any publicly available software development kit it would make things easier(though that doesn't seem too likely for this type of machine). It also depends on if anyone has previously tried to do any sort of hacking on this machine to open it up to programming (again, I don't think that seems too likely as I can't imagine it being a popular target for hobbyists). If not, you could try taking on hacking it yourself... D:. Any idea of the specs or what type of processor it's using? Does it have usb or a memory card slot of some sort?

Offline Sitarknight

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 01:15:14 pm »
Could you? Yes, possibly. It depends on how open the platform is. If there is any publicly available software development kit it would make things easier(though that doesn't seem too likely for this type of machine). It also depends on if anyone has previously tried to do any sort of hacking on this machine to open it up to programming (again, I don't think that seems too likely as I can't imagine it being a popular target for hobbyists). If not, you could try taking on hacking it yourself... D:. Any idea of the specs or what type of processor it's using? Does it have usb or a memory card slot of some sort?

Well it appears someone has had some interest in hacking and adding in a new operating system for the device. He has all the information about his hack and the technical specs of the original machine on his website http://www.fybertech.net/mailstation/ As for the unit itself. It appears to only have a 25 pin printer port, a phone port, and a dial up port (both phone lines) and a power adaptor, though it also runs on batteries.
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 09:04:04 pm »
It would probably depend of what hardware it has and if it's possible to flash or jailbreak or whatever so it can run 3rd party code. Or if it has a programming language on it directly it would be nice.

The device kinda reminds me a bit of those kids computers in toy stores back in the days, although not for kids. I never saw it before, though.

Nice to see you again by the way :D
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Offline flyingfisch

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 09:06:08 pm »
Wow, it has a Z80 processor. cool.



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Offline chickendude

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 01:06:15 am »
It seems he even wrote an emulator for it!

EDIT: And also mentions some tools: http://www.fybertech.net/mailstation/fyos.php and a mailing list that talks about hacking/developing the mailstation. It seems like you've got quite a lot of the work done for you :)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 01:11:56 am by chickendude »

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 05:03:32 pm »
Wow, I'm actually pretty surprised some work has been done on hacking these machines! O_O Pretty cool! AND it has a z80? Quick, lets get Axe and TI-boy up and running on it! :P

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 06:24:21 pm »
That's great news. Is there a lot of people using that device? I wonder if writing games for it would be worth it?
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Offline flyingfisch

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 07:03:55 pm »
I wonder if writing games for it would be worth it?

Depends on the userbase, i would guess. But if the programmer has fun making the game, it's worth it, isn't it?

*all of omnimaga  goes and buys themselves an Earthlink Mailstation 150
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 07:04:07 pm by flyingfisch »



Quote from: my dad
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Offline Sitarknight

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2012, 10:47:42 pm »
It would probably depend of what hardware it has and if it's possible to flash or jailbreak or whatever so it can run 3rd party code. Or if it has a programming language on it directly it would be nice.

The device kinda reminds me a bit of those kids computers in toy stores back in the days, although not for kids. I never saw it before, though.

Nice to see you again by the way :D

Nice to be back, thanks DJ_O :)
Wowzah, I'm glad some of the work had been done, but it all looks like japanese to me ^_^
:p
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Can I make a game on this?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 03:01:51 pm »
Do you mean japanese as in hard to dechiper or as in written in that language? :P
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF


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