Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Cardapter for the VIC-20

[Updated: 3/5/2011]

OK this is starting to get annoying. First I got hoodwinked by the fake Atari Foghat 8-track and now this! 

I was familiar with Colecovision's Expansion Module that let you play Atari 2600 games on the Colecovision and I had heard of the Intellivision's System Changer too, but when I came across this old magazine advertisement for the "Cardapter" for the VIC-20 it was totally new to me.

It was supposedly designed by The Computer Works and manufactured and distributed by Cardco, Inc to "explore a new galaxy of entertainment pleasure with your VIC-20 computer". Well that may be a bit of advertising hyperbole, but it would allow you to play Atari 2600 cartridges on your VIC-20 and I thought - hey! I've got a VIC-20 and lots of old Atari games - this thing would be cool!  (I've also got 2 working Atari 2600s but that's beside the point).

So I started searching high and low on the internet to see if I could locate and buy this obscure little device. But it didn't take long to discover that these things were nowhere to be found. Then I stumbled onto a forum where they referred to the Cardapter as a famous piece of vaporware in the classic computer scene. Even though these ads ran in a number of magazines it appears that they may never have actually been manufactured.  At least no one on the internet seems to have seen one anyway.  So it's just a cool little old ad for a device that never existed I guess.

Damn - I have to start reading magazines that were published within the last 10 years.


I came across another ad for the Cardapter in the Spring 1983 edition of Commodore Power Play which offered the device for $89.95.

Sorry Cardapter, fool me once...

But a few pages later in the same magazine was an ad for a different product that also offered a way to play Atari 2600 cartridges on your VIC-20!  And this one shipped with a free Atari cartridge to boot! It was called the Game Loader from Protecto Enterprizes - and I had actually heard of them before!

My curiosity was stirred once again and I hurried off to do some searching. And... according to the experts on the net this one was never actually manufactured either.  Dammit!

Still I did find another ad where the Game Loader was being sold along with several other items from Protecto that I know definitely existed - so maybe it's out there SOMEWHERE...

Ah screw it - I'll keep playing Radar Rat Race on my VIC and if I feel like playing Chopper Command I'll just break out the real 2600.

End of line.

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gnome said...

Another -incredibly interesting- disappointment... Should have posted some VIC 20 porn to make up for it though...

MadPlanet said...

ah - a quest! where are my coconut halves?!

Well, if the cardapter worked I could run Custer on the VIC and call that porn. But then again if it worked I wouldn't need to have the porn... Damn gaming paradoxes!

MadPlanet said...

We have failed you sire. We travelled to the farthest reaches of Internetonia in search of the grail of VICPorn. But alas, we were not worthy. All is lost...