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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. You can't save to those digital tape devices right? Just wondering.
  2. Hey go easy there... he's trying to port the classic game Bioshock to an 8-bit as you can see from the demo release: http://atariage.com/forums/blog/738/entry-14957-demo-released/ Given the sample code shared I'd have to agree with the OP. No way could Commodore V2 BASIC handle that level of programmatic complexity.
  3. For when everyone gets their Indus GT drives upgraded with a new Super Charger, attached are some CP/M format disk images. You can copy these to physical disks, or just load them under SIO2PC or APE presented as drive 2, with your Indus as drive 1. Terminal is probably set as ADM3. Microsoft BASIC - CPM80.atr Microsoft BASIC - Utils - CPM80.atr Zork 1 - CPM80.atr Zork 2 - CPM80.atr Zork 3 - CPM80.atr WordStar - CPM 80.ATR Turbo Pascal 3 - CPM80.atr
  4. I just recently picked up a PC1, and so far I am using a Commodore 1084 monitor. CGA sucks, but even if I could find a color EGA monitor at a reasonable price, I don't know I have the space to store it since it would only be usable for this one system.
  5. There's been a few discussions on the STF's power supply requirements, below is one: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/198431-diy-retro-fitting-a-picopsu-into-a-stffme-machine/ The red lines are +5V. The black lines are ground. The blue is +12V. This is the same for the STF, STE, Mega ST and Atari PC1. From memory the +5V needs about 2A. The +12V much less. Maybe 0.5A? In the thread referenced you can see they used Pico and ATX PSUs to drive the Atari, the Mean Well RT50B will also drive it, as will the excellent replacement PSUs from Exxos' web store: https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/
  6. The Atari ST case badges seem to have a habit of lifting on one side. I've used Gorilla Glue in the past to stick them back down, but I am also aware that case badges should be carefully removed before attempting retrobriting. Does anyone have a recommendation for an adhesive that will keep the case badge firmly in place, but also allow it to be removed should the case ever need cleaning, painting or briting?
  7. Circling back to the list provided by SpiceWare, I enjoyed reviewing the Radio Shack catalog from 1980. I didn't know Radio Shack had already retired the TRS80 Model I by this time. The $399 CoCo with 4K RAM came with Color BASIC. To get Extended Color BASIC you needed the 16K RAM version, and it cost at least $599. Does anyone know the differences between Color BASIC and Extended Color BASIC? Was regular "Color BASIC" significantly better than Commodore BASIC V2?
  8. I agree with your list of great games, and yes Aztec Challenge was a disaster. Of course it wasn't just the VIC that got lousy ports. One of my best friends had a 64 and I loved playing Airwolf. Later I got Airwolf for my 800XL, from the same publisher Elite. But Airwolf on the Atari wasn't even a bad port - Elite had simply licensed an entirely different helicopter game that already existed on the Atari, and slapped the Airwolf label on it. Unlike the 64 version with smooth graphics and that catchy Airwolf tune playing, the Atari version was a bad clone of Protector (at least from memory). I had borrowed the game from a friend. So I didn't lose money on that one, but I did learn the utter cynicism with which many of the software publishers of the time treated their customers. I'd add Jet-Pac, Arcadia and everything by Jeff Minter to the list of great VIC20 games.
  9. According to Wikipedia, in June 1981 the revised TI99/4A was $525. For that you got: 16K RAM full travel keyboard (albeit rather small) 32x24 display upper case only line editor in BASIC Also, the CoCo and the TI could use any domestic cassette recorder, whereas the Atari and the VIC required dedicated tape decks that added to the cost. The VIC still looks the best value for the beginner.
  10. When I first moved to the States back in '96 I bought a TI99/4A from a thrift store in Peoria, IL. which included the 10" Color Monitor and a complete boxed MBX system. I don't remember what I paid for it, but it was the cash in my wallet, so not much. The MBX came with no games, so after fiddling with it for a while, I sold it on this new website called "Ebay". Used a polaroid camera and a flat bed scanner that connected to the PC via the parallel port to take some pictures and upload them. Damn that was hi-tech! I got $250 for the MBX even back then. Wonder what they'd fetch, complete in the box today.
  11. I read somewhere on the internet (so it must be true), that Jack Trameil had negotiated a deal with a niave Bill Gates back in 1977, for 8K Microsoft BASIC for the Commodore PET at $1 license per unit shipped. That is what we knew as Commodore BASIC V2. The deal had no end date, and did not limit the agreement to any Commodore product line, so as long as they made no changes to the code, Commodore could keep shipping V2 BASIC for $1 a unit as long as they wanted. Hence the weak V2 BASIC is what we got on the PET, VIC20, Commodore 64 and Commodore MAX. I don't know if the V3.5 BASIC on the 16 and Plus/4 or the V4 BASIC on the later PETs were covered under the agreement or not, but Commodore was more focused on driving down cost than delivering a more adequate BASIC. As others have stated above, alternatives such as the ZX Spectrum came along later, and even though Sinclair BASIC might be a better option for the new programmer, the god-awful rubber keyboard and single key entry system negated much of that benefit. In 1981, the alternatives in the U.S. would have been the more expensive TRS80 Color Computer with its chiclet keyboard, the Atari 400 with the touch sensitive keyboard (and extra cost Atari BASIC cartridge) or the TI99/4A. TI BASIC was probably better, but I think in 81 there was a very large price delta between the TI and the VIC, and the double-interpreted TI BASIC is extremely slow, something that was highlighted by reviewers of the time. The Apple II was just too expensive to be considered. In the UK, the alternatives would have been the ZX81, expensive options like the Sharp MZ80 or the Acorn Atom. I don't know much about Atom BASIC, but the machine was monochrome only, and Commodore highlighted the VIC's color "graphics" and sound. For the beginner on a limited budget in 80/81, the VIC20 was really a good option, especially if you added a Super Expander, which added another 3K of RAM and also provided rudimentary commands for color graphics and sound. Commodore planned a Super Expander for the 64, but ultimately released Simon's BASIC instead. As later alternatives appeared, the magazines of the era often pointed out the poor Commodore BASIC V2. But the VIC continue to sell through 84 as it was cheap and had a good library of games, and the 64 relied on its superior graphics and sound capabilities.
  12. So yeah... That irrational "want" is now an irrational have.... Not sure what I am going to do with this. It came with a few cassette games which might still work... Job 1 will be a gentle clean to get that gunk off the case and keyboard. Job 2 will be to organize a US power supply for it. A Mean Well RT50A should do the job. Job 3 will be to make a Lynx RGB to Commodore 1084 monitor cable. I've seen two different pin outs for the Lynx RGB port so this will require some testing. Also the Lynx 5-pin RGB port has a pin arrangement I've not seen before, like a 6-pin DIN layout but with pin 6 deleted. Might have to grab some 6-pin male connectors from Vetco and practice removing the center pin. Job 4 will be to see if I can get TAP files to convert to WAV files and see if I can get the Lynx to load them from something pretending to be a cassette deck. I guess I could try recording the WAV files to actual cassettes and then loading them from my TI cassette deck. More investigation required on this one. Job 5 will be to see if I can recreate a joystick interface using the schematics shown on Russel Davis' site. If I get really ahead of myself I might even see about recreating the disk interface. There is a schematic for that too, although I was surprised to see that the "disk interface" pack that attached to the back of the Lynx does not include the disk controller chip, only the Lynx DOS ROM, the WDC1770 chip being located inside the actual Lynx disk drive. It would be amazing to get this thing talking to the HxC2001, but that's a longer term goal. Still, I've wanted one of these since I was 12. Now I have one, what next? Maybe a Mattel Aquarius.....
  13. Hey thanks guys. I followed the link that PeteE gave and ordered one of the 9929A to RGB boards from OshPark (well actually the minimum order is 3) I think its just the PCB, so this will be entertaining, but I will try this and see how it goes.
  14. I recently acquired a CGL M5. Its a machine I've wanted since they first came out. I loved the design of the Sord M5, and even though the CGL version doesn't share the Sord's elegant "M5" logo, it wasn't very expensive and allowed me to explore the great "M5 Multi II" multi-game ROM made and sold by Charlie Robson. Now this post may be in the wrong forum. But you guys know TI hardware better than anyone, and the CGL M5 uses the TMS9929A VDP also found in European spec TI99/4As among many other machines. The M5 then converts the R-Y, Y, B-Y output to composite PAL. But my monitor is a North American Commodore 1084, and expects composite NTSC or RGB. I've looked around for a 9929A to RGB conversion schematic, and there are a few, including the one linked in this document from a Sega SC3000 forum: http://www.smspower.org/forums/2325-RYBYYOutputFromSC3000VDPTMS9929 But I also see that some people have tried this approach and met with mixed results, including one ColecoVision owner who it seemed may have fried his machine in the effort (see post 26) http://atariage.com/forums/topic/110598-colecovision-av-out/page-2 This guy has a neat looking board that it seems would make pulling RGB from the TMS9929A straight forward, and has generously shared all the schematics and build files, but since I have never had a board made before I am way out of my depth on this one: https://hackaday.io/project/13056-tms9929a-rgb-and-component-adapter So another approach might be to convert the CGL M5 to use a TMS9918A instead? Can that be done? From an evening spent looking at websites, it seems I might be able to remove the 9929A and insert the 9918A. Leave pins 35 and 38 NC, and then drive pin 36 directly to the RCA jack. I'd need to replace the oscillator too to get the right color signal for NTSC, and probably burn a Sord NTSC BIOS so that the unit reports itself as NTSC to those games that depend on timing. So how insane is the replacement plan? Would it work in theory? Assuming there isn't something else in the Sord's design that prevents it? Can you tap composite NTSC right off pin 36 of the VDP? What else would I need? Diodes? Resistors? And if these questions are worthy of a face palm, should I just go hunt for a native NTSC Sord model? I can also lug my Sony PVM out of the closet which has PAL and NTSC Composite and S-Video, but doesn't have RGB, so the Amiga and ST displays look awful. Thanks for any pointers.
  15. She lives! After removing all of the RAM chips and replacing them with new socketed RAM, I was greeted with a black screen. I then found a broken trace that leads to pin 4 of the first memory chip. You can see the trace in the picture below. So I repaired that, and next I got a different screen of garbage to the one I got before removing the original RAM. I tested the RAM chips in my 256K modded 1200XL and found it was all good, so it wasn't the memory chips. Then I watched the Youtube video by the 8bitguy where he shows using a logic probe to diagnose a faulty VIC20. I got a probe from Amazon, they are not expensive, and clipped it onto the cartridge port pins 1 and 39 for +5V and GND, and them probed each RAM chip. Everything north of U38 was faulty on the A8 and A4 address lines. So more careful examination and I found more broken traces. You can see the line to Pin 1 of U38 under the magnification is broken, the break occurring right next to the blue wire wrap that is another repair I had to do. Here is a shot of all of the patches that were needed: To be fair, some of the patches were necessitated by me. Pulling the original RAM chips out damaged some traces, as the RAM chips had melded themselves together and glued themselves to the PCB. I've learned that I need a hot air station before I try this again. A Hakko vacuum solder gun, flux and a roll of braid isn't enough with these fragile ST era boards, and applying heat to a pad for any length of time may cause it to lift and break. But beyond the learning experience, I also now have a second working 520ST motherboard, which is cool.
  16. Probably the same reason that we would consider using The Last Word and SynFile, SybCalc, ect over Office 2016. Because we can! And we're a little odd. I already have an Indus GT Super Charger, from the run Tregare did a few years back. It's fun to boot the Indus into CP/M mode and play around with those old apps. I've especially enjoyed playing Zork in native 80 column mode, but be warned - it is pretty slow! Glad to see this great expansion option being produced again.
  17. That's right! Sales of Windows 10 have been sluggish, and many users have preferred to stick with their Windows 7, Windows 8 and even Windows XP.... But Satya Nadella has a cunning plan! Get Darek to release an updated version of his coveted Atari ST "Gemulator" on Windows 10! Sales are going to be huge.... It's the new killer app.
  18. I voted "piece of cake" - at least I think I can! I have a Corcomp 9900 micro-expansion and I also have Chinon 360K DSDD drives with the 36 pin ribbon connectors on the back. I assume if I connected one to the other, the result would let me read a 90K TI disk. I havn't tested it though. I usually use a 3.5in drive with the TI. I have a handful of 5.25 TI disks in the diskbox but I moved most stuff to 3.5 inch a long time back.
  19. Did anyone here ever take that "100 Free Programs with any Atari 400 or Atari 800" promotion that Silica Shop used to promote every month back in 82/83? Often wondered what those 100 free programs were. Probably type-in listings on a cassette tape. Here is what I am talking about: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andysretrocomputers/3311860691
  20. You sure about that? I found this site: http://www.gossuin.be/index.php/520-et-1040-stx With schematics for an original 520ST, and it shows Pin 4 of the RAM (RAS) going to Pin 8 of the MMU. It also has the original Atari technical bulletin that explains the piggyback RAM expansion, but it is in French.
  21. @rcgldr Can you tell me to which pin of the MMU the Pin 4 of the extra memory is wired? I have a cut trace on this motherboard that routes to pin 4 of U16. The line then disappears under the MMU and I can't see where it goes. I am not enthusiastic about desoldering the entire MMU to figure it out. Having removed all the memory, installed sockets and new RAM, I am now powering up to a blank black screen. So that's progress...
  22. So I have a 520ST with the infamous "piggy-back" RAM expansion, And sure enough, I power up to a colorful screen of garbage. Reading a post wood_jl made over at atari-forum, I noted he reported something Best Electronics apparently said: "A. Our Atari 25+ year Super Tech does not recommend this 520ST Ram Upgrade. When they do go bad (and they do) they are about impossible to repair. Our Super tech will not even touch one that comes in for repair." Impossible? I can image heat management may have caused one or more of the RAM chips to go bad. There may be some bad soldering in there too. But if I desolder all the RAM chips and install new ones shouldn't that correct the issue? Or does the piggy-back mod typically impact other components too? To be clear, I am hoping to restore this machine to a stock 520ST with just 512K of RAM. I am happy to sacrifice the extra memory. I have other STs for software that needs extra RAM.
  23. I wanted to create a cable to connect my Amigas to my Atari SC1224 color monitor. I found a few forum posts on the issue: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=80003 http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=30991 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/189852-how-to-find-a-good-amiga-500/ But nothing with the actual schematic. It should be straightforward, but the poster in the English Amiga Board post stated he was having problems, and someone suggested taping the CSYNC line instead. Anyway, I made a cable with a simple RGBHV and GND connection from the Amiga to the SC1224 and it works beautifully. I added audio too by tying left and right audio together and feeding them to pin 1 of the Atari monitor. Here is the schematic: And here are some results: I figured I would add this here for anyone else wondering if there is some weird magic to connecting an SC1224 to an Amiga. There isn't. The only surprise was that the original Amiga RGB video cable I tried to use as a donor does not carry HSYNC and VSYNC at all. I has to sacrifice an Amigakit RGB to SCART cable in the end too. So far at least though it works great and looks beautiful. Graham
  24. I did actually use a Commodore 64 in the 80's. My best friend had one. I had an Atari 800XL. We'd play over at his place some days, and at mine on others. We'd play Thing on a Spring, International Soccer, Impossible Mission, The Dambusters, Beach Head, Entombed and many others. And I don't know about one third of the titles on the C64 Mini. As for "The 8bit guy", I have found his videos both entertaining, nostalgic and at times very useful. His video on diagnosing a faulty VIC20 using logic probes was very informative. And yes it was obvious from the moment of power on that RAM was the issue. That's not the point. He used it to demonstrate how to check a number of components in a clear and simple fashion. I see a lot of videos on YT, from cooking, to home repairs, car maintenance, to retro stuff, that start with a shaking camera that's out of focus and a narration that's barely audible. There not even worth the 5 second ad you just had to sit through. Doesn't matter how much of an expert you think you are. If you hide it so well you're no use to anyone.
  25. Do you know the memory of your 400? The stock machine had 16K which limits your options. What constitutes a good game is subjective, but some of my favorite 16K cartridge games: Battlezone Boulderdash Centipede Defender Deluxe Invaders Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Jr. Frogger Gyruss Joust Miner 2049'er Missile Command Orc Attack Pac-Man Pitfall Pole Position Rally Speedway River Raid Robotron 2084 Spy Hunter Star Raiders Submarine Commander Super Cobra Up n' Down Zaxxon Zone Ranger If you have 48K then you can explore some of the XE era cartridge games: Airball Ballblazer Blue Max Choplifter David's Midnight Magic Into the Eagle's Nest Rescue on Fractalus From memory all of the above will run with 48K. I would suggest you consider getting an SIO2SD or similar device, or a programmable cartridge that you can download images to. Have fun. Graham
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