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YouTuber finds a functional WorkBoy, a Game Boy PDA accessory lost for three decades


#In context: #After the #Game #Boy launched in 1998, it accumulated several accessories. A few were somewhat sensible, like attachable screen magnifiers. #Others were not so practical such as the #Game #Boy #Printer. #The #Work#Boy is arguably the most useful (and most rare) device ever created for the handheld.

#Gaming historian #Liam #Robertson has uncovered a never-released accessory for the #Nintendo #Game #Boy that can turn the handheld gaming console into a full-fledged PDA. #Robertson unveiled the peripheral, thought lost for the last 28 years, on a recent episode of his #You#Tube series “#Game #History #Secrets” (below).

#The accessory, dubbed #Work#Boy, is a simple keyboard that connects to the #Game #Boy via a #Link #Cable. #Work#Boy has several productivity apps built-in, including an address book, calculator, database, appointment book, world clock, calendar, and more. #In fact, there are 12 apps in total.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZcrPM-j#DqY

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#Designed by UK company #Source #Research and #Development, #Work#Boy was trademarked in 1992, with #Washington startup #Fabtek #Inc commissioned to manufacture the device. #Both companies are now defunct. #The peripheral was featured in several 1990s gaming publications and even made an appearance at CES 1992. #However, not long after that, it completely vanished, never to be heard from again.

#After months of digging, #Robertson tracked down #Source #Research and #Development founder #Eddie #Gill. #Gill was also the primary designer behind the device. #Gill said that the #Work#Boy was slated to release in late 1992 or early 1993 for around $80 or $90. #However, various issues prevented #Work#Boy from ever reaching production.

#There are only two prototypes of the ultra-rare #Game #Boy peripheral in existence to #Gill’s knowledge—one is most likely held somewhere by #Nintendo, and #Fabtek founder #Frank #Ballouz owns the other. #Nintendo was not likely to be forthcoming with information on an unreleased product, so #Robertson contacted #Ballouz.

#Ballouz generously agreed to send the #Work#Boy prototype to #Robertson to see if he could get it working. #Robertson connected the device to several first-generation #Game #Boys but could not get it to work. #Although #Ballouz did not recall it needing separate software, they determined that it must have run off a cartridge inserted into the #Game #Boy.

#In a stroke of luck, #Robertson was able to find the exact ROM that he needed to get the #Work#Boy running. #The code just happened to be contained in that #Nintendo “#Gigaleak” earlier this year. #Robertson flashed the software to a blank ROM cartridge, and sure enough, the #Work#Boy came to life and worked flawlessly.

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#Robertson cited a D-RAM shortage caused by an explosion at a foundry in #Japan as the primary cause for the #Work#Boy never going into production. #It was also considered too expensive for a peripheral, costing just as much as the #Game #Boy itself. #However, the device’s design subsequently inspired other gadgets such as the #Nokia 9000 series. #And of course, modern smartphones now come standard with everything that the #Work#Boy offered.



[ source link ]
https://www.techspot.com/news/88096-youtuber-finds-functional-workboy-game-boy-pda-accessory.html

##You#Tuber #finds #functional ##Work#Boy ##Game ##Boy #PDA #accessory #lost #decades

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