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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/08/2021 in all areas

  1. An intention on my back burner for a while has been a plan to take my TI-99 software manual archive online at some point in an appealingly organised and accessible way. It feels silly for everyone to have to just maintain their own collection in this regard. And it's worse yet for every new or returning community member to have to hunt this content down individually, when it's honestly spread all over the place so chaotically. WHTech is great and all, but it's not exactly user-friendly and discoverable. So I figured organising my own manual library and making that library searchable and accessible to others could go hand in hand. Anyway, I've made a manual library at my hitherto never-used eponymous domain: https://pixelpedant.com Currently, there are 242 titles with at least one scanned manual version. Though many have multiple manuals or scans thereof and the total number of manual scans was actually 304 at last count. That's all thanks, ultimately, to the members of the community who've gone to the trouble, over the past years. Virtually all manuals are in PDF format, though some ephemera I've included along with them are not (image of the game disk, advertisement in MP/99er, or that kind of thing). It's pretty intuitive. Lots of manuals, searchable, browsable, and classified by software vendor, software media, and the nature of the software. It's a work in progress and will always be, but it's already very, very large. Partly, I needed to get my manual archive in order, but partly, when it comes to manuals, I just want there to be something more inviting than WHTECH for folks exploring the world of the TI-99 for the first time in a while, or for the first time altogether, looking for relevant documentation. After all, in a world dominated by flashcarts and emulation, most people, most of the time, don't have the manuals for the vintage games they play.
  2. My game and demo cartridges at http://sometimes.planet-99.net have been modified and tested to make them V9938/58 compatible.
  3. Gaming History Source on YouTube is premiering this right now. I tuned in late just in time to see Rasmus' TI version playing among official home computer releases. Will be 17:09 in the playback.
  4. I'm glad she enjoys it, I love stories like this. Bob from the Atari 5200 Podcast loses to his daughter at RealSports Curling on a regular basis. I guess my games are popular with people's daughters. OK, I'm calling this release candidate 1. So sayeth the build string, "Release candidate 1, 5/8/2021" This has the last of the sound effects and a few other little things here and there. I'm going to test it for about a week, and if I don't find anything crazy, I'm calling this thing done. At that point I'll make a final release build that includes the full source code for any folks that want to try an A8 port or whatever. Another round of thanks to @Synthpopalooza for doing not only the music and sound effects, but also contributing the code needed to actually play them. Also, don't forget @vhzc for providing the Recognizer Identifier design without me even asking for it. And of course, all the people who helped test the builds over the span of this project. I've wanted to make this one happen for a long time and I'm glad I finally did it. intellidiscs.bin
  5. Very nice website, everything just works. Accessible too, usable with a screen reader. Nice to see a website that does not insist on scripts. Good colour contrast. Several ways to browse the content. The website has a lovely search box as well but as an alternative I keep my own "universal TI" search web page and have added pixelpedant to the list of sites- http://shawweb.myzen.co.uk/stephen/tisearch.htm Thanks for the work. I think there remain a few more to go yet.... see attached lists! best wishes s omegalist.txt softwaremanualsamalgOct20.pdf
  6. This is something I'm working on in last 3 weeks, or better said in last 13 years. So, putting all those hard disk adaptations which I released in last 13 years, and are available on 8bitchip site. There are diverse images with plenty of games online. This one aims most of games on small storage size. Yes, that's 1 GB - as limit of Basic ACSI hard disk protocol, or as limit of internal ACSI-SCSI adapter what was by factory in Atari Mega STE and Stacy. In those times that was pretty large capacity. Of course, today it's far from being impressive or expensive, but still, for Atari SW it is plenty of space. So, I worked on putting as much as possible games (hard disk adapted, installable) in 1 GB partition - yes, that's possible with my iTOS. Knowing that it will need some changes by older game adaptations. Changes are done with common files D15R*.FIC - which are some kind of DLL files. For easier usage, I included them with every game DL. But there is simple way that all it can access it from one location: C:\GAMEX - what is mentioned in instructions too. So, if disk space is tight, users just can delete it from game's DIR, and it will be loaded from that System DIR. And it is same with files HAGA, HAGE ... Can save plenty of space, like over 100 MB in case of 1300 games. I copied games with removed those above mentioned D15R*, HAGA and like files into single 1 GB partition. And after did it for about 70 % if was clear that will not fit more than 1250 (rough estimation) . While sum of all file sizes, when all it is copied in is not over 850 MB. Why ? Because so called slack - FAT filesystem (FAT16 in case of hard disks) means that there is minimal size what some shortest, short file will take on drive - and it is in this case 16 KB - like for 1 byte long file. And that means a lot in case if Atari SW, where we have lot of short files. Btw. it is less with smaller partitions, so it is 8 KB in case of 256-511 partition under iTOS, or 128-255 MB under regular TOS 1.04-4.02 . So, I decided to try with 4x 255 MB partitions. And it worked - much more fits. Actually about 1350 games. That's not all what is on DL page (little over 1400), but I discarded very long variants (like Xenon 2 with audio tracks (32 MB), some older not so compatible ones ...) . That minimal size is called cluster, and is 4 KB instead 16 KB with 4x smaller partition size - gain is about 150 MB in this case. It looks like: And I used possibility to give custom drive names - here obviously they are composed of begin letters of file name DIRectories. Total 27 (letters + 0 for those starting with number) . And there is some free space in each partition for state saves. Hey, where is letter F ? This is done in Steem Debugger, where F is GEMDOS drive, so G is letter for fourth logical drive. On real Atari it will be F . For those who already got iTOS from me here is DL of not complete image: http://atari.8bitchip.info/TestMe/Gamit4pFin1.zip 166 MB. Only last partition. 369 games. Works with all decent ACSI adapters on ST, STE (no TT, Falcon support), Steem with Pasti, Hatari . Even if partition sizes are only 255 MB it needs iTOS - only with it it all fits in 1 GB space (planned 1350 games) . And there are updated DLL like files for it in C:\GAMEX . Some may ask: why iTOS ? Look upper 1 line. Beside it, this was needed to be done 3 years after solving real FAT16 in iTOS - now old game adaptations using TOS 1.04 GEMDOS part in RAM are compatible with iTOS and it's more efficient partitions - it is now actually iTOS core in RAM. Plus, this was good chance to finally put together image with all those D15R*, HAG* system files present only in shared DIR, according to original idea, and to my rational attitude 🙂 Final image will be DL-able soon at MediaFire.
  7. It’s so easy to crash. I’ve had many games where I crashed before the “start of the game tone” is even finished. Defender is giving me an abs workout making me lean forward so often to hit the reset button! 😬
  8. Relevant chat comments: (Speaking of the Atari ST version) Not a lot of people in the chat for the premier. Will have to see what happens in the comments section later.
  9. Bob Puff, Computer Software Services https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-414-bob-puff-computer-software-services Bob Puff is owner of Computer Software Services, a company that began creating hardware and software for the Atari 8-bit computers in 1982. Bob became president of the company in 1991. He designed a bevy of hardware products for the Atari computers, including The Black Box, a hard drive host adapter; The Multiplexer, a networking system; the UltraSpeed Plus operating system upgrade; upgrades for the XF551 floppy drive; the Super-E Burner EPROM burner; and others. He also created a number of popular utility programs, including the BobTerm terminal program; Disk Communicator, to convert boot disks to a single compressed file for transfer over modem; and MYDOS version 4.53; among other software. This interview took place on April 27, 2021. So many people have asked me for a Bob Puff interview over the years.
  10. Sealed 2600 silver gravitar within a few feet of the unattainable holy grail for the 2600!
  11. Here is the latest version of XB 2.8 G.E.M. with the HCHAR and VCHAR modifications shown in the video above. Because it fills the entire screen, what is shown in the video demonstrates the greatest increase in speed. It actually is a tiny bit slower (1-2%) if only printing one character, but it will always be faster if more than one character is printed. Also there is a tiny fix to The Missing Link. One of the TML extras did not work-I was switching banks when I shouldn't have been. XB28GEM20200506.zip See post 426 on page 18 for the latest version, XB 2.8 G.E.M. version 2.820210712
  12. Classic99 399.046 Just responding to people in the Realms chat... this one fixes the keyboard not responding for one key after an emulator Function Key press. It wasn't what I thought it was! http://harmlesslion.com/software/classic99
  13. you may also take a look at this (old) topic: Commodore and Atari flippie disks One of the inventors of the multi-format disks replied there in post #33.
  14. Label project for cartridge is done Now time to print it
  15. This is so sad. Oystron was the homebrew that made me wanting to do my own one. And it always had (and will have!) a special place in my heart. RIP Piero
  16. There was a better video of the controller (when it was resistive, even) last year and it shows it was responsive then on the local screen and joypad, ironically.
  17. A baiter got me when I had just one swarmer to kill to finish the wave, or I would have made my 30k goal!
  18. No precise input latency measurements have been posted. Comments are based on impressions from people that played it which has been no lag. The controller display issue in the IGN article video is what IE has said they addressed with newer firmware.
  19. I'm actually wondering if Classic99 v4.0 or Tilda will get released first. Probably Tilda .
  20. My scores for the 1 Lap Series: NTSC MALIBU: 24,350 NAMCO: 22,550 ATARI: 24,300 I need to oil the machine.
  21. Yeah, I don’t like that when they show box but not selling it. Seems shady.
  22. This is a group of UK guys who are skeptical about Amico but respectful with their thoughts so it should be a good one!
  23. I believe ti99dir, can open them ...haven't done it myself though... https://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99dir/ti99dir.html
  24. https://youtu.be/QL6wB3sVdtI This is a Tommy interview coming up on 5/11 at 3pm ET.
  25. I'm getting one. Nice observation on the date.
  26. Very nice !!! I’ll be getting 2 😎 and now it has to come out in 2021 because the patch says so 😜
  27. A bit of technical info: As mentioned before, the scrolling background requires far more than 256 characters in total, and it's very close to 256 at the individual screen level. If I need to save some patterns for displaying score, fuel etc., I need to find the best alterative for some patterns. That's what I have been working on for the last couple of days. The original hardware had sprites with a size of 32x32 pixels. The TI sprites are only 16x16, so I'm working with virtual sprites that consists of 1 to 4 hardware sprites. One example of a virtual sprite is the orange fuel tank, which consists of 4 hardware sprites. I have worked on offloading a substantial part of the work to the F18A GPU, so currently the CPU is only aware of the virtual sprites while the GPU is handing everything to do with the hardware sprites. The GPU is sorting the sprites according to their 3D distance from the user and is applying priorities (which sprites overlap each other) accordingly. The GPU is also calculating collisions between sprites and reporting this back to the CPU. That alone would take almost half of a CPU 60Hz cycle. The last thing the GPU does is to generate sprite attribute tables from the virtual sprites. Since there are up to 16 virtual sprites, and each consists of up to 4 hardware sprites, 64 hardware sprites may be required. That's partially resolved by having one sprite attribute list at the top of the screen and another at the bottom. Sprites that overlap are added to both lists. And a scan line handler is changing the VDP register that's managing the sprite attribute table on the fly (that is also possible on the 9918A, but because of the 4 sprite per line limitation it has limited value). All this is done during blanking, between the last line of the screen and the first line of the screen are drawn. The CPU is still doing everything that has to with controlling the user input, moving the virtual sprites, and then it's doing the much simpler task of checking the sprite collisions reported by the GPU. There should still be time left on the CPU side for an advanced sound player and other game logic.
  28. Our Founder's Edition patches came in this week. Pretty cool! Who here will be getting one of these??
  29. gotta love ole Gordo Cooper, one of the Original 7 Astronaut. Another Oklahoman that done good.
  30. And we have another option to connect SID to Atari - NOMari. Many announce and foretell, and here we have a living example. Tori has already connected a lot of other sound circuits to Atari (OPL3 - YMF262, YM2149, AY-3-8910, SAA1099, SN76489AN, SID) so what another could be expected? You plug in and it works. http://atari.myftp.org/index.html There are a few novelties in this project, for some the advantages will be debatable: advantages: additional filter settings, reset button, mono-stereo button debatable: the ability to change the addressing with dip - but most will find it an advantage. disadvantages: difficult to buy, maybe someone will start production? this is not a comparison but it should be noted that SlightSID has a mix input and SwinSID does not. I'm adding a video and a few songs recorded directly from the SlightSID and NOMari card as if someone wanted to compare. and if someone would like to see how UltraSpeed works in xBIOS, see the video 🙂 Overall: NOMari has SwinSID not the original SID. I was skeptical about it, I thought that can't compare to SlightSID but I have nothing to complain about, both products are excellent and fortunately I do not have to choose between one of them: DDD nomari-1.mp3 nomari-2.mp3 slightsid-1.mp3 slightsid-2.mp3
  31. As some of you may already know, a new Atari 8-bit prototype called Cheez-Wiz was recently found. The title screen has a section for 13 different custom options (A-M) but no one can figure out how to enable them and or what they actually do (if anything). I was hoping that someone here could take a look in the game code and see if these options can be enabled or if they're just there for show at this point. I'll attach the rom to this post. You can see my review of the game here: http://www.atariprotos.com/8bit/software/cheezwiz/cheezwiz.htm Cheez-Wiz.bin
  32. Apparently the chiron is not made for heavy duty use: Earlier last night, when I went to start up the next run of shells with modified slicer settings (increased flow by 5%, and a few other things), I noted that it had a hardware failure and E-stopped itself. after making a tiny amount of extrusion on the buildplate. Investigation showed that the build plate was not heating-- Further investigation showed a hard short between the build plate power wires had resulted in the wires burning in half. This was very near a pinch-point on the wire, which the manufacturer had installed as cable management. I grabbed some heat shrink from my drawer, cut a section of suitable gauge speaker wire (Do not have proper black insulation wire, but copper wire of the right gauge is copper wire of the right gauge.) and whipped out the soldering iron.. Some ugly work later, and it seems to be printing again. Still--- Will watch it more closely from now on.
  33. Carissimi, dear all, ciao... Well, to be honest, at least in Italy, back to the '80s, the TI-99 was never boosted by Texas Instruments itself. And this is funny, because they have had many hardware factories in the country: Città Ducale, Avezzano, Aversa. At the age all my friends and schoolmate used to have a Commodore or Sinclair Spectrum. Only me with the TI-99 and another guy with the Sharp MZ-700... Ah... and, of course, the richest one with an original IBM PC. Beside that, as there was not much software available, and the only luxury peripherals available were an external 32K RAM and an external PIO (thank you to Essemmeci), that stimulated my creativity to write software for the TI-99. The best learning model was to type the listings from papers and magazines... kilometers and kilometers of code to learn BASIC programming... and it works and it worth on my side... In 1984 I saw at a computer shop in Rome (I forgot the name), close to the Quirinale capitol hill, my first PEB... but too expensive for my pocket... However, at age 18, in 1986, I got the opportunity to buy one PEB from the US, but something inside me suggest to switch to a real computer, an IBM XT compatible machine: the Acer (MultiTech) Popular 500!!! Wow, what a change... full graphics card, two 5.25 360k floppy disk drives. And the switch to GW-BASIC was pretty quick from TI-BASIC, starting developing professional programs. However in 1989 I came across a complete TI-99 system, included a PEB, pre-owned, like new, in my home city Trieste. Different times, new opportunities, new incomes. Today, at 53, the TI-99 love is back, trying to keep alive all memories. Take care folks, God bless...
  34. You should be able to read them with any text editor or word processor. The reason you may be having difficulty reading the TXT documents is that they are peppered with formatting codes for printing by TI Writer. All of those codes are normal text except the weird line at the end of each file. That weird line has information for TI Writer. I believe there is a utility that can convert these files to PDF documents, but I forget what it is. Someone will be along shortly to clarify. 🙂 ...lee
  35. After all the excitement, controversy, we can all just listed to the original vision! I'm not sure how early it was. Day#1? I didn't hear about Amico until PRGE 2018. I wonder, @Tommy, have you kept a calendar of how many presentations, hours, and questions you have answered since May 2018? It could be a World Record! 🏆 Back then, we lived in an optimistic time, without Covid, and fewer grey hairs!
  36. To add to the above there's a video in the IGN article showing the issue with the controller display, so you can see it for yourself.
  37. When asked directly about gameplay lag using the disc on twitter, the IGN writer said "no lag". Touchscreen lag was with the controller display. https://atariage.com/forums/topic/288558-intellivision-amico-tommy-tallarico-introduction-qa/?do=findComment&comment=4817370
  38. 2 points
    Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance...yessssssss!!!! https://www.polygon.com/22422800/baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-ps4-ps5-xbox-nintendo-switch
  39. Just love the Intellivision game list, it's an easy grab for me for Shark! Shark!, Night Stalker, Astrosmash, and Frog Bog. The others are just bonus fun. I got into those InTV games way back with Game Room for the Xbox 360. It was a super neat idea where you would buy a game for like $2 and then would add it to your virtual arcade (that you could design) that your avatar would roam around. So I had "Arcade cabinets" of a bunch of my 2600 favorites, plus those InTV games I mentioned, and some other great stuff. The Game Room program actually got me back into retrogaming, made me remember my love for all the oldies & goodies. https://evercade.co.uk/cartridges/intellivision-collection-1/
  40. This isn't crying. Crying is what the folks like you here and on YouTube have been doing for the past two years. Crying, whining. Feelings hurt over silly things.
  41. Sure is, but that's a regular sample playback routine on one of the channels, meaning high frequency so not very useful for use with anything but a static screen
  42. You could also compare this to an "Indie game" as opposed to an AAA game. I am not sure why the term "homebrew" is being used for the Jaguar, as this term seems to refer to games that are developed for a system without a license from the console IP owner. Often using "hacked" tools. However, please note that the Atari Jaguar was declared an open platform by their final IP owner "Hasbro Interactive" in May 1999. All development can be done using official tools, and the original developer documentation. So there is nothing that prevents a complete legit game release for the Atari Jaguar, as opposed to many other retro game consoles. Also note that what made the well established game company "Electronic Arts" what they are today, is that they reverse engineered the SEGA Genesis to avoid costly license fees from SEGA. So you could call their very successful games for the Genesis homebrews? (eventually they made a deal, but they used their own "hacked" technology for developing games rather than using the official one) Nevertheless, I think that we have seen some very competent Indie Developed action/adventure games over the years. So if we are to up the competition a little bit, here are a few great examples: Axion Verge, and The Mummy Demastered. Let's where we end up on this one?...
  43. BITD I built this cart extender with a switch to disable the ROM so that hot-plugging isn't needed:
  44. I realize that the post I am responding to is 3 years old. I ran into the thread searching for something completely different but having to do with old 5.25 disks. You are quite right, those disks had both Atari and C64 formats on the same side. I know this because I did them. For posterity or just plain trivia, here is the story as best as I can remember.... I was a brand new post-doc (nothing to do with EE or programming) and still quite poor. I had known some folks from Mastertronic through a local software company (Microprose) a year or so earlier. In the present cases, the guy who would have to make the flippies was keen on the idea of cutting production time in half - No flipping required.. I knew squat about Atari but was keen on the C64 1541 drives. I had added memory to the one that I had and it allowed you to do some unusual things. As it turned out, I needed that hack to make both formats on the same side. Or maybe it just motivated me to learn how to write whole tracks at particular locations. BTW: Adding memory was from an article that I read somewhere - it was not my creation. Bottom line was that I figured that there was no reason why I couldn't put both formats on the same side. As I recall, I started with the Atari disk. I can't remember for sure, but I believe that I had to make sure they were on certain tracks only (low ones) and then I would selectively format and place C64 tracks on the diskette (again, this is where the memory expansion on the drive came in handy). There were some rules to follow, but it was pretty straightforward once I had figured it out. It was tested repeatedly and they worked great. They were very happy with it and, again as I recall, they paid me $100 each time I did this. Can't remember for sure, but I think I did this for 5-6 titles, including the two mentioned. I just saw one of those disks tonight about an hour before reading this thread (I was actually looking for an alignment diskette). From my hand-written notes on the label, it was Speed King and it was dated 9/30/86 and the Atari tracks were on 1-13 and the C64 tracks were on 14-35. I also noted that track 37 was protected. I can't be sure, but I think it was something I came up with and I'm not sure it had anything to do with having both formats on the same drive, and, again as I recall, they didn't want any protection. Wow, that was 33 years ago! You guys have some pretty good memories.
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