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Intellivision Slam Dunk: Super Pro Basketball

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I’m sure all of you have a special video game or two that you played growing up that you have especially fond memories of.  I have a bunch, but one of the ones I remember the most was Slam Dunk: Super Pro Basketball on my friend’s Intellivision.  I actually didn’t even own an Intellivision, in fact I didn’t even play one until the game was out about 6 years.

The game is a 3 on 3 basketball game where you draft players based upon a budget.  No real players are in the game, but players like Dr. J are Professor Q in this game, and Magic Johnson is Houdini Watts.  There were a lot of games like this in the 80’s where made up names were common since all the licensing stuff was a lot more difficult.

Playing the game

The starting budget is anywhere from 1 million to 5 million.  The good players are around 2 million, and the bad players are as low as 200,000.  You have that budget to draft 5 players, however if you don’t have enough money then free agent players will be assigned to you.  Sometimes these free agent players are pretty good, so your team doesn’t turn out too awful.

My friend and I used to play games where I’d get 5 million and he’d get 1 million, since it was his game and he was way better than me.  I’d usually get a couple good players and get close but could never beat him unfortunately.  Rebounding is where I would always get beat, there was certain place you could stand to get the rebound almost every time.  I’d get down to the end and then some miracle would happen where he’d pull it out at the end.

Luckily I was able to get my revenge playing him in NBA Live 95 on the pc where I could dominate him all the time.  That’s another one of my old favorites but I’ll save that for another time.

Video

I made a video of it on my Epson 5040ub projector.  I did the draft and then played most of the first quarter, unfortunately the computer took advantage of my lack of passing (passing on Intellivision controllers is just impossible for me).

Pool Table Sizes

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Brunswick Pool Table
Brunswick Pool Table

There are four main pool table sizes, 7 foot, 8 foot, 8.5 foot, and 9 foot.  The size people are most familiar with is the standard 7 foot coin operated table you see at bars and other public places.  I’m sure most of us as kids remember rolling that cue ball around the table trying to hit the pockets while our parents talked during supper, that was my first exposure to pool.  They’re not as prominent today as they once were in bars due to technology like Golden Tee, Trivia, and other new technologies.  The 7 foot table is 3.5 feet wide.  The best reviewed 7 foot table at Amazon is affiliate linked below:

Havril Beachcomer Pool Table 84 inches

The next most common size is 8 foot.  You’ll see this size in a lot of homes that have extra room.  Obviously being a little bit bigger it also plays a little bit harder.  When choosing this and other sizes, remember that every foot you add to your table is another foot of room you’re going to need lengthwise and half a foot in width.  The 8 foot table is 4 feet wide as a result, maintaining the same 2 to 1 ratio.  Eight foot tables are also common on Amazon, my affiliate link for the best reviewed 8 foot one is below first, the second link is to an outstanding outdoor pool table that had great reviews:

Brunswick Danbury Pool Table 8 foot

Playcraft Extera Outdoor Billiard Table

The next size is 8.5 feet long by 4.25 feet wide.  When you get to this size, the table starts getting a lot harder due to the increased distance between pockets.  The angle that allowed you to make that shot on a 7 foot table might cause you to miss with that extra 18 inches on this table.  Amazon doesn’t even carry 8.5 foot or 9 foot tables, which kind of speaks to how popular they are (of course, it’s also not easy to sell something like that over the web either).

The last size is 9 feet long by 4.5 feet wide.  This is the largest and most difficult standard pool table size.  You have to be pretty good player to use this size.  🙂

The other size you’ll see occasionally in homes is 6 foot.  I wouldn’t recommend buying this size as it kind of appears to be a kids toy, it just looks too small.  A lot of time these smaller pool tables are left in homes when they move due to the low value of these pool tables.

Snooker table sizes

Snooker tables take challenge to the next level.  My grandmother in law has a snooker table in her basement, that thing is TOUGH.  Not only is it bigger than normal, the pockets are angled so it’s harder to hit the shots too.  Standard snooker tables are 12 x 6 or 10 x 5, same ratio as pool tables.  However, as you can see, their much larger than pool tables.  I personally don’t enjoy playing on snooker tables too much, my skill level just isn’t high enough to play on them.

Space needed for various pool table sizes

After deciding on what size of table you want, the next question you’re probably wondering is how much space around it you’re going to need in order to play.  If you’re using 58 inch cues, then I’d recommend you have 58 inches around the table.  Using the standard table sizes above, that means:

7 feet x 12 inches = 84 inches + 58 inches + 58 inches = 16 feet, 8 inches

3.5 feet x 12 inches = 42 inches + 58 inches + 58 inches = 12 feet, 2 inches

So you need a room, 16 feet, 8 inches x 12 feet, 2 inches for a 7 foot table.

Doing the rest of the math, you need:

17 feet, 8 inches x 12 feet, 8 inches for 8 foot

18 feet, 2 inches x 12 feet, 11 inches for 8.5 foot

18 feet, 8 inches x 13 feet, 2 inches for 9 foot

Cues

There are also shorter cues you can use (as short as 48″) that will cut close to a foot off around the distance on all sides.  In a pinch you can also assume that the few inches for the rails around the game can be subtracted but that will also lead to a lot of dinged up walls.  I’m sure most of you have seen a pool table in a space that was way too small, the walls are usually way beat up, and when you’re playing you have to raise the cues into high weird angles in order to make some shots, not the most fun.  Make sure you take that into consideration when trying to figure out the size you want, a smaller table that doesn’t hit walls is going to be better than a bigger one where you can’t aim shots properly in my opinion.

Besides just length and width, there’s also another factor to consider, weight.  There are basically two kinds of pool tables people are selling currently, ones that have a slate top under the felt and ones that have mdf or other material underneath the felt.  The slate top plays the best, no question.  However, with slate top, the pool table is basically impossible to move without a large group of people.  With an alternative top, a 7 foot table can get down a more manageable 200 to 250 pounds, where a couple people could move it if needed.

Hopefully this article has address all your questions about pool tables sizes.  Whatever you pick, I hope you enjoy it.

 

Buying a new pinball machine

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Stern AC/DC Premium New Pinball Machine
Stern AC/DC Premium Pinball

If you’ve reached this page, chances are you’re looking to buy a new pinball machine because you don’t know where to start.  I’ll try and run down the options for you to make it easier.  The number one way to save money on pinball is to call.  Not email, not Facebook message, call.  If you’re looking to buy a new pinball machine, there are a bunch of good options.  For new machines, there are currently four different manufacturers shipping machines.  They are Stern pinball, Jersey Jack pinball, Chicago Gaming, and Spooky pinball.

Buying a New Pinball Machine (Stern)

Stern is the biggest manufacturer followed by Jersey Jack, then Chicago Gaming, and Spooky pulling up the rear.  If you’re looking to buy a new Stern, you’ll see that most games have three options, a pro, premium, or an LE.  The pro is the basic model, the LE is the highest end model with all the bling and some playfield changes, and the premium is basically the same as the LE with slightly less cosmetic stuff.

I personally like the pro models more than the other two most of the time, about the only game where I like the premium more is AC/DC pinball from a few years ago.  If you look on Stern’s website, you’ll see that they have prices listed there as suggest retail prices.  Look at those prices like you would sticker prices on cars, basically you can do a lot better than those prices.  However, to get those prices, you can’t do it on the internet, you must call due to Stern pricing rules (they don’t allow lower prices in writing via website or email).

So who do you call?  I would suggest this vendor in pinball sales:

Pinball Pro

When you call them up, tell them that you were referred to them by gameroominfo for special pricing, they’ll know what to do.  I have bought 2 new in the box games from Stern in the past, Iron Man and AC/DC Premium.  The current games they have for sale are:

Buying a New Pinball Machine (Jersey Jack)

With Jersey Jack you only have high end models similar to Stern’s premium and LE.  Most new games come in three models, standard, LE (Limited Edition), and CE (Collector’s Edition).  Unlike Stern though, the LE’s for Jersey Jack really aren’t that limited and they make multiple LE’s of most games.  The CE is lot more similar to Stern’s LE in that they’re very limited, only a lot more expensive at over $12,000 apiece.

The games themselves are generally on a much higher technological level than all the other manufacturers.  Feature a big LCD screen in the backbox, LED lighting, custom molded toys, etc, they’re clearly packed with more materials than everyone else.  So while they’re very expensive, you’re also getting your money’s worth (although it’s a lot of money).  For buying one of these, I would also suggest contacting Pinball Pro.  Jersey Jack currently has these games for sale:

Buying a New Pinball Machine (Chicago Gaming)

Chicago Gaming is a new player in the market feature remakes of the best pinball machines from the past.  They’ve only made two machines so far, Medieval Madness and Attack From Mars.  Medieval Madness is only available in one trim model now, the standard model, while Attack From Mars is available in a base model, the SE, and the LE.  The three models have various upgrades including big color screens and toppers.

Unlike the other vendors, existing used machines exist for the games they’re remaking.  However, those used machines are as expensive as the new ones, so it doesn’t really make any sense to buy an old one at this point.

Once again, I would suggest contacting Pinball Pro.  Chicago Gaming has these games for sale currently:

Buying a New Pinball Machine (Spooky Pinball)

Spooky Pinball has been around for a few years.  Their first game was America’s Most Haunted that was limited to 150 machines.  In fact, I was in on the first round of those games, owning #38 or #39 (can’t remember which one).  It was a really fun game but it was a little unreliable due to the hobby servo’s they used on that game.

Fast forward to now, they’re now producing a bunch of new games and the quality issues have been largely addressed.  You can currently order The Jetson’s pinball, Domino’s pinball, and now Total Nuclear Annihilation (TNA).  Total Nuclear Annihilation has been a huge hit so far, a throwback game that offers a unique challenge different from all other modern games.

Spooky Games aren’t as expensive as some of the other manufacturers, ringing in at a little over $6000.  The best place to order them is from them directly, although you might try Pinball Star Amusements to see if they’ll add in anything additional if you order from them.  Pinball Star can be reached below:

Pinball Star

Currently Spooky has these games available for order.

Conclusion

Hopefully the rundown above will help you buy a pinball machine.  I know for a new person to the hobby that it can be a confusing process and a lot of time local dealers will take advantage of new buyers (similar to car dealers).  I’m hoping the information above will help you save money and frustration, pinball sales is kind of an old fashioned business unfortunately due to the distributor network most of them follow.

LG UJ6200 65″ TV with 4k and HDR review

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LG UJ6200 TV Insects Demo
LG UJ6200 TV Insects Demo

If you’ve been looking for ‘bang for your buck’ big screen TV’s lately you’ve noticed that the big screen 65″ TV’s from LG are an outstanding value.  I recently bought one of these LG UJ6200 TV’s (although it says UJ62 on the box, and the official model number is 65UJ6200) on sale at Microcenter, although it’s available at a bunch of retailers right now like Best Buy and Walmart.  Amazon has the model below:

65″ LG UJ6200 

And here is a picture of the TV box:

LG UJ6200 TV in box
LG UJ6200 TV in box

Unboxing and Setup

When you first open the box, the first thing you notice is how light the TV is.  You expect a TV that large to be pretty heavy but honestly it was pretty easy to lift with a second person.  Out of the box it comes with the stand, remote, and manual, pretty standard for most TV’s.  What was a little different than most TV’s I’ve bought though is, it came with the mounting screws for hanging on a mount, which is really nice.  Too many times I’ve bought a flat screen only to have to go to the hardware store to get wall mount screws for the odd size it has on the back.

Once I got it unboxed, it was time to hang it on the wall.  That process was pretty easy, I had an older monoprice mount that I’d used to hang my previous 50″ Insignia TV with that worked perfectly with the UJ6200.  Cords though were a little tougher.  Since only two of the three HDMI inputs are on the side, the last one on the back is pretty tricky to hook up.  Once I got that hooked up though, everything worked great.

LG UJ6200 in action

The next question is, how does it look in action?  In my eyes, superb.  If you’re an AV nut you’re probably going with an OLED TV or some other really expensive TV, but in my opinion you’re better off waiting until that cost goes down and instead getting a TV like this for 1/3 of the price.  Two of the biggest features of TV’s today are 4k and HDR.

4k simply refers to the resolution of the TV, in this case it refers to the number of horizontal pixels on the screen.  I’m not sure why they moved from counting the horizontal lines (1080p) to pixels, I think it was mainly just a marketing thing.  HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is basically a new standard for increased color range.  Depending on the source material, it can either be awesome or underwhelming.  4k is kind of the same way, depending on how far away you sit from the TV and what your source material is, it can either look fantastic or unnoticeable.

Unlike my Epson 5040ub projector, the LG UJ6200 checks all the marks on the Xbox One X TV information screen (show below).  It supports all the latest high tech modes you’d need.  Basically proves you don’t have to spend $2000 to get all the latest bells and whistles.

LG UJ6200 TV Xbox One X settings
LG UJ6200 TV Xbox One X settings

Screenshots

First things I’ve got below are screenshots of the insects demo on the Xbox One X.  The first screenshot shows the UJ6200 with 4k and HDR turned off.  The second one shows the TV with 4k turned on but HDR turned off.  The third one shows 4k turned off and HDR turned on.  The fourth one shows 4k and HDR turned on together.

Screenshot #1, 4k and HDR off:

LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k and HD
LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k and HD

Screenshot #2, 4k on and HDR off:

LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k On and HDR Off
LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k On and HDR Off

Screenshot #3, 4k off and HDR on:

LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k off and HDR On
LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k off and HDR On

Screenshot #4, 4k on and HDR on:

LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k and HDR On
LG 65UJ6200 TV 4k and HDR On

I also did a video which shows everything above, it makes it a little easier to see.

The default sound on the TV isn’t great though, you’ll probably want to add a sound bar to help with volume and bass.  The TV does feature HDMI through ARC, which means that if you hook up a sound bar via HDMI on port #2 you can use the volume control on your TV remote to control the volume to the sound bar.  This aspect is very important for usability.

Included on the TV is WEBOS 3.5, which basically allows you to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services.  The apps work really well on the TV, it’s now the third TV I own that has had LG WEBOS on it and it has worked really well for me in the past.  The only drawback is that it’s not as supported as something like Roku, so things like NBA League pass can’t stream through it.  That’s a pretty fringe case though, and most things will work really well.

Hopefully this review has helped out.  There usually aren’t many reviews when the TV’s are this new, so knowing that it supports the Xbox One X fully should help some of you out.  The LG 65UJ6200 is an outstanding value for the price in my opinion.

 

Xbox One Game Transfer

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Somehow despite being an Xbox One owner for the past few years, I’ve missed this feature.  If you’re like me, you may have multiple Xbox’s and internet that is either bandwidth limited or not very fast for downloading.  That’s where Xbox One game transfer comes in.

The first step is to go to the source Xbox One and make it available to copy games from.  You do this by going to settings, then Network, then Network Transfer.  Then you turn on the game transfer option there (select Allow Network Transfer).  You can see it in the Xbox Screenshot below:

Xbox One Network Transfer
Xbox One Network Transfer
Xbox One system network transfer
Xbox One system network transfer

From there, you go to the Xbox you want to copy the games to.  Go to settings, game transfer…  Then select the games you want to transfer.  While the games are transferring, you must keep the Xbox’s on it seems.  Usually, when you’re downloading things it will do it low power mode but this seems to be something that requires power as every time my source xbox turned off the transfer stopped.

Transfer Speed

How fast does it transfer?  About as fast as your network can go.  I think for me it was going about 60 meg per second going from an Xbox One to an Xbox One X.  Depending on your router, it may go a lot faster or a lot slower.  Overall though it went a lot faster than downloading the game from the internet, which is what I was trying to avoid.  The other good thing is if you’re on limited internet, you’ll only have to download the game once and then use this to copy it to your other consoles.

The other option you can do is to use an USB hard drive to move the games between consoles.  It’s as easy as moving the drive from one console to the other.  When I bought my Xbox One X, I was able to move my 4 gig USB External Western Digital drive from my original Xbox One to my X in about 10 seconds.  You can also copy games off the USB hard drive to your internal hard drive if you want.

Hopefully this article has helped you figure out Xbox One Game Transfer, as I was clueless about this awesome feature.  I’m hoping that eventually there will be an updated version eventually where it will keep multiple consoles in sync, that would make it ridiculously awesome.