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What's so fantastic about Atari 8 bitters?


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#1 SIO99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:00 PM

I just thought I should ask people here what they think is so fantastic about the Atari 8 bit range all these years after it ceased production, to be replaced by "more advanced" computers.

Unfortunately, I've never owned an Atari 8 bit computer, although it was nearly my first computer, but my Dad (RIP) was lending me the money to buy a computer, then he suddenly got obsessed with the Commodore 64, due to Commodore's business image, compared with Atari's games image and the claim that it had 64K RAM, although it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code. We sold the Commodore 64 after about 10 months, then waiting a few weeks for the Amstrad CPC664 computer to be released. During the end of the period of me being a Commodore 64 owner, I visited lots of shops and used to spend ages typing in BASIC program listings from magazines to test their facilities. There was also a time when I was so frustrated that I nearly went to local Atari specialist Silica Shop to buy an Atari 400, which may have had a keyboard upgrade, and may have been supplied with 100 free programs for the knock down price of either £29.99 or £39.99. Based on what I know now, I wish I had done. I think I'll buy one soon as a kind of therapy to help me forget I ever owned a Commodore 64. The Amstrad CPC range was designed more for science and education, as well as games. It had a built in disk drive, 165 BASIC commands, compared with Atari XL BASIC's 82, but only 27 colours and no sprites or Player Missile Graphics.

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Amstrad_CPC

I've recently been amazed by some Atari 8 bit graphics screens I've seen on another site, which look as if they might have been displayed by an Atari ST or Amiga.

http://gury.atari8.info/pictures.htm

Can anyone tell me what's meant by an "executable" format graphics screen?

Edited by SIO99, Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:03 PM.


#2 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:35 PM

Well, an executable format screen is one where the CPU is needed to display the picture. Ataris can do that stuff, often to great effect! A mode change here, color register stuff there, sprite positioned here, overlap priority / see through there...

There are "stock" graphics that just kind of happen with a minimum of CPU intervention after setup. On Ataris, there is always some setup with the display list, etc...

There are "not-stock" graphics that are possible, and that require the CPU to do stuff to make the display continue to happen beyond the setup actions always required. That's executable format in simple terms.

Some stuff I think is awesome:

1. I really liked Atari Basic. It was a non-Microsoft variant, and it could do some great tricks! One of those was boolean operators in expressions:

50 x = x + ((Y < 50)*5)

Y is compared to 50, and if less, the expression evaluates to "1", which is "true", which is then multiplied by 5, finally the product of that was added to x.

30 IF (y < 50) THEN X = X + 5

That's basically the same thing, done in ordinary BASIC terms.

Atari BASIC utilized a variable location table, meaning strings could be mapped to the display memory. One could do scrolling with a simple A$(40) = B$ kind of thing, where the index into one string was one row off, producing the scroll. This could be used to move PM graphics too, as they had no vertical positioning capability otherwise. I made big use of the string trick early on, the best example would have been a BREAKOUT game with scrolling bricks...

2. The SIO system, is basically device independent I/O. The authors of the Atari ROM did very well, packing in a lot of nice functionality into a small space. Some advanced concepts in there still seeing extension and use today.

3. Some of the case designs. I have kept an Atari 400 around just for that reason. I know the keyboard is basically impractical, but the machine just looks so damn cool otherwise! I really liked the XL series too, the 800 XL my personal favorite.

4. Games! Each machine has these, and they all have a texture that comes from the hardware. Ataris are no different. Since I grew up with a VCS, the Atari computers follow with the same kind of awesomeness. YMMV, of course, depending on what you had and where you live.

5. Colors. How the Atari computers generated color really appeals to me. It's got it's limits, compared to other machines with a better color signal, but I gotta say I just like 'em. At the time, features like color redirection were pretty high end things.

6. The hardware story. Atari computers have a very interesting hardware combination. Over the years a lot has been done, discovered, hacked, etc... They are fun machines to follow. Many 8 bitters are. The POKEY, ANTIC, GTIA, PIA is a fun hardware playground with a lot of interesting features, and it's very flexible. Atari computers could more or less damn near fill an entire video frame. One of the few 8-bitters that can do wide-screen display, for example. Tons of info here, and I think it's all just awesome compared to simpler machines. There are trade-offs for that though. Always is.

7. Controllers. To me, this is one of the most awesome things, because the Atari computers got all the fun VCS controllers. So a person could get real paddles, analog joysticks (if desired and programmed for as the home computer line never saw an analog control, but the game console 5200 did, but still...), trac-balls, mouse, keyboard, joystick, rotary driving controller, etc...

Today, I think these are fun to program for. Lots of varied input options.

8. I/O, particularly on the 400/800. The controller ports were bi-directional. As a kid, I utilized this to do basic electronics stuff, controlling things with the old 400, using the higher numbered ports to interface with other things. The controller buttons are latched too, allowing for detection of input even when the CPU misses it's polling window. Simple stuff, but well engineered and very useful.

9. For me, MAC/65 cartridge assembler. While it was an add-on, it was a good one. Powerful, fast, etc...

Edited by potatohead, Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:00 PM.


#3 deathtrappomegranate OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:10 PM

Silica Shop was a fantastic place.

If I'd seen those £30 deals on Atari computers, I'd have bought several!

I always wanted an Atari 8-bit back then, but could only afford a Spectrum. Managed to clock up quite a few hours programming Ataris in the shops, though, much like you.

#4 mimo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:29 PM

For me, the games still draw me in, sure they are simple in respect to sound and graphics, but the gameplay is what it's all about for me. I have a barely used PS3 and xbox 360, ok, the graphics and sound are stunning, but the game play is either boring, or you have to dedicate so much time to learn the games mechanics a divorce would be on the cards.
Also, I enjoy the collecting aspect, as well as the cool hardware mods for using SD cards etc etc.
Some of the new games that are being released now are stunning, Yoomp, Bomb Jack, Space Harrier etc etc.

Silica shop was a great place, I was fortunate enough for my parents to look at all the home computers available on the market, and pick out the Atari 400 as the replacement for our beloved zx81 (I'm kidding, it was horrible even with 16k!!) Actually, I think my mum fell in love with Preppie! when it was being demo'd at Silica shop
I really felt sorry for my mates that had to put up with Spectrums and C64s :grin:
Oh, and if you want a comparison, try running Drop Zone on a 64 and an XL side by side :twisted:

#5 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:01 PM

Preppie! Wasn't that the Frogger clone?

#6 olavese@online.no OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:02 PM

There's just something about it ... I fell totally in love when I saw an 800 running Star Raiders ... Awesome game. Never played anything as good on any other computer. If you check out Rescue on Fractalus on the C64 and the Atari 800XL, see the speed difference. The opening tunnel sequence is also better, due to the shades the Atari uses. Ballblazer is also a great example, I played the Atari ST version, but it's not even close to the feel of the Atari 8-bit version. I wish the Atari was standard with the VBXE board, that would have rocked in 1979 :-)

#7 Tinman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:05 PM

@potatohead -- Fantastic response. Well said, sir. :)

@olavese@online.no -- I was the same way with Star Raiders! Never before or since has a video game hooked me like that. It remains my all-time favorite video game on any platform anywhere.

#8 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:14 PM

Agreed. I played Star Raiders all the time on my Atari 400 back in the day. Now I play it on my XEGS. I use to play Final Legacy, Millipede and Zork series alot. The Atari 400 and A.N.A.L.O.G Computing magazine taught me to program. I could do some amazing things with Atari Basic and Action.

#9 deathtrappomegranate OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:22 PM

Star Raiders was the "killer app" for the A8 in the early days.

I remember seeing the amazement on customers' faces when they walked into shops and saw it running. If the 400/800 prices had been competitive (which they certainly weren't in the UK), they would have flown out of the doors.

The closeness of the A8 games to the arcade machines of the time was a big draw, as was the fact that many titles were available on cartridge, a much more reliable format than the magnetic media of the time.

#10 AtariNerd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:51 PM

My first computer from "back in the day" was a C64 (when it dropped in price in its mid-life and the performance for dollar finally gave justification to it being more than a game machine and shifted my parents hand and they gave in to my request for a computer. :) but the hacker culture and tales from the late 70s/early 80s from the Apple and Atari camps and what they could do (and still do) always fascinates me, It was a different time for the hobbiest, before the arcades really took off. Admittedly, probably part of what made me seek out Atari computers later in my life, was that I owned an Atari 2600 prior to the C64 and seeing subsequint systems come out with flashier graphics, but game-play that didn't seem to offer much more that cemented some justification bias and curiosity.

#11 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:17 PM

...due to Commodore's business image, compared with Atari's games image and the claim that it had 64K RAM, although it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code.


Seasoned machine code programmers can get at around 63K for machine code. That 39K has erroneously been mentioned many times in the past, but even a novice coder gets $0801 to $9fff and $c000 to $cfff (one byte short of 42K) and all it takes is lda #$36 / sta $01 to bank out the BASIC ROM not being used from machine code to free RAM at $a000 to $bfff as well, giving one byte shy of 58K. The Amstrad CPC664 you mentioned owning has a 16K screen RAM, that only leaves 48K before the stack and other system overheads are taken off.

Sorry, i've seen that myth quite a few times on teh interwebs lately so everyone'll have to excuse me if i correct it... sorry, back to the topic. =-)

I just thought I should ask people here what they think is so fantastic about the Atari 8 bit range all these years after it ceased production, to be replaced by "more advanced" computers.


Well obviously there's a very respectable catalogue of games including some truly seminal classics there. i'm a lover of scrolling shoot 'em ups so stuff like Laser Gates, Humanoid, Kult, Matta Blatta or Zybex (amongst others) have all been responsible for lost sleep and joystick wear and tear over the years, but i'm not adverse to a game of Bruce Lee or a straight run through Last V8 either, i've finished Mercenary two different ways, must be painfully close to completing Elektraglide and as for some of the excellent recent homebrew releases like Bomb Jake, just about anything xxl touches or the almighty Space Harrier... as well as some jaw-dropping demos.

But for me personally, the big attraction for any 8-bit is what it has "under the hood" and the A8 has a 6502 (my preferred 8-bit CPU) with a decent amount of grunt, a video system that's almost begging people to do strange things just to see what happens, a good sized memory with efficient screen modes not wanting to steal lots of it, hardware sprites... from my perspective there's tons to like and even more if you fancy playing with things like VBXE, the various sound solutions and large wedges of extra RAM... which at some point i'd like to.

That's why i have bursts of coding A8 stuff to this day and still have my original 800XL from the mid 1980s - sadly it's poorly, but i've got a good idea why and plans to make it better and, until then, my other 800XL (from eBay a couple of years ago) has to soldier on alone!

#12 kenjennings ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:52 PM


...due to Commodore's business image, compared with Atari's games image and the claim that it had 64K RAM, although it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code.


Seasoned machine code programmers can get at around . . .


Most users and purchasers were not seasoned coders. "64K" was just marketing spin, as if the world didn't know about the 16-bit address limit of the 6502 before Commodore came along. (or bank switching for that fact.) The majority would enjoy the user-friendliness of a non-autobooting, "64K" system that gave them 38,911 bytes of memory to work with and required typing Load "*", 8, 1 to boot/run non-BASIC software. Shades of... 1978.

#13 kenjennings ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:12 PM

Mostly, I'd just "Ditto" potatohead's list.

The first "computer" was a 2600 with the basic cartridge and keypads. I exhausted the possibilities of it over a weekend, and decided to get a computer.

I would have ended up with an Apple, but in Dec 1979 saw an Atari 800 running a demo in the window of a computer store in the mall. They still wanted to sell only the Apple and had to be forced to let me leave with the 800.

Games were definitely one of the best parts. As Atari was the big name in arcades, and had agreements with other companies the Atari 8-bits got the best arcade ports and usually got them first (and sometimes were the only ports.)

What I liked is that without machine language a person using BASIC could produce some decent graphics and games. Mixing graphics modes requires only building a display list, and the the display runs itself.

I'd list the top games on the ride with Atari 8-bits as: Star Raiders, Rescue on Fractalus, Shamus, Defender, Pac Man, Donkey Kong. (Ballblazer was more of a interactive demo than a game, wasn't it? ;-) This list is going to get long, so I'll stop here with the favorite "game" I picked up later on: Mac/65 ;-)

#14 SIO99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:21 PM


...due to Commodore's business image, compared with Atari's games image and the claim that it had 64K RAM, although it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code.


Seasoned machine code programmers can get at around 63K for machine code. That 39K has erroneously been mentioned many times in the past, but even a novice coder gets $0801 to $9fff and $c000 to $cfff (one byte short of 42K) and all it takes is lda #$36 / sta $01 to bank out the BASIC ROM not being used from machine code to free RAM at $a000 to $bfff as well, giving one byte shy of 58K. The Amstrad CPC664 you mentioned owning has a 16K screen RAM, that only leaves 48K before the stack and other system overheads are taken off.

Sorry, i've seen that myth quite a few times on teh interwebs lately so everyone'll have to excuse me if i correct it... sorry, back to the topic. =-)

I just thought I should ask people here what they think is so fantastic about the Atari 8 bit range all these years after it ceased production, to be replaced by "more advanced" computers.


Well obviously there's a very respectable catalogue of games including some truly seminal classics there. i'm a lover of scrolling shoot 'em ups so stuff like Laser Gates, Humanoid, Kult, Matta Blatta or Zybex (amongst others) have all been responsible for lost sleep and joystick wear and tear over the years, but i'm not adverse to a game of Bruce Lee or a straight run through Last V8 either, i've finished Mercenary two different ways, must be painfully close to completing Elektraglide and as for some of the excellent recent homebrew releases like Bomb Jake, just about anything xxl touches or the almighty Space Harrier... as well as some jaw-dropping demos.

But for me personally, the big attraction for any 8-bit is what it has "under the hood" and the A8 has a 6502 (my preferred 8-bit CPU) with a decent amount of grunt, a video system that's almost begging people to do strange things just to see what happens, a good sized memory with efficient screen modes not wanting to steal lots of it, hardware sprites... from my perspective there's tons to like and even more if you fancy playing with things like VBXE, the various sound solutions and large wedges of extra RAM... which at some point i'd like to.

That's why i have bursts of coding A8 stuff to this day and still have my original 800XL from the mid 1980s - sadly it's poorly, but i've got a good idea why and plans to make it better and, until then, my other 800XL (from eBay a couple of years ago) has to soldier on alone!


Are you a double agent from Commodore? This is the first time I've heard of any claim of accessing anything like 63K RAM on a Commodore 64. I could try and sum up what a certain magazine said. They claimed that the Commodore 64 actually had 64K of RAM, but it was impossible to access it all, due to the fact that the CPU could only see 64K at any one time, so some of the memory map had to be assigned to various chips, which overlaid the RAM, preventing it from being used. The 8K Kernal ROM could be switched out, but then the Commodore 64 wouldn't work unless you provided an alternative operating system to replace it. The character set and Input/output ROMs could be switched out, but then it would be impossible to input anything from the keyboard or output it to the screen. You could turn off the 8K BASIC interpreter ROM, though. I've seen memory maps for other computers, including the Spectrum, Tandy/Dragon, BBC Micro/Electron and even the Commodore VIC-20, but none of them have the same arrangement or problem as the Commodore 64. The Sinclair Spectrum 48K had more RAM free to BASIC than the Commodore 64! I was confused about why MSX computers only had 28K free to BASIC, whether they were 32K or 64K models, but at least they had a separate 16K screen RAM.

I can't help wondering how or why anyone managed to learn to program a Commodore 64 in Assembly Language. After I found out I couldn't even go into graphics mode and clear the screen without numerous PEEKs and POKEs, I couldn't wait to get rid of it! The Commodore 64 only had 3 display modes, text, 320x200 with 4 colours, and 160x200 with 16 colours. Of course, not all these colours could appear wherever you wanted them to. My theory is that various people learnt 6502 Assembly Language on the Ataris and were somehow persuaded to transfer these skills onto the Commodore 64.

Edited by SIO99, Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:44 PM.


#15 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:26 PM



...due to Commodore's business image, compared with Atari's games image and the claim that it had 64K RAM, although it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code.


Seasoned machine code programmers can get at around . . .


Most users and purchasers were not seasoned coders. "64K" was just marketing spin, as if the world didn't know about the 16-bit address limit of the 6502 before Commodore came along. (or bank switching for that fact.) The majority would enjoy the user-friendliness of a non-autobooting, "64K" system that gave them 38,911 bytes of memory to work with and required typing Load "*", 8, 1 to boot/run non-BASIC software. Shades of... 1978.


To be totally fair, you didn't get 48K free with an 800 or 64K free with the 1200XL. Cartridges displaced system RAM and the OS, of course, needed some of it. What's the real metric of RAM size? How much you get in BASIC, or how much you can get to if you take control of the system?

#16 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:28 PM

I deffo should have put "Star Raiders" on my list. It's still awesome. The slowdowns and overall feel of it just works. Timeless, IMHO.

"Ballblazer" was amazing for the time. When I got hold of that one, it did have that "demo turned game" feel, but it actually was a game! Great one. Also at that time, I was doing a fair amount of gaming on the Apple ][, preferring it for text adventures and "Ultima" type games that favored it's high-res display. "Star Raiders" was just great, and the reason I wanted an Atari computer. "Ballblazer" made a lot of Atari converts that year. We played the crap out of that thing! I think it's still awesome too. Not quite as timeless as "Star Raiders" happens to be, but still a great overall experience that highlights some very good machine attributes.

On that note, if Roland gets it going on the VCS? Holy crap!

#17 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:32 PM

Re: RAM

Deffo the metric is how much do you get when you take control of the system. An alternative OS can be a very small bit of code, and is, when some program owns the machine, like for a demo, or intense game.

Those magazines need to be taken in context. Often the free bytes in BASIC mattered, because people actually wrote programs that did stuff! For gaming and such, the BASIC free, with ROM, without, cart in, cart out, were all different scenarios, and there the max number matters far more than any other one does or did then.

Edit: Oh, and key click. :) Still like it, and when I run something that does it on a modern system, my co-workers generally go as nuts as they will viewing white on blue text! (all my system terminals, regardless of OS, run white on blue, and I've been tempted more than once to get the Atari font mapped over for a proper viewing.)

Edited by potatohead, Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:42 PM.


#18 kenjennings ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:46 PM

To be totally fair, you didn't get 48K free with an 800 or 64K free with the 1200XL. Cartridges displaced system RAM and the OS, of course, needed some of it.


Right, and that's the point. The C64 was marketed heavily based on its alleged 64K capacity which was unavailable to the casual (non machine-language programming) user.
In the end, an Atari 800 with only 40K RAM and the C64 with "64K" have roughly the same amount of memory when BASIC is running.

#19 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:53 PM

But it was!

If they were to run games, for example, having 64K in the box meant not worrying about expansions, and it meant not having to wonder if a game was targeted for the lower common denominator. Most people came to understand what those things meant fairly quickly, meaning the marketing was significant beyond, "ours has more" which was a factor for sure.

On other platforms, one would see "128K Apple //e", "48K Atari 400/800", etc... It was notable that games targeted for C64, simply said, "C64", instead of "Expanded VIC 20", etc...

Early on, machines had varying amounts of RAM. IMHO, this didn't last too long, as more machines were stacked and shipped full, but it did happen, and that had some impact.

#20 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:56 PM

To be fair, the 64K claim is genuine, the 64K Ataris are in fact 62K since it's impossible to access the 2K under I/O on a standard machine.

Even for so-called novices, you can still use most of the 64K on a C64 - writes to Rom go through to the underlying Ram so you can use the 8K under Basic for sprites.

To say that it's a surprise anyone bothered developing for a given machine because you needed to resort to Assembler to get anything decent done is ridiculous. That was the case even well into the 16-bit era. Sure, it was possible to do commercial quality games in higher level languages like Action or C, but the best software typically always had a large Assembly component.

#21 littleman jack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:48 PM

Another impressive thing about the 8-bit Atari computers is their video signal. The 400 and 800 are all I know, and they both send out and display a powerful, clear, vivid picture. I love my 2600, but its video signal is weak and sometimes fuzzy (interference). The 8-bit computers are positively modern, even with an rf connection on an old tv. Strong, clear, and great colors.

#22 SIO99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:15 PM

To be fair, the 64K claim is genuine, the 64K Ataris are in fact 62K since it's impossible to access the 2K under I/O on a standard machine.

Even for so-called novices, you can still use most of the 64K on a C64 - writes to Rom go through to the underlying Ram so you can use the 8K under Basic for sprites.

To say that it's a surprise anyone bothered developing for a given machine because you needed to resort to Assembler to get anything decent done is ridiculous. That was the case even well into the 16-bit era. Sure, it was possible to do commercial quality games in higher level languages like Action or C, but the best software typically always had a large Assembly component.


What I meant by my comment about having to use Assembly Language to do anything is like this. I bought a computer because I wanted to learn how to program computers. I thought all computers were roughly the same as each other, or not that different. Why would I want to learn Assembly Language on the Commodore 64 before I could do simple things such as display a graphics screen and draw a line across it when other computers had commands such as GRAPHICS n, or MODE n, POSITION x,y, or MOVE (x.y), and DRAWTO x,y, or DRAW (x,y)?! There was no point using an extended BASIC, because they were Copyright with no runtime version, so there was no market for programs in an extended BASIC. I realised I needed to get rid of the Commodore 64, then do these things in BASIC before progressing to Assembly Language. I never studied 6502 Assembly Language until recently, only Z80 and 68000. I now see that it's more simple than Z80 Assembly Language, but I studied a Z80 Assembler course which criticised the 6502 for having so few registers.

#23 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:19 AM



...due to Commodore's business image, compared with Atari's games image and the claim that it had 64K RAM, although it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code.


Seasoned machine code programmers can get at around . . .


Most users and purchasers were not seasoned coders. "64K" was just marketing spin


That's irrelevant in the context that's being discussed, the statement made was "it turned out there was no way of using more than 38K under BASIC and about 38-39K using Machine Code" and the latter is wrong. Nothing to do with users and purchasers, a "fact" about how much memory is available was stated and, as i pointed out, even for a novice coder who hasn't read about disabling ROMs it's a byte shy 42K.

#24 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:42 AM

my 2 cents:

- Basic and it's graphics possibilities (coming from VIC that was the first thing I discovered in the shops)
- build in Selftest (2nd thing I have seen in the shops... TV sets playing the POKEY test all the time... and I became "Master of the Universe" because I knew to type "BYE" in to start the Selftest

Games:

- Joust+Donkey Kong (first played on a mate's 600xl on Cart) and I thought they kick ass
- Star Raiders, too (but I was more into Star Master on the 2600)

Programming:

- Antic mainly and the versatile possibility to mix gfx modes
- Full-screen abilities (reminded me on my VIC that I have the power to customise screenlayout, btw. why was this feature left out on the VIC-II?)
- DLIs & WSYNC (who loughed at flickering raster lines on the c64 and ST)
- HSCROL/SOFTSCROLL possibilities in combination with Display Lists are a dream for coders
...

#25 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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    Stargunner

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  • Location:Kingston Upon Thames, UK

Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:58 AM

They have their own unique quirks and unique ways of doing things, from the very basics to the complex trickery - and that comes through into the games and software that is produced to give it a unique feeling. It's not just limited to the Atari though - the C64, the spectrum, the BBC, the Amstrad CPC, and all the others have a bit of personality in that respect. So do the Amiga, Archimedes and ST.

It's not something that's solely limited to the Atari, more the fact that the only place you *don't* find it is the PC.

On the c64 front I'm sure that 65533/65535 bytes of RAM are usable if you think around things a bit (like not putting your music player in the same memory space as the SID chip). If you stick to the logic that a C64 only has 38K then the same logic dictates there's no such thing as a 128k Atari.

Edited by sack-c0s, Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:03 AM.





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