Frobco and their Frob-26/Frob-52 cards - Is there any info on these?

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Scoutinabox's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: Nov 16 2013 - 14:20
Posts: 1
Frobco and their Frob-26/Frob-52 cards - Is there any info on these?

Hello.
Recently, I found out about a company - Frobco - and their Frob-26 and Frob-52 cards. I have been looking around, but there is no information on these. The best I can find is an ad in BYTE Vol. 7 Issue 12. Does anyone know about this card here? The concept of hooking an Apple II straight to the game platform is pretty neat, but again, I can find no information. Any help on this would be appreciated.

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: Oct 4 2005 - 18:52
Posts: 2631
Re: Frobco and their Frob-26/Frob-52 cards - Is there any ...

Scoutinabox,

What type of game platform?

Steven Smile

Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: Aug 23 2014 - 21:20
Posts: 3
Re: Frobco and their Frob-26/Frob-52 cards - Is there any ...

I used a Frob back in the day to create an Atari 2600 game called Telepathy for the Mindlink.

I wrote a 6502 assembler I called an instant assembler because it generated machine code as I typed in each line. At the end it only had to fix up some address values. I had a 512K RAM drive too for fast I/O. So when I finished some code and wanted to see the game it took a second or two for the game to be assembled and down loaded into the Frob card and then I think I had to press reset on the 2600 and the game appeared on the TV screen. The Frob had 2 cards. One plugged into a normal slot and the other looked like a 2600 game card that plugged into the 2600 with a ribbon cable between the two.

So basically I think the card in the Apple was a RAM card for the most part and the card plugged into the 2600 had very little, just needed to emulate an EPROM. But I'm sure not a hardware dude. As I remember the Frob was very easy to set up and use.

It was a sweet system. Not long before that I was burning EPROMs every time I made a change and used Atari's Assemble on an Atari 800. I forget the exact time but it was certainly minutes, plus always making sure you had some in the eraser which took like 20 minutes I think. Using the Frob completely changed how I created a game. Because turn around was so quick I used the system like a graphics editor because I took tweak a pixel and see the result almost instantly. With other systems I drew the graphics on paper with color pencils and that's generally what I went with because burning EPROMs was so time consuming.

The Frob sold for $495 and was so worth every cent. It was amazing when it came out because at that time games were very expensive to make and many companies, including Atari, were trying to create such systems and not really having much luck. But the Frob did come out toward the end of the 2600 and for some reason most 2600 developers never seemed to consider the Apple II as a development system. At least I never saw them around at different video game companies.

I'm looking to buy another Frob card, unless I can find mine, to write another Atari game. Better than even today's modern systems.

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: Oct 4 2005 - 18:52
Posts: 2631
Re: Frobco and their Frob-26/Frob-52 cards - Is there any ...

Here is some more info:

http://www.emulatronia.com/doctec/consolas/atari8/prog_01.txt

An Atari 2600 Development System. Hmmmmm.

Steven Smile

ericF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 22 2013 - 16:57
Posts: 28
Re: Frobco and their Frob-26/Frob-52 cards - Is there any ...

Pics and info on AtariAge:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/134938-frob-and-frob-52-pictures/

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/217290-atari-vcs-and-apple-ii-developer-environment-what-did-they-do/

Pretty cool.

Log in or register to post comments