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Member Since 3 Mar 2014
OFFLINE Last Active Mar 5 2019 1:08 PM

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In Topic: ABBUC Software Contest 2019

Tue Mar 5, 2019 1:10 PM

Thanks for your good wishes, I'm getting better (well enough to start this thread at least ;) ) and the doctors said that for a heart attack I was very lucky, just a stent and no by-pass necessary...

The AGM this year is 26 October, which coincides with my daughter's birthday, so I won't be able to join. Wolfgang said he aims always for the last Saturday of October, but last year it was a week earlier. Usually the date is advertised well in advance on the ABBUC homepage as well...

In Topic: I want to try to produce the Turbo Freezer 2011 again

Tue Mar 5, 2019 3:29 AM

I would be interested in the newest (2016?) version for an Atari XL, it this still possible?

In Topic: ABBUC hardwarecontest 2018

Sat Nov 3, 2018 6:42 AM

Well, technically we didn't have a vote on whether the contest should be held next year or not (as opposed to the previous year).

Does that mean that there will be no contest next year? No.


The general assembly is just one decision making body of the club ("Verein"). German law ("BGB") states that the statues of the club have to define which body of the club has which powers/rights. I don't know ABBUC's statues in detail, but hardly any club gives the general assembly far-reaching powers down to the level of individual activities, including financial matters. That is what the headship ("Vorstand") of the club is voted into office for. So unless anything else is written in the club's statuetes, the club's headship can act independently of the assembly (including spending large sums of money) as long as there is a majority decision within the headship and the activities don't run counter the interests of the club.


Of course, if there is a proper motion tabled at the assembly (which requires that this motion is part of the assembly's agenda ("Tagesordnung") and this agenda is delivered to all members within the invitation deadline), then the club' headship cannot act against such a decision. One example this year was the idea to make the sending out of disks with the magazine optional. Currently, this is not possible because the shipping of disks is part of the statutes. To change the statutes, it would have to be part of the assembly's agenda, but the move for this was only made after the invitation with the agenda has been sent out, so no change was possible (this year).


What we have done in the past (at least in the last three years) is an opinion poll at the assembly. Nothing more, but also nothing less. Based on this, the headship can then decide whether to follow up upon this - or not. Of course, in the interest of a good climate in the club, the headship will usually do this, but it could modify the way things are run if it sees it in the club's interest. For example, for the software contest, we voted on rather general changes, but not about the exact wording. As in the past, this will be finalized between the ressort heads and the club's headship. If there had been a "proper" vote on exact wording, we couldn't do that (except in a few circumstances).


In the case of next year's hardware contest, people are probably assuming that things are continuing the way they have been, including having a jury, so it would probably not appease the situation to just depart from the current system without a discussion. Nevertheless, if the headship were interested in taking up JAC's and others' suggestions, the headship could for example decide to open up voting to all members (and not just those present at the JHV). This way, the general modus operandi of the hardware contest would still be the same because we would still have a recommendation of the jury with a suggested placement, but the members would be voting individually before or at the JHV. If required/desired, the online voting portal for the software contest could easily be mirrored for the hardware contest for that purpose.

In Topic: ABBUC hardwarecontest 2018

Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:08 AM

Well, the first paragraph is more or less the gist of the longer text in the magazine, isn't it? But if the other paragraphs regarding my motivation or the usefulness make it easier to understand, then I'll put that in into next year's description :).

In Topic: ABBUC hardwarecontest 2018

Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:33 AM

I provided a 10 minute video in the text which shows the possible applications that can be done with AtariDuino (as a result of the feedback I got from last year's contest). It's in the magazine and also in the ABBUC forum, but in case it got under in the rest of the text:


It's an interface to the Arduino world. You can run it without an Arduino with "passive" shields (such as relay cards which can be had for a few bucks) and control these relays with 2 or 3 POKE commands, for example to control your model train.

Or you can access more sophisticated boards, such as sensor boards or the Ethernet shield throug which you can access the internet. This requires a small program on the Arduino (just a good dozen lines of code) and then the Atari can tell via the R: handler what website it wants to access (of course within the limitations of the memory of the Atari). Since the Arduino has only 32k of program memory and 2k of RAM, you could theoretically port the code and libraries used to the Atari as well and run also these more sophisticated shields without the Arduino. But that would be more a show of proof of concept because a similar distribution of workload is also done by peripherals such as the 1050 etc. which has its own processor.


At the JHV, the demo program which is shown on the video was also running and displayed the text of a small website and displayed the temperature of a sensor.


Whether this is useful to people probably depends on what you want to make with it and your Atari. Probably not, if you're a gamer. Then AntiX is definitively more useful. But I really like the "maker" scene and I'm into home automation and have two other projects where I pimped both my old heating system as well as my lawn robot to make them accessible via the internet and monitor/control them. So I thought it would be cool to do something similar with the Atari to show it could also do this stuff. I wrote a little program with which I can control my heating system (via the relay card) based on the room temperature (derived from the temperature sensor) and the outside temperature (retrieved from a website). It's just a couple of lines of BASIC code but in the end it does the same as much larger applications do as well.


It might be more interesting for a larger user base if the club really goes through with what Carsten outlined: That the new website and services should be accessible for the 8-Bit Atari as well. Then you could write a program on the Atari to access the club's portal with hardware that costs around 30 Euros in total.


It was (and still is) a bit difficult for me to see what kind of audience the docs should be gearing towards, especially as there is no single or unique use-case. As at least some programming knowledge is required, I went for documented code. For next year, I may write a little tutorial for one or two example use cases, but then again it's a question of where to begin and where to stop - could I assume that people using AtariDuino know how to flash a sketch on the Arduino? And if they know programming, would they understand basic C programming (required for programming the Arduino as well)? A lot of these things are already explained at lenght on the internet (and probably much better than I could ever do it).

It would probably be much easier if I would submit one unique plug-and-play application such as an "internet kit" where AtariDuino is a part of, where the code is already packed onto the Arduino and the full set is distributed as a whole. But I rather want people to be creative and think about their own ideas what you could now connect with the Atari and how - just what you do in the "maker" community. But maybe that clashes with the expectations of others, who want to have a "finished" product with a clearly defined use-case - which is also understandable.