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Real Hardware & Emulation

Atari 8-Bit Computer Hardware Emulation

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Poll: Real Hardware & Emulation (79 member(s) have cast votes)

What type of Atari 8-Bit hardware do you own?

  1. PAL (23 votes [29.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.11%

  2. NTSC (37 votes [46.84%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.84%

  3. Hybrid (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. NTSC & PAL (12 votes [15.19%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.19%

  5. NTSC & Hybrid (2 votes [2.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.53%

  6. PAL & Hybrid (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. NTSC, PAL, & Hybrid (4 votes [5.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.06%

  8. None (1 votes [1.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.27%

Where is your hardware?

  1. Some or all of it is set up to use (66 votes [83.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 83.54%

  2. All of it is in storage (12 votes [15.19%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.19%

  3. I don't own any (1 votes [1.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.27%

How do you play Atari?

  1. Real Hardware Only (15 votes [18.99%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.99%

  2. Mostly Real Hardware & Some Emulation (32 votes [40.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.51%

  3. Emulation Only (7 votes [8.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.86%

  4. Mostly Emulation & Some Real Hardware (25 votes [31.65%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.65%

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#1 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:05 PM

I know we've had some topics discussing this off and on, but let's get some numbers up on the board.

I know I left out SECAM; sorry, it would have made for a bewildering combination of choices.

 

My personal path was as follows:

1. Real hardware only, BITD

2. Emulation only, once emulation was good enough to make it worth while. For me, that meant Atari800WinPLus

in around 2004/2005. I didn't own any real hardware until about 2008.

3. Mostly emulation, with some real hardware, since 2008 until now.

 

My real hardware setup is right next to me when I'm at my PC. They share the same audio connection via a compact

Behringer mixing board (which sounds fantastic), and my SIO2PC is always ready to go. I use real hardware quite a

bit at times, but I always have and most likely always will use emulation more because of the speed and convenience

of having it on my PC. I spend a lot of time using my PC, mainly for Atari-related activities also (aside from emulation).

So most of my computing is directed towards Atari 8-bit computer related use and production.

 

I love my real hardware and CRT though. I consider them a necessity for testing. Emulation -- as good as it is --

still isn't there in areas that I consider important. I'll get on kicks of using it almost exclusively for a day or so. Gaming

is great on it, and there's nothing like it. My real setup is also fast and convenient, just not as fast and convenient as

emulation.

 

 



#2 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:16 PM

Damn - I messed up my vote for question #1 (thought it was multi-select).  I have PAL&NTSC.



#3 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:16 PM

I'm the same way. My Atari desk sits next to my PC desk, and I play everything on real hardware. I use either an Ultimate or Side2 cart, or an SIO2SD. Occasionally I'll use an SIO2PC cable connected to the PC to run disk software. 

 

Emulation is great, I have no problems with it, but it's not the same for me. I prefer the feel of the real deal. 



#4 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:21 PM

My 800XL is set up in my basement, connected to a Magnavox RGB 40 monitor, same type of monitor that'd likely have been used with this computer back in the day.

 

I do use an SIO2SD for my storage, though, so technically that's using emulation.

 

I don't do a lot of emulation on my computer, but I do sometimes when I just want to test something out real quick, or if somebody says "you should try this game" or something and I want to see if it's worth bothering with.



#5 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:23 PM

Damn - I messed up my vote for question #1 (thought it was multi-select).  I have PAL&NTSC.

 

Well, at least it's half-right.

 

I was going to make it multi-select, but I decided to go with mutually exclusive in order to

separate out those who use different combinations of setups. That specific data would

otherwise be lost with multi-select.



#6 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:28 PM

I do use an SIO2SD for my storage, though, so technically that's using emulation.

 

Correct. To be more specific, I mean emulation of the computer itself. Peripherals is another subject,

which can be covered in another poll. In fact, I already had it in mind.



#7 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:48 PM

I'm the same way. My Atari desk sits next to my PC desk...

 

My setup is actually on a small stand that sits just to the left of the chair for my PC desk. So I need only turn to

the side in order to access everything.

 

 

I'm the same way. My Atari desk sits next to my PC desk, and I play everything on real hardware. I use either an Ultimate or Side2 cart, or an SIO2SD. Occasionally I'll use an SIO2PC cable connected to the PC to run disk software. 

 

Emulation is great, I have no problems with it, but it's not the same for me. I prefer the feel of the real deal. 

 

I salute you for going 100% hardware. Without currently owning PAL hardware it's nearly impossible for me.

There's too much good PAL only software to abandon it for the sake of using real hardware only.

 

The real thing is great, and I'd never be without it or stop using it. There are some nice advantages to emulation,

though; particularly in the arena of the multitude of peripherals and setups, when Altirra is the emulator. I will say,

though, that I rarely spend much time utilizing more than just a few of the peripherals. The "H:" and "P:" devices

are probably 2 of the best things, which can be had in any emulator. Emulation does make testing out various

combos a breeze, and it has a great debugger.


Edited by MrFish, Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:51 PM.


#8 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:18 PM

Okay, three of my five Ataris (800XL, PAL) are setup so that you can use them right away. (Just turn a power-switch to "on" and all devices power-on, TV+Atari+Floppy and the floppy drive even boots without a disk, since it has built-in software.)

 

I have two computer rooms, each has a PC and one Atari sitting next to it (to the left). There is also a third Atari which is connected to the PC via SIO2PC. The remaining two Ataris are in a shelf, bought as  replacements, in case one of the other Ataris gets defective...

 

Most of the time (90-95%) I use real Ataris, but for some small+fast tests, screenshots (or rarely used savestates) I also use Atari 800 Win from time to time...

 

There are twelve quite big 5,25" diskette housings (would not call them boxes, housings or garages are terms that fit better for them) under the Ataris, but none of them contains diskettes. Instead they are filled with cartridges, each housing/garage has space for two rows of carts with up to 2x 13 carts afaik. (Not all of them are full, think I have approx. 200 carts atm., only a few rare carts, some protos and several homebrews, as well as several selfmade carts. and/or flash-carts. e.g. 2x Ultimate-Cart.)

 

The shelf also contains 2x SIO2SD (built-in into two defective 1010 devices, half of the 1010 pcb has been re-used and thus the two SIO connectors are still available and fully functional), 2x SIO2SD/PC-micro, 2x SIO2USB (yes Mathy, SIO2USB by Abbuc-RAF!) and 2x IDE+/IDE-2 Rev. E (not used yet, they are PBI devices but the pcb is so small, they fit into polish cart-shells). But these SIO2xxx devices are not often used, the IDE devices (as mentioned) have not been used at all, since I still prefer the floppy drives, of which I have 4x 1050 with mini-Speedy, 2x XF551 with 5,25" Mitsumi drive and Hyper-XF-OS, 2x XF with 3,5" Teac drive and Hyper-XF-OS.There are also two Midi devices which I have not used yet, a patched SIO cable which is rarely used with the multilink/gamelink-2 networking games and various controllers (joysticks, paddles, mice, a Best trackball, a TAFC, a lightpen, etc.).


Edited by CharlieChaplin, Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:27 PM.


#9 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:32 PM

Sound like some nice setups. Take some pictures and post if you feel like it. It'd be nice to check out.



#10 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:24 PM

Sound like some nice setups. Take some pictures and post if you feel like it. It'd be nice to check out.

Things are dusty and in disarray.  Maybe this weekend.



#11 1050 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:48 PM

I want to do real hardware, issue is my workbench is
a dumping ground and I can't get at machine socketing
my trusty Newell 1 meg in a manner that will work
well for an extended time. So I chose mostly real
hardware and some emulation when that's not how it
really is today. Today it's only emulation. I remain
ever hopeful I'll be able to revert to my old ways
someday.

#12 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:38 PM

Things are dusty and in disarray.  Maybe this weekend.

 

Actually, I was talking specifically to CharlieChaplin; but of course I'm interested in seeing any setups people want to post pictures of.



#13 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:42 PM

I want to do real hardware, issue is my workbench is
a dumping ground and I can't get at machine socketing
my trusty Newell 1 meg in a manner that will work
well for an extended time. So I chose mostly real
hardware and some emulation when that's not how it
really is today. Today it's only emulation. I remain
ever hopeful I'll be able to revert to my old ways
someday.

 

No problem. We'll just call it an average over the last 15 years, or whatever, for you.



#14 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:08 PM

Also of relevance here is emulation by dedicated hardware like RasPi, Arduino or other.

 

I don't have much interest in something that just does emulation but doesn't allow plugging in legacy peripherals or carts.

I would prefer proper emulation such as a CPU that can run at native speed and if it's a CPLD or similar then fine.  But so long as I could plug in something like an IDE +2 and still be able to run it.


Edited by Rybags, Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:09 PM.


#15 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 PM

Also of relevance here is emulation by dedicated hardware like RasPi, Arduino or other.

 

I don't have much interest in something that just does emulation but doesn't allow plugging in legacy peripherals or carts.

I would prefer proper emulation such as a CPU that can run at native speed and if it's a CPLD or similar then fine.  But so long as I could plug in something like an IDE +2 and still be able to run it.

 

I didn't really give it much thought, as it never really entered into the discussions about the pros and cons

for real hardware and emulation before (at least that I can remember).

 

As far emulation on something like a RasPi or Arduino, I'd consider it just that, emulation. It's really no

different than emulation on a PC when you get down to it. The only practical difference is that it runs on

micro-sized hardware, which is nice if you want to save some space or drag it around to different locations

across the earth.

 

Now the Eclaire XL I'd consider to be something a little more in between hardware and emulation. At least

you can plug in carts and peripherals, which is something no other Atari emulator can do, currently. It's still

an emulator in the end, though; and subject to similar quirks and incompatibilities you might find in any

emulator.


Edited by MrFish, Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:48 PM.


#16 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:12 AM

My so called 'man cave' also doubles as mine and my wife's bedroom and as its not the biggest flat in the world I barely have enough space for my PC so sadly my real atari stares at me from the top of the wardrobe with forlorn micro eyes :)

 

I wish I had space to have them next to each other and as I test Altirra an awful lot I really should have a side by side comparison to real hardware but unless anyone volunteers to fight my wife for her chest of drawers and mirror then I'll play a mouse and just squeak away :)

 

My preference is both real and Altirra, Altirra is so accurate its almost the same thing and it offers all the extra stuff I never had along with easy and direct quick usage. If I win the lottery I'll have a real man cave with a selection of machines and also Altirra sitting proudly along side.



#17 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:24 AM

PAL and NTSC here, though only PAL up and running ATM, in the heart of America. I voted real hardware only, as I wouldn't be bothering with the hobby without it. I'm a hardware guy who likes to tinker and have the tactile feedback and joy I get from being hands on with the real thing. Like Jean Luc Pickard was in Star Trek First Bontact, in the scene with Data, touching Cochrine's ship. I do use emulation on rare occasion, when I need two different Atari programs running with only one real Atari setup and I use emulation of other non-Atari systems (emulators on a Sega Dreamcast) on rare occasion to play other vintage system games I don;t currently own.


Edited by Gunstar, Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:29 AM.


#18 baktra OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:30 AM

I am mostly emulated. My Atari is in storage most of the time. It is taken out of storage only for final testing, or for Atari-related events.

I cannot imagine development without cross-platform development tools, NetBeans, PSPAD/Kate, and a good emulator.



#19 Chefgon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:30 AM

Honestly, the thought of using an emulator never occurred to me. I bought my Atari so I could use it.

 

I do, admittedly, use a few modern conveniences to enhance my Atari experience. I have an SIO2SD that I use to get new software copied onto floppies, and I have an adapter to use a Nintendo gamepad instead of an Atari joystick (which I've never liked, even in the 80s).

 

Attached is an image of the computer desk in my living room. My modern PC is in my office, which is a separate room elsewhere in the house.

 

 

ataridesk.jpg



#20 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:08 PM

my little retro space is also my electronics workbench, If I want to mess with a machine I have to take it off the shelf and plug it in, so while its in storage, its not IN STORAGE 

 

typically what will happen is something will capture my attention for a while, I take the computer or game console off the shelf and do whatever it is and then put it back, that might be over a evening, or weeks. 

 

For random fixes of retro need I will use an emulator which more often than not leads to taking a machine off the shelf. I had a setup a few years ago with all my gear hooked up all the time with switch boxes and those old power strips that sat under a monitor with switches to each plug. In the end I never really changed from using only one machine for a period of time, and it took up a good chunk of space.

 

Now with flash storage solutions for everything I have without a on board drive its just yank the machine off the shelf, plug in power and av and off we go


Edited by Osgeld, Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:08 PM.






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