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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. Plug and play wasn't my experience. The switchable TOS adapter board will indeed install in the TOS ROM sockets, but in my case, it meant I could not put the disk drive back in. Some users have apparently decided to remove a small piece of the aluminum shield of the drive, but I opted to remove the sockets instead. But when you remove the sockets, you then find the TOS adapter board wont sit flush, as nearby components foul the alignment, so I had to solder the board in at a slight angle. A nice feature yes, but another centimeter on the length of the board and the PLCC would have been clear of the floppy drive, and installed without any drama.
  2. Attached are the Tube SE ROMs with appropriate encryption header. AFAIK its okay to distribute these. I have burned these to 27C160 ROMs and have a working cart of the game, so these do work. As Rayik suggests, I have an uncased prototype board with sockets to test ROMs before soldering them to a unsocketed board and putting them in a case. Good luck. TUBESE_HI.BIN TUBESE_LO.BIN
  3. I feel there has been a noticeable decline in standards of honesty on Ebay with both sellers and buyers over the last decade. As the site has grown and become mainstream, any genre of collectible and scarce product, such as trading cards, barbies, beanie babies or whatever seems to attract those looking to scam their way to a fast profit either by mis-representing what they are selling, or claiming that an item they purchased was never delivered, arrived broken, wasn't properly described etc. I've been lucky. My worst experience was when I sold a completely sealed fitbit to a buyer in Kansas. After she got the item she complained I had shipped her a used item and there was no charger. Ebay forced me to refund her money and pay to ship the item back. When I got it back the charger cable was in the box in its original position. Showing a picture of this to Ebay only got me an email basically stating "tough shit". I got the item back, albeit now ripped open, and was out of pocket shipping to and from Kansas. I've read many many stories of other sellers losing not only the shipping and sale price but never getting the item back at all. If true, Ebay has basically facilitated theft where the victim is forced to pay as well. I remember reading that Pierre Omidyar envisaged the seller/buyer feedback system would weed out bad buyers and seller, but the current management of Ebay seems to have decided that the buyer is always right. I can only image they can see they have an order of magnitude more buyers than sellers, so when a dispute is opened, they will side with the buyer in almost every case. For these reasons I will not sell anything of any real value on Ebay. The retro community for Atari computers is still niche enough that we've avoided much of the drama that happens in other areas, but should I ever decide to sell off any of my valuable Atari parts it will be on Amibay, SellMyRetro or on the for-sale forum here. Never Ebay.
  4. Looks like you're not getting any bites in the Denial forum, so let me see if I can help. How are you connecting the VIC20 to the monitor? The cable is the most likely cause of audio failure. Check the cable for continuity on audio, video and ground. If you are using an RF modulator that's our second most likely culprit. Do you have a composite video cable? The VIC20 can use the same cable as the Atari 800 and North American TI99/4A to connect it to a composite monitor. If you have a composite monitor with audio this will be much simpler. If you look at the 5-pin monitor jack on the back of the VIC20, pin 3 is the audio line, and pin 2 is ground. This is line level audio so taking a line from pin 3 and passing it to any line-in, with ground to the shield should give you audio. Below is an NTSC VIC20 motherboard, looking at the monitor jack from the solder side of the PCB. Pin 3 is the one furthest on the right If you trace Pin 3 back you can see it goes to a yellow capacitor on the component side. You can see it here to the left of the VIC chip more or less in line with the cassette port. On my board is looks to be labelled C16: If you are still not getting audio with a composite cable, check that capacitor for swelling or leakage. Below it is a black transistor, which takes it feed from a resistor that traces back to Pin 19 of the VIC chip. That is where the audio is generated. Trace along this route looking for damaged traces, dry solder joints or blown components. If you dont find anything and your VIC is socketed, you could try to lift it out and re-seat it. Later CR VIC's have a simpler component layout but the pin numbering on the AV jack and the VIC chip is the same. HTH.
  5. Can you take a very close look at Pin 27 of the Gary chip. From the picture you sent it looks like you might have something sitting in the socket, and its possibly some of the coating of the bypass cap that sits to the right of the chip. It looks from the picture as if that little capacitor might have lost of the coating at one end. It's just possible with the jostling in transit something got stuck in there and is preventing the Gary chip from working. The Amiga will boot up without the keyboard. If you suspect there might be a short on the keyboard just unplug it completely. Does the Gotek make a noise when it is accessed? The HxC's can, and in these circumstances it can be helpful to listen for signs of life. Once powered up, wait a few seconds and then hit CTRL-Amiga-Amiga and check to see if the disk shows signs of being accessed. Obviously plug the keyboard back in for this exercise. High res pictures of both sides of the motherboard would be helpful here. At least we could check for swollen caps, damaged traces or anything obviously amiss.
  6. Make very very sure you know what the power expectation is! Given how few STEs sold in the U.S. it is quite common to find British and German units, sometimes with swapped keyboards and sometimes not. Although the diligent owner would have swapped the PSU for a 110V unit you still run into unmodded European units that require a step-up transformer. VGA cables are nice. Do you know for a fact your VGA monitor can handle a 15Khz signal? Many newer monitors cannot. The STE has RGB, composite video and RF out too, although again your success with the composite/RF will depend if your TV/monitor can handle whatever signal the STE is delivering. Did you get a mouse? Do you have one? You can navigate around the desktop using the cursor keys and i think the Alt key if you don't have a mouse. Neither the PC nor the Amiga mouse work on the ST. Other than that use common sense. Make sure the unit is completely dry. Check for any obvious airflow obstructions such as cat fur getting caught in the vents. Don't be surprised if the floppy disk no longer works. I've had to scrape all manner of weird goop off old computers. If you're feeling really daring open up the unit and do a visual inspection. The STE doesn't suffer the same failures as say an Amiga 1200, but you can still look for any capacitor swelling and ensure the handful of socketed chips are firmly in place. Make sure the floppy drive is empty when you first power it up and it should take 6 seconds or more before the desktop appears. If you have a later TOS version you will see an Atari logo and a memory count on power up, assuming the unit works. After you power it up stick around for a while as it warms up. There are some ST diagnostics software disks around that you could find and use to run some soak tests on the unit to make sure everything is as it should be. If you decide to retro-brite it use the bath technique, not the paste technique. Its much more expensive I know, but the latter can cause blooming and may ruin an ST's case. Good luck and congrats on your new acquisition!
  7. It's just a simple +5V/+12V/GND deal - you can use any PC Peripheral power supply and either jump it straight to the SF314 controller board - or I just made a short dongle to change one plug design to the other. Still PM me with your address and I will ship you my SF314 power brick on loan.
  8. Hey I'm still trying to figure out why an anecdotal story shared by Mclaneinc about a former colleague who's lack of work focus necessitated additional manual steps in the company's supply chain management makes him a defacto misogynist. I understand that many, perhaps even most, people believe the 1918 Representation of the People Act was only about extending suffrage to women, whereas in fact it was about a great deal more than that, but I admit I had no idea that retelling a tale of a female office employee who liked "girly mags" and shopping is somehow a dangerous prelude to some Margaret Atwood vision of a dystopian future. Perhaps we need those trigger warnings after all.... Welcome to 2019.
  9. And the "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" is also overused, and was overused even back then. The RT/PC wasn't a huge hit and the IBM PCjr, despite being hailed as a market savior by several important publications in 1983, was a disaster. DEC built a very profitable business selling "open systems" solutions that were often faster, cheaper and more capable than what IBM offered. I don't have any numbers but I recall one sentiment at big blue was that management had been reluctant to invest in small micros due to the failure of the 5100 line, and fears they would cannibalize sales of the lucrative 3270 mainframe terminals. One popular story back then was that management's hand was forced when they realized people were buying Apple IIs to run both Visicalc and connect to an IBM mainframe. Which brings us to another point about the potential success of the Atari 8-bits in business. Besides the lack of vendor supported 80-column mode, the machines also lacked RS232 serial and Centronics parallel ports. I read somewhere that the Atari 850 interface box was a hard-to-find item back in the early 80s, leaving the Atari based business user deciding between the official 825 printer or trying to figure out how to attach that fancy daisy wheel to their Atari. The IBM PC of course offered an IBM branded parallel/serial card as well as a parallel interface on the MDA card, which I guess would have been the most common choice for buyers of the original 5150 machines. I've never been an Apple guy so I am curious if anyone knows if Apple offered an official RS232 interface card for the original II.
  10. Right. That's why I called it a "proposal" and not a "prototype". And for all the Capt. Obvious comments in this thread with respect to IBM never being serious about a relationship with Atari that wasn't the point. That IBM ended up releasing anything that wasn't proprietary IBM in 1981 is in of itself an incredible achievement by the team. Alas that forward thinking was quickly lost. I interned with IBM 1989 thru 91 assisting on projects such as the PS/2 Model 90/95, the XGA and the release of OS/2. Even a teenager could see IBM leadership had no idea how to bring new products to market. We literally competed with ourselves (XGA vs SVGA vs 8514/A), couldn't decide if the graphic card should be built into the PS/2 motherboard or sold only as an option card, and several of the OS/2 lead engineers refused to talk to their counterparts in Microsoft due to all manner of idiotic reasons. My favorite memory of IBM management though was the head of technical marketing for Europe - a Poetry graduate - declaring to the Hursley campus in late 1991 that the PS/2 would be dead within 2 years and that the entire Intel PC user base world wide would embrace IBM's new line of POWER based machines that would run OS/2. Most of the rank and file didn't share his optimism. Had IBM embraced the Atari 8-bit line as the basis of their entry into personal computers the question would be would that have killed the platform as a viable choice faster than Warner did.
  11. Does this help? https://www.ebay.com/itm/BALLBLAZER-FOR-COMMODORE-ATARI-DISKS-EPYX-LUCASFILM-GAMES-5510D-1985-/132803680580?epid=21023889284&hash=item1eebb75944%3Ag%3A3mQAAOSwx5hboFfp&nma=true&si=btvSRia%252BokKyNtGT2yZ2FcGtekk%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
  12. Apparently a picture of an early IBM proposal based on the Atari 800: https://plus.google.com/108984290462000253857/posts/ZHLeJ1nQpZq
  13. Was the password protection ever removed from Frontier: Elite II? My memory tells me on the Amiga it was but not on the Atari. Are you including Falcon games in this list? Crown of Creation 3D is AFAIK still not available for download.
  14. Here you go: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/108472-xf551-oses/?p=1314823 Very excited to see an XF351 in action!
  15. Awesome! I am going to have to find time to pull a Rev 5 out of the closet and test this. Wont be today however, the kids want to go bowling.
  16. I also got the Lotharek built HxC. Great guy who makes awesome stuff. I also got the Amiga External floppy disk adapter. This little device saves you a bunch of hassle by turning the Amiga's external floppy disk interface into an industry standard 34-pin adapter with a 5V power connector too. The cable is just long enough to sit the HxC on top of the Amiga making it very convenient. https://amigastore.eu/en/440-amiga-external-floppy-disk-drive-adapter-m1.html
  17. The XF551 is one of the most troublesome drives for the Atari. The problem is the lousy build quality of the main PCB. A cheaply made single-sided PCB, the traces to the SIO connectors break very easily. If you're buying form the usual scalper/extortion site do what you can to make sure the unit actually works before spending money. Also the XF551, due to its relative rarity, tends to cost much more than a 1050, 810 or common clone. Dropcheck on this forum has replacement XF551 PCBs that require parts from the original PCB. If you are handy with a soldering iron this is a wise investment to keep your XF551 running long term. Also note the XF551 is more temperamental with respect to flippy disks. Such disks require two timing holes to work, so inserting many disks upside down to use access the second side doesn't work. If you are planning to use the drive for commercial software this can be a problem. If your 130XE is PAL the stock XF551 doesn't work at all. You need to replace the drive's ROM. With all that said, the Mitsumi 360K drive is okay and the drive's styling is nice. It is easily upgraded to better ROMs and can also be modified to support 720K 3.5inch drive mechanisms which are great.
  18. Pin 34 (READY) isn't used by the SF314/SF354 drives. That can confuse a disk controller expecting the ready line to be asserted.
  19. The external Gotek can be used to boot the Amiga. Some users simply replace the internal disk drive with a Gotek, although that typically involved cutting pieces out of the case which is a mess in my opinion. Alternatively you can buy or build a DF0/DF1 switcher that causes the Amiga to treat the drive connected to the floppy disk port as DF0 and boot from that. Also if you have Kickstart 3.0/3.1 you can use the Early Boot Menu to tell the Amiga to boot from DF1. I personally use an HxC2001 device which is similar in function to the Gotek but uses SD cards to store disk images instead of a USB stick. The advantage to me is that I can use the same HxC on a number of retro computers including the Amiga, a TI99/4A, the Atari ST and an old Atari PC1. That said I am not aware of any compelling reason why one variation of Gotek or HxC is inherently superior to another. The ACA500+ that sm3 mentions gives you hard disk functionality provided by a pair of CF cards and the second CF card can be DOS formatted to provide for easy file transfers from a modern PC. However this now means you will need to use hard-disk adapted games using WHDLoad, and not the floppy disk images. WHDLoad is pretty good but requires a truck load of RAM to work, so make sure you get the 500+ and not the older ACA500 which only had 2MB of RAM and therefore would not load alot of WHDLoad images. Connecting to LED TVs is a more subjective matter. Some modern TVs have a composite video-in and can take a signal directly from the A520 video adapter although the picture is likely to be pretty crap. sm3 above has already mentioned the Indivision adapter to use the Amiga with a VGA monitor. Another option is the XRGB Framemeister which converts the Amiga's RGB to HDMI and does alot of other nice things. I hear good things about the Framemeister but I personally use an older Commodore 1084 RGB monitor so I have no personal experience. One note on the ACA500/500+. Its a great expansion for the Amiga 500 but does not work on the NTSC Rev 5 machines, which are the most common Amiga 500s in North America. HTH
  20. And no cartridge from Arcade Shopper!! Thanks for the link
  21. Some favorite Spectrum games I'd love to see on the TI: The Hobbit (with graphics). Timegate Ant Attack Knightlore Elite And beyond the Spectrum catalog: Mappy But basically I'm happy that you are developing anything for the TI!
  22. Merry Christmas to everyone around the world from a rainy and cold Seattle! And remember this is the perfect time to fire up the Atari and run Claus' great Christmas Tree Demo... Christmas Tree demo for Atari 8-bit
  23. If Atari had any aspirations to being taken seriously as a business machine they should have delivered on CP/M compatibility, 80-column text and high speed disk drives. CP/M was an already established standard when the Atari was released in 1979, and Microsoft shipped the Z80 Softcard for the Apple II in 1980 further expanding the CP/M market. Of course there were vague plans. The 815 dual disk drive, the 1060 CP/M module, the 1090 expansion module and an 80-column card but it was all half-hearted. Atari ploughed R&D dollars into holograms and hopelessly unrealistic video phones while Apple, learning from the mistakes of the III, sensibly brought us the IIe with vendor supported 80-column mode and 128K of RAM. At the same Atari thought the future of home computers was a built in 2400 baud modem and a speech synthesizer. There there third-party solutions. The Bit3 80-column card. The ATR8000 etc, but who seriously would run a business on an Atari 800 with a third-party 80-column card to act as a dumb terminal to a CP/M solution from yet another vendor who had almost no distribution network? And seriously guys. You could have put a full stroke keyboard on the 400 it would have no difference. No one was going to run a business on a 16K computer with RF only output and no factory authorized way to increase the RAM (until 1983). Atari could have better positioned the 800 as a business machine. Indus' idea of using a Z80 as the CPU in the disk drive would have been a master stroke of brilliance had Atari done it first with the 810. An Atari "800 Plus" stripped of the RF shielding and with externally exposed expansion slots might have helped by making expansion cards feasible. A 1200XL that included 80-column mode as a default option perhaps?, and a dual disk drive that support actual double-density mode or better yet double-sided would have helped. Amstrad proved there was a market for a small-business/prosumer 8-bit machine with their Amstrad PCW range (which was CP/M based - and even used a 3 inch disk drive). I remember Atari briefly packaged the 600XL with a 1027 printer and a copy of Atariwriter, but would you really expect your secretary to type the company letters on that sorry excuse for a real keyboard, and then save her work to a 1010 tape deck? And that would assume your office fire marshal didn't freak out at the multitude of power supply bricks now dotted around the floor, and that no typed letter required more than about 10K of RAM. I recall the Atari 8-bits were often used by cable TV companies to run TV listing channels, and Atari User magazine in the UK carried stories of them being used by the Lawn Tennis Association for something-or-other. But I also seem to recall that Atari themselves used VAX terminals to do the serious work in the Atari offices, probably using the VAX/VMS All-in-1 software package. Given Atari Inc didn't eat their own dog food. I don't think many others would have either.
  24. Thanks for the link. It's odd. If I press the PLAY key very firmly then it seems to stick and run the tape. Also, starting with the Pause enabled, and then releasing it seems to help. It definitely seems like its starting to fail. Hopefully I can get the last of the tape games moved to disk before it completely gives up. I've got a number of projects lined up right now, and rebuilding the rarely used tape deck isn't high on my priority list of things I want to do.
  25. I think my TI cassette deck is dying. After a long afternoon of transferring tape based files to disk for my Camputers Lynx, the cassette deck is now acting as if it is at the end of the tape when in fact it is at the beginning. Tried several tapes, and even advanced forward half way through, with no change. I am guessing the belt has stretched? Before I end up with yet another half dissassembled piece of retro hardware on the desk, and another small pile of screws that I am not entirely certain where they came from, does anyone know the belt specs for these units, and better yet, where to buy them from? This is the beige colored unit styled to match the later 99/4A computers.
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