Entertainment

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Posted by bender 04/23/2009 @ 18:13

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VP Offers Four 'Complete' Paradox Entertainment Game Packs - PC World
Virtual Programming has announced the release of four "Complete" editions of Paradox Entertainment strategy games -- packs that include the original game along with expansions and sequels. They're priced from US$25 to $30 each, and are available...
Scorsese goes digital with film preservation - Variety
Scorsese, who is the WCF founder and chairman, has inked partnerships with B-Side Entertainment and the online cinematheque the Auteurs to promote and distribute a slate of WCF titles that begins with four restored films. The WCF also appointed New...
Sector Snap: Barclays upgrades entertainment - Forbes
AP , 05.15.09, 01:52 PM EDT Shares of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. jumped Friday after a Barclays analyst upgraded the entertainment sector and along with it the shares of both companies. Analyst Anthony J. DiClemente boosted his rating of the sector to...
Laurel Park needs slots, entertainment - Baltimore Sun
Laurel must be transformed into a major destination/entertainment venue, with first-class restaurants, entertainment options and new infrastructure that serve both slots and racing patrons. Laurel will thus become the backbone and the primary economic...
US-ENTERTAINMENT Summary - Washington Post
The World Cinema Foundation, which "The Departed" director founded and chairs, will now work with B-Side Entertainment and The Auteurs to release and promote films the WCF has restored. NEW YORK (Billboard) - In between bites of a Cobb salad at New...
Latest from Entertainment blogs - Seattle Times
Sat-Sun Family-friendly festival celebrates Anacortes's maritime heritage with free boat rides, quick and dirty boatbuilding demonstrations, waterfront walking tours, kids activities, live entertainment and open-water sea-kayak races. Also a boat show,...
Latest South Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment ... - KXMC
AP VINNIE JONES TRIAL Vinnie Jones acquitted of assault SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) Jurors in Sioux Falls acquitted Hollywood actor Vinnie Jones of assault on Friday. The former British soccer player was accused of hitting Juan Trevino-Barrera in a Sioux...
UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News - United Press International
Shortlisted for the outstanding daytime entertainment talk show honor are "Live with Regis and Kelly," "Rachael Ray" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." The informative talk shows that earned Daytime Emmy nods are "Dr. Phil," "The Doctors" and "The Tyra...
Blizzard working on new online game project - ZDNet
By Matthew Peters GameSpot Rumors of a "World of Starcraft" were jettisoned this week when a Blizzard Entertainment representative revealed that the company's next MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) will be based on an entirely new franchise....
'Jon & Kate Plus 8' controversy: harmless entertainment or child ... - The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com
by Troy Reimink | The Grand Rapids Press Dave Raczkowski | The Grand Rapids PressKate Gosselin, star of TLC's hit show, "Jon & Kate Plus 8," speaks during a stop in Muskegon to promote her book. If you're like me, you've maybe been at the grocery store...

Entertainment

Ludwig van Beethoven - symphony no. 5 in c minor, op. 67 - ii. andante con moto.ogg
Musical Piece: Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony no. 5 in C minor

Music is an art form combining rhythm, melody, harmony for entertainment, ceremonial or religious purposes.[12]

[edit] Other forms of entertainment

About this fileLudwig van Beethoven - symphony no. 5 in c minor, op. 67 - ii. andante con moto.ogg
Musical Piece: Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony no. 5 in C minor

Music is an art form combining rhythm, melody, harmony for entertainment, ceremonial or religious purposes.[12]

[edit] Other forms of entertainment

Entertainment is an activity designed to give people pleasure or relaxation. An audience may participate in the entertainment passively as in watching opera or a movie, or actively as in games.

Entertainment has been around almost since the beginning of human time, when early humans started painting in caves. The playing of sports and reading of literature are usually included in entertainment, but these are often called recreation, because they involve some active participation beyond mere leisure.

The industry that provides entertainment is called the entertainment industry.

Animation provides moving images that are generated by an artist, in contrast to the live action normally used in motion pictures. It is typically accompanied by a sound track consisting of recordings of live actors. Animation is often used in computer-based forms of entertainment.

Cartoons are a comedic form of animation. Anime or TV manga refers to animation originating from Japan in the Occidental use of the word. In Japan the word refers to all animation. It may contain adult themes and futuristic locations.

Cinema provides moving pictures as an art form. Cinema may also be called films or movies. A film produces an illusion of motion by presenting a series of individual image frames in rapid succession. Films are produced by a crew that handle the cameras, sets and lighting. The cast consists of actors who appear in front of the camera and follow a script. After the film has been shot, it is edited then distributed to theaters or television studios for viewing.

Theatre encompasses live performance such as plays, musicals, farces, monologues and pantomimes.

Circus acts include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, trapeze acts, hula hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists.

Circuses are a great place for families.

Comedy provides laughter and amusement. The audience is taken by surprise, by the parody or satire of an unexpected effect or an opposite expectations of their cultural beliefs. Slapstick film, one-liner joke, observational humor are forms of comedy which have developed since the early days of jesters and traveling minstrels.

Comics comprise of text and drawings which convey an entertaining narrative. Several famous comics revolve around super heroes such as Superman, Batman. Marvel Comics and DC Comics are two publishers of comic books. Manga is the Japanese word for comic and print cartoons.

Caricature is a graphical entertainment. The purpose may vary from merely putting smile on the viewers face, to raising social awareness, to highlighting the moral vices of a person being caricaturised.

Dance refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting. Dance includes ballet, cancan, Charleston, Highland fling, folk dance, sun dance, modern dance, polka and many more.

Reading comprises the interpretation of written symbols. An author, poet or playwright sets out a composition for publication to provide education or diversion for the reader. The format includes paperback or hard cover books, magazines, periodicals, puzzle books, crossword magazines and coloring books. Fantasy, horror, science fiction and mystery are forms of reading entertainment.

Games provide relaxation and diversion usually following a rule set. Games may be played by one person for their own entertainment, or by a group of people. Games may be played for achievement or money such as gambling or bingo. Racing, chess or checkers may develop physical or mental prowess. Games may be geared for children, or may be played outdoors such as lawn bowling. Equipment may be necessary to play the game such as a deck of cards for card games, or a board and markers for board games such as Monopoly, or backgammon. A few may be ball games, Blind man's bluff, board games, card games, children's games, Croquet, Frisbee, Hide and seek, Number games, Paintball, and Video games to name a few.

Music is an art form combining rhythm, melody, harmony for entertainment, ceremonial or religious purposes.

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Nintendo Entertainment System

The Nintendo Entertainment System

The Nintendo Entertainment System (abbreviated to NESd or Nintendo) is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America, Europe and Australia in 1985. In most of Asia, including Japan (where it was first launched in 1983), the Philippines, China, Vietnam and Singapore, it was released as the Family Computer (ファミリーコンピュータ ,Famirī Konpyūta?, also known as the Famicom (ファミコン ,Famikon ( listen (help·info))?), or FC for short). In Southern Asia (such as India), it was known as the Tata Famicom. It was succeeded by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

As the best-selling gaming console of its time,e the NES helped revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983, and set the standard for subsequent consoles in everything from game designf to controller layout.g In addition, with the NES, Nintendo introduced a now-standard business model of software licensing for third-party developers.

Following a series of arcade game successes in the early 1980s, Nintendo made plans to produce a cartridge-based console. Masayuki Uemura designed the system, which was released in Japan on July 15, 1983 for ¥14,800 alongside three ports of Nintendo's successful arcade games Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Popeye. The Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom) was slow to gather momentum; a bad chip set caused the initial release of the system to crash. Following a product recall and a reissue with a new motherboard, the Famicom’s popularity soared, becoming the best-selling game console in Japan by the end of 1984.

Encouraged by these successes, Nintendo soon turned its attention to the North American market. Nintendo entered into negotiations with Atari to release the Famicom under Atari’s name as the name Nintendo Advanced Video Gaming System; however, this deal eventually fell apart.h Subsequent plans to market a Famicom console in North America featuring a keyboard, cassette data recorder, wireless joystick controller, and a special BASIC cartridge under the name "Nintendo Advanced Video System" likewise never materialized.

In June 1985, Nintendo unveiled its American version of the Famicom at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It rolled out its first systems to limited American markets on October 18, 1985, following up with a full-fledged North American release of the console in February of the following year. Nintendo simultaneously released eighteen launch titles: 10-Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Golf, Gyromite, Hogan’s Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Mach Rider, Pinball, Stack-Up, Tennis, Wild Gunman, Wrecking Crew, and Super Mario Bros.

In Europe and Australia, the system was released to two separate marketing regions (A and B). Distribution in region B, consisting of most of mainland Europe (excluding Italy), was handled by a number of different companies, with Nintendo responsible for most cartridge releases; most of region B saw a 1986 release. Mattel handled distribution for region A, consisting of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, starting the following year. Not until 1990 did Nintendo's newly created European branch take over distribution throughout Europe. Despite the system’s lackluster performance outside of Japan and North America, by 1990 the NES had outsold all previously released consoles worldwide.

As the 1990s dawned, however, renewed competition from technologically superior systems such as the 16-bit Sega Mega Drive (called the Sega Genesis in North America) marked the end of the NES’s dominance. Eclipsed by Nintendo's own Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the NES’s user base gradually waned. Nintendo continued to support the system in North America through the first half of the decade, even releasing a new version of the system's console, under the name Control Deck (model NES-101) in North America, to address many of the design flaws in the original console hardware. A similarly redesigned console was also released in Japan as the AV family Computer. The final games released for the system were as follows: in Japan, Adventure Island IV, and, in North America, among unlicensed titles, Sunday Funday was the last, whereas Wario's Woods was the last licensed game (also the only one with an ESRB rating). In the wake of ever decreasing sales and the lack of new software titles, Nintendo of America officially discontinued the NES by 1995. Despite this, Nintendo of Japan kept producing new Nintendo Famicom units up until September 2003, when it discontinued the line. Even as developers ceased production for the NES, a number of high-profile video game franchises and series for the NES were transitioned to newer consoles and remain popular to this day. Nintendo's own Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid franchises debuted on the NES, as did Capcom's Mega Man franchise, Konami's Castlevania franchise, and Squaresoft's Final Fantasy and Enix's Dragon Quest (now Square Enix's) franchises.

Nintendo of Japan continued to repair Famicom consoles until October 31, 2007, attributing the decision to discontinue support to an increasing shortage of the necessary parts.

For its North American release in 1985, the NES was released in two different configurations, or "bundles". The console deck itself was identical, but each bundle was packaged with different game paks and accessories. The first of these sets, the Control Deck, retailed from US$199.99 (equivalent to US$401 today), and included the console itself, two game controllers, and a Super Mario Bros. game cartridge. The second bundle, the Deluxe Set, retailed for US$249.99 (equivalent to US$501 today), and consisted of the console, a R.O.B. accessory, an NES Zapper (electronic gun), and two game paks: Duck Hunt and Gyromite.

For the remainder of the NES's commercial lifespan in North America, Nintendo frequently repackaged the console in new configurations to capitalize on newer accessories or popular game titles. Subsequent bundle packages included the NES Action Set, released in November 1988 for US$149.99 (equivalent to US$273 today), which replaced both of the earlier two sets, and included the console, the NES Zapper, two game controllers, and a multicart version of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. The Action Set became the most successful of the packages released by Nintendo. One month later, in December 1988, to coincide with the release of the Power Pad floor mat controller, Nintendo released a new Power Set bundle, consisting of the console, the Power Pad, the NES Zapper, two controllers, and a multicart containing Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet. In 1990, a Sports Set bundle was released, including the console, an NES Satellite infrared wireless multitap adapter, four game controllers, and a multicart featuring Super Spike V'Ball and Nintendo World Cup.

Two more bundle packages were released using the original model NES console. The Challenge Set included the console, two controllers, and a Super Mario Bros. 3 game pak. The Basic Set, first released in 1987, included only the console and two controllers with no pack-in cartridge. Instead, it contained a book called the The Official Nintendo Player's Guide, which contained detailed information for every NES game made up to that point. Finally, the console was redesigned for both the North American and Japanese markets as part of the final Nintendo-released bundle package. The console was released under the name Control Deck in North America and AV Family Computer in Japan. The package included the new style console and one redesigned "dogbone" game controller. Released in October 1993 in North America, this final bundle retailed for US$49.99 (equivalent to US$75 today), and remained in production until the discontinuation of the NES in 1995.

The game controller used for both the NES and the Famicom featured an oblong brick-like design with a simple four button layout: two round buttons labelled "B" and "A", a "START" button, and a "SELECT" button. Additionally, the controllers utilized the cross-shaped D-pad, designed by Nintendo employee Gunpei Yokoi for Nintendo Game & Watch systems, to replace the bulkier joysticks on earlier gaming consoles’ controllers.

The original model Famicom featured two game controllers, both of which were hardwired to the back of the console. The second controller lacked the START and SELECT buttons, but featured a small microphone. Relatively few games made use of this feature. The earliest produced Famicom units initially had square A and B buttons. This was changed to the circular designs because of the square buttons being caught in the controller casing when pressed down, and glitches within the hardware causing the system to freeze occasionally while playing a game.

The NES dropped the hardwired controllers, instead featuring two custom 7-pin ports on the front of the console. Also in contrast to the Famicom, the controllers included with the NES were identical to each other—the second controller lacked the microphone that was present on the Famicom model, and possessed the same START and SELECT buttons as the primary controller.

A number of special controllers designed for use with specific games were released for the system, though very few such devices proved particularly popular. Such devices included, but were not limited to, the NES Zapper (a light gun), the Power Pad, the R.O.B., the LaserScope, the Vaus, and the Power Glove. The original Famicom featured a deepened DA-15 expansion port on the front of the unit, which was used to connect most auxiliary devices. On the NES, these special controllers were generally connected to one of the two control ports on the front of the unit.

Near the end of the NES's lifespan, upon the release of the AV Famicom and the top-loading NES 2, the design of the game controllers was modified slightly. Though the original button layout was retained, the redesigned device abandoned the "brick" shell in favor of a "dog bone" shape reminiscent of the controllers of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In addition, the AV Famicom joined its international counterpart and dropped the hardwired controllers in favor of detachable controller ports. However, the controllers included with the Famicom AV, despite being the "dog bone" type, had cables which were a short three feet long, as opposed to the standard six feet of NES controllers.

In recent years, the original NES controller has become one of the most recognizable symbols of the console. Nintendo has mimicked the look of the controller in several recent products, from promotional merchandise to limited edition versions of the Game Boy Advance SP and Game Boy Micro handheld game consoles.

When Nintendo released the NES in the United States, the design styling was deliberately different from that of other game consoles. Nintendo wanted to distinguish its product from those of competitors, and to avoid the generally poor reputation that game consoles had acquired following the video game crash of 1983. One result of this philosophy was a front-loading zero insertion force (ZIF) cartridge socket designed to resemble the front-loading mechanism of a VCR. The ZIF connector worked quite well when both the connector and the cartridges were clean and the pins on the connector were new. Unfortunately, the ZIF connector was not truly zero insertion force. When a user inserted the cartridge into the NES, the force of pressing the cartridge down and into place bent the contact pins slightly, as well as pressing the cartridge’s ROM board back into the cartridge itself. Repeated insertion and removal of cartridges caused the pins to wear out relatively quickly, and the ZIF design proved far more prone to interference by dirt and dust than an industry-standard card edge connector. Exacerbating the problem was Nintendo’s choice of materials; the slot connector that the cartridge was actually inserted into was highly prone to corrosion. Add-on peripherals like the popular Game Genie cheat cartridge tended to further exacerbate this problem by bending the front-loading mechanism during gameplay. Recently, third-party manufacturers have been producing gold clones of the NES connector piece to replace the existing one and prevent corrosion.

Problems with the 10NES lockout chip frequently resulted in the console's most infamous problem: the blinking red power light, in which the system appears to turn itself on and off repeatedly. The lockout chip was quite finicky, requiring precise timing in order to permit the system to boot. Dirty, aging, and bent connectors would often disrupt the timing, resulting in the blink effect. Alternatively, the console would turn on but only show a solid white, gray, or green screen. Users attempted to solve this problem by blowing air onto the cartridge connectors, licking the edge connector, slapping the side of the system after inserting a cartridge, shifting the cartridge from side to side after insertion, pushing the ZIF up and down repeatedly, holding the ZIF down lower than it should have been, and/or cleaning the connectors with alcohol which, observing the back of the cartridge, was not endorsed by Nintendo. Many of the most frequent attempts to fix this problem instead ran the risk of damaging the cartridge and/or system. In 1989, Nintendo released an official NES Cleaning Kit to help users clean malfunctioning cartridges and consoles.

With the release of the top-loading NES 2 toward the end of the NES's lifespan, Nintendo resolved the problems by switching to a standard card edge connector, and eliminating the lockout chip. All of the Famicom systems used standard card edge connectors, as did Nintendo’s subsequent game consoles, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Nintendo 64.

In response to these hardware flaws, "Nintendo Authorized Repair Centers" sprang up across the United States. According to Nintendo, the authorization program was designed to ensure that the machines were properly repaired. Nintendo would ship the necessary replacement parts only to shops that had enrolled in the authorization program. In practice, the authorization process consisted of nothing more than paying a fee to Nintendo for the privilege. In a recent trend, many sites have sprung up to offer Nintendo repair parts, guides and services, that replace those formerly offered by the authorized repair centers.

Nintendo's near monopoly on the home video game market left it with a degree of influence over the industry exceeding even that of Atari during Atari's heyday in the early 1980s. Unlike Atari, which never actively courted third-party developers (and even went to court in an attempt to force Activision to cease production of Atari 2600 games), Nintendo had anticipated and encouraged the involvement of third-party software developers—but strictly on Nintendo's terms. To this end, a 10NES authentication chip was placed in every console, and another was placed in every officially licensed cartridge. If the console's chip could not detect a counterpart chip inside the cartridge, the game would not load. Because Nintendo controlled the production of all cartridges, it was able to enforce strict rules on its third-party developers. Third-party developers were also asked to sign a contract by Nintendo that would obligate these parties to develop exclusively for the system. These extremely restricted production runs would end up damaging several smaller software developers: even if demand for their games was high, they could only produce as much profit as Nintendo allowed.

Several companies, refusing to pay the licensing fee or having been rejected by Nintendo, found ways to circumvent the console's authentication system. Most of these companies created circuits that used a voltage spike to temporarily disable the 10NES chip in the NES. A few unlicensed games released in Europe and Australia came in the form of a dongle that would be connected to a licensed game, in order to use the licensed game's 10NES chip for authentication.

Atari Games created a line of NES products under the name Tengen, and took a different approach. Afraid of damaging NES units and being liable for it by using the voltage spike technique, the company attempted to reverse engineer the lockout chip to develop its own "Rabbit" chip. However, Tengen also obtained a description of the lockout chip from the United States Patent and Trademark Office by falsely claiming that it was required to defend against present infringement claims in a legal case. Nintendo sued Tengen for copyright infringement, which Tengen lost as it could not prove that the illegally obtained patent documents had not been used by the reverse engineering team. Tengen's antitrust claims against Nintendo were never finally decided.

Following the introduction of the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in North America), Nintendo began to face real competition in the industry, and in the early 1990s was forced to reevaluate its stance towards its developers, many of whom had begun to defect to other systems. When the console was reissued as the NES 2, the 10NES chip was omitted as a cost-saving measure. Games marketed for the NES after that point still included a 10NES chip in order to work with the large installed base of original NES consoles.

A thriving market of unlicensed NES hardware clones emerged during the heyday of the console's popularity. Initially, such clones were popular in markets where Nintendo never issued a legitimate version of the console. In particular, the Dendy (Russian: Де́нди), an unlicensed hardware clone produced in the former Soviet Union, emerged as the most popular video game console of its time in that setting, and it enjoyed a degree of fame roughly equivalent to that experienced by the NES/Famicom in North America and Japan. The Micro Genius (Simplified Chinese: 小天才) was marketed in Southeast Asia as an alternative to the Famicom, Samurai was the popular PAL alternative to the NES and in Eastern Europe, especially Poland, the Pegasus was available.

The unlicensed clone market has flourished following Nintendo's discontinuation of the NES. Some of the more exotic of these resulting systems have gone beyond the functionality of the original hardware, and have included variations such as a portable system with a color LCD (e.g. Pocket Famicom). Others have been produced with certain specialized markets in mind, including various "educational computer packages" which include copies of some of the NES's educational games and come complete with a clone of the Famicom BASIC keyboard, transforming the system into a rather primitive personal computer. These unauthorized clones have been helped by the invention of the so called NES-on-a-chip or NoaC.

As was the case with unlicensed software titles, Nintendo has typically gone to the courts to prohibit the manufacture and sale of unlicensed cloned hardware. Many of the clone vendors have included built-in copies of licensed Nintendo software, which constitutes copyright infringement in most countries. As recently as 2004, Nintendo of America has filed suits against manufacturers of the Power Player Super Joy III, a NES clone console that had been sold in North America, Europe and Australia.

Although most hardware clones were not produced under license by Nintendo, certain companies were granted licenses to produce NES-compatible devices. The Sharp Corporation produced at least two such clones: the Twin Famicom and the SHARP 19SC111 television. The Twin Famicom was compatible with both Famicom cartridges and Famicom Disk System disks. It was available in two colors (red and black) and used hardwired controllers (as did the original Famicom), but it featured a different case design. The SHARP 19SC111 television was a television which included a built-in Famicom. A similar licensing deal was reached with Hyundai Electronics, who manufactured the system under the name Comboy in the South Korean market. This deal with Hyundai was made necessary because of the South Korean government's wide ban on all Japanese "cultural products", which remained in effect until 1998 and ensured that the only way Japanese products could legally enter the South Korean market was through licensing to a third-party (non-Japanese) distributor (see also Korean-Japanese disputes).

The original Japanese Famicom was predominantly white plastic, with dark red trim. It featured a top-loading cartridge slot, and grooves on both sides of the deck in which the hardwired game controllers could be placed when not in use.

The original version of the North American NES used a radically different design. The NES's color scheme was two different shades of gray, with black trim. The top-loading cartridge slot was replaced with a front-loading mechanism. The slot is covered by a small, hinged door that can be opened to insert or remove a cartridge, and closed at other times. The dimensions of this model are 10" width by 8" length by 3.5" height. When opened, the cartridge slot door adds an additional 1" height to the unit. Due to its bulky, square design and slot-loading functionality, the original NES chassis is often referred to as the "Toaster".

The remodeled NES 2 (known as the AV Family Computer in Japan) and known commonly as the "Top Loader", uses the same basic color scheme, although there are several subtle differences. The power switch is colored a bright red and slides into the on and off position, similar to the SNES, instead of the original push-button. Also, there is no LED power indicator on the unit. Like the original Famicom, it uses a top-loading cartridge slot. The NES was redesigned after the (also top loading) SNES, and indeed they share many of the same design cues. The NES 2 is considerably more compact than the original model, measuring 6" by 7" by 1.5". The streamlining of the design and chipset in the Top Loader made it arguably more reliable than the original NES models, although there was a tradeoff in connectivity and picture quality: the Top Loader offered only RF outputs instead of the RF and RCA (mono) outputs offered on the original, whereas ironically, the AV Family Computer offered RCA connectors only.

All officially licensed North American (NTSC) and European (PAL) cartridges, or "carts", are 5.5" long by 4.1" wide. Originally, NES carts were held together with 5 small, slotted screws. Later games (post-1987) were redesigned slightly to incorporate two plastic clips molded into the plastic itself, eliminating the need for the top two screws. This is why older NES carts are referred to as "5-screw", and are distinguishable by their flat tops and, as the name suggests, five screws instead of three. Around this time, the standard screws were changed to 3.8 mm security screws to further secure the ROMs inside from tampering. The back of the cartridge bears a label with instructions on handling. These labels were gray for standard games and gold (or in rare cases silver) for games that featured battery backup. With the exception of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which were available in gold-plastic carts, all licensed NTSC and PAL cartridges were a standard shade of gray plastic. Unlicensed carts were produced in black (Tengen, American Video Entertainment, and Wisdom Tree), robin egg blue (Color Dreams and Wisdom Tree) and gold (Camerica), and were all slightly different shape and style than a standard NES cart. Nintendo also produced yellow-plastic carts for internal use at Nintendo Service Centers, although these "test carts" were never made available for purchase by consumers.

Japanese (Famicom) cartridges are shaped slightly differently, measuring only 3" in length, but 5.3" in width. While the NES used a 72-pin interface, the Famicom system used a 60-pin design. Some early NES games (most commonly Gyromite) were actually 60-pin Famicom PCBs and ROMs with a built-in converter. Unlike NES games, official Famicom carts were produced in many colors of plastic.

For its central processing unit (CPU), the NES uses an 8-bit microprocessor produced by Ricoh based on a MOS Technology 6502 core. It incorporates custom sound hardware and a restricted DMA controller on-die. NTSC (North America and Japan) versions of the console use the Ricoh 2A03 (or RP2A03), which runs at 1.79 MHz. PAL (Europe and Australia) versions of console utilize the Ricoh 2A07 (or RP2A07), which is identical to the 2A03 save for the fact that it runs at a slower 1.66 MHz clock rate and has its sound hardware adjusted accordingly.

The NES contains 2 KB (2 × 210 bytes) of onboard random access memory (RAM). A game cartridge may contain expanded RAM to increase this amount. The system supports up to 49,128 bytes (nearly 48 KB) for read-only memory (ROM), expanded RAM, and cartridge input/output. The process of bank switching can increase this amount by orders of magnitude.

The NES uses a custom-made picture processing unit (PPU) developed by Ricoh. The version of the processor used in NTSC models of the console, named the RP2C02, operates at 5.37 MHz, while the version used in PAL models, named the RP2C07, operates at 5.32 MHz. Both the RP2C02 and RP2C07 output composite video. Special versions of the NES's hardware designed for use in video arcades use other variations of the PPU. The PlayChoice-10 uses the RP2C03, which runs at 5.37 MHz and outputs RGB video at NTSC frequencies. Two different variations were used for Nintendo Vs. Series hardware: the RP2C04 and the RP2C05. Both of these operate at 5.37 MHz and output RGB video at NTSC frequencies. Additionally, both use irregular palettes to prevent easy ROM swapping of games. All variations of this PPU feature 256 bytes of on-die sprite position / attributable RAM ("OAM") and 28 bytes of on-die palette RAM to allow selection of background and sprite colors. This memory is stored on separate buses internal to the PPU. The console's 2 KB of onboard RAM may be used for tile maps and attributes on the NES board, and 8 KB (8 × 210 bytes) of tile pattern ROM or RAM may be included on a cartridge. Using bank switching, virtually any amount of additional cartridge memory can be used, limited only by manufacturing costs.

The system has an available color palette of 48 colors and 5 grays. Red, green, and blue can be individually darkened at specific screen regions using carefully timed code. Up to 25 colors may be used on one scanline: a background color, four sets of three tile colors, and four sets of three sprite colors. This total does not include color de-emphasis.

A total of 64 sprites may be displayed onscreen at a given time without reloading sprites mid-screen. Sprites may be either 8 pixels by 8 pixels, or 8 pixels by 16 pixels, although the choice must be made globally and it affects all sprites. Up to eight sprites may be present on one scanline, using a flag to indicate when additional sprites are to be dropped. This flag allows the software to rotate sprite priorities, increasing maximum amount of sprites, but typically causing flicker.

The PPU allows only one scrolling layer, though horizontal scrolling can be changed on a per-scanline basis. More advanced programming methods enable the same to be done for vertical scrolling.

The standard display resolution of the NES is 256 horizontal pixels by 240 vertical pixels. Typically, games designed for NTSC-based systems had an effective resolution of only 256 by 224 pixels, as the top and bottom 8 scanlines are not visible on most television sets. For additional video memory bandwidth, it was possible to turn off the screen before the raster reached the very bottom.

Video output connections varied from one model of the console to the next. The original Japanese Famicom featured only radio frequency (RF) modulator output. When the console was released in North America and Europe, support for composite video through RCA connectors was added in addition to the RF modulator( In France,the video output was a SCART with RGB ). The AV Famicom dropped the RF modulator entirely and adopted composite video output via a proprietary 12-pin "multi-out" connector first introduced for the Super Famicom / Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Conversely, the North American re-released NES 2 most closely resembled the original model Famicom, in that it featured RF modulator output only. Finally, the PlayChoice-10 utilized an inverted RGB video output.

The NES board supported a total of five sound channels. These included two pulse wave channels of variable duty cycle (12.5%, 25%, 50% and 75%), with a volume control of sixteen levels, and hardware pitch bending supporting frequencies ranging from 54 Hz to 28 kHz. Additional channels included one fixed-volume triangle wave channel supporting frequencies from 27 Hz to 56 kHz, one sixteen-volume level white noise channel supporting two modes (by adjusting inputs on a linear feedback shift register) at sixteen preprogrammed frequencies, and one differential pulse-code modulation (DPCM) channel with six bits of range, using 1-bit delta encoding at sixteen preprogrammed sample rates from 4.2 kHz to 33.5 kHz. This final channel was also capable of playing standard pulse-code modulation (PCM) sound by writing individual 7-bit values at timed intervals.

The NES Test Station is an NES-based unit designed for testing NES hardware, components, and games. It was provided for use in World of Nintendo boutiques as part of the Nintendo World Class Service program. Visitors were to bring items to test on the station, often with assistance from a technician or store employee.

Nintendo later provided an add-on for testing Super NES components and games, named the Super NES Counter Tester.

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Entertainment Weekly

Cover of Entertainment Weekly issue Volume 1, Number 1, dated February 16, 1990. Featured on the cover is the singer k.d. lang.

Entertainment Weekly (sometimes abbreviated as EW) is a magazine published by Time Inc. in the United States which covers movies, television, music, Broadway stage productions, books, and popular culture. Unlike celebrity-focused publications US Weekly, People, and In Touch Weekly, EW's primary concentration is on entertainment media and critical reviews. Also, unlike Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, which are aimed at industry insiders, EW targets a more general audience. Its original TV advertising soliciting pre-publication subscribers portrayed it as a consumer guide to popular culture ("the post-modern Farmer's Almanac"). The magazine features celebrities on the cover and addresses topics such as TV ratings, movie grosses, production costs, concert ticket sales, ad budgets, and in-depth articles about scheduling, producers, showrunners, etc. The magazine publishes several "double issues" each year (usually in January, May, June and/or August) which are available on newsstands for two weeks; because the magazine numbers its issues sequentially, it counts each double issue as "two" issues so that it can fulfill its marketing claim of 52 issues per year for subscribers.

The first edition of Entertainment Weekly was published in 1990 and featured singer k.d. lang on its cover. The title word "entertainment" was not capitalized on the cover until mid-1992 and has remained so since. By 2003, the magazine's weekly circulation averaged 1,700,000 copies per week. In March 2006, managing editor Rick Tetzeli oversaw an overhaul of EW's graphics and layout to reflect a more modern look. The website (EW.com), under managing editor Cyndi Stivers (creator of TimeOut New York), provides users with daily content, breaking news, blogs, original video programming, entertainment exclusives, and serves as an archive for past magazine interviews, columns, and photos.

Entertainment Weekly follows a typical magazine format by featuring a letters to the editor and table of contents in the first few pages, while also featuring advertisements. While many ads are unrelated to the entertainment industry, the majority of ads are typically related to up-and-coming television, film, or music events.

There are typically four to six major articles within the middle pages of the magazine. These articles are most commonly interviews, but there are also narrative articles as well as lists. Feature articles tend to focus mostly on movies and television and less on books and stage. In the magazine's history, there have only been a few cover stories (John Grisham, Stephen King) devoted to authors. There has never been an EW cover solely devoted to theater.

This is a one-page section highlighting ten things (books, movies, songs, etc.) that the staff loves from the week, it usually features one pick from EW readers.

There are seven sections of reviews in the back pages of each issue (together encompass up to one half of the magazine's pages). In addition to reviews, each reviews section has a top sellers list, as well as numerous sidebars with interviews or small features. Unlike a number of European magazines that give their ratings with a number of stars (with normally 4 or 5 stars for the best review), EW grades the reviews academic-style, so that the highest reviews will get a letter grade of "A" and the lowest reviews get an "F," with plus or minus graduations in between assigned to each letter except F.

Review sections focused on Kids (children's entertainment) and Internet (websites, software, and video gaming), each color-coded in yellow, have been retired.

Chief critic Ken Tucker, color-coded in green, reviews made-for-TV movies and new series, as well as some television specials. There is also a section of sound bites featuring quotes from various television shows. The section also includes the Nielsen ratings for the previous week.

Currently written by Jessica Shaw, features brief one or two sentence reviews of several TV shows on each night of the week, as well as one slightly longer review, usually written by someone else, with a letter grade.

Color-coded in blue, reviews major album releases for the week, divided by genre. There is also typically at least one interview or feature, as well as a section called "Download This," highlighting several singles available for download on the Internet. A chart displaying record sales and airplay for the previous week is also included.

Every year, Entertainment Weekly publishes a number of specialty issues. These issues are often published as double issues (issues given two consecutive weeks as its date). Many times, these features will be so big in length that they replace all other feature articles.

The issue released July 4, 2008 was the magazine's 1,000th issue which includes the Top 100 movies, TV shows, music videos, songs, Broadway shows, and technology of the past 25 years (1983-2008).

As of their 1001st issue, Entertainment Weekly drastically revamped the look, feel and content of the publication; increasing font and picture size, making all columns' word count shorter.

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Source : Wikipedia