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_The Doctor__

Member Since 21 Nov 2008
OFFLINE Last Active Today, 1:46 AM

#4196121 On eBay, Atari 8-bit People are just more honest than PC People

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:18 PM

The recovery of bad sectors can be two fold.... the older drives could experience variance and creep over time... slowly the sectors creep forward or backward on the physical surface of the disk, sometimes remnants get in the way other times there is an actual defect there when you low level it may miss the defect completely or unify good remnants making it whole again as the two cells now become one.


It was good to periodically refresh a drive and write all the data out again, performing a verify a time or two days apart before erasing original data.  Multiple low levels can allow the drive to drift past a bad spot and allow for better results... less or no bad sectors.. generally it will be fine as most drives drift in the same direction so once it is at it's best point you can run with it..


There were two schools of thought, low level till you hit the most bad sectors and map them out, if you drift you won't hit the bad spot anyway.. or low level until you have the least and enjoy the added space putting your most read and least written stuff in that area... it may drift and come up bad later but since they normally drift in the same direction, if you write very little you may never hit it again, if you write to that area a good amount it will eventually hit it again any way no matter what you do..

#4195999 Images generated by RastaConverter

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:28 AM

I was waiting for you to chime in!

Not everyone knows you are Mopar Stephen in other online venues.. :)       I held off till you made reference.... ;)

#4195991 Make your own S-Video for your 8-bit card easily and quickly

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:12 AM


I don't think that's your camera creating that effect. Looks like a product of TN (twisted nematic) monitors where the top is darker than the bottom.  https://www.tnpanel.com/tn-vs-ips-va/ It's normal.


Thank you for sharing this video upgrade!!

and the lighting source can be moved/ adjusted to minimize the effect on some or those monitors, what a pain... never liked it!

#4194867 Atari 800 best ram options

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:17 PM


I planned a new personality card for the Atari 800. It shall be no replacement for the Incognito, but will combine four flash-based operating systems, 64 KB base memory (you don´t need the memory modules anymore) and 512 kb axlon expanded memory on one single, cheap solution. Maybe other features, too. But today I´m working at The Expander 600XL and some Atari ST stuff. So little time... :(

tf hh, why not make an incognito killer? we got a real feel for most of what it can do and a number of the quirks or forgotten bugs or abilities could be dealt with... Going further with better memory handling. I would love to see that and put FACUI's OS on it! ....  :)

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#4194858 Atari 800 XL Dilemma

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:05 PM

One thing to keep in mind. Not all of these new 5V USB wall warts have the same voltage stability as the original Atari ones with the linear regulators. These new switching PSUs sometimes have a voltage that varies for several minutes after power-on. The voltage variation isn't extreme, but it's enough to cause the Atari's color to shift (even a 10 milivolt difference is quite noticeable). In most cases after the several minute warm-up, things will settle down and the color will remain fixed. However with a stock linear regulated supply, the voltage is pretty well locked in from the get go, and usually any color variation seen is simply the GTIA warming up, which happens within 20-30 seconds or less (instead of 2-3 minutes).


Mytek nails this one very well, there have been discussions and O-scope comparisons in operation... there are many usb power adapters out there that fluctuate and starve the Atari. These brown out conditions are very bad for our vintage machines. They set the gremlins loose and wreak havoc on attached mods and devices. Lets' not even venture into how many cheap knock off chinese usb power bricks/blocks/squares are out there... some so bad they kill phone let alone our Atari machines. There are enough you tube video about the build quality and engineering of these and once you see some of the *ss-hattery... well your' hair might catch fire too!

#4194406 Largest quantity of a single Atari device

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Wed Jan 9, 2019 9:45 PM

We all need a back up to our back up :)

#4194384 Largest quantity of a single Atari device

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Wed Jan 9, 2019 9:15 PM

Yeah some folks even if they have 30 will yank another 20 some out from under someone because they just gotta have it..  seriously though. It's one thing to accumulate as you rescue orphaned stuff or folks drop stuff off, we end up with lots of gear, it is quite another to actively try to get it all, even if others would like a chance at at least a couple, stepping on and climbing over someone to get it even if it was already spoken for.


I know some of the guys here have rescued everything they could find and accepted all the stuff they could handle from users groups, schools, and colleges... these folks deserve medals! Even going so far as buying thrift store and picking up from the curb.  Now that is going the extra mile. I used to do the same when I could. Not getting out much to rescue the stuff at the thrift or curb anymore, I still will get stuff shipped to me and whip it into shape and then send it back to good homes. Nothing like a few spares, but snatching out from under folks and hoarding is a line I won't cross or do.

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#4194118 The good old Pitfall II.. only a little different !

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Wed Jan 9, 2019 3:03 PM

thumb nail number 2 is frikken awesome!

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#4193962 classic battle atari 8bit vs commodore 64

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Wed Jan 9, 2019 10:57 AM

more games never equaled out to more fun...   all it did was make me more and more pissed at having bought a c64 and then getting mostly craptastic games...  Game play was what mattered...  and still does...  I only ever dust off the c64 when excitedly hearing of the finally end all be all game/whatever is here! Finally I can justify owning one! Then I wind up needing to do a comparison - mostly when someone says a commodore64 is better than this that farce... I almost  always end up finding the claims in both instances false and in disgust... box it back up and away it goes..

#4193356 800xl with multiple mods

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Tue Jan 8, 2019 2:07 PM

the OS mod, be dumped and mucking about could answered some questions about it all

#4192921 Unstable XEGS

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Mon Jan 7, 2019 10:21 PM

I wouldn't say a new old stock unit should have bad ram, but rather cold solder joints or bad caps, the XEGS has a few things that do go bad however, and the forums here address those items, a quick search will get you a couple of fixes. rom, ram and component correction for the machine (our sleuths here on AA found something to fix :) as usual )


after you check ram and cpu, etc consider these as well






there is some other mention rattling around in my head concerning paddles or driving controller and the XEGS as well... give it a search as well

#4192794 Recommended floppy disks for 1050 / XF551

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Mon Jan 7, 2019 6:12 PM

depending on the drive... sometimes bulk erasing may be needed when formatting from sd to dd to sd to dd etc....

#4188631 Atari 8-Bit as a Legitimate Business Machine

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Tue Jan 1, 2019 6:46 PM

I don't get the whole 11 day old post thing, not everybody logs in everyday... some only log in once a month or every few weeks. I believe all have a voice, not just the ones with a direct response feed.

#4187954 SDrive-MAX compatibility

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:56 PM

It works just fine across the line... I've use it with 48k on up..  whatever runs on a real drive on the machine should run on the sdrive max just fine...

#4187945 XF551 drive stopped reading with AtariMax's ProSystem

Posted by _The Doctor__ on Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:44 PM

the head is dirty as can be, a good double sided wet dry cleaning disk will solve that easily.

The top hat should be attached in a fashion that is not flush with the plastic but slightly up (air gap) it should give a little.. double sided high temp sticky tape works fine (check an automotive store (not super thick, just enough so you have a little give and a sliver of gap.


You can scrub the lower head easily enough but I suggest the upper head be cleaned using the wet dry disk so you really can just use the 5 1/4 cleaning disk, they still sell em brand new for 5 1/5 up to 8 inch drives. Check auction sites...


I see the hat come off these days usually during or after the q tip brigade cleans the head, sometime slightly bending the heads spring plate... :(

you can see the spring plate now that the hat is off...


You may find a tweak to add slight pressure to the upper heads spring arm will help if that has happened.


Make sure the disintegrated foam dust and glue is cleared out from the whole drive and the disk that might have been in it...