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Member Since 14 Feb 2003
OFFLINE Last Active Mar 31 2019 12:58 PM

#4248326 Adventure Ponies (Atari XL/XE )

Posted by billkendrick on Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:55 PM

Adventure Ponies - Atari XL/XE (64K Required)


I've peeked at the YouTube video so far. It looks great! I definitely appreciate the use of double- and quad-width PMG sprites that I'm seeing!

#3634884 Ultimate Cart (SD multicart) info & bits

Posted by billkendrick on Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:36 AM

Michael asked me what firmware I have on my Ultimate Cart. I assume "the latest", since MacRorie just built it, and when I noticed the JTAG port on the back, he said "I can flash it when a new version comes out, if you want" (I'm fortunate to live about 15-20min away, though :) )


However, the menu program that comes up when I boot with the cart installed doesn't actually say!  Is there a way to tell?


Further, I noticed in Flashjazzcat's review of the Ultimate SD (sounds like he rewrote the menu program for Electrotrains) that you can drop a "_boot.rom" on your SD card, and the Ultimate Cart will boot the Atari into that, instead of the menu program built into the firmware.  That's cool!  Though my initial thought was "save a game as that file!", but that didn't work.  Reading further, I guess I'm not surprised, since the firmware running on the FPGA maps some data into the ROM that the Atari uses (list of files on the SD card, etc.)  Probably not something Pac-Man would appreciate, for example ;)


Are there any alternate menu ROMs out there to play with, or a way to sign up as a beta tester?  (Sounds like simply dropping a file on the SD card to test, and deleting when you're done, is all that's needed, so seems safe enough.)


So long story short: (1) is there a way to tell what firmware's running on the Ultimate Cart (I suppose, does the firmware make it visible to the menu program?), and (2) can I play with other menu ROMs? :)

#3634649 Ultimate Cart - Users thread

Posted by billkendrick on Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:44 PM

Just a bad CART header line.  The header is a 16 byte add on to the File to ID the type and banking for the ROM..  This one needed the XEGS Switching




So how does one do this to the Summer Games (XE cart) ROM dump? :)  My Ultimate Cart's reporting a similar error.  I did a hexdump of the Mario Bros ROMs in this thread (non-working, vs the one you fixed up), and saw _one byte_ difference. I attempted to hack the same change in the SG dump, but to no avail. I have no idea what I'm doing, though. :)


Is there a description of cart ROM headers out there that I could work off of?  Or clues you give me?  Thanks!!!

#3449840 Atari Party 2016 - Northern California

Posted by billkendrick on Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:39 AM

Plans are underway for this year's annual Atari Party, being held once again in Davis, California (near Sacramento, and a 2-ish hour drive from the greater San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley) -- Atari Party 2016!




We haven't picked a date yet, but I wanted to get a thread started here on Atari Age, in case anyone here on the forum is local*, and wants to help out at the show. It will be on a Saturday, from 12pm-5pm (with setup starting at 10am).


Atari Party is a free event, open to the public.  There's no selling/trading/vendors at the event (it's typically held at my local public library).  I've held it every year since 2009 (a few times were in Sunnyvale), with great turnout from the general public -- not just Atari geeks. ;)


* Though admittedly, folks have been coming from as far as Oregon to help run (& exhibit at) the show, and it sounds like some will be doing so again this year!


#3431149 The Atari Xegs Cart by Cart Podcast.

Posted by billkendrick on Tue Feb 2, 2016 12:03 PM

Hey all! Episode 1 is out! http://xegs8bit.com/episodes.htm


In it, we talked about Archon: The Light and the Dark, and one of the XEGS pack-ins, the light-gun game Bug Hunt.


In our next episode, we'll be reviewing Mario Bros. and Blue Max, and also talking a little about Joust and Zaxxon, for (hopefully) obvious reasons. ;)  Feel free to send us your thoughts on these four games!

#3421521 Seaquest for the 800

Posted by billkendrick on Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:56 AM

  • [...] the huge pain in the butt was the divers. It turned out they were rendered using the ball, by moving and re-sizing it on every scanline.[...]



#3394856 Interview questions for Bill Wilkinson?

Posted by billkendrick on Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:57 PM

Thanks, Internet. I have some re-reading (and missed-out-on reading) to do, some time soon: http://www.atarimaga...=Bill Wilkinson

#3394847 Interview questions for Bill Wilkinson?

Posted by billkendrick on Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:39 PM

Hi, my name is Bryan Wilkinson.  I'm one of Bill's two sons.  


So sorry to hear the news, Bryan.  I discovered your dad's writing in Atari magazines that I got second-hand as a teenager, years after they were originally published. I somehow got ahold of your dad's email address, and decided I had t othank him for his work, because it was the most informative content in any of the books or magazines I had -- he became kind of a hero to me.


He was very kind to respond to a dorky teenager fanboy, especially so many years after the fact (but before this stuff became "retro" and popular again).  I've always appreciated that.

#3390053 Wilmunder's Star Raiders II released

Posted by billkendrick on Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:01 PM

Press Shift-O for inverted control ...
Shift-P: Touch tablet
Shift-J: Left handed joystick

DUDE! Touch tablet!? This is so awesome!

#3390045 Wilmunder's Star Raiders II released

Posted by billkendrick on Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:57 PM

I just blasted a starbase, then visited another and it attacked me. I dropped my shields to see what happened, and of course died. Results:


Star Fleet to All Units. Star Cruiser Eight destroyed by Star Fleet. Posthumous rank is: Zylon Swine! Class 1.



#3375158 Popeye Arcade 8-bit conversion

Posted by billkendrick on Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:19 PM

Looks great! (Too bad I still suck at it)

#3364335 My second game, "Lost in Space" (philips space rendezvous)

Posted by billkendrick on Mon Nov 9, 2015 10:59 PM

Heh, four player landing module game. Sounds familiar! ;) http://www.newbreeds...e.com/padlandr/


#3342499 Ultimate Cart (SD multicart) - preorders thread

Posted by billkendrick on Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:56 AM

I'd love one, but might need to find someone here who can stick it in a case for me. (I'd need it to fit into a 1200XL's cartridge cavern)


Dammit, between having to save up for both this and Edladdin's dual-stick for the 7800, this hobby's getting expensive again. :)

#3336780 7800 games that use 2 buttons

Posted by billkendrick on Sat Oct 3, 2015 10:18 PM

So I just picked up an Edladdin "Seagull 78" adapter, that allows using a Sega Genesis controller (of which I have plenty) with the 7800. (For those of us who dislike the Pro-Controller it "liberates the games", so to speak.)


Is there an official list of which 7800 games actually multiple buttons?  Of all the titles I own, it seems like a ton do not.  (In fact, at least one game manual I looked at mentioned how to hold a joystick, with the fire button at the top left -- was two-button support something they added late in the development of the system!?)


In any case, here's what I've come up with my personal collection of games.  Hopefully I'll go back and start playing them more now.  (I've used my 7800 as a 2600 quite a bit, but the poor "Prosystem" games get neglected. :) )


Game                   Plys  Controller Type

Ace of Aces            1     Joystick?
Asteroids              1-2   Joystick
Ballblazer             1-2   Joystick
Centipede              1-2   Joystick
Commando               1-2   Pro-Controller
Crack'ed               1     Joystick
Crossbow               1     Joystick or Lightgun
Dark Chambers          1-2   Pro-Controller
Dig-Dug                1-2   Joystick
Donkey Kong Junior     1-2   Joystick
Fatal Run              1     Pro-Controller
Galaga                 1-2   Joystick
Hat Trick              1-2   Joystick
Ikari Warriors         1-2   Pro-Controller
Joust                  1-2   Joystick
Karateka               1     Pro-Controller
Ms. Pac-Man            1-2   Joystick
Ninja Golf             1     Joystick
One-on-One Basketball  1-2   Pro-Controller
Pole Position II       1     Pro-Controller
Realsports Baseball    1-2   Pro-Controller
Robotron: 2084         1-2   Joystick (x1 or 2)
Scrapyard Dog          1     Pro-Controller
Super Huey             1     Pro-Controller
Winter Games           1-2   Joystick
Xevious                1-2   Joystick (Left Diff A) or Pro-Controller (Left Diff B)

Does that seem right?  Anyone want to add to the list?  (At least, we should have a "requires (or benefits from) Pro-Controller" list)


PS - Thanks to Trebor's Atari 7800 Difficulty Switches Guide


Edit: I pasted from a spreadsheet and saw a nice table in the editor, then when I submitted the post it was a single, mashed-together paragraph of text. :P

#3336516 Dipping toes into cc65; porting Gem Drop!

Posted by billkendrick on Sat Oct 3, 2015 2:24 PM

BTW, I've got a cc65 alpha version of "Gem Drop Deluxe" available now. It's basically identical (if maybe a little slower sometimes) than the original Action! game, except it doesn't do any file I/O (so no high score, or highest-level-reached records), is a stand-alone XEX file (font data built-in), and you can press [F] to toggle the Super IRG flickery graphics effect.  (The graphics it currently uses is generated, based on the two flickered fonts from the original game, so there's def. room for improvement)