In a round robin scheduling system it is the amount of time that a process
is allowed to run before being interrupted, possibly to switch control to a
different process.

Vector arcade game manufactured by Atari in 1982.

Quantum was designed by General Computer Corp. for Atari as part of a lawsuit settlement for a Missile Command speedup kit to which they affixed their copyright. Quantum was one of the games, the other one being Food Fight.

It was a conversion kit for Space Duel and Gravitar.

Rumour is that about 500 units were sold. The game was never a great success in the arcades.

The game allowed one simultaneous player (with a maximum of two players). The gameplay was original : you had to capture and destroy particles (Electrons, Nuclei, Photons, Positrons, Pulsars, Splitters and Triphons), while avoiding said particles and other obstacles (which, if captured, counted as bonus). To capture, you had to circle the "ennemy" with your probe's tail. It was controlled using a trackball.

Very unique feature : the player who achieved best score of the day got to draw his name (or whatever he wanted to draw, it was not surprising to find offensive stuff in the score table) using the same method of control.

Source :
  • M.A.M.E -
  • K.L.O.V -
  • personal gaming experience

He never plays it, he just rubs it with a diaper.

Quantum is one of those arcade games like I, Robot and Timber. Everybody always talks about how "rare" it is, and how few of them were made. Because of this it is a very expensive game. But it isn't nearly as rare as people make it out to be. The stories say that there were only 500 copies of this game made. Stories like that usually underestimate the number a bit, and several people online own Quantum machines with serial numbers over 500, so there were at least a few more than that.

The problem with "rare" games like that is that everyone knows about them, so they are almost invariably totally restored, never played, and kept in their original condition by someone who has lots of money to spend on "rare" games. Right now there are 24 original dedicated Quantum machines registered at The vast majority of arcades games never get registered there. There are plenty of game owners who don't even use the internet at all, and not even all web-enabled game owners bother to register their games. So, multiply that number by ten to get an idea of how many Quantum machines there really are.

Now 240 copies of a game floating around might make it seem like it is a pretty rare game. But not really. I would venture to say that the vast majority of all arcade titles currently have fewer than 240 examples left. Sure there are a good 10,000 Ms. Pac-Man machines out there (at least), but how many examples of Thief, Shark JAWS, or even Frenzy are still around? Less than 240, I can tell you that. Plenty of other games vanish entirely, simply because no one is looking out for them. Go look around at different websites that show people's personal arcade game collections, and you will see the same 100 or so titles over and over again, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Frogger, Zaxxon, et cetera. Now do the same thing but look for River Patrol, Thief, Clay Pigeon, and Tropical Angel. Chances are good that you won't be finding them. The vast majority of the 2000 or so arcade games from the classic era are unbelievably rare, but no one talks about them, so no one even realizes it. So basically Quantum is just as "rare" as 90 percent of the games out there.

A totally new high-energy video experience from Atari!

The game itself has an interesting concept, similar to Qix. You have to encircle various particles using a trackball controller. The game had some seriously high-tech vector hardware and used a very powerful (for the time) 6 Mhz Motorola 68000 CPU on a 16-bit data bus. This was one of the only vector titles ever made that was capable of producing solid vectors.

The game came in the same cabinet as Space Duel and Gravitar, but it was not a conversion kit. It had totally different art, and was only available in full dedicated cabinet form. Like all vector games, Quantum is very problematic, and monitor failures are very common.

I would have to recommend not getting this one for your arcade game collection. This title usually sells for well over $2000. The people that own this title are generally the same people who own I, Robot, Major Havoc, and all the other "rare" games. This title simply isn't worth the cost of entry. Play it in MAME if you want to try it out.

A Branch of physics

The basic ideas behind quantum physics are Heisenbergs uncertainty priciple and Schrodingers wave equation. Quantum Physics mostly describes the behaviour of very small particles like electrons and atoms. It states that such particles cannot be described by the laws of classical physics (as stated by Isaac Newton). Instead, they are assigned a probability wave, which actually describes the chances of finding that particle in a particular place. The name Quantum is derived from one of the effects described in quantum physics: the quantisation of energy, which means that an amount of energy can´t just be any amount but can only have certain quantities.

Quan"tum (?), n.; pl. Quanta (#). [L., neuter of quantus how great, how much. See Quantity,]


Quantity; amount.

"Without authenticating . . . the quantum of the charges."


2. Math.

A definite portion of a manifoldness, limited by a mark or by a boundary.

W. K. Clifford.

Quantum meruit () [L., as much as he merited] Law, a count in an action grounded on a promise that the defendant would pay to the plaintiff for his service as much as he should deserve. -- Quantum sufficit (), ∨ Quantum suff. <-- abbr. q.s. (pharmacy) -->[L., as much suffices] Med., a sufficient quantity. -- Quantum valebat () [L., as much at it was worth] Law, a count in an action to recover of the defendant, for goods sold, as much as they were worth.



© Webster 1913.

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