What could you expect from two Cornell students studying at the cutting edge of technology? A retro game built using the oldest resources available sounds about right. Oscilloscope PONG is an innovative approach to building PONG by two poor college students who can't afford an LCD screen. It combines the simple elegance of an analog oscilloscope, the joy of the first video game ever made, and intelligent use of resources to build a fully functional game.

Why PONG?: We had come across a variety of ideas for our final project, among them were a Markov music machine, simon, a digital xylophone, arkanoid, and others. As you can see, one of the people in our group (Levy) can not escape from his world of music, while the other (Bala) can not escape his own (lack of) maturity and desire to play games. In the end, we decided on PONG-- mostly because Bala can be very very stubborn =) The game was made extremely interesting with the addition of the oscilloscope. To be honest, neither of us knew the realm of possibilities with this device, and were excited to use this common tool in a new and exhilerating way. We knew that the game would give us challenges with regards to programming, knowledge of microcontrollers, analog signals, and hardware engineering so that we can cleverly interact with the analog scope.
The Game: Well, if you don't know what PONG is by now, I would welcome you to leave your humble home under the rock and enjoy life. PONG was actually the first video game. Although the original idea for games began in 1958 by Willy Higinbotham, Atari was the first to build and market the system, with PONG in 1972. It is a simple game with two paddles and a ball. The two paddles are situated at the 2 side edges of of the screen, while the ball moves back and forth. The object is to hit the ball past the other players paddle. The full PONG story (slow and unreliable link-- but well worth the trouble) is actually far more complicated than I could ever do justice though.
Instructions: 'Avoid missing ball for high score'-- those were the original instructions for the the first PONG console, and not much has changed. Simply turn your variable resistor to move your paddle in front of the ball. To start the game, or continue it when a point is scored, hit button 3 before striking the ball. To start a new game or reset the game after a point has been scored, hit button 3 and 4 together.