Computer Intro!

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Computer Intro!
Basic Information
Video Game
Magnavox Odyssey² Controller
Magnavox Odyssey²
Retail Features
European Union European Release Date(s)
Magnavox Odyssey²
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Magnavox Odyssey²
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Computer Intro! is the Odyssey 2 cartridge to introduce users to the joys and pains of machine and assembly-language programming.

Since the Odyssey 2 has a full membrane keyboard it's well suited for the data entry associated with entering computer programs.

You may enter programs using their version of assembler or machine language.

Some basic architecture notes:

  • Program and data space is 99 steps.
  • Mathematical operations are in BSD.
  • The computer has sixteen registers and an accumulator that can hold eight bits of data.
  • Display output is limited to a single line of eleven characters (positioned by register B.)
  • Audio output is limited to a single one-second buzz. (The manual claims it's a one second buzz but it's more like a quarter second.)
  • The character set is limited to 63 characters, between 00 and 3e. This includes a full alphanumeric character set as well as some iconic Odyssey 2 images like multiple poses of the walking man, the submarine, airplane and boat.

With an architecture like this you can imagine you're fairly limited to what you can write up, but at the time there wasn't nearly anything like it available for a game console. (If I recall correctly Coleco's Adam had some programming stuff for it—ooh did I covet that console.)

The cartridge comes with a 100+ page booklet that describes the language and the tool and includes many sample programs, empty sheets for writing your own programs, and other useful information. It's the only Odyssey 2 cartridge with a book of that size.