Game development in the days of Yore

The joystick story is really cool. That is insane. And considering the sheer size and quality of the SNK sprites makes it even more awesome.

I tried to find an anecdote i remember from some book. Can't figure out the name of the programmer, but there was a story of an MIT programming god who was able to enter a complete operating system having only two buttons for binary input. He reportedly used to do that without any documentation directly from his head and it had to be error free as he wasn't able to delete code to make corrections, so it had to be done 100% perfect in one go.
@all does anyone know who that was? I think I read it in some linux/unix biography of someone else where they mentioned this...
Doing grid-based sprites using a 4-way joystick sounds like a relatively sensible idea. Back in the 8-bit days I either had to do it using the arrow keys (if using graphics software) or typing in precalculated hex numbers based on pictures drawn on graph paper (if typing them directly into code).

But coding gameboy games using a famicom with a trackball and an on-screen keypad sounds all kinds of crazy. Who programmed the on-screen keypad, if they didn't have a keyboard?