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oracle_jedi

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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. I removed the BASIC chip from an 800XL and it did exactly what yours is doing - booted up to Self Test and only tested 40K. The 8K for BASIC is still masked out, even though the chip isn't present. Hold down OPTION on start up and try the test again, you should get 48 blocks.
  2. The logo shown is Television South, the ITV franchise for South East England until the early 90s when it was replaced by Meridian. TVS made TV shows, not TVs. Mitsubishi perhaps? Their logo is roughly triangular like the Fuji. As a kid I used my 800XL with a Mitsubishi "Blue Diamond" TV that I "borrowed" from my Dad. Great picture on that thing.
  3. Why would anyone buy an Atari branded PC clone in 1987? In the U.S. Tandy had a full store presence in almost every town, and the Tandy 1000 series were widely available, extremely successful, and expandable. In the U.K. and Europe, Amstrad/Schneider had their PC1512s and PC1640s which were widely available, extremely successful, and expandable. Tramiel had burned bridges left and right with both suppliers and retailers. He had a very limited distribution network, and fading brand recognition which, such that is was, potential customers associated it with games, not computers. And with the PC standard essentially being open, aiming to be the low-cost leader is a race to the bottom, as Gateway found out. I love the Atari PC1. I wish I had one. Its so damn cute. And it uses the same floppy disk and mouse interface as the ST. But I also remember looking at the PC1 back in 1988, and being told by an Atari representative that it was not expandable at all. I was surprised to find out later it does in fact have an internal expansion bus and a single 8bit ISA card could have been installed. Atari's marketing and customer support under Trameil was incompetent. Apple, Amstrad, Dell, Compaq, HP, Tandy and even IBM made money in the consumer market offering machines that were capable, but also available, and most importantly marketed and supported. Trameil never seemed to figure that last part out.
  4. Well BC is a big place, but if you're anywhere close to the border, note that we are having the SRGE show in Seattle on June 16/17. Its really more console oriented than personal/home computer, but I will be there, and would be happy to give you a couple of 720K disks with ST diagnostics software and the Rainbow Islands game that wasn't cracked by ParanoidLittleMan. If you wanted to schlep the ST down with you, I could bring my UltraSATAN and you could try a bunch of programs and games to see what does and does not work. Seems like your on the right track but I figured I'd throw that out if you're heading this way.
  5. amiman99 gave you some good pointers. Google around and see if you can download some Atari ST diagnostic software to run some tests. See if there is anything wrong with any of the major subsystems. Check out GEMBENCH or there is a RAM test program here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/101549-st-disgnostic-or-test-software/ The videos don't give us much to go on. CPU and ROM appear to be working at boot, floppy sounds normal. Video is displaying. I assume the mouse and keyboard are not exhibiting any problems. Re-seating chips and checking for any that might be extremely hot is one approach. Also visually check for any swelling or burst capacitors. Check for any custom mods a previous owner might have installed. Many were installed badly and just need to be removed. The PSU is a basic +5V/+12V/GND and is clearly marked so you could rig up an alternative using any PC power supply if you have the knowledge and skills. It wouldn't be pretty but it would allow you to rule the PSU in/out of the list of possible culprits. It might also be the case that nothing is wrong. You've shown us two games, How many have you tried? Floppy disks are quite fragile . The floppy disks may well have failed after all these years. Have you tried formatting a spare disks to see if the floppy drive will access all tracks on both sides? The ST is also an awkward machine. Do you know which TOS you have? TOS 2.06 caused all manner of problems with games. TOS 1.62 was better. The video looks like North America, so is this machine NTSC/60Hz? I have Rainbow Islands (I think cracked by ParanoidLittleMan) which just hangs on a black screen in 60Hz mode, but runs fine in 50Hz. You can get a 60Hz/50Hz switcher to put in the AUTO folder, but I don't know if you could then boot a commercial disk after. I'm assuming you don't have a hard drive? How much RAM do you have? The case says 1040STe but case lids got swapped all the time. Maybe you only have 512K and the games are crashing because they need more? The diagnostic tool will tell you, or take the lid off and look. Reseat the RAM chips while you're in there. Where are you located? There are several shows where you might be able to connect with other Atari enthusiasts who might be able to offer more hands on help. Good luck, Graham
  6. oracle_jedi

    Black Amiga 1200

    One of my Amiga 1200s, now with an all-black case from the Kickstarter campaign run by Philippe Lang and Marcel Franquinet, next to my other Amiga with it's original white case. The case badge is from retro_passion on eBay. The black key caps are from a CDTV keyboard.
  7. Philipe and the team came through with the A1200 cases, so I am backing this project and hoping others do too. I have two broken A500 cases. On one, the plastic around the Del/Help buttons cracked, and on another, I tried to remove the ugly "European Computer of the Year" gold badge only to find the glue they used had actually melted the plastic under the badge. Thank you Phillipe for putting this together, and I hope they reach their stretch goals so we can get matching mouse plastics and a choice of more colors.
  8. Right, and don't forget according to Foebane: "4. The Amiga cost more because it had so much more, that's how pricing works." So by that argument, the PC was much better, and the Apple Lisa was freakin incredible
  9. Having owned and loved my 800XL, I bought a 520STm in early 1987. Now my memory tells me that at this point, the STFM machines and the Amiga 500 were not available to buy, but perhaps had been announced or were expected. Nonetheless I expected my new 16-bit Atari to be every bit as amazing as my 8-bit. Oh was I disappointed. From the lurid kelly-green GEM desktop, to the utterly underwhelming music and sound, and even the graphics never seemed to flow as they did on 8-bit games like Ballblazer, Elektraglide, Dropzone or Boulderdash. I bought a second floppy drive. An SM125 mono monitor. An Epson printer. I wrote my whole senior project using First Word Plus, suffering through multiple system crashes as my little ST would entertain me by throwing a random number of bombs across the screen. Some guy at the Stafford show suggested my old TOS was the problem. I contacted Atari for an upgrade and was told the new TOS was only available as a two-chip package, and my "old" STm used a six-chip configuration, so I was out of luck. In the end, in 1989 or 1990, I migrated back to the 800XL. I bought some package from Page6 that allowed you move files between the two platforms. I saved all my First Word Plus documents in raw ASCII and then loaded them into the Xlent First Word Processor. An APE interface for the Epson and I sold the ST, eventually buying a 286 with VGA and a hard disk about 12 months later. Since then I have made peace with the ST. I now have two STe machines plus two Falcons. I can see that the ST did eventually mature into a stable, usable, and even modestly impressive platform, but it never delivered the sense of awe and wonder that the 8-bit Atari did.
  10. The A1200 is the obvious choice here, but it is far from ideal. The A1200 in North America is rare and fairly expensive. It is also quite fragile compared to the A500. The caps fail, the keyboard mylar fails, the case discolors at the merest hint of sunlight, and without a 2MB memory expansion WHDload is pretty much useless. I would suggest you look for an A500 Rev 6. Easily converted to 1MB chip RAM. It can switch between NTSC and PAL. The ACA500+ and other side-car expansions seem to work fine, and the Vampire V2 makes it insanely fast and promises to one day add AGA support too. Even without AGA, most games seem to have been written to the OCS/ECS configuration. The capacitors don't leak, there is no battery to destroy your motherboard, and they are still relatively affordable. If Individual Computers ever get around to releasing the A1200 Reloaded then that would be my first choice. But until then....
  11. The "DIG DUG" is Optima font, the "ATARI RX8026" is a modified form of Harry font. If you use the letter O in place of zero it will look almost identical. I am attaching a "The Last Starfighter" label I made up with Photoshop. My colors are a bit off but there was some variation in the labels anyway.
  12. Pretty sure I can run the 256K version of Commando on my NTSC 1200XL (with Rambo 256K) with no issues. Mine has an 800XL OS. Maybe the OS is the problem, not the memory?
  13. You're right. With respect to original era commercial games, pretty much anything that was popular on the ST was ported to the Amiga with more or less the same graphics and often much improved music and sound effect. There were exceptions, such as Oids, but they were few. Beyond that, there are public domain/homebrew titles from then and now. Last years Pole Position is an amazing example of what the STE can do. Still, I imagine the number of titles you would find that were not ported to the Amiga, or simply better on the ST, would be a short list.
  14. USB3 specification is up to 4.5W of power per jack. Your USB hard disks are probably drawing just under 3W. I expect the Gotek is specified to USB1 which delivers 0.75W per jack, so no, unless you have an additional power supply, it almost certainly wont even spin up. Even if you overcome the power issue, from memory Gotek expects FAT32. FAT32's largest drive support of 32GB. USB sticks are cheap. The Gotek even supports a USB Card Reader so you can plug in CF and SD cards. I wouldn't bother with the drama of what you're suggesting, but if you do try it, let us all know how it goes.
  15. Yep. https://blog.troed.se/projects/atari-st-picopsu-replacement/ On the original PSU the blue line is +12V, the two red lines are +5V and the black lines are ground. Good luck.
  16. I've never owned a Mega ST, so some of this is from memory of things read in the past and from talking with friends who do. The Mega ST was the same as the regular ST for the most part except that it came in a pizza-box configuration with the keyboard plugged in separately, similar to the style that was increasingly popular in the late 80s. It does include a cartridge port, which is important here as the NetUSB device Fletch mentioned requires it. As mentioned above, there was also a later STE variation, also available in "Mega" form, for which they used the Atari TT case plastics albeit in a slightly different color. Again the keyboard plugged in separately. The Mega STE has space for an internal hard disk which is handy, and an expansion bus that pretty much no one uses. MegaSTEs seem very rare, especially in North America, and so be willing to pay a premium if you really want one. Note: There is no single ST that will run every software title without some issues. Problems occur with different TOS versions - from V1.0 to V2.04. TOS 1.62 seems the most compatible with everything. Also video modes. A lot of games require 50Hz "PAL" mode, although the latter STs can easily switch to this with a simple program in the AUTO folder. Hard disk drivers can interfere with some picky games. The STe/Mega STe had extra hardware for audio and visual. Few games every used it but there might be some games that simply won't run on a stock ST or Mega ST. If you are adamant that you want the Mega version, look out for: Is the keyboard included and does it look to be in okay condition? Demand pictures of the battery bay. Many Mega's suffered from leaking batteries when their owners boxed them up and forgot to remove the AAs. Battery leakage can destroy a motherboard. Non Mega Atari STs did not have battery backed clocks. And for all STs: Look for proof the unit boots up to a desktop - not just a power LED. Fixing STs is a rare and special skill so unless you are good with scopes and soldering irons... Is the unit from your country? STs were much more popular in Europe than North America, leading to many enthusiasts later importing Europrean units to the U.S. - that's fine but the composite signal is going to be PAL, not NTSC, and the power supply will be 220V. Look for pictures from all angles. Many ST owners hacked their cases to accommodate Gotek drives, or turbo switches, or whatever, and most of them were not very skilled with a dremel. Is the mouse included? The ST mouse is unlike the Amiga or PC, so you can't just swap them over, although they are still plentiful on Ebay. Does it include a video cable? The Atari video plug is unique so you will need to buy or make a special cable for the Atari's 13-pin DIN video port. To move files from your Mac to any ST: NetUSB has already been mentioned, and is a good method - but you will also need somewhere for the transferred files to land. The Mega STE can house an internal hard disk but other STs, including the original Mega ST, could not. Look up the Ultra Satan as a SD-card based hard disk alternative that plugs into the ASCI port. The SD card can be removed and read on an OS that can handle FAT file systems, which I believe the Mac can. Then you can drag and drop your files. ParCP is another option. Plug the adapter into the ST's parallel port and run a USB to your Mac. I can't remember if the software supports MacOS or not so you might end up having to run Windows or Linux in a VM. Then you can transfer files to the ST over the USB cable. Overall I'd agree with Fletch. If you are just looking to get into some games consider a 1040STE. Easy to upgrade, can run most applications with little fuss and besides the daft mouse/joystick port location under the keyboard they are easy to live with. HTH Graham
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