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The Southsider

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About this blog

Atari musings and random thoughts

Entries in this blog

 

AtariVox

When I first heard about the AtariVox I wasn't too impressed with the sound quality, and decided not to bother getting one. However, I changed my mind after seeing a demo of Man Goes Down at the vgXpo a few years ago. I realised that the sound quality was a perfect match for the Atari, being broadly equivalent to the quality of speech chips back in the day. I now think it would sound "wrong" if the Atari were to produce high-quality speech, just as it would sound unnatural if Stephen Hawki

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Atari 2600

OK, to get things moving I thought I would post a little about how I came to start programming for the Atari 2600. Unlike many of the folks around here, I have only been programming the 2600 for a short time (since the beginning of 2005), and I still consider myself to be a newbie in the scene.Although I was around in the heyday of the 2600, I must admit that it passed me by completely. I only became interested in computers, and computer games, with the later advent of the 8-bit home micros,

Guest

Guest

 

A Brighter Outlook

This will probably be my last entry for a while as I am off next week to Washington DC for a conference, and then on to the vgXpo in Philadelphia the following weekend. Fortunately things are looking better for the vgXpo now as many people on the forum have said they are still going, and AA will have a stand there after all. The Hunchy 2 carts have now been soldered by Al, and should be available for sale at the show. If there are any bugs still remaining in Hunchy 2 then it is too late!

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Guest

 

28 Char Text

I finally understand how supercats 26-character text kernel works (I think)! As a result, I have written my own version which displays 28 characters on a line. Unfortunately I could only do this by flickering at 20Hz and using a 6-pixel high font, so it doesn't look all that good. However, I think this is the first ever 28-character kernel on the 2600? It only displays one line of text at the moment, but it should be possible to display 12 or 13 lines using the same techniques as my prev

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16 Char Text

I have written another text kernel which displays 16 characters. This may seem pointless, given my earlier 24-char and 28-char kernels, but it has several nice features: Uses less ZP memory (46 bytes total). Shows more lines on screen (14). Text width is a power of 2 (for easy calculations). Kernel has loads of free cycles (around 40 per scanline), e.g. could have a PF image underneath.   The main reason for writing this kernel is to allow the Juno First score table to be

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13 Lines

I decided to experiment again with my textkernel to see if copying the text into zero page memory would be useful. The advantage of using zero page RAM to hold the text is that it removes the need for the text to be in the same bank as the display kernel. The text can be loaded into RAM in one bank and then displayed by bank-switching into the display kernel. Another practical advantage is that it becomes possible to create text dynamically in RAM without the need for the text to be fixed

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