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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. Well I was thinking more of productivity apps - Word Processors, Spreadsheets and such, but you raise a good question. On the Apple //e, were there many games that used 128KB, or were they still targeting a wider audience with 48KB games?
  2. Apple seemed to get a lot of things right with the II+ and then the //e. I didn't know all the 80 col cards worked to the same standards but that's cool and makes so much more sense for developers and consumers. I liked how Apple made 128KB RAM and 80-columns an effective standard with the //e, it was a single upgrade card from Apple if I remember. I think its the direction Atari should have gone with their aborted 1400XL. 80 cols and 128KB RAM in 1983 would have made so much more sense than built in 300-baud modem and a speech synthesis unit.
  3. Oddly, my memory was that Bug-Byte published some of the worst commercial VIC20 games. Maybe slightly better than Liversoft, but only just. Am I remembering this wrong?
  4. 80-column add-ons always seemed to me to be both desirable and disasters. Without OEM support they usually ended up being niche products like the odd-ball 80-col expansions for the VIC and Atari. And Atari's own offering, the XEP80, was a comical mess, with I think two software products able to support it - Atari Writer 80 and Personal Butler. A related group of desirable disasters were the CP/M expansions for the 64 and Atari. It seemed you got either an unusable 40-column experience, an unreadable 80-column experience, or an ungodly expensive and esoteric CP/M computer that turned your Commodore or Atari into just a keyboard. And the TritonXT for the TI-99/4A. Whoever thought that was a good idea?
  5. The Sord M5 uses a 6-pin DIN connector, but it seems to differ from the one used on the CoCo/Dragon.
  6. The Falcon is an interesting machine, which never reached it full potential, being killed off after just about a year on the market from memory. As you know, Bad Mood is very remarkable. A smooth-ish frame rate and music - it puts the Jag version to shame. But beyond that its slim pickings. Many interesting projects never made it beyond the prototype stage. There's an interesting Rayman port "Willie's Adventures" which from memory only plays one or two levels, and Reminiscence which is the Flashback game but it needs an accelerator. I like to play Impulse X and Downfall, two Jag games that were hard to find, and Orion released several Falcon games including Elansar which is beautiful. Crown of Creation 3D was the must-have game BITD - the Battlesphere of the Falcon - but I don't ever recall seeing a dump of it. Apparently the disk protection was something insane. There were some guys over on the Atari-Forum site trying to use a Kyroflux to break it, but I havn't checked in for a while to see if they were successful. D-Bug, Klaz, PP and others have done an amazing job of hacking or modding most ST games to run on the Falcon without the need for the Backwards tool. So I probably mostly use it for playing ST games at better frame rates such as Frontier, which instead of the slide show that it is on an ST, delivers an actually playable game on the Falcon. I did get a CT60e accelerator, and Centurion now makes a power board that sits inside the case and works with the CT60. This winter I plan to do that upgrade, and a Falcon 060. I already have the replacement case badge. And what will I do with a 060 powered Falcon with 256MB RAM? Play Frontier of course!
  7. I never understood the Jupiter Ace. Even back in 83 it seemed to me to be a dumb idea. I get that it ran FORTH, and that was a much better option for serious programmers than BASIC, but the rest of the machine was so utterly limited, that having FORTH as the default interpreter was poor compensation. If you wanted to learn FORTH, it seemed a better option to buy a FORTH cartridge for a VIC20 and benefit from the superior keyboard, color and sound. IIRC you got FORTH on tape with the ORIC1 and the Camputers Lynx. BITD I wanted a C64. It was the machine the cool kids had. It ran the best games. Sure, there were other machines I wanted to try; the Aquarius, the Sega SC3000, the Commodore MAX, but the 64 was the real prize. I finally got one about 15 years ago, as part of a job lot with some color monitors. Its a great machine but I just can't seem to get into it. I have the VIC20 and use it often, but the 64 remains a rarely used part of my collection. A machine I know has great potential that I just cannot seem to fully tap.
  8. With just 5K of RAM, a cramped 22x23 screen and that whackadoodle CBM BASIC V2, yeah good luck with that. Even the keyboard, the one feature where the VIC did well, was actually pretty awful. The positioning was amongst the worst of any full travel keyboard.
  9. You can also have your Amiga display on the Atari SC1224:
  10. I seem to recall a starting tactic was to strip your first ship down to the absolute basics - no atmospheric shielding, no weapons - to make extra cargo room for the Sol to Barnard's Star run you already know about. And yeah, check the classifieds to sell at a huge mark up. It was somewhat easy to build up enough cash to then buy something more interesting and add enough weapons/shields to go exploring. I usually end up with a Cobra Mk3 with the military drive. Yeah I'm dumping radioactive crap all over the galaxy. Don't tell Greta!
  11. Yeah likewise. I've played this game alot on ST, Amiga and PC, and I've not had the random noise/fuel tank issue. The docking computer issue yeah, and as @Zogging Hell says the fix is to use the accelerated time-lapse function. I noticed on a Vampire accelerated Amiga the auto-pilot frequently goes bezerk so there's more than a few timing critical things going on in the code, and more than a few bugs. Still, compared to First Encounters the game is rock solid!
  12. On Page 58 of the Best Electronics catalog they list a CB314 3.5 inch floppy disk drive which is shown in an XF551/PCF554 style case, so I think you are right. This was probably sold by Best Electronics.
  13. They are interchangable (assuming you remove the plastic casing on the 800's RAM cards). I have a bunch of spares. If @Jonny swanny wants to PM an address I'll send you one next week.
  14. Original disks are not protected and can be installed on the HD. The original game is protected by manual word look ups. I reccomend still saving to a fresh file at regular intervals
  15. I'd advise you take a moment to familiarize yourself with authentic Jaguar carts vs high quality reproductions if your not already familar. Although most repro sellers clearly mark and price their wares as such, we've seen a few "super rare!" carts show up on Ebay and elsewhere that clearly were not what they were claiming to be. At these prices the crooks have a strong incentive. I notice B&C even sells complete Atari Karts boxes/inserts and manuals for $35 on Ebay. Find a loose cart or make and label a cart, some shrinkwrap and boom. $500. If the person you plan on gifting this to is likely to play the game, and not keep it as a shelf trophy, I'd recommend you buy the B&C package and wait for a loose cart to come up. You can then spend the ~$350 you save on some more Jaguar games (check the AtariAge store!), or even a PS4 and a game for when they get bored of the Jag. Good luck!
  16. I have no reservations about sharing my templates. Attached is a 7z archive file of a Paint Shop Pro image of a brown Atari cartridge label with the program name and CX code deleted. The deletion was done in PSP by copying select bits of the background over the text until it was erased. The result is a grainy color that mimicks the original cartridges. It could use some sprucing up, but once you've printed it, it looks okay. To add the name of the program you want, I use this site: https://www.myfonts.com/search/optima/ Optima is the font used for the original Atari cartridge titles. The CX code was Harry Fat or perhaps Harry Obese. The web site allows you to test sample text. So you can select the color you want it (yellow or orange hues tend to work best) and then it will generate the selected text. You can select right click on that and save the image to your hard drive. The image will be a PNG file. I suggest you select a larger font than default. If the text is too small it will pixellate when you resize it. Again I use Paint Shop Pro. Mainly because it the program I had. If you find something that works better please let me know. It isn't cheap but they have a time locked free eval download. I don't know if it locks out any functionality. Take the text PNG files and load them into PSP with the template I gave you. Then use PSP's "erase background" option on the PNG titles to leave just the text. Then copy the edited PNG files and paste them as a new layer onto the template, using the resize/reposition options to place them exactly where you want them. Once you have the finished article, you can save it as a JPG. I use Sticker You to create the actual labels. I select "Removable White Vinyl (Glossy)" as the material and "White Vinyl" as the format. I always select straight cuts and try to size my labels with a border to allow for some overprint. StickerYou has been pretty spot on for the most part but some cartridge labels (especially for the TI99/4A) have been hard to size right. If you're only printing a handful you could even print the same label a few times and then select the one that comes out best. Sticker You takes about 10 days to ship. Here's a few of the labels I made for the Atari 8-bit. You can see there is a tendency to get a noticeable white line around the edge of the label. I use a Xacto knife when applying the label to remove any excess bits. This is a label I made for the Sord M5 Multi-Cart. I tried to get the quick function key reference on there but it printed too small to be readable. To be fair Sticker You did warn the text was probably not going to be readable. I should have make it larger. TI labels are a pain. The aspect ratio causes Sticker You's program issues. You need to make the labels much squarer, with huge matting bars, and then cut them down yourself. The Vinyl is hard to cut, even using high-grade craft quality material cutters, so be warned and be patient. You can also see how I didn't get all the old label goop off the shell I used for Dragon's Lair. I made this one before Felyx started sharing his efforts and Gaztee started selling official Cyrano J Jag ports in the Atariage store. Still I was proud of how I got the overlapping layers to work with the J of Joust obscuring the bird. blank_cart_label.7z So have fun. They won't be as cool as Mr. Robot's work, but you can try out a few options and see what you think works.
  17. Pioneer CLD-D704? I had one BITD. Absolutely beautiful thing, and still the best home audio experience ever. I swear they must dumb down the DTS on modern home movies, it just doesn't sound the same.
  18. From British TV show "Chocky", at around 22:30 we see the kids playing Space Invaders on an Atari 800. There's also a cool scene earlier when Dad shows up with his new Citroen CX. I love that design. An Atari 800 and a Citroen CX. Mathew's parents rocked! Chocky S1E2
  19. Ray Carlsen is an amazing engineer, a gift to our retro community and a helluva great guy. An added bonus for me is he lives about an hour from me, maybe a bit longer if I take the scenic drive over the mountain pass. So when I powered up my 1084 after a six month hiatus, and was presented with a garbled display, Ray generously offered to take a look. We agreed that shipping the unit was generally a bad idea, so I would drop it off at his place keeping a safe social distance in the process. About a week later Ray contacted me to say the 1084 was fine. In fact all it had needed was an adjustment to the controls. I was puzzled, but it wouldn't be the first time I have missed something so completely obvious, and besides, my 1084 was apparently good, and I got another scenic weekend drive to go pick it up. When I got it home though, the Amiga refused to display anything meaningful. I then tested a Commodore 64 (svideo). Good display. A Sord M5 (composite). Good display. A CGA PC (digital RGB). Good display. An Atari ST (analog RGB, sep H and V Sync) - Good display. I tried two more machines that use analog RGB with CSYNC and none of them would display a stable image. This used to work. I have photographic evidence this used to work. That at least is not my faulty memory. Ray had tested his C64 and C128 to test composite and RGB and having gotten good results concluded there was no problem. He showed me the schematics of the unit and walked me through some trouble shooting. The schematic for the Commodore 1084D1 shows pins 7 (CSYNC) and 8 (HSYNC) being bridged. But on the circuit board these pins are not joined. Tracing the motherboard, Pin 7 seems to move down to a solder pad that is adjacent to a pad for HSYNC and then stops (yellow line). The silk screen shows what I believe to be a CSYNC solder pad (green line), but it doesn't connect back to Pin 7. Note the damage to the ground plane was from an earlier repair, and has been repaired (out of shot). Looking at the component side it doesn't appear anything bridges the two signal lines: Is there some component missing here? I never noticed anything falling out, and nothing rattles. I can't see evidence of a missing component such as the hole that is left if you yank a resister out. Following Ray's advice I used some wire to bridge pins 7 and 8 and the Amiga was once again able to show a stable image. All modes now work but I am baffled how this ever worked in the first place.
  20. With gentle pressure most of the keycaps will pull off. I use nylon tools designed to pulling smart phones apart. Start at the edges, use a longer tool and gently prize them upward. A few keys - from memory the space bar, the zero on the number pad, maybe the Enter key and the Return keys have small metal braces that you need to push off using tweezers or something similar.
  21. Ordered some parts on Saturday for restoring an Atari 1040ST. I listed out the parts I needed, using the codes on his website, asked for a final total with shipping and also quoted my customer number, which I think helps alot. Brad got back to me Saturday night with a final cost, and I paid him via PayPal on Sunday. Parts arrived today. I've ordered dozens, possibly hundreds of things from Best over the years including my 4160STE and my Jaguar. I've never had a problem with Brad, and I appreciate that he continues to support our ancient machines.
  22. In an earlier discussion, someone stated that the upgrade ROM from Best disables CP/M compatibility. I have the ROM in my Indus and I thought CP/M still worked, but I plan to test this when I have finished hacking the 520STFM on my bench.
  23. No. Not even close. My first "retro" computer was a VIC20. I sold it in 1985 to help pay for a 1050 disk drive for my second "retro" computer; an Atari 800XL. The 800XL was destroyed around 1995 when I plugged in a Commodore PSU by mistake. The Acorn Electron I bought second-hand in 1986 for a night-school class where they wanted projects done in BBC BASIC, I sold on when I graduated the class. The Atari 520ST I bought in 1987 I sold in 1989 because I wanted money toward a PC. The TI99/4A I bought at a car boot sale in 1994 I threw out, because it had that weird 6-pin Y/R-Y/B-Y output and getting composite out of it was too hard, plus none of the software I had seemed to run any different than on the NTSC 99/4A, and the UK machine's brushed metal finish was bent and looked like crap. The oldest retro machine in my collection is my Atari 800. Bought it used in 1986 because it came with a heap of (pirated) software, and because I just always loved that funky 70s design. I sold it to a neighbor's kid to help pay for the ST, but bought it back from her when she was done applying sparkly princess stickers to it and got bored with it. I still have it, sans sparkly princess stickers, in the original box with foam inserts.
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