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oracle_jedi

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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. I know this has come up before, but I wanted to bring it up again. With the slew of new releases from AtariAge and Piko, plus re-releases from Orion, for our Jags it seems to me the cartridge ports will be getting more use. The imminent release of the JagSD card will only add to this wear and tear, since I am guessing the JagSD won't be able to emulate a Skunk, nor will we be seeing Another World, Rebooteroids, Xenon 2 nor any of the other more recent releases being made available for it. Recently I crushed a pin on my Jag's connector. This happened when inserting a Rev 2 Skunk. I am surprised and disappointed by this, not only for the inconvenience, but my Jag was a NOS unit purchased in late 2014, and has really not be used that much. I am also very careful with all my retro equipment. Yet I still managed to damage the connector with nothing more than a typical cartridge insert operation. I've read about beveled and non-beveled edge connectors. Looking at the Llamatron release, and Alice's Mom's Rescue, they don't look to be beveled, at least not to the same extent that original Atari carts were. Replacing the cartridge connector is not trivial. Not only is the challenge to de-solder the dozens of tiny pins, but also to do so without damaging the pads on the Jag mobo. As retro prices continue to skyrocket, the opportunities to acquire cheap bone-yard units from yard sales or thrift stores to practice on are rapidly vanishing. So my question is two fold. 1. Is there any interest - beyond me - for a Jag cartridge port riser to move the wear and tear to an easily replaced part. 2. How hard would it be to design and manufacture such a unit? I am guessing the Jag's cartridge port connector is not a stock item, and only Best Electronics has any left in stock. In my ideal world such a riser would include a 3D printed case to hold it firmly in place and prevent wobble. The cartridge port connector itself and the pads to which they are soldered should be designed to be tolerant to future desoldering for when the port wears out again, unless Al would commit to keep new Jag risers in stock at the AtariAge store. The riser could be designed so that carts are inserted horizontally, thus reducing the total height of the unit with a game inserted. The JagCD obviously might have some issues with such a design, but if the JagSD renders the CD unit obsolete would we care? In case it isn't obvious, I have no clue about what it takes to design and make something like this, but that's where my head is at. Now I have to contact Brad and organize shipping my unit back to him for repair, which he tells me includes a 10 week turnaround time.
  2. Next one: Nebulus. In 60Hz mode the game crashes on start up with 3 bombs. In 50Hz mode it plays ok.
  3. I have downloaded Blood Money and am trying to get a score good enough to verify the fix, but seeing that you have your name at the top of the high score list I am assuming you already did this I also tested Rainbow Islands. I remember having problems with this title in the past, but possibly with a different dump. I noted that Rainbow Islands hangs on a 60Hz machine. If I manually switch to 50Hz mode before starting the game it seems to run fine. I don't know if thats the sort of thing you are looking for here or not.
  4. Peter Putnik has some ST games he converted to run from the cartridge port. Check them out at http://atari.8bitchip.info/cartST.html So yeah, grab a few of those PCBs with cases, a PROM burner, and make yourself an Atari ST ROM cartridge of Star Raiders. Very cool.
  5. Congrats on the A500 and A2000 - a great start to 2018! This guy on Amiga.org was selling new A500/A600/A1200 PSUs for $39 plus shipping. I tried PM'ing him but havn't got a response back yet. In the meantime I am considering building my own PSU based on a Mean Well PSU. Your 2018 is going better than mine. I think I fried my Jaguar this morning
  6. Okay thanks for the guidance. For any other Amiga newbie struggling with this, what I found was that the HDToolBox that came on the Workbench install disks was pretty much useless. You can find MaxTransfer under "Partition Drive, Advanced Options, Change", but no matter how many times I set the value to 0x1FE00 it refused to stick. I tried deleting the partition and managed to delete the primary partition too. So that was a fun day rebuilding everything.... A better option I found was The HDInst tools from Aminet. This tool made it simple to set the transfer rate and the changes stuck first time. WHDLoad is now working as expected, so this is awesome. Thanks again and Happy New Year.
  7. Thanks for the Blood Money fix! Will download and check it out when I get done rebuilding the Amiga's hard disk after a weekend of WHDLoad hell.
  8. The dark brown keys/light brown function keys were originally used on the VIC20. When the 64 was first released, I saw pictures of early machines with the silver label and this style of keyboard. Later the darker coloured function keys and the rainbow logo became standard, and then I guess as a cost-cutting measure, the darker function keys showed up on later VIC20s.
  9. Thanks CS1, it looks like I have to delete and recreate the partition for this to work right?
  10. So I am trying to use the form at http://atari.8bitchip.info/atricl.php to register a bug with Blood Money. And no matter what I try I get the same error: "Submitting... Error!" The problem with the game is that if you make the high score, the game crashes. I am playing on a U.S. spec 4MB STE with TOS 1.62 loading off a Satan disk. I also note that now the webpage http://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd.phpdemands I acknowledge the request to help test and debug games. That's cool. But if you then try to sort the list of games into alphabetical order you are taken back to the same acknowledgement page, and the list is re-displayed but isn't sorted any differently.
  11. I am trying to experiment with some WHDLoad images on an Amiga 1200. Loading from the external CF card plugged in through the PCMCIA port they work ok, but if I copy the files to the internal HD (which is really a 2GB CF card), they mostly fail with various errors. Games installed on the internal drive from floppy disk work ok. A suggestion is that the Maxtransfer setting for the internal drive is wrong, and to use HDToolBox to change it. I can't see where in HDToolBox that setting is exposed? Can I set the maxtransfer rate from HDToolBox and if so how? Is there a way to do this for an existing drive/partition without having to reformat? KS3.0/WB3.0 if that makes any difference. Thanks
  12. The code was finished a few years back. You can play it at PRGE in October 2018, and again in 2019, and again in 2020.... The developers have now moved onto the most difficult and time consuming part of any Jaguar release - getting the cartridge case design and retail packaging right.
  13. The original price differential is a good point that is often overlooked, or simply ignored. I read with some exasperation, a piece in The Guardian, by technical writer Keith Stuart about the Amiga where he claimed: In 1985 my family made a terrible mistake – a mistake that would have far-reaching consequences; a mistake that would blight my life for several painful years. I still look back at it with a sense of sadness and, yes, if I’m honest, fury. What happened was this – and if you’re a gamer of a certain age, you may want to sit down: my family bought an Atari ST instead of a Commodore Amiga. Right Keith, so back in 1985, your family chose to buy something affordable over something insanely expensive. That's like saying your family made the mistake of buying a Ford Sierra and not the Jaguar XJ6, as if that was a common alternative purchase option at the time. My dad chose a second hand Volvo 245DL, and it blighted me for many years that he didn't buy the new Mercedes that I really needed to compete with the cool kids at school. I feel your pain man, I really do. Indeed Mr. Stuart's claims are even more ridiculous given that the Commodore Amiga wasn't even launched in the UK until May 1986 at a suggested price of £1500 for the basic 256K version without a monitor. By comparison the Atari 520ST was selling for under £350. A double sided disk drive would have cost you about £150. In a launch review for Your Computer in May 1986, reviewer Geof Wheelwright called the Amiga a "dream machine" but a "nightmare price". See Your Computer May 1986 page 80.
  14. @OP I've downloaded a number of the games from your site and I appreciate the work that goes into making them available. I only got back into the ST about a year ago so I have not had alot of time to experiment with a lot of games. We talked a while back about Prince of Persia - the problem with the health not being restored. I know you fixed that in a subsequent release. Thank you. I agree its impossible to test every game to its fullest extent. Between bad cracks, missed protection routines, incompatibilities between TOS releases, PAL/NTSC timing issues and even undiscovered bugs in the original code, its impossible to know if any release is going to work as expected in all possible scenrarios. Please keep up the great work, and I should let you know that Blood Money crashes if you achieve a high score. Thanks Graham
  15. Bumping an old thread and hoping someone can shed some light on this for me. I have HDDRIVER 8.43, a 2GB CF Card and a Falcon. I tried partitioning the card as 4 partitions with Compatibility set to "Windows" and the "TOS & Windows Combined" box checked. Byte Swapping was also checked. After partitioning and reboot I installed the driver. The card shows up in Windows XP and I can move files to it, but the Falcon does not see it on power up and boots the floppy instead. If the floppy has the HDDRIVER.SYS files on it then the desktop shows the four partitions, but if the floppy does not, the driver isn't loaded and the CF card is inaccessible. If I partition the CF with Compatibility set to TOS, then the Falcon boots up fine, loading the HDDRIVER.SYS from the primary partition as one would expect, but the card is unreadable by Windows XP, making file transfers a bear. Can I set this up such that TOS can boot from a primary partition, but one or more of the partitions are also mountable by Windows XP. Yes I know about Windows only seeing one partition on a removable device and I have the alternative Windows driver to allow for that. Would appreciate any insights. Happy Thanksgiving! Graham
  16. I'd be interested in a set, especially if you offer a couple of different colour schemes to match Jaguar, Atari STE and/or Falcon.
  17. You're comparing a platform (Amiga) to specific products (Atari Falcon and Atari Jaguar). The Falcon was part of the Atari ST platform, along with the 520ST, 1040STF etc. The Atari Jaguar was the only product in the Jaguar platform as the Duo Jag never saw the light of day. The Atari ST platform, like the Amiga platform, was successful for a time in the late 80s, notably in the UK and Germany. Then struggled through the early 90s and ultimately they both became obsolete in the face of improving PC/Windows machines which increasingly monopolized the productivity market, and the 16/32bit game consoles that replaced the Amiga/Atari ST platforms as the preferred choice of gamers. The Falcon was not successful. Too little too late. Estimates are 12,000 sold. The products of the Amiga platform of that era were not much more successful. The CD32 and A4000, if published numbers are to be believed, saw weaker sales than the Jaguar and Falcon respectively. The A1200 was, as you said back in post #16 "relatively successful", but with total worldwide sales at 144,000 in FY92 and FY93 it was successful relative to what? The Falcon? Sure. But 144,000 over 24 months is about the same as the number of Jaguars that Atari sold world wide in FY94 and FY95, or if you prefer, about half the world wide sales of the Commodore 16/116, which was the entry level product of the Commodore 264 platform. I suppose the Commodore 264 platform was "relatively successful" if you are talking about the Hungarian home computer market in the late 80s. However, most I would guess would not describe the Commodore 16 as "relatively successful". The Atari ST platform "failed" in the face of competition from PCs and consoles, albeit giving Atari management just enough breathing room to realize the inevitability of the situation, retire the platform and switch to games consoles (which also failed). Commodore's management rode the Amiga platform's failure directly into bankruptcy.
  18. Nowhere did I claim that the vendor must still be operational today to deserve the moniker of success for a specific product or platform. I did suggest that it is a stretch to claim a platform was an unqualified success when the manufacturer who's entire revenue stream and GTM strategy was built around said platform became insolvent.
  19. Commodore went bankrupt. At a time when the only products in the line-up were Amiga derived. That is a standard definition of a commercial failure. BLMC sold millions of cars. Some of them very technically advanced and well designed. A commercial failure is a commercial failure, no matter how much I loved my mum's Austin 1300.
  20. Was the A500 ever really exploited to its potential? Like many (most?) here I have both Amiga and Atari ST. I like them both for different reasons. They both have some serious short comings. One thing that strikes me about the Amiga though, despite the superior audio/visual hardware, is how little difference exists between the machines in the visual presentation of most original-era games. I expect games like Outrun, R-Type or Buggy Boy to be jerky on an ST. But the visuals were similarly bad on the Amiga. I expected better. It's as if the programmers were unable or unwilling to find the time to optimize the code to leverage the Amiga's better graphics hardware. Flight Simulator II, Xenon 2 and Dungeon Master look pretty much identical on both systems. Other landmark games of the period, such as Lemmings, Sim City, Populous or Frontier just didn't need the ability to push objects around the screen in a manner that would have allowed the Amiga to excel in the visuals. I am guessing Prince of Persia's blue-ish colour scheme on the ST is a result of the programmer's working around the machine's limitations, but it still looks very good, and I actually prefer it to the PC/Amiga's graphics of the same game. Some games did exploit the better graphics hardware. The Secret of Monkey Island is one example where the ST's dithering of colours looks pretty awful compared to the Amiga's better colour palette, but those examples seem few and far between from my library of games. The Atari 800 got many sub-par conversions of Apple II or Commodore 64 games, but a few games on the Atari 8-bit really demonstrate the graphical difference - games like Dropzone, Boulderdash, Elektraglide or Ballblazer demonstrate a fluidity of motion the 64 just never seemed able to deliver. I havn't been able to find many similar examples from the Amiga/ST library where one can say "look, that's why the Amiga is better". Shadow of the Beast is one. What else? Thankfully most games did exploit the Amiga's better sound capabilities.
  21. Sort of like arguing that Hollywood Video was better than Blockbuster. After all this time, yeah it matters....
  22. For the most part yes, software from the UK and Germany should run okay on a North American unit. Occasionally there might be screen position or timing issues, but there is a 50/60Hz switcher program you can put in the AUTO folder that switches your ST to the European refresh rate. You can find the program in this older thread: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/230918-how-do-i-change-my-ste-from-pal-to-ntsc/ I am assuming you are using an RGB monitor with your 1040ST. Most composite monitors should also be okay with the timing changes. I am guessing you're not using an RF cable to a TV. Of course if your game needs to auto-boot its own floppy, and won't start from the desktop, then you might not want to write any new files to the disk. In addition to timing issues there are of course the usual TOS compatibility issues from time to time. But that applies to North American sourced software too. Most of all of this has been addressed by developers over the years who have updated the older games to work across different TOS versions and automatically switch the refresh rate if they didn't already. You can download these files over the web and just use the documentation from the titles you imported to enjoy the game, and simply keep the floppies for posterity.
  23. Both my Falcons have dead NVRAM chips, no big surprise there. I've read that removing them is a PITA, and that typical soldering iron+solderpult approach will likely destroy traces and possibly the whole Falcon. I've also seen the "cut the chip away from the top" approach, which seems to me a risky way to make a huge mess too. How safe is a Hakko desoldering station? It seems pretty gentle on the vacuum and has variable heat settings from 400F to 750F, would this be a better option to desolder the Dallas chip from the underside and then use a plastic screwdriver to lever the chip off?
  24. There was an outstanding version of Othello called Reversi done in BASIC, and also Quest of the Space Beagle needed BASIC, although I suspect there might have been some machine-code routines in there somewhere too.
  25. Yes, seems to run okay on a Falcon too. Set video the ST Low compatibility first, but after that it seems to run.
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