Nintendo and Atari Mashup: The Atari Lynx II GameCube Portable

Last week we posted an article on some great looking custom Nintendo consoles. Not all custom made consoles are equal. This week, we have this Nintendo and Atari portable mashup – is it blasphemy or pure genius? We’ll let you be the judge. If you ever wished for a portable Nintendo GameCube, then read on.


Crammed inside an Atari Lynx II shell lays the heart and brains of a Nintendo GameCube. The brainchild of this portable Frankenstein is Akira. The features of the GC-Lynx are impressive to say the least:

• Case made out of an Atari Lynx II console
• GameCube blue/purple paint job with glossy finish
• GameCube PAL motherboard
• Silent IBM fan, customised for optimal airflow
• All original Nintendo GCN controls and sticks
• Complete analogue trigger (L and R buttons)
• 4.3 Inch widescreen; VGA Screen with 480 x 272 resolution
• Original Nintendo component video chip wired to produce VGA out
• Shielded composite video wire to reduce interference.
• WiiKey Fusion modchip flashed with Swiss autoboot firmware
• 6400 mAH batteries – provides 3 hours of play time
• Battery indicator with 5 LEDs – lets you know how much power is left
• 128 MB memory card soldered directly onto the motherboard (GameCube slot-A)
• SD Gecko adapter to run homebrew and emulators through Swiss (GameCube slot-B)
• Stereo sound speakers, Used 2x iPhone 4 speakers for very clear sound
• Switching stereo headphone jack
• Analogue volume control
• Video controls to access display menu and switch between A/V (composite) and VGA display
• System can play from wall socket while being charged (comes with charger and power adapter)
• Weight is 700 grams
• Size of GC-Lynx: (w) 235mm x (h)114mm x (d)50mm or 9.25″(w) x 4.5″(h) x 2″(d)
• Comes with 1 x 64GB SD card for GameCube games (wasp fusion slot) and 1 x 32GB for homebrew, games and emulators (GameCube Slot-B)


There has been a fair bit of backlash on custom consoles on a number of forums. Even though we may not be a fan of this one (Ed: that’s because you are such an Atarian!), we are still in awe of the people that come up with these ideas and executing on them. To read Akira’s trial and tribulations on his GC-Lynx creation, go here.

What do you think?

source: soepschoen

Generosity Of An Atarian


I may have said this before, but I will say it again, the best part of retro gaming is being part of a like-minded, considerate and passionate worldwide community.

I have met many great people and cemented many friendships due to a mutual love of retro gaming. Aleks ‘Serby’ Svetislav (Weird and Retro) is one person I am particularly grateful to have met. Apart from sharing my passion for all things retro, Aleks is a very cool guy.

During one of the retro gaming community events, Aleks showed off his immaculate Atari 8-bit XEGS. As a one-eyed C64 fan, I was intrigued by this part-computer, part-console 8-bit from Atari. I had never experienced the XEGS till this point. After a few hours of play, Aleks’ love of the Atari 8-bit rubbed off on me. The XEGS bug had bitten me hard! It wasn’t long before I hunted and obtained a XEGS of my own.

To welcome me to the XEGS gaming family, Aleks gifted me three still-in-shrinkwrap games – Blue Max, Desert Falcom and David’s Midnight Magic . Now I was truly ready to start playing on the XEGS!

The generosity shown to me by Aleks was (and still is) truly humbling. When life gets too tough, I always think of how lucky and thankful I am of having great friends in this big wide world of ours. Game on!

The new XEGS games stack. Should I open them?

Bustin’em open!

I love the smell of freshly opened XEGS games in the morning

Atari’s 8-Bit Home Computers: A Belated Love Affair

Ah Atari, how I love thee, but back in the ’80s it wasn’t all love. You see, I chose the Commodore 64 as my 8-bit home computer. Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not! But, with my nostalgia tinted glasses on and the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I should have given the Atari 8-bit (affectionately known as A8) home computer range more attention.

With the passing of time and my nostalgic nerves tingling, I had the urge to delve into the world of A8 computing. To my surprise, the Atari 800XL I procured turned out to be a lot of fun. It was built to withstand a nuclear catastrophe, just the way I like it. Whilst on this A8 bandwagon, I also experienced the Atari XEGS system – the half computer, half console beast.  This sudden interest in the A8 home computers piqued my 8-bit senses. I knew that I had to find out more about the lineage of Atari’s 8-bit home computers.

The Atari 8-Bit Home Computer timeline
Atari 8-bit Computers - ausretrogamer

From the 400/800 (1979) to the XL (1983), the XE (XL Extended) (1985) and finally to the XEGS (1987), Atari left no stone unturned when it came to unleashing their 8-bit home computer range. The A8s were definitely on-par with their contemporaries, but with the upheaval that was going on within Atari and the change in ownership, the 8-bit home computers never stood a chance to shine bright.

The A8 range was officially discontinued on January 1, 1992 – an impressive 13 year run! The Atari 8-bit home computers will forever be played – yes, they will last that long!



Arnie and the Atari Portfolio

“I’ll be back”. Indeed Arnie was right. In this case, the Atari Portfolio is back, not Arnie’s time-travelling T-800 Model 101 Terminator.


For those that are left scratching their heads of the correlation between Terminator and the little Atari pocket computer, let me remind you – In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the young John Connor and his mate jump on John’s dirt bike and head to the mall to hack the ATM and get some cash to play the arcade machines (Ed: very clever kid!). The young Connor uses his Atari Portfolio and a hacking program (PINID) to withdraw some much needed play-time funds.

Atari picked a blockbuster for their product placement. Did it sell lots of Portfolios? Hell no, but damn it was cool to see an Atari in T2!

Got any favourite video gaming related product placements?

A very cool prop

Press the Any Key!

John Connor withdrawing some much needed funds to play on the arcade machines!



My Atari Story: Matt Lacey

Why I Still Love Atari Computers

These days the Atari name is almost nowhere to be seen: the company is not the company it was when it was great. It’s not much more than simply the owner of some IP that enjoyed a golden age thirty years ago. But what a golden age it was.

Where It Started For Me

I was lucky as a kid because my dad was a computer guy. He was a programmer in the punch card era, and quickly became an Atari fan with the launch of their formidable 8-bit machines at the end of the seventies. I had an 800 in my bedroom when I was young, after my dad upgraded to an ST. That same machine is still alive and kicking to this day. Aside from a few LOGO procedures, I didn’t do anything with that computer except play games. One of those games was Star Raiders which I consider to be an incredible technical achievement for the time, and is still tremendously enjoyable 35 years after its release. It’s also still brutally difficult, and if you’ve never played it, I implore you to do so. If you ever liked Wing Commander, TIE Fighter or games of their ilk, then you’ll be right at home with Star Raiders.

The motherboard from an Atari 800XL that I'm attempting to restore

The motherboard from an Atari 800XL that I’m attempting to restore

During the 16-bit Atari vs. Amiga wars of the 80s, circumstances dictated that I was firmly in the Atari camp. Although technically the ST could never really match the A500 for power, it does get credit for being available considerably earlier, and the MIDI ports were great for musicians. I’ll never forget jumping out of my chair when I fired up a game called Chopper-X and my still-connected keyboard suddenly started blasting the music at full volume right behind me.

It was on the ST that I first played Monkey Island and Loom (games that I still play regularly) which kicked off a lifelong love affair with LucasArts’ graphic adventures. It was also the first machine I ever wrote code on, some primitive BASIC it may have been, but that pretty much set the direction for my life.


Perhaps it’s nostalgia talking, but computers today simply have no charm. There’s little fun to be found using them, they’re merely tools for a job, and tools that annoy more often than they delight. Macs and a few high-end PC laptops aside, they’re generally made of nasty, cheap plastic, and none of them seem like they’re built to last. As computers have become commodity items they have also fallen prey to the talons of planned obsolescence in a big way.

For me, all old computers are a joy to use (yes I’d even like to own a few Amigas these days); they have their own quirks and oddities, but they don’t feel sterile and they’ll certainly never chastise you for disconnecting a device unsafely. Granted, disconnecting a device in use is likely to trash your data, but I’d rather learn once and be treated as an intelligent being than deal with dialog boxes displaying mundane lines such as ‘You shut down your computer because of a problem’. No, you think? (for the record, this was my Mac, last week, after I had to forcefully shut it down because it wouldn’t wake up from sleep mode).

This is my all-time favourite computer

This is my all-time favourite computer

Last year I purchased my dream computer: An Atari Falcon 030. This ill-fated and little-known machine was the successor to the ST, released in 1992. Unfortunately the plug was pulled in 1993 so that the company could focus on the Jaguar. On the outside it looks pretty much the same as an ST but with a different logo and darker keycaps, but on the inside it’s a solid performer, supporting a true colour display and capable of recording audio direct to hard disk thanks to a Digital Signal Processor running alongside the CPU. Today people still covet these machines and you can even get new hardware for them. Lotharek produces a few items including the NetUSBee which makes transferring files on and off of the machine far easier than in the past, and there’s some cheap IDE DOMs available which make for easy, silent replacements for aging IDE hard drives.

Yes – it feels a little clunky and awkward compared to modern machines, but it’s fun to use and explore. There’s a few people developing games specifically for the Falcon still, and I’m looking to join their ranks; I have some sprites and things moving around but free time is hard to come by. Either way, I’ll keep at it when I can because it’s enjoyable and a good way to sharpen the programming skills.

Debugging sprite routines. Note the NetUSBee sticking out of the cartridge port

Debugging sprite routines. Note the NetUSBee sticking out of the cartridge port

Go Buy One!

There’s still a strong and very active community surrounding Atari computers and consoles with several great forums and #atariscne on IRCNET is a great way to get help with code, so there’s never been a better time to get involved. The machines are relatively cheap (Falcons and TTs aside), though slightly tricky to get hold of in Australia compared to Europe and the US. There seems to be more and more hardware extensions appearing all the time which makes using them better than it’s ever been. And don’t forget to buy that Star Raiders cart while you’re at it if you spring for an 8-bit.



MattLaceyMatt Lacey
Co-Founder of SPKeasey and ProxInsight. Salesforce & ForceDotCom MVP. Code addict. Fan of science, snowboarding & beer. Learning M68k ASM for kicks. A proud Atarian.

Follow Matt on Twitter






My Atari Story: Sue Lamport

The Atari 2600 is where gaming truly began for me.

The year was 1979, I was five years old. My mum bought the Atari 2600 from Boans in Perth (which is now Myer department store) as an anniversary present for my dad. I’m not sure how much it cost back then but mum reassures me it was ‘a bloody fortune’. I can remember sitting next to this huge box in a nearby cafe just staring at all the little screens pictured on this wonderful box while my mum and grandmother chatted. How I wished it was for me! I just wanted to go home and see it, what was it? Prior to this, all I knew was Pong. My grandmother had Pong on an old black and white TV. It had two paddles that slid up and down, that was it! Don’t laugh, that was fun back then. I can remember we all had a go. But the Atari, just sitting in the box as it was, fascinated me. It was colourful and all the screens on the box had something different going on, not just two white lines and bouncy square.


From here on I pretty much grew up with the Atari. At first, my time using it was heavily restricted but as time went by I got to use it more often. My parents soon realised they could use it as a potential for punishment, ‘Look, if you don’t behave no Atari!’. I shocked my dad one day who came home from work and saw how well I was doing on Frogger. After I had gone to bed he tried his best to match me, but he couldn’t. I also surprised my uncle when it came to games like Warlords, in how well I could hold my own against the other adults. It became a regular thing on a Saturday for mum and dad to have friends and family over to play. Everyone had to have a go at Combat, my aunty loved Asteroids, my mum’s favourites (even to this very day) are Space Invaders – especially invisible Space Invaders – and Kaboom!; but I loved them all. The first game I ever finished was Defender. I was very sick in bed at the time and mum put the Atari in my room. I guess there is no harm in admitting now that I was in no hurry to get better.


I am very pleased to say that the same machine, with all those wonderful memories attached to it, still works and is still in the family today. Mum still has it in its own custom built box. The original box died years ago, so at the time my Dad (a wood machinist by trade) built his own with special compartments for the console, controllers and games. The Atari, for me, isn’t just a console, it’s a family heirloom. I have my own hand-me-down console from my aunty, and although mine is not the ‘woody’ like our original family console, it does the job just fine.


I’ve played some of the old games on today’s modern systems, such as the PSP and Xbox 360, but trust me on this; you cannot beat the Atari console itself. Games like Kaboom! and Night Driver are both fine examples of when you must use the paddles! But it’s good to see these games getting the exposure they deserve. And it is certainly something to see my kids play games on my old Atari, and enjoy them just as much as I did.

SueLamportSue Lamport
Educator, art lover, gamer. A proud Atarian.

Follow Sue on Twitter






Atari Party

There was an Atari Party last weekend and I wasn’t invited? Were you invited? Perhaps our invitations got lost in the mail.

The big bash was held in Sunnyvale, Atari’s spiritual home. The Digital Game Museum, Atari Volunteers and Friends put on the get-together at the Sunnyvale Public Library, coinciding with Atari Month – celebrating 42 years of the iconic video gaming brand!

According to our sources, there were systems from all eras, including some drool-worthy arcade machines. The guest speaker list was stacked with Atari pioneers, which included Pong creator, Al Alcorn, and the brains behind the Atari Trak-Ball, Dan Kramer. I would have given anything to had been there. Ah well, there is always next year. I have been well informed that my invitation is in the mail.

The Atari 2600 carts are at the ready

Superlative arcade games for the 5200

The beautiful Centipede

Dan Kramer’s 5200 prototype – Xari Arena!

The venerable Atari VCS/2600

The party-goers patiently await Mr Trak-Ball himself, Dan Kramer

Dan Kramer’s creation

The 1200XL beast

Atari ST action

Passing on the Atari torch to the next generation

 image sources: Atari Party 2014 and Dave Beaudoin