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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6330

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    I still need to decide how to fix the board permanently inside the case
  2. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6329

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    Now the Ultimate 1MB board can be installed using the ROM and MMU adapters. On a 1200XL the ROM socket is U13 (U12 remains empty), and the MMU is U14. If all went well, the 1200XL should power up to the Ultimate Setup menu.
  3. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6327

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    Jumper W6 is removed, and the black wire is added to connect to the top of W6 to Pin 23 (A13) of the CPU. Now that I am done soldering around the CPU I have placed the CPU back into socket U21. Note that in this picture I have also installed the Dropcheck Ultimate 1MB MMU adapter board. Later revisions of the Ultimate 1MB do not need this adapter.
  4. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6326

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    In order for the Ultimate 1MB expansion to work with our new 28-pin ROM socket, jumpers W7, W8 and W9 need to be removed. Jumpers W11, W12 and W13 need to be installed.
  5. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6323

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    In this image we see the top side of the 1200XL board, with four of the five wires now installed. The four wires are as follows: White - PHI2 - pin 39 Red - RW - pin 36 Yellow - RESET - pin 40 Green - HALT - pin 35 Note I have also removed the CPU completely to protect it as I solder in wires to nearby tap points. Eagle eyed super scouts may note this 1200XL also has a Clearpic 2002 upgrade.
  6. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6319a

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    If you zoom in on this image you can see the five tapping points used to install the Ultimate 1MB. I have color coded my config as follows: PHI2 (pin 39) - white. RW (pin 36) - red RESET (pin 40) - yellow HALT (pin 35) - green A13 (pin 23) - black
  7. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6319

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    The Ultimate 1MB is an "almost solderless" install. Four lines still need to be soldered, and they can all be taken from the CPU. On a 1200XL this is socket U21. The four lines needed are: PHI2 (pin 39) RW (pin 36) RESET (pin 40) HALT (pin 35) On a 1200XL we also need Pin 23, which needs to be connected to the top pad of jumper W6. This is needed to complete the ROM upgrade. In this image we see the underside of the 1200XL board, with tap points for the four pins needed. I dislike soldering directly onto chips, so trace the lines until I find a suitable tap point. See the next image for annotation.
  8. oracle_jedi

    IMG 6318

    From the album: Ultimate 1200XL

    Before we can install the Ultimate 1MB expansion card into a 1200XL, the OS ROM socket at U13 must be removed and replaced with a 28-pin socket. After it is replaced, the original ROM chip can be re-inserted to check the socket is properly installed.
  9. And there I was thinking the "Carmel Andrews Effect" was a uniquely British thing.
  10. Walked into a retro gaming store today and found a boxed 1200XL on the shelf. So I added it to my collection, now numbering six: 83S DA 79889 143
  11. I am posting this in case anyone else is having similar problems. The Wii-U seems to have a serious problem connecting to wireless routers, I see there are several forums already filled with frustrated users. My unit found the network, but refused to connect with code 103-1001, suggesting that the key was wrong. After a lot of trial and error, and a less-than-useless Nintendo online support, I have determined that I had to manually enter an IP address, DNS server and Gateway settings into the Wii-U network set up panel. My router is a Motorola SURFboard SGB6580 and I use Comcast for cable internet, all pretty standard and up-to-date stuff. The house has over a dozen laptops, ipads, ipods, a PS3 and an old Wii that all talk to the network without a problem, this is the only device I have that has ever had a problem. It is now happily patching itself, so who knows, maybe the kids will actually get to play something today, maybe.
  12. Hold down OPTION when you power on the machine, or wait for the READY prompt to appear and type BYE. Select MEMORY and watch the test progress. If you have 16 RAM blocks you have a stock 16K, 40 or 48 then you have 64K. If you have any other number of RAM blocks, or any blocks show red, you have problems.
  13. Depends on what the tape drive is, and then obviously what's wrong with it. The 410 decks were pretty solid but the belts do wear out. I don't know where you would find replacements today. The 1010 is fragile and the buttons would break, but you can usually repair them easily enough with donar parts from another deck. The XC11 was the best of the bunch but Europe only AFAIK, and the XC12 was produced late in the run. Unless you really dig the authentic retro experience of waiting 45 minutes for a game to boot-error i expect you will quickly move on from tape and rely on the disk drive or better yet, a device like the SIO2PC that allows the Atari to boot from your PC or a flash card. The reliability is better and it allows far more complex game play than tape. The 600XL does have built-in Atari BASIC so you can experiment with that and its a reasonable dialect given that it is only 8K and was produced in 1979. The North American 600XL has no monitor port so you will need an RF capable TV/monitor to get a picture. Upgrades exist if you are handly with a soldering iron. Also the 600XL is 16K RAM which severely limits the games you can play. Again upgrades exist from plug-in expansion to 64K or 320K, to solder-in options to expand from 64K to 1MB. A nice feature of the 600XL is the tiny desk footprint compared to most other retro machines. Hope you have fun.
  14. I added a "retrokidz" SVideo upgrade to my 400, the upgrade was originally intended for a 5200 so it needed a bit of shoe-horning to get it into the 400, but the end result was beautifully sharp and colorful video. You can see the upgrade process in my gallery: http://www.atariage.com/forums/gallery/album/535-atari-400-svideo-mod/ I also added the official Atari 48K upgrade board for extra RAM. I removed the original RF lead and left the membrane keyboard in place. I only use it for gaming and shows, so the keyboard makes little difference. I was lucky to get a late 1982 unit which had been well stored and did not require retro-briting. I would strongly recommend the extra cooling holes as the stock 400 gets hot and adding the extra parts only adds to the heat build up.
  15. This discussion did prompt me to install DosBox on my laptop and re-install Frontier, damn that game is still awesome almost 20 years later. I also was completely unaware of the remake in progress - Pioneer. I've installed the latest copy of that and it looks incredible. I've only just started poking around with it, but damn it looks impressive, and it's free! http://pioneerspacesim.net/
  16. Elite 4 has been in development for what? 14 years now? Braben wants another $2M and might have it ready by 2014? As Soulblazer points out there are no screen shots, just sample artwork and ideas. I'd love to see a fully updated Elite based game, even as a MMORPG, but I won't hold my breath. I bought Elite and Fronter for the ST. And Elite Plus, Frontier and First Encounters for the PC, even installing the 17 or so floppy disks. Braben conveniently skips right over the utter disaster that was First Encounters in his pitch, and as always writes co-creator Ian Bell out of Elite's history. Frontier Developments clearly can deliver games, but their track record leads me to think that Braben has neither the management nor technical skill to deliver on this massive undertaking. And I might be more willing to pitch some money to help him if he would stop undermining efforts to port the original Elite to obsolete platforms such as the Atari 8-bit.
  17. I seem to remember Atari UK including an Errata in the package that pointed that out? Errors in manuals I think were suprisingly rare given that most were developed with very basic word processing or no word processing tools at all. Also many manuals were developed before the hardware was finished and so had erroneous or incomplete instructions, and others were extremely light on details. The Camputers Lynx manual had cute hand-drawn images including the ASCII table. The Sinclair ZX80 manual suggested using an unused channel button on your TV such as ITV2. What did happen a lot was problems with magazine type-in programs. In some cases editors, familiar with type settings and magazine publishing, but clueless about computers, would deliberately omit parts of the listings to make the page format work. They had no idea such omissions would render the program unusable.
  18. Alas no, my parents bought a VIC-20 instead. My first Atari was an 800XL in 1984 from Silica Shop.
  19. Maplin in Southend sold the Atari 400 with 8K throughout 1981. An advert in Your Computer - June/July 1981 - shows a price of 295 UKP for the 8K console without a BASIC cartridge. Maplin stated that these units were designed for the UK's TV system, so would have been PAL-I.
  20. The only features the 600XL/800XL OS loses versus the 1200XL OS are: 1. Rainbow logo 2. Incompatibility of many programs The 800XL OS supports the four function keys and also flashes the LEDs during memory test. The 1200XL OS has the self-test, press HELP from the Rainbow logo to access it.
  21. Happily the SNES does work, as do the game cartridges. My son is loving the 16bit era
  22. My son turns 13 this coming weekend. Despite being born in 1999, he has developed a great affection for 8 and 16 bit consoles and computers. Maybe it's Dad's collection of Atari, Commodore and TI systems, or maybe its Nintendo. Who can be sure? So for his 13th birthday he wants an original SNES. Not a reproduction unit, a real actual genuine SNES. Living in Seattle, we are blessed with what appears to be an above average number of retro game stores, including Another Castle, Game Gurus and "AL's Music, Games and Videos". We also host the PAX Prime conference and Seattle Retro Game Expo here. All in all, pretty much a retro paradise. So it was with some confidence my wife and I set off earlier today to Pink Gorilla in the U District to buy a SNES. We confirmed they had some before leaving, and they said they had one. But what they had had major discoloration. I know how to retro-bright, but I asked if they were willing to swap out the case plastics for non-functional one in the window display. "Err.. Dude. No". So then I checked their display of used games for some of the titles my son wants to play on his SNES. They were lacking a couple. I asked and the clerk reported that they didn't have them. "You have two other stores right? Could you check inventory there?" "Errr. Yeah. guess.." He checked one, and they didn't have it either. But they did have two working SNES consoles, so maybe our odds of success were better across town in West Seattle. We bought a Mario and a Kirby game and headed off to the next store. At the next store they had two SNES consoles. A rather battered one for $45, and a slight better one for $50. "We'll take the fifty dollar one." Then he showed me their display of SNES games. They had a Mario game that was a compilation of several other Mario games, including the one I had bought an hour earlier in the other store. Despite buying a console, and having a receipt for the game from their other store across town dated today, the clerk told me repeatedly they could not exchange the more limited cartridge for the more extensive one. I was willing the pay the difference, but Pink Gorilla would only trade in the earlier purchase for maybe thirty percent. Wow. That is about the most ridiculous approach to customer satisfaction I have ever heard. Even the DMV would struggle to match that. So somewhat annoyed, I bought the SNES and no more games. I asked about any warranty that the $50 SNES would actually work when I got it home. The clerk hesitated and mumbled. "Yeah, these old systems are made like really well, it's our name here, it's like one hundred percent guaranteed supposed to work..." Now that's a definite maybe if I ever heard one. So we drive home with our SNES in a bag, only to discover the unit in the bag is the battered $45 unit, and not the somewhat better $50 one. We check the receipt and sure enough, he's charged us for the more expensive unit. We call, explain, and head back across town. Upon reaching the store, the same clerk looks up and says, "Err, why are you here again?" Wow. Just wow. Retro gaming is now so main stream, so over burdened with customers, the few suppliers in this market can resort to customer satisfaction policies that would make the main stream brick and mortar's blush crimson. That my friends, is real progress.
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