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Member Since 19 Oct 2003
OFFLINE Last Active Today, 10:51 PM

#3942038 Custom Dust Covers for Classic Consoles/11/23/17 Happy Holidays!

Posted by slx on Yesterday, 1:29 PM

I sent condolences to the paypal email address I used for my last purchase (papanannysfunstuff1971 at gmail.com) and got a very nice reply from Barb today. I assume she will be able to let the community know if she intends to continue this business.


An online obituary can be found here.

#3939075 What's the latest Atari related thing(s) you've bought on ebay?

Posted by slx on Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:21 AM

A bunch of joysticks


Mainly got it for the Slik Stik as I already have an Epyx 500, but with a frayed label (while the stick seems to be robust with microswitches, the decal ist just an adhesive). Maybe it's just the perspective but the Wico looks even larger than The Bat I already have.





#3938337 HSC Season 15 Round 1: Bosconian

Posted by slx on Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:20 AM

:thumbsup:  I was thinking about Survivor it was fun but not quite as good as it could have been. The other 8-Way space scroller I could think of was the creditable Zone Ranger. Any others anyone?

What's great about Survivor is that you can play it cooperatively with 3 or even 4 players, with one steering and two firing away. What I don't like is that it's a bit tedious and either ends after finishing off all space fortresses or simply wraps over without new challenges. As far as "unbounded space" goes, it feels good.

#3937843 HSC Season 15 Round 1: Bosconian

Posted by slx on Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:14 PM

First try, 15140, feel a bit inadequate after glancing over the thread.

Impressive conversion nevertheless. That is how Survivor should have been ;)

#3936362 3-D Printed Disk Tree

Posted by slx on Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:22 PM

3D-printing for consumers is more experimental now than the 400/800 were in 1980. IMHO it's more like having an Altair that needs a lot of technical knowledge to keep it working. We do have a fairly pricey model we bought discounted because it has been used as a demo unit and while it does print nicely if it does print, there's so much than can go wrong like the object getting loose from the print plate despite "sticky spray", the head going out of alignment halfway through a 10-hour print, the filament on the spool getting entangled, etc. It tends to get used for bouts at a time and then neglected for months after a more disappointing session of aborted prints. 


With the big variety of models even Google isn't always helpful in finding tips and solutions.


Maybe one really needs to spend upwards of $2000 to get something decent that works every time....



I do think this could really take off once multi-filament printing becomes the norm, which would also allow for water-soluble support materials.

#3933797 Was anything ever made for the 1090 expansion box?

Posted by slx on Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:54 PM

There's some serious cash on that table..... ;D


It certainly should not be left unguarded if Atari collectors are present....

#3933795 Prolonging Atari 800XL life

Posted by slx on Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:51 PM

As posted elsewhere here, my son has been running a 130XE, not a notoriously well-built variant, for months at a time with only brief vacation breaks in between for at least three years without any ill effects so far. He's using a "modern" power supply, though.

#3932731 Shahid compares his MacBook Pro keyboard to the Atari 400

Posted by slx on Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:01 AM

The vertical travel on the latest MBPs (the ones with the touch bar) is closing in on the 400's ;)


I found them so uncomfortable that I bought a 2015 model before they were dropped.

#3931131 HSC Season 15 Round 1 - Poll

Posted by slx on Tue Jan 9, 2018 10:39 AM

I always liked Rainbow Walker, it has a much nicer ambience than Q*Bert for me. The others sound interesting, too, but I left out Millipede and Pac-Man as those are genres I never much cared for. Looking forward to a good season, and thanks to TRBB for keeping the fire alive!

#3930408 I think the Atari OS ROMs are PD, here's why.

Posted by slx on Mon Jan 8, 2018 1:50 PM


That's not exactly true in U.S of A, though - is it ? Anybody here can sue anyone else for any reason. My friend has been a victim of this in a tenant-landlord court last 2 years.




That's a problem with your court system. Where I live, the side that loses pays the fees of both lawyers. There is no percentage (quota litis) but a schedule of fees that lawyers are entitled too and that depends on the value of the claim. This certainly isn't perfect either and might prevent people with little means from taking action, but it sure protects against frivolous cases. (Another argument against would be that lawyers have less "zeal" to win as their fees are covered whether they win or loose.) 


As for the Mac users, until recently they had a more powerful command line at their disposal than Windows users.... I doubt there's much of a difference in the "configure/compile" abilities of the average Win and Mac users. 


I don't understand why there's so much enmity in this thread. OP asked a question and asked for opinions on it. There's no harm in discussing legal issues as a non-lawyer as long as one understands that there is a difference in being right and getting a judge to confirm this.


I do agree that the possibility to include everthing required to run an emulator in one package will make it more attractive and easy to use for newbies. I had to set up Commodore emulators and when you don't know the system it takes some googling to find "the right stuff". Not impossible, but definitely a step.

#3928006 An error in "Mapping the Atari"?

Posted by slx on Fri Jan 5, 2018 11:03 AM

I may just end up looking into Action! first, because it excites me so, being a unique to Atari 8-bits, and powerful high-level language, and therefore it may give me the ambition to see it through. I guess it will come down to whether I find Action! or a BASIC more preferable to start with in ease of learning. 



BASIC is more forgiving than Action! which does not check Array indices and will allow you to write everywhere in memory space if you get an array index wrong. There's a lot more literature about learning BASIC than there is for Action!, unfortunately. A beginner's guide to learn programming in Action! is sadly missing on the otherwise very well stocked Atari bookshelf. String handling is easier in BASIC but everything related to interfacing with the hardware is much easier as you can assign variables to hardware registers or their shadows and read and write them without using PEEKs and POKEs. If you try out Action!, there's a great collection of articles, tutorials, type-in-programs, etc. at AtariWiki.

#3927875 An error in "Mapping the Atari"?

Posted by slx on Fri Jan 5, 2018 6:42 AM

While the Altirra hardware manual is a great effort, Mapping the Atari feels more accessible when coming from a BASIC background. It would be another great project to edit all this info into an online Atari memory map which could have examples in multiple languages.

Or for starters, at least an errata sheet for MtA.

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#3927450 HSC Season 15 Welcome and Games List

Posted by slx on Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:20 PM


You can run games from e.g. a SIO2SD, an AtariMax or if you have neither, even emulation in e.g. Altirra is fully accepted in the HSC. In an ideal world, you'd already own every Atari game ever released in original form but unfortunately the world is far from ideal.

:)  :)  :)

It's nice to imagine pushing back from one's computer desk, turning round to the library shelves, running one's finger over the spines of countless game boxes murmuring titles until finding the right one, then saying "I feel like playing this from cassette on an NTSC 400 today" and sliding back to the right machine, sitting there in the beige "early" section of the desk...(in a perfect world wife would say "care for a cup of tea while that cassette loads?" and you could answer "great, I'll grab the Antic issue with the review while it brews" :grin:

#3927446 HSC Season 15 Welcome and Games List

Posted by slx on Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:12 PM

I'd really love to see a 50/50 mix of old and new games, with "new" defined as let's say anything published after 2000 or even 2010.

I don't really know a lot of picks for "new"


"Old" games - I mostly picked interesting sounding ones I don't really know:

  • Shamus+ (OK, I am biased on this one but as I have added the tournament mode I would really like to know how far the master gamers will make it there)
  • White Circus
  • Hard Hat Mack
  • SCRAM - if it is actually "playable", maybe as a bonus game
  • International Karate - maybe an updated version
  • Qix
  • Crush, Crumble & Chomp

"New" Games:

  • Atari Blast
  • RGB
  • At Arion Line (would match nicely with the ASCII Galaxian)

For Bonus games I propose an "international season". Atarimania advanced search allows to search by country and having bonus games from all the "small" countries not that renowned for spewing out Atari software might be fun. I have tried a few so far and found some interesting sounding stuff like the Asteroids emulator from Austria, Lunar Lander from Switzerland or "America's Cup" from Australia.

#3927421 HSC Season 15 Welcome and Games List

Posted by slx on Thu Jan 4, 2018 3:33 PM

I wanted to add Winter Games, in honor of the upcoming winter Olympics, but I was surprised to find that Epyx Winter Games was not released for the Atari 8-bit.  At least, I couldn't find it anywhere.  Bummer.


Maybe "White Circus" instead?