Articles in the "Joysticks" Category

The Stickeroo Joystick Interface

The Stickeroo Joystick Interface was an Atari-style joystick interface for the TRS-80 Model I and System 80 computers. Introduced in 1982, the Stickeroo was sold by Micro-80, an Australian magazine dedicated to the TRS-80 and System 80. (The System 80 was nearly identical to the computer sold in the United States as the PMC-80.) The original advertisements also mentioned an upcoming TRS-80 Model III version of the Stickeroo, but that was presumably never produced.

The “Micro-80 Product Catalogue” was a multiple page section of Micro-80 that sold TRS-80 and System 80 hardware and software by mail-order to “customers throughout the Australian and Pacific region.” Many of the products were imported from the United States, but others, including the Stickeroo Joystick Interface, were products of Australia.

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The first commercial joystick for the TRS-80, the STICK-80, was created by Alpha Products (originally Alpha Product Co.). The first advertisement I can find was in the December 1980 issue of 80 Microcomputing. The STICK-80 package included an Atari joystick and interface and originally cost $29.95.

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In 1981, Bill Hogue wrote Robot Attack, a variation on the arcade game Berzerk. Unlike most TRS-80 games, in Robot Attack you can move and fire in all directions. You fire in a direction by moving the joystick in that direction and pressing the FIRE button. This shows up a problem with the STICK-80 mapping; how can a game determine if the player was moving the joystick up or down and firing if the FIRE button is mapped to a combination of UP plus DOWN?

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Alpha Joystick

In October 1981, Alpha Products created a new version of their joystick which included a mode switch to allow a choice between the STICK-80 and TRISSTICK FIRE button behavior. The advertisements from then on referred to the joystick as the Alpha Joystick, and the price remained at $39.95.

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