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Ah, PONG:the great father of videogames. You can't look deny its' significance, no matter how hard you try. Thanks to Ralph Baer, the history of home videogames was born. First starting with the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972 to the rebirth of PONG by Atari in 1975 which led to an estimated 90,000 different versions of PONG by various manufacterers worldwide. Ralph Baer's idea was summarized/stated with the phrase 'you should do more with the television than just watch it,' and with the little hardwired box of noises, videogames moved from the arcade to the home with suprising results. Throughout the decades after its' release, it has still perservered. With PCs and 128-bit systems, PONG still lives on through emulation.

The original PONG unit was an arcade unit developed by Al Alcorn as a training device. When Alcorn started at Atari, he was given the task of programming to see if he was worth hiring. What he came up with was the game PONG, which was what the sound of the ball hitting the paddles made. After a working system was created, they test marketed it in the local bar, Andy Capps. Due to the popularity, the machine was soon flooded with quarters and had to be emptied. Not knowing what had happened, the bar owner called Atari to have them come fix it. When they opened the machine, the river of quarters was a suprise. The units were later made for $500 each.

One day I was the lucky recipient of the Odyssey 3000 from a seller on Ebay, sort of. While it was in perfect condition and free batteries came with it, it came with something I did not expect: a call from the local postal inspector. Apparently, my "hard wired box o' fun" was making noises...noises that the local government funded office didn't like. After making contact with my seller, it was apparent that the batteries had been left in the unit. After I gave authorization to deliver, the seller and I had a joke: they would have took it out back, hosed it down and called the bomb squad.

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