The keyboard component has two cartridge slots - one to replace the slot occupied by an intv cart, and one for new keyboard carts (BASIC). MESS supports intv cart dumps in either .rom or .int format and keyboard cart dumps in .bin format. In particular, there are two correspondent devices "cartridge1" (cart1) and "cartridge2" (cart2).
Notice that if you want to use the BASIC cart at startup, you must specify it as the "cart2", even if the first cart slot is unused.
mess intvkbd -cart1 "C:\pathtogame\dummy.rom" -cart2 "C:\pathtogame\basic.bin"
Some tapes require the BASIC cartridge. Keyboard
This system requires full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).
This driver is almost complete, even if the driver is marked as ''NOT WORKING''. The tape drive is not yet supported. Also, there is currently no mapping to the normal Intellivision hand controllers yet, when using the keyboard component.
History and Trivia
The original keyboard component only saw a limited test marketing run of less than one thousand units in late 1981. It was color-keyed to match the original Intellivision, and the entire game console fit into the top of the unit. It sported a full-stroke 60-key keyboard, built in cassette recorder, and brought the total memory capacity of the Intellivision to 64K.
Spurred on by the increasingly popular home computer market, Mattel introduced the Entertainment Computer System (which replaced the original expansion keyboard) along with the INTV II in 1983. This unit plugs into the cartridge port of the INTV II, and has its own
cartridge slot, two additional controller ports, a cassette interface, music keyboard, and a balance dial for controlling the output level of the ECS's three additional voices.
The ECS came packaged with a 49-key chiclet-style keyboard, power supply, and a well-written manual describing INTV BASIC. Upon returning the registration card, users would receive "The Step-By-Step Guide To Home Computing", which included a very detailed BASIC Tutorial, and some more in-depth study of the ECS's abilities. The unit sported an additional voice chip, 10K of ROM and 2K of RAM for programming purposes.