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AtariWriter 80 - In Emulation

XEP80 Altirra 2.80 Word Processor 80 Columns

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#26 kheller2 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:06 AM

Yes, well, it wouldn't run at all if Altirra wasn't emulating the XEP80 to at least some extent.
 
I was hoping someone with real hardware would chime in. I take it everything worked fine, aside from the general, relative slowness that the XEP80 driver is known for?


There were certainly screen glitches and bugs that required refreshing the screen but nothing that irked me that much. It's been 20 some years since I last used it. I just recently found the old amber composite monitor. I do remember that I had it hooked up to an A/B switch (to the video out on the Atari itself) and always had to fiddle with the screen size controls to get a good display in 80 mode.

Not much help when it comes to Altirra but when I dig the XEP out again I'll test it.

#27 phaeron OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:39 PM

Altirra's XEP80 emulation should be feature complete for all documented screen commands at this point, and most of the undocumented commands. Printer support is not implemented, however, and I haven't tried to calibrate the speed.

 

Fired up the XEP80 and Atari and I can confirm, AtariWriter 80 has weird line break behavior when scrolling and does the same thing on real hardware that it does in emulation. It's not explained just by a delayed break optimization -- there's something odd about the way it handles scrolling upward.

 

Before:

xep80-1a.jpg

 

After scrolling down and up:

xep80-2a.jpg

 

Ignore the double space... that's just a typo I introduced while taking these shots. Oh, and marvel at the ridiculous overscan.

 



#28 hunmanik OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:12 AM

Like kheller2 I used AW80 as my word processor throughout my college career, and first grad degree too. 

The OP's issues perfectly matched behavior on real hardware, including both the screen refresh weirdness and also the disk access issues. 

The screen refresh behavior, accurately described above, was indeed strange, but entirely predictable, and thus easy to get used to and work around. 

The disk access issues I relate to the challenge of getting AW80 to run under alternate DOS versions.  It wasn't copy-protected, but just finicky about operating under the DOS I wanted to use.  I was eventually able to run it successfully under my SpartaDOS X cartridge.  The number of people who did that was probably extremely small. :)

​Also, I used a dedicated hi-rez 80 column monochrome monitor, so overscan was not an issue.  It looked great.

 

I had tried Micromiser Turboword before moving on to AW80.  Turboword was very interesting, but just too slow and buggy for real work.  AW80 had its quirks for sure, but was solid overall.



#29 GoodByteXL OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:36 AM

 

I was hoping someone with real hardware would chime in. I take it everything worked fine, aside from the general, relative slowness that the XEP80 driver is known for?

 

As far as I'm concerned AW80 was a mess to use.

 

That's why I switched to Micromiser's TurboWord 80 back then running with SD2.3C. AW and AW80 were only used to write letters and such stuff as it was difficult to develop longer documents with it. Mini Office II, AustroText and TurboWord80 were much more capable and versatile, especially for users of other languages than English.

 

I still keep a XEP80 for testing with SDX development. If there is anything special to find out I can set it up during Winter time and dive into.



#30 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:20 PM

bump



#31 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:03 PM

Altirra's XEP80 emulation should be feature complete for all documented screen commands at this point, and most of the undocumented commands. Printer support is not implemented, however, and I haven't tried to calibrate the speed.

 

Fired up the XEP80 and Atari and I can confirm, AtariWriter 80 has weird line break behavior when scrolling and does the same thing on real hardware that it does in emulation. It's not explained just by a delayed break optimization -- there's something odd about the way it handles scrolling upward.

 

Before:

[screenshot1]

 

After scrolling down and up:

[screenshot2]

 

Ignore the double space... that's just a typo I introduced while taking these shots. Oh, and marvel at the ridiculous overscan.

 

Sorry for the (very) late reply; life got really demanding at this time for me, and then I forgot about the whole thing.

 

I appreciate you taking the time to fire up the real McCoy phaeron.

 

One last thing on this regarding Altirra, is that it seems to push the menu off to the far left, even though the title is centered, while in Atari800MacX the menu is centered as well. But, once again, not having real hardware myself for this, should the menu be off to the left like that?

 

Altirra

 

aw80 altirra menu.png

 

 

Atari800MacX (Yes, I noticed the screen looks overly wide here. I have no idea why.)

 

aw80 mac menu.png


Edited by MrFish, Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:04 PM.


#32 phaeron OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:14 AM

That's a bug -- tab stops aren't being inited by master reset.



#33 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 12:28 PM

That's a bug -- tab stops aren't being inited by master reset.

 

Thanks for fixing that. The menu looks fine now.

 

atariwriter80.png

 



#34 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:11 AM

At one time there was a hack to put the faster XEP80 driver in to AW80 and make it work with SpartaDos correctly... and some menu add on as well.... I can not find any of it and am looking for a large box of disks.....   If I can not find it... how hard would it be to re create... and perhaps fix a couple of the little annoyances?  

   I know the Last Word is the bees knees, I was mucking about with Jon and that when it seemed to get fixes in minutes then hours then days then every other day then weeks then every other and so on. :)

 

 That said ...AW 80 and AW in general was great in it's day and certainly deserves the AtariAge fix update treatment.... why not? It's not going to compete with anything but would make going thru all those files created by it a good and wonderful experience. :)


Edited by _The Doctor__, Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:12 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: XEP80, Altirra 2.80, Word Processor, 80 Columns

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