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The 8-Bit Computer is Back, Ready to Hack, and Plays NES Games to Boot

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Written by Paul Strauss | March 27, 2009

When you think of 8-bit computers, classics like the Atari 400/800, the Commodore 64 and the Apple II probably come to mind. But there’s a new kid on the block that hopes to bring 8-bit computing back – this time for the hacker community.


This bare-bones looking “TV Computer” is based on the same 1MHz 6502 processor chip that powered many of the great 8-bit systems of days gone by. And like the home programming movement of the 1980s, the guys over at Playpower.org are encouraging the use of these cheap imports for the development of homebrew and open-source apps, to spur computer-aided education in developing countries.


Not only can the system run simple programs written in BASIC, it comes with a cartridge pre-loaded with an 8-bit music application, a “Visual Theremin” (whatever that means), a sprite manipulation program and a Chinese language GUI. As an added bonus, the system can play old school NES games (with the use of an optional 60 to 72 pin adapter).


So if you’re ready to get to brush up on your BASIC skills, or just want to play some Mario Brothers, you can find the 8-bit TV computer over at the MakerSHED for just $49.99 (USD).