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  1. Atari Memo Pad has long been recognised as a landmark application in computing history, and now it's finally been ported to the Atari 7800! Memo Pad is an ephemeral messaging and note-taking app. Like everyone else, you've scribbled, doodled, and left messages for friends, with a pen and pad of paper. At first glance, Memo Pad seems to just be a fancy replacement for these physical tools. But looks can be deceiving. Memo Pad brings the power of the digital age to the mundane paper-based pad. To begin with, Memo Pad requires you to tediously enter your information in, one awkward character at a time. There's no quick and frivolous doodling to be found here. Memo Pad demands that only your most compelling notes are worthy of the huge effort to record them. Even better, there is no save functionality! Memo Pad conveniently ties up your whole system, until you decide that you want to play a game more than you value your displayed information. Will you stop and smell the digital roses, or will you keep that note? The answer to that question will shine a light on how worthy your oh-so-special thoughts are! Finally, your Memo Pad notes have an innovative 960 character limit, enforcing brevity of thought. Long-time Memo Pad power-user (and Twitter CEO) Jack Dorsey heavily borrowed from this feature. Always remember that Memo Pad did it first, and Memo Pad did it best. Discover the transformative power of Memo Pad today, with Atari 7800 - The Choice Of The Experts! ^--This one took a while! How long will it be until I break down and play some Food Fight? Atari7800ProsystemMemoPadTheChoiceOfExperts.bas.a78 Atari7800ProsystemMemoPadTheChoiceOfExperts.bas.bin manual.pdf source.zip
  2. Introducing a new free homebrew puzzle game for the Atari 8-bit called Sokoban 2021! This is a full version of Sokoban that includes playable 54 levels. Features include multicolor animated player/missile graphics, fine scrolling, VBIs, DLIs, music, sound effects, and lots of fun! This game is actually 25 years in the making by the team of Anschuetz/Weisgerber/Anschuetz. A little background... The three of us got our Atari 400s in 1982/1983 and immediately started writing BASIC games - three of which were published in Antic and 2 others were purchased by Compute but never published. A couple years ago, we wrote a manuscript that documented the process of writing the games in the 1980s. We also uploaded all the BASIC games we wrote to Atarimania. 1980's Anschuetz/Weisgerber/Anschuetz BASIC Games Release! - Atari 8-Bit Computers - AtariAge Forums The original version of Sokoban was written in BASIC in 1988 and was released on a full disk which included the main game and a level editor. Each level was loaded as a separate file on the disk and it also supported saving high scores. All of this was pretty impressive for an Atari BASIC game in 1988. This game was released through USENET forums and eventually made its way to archive.org and atarimania.com. http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-soko-ban_4784.html The new version of Sokoban was written in 6502 Assembly and is now released as a single 48K XEX executable with all of the levels stored within the executable. Sokoban 2021 was developed a PC and cross-compiled to the Atari 8bit using the Eclipse IDE with the excellent WUDSN plugin with the MADS 6502 compiler. It also uses RMT for music and sound effects and the AtariPlayerEditor to animate overlayed multicolor player/missile graphics. Why go back and update a 25-year-old game? Well, one of us (Eric Anschuetz) is nearing retirement (hard to believe, considering we were in high school when we first started with our Atari 400 in 1982!). Eric wanted to get back into programming for the Atari 8-bit in Assembly to see what our games "could have been" had they been written in Assembly instead of BASIC. A couple weeks ago, Eric got his programming development environment setup. The first game he decided to update was Sokoban. The results turned out quite good in only a couple weeks of programming! The Anschuetz/Weisgerber/Anschuetz team will release additional updated Assembly Language versions of our 1980's games over the next weeks and months! Robert Anschuetz Sokoban 2021.xex
  3. Looking to the future, I'm interested in writing Boulder Dash™ 2 ... n Ten years after the original Boulder Dash™, we now have new technologies and understanding of the machine, and I thought rather than continue to use the original engine, I'd have a go at developing a new one for future versions of Boulder Dash™. The IP owners BBG Entertainment have kindly allowed me to demonstrate videos of the engine as it's being developed. Just to be clear; this is not a rewrite of the original version, and we will not be revisiting those original caves with this engine. This new engine is targeted for possible future versions of the game. And we all know how I lose interest in stuff at about 85% complete. So, don't hold your breath. Very experimental at this stage. For those who are inevitably going to ask about the promised re-release of Boulder Dash™ #1; that is still in the pipeline. We're just moving extremely slowly on this and still lining up all the... things that need to be lined up. That project is not dead, in other words. But that project is not this project. To be super-dooper clear; this new engine is totally unrelated to the original, and in any case it's not going to be ready for yonks. If ever. So, keeping in mind that this is new technology, and experimental only... here is where I'll be posting update videos to demonstrate little bits of stuff as I develop. I'm going to try and tackle some of the shortcomings of the original that have bothered me over the years. So, first-up is the diamonds. It's practically impossible to get a diamond shape in just 4 pixels and we've tried many different things to improve them. Jiggling them up and down was the final solution chosen in BD1. But now I've found a new way that I think looks pretty ace. One of the issues with flashing or pulsing diamonds is that they all flash/pulse at the same time (as per the original). This can lead to an epilepsy-inducing screen when it's full of diamonds. The trick is to find a way to make diamonds look "sparkly" without costing extra memory, and yet not have the whole screen overwhelm you with that sparkling effect. And, do it in 4-pixels-wide! bd2_diamond3.mp4 The colours in BD1 were constrained and designed to match the C64 version closely. I'm not feeling bound to that colour choice at the moment, so I'm just choosing random colour triplets at the end of the video just to give me some idea of the range/combinations that are possible. I don't have any sprites working in this engine yet, so Rockford is represented by the big R . I scroll around a bit - you can see that the scroll resolution is single-pixel, so it's super-smooth-ish. You can see that the logic for diamonds/boulders falling is mostly functional already.
  4. One has an activision-style sunset, but I bet the other has an activision-style dawn. Clearly the difference is night and day.
  5. Well I just got back from the Amico event and I will type up a longer post with some pictures but here are the highlights: 1) The controller feels great in the hand, the buttons have a really nice click, the screen is smooth and responsive & overall it feels solid - no creaks or bends 2) There is no appreciable lag in the games I played (Missile Command, Skiing, Colossal Crash & BiPlanes) 3) The music is awesome, I especially liked in Astrosmash and the way the music hits a crescendo when the volcano erupts - pretty epic 4) I saw Tommy walk over, press the reset button on the Amico and watched it boot 5) Sticking with my prediction that Skiing is going to be way more popular than most people think 6) In the 1980s I sucked at Biplanes, in 2021 I still suck at Biplanes 7) The numerous game modes make these games have way more play value than you might initially think. For example you can play Biplanes pretty much like the original game, however there is a team mode and you can pit two groups of players against each other (it can even be 3 against 1 if you want) catching all sorts of falling power ups, including bombs, and then use the bombs to hit the opposing team's strike zone for points Overall I had a great time, got to see the Amico running, met several great people including YouTubers like Cyrus Martin and Brett Weiss, had a chance to play the games, watched others play even more of the games (I think 11 were loaded on the machine) and I can't wait until I have one in my living room EDIT: I had typed Asteroids as a game I played, sorry it was * Missile Command * - what I get for not proofreading what I type
  6. I have strong opinions on this, but it's interesting to hear what others have to say. I will say that Audacity isn't really doing much different than what I and other publishers are doing. They are creating these games from home, it's not their full-time job, they've setup a company, and they appear to be building and shipping the games themselves. In the case of AtariAge, the main difference I see is that they are writing the games themselves, but I don't think that's very significant (many publishers in the modern day publish games written by other development houses, even Atari has done this). The other difference is they were developing fun games professionally "back in the day", whereas I was a kid enjoying their games back then. They are of course free to describe these games in any way they'd like. I do take issue with anyone stating that what they are doing is more "professional" than what I and others have done over the years. For the last run of games added to the store, I literally spent tens of thousands of dollars to have the manuals, boxes, labels, posters printed, as well as for other items (soundtrack CDs for Last Strike, postcards for reBOOTed and Adventure II XE, etc.), to say nothing of the materials required to produce the game cartridges (shells, circuit boards, EPROMs and other chips), shipping materials (boxes are expensive!), bags for manuals and boxes, bubble wrap, shipping labels, starch packing peanuts, etc. It adds up pretty quickly. Royalties are also paid to authors and I send out 1099s at the beginning of the year. And I'm paying taxes on profits that remain after all the expenses. For me, the term homebrew implies that someone is creating these games because they enjoy doing so and are generally doing it part time. This doesn't mean the games are any worse or better than commercial releases back when the systems were in their prime. Just as with commercial games, homebrew games can run the gamut from poor to excellent. I do feel the term "homebrew" is seen by some to mean "inferior" to commercial releases, though, especially those looking in from the outside who aren't familiar with the whole homebrew scene. ..Al
  7. I'm very late to the "Homebew" or "Developer" talk, but I wanted to add my thoughts because I'm arrogant enough to think my opinion matters! 🤪 AtariAge and @Albert function as a "Publisher" who produces, packages, and gives royalties for games created by "Developers". No different than what happens in modern gaming. We are way past someone at home doing it all by themselves to produce, as @jaybird3rd said, "a humble 4K game in a plastic baggie—complete with a recycled cartridge board and shell, a scissor-cut label and a folded manual printed on a cheap home printer, and artwork drawn by the programmer on graph paper". Sure AA still uses recycled shells, but I can speak with experience when I say that Albert is very, very selective about what shells he will take in to use. I do not consider the games created and sold here as "Homebrew". You are, in my eyes, all capital D "Developers" and I fully support you and your efforts.
  8. Just finished up the copies of Xenon 2, should have Brawn and Brains carts done today, and Last Strike and reBOOTed by the end of the weekend. Goal is to get most of the Jaguar pre-orders shipped at the end of next week. ..Al
  9. My Impressions on the Amico Controller Overall, the Amico controller is second behind the console's philosophy (i.e. the core of the Amico 10 commandments), that make the Amico the Amico. It is different than any modern controller but besides the disc, it familiar at the same time. The controller has some substance, it isn't heavy but it isn't light either. It has a solid feel in the hand. It is a lot narrower & rectangular than modern controllers with their bat like shape, which means it tends to sit up higher in your hand. Here is me one handing an Amico and XBox 360 controller. This should give you some sense of scale (although note that is NOT the play position for either controller): The plastic feels 'quality', there is no flex or creak and the plastic feels good in the hand (we have all felt cheap plastics, so this is what I am referring to). Basically it is the sort of plastic you would feel on an Nintendo Pro, XBox of PS5 controller. The front is poly-carbonate and feels hard and smooth (very much like glass). You don't feel any depression over the screen for example when running your finger across. It just feels smooth & responsive. I have noticed in their assembly video the screen is bonded directly to this top plate and this is reflected in that the screen appears on the the surface of the controller, not buried down inside a bit. The controller sides and back have a matte finish which adds grip - this isn't a slippery controller in any way. The disc also has this matte surface which gives it a bit of velvety feel. It has grip but turns under your finger without significant friction. There are also no sharp edges or pinch points, it feels comfortable in the hand. The controller screen isn't super high res (320 x 240) but at it's size (3.2 inches per the FAQ) and the information it is trying to show (i.e. a transition graphic or a few buttons) it works great The Amico doesn't have super high button count games. Often the disc or the screen will be one or two buttons if used during action game play, and maybe a few more before the game starts or when you are at a natural pause in the game (like in Hot Wheels Colossal Crash when you are knocked out and are setting one of three traps). At no time are you forced to select a fiddly onscreen button during action game play. The disc color ring to indicate your player's color is useful in two ways. First new players can figure out which reticle/ship/player they are, and with a glance you can tell who the other players are too (useful for seeking your revenge in Collassal Crash). Note my camera washed out the light blue color of the disc - it was much more blue in person and matched the 2nd from the left plane on the screen (which is my plane) As stated many times, I couldn't feel any lag while playing. I used the touch screen in Missile Command, the disc in Skiing & BiPlanes and the shoulder buttons in all of them. All were totally responsive (and yes, even when I told my Skier to plow into the tree line - unfortunately it responded perfectly 🤥) The buttons have a nice tactile mechanical click but are easy to press down and the dish face centers your fingers so you don't get 'button slip' during frantic pressing Tommy (below) is holding the controller in the typical way that I saw most people use it (including myself). Even though I am an OG Intellivision guy, the landscape position just seemed immediately natural. Note how the controller sits up higher in your hand and your fingers naturally curl around in the back into the built-in finger well, and on the front and top to the should buttons, disc and screen In the world's worst analogy, an XBox controller kind of feels like you are holding two eggs glued to a center platform while the Amico controller feels like a curved bar of soap (not in texture, it isn't slippery, just talking shape here). Held this way each bottom corner rests in the natural crook below the pad of your fingers. Because most Amico games are designed for multiple inputs it often doesn't matter if it is easier for you to, say, tap the disc or hit one of the two shoulder buttons, all three might be active as buttons. It seems Intellivision design philosophy on this is to give people as many options as possible without having to ask them any questions. People who say 'wouldn't this be better with front buttons?' don't realize the modified hold position means that your hand isn't forced over the front like with an XBox/PS controller. This is just people projecting what they 'know' onto a controller they have never held in hand. Your natural finger positions are pointers over the top shoulder buttons (whatever 'top' is in whatever way you are holding it, you can rotate the controller to disc left or disc right) and your thumbs hover over the disc and over the screen. Any screen buttons would push things out of position and just shrink the screen, which is your major source of information and/or giant button zones. If you HAVE to have a tactile button on front you can put on the Intellvision sticky dots, but I doubt the vast majority of people will.
  10. Yo!, I have a lot of catching up to do, but just wanted to quickly pop in and say that our big (and first) public Intellivision Amico demonstration at the National Videogame Museum in Texas on Friday couldn't have gone better!! Friends, strangers, families, etc. all playing Amico for the first time and REALLY loving it! For the folks who knew about Amico, they said they had high expectations going in... and their expectations were exceeded. They mentioned that holding and using the unique Amico controller and seeing casual, non-gamers & families immediately picking it up and loving it was really incredible and they now fully understand how successful we can be. We are currently working on a trailer of the event that should be out by the end of the week. Here is a video from YouTuber Cyrus Martin about his personal experience. More videos to come!
  11. I made a Mandelbrot Explorer in 10 lines of Atari BASIC for the 2021 BASIC 10 Liner contest. You can get the program, instructions, and a lot of details in the blog post I wrote about it on the Workshop88 makerspace blog here: http://blog.workshop88.com/2021/03/21/an-interactive-mandelbrot-set-explorer-in-10-lines-of-atari-basic/ It contains more about developing a compact Atari BASIC program than any modern human is probably interested in . While doing the project I decided to try to make some Mandelbrot Set zoom videos from the color cycling Atari video captures. It was harder than I thought but I did it! Atari Chiptunes artist Adam Sporka generously contributed the music created on Atari 800 computers. Here is the blog post about making the videos: http://blog.workshop88.com/2021/04/04/atari-8-bit-mandelbrot-set-zoom-videos/ Everything you see and hear in the following videos was created on Atari 8 bit computers: YouTube playlist of 12 Mandelbrot Zoom videos with colored rectangles every time the image doubles in size: YouTube playlist of the same 12 Mandelbrot Zoom videos without the colored rectangles. Let me know what you think!
  12. rbairos

    Movie Cart

    Hi everyone. Thanks for checking out my MovieCart last night. It was the result of a very long series of experimentations and trial and error, in assembly, color processing, microcontroller interfacting and packaging. Shout out to @zackattack for being my technical sounding board from the beginning, and @zeropagehomebrew for debuting it last night! Thought I'd start a new thread to discuss technical issues etc. The final format I chose was a solid block of 10x192 cells, drawn as two alternating checkerboards of 5x192. I had tried/emulalted/rendered several variations of this, including: 12x192 with two random colored columns. 40x40 playfield with full color. 12x192 with alternating r/g/b lines (chronovision) Several variations of alternating columns, alternating diagonal columns, etc. Greyscale floyd steinberg dithering with background color swaps The final full alternating checkerboard is thanks to @DirtyHairy and @SpiceWare for explaining the 8 bit back shift in detail. A developed a testbed in TouchDesigner with glsl and custom plugins to test out all these variations over months. I still have several of those test clips if anyone's interested. In terms of hardware I aimed for through-hole, 5v, simple construction. It uses a 16mips pic (64hz 4-cycle) driving 1K of an 8k dual port ram. Data is completely uncompressed and read using low level SPI interface to an sd card. The mc doesn't have to react to each instruction, but knows which of two possible 128-byte sections of the ram the 6507 is currently accessing, through very careful planning of the kernel. In this way I ended up only needed 3 address lines: A7 -> which one of two possible chunks is the 6507 on A10 -> controller + console messages A11 -> used to enable the ram output onto the bus. Note I did not need A12, so these carts actually work on modified Flashback 2's as well, which don't drive A12 properly. In terms of controller + console data: The mc does not probe any registers, instead the kernel decides to communicate it back, one bit per scanline by selecting addressing A10 line, which the RAM address lines don't use. I have everything up on my github (pcb layouts, assembler, real-time conversion utilities, etc etc) So its available for dissection, improvement etc: https://github.com/lodefmode Going to work with @Zackattack in terms of an uno part, and will likely submit a cleaned-up support for Stella emulation, which was invaluable for this project. Anyways feel free to post any technical comments, questions here. Cheers! Rob "lodef mode"
  13. HOLY CRAP!!! Okay..... THIS needs to happen at some point!!!!!! 2 versions! One that has a cartridge slot and you need to put the overlays in. And a digital version that just has all the games in there already and a digital screen that just changes the overlays when the game is loaded up.
  14. Those with GDs and Skunks, enjoy! R-Type 2 - GD&Skunk.rom R-Type 2 - GD&Skunk.mrq U/D/L/R - Move B - Fire (Hold to charge) C - Autofire A - Release Option Module *# - Quit Pause - Duh.
  15. As most everyone here is aware, Curt Vendel, founder of the Atari History museum and giant of computer history, passed last year. I won't try to expound on Curt's many accomplishments here. So many others have done that much better than I ever could. Just have yourself a quick Google if you're curious. I didn't know Curt personally, but his work has made much of the joy I get out of tinkering with Atari stuff possible, so I felt the need to honor him somehow. To that end, a friend of Curt's family has set up a GoFundMe in his memorial: Curt Vendel Memorial Fund - Madison’s Education And I'd like to promote it and contribute through an auction of a very special item. I have started an eBay auction for the following: The very first Rev.5 SkunkBoard ever built. This is the first prototype board I assembled. It is fully functional and equivalent to the final boards except a few minor layout differences (It won't fit in a standard cartridge case even if the side USB connectors are removed, for example) and using ENIG rather than electrolytic gold connector, making it a bit less durable. This board is special to me for sentimental reasons, as it's the first PCB I ever designed and manufactured, but I'm willing to part with it for this cause. I've hand-labeled it with its serial number. All the other extra items that I'm shipping with my regular SkunkBoard: Collector's edition offerings: A custom-designed box, a rewritten printed manual, and a USB stick with all the source material and drivers needed to use or even recreate a Rev.5 SkunkBoard from scratch. I've saved the best part for last: The box AND manual are personally autographed by John Mathieson, designer of the Atari Jaguar. John was eager to help when I let him know what I was planning, and has included a brief personal note inside the back of the manual as well, the contents of which will only be known to him, myself, and the winner of the auction. To keep it all safe, I'll throw in a brand new plastic game box protector. If you're interested in purchasing this item, you can bid on it on eBay here: SkunkBoard v.5 Collector's Edition Autographed by John Mathieson If you're not but know someone else who might be, please direct them here or to the above auction. I'm not on social media for instance, so if you are, please help out by linking to this thread or the above auction in a tweet/post/etc. in any Atari-heavy communities you're a member of. I'll be contributing the entire proceeds of the auction to Curt's Memorial Fund, covering all related fees and expenses myself out of pocket. If you're not interested in the SkunkBoard, but still want to help out, please contribute directly to the GoFundMe at the link above. Some pictures of the goods:
  16. Early CD game support is now available with the latest firmware. Any game ISO's (CCD/IMG, CDI and CUE/BIN) will need to first be converted into JCD files before they can be run on the GameDrive cartridge. To do this you will need to run your ISO's through this Windows command line tool: https://www.retrohq.co.uk/product/jaggd/cd2jcd.zip You may also need to install the latest Visual Studio runtime libraries from Microsoft if you don't have them already: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads-2647da03-1eea-4433-9aff-95f26a218cc0 The JCD files need to be stored contiguously on the memory card for the CD support to be able to work. Basically this means you need to use a freshly formatted memory card to copy the images onto. The launcher will tell you if there are any issues with the JCD image when you try and run it, if the file is not contiguous it will not try and run it. You will also need to make sure you have the latest firmware installed on your Jaguar GameDrive cartridge. To do this press OPTION when prompted as the cartridge is booting and visit the URL given to you on-screen. If (and only if) you do not have the "Press OPTION for firmware update." prompt come up during boot and you bought the cartridge directly from me a long time ago, then grab the firmware update from the product page. This is early support for CD games, there are issues, but it's at a point people can start playing with it and get something out of it. There is currently no memorytrak support either (yet), so you will not be able to save progress in this way on any CD games. Also be aware I have had reports (and experience myself) of some memory cards not working with CD support. I believe this is due to the cards being too slow to respond to data requests and starving the data through to the Jaguar and causing games to fail.
  17. I don’t think I have really just come out and said this, because you wouldn’t think it is necessary, but here is my exact “relationship” with Tommy Tallarico. First, he has never paid me a dime. Instead I have personally ordered a couple of hundred dollars of merch and last time I checked I have *3* special edition Amicos on order. That is like $1000 worth of Amicos with shipping and taxes. I have a wife, mortgage, two kids in college and that is the most I have probably ever spent on a product I am personally interested in, much less a video game system. I literally went to my first Video Games Live concert in the Fall of 2019 just to meet him and, quite frankly, make sure he wasn’t just full of sh*t. I didn’t see any hardware at that time but I was amazed at this openness when he showed me videos on his phone recently sent from Hans Ippisch about Skiing (he was literally scrolling up and down on his phone's emails looking for the videos). It was an early beta at the time and in one video he even showed me game play without player shadows - that shows how early this was in the development. He didn’t ask me to sign an NDA, in fact, this literally was in the meet and greet line after the concert with dozens of people standing around. Scroll forward to 2021 and a Tommy contacts people he knows lives in Dallas that he is going to show off the Amico there. I think he invites like 10 people (and a couple of staffers were on there too). I know because he had asked for my email so I was on the email blast about the event. I fully expected the event to be in a back room at the museum because, you know, it is an unreleased prototype system. Nope! it was in a hallway of the museum where you could see the front entrance turnstile. Once again no NDAs (although they did have a video release form if you we willing to be on camera) and literally anyone could (and did) just wonder up and the check things out. You might be wondering why I only played a relative handful of games - because people were continually playing it and everybody was rotating around so as not to hog the system. I could only stay a fairly short time (family commitments) so that is how much play time I could get in. I did get a swag bag from Tommy which consisted of an Amico bag, an Amico controller case, an Amico controller disc fidget spinner (actually the prized possession of the lot) and some Video Game Live merch, some of which I had already purchased when I went to the concert (yes I spent even more there on merch, which I am not counting in Amico purchases). I did appreciate that and would like to thank Tommy for it. However for people who want to make something of this - please refer to the *$1200 plus dollars* I have already committed to Amico products. If that is my Amico “payment” I am still well over $1100 in the hole (so far, I am seriously thinking of gifting yet another Amico to a relative this Christmas). Sure I am interested in the Amico, in fact, I am amazingly excited for it especially after the Frisco event - but my “loyalty” to Tommy Tallarico is only just respect for his openness and the quality of things he has shown so far. I don’t owe him anything but HE owes me something. He has promised me a decent, quality system that plays the types of games he has described & shown. So far he has delivered, so he gets my full respect and continued excitement in the system. So that is my “relationship” with Tommy Tallarico, one as a customer, someone who was built into a fan because of the openness & what I have seen so far and someone who is excited for something new in the video gaming space.
  18. TL;DR: I've used Atari 8-bit computers off and on since 1981 and recently got back into them in a big way. Although I've been aware of AtariAge since the early 2000s, I've only become a member recently. Last fall, I posted an article on my website about my early computing experiences on Atari 8-bit computers and how it relates to my current career as a font developer. This attracted the notice of a few folks in the Atari community and I was encouraged by @Philsan to introduce to myself here. Unlike a lot of members here who seem to be GenXers who used Atari computers as kids, I was in my mid-20s when I bought an Atari 400 with 16k in 1981. I'd dabbled with a ZX80 before that and wanted something a bit more capable. The Apple II seemed like the popular choice, but it was expensive. After seeing Star Raiders at a tiny computer shop in Eden Prairie, MN, I had to have an Atari. At first, I just had the 400, joystick, and a 410 Program Recorder, but I soon bit the bullet and got an 810 drive and a 48k upgrade. I also tried to improve the 400's keyboard with a stick-on device called the B. Key 400 that attempted to give you a real keyboard. (It kind of worked.) In 1983, as prices were coming down, I bought an Atari 800, relegating the 400 for playing games. At one point, I had a couple of Percom drives, an Epson MX-80 printer, an 850 interface, Kraft joysticks, a KoalaPad tablet, and an Atari Touch Tablet. Thanks to magazines like Compute!, Creative Computing, Byte, A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing, Antic, and Atari Connection, plus loads of books like Lon Poole's Your Atari Computer, Ian Chadwick's Mapping the Atari, Chris Crawford's De Re Atari, and many more, I taught myself to program in BASIC and dabbled in assembly language and Forth (specifically valFORTH). BASIC A+ and BASIC XL were my favorites. I was also a member of the Twin Cities Atari Interest Group (T.A.I.G.) which met once a month. My dad also had an Atari 800 and shared my interest in Atari computers and programming. For whatever reason, I never got a modem or used bulletin boards. My programming efforts were modest. I had dreams of writing a game in assembly language (or maybe Forth), but mostly I did graphics demos that drew random pictures, a paint program (which worked with either a joystick or touch tablet), some attempts at things like a to-do list manager, and a "15" puzzle. It seems I spent more time reading and dreaming about programming than actually doing it. I used my Atari computers to create a lot of images (Micro-Painter, Fun With Art, Micro Illustrator, Atari Artist, Atari World), including some illustration jobs that were printed in magazines (see my blog post for more info). The Nolan Bushnell portrait is my favorite. I did it using a joystick and my own paint program, which was based on a paint program I copied from Compute! called "The Fluid Brush" by Al Baker. I modified it to work in GTIA modes 9 and 10, to load and save files, and other improvements. The Bushnell portrait was done in mode 10. Since it needed to be in "portrait" mode (to fill a magazine page), I did it sideways, setting my tv on its side to check my progress. In order to get a good likeness, I worked from a color photo of Bushnell, enlarging it to the size of my tv screen and tracing the outlines of different color areas onto a clear plastic sheet with grease pencil, which I taped to my tv screen. The "final art" was made by photographing the screen. The illustration was done for an article about the history of Atari in the August 1982 issue of TWA Ambassador, an inflight magazine that I used to work for. If anyone would like, I could post it here. The article was also reprinted in the short-lived Hi-Res magazine. In 1984, I bought the original Macintosh 128k after being blown away by its GUI and high-res screen. For a while, my computing interests were divided between these two platforms—Atari for gaming and programming, and Mac for word processing, spreadsheets, and graphic design. Atari prices had dropped again by 1985, and I bought an 800XL for less that what I paid for my original 400. I also got a 1050 drive. As the Mac increasingly dominated my computer use (especially as desktop publishing took off—I'm a graphic designer by trade), I still kept my Atari stuff, but used it less and less. Fast forward to 1995, I started getting on the internet. One of the first things I discovered was information and discussions about old Atari computers and that there were emulators, including one that ran on the Mac called Rainbow, by Chris Lam. I contacted him and he mailed me the app on a diskette from the UK. The online community was small, but there were a few web pages and usenet groups. Thanks to this, I learned how to make a null-modem cable and use terminal software to transfer most of my Atari floppies to my Mac as disk images that I could use with Rainbow. There were also a few Mac utilities for the Atari back then such as AtariVDEdit, which let you work with Atari disk images. I was making fonts by this time on my Mac (including my first commercial releases) and decided to make three TrueType fonts based on the Atari 8-bit screen font: Atari Classic Chunky (a bit-by-bit replication), Atari Classic Smooth (flattened corners), and Atari Classic ExtraSmooth (rounded curves). I had this idea at the time that I would use it as part of a Mac program that could open, display, and edit ATASCII files, but I never got very far with programming on the Mac. By the late nineties, I was dabbling in web design. My first attempt was Mac/Atari Fusion, a website where I collected resources for people like me trying to use Atari 8-bit stuff with Macs in various ways. I also made my Atari TrueType fonts available there. It was part of the Atari WebRing (if anyone remembers webrings) and got "site of the week" at Emulation.net. My site got the attention of Kevin (now Kay) @Savetz who contacted me about helping him scan and OCR issues of Antic and A.N.A.L.O.G., which I did for a while. I also created a bunch of graphics and site designs for his websites atariarchives.org and atarimagazines.org in the early 2000s. My interest in Atari 8-bit stuff has come and gone since then. In 2010, I sold most of my Atari stuff to Lance at Video 61, keeping my favorite stuff, like the 800XL, 1050, a few games and other software and books. At some point, I sent nearly all my Atari magazines to Kay Savetz. My interest returned about five years ago when I discovered Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast (featuring my old buddy @Savetz, with @rkindig and @Subby). In a flush of excitement, I bought an SIO2SD device and an SIO2PC-USB from Lotharek, and a MIDIjoy interface (which I couldn't get working). I set up my 800XL and played with it a bit, but eventually lost interest again. Around this time, I heard from Peter Dell, of WUDSN IDE fame. He had written to me in 2012 for permission to use my Atari fonts in his software, but was running into issues with using the low ATASCII characters. The result was a brand new version of my Atari font that is not only used in WUSDN, but also by the FujiNet device and Atari800MacX for printing and displaying ATASCII (and probably some others I don't know about). Peter also persuaded me to create a similar C64 font. (I'm not sure if or where this is available, other than in WUSDN IDE.) Last year, I started discovering Atari stuff on Youtube (8-bit and More, FlashJazzCat, The Modern 8-bit Atari Computer, and others) and got interested in things-Atari again, this time completely going off into the deep end. This is how I ended up writing about it on my blog. My current set up is my original 800XL, with a Sophia DVI upgrade. I also have another stock 800XL and 130XE, both acquired recently. I generally don't use real disks anymore, instead relying on either the FujiNet + a TNFS server running on my Mac, pointed at a directory containing all my disk and cart images, or the SIO2PC-USB cable + RespeQt accessing the same disk images. I also have an Ultimate Cartridge containing my favorite carts and executables. I've also been using Atari800MacX for a while using the same directory of disk and cart images. I've recently made some major updates to my old BASIC XL programs which I may post here. I discovered a very nice workflow where I edit and test programs in Atari800MacX (it's super easy to "print" to a text file for ease of reading and debugging source code), and then running and testing on the real Atari. Plus, I finally figured out how to get the MIDIjoy interface working. I also had fun over Christmas introducing my daughter's boyfriend to Atari computer games (he's a big PC gamer), hooking up my 800XL to our plasma tv using the RetroTINK and loading games via FujiNet as well as local carts. It's been so much fun rediscovering the world of Atari 8-bit and I hope to participate here regularly.
  19. I am glad to present you SortViz my second program written in MadPascal. SortViz is an application which visualizes variety of sorting algorithms. The idea is not mine and there are a lot of videos on YouTube presenting the same subject. But as far as I know, there was no such thing on an 8-bit computer until now. Please note that I created SortViz just for fun and the implementation is not optimized to be efficient or scalable. At this point there are 16 different sorting algorithms included: Insertion sort, Selection sort, Quick sort, Merge sort, Bubble sort, Coctail sort, Gnome sort, Circle sort, Comb sort, Pancake sort, Shell sort, Odd-Even sort, Bitonic sort, Radix sort, Heap sort and Double selection sort. There are also available different methods for data shuffling. SortViz shows each read and write access to the data during sorting or shuffling by green and red markers on the left and right side of the data area. Also the current number of read and write operations is shown. It is possible to change the speed of processing by decreasing or increasing the delay or even pause and resume the processing as well. There are two ways to present the data by a set of horizontal lines which represent the stored numbers or by the image. You can exchange the view using TAB key. It is also possible to run all sorting algorithms in a sequence as a demo by pressing Return key. You can see the SortViz in action on the video below or you can play with the program on your own by executable file which I attached. All source codes of the program are available on my gitlab, please follow the link below: https://gitlab.com/amarok8bit/sortviz SortViz (WIP1).xex
  20. Sorry for the crap footage via my smartphone, and the clicky jagpad. This is still a very preliminary alpha, with placeholders graphs & music. Made with JagStudio and U235 Sound Engine. You can see in action : Many room design (decor, obstacles), and 1 level design (n room in a 5x4 template) 3 weapons : laser, gun, flamethrower ennemies : 2 type of turrets, blobs, flamethrowers 2 players should work but I only have 1 jagpad yet What do you think, is there any interest for a game like this on the Atari Jaguar ?
  21. Hi everyone. This has been a great year for the IntyBASIC Programming Contest, a lot of impressive games have been built for the contest and I want to give thanks to their developers and teams for the effort put into these. In alphabetical order: ARTRAG, Black_Tiger, cmadruga, decle, digress, fsuinnc, Kiwi, Nyuundere, and TIX. Now for people reading this: Thanks for your patience! So let us start the showdown!!! 😎 These are the score tables from each judge: (anonymized) These scores were added and collected automatically in a final table: The final table created automagically this graphic: So the places remain as this: 1st place. Infiltrator (cmadruga, ARTRAG, Nyuundere, and TIX) 2nd place. The Pandora Incident (Pandora Team: cmadruga, ARTRAG, Black_Tiger, and Nyuundere) 3rd place. TV Powww! (decle) 4th place. Eggerland Mystery demo. (cmadruga, and Nyuundere) 5th place. The Depth of Nitemare. (kiwi) 6th place. Mr Turtle. (digress) 7th place. Space Combat. (fsuinnc) The special prize awarded by Mark/Space Inc. to the best entry using ECS and/or Intellivoice goes to Infiltrator (cmadruga, ARTRAG, Nyuundere, and TIX) Further some judges wanted to contribute with comments to each entry: Thanks to all our judges: intvdave, intyMike, nanochess (myself), Tarzilla, Zendocon, and ZillaRUSH. Special thanks to our entry validator senior: intvsteve. Finally thanks to all our sponsors (who just have been properly informed about the winners): Intellivision Revolution, Elektronite, Côte Gamers, Mark/Space and Project Argon, and Collectorvision. As a surprise, Intellivision Revolution will be providing to every contestant a cartridge with their game on it. All 7 places!!! Thanks for this generosity! Zip file of all the entries: intybasic_2020_programming_contest_entries.zip
  22. Nothing tells me the Amico is meant to be a shared, social gaming experience like the Amico console carrying bag, controller carrying bag and, of course, the two included Amico controllers. Here is a bit of an in depth look at the Amico console carrying bag (NOTE: I believe Tommy said these were production, or close to it, but obviously small details could change) First here is the front side of the bag, with the Amico blue logo. The main bag area is about is about 13 inches (33 cm) wide at the widest point and about 11 inches (28 cm) tall (about, because it is a padded, soft sided bag so the size depends on how much you do or don't squish it). Notice the padding pleats, they are all around the bag to cushion the contents: Also the iconic Running Man makes an appearance on the lower right side - this also shows a closeup of the (nylon?) outer shell. Note the long shoulder strap is removable and there is a double zipper design: The clip on shoulder strap can be adjusted between from about 50 inches (127 cm), down to around 28 inches (71 cm) long Inside the bag is a large main pocket and a side pocket (nearly invisible on the right - it has Velcro keeping it closed) for cables and such: The side pocket open inside the main part of the bag: Note the inner material has a baby blanket like finish to help prevent scratches On the flip side of the bag are two controller pockets. Note more padding pleats & the Amico blue pull tabs for the Velcro holding each one shut: He is a closeup of the pull Velcro tab and pocket for one of the two controller side pockets Overall the bag seems really thoughtfully & well designed to safely transport your Amico and controllers.
  23. *UPDATE* Trebors 7800 ROM PROPack v3_8 It has been only a little over 3 months since the last update, but all the developments between hardware and software, the scene continues to remain incredibly active. We could not hold out any longer. So, let's get to it... FINALLY: *Sub-folders* Demos, Hacks, Homebrews, Prototypes, Utilities REMOVED/EXCLUDED: Any hack targeted for a specific emulator or flash cart. It is out of scope for this collection. However, similar hacks of the aforementioned known to have been been produced on standalone carts or universal fixes are valid. NEW: Heartlight, Bomber Hero, Ms Pac-Man (Intellivision Hack), Call Of Duty Black Ops - Cold War (AtariVox Demo), Cybernoid II (Music Demo), Galaxian, Acidjazzed (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), Mayhem In Monsterland (Scroll Demo), OutRun (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), OutRun 2 (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), OutRun 3 (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), Popcorn Music (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), Galaxian Sound Demos - Various, Byzex (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), White Lamp (Dual POKEY 440 450 Demo), Gary Denise Music Demo, Theromstat Music Demo, RealSports Baseball (Overdump 78SG Hack), Tank Command (Overdump 78SG Hack), Tower Toppler (Overdump 78SG Hack), Water Ski (Overdump 78SG Hack), Multicolor RPG (Test), Parallax Scroll Demo 160B Mode, Bomb Jack Sound Demo, Flimbo's Quest Sound Demo, One Zak And His Kracken (Multicolor 160B Plus Mode Demo), LSD Lizard (Multicolor 160B Plus Mode Demo), Good Dino (Multicolor 160B Plus Mode Demo), Steam Ponny (Multicolor 160B Plus Mode Demo), Wonderland (Multicolor 160B Plus Mode Demo), We, Robots (Demo), Proline Charge Check, Raindrops (QuadTari Demo), E.X.O. Band - Area 1 Prison, 7800 Non-Interactive Title Screen, Congo Bongo Graphics Demo, Text Incrementer Demo, Screen Safe, Mario Bros Sound Demos (POKEY), WSYNC Demo, Plumber Buddies (Rough Demo), Camouflage - The Great Commandment (Music Demo), Mario Bros - Ice Stress Test, Horizontal Shooting Demo, Platformer Demo, Black Lamp Music Demo, Sprite Engine Test, Walker - Tech Demo, Space Peril, Wond'ring Aloud (Covox Demo), Dragonfly (Graphics Demo), Portal, Atari 7800 ProSystem Memo Pad, b*nQ (No POKEY Init Hack). UPDATED: Popeye, Arkanoid (ChunkyPixel Games), Dragon's Havoc, Knight Guy On Board - 30 Squares of Fate, Danger Zone, Heofonfir, UniWarS, Dragon's Descent, E.X.O. Elite Xeno Operations, Pac-Man Collection - 40th Anniversary Edition, Wizard's Dungeon, Dragon's Cache, Binary Land, V Blank - Chapter 1 - Into The Void CHANGED: XMYM Tracker - Side-Crawler's Dance --> ym2151 bit added, XMYM Tracker - Zanax --> ym2151 bit added, Pac-Man (YM Sound Test) (v14) --> ym2151 bit added, b*nQ --> savekey bit added Thank you, thank you, thank you! An incredible site and community, with a magnificent pool of talent and interested ones, keeping the 7800 platform exciting and vibrant. It is very much appreciated!
  24. Meanwhile...... located somewhere in the far reaches of the outer rim the adventure begins.
  25. Finally taking the time to prepare to purge extra accumulation. 😮 I’ll be listing some stuff in the future as I catalog and test. You never realize how bad it is till you start digging through boxes. 25 years of accumulation. Here’s part of it. 🙄
  26. Hi everyone! It's my absolute pleasure to announce the availability of the paperback version of Advanced Game Programming for Intellivision. In this book I discuss the development of games looking more professional both on terms of title screens, gameplay, sound, and music. The complete source code for Oh Mummy! Pumpkin Master, Meteor Storm, and Dungeon Warrior is included. Each of these games includes a particular technique that I wanted to comment: Oh Mummy! movement of the player on a maze, and how enemies pursue the player. Pumpkin Master, shooters techniques to create tons of bullets without exceeding total sprites. Meteor Storm, techniques for pseudo-3D scaling of sprites, animation of screen zones with multiple images. Dungeon Warrior, techniques for drawing pseudo-3D mazes on screen, including scaling of enemies per depth, and of course algorithms for Role Playing Games. A full chapter dedicated to the creation of sound effects and converting music sheets to IntyBASIC is included, furthermore tips for converting pictures to Intellivision graphics. And there is more of course like a foreword by @intvnut, and the appendix Tips from the Trench by @Zendocon. BTW the beautiful Intellivision II shown in the cover is courtesy of @Rev Enjoy it! Paperback (Lulu): https://www.lulu.com/en/en/shop/oscar-toledo-gutierrez/advanced-game-programming-for-intellivision/paperback/product-q8gzjn.html Hardcover (Lulu): https://www.lulu.com/en/en/shop/oscar-toledo-gutierrez/advanced-game-programming-for-intellivision/hardcover/product-m5p856.html Paperback (Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/-/es/dp/1678045624/ E-book: https://nanochess.org/store.html Soon to be available in hardcover (just waiting for samples to approve). P.S.: BTW this book at 294 pages is bigger than the first one!!! Video of the book:
  27. I confirm it, soon I will develop an adapter with the YM2151 module, it will work with any cartridge (homebrew, Concerto, CC2, Mateos). There will probably be two versions, one in the "old" through-hole technology, matching the case from the original game, the other version in SMD technology, a smaller one, matching the case from 3D printing. Both versions will have identical functionality. I will publish the documentation of both versions on the forum, anyone who will be able to make the same adapter. For those who cannot, I will have ready-made SMD versions for sale.
  28. Check out my latest offering! The Atari 600XL (with a 1064) was used for many of the sounds here, as well as the visuals. a quiz - which POKEY distortion setting did I mostly use? that’s an easy question for you guys I reckon. But can you name the A8 drum sequencer I used in the second verse? I hope I won’t find myself banned for ruthless self promotion 😉 I hope you guys instead appreciate my humble efforts for spreading A8 love here in Finland... where tha ATARI 8 bits were pretty much unknown even back in the day as this was Commodore country then!
  29. Busy week! Lots to catch up on! In the meantime.... Intellivision is proud to announce that former VP of NBC Chuck La Bella will now serve as our Vice President of Entertainment Acquisition! Chuck has been involved with and produced some of the biggest TV shows over the past few decades including The Apprentice, Celebrity Apprentice, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, America's Got Talent and The Voice... just to name a few! In his role as VP he will be working with both our marketing and business development teams to bring in amazing high profile partnerships, licenses and people from the entertainment industry.
  30. This is the first real BOSS in Asteroite (no mini-boss like the Alien, and Predator you saw in the earlier videos) As promised, it features an animation style similar as in the later Contra and Probotector games: (e.g. using several animated parts, look at the elastic arms etc.)
  31. THE MOST IMPORTANT INTELLIVISION AMICO VIDEO SO FAR!! For over 3 years I've been telling people around the world how Amico is going to bring families and friends together like no other video game platform. I've talked about how simple and easy the games are to pick up and play (no matter what your age, gender or gaming skill level) and how intuitive, unique and incredible our controller design is. And although we've done years of focus group testing, now that the worst of COVID seems to be in the rear view mirror, we wanted to finally get out and show Amico in a public place for the first time and have people play it and get their thoughts. So a week and a half ago we took Amico and 11 of our launch games and traveled to Texas to the National Videogame Museum to share with the general public. Here is our video overview of that most incredible and exciting day! We have 10 days left for our SEC approved investment opportunity on Republic (the same portal that Elon Musk used for SpaceX!). As of this post, we've already raised over $9.7M (we raised millions more through other means as well). If you'd like to learn more you can check it out here: https://republic.co/intellivision-amico There is a great Discussion/Q&A area as well as an FAQ that answers most questions. If you have any questions related to the offering, it's better to ask/leave your questions there. Thank you all for your support and interest in Intellivision over the past few years. I'm pouring my heart and soul into this and giving it everything I possible can to make it a huge success. I can't wait for everyone to play it for themselves!!
  32. Asteroite April update. Thank you Krauser for new music and enemies, @SlidellMan for the pipe tiles: and some initial work on a large BOSS, consisting of several parts, animated using key-frames (like the bosses in later Contra games) Thank you Krauser for the BOSS parts.
  33. Thank you everyone for your words of support, it means a lot. ❤️ - James
  34. I bought original 1088XEL and had problems collecting BOM. Also, I love SMD chips. I ranted about it in other forum thread and soon received some angry (and motivating) responses - if you don't like it, do it yourself. And thanks to original author of 1088XEL, some other people who give me a link to Eagle schematics file I had starting material. After some time (only few hours on weekends and thanks to ... Covid) I have made Rev.0.0 of my version of PCB. It is only TWO layers only (much cheaper in board house) and very common SMD components. It must be 99% compatible with original DIP version with some modifications: All resistors, capacitors and common chips are SMD I removed quite expensive USB-RS232(TTL) converter and replaced with STM32F103 (source from Aliexpress ~1USD module). Software for it is standard example from STM32CubeMX package. Removed very specific audio connector. No more other components under the chips. Only one (optional) capacitor is under the chip. I have 4 pcs spare PCBs, so if someone wants it, contact me. You pay shipping and package (from EU) and PCB with SRAM chip is free. The only request- please test the PCB with your fancy additional hardware. All files (for REV.0.0) are available at my www (http://www.vabolis.lt/2021/03/27/atari-1088xel-smd-rev00/ ) , sorry, Lithuanian version only (for now). I am not reccomending making boards from available gerbers as soon I will post Rev.1.0 with some modifications.
  35. Just a head's up, @InsaneMultitasker and I are working very hard to get MDOS V7.30 released today. Continue following this thread for the release and this message will be updated with the files. And here is the update. Questions regarding the update should be posted in this topic. MDOS730.zip I have also attached the two 360K DSK images Michael created here if people feel more comfortable with the DSK images. geneveos730b.dsk geneveos730a.dsk
  36. Hi everyone, Ever wondered how @nurmix posts AtariAge messages from his K/C? Wonder no more! I have a short view review of @Ron The Cat's K/C running Jack's Conversational Intelli-talk, the software he uses... Let me know what you think. Cheers decle --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sent from my Keyboard Component using Jack's Conversational Intelli-talk Cassette
  37. Just got my hardcopy #159. Went to play it and unfortunately they loaded Casey's Gold onto the cart by mistake. At least I have my digital copy of Circus Convoy to tide me over until they can straighten this out.
  38. A year ago today I joined the light side and became Intellivision Master.
  39. Hi all, here's a little mini update on Nitrous. All GFX, SFX, track layouts/length and general design are still work in progress. Quick video to show a few of the new features; - Screen shake on jumps. - New HUD. - New larger full colour horizons. - Fuel gauge to show distance to stage end. - Nitrous flames. Slipstream to replenish the Nitrous tank. - Other things have also been completed but aren't shown yet in the video.
  40. Voila! The first 25x25 QR code generator is working. The encoded message is hard coded (you can patch the ROM if you like), but the QR code is really generated on-the-fly. There are still a few to dos, e.g. there is NO RAM free and the mask pattern is fixed. But these are relatively simple problems. Code and data currently require ~600 bytes, the code is generated in ~190,000 cycles. BTW: With the left difficulty switch you can move the QR code up and down. This is meant for testing on CRT TVs. QR Code Generator V0.1 (Thomas Jentzsch) (2021).bin
  41. Tommy, I'm done with Amico and can no longer support it. October is too far away. So, I'm getting an Atari VCS. It's way cooler. You won't see me around here anymore sadly. This is my last post. It's been fun though. Good luck with Amico. Bye. April Fools!
  42. LOVED the designs and tan colors of the Intellivoice games, instant classics imo! Imagic and their unique silver boxes also really stood out from the competition. Whoever came up with that idea deserved kudos, a pat on the back and a monetary pay hike. However, to each his or her own. Variety is the spice of life. @IMBerzerk is on point.
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