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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. The best online retailer left is Tex in Treasures: http://texintreasures.com You might also check out Competition Computer who sells on Ebay. They have a lot of rare (expensive) cartridges. If you have a disk drive or a CF7, you can download alot of games from http://tigameshelf.net Another new download site that is growing is the Planet 99 website: http://www.planet-99.net I have also heard about a GPL Simulator that allows you run to many of the ROM games from a disk, but I don't know where to get it from. Hope that helps. Graham
  2. Does anyone own a Yorky? I remember seeing the ads for them but I have never seen a picture of one. Are they memory compatible with the 130XE? Would they let an 800XL run software that would otherwise need the Claus B 256K upgrade? Graham
  3. A 1090Xl clone? Or better? Cool. Allan Hopefully a production version of the Atari / IBM 8-bit ISA slot interface: http://www.geocities.com/dr_seppel/ Since there were so many cards made for this standard, such a product would provide quick access to 80-column cards (MDA), parallel and serial interfaces, MFM disk interfaces, hard disk interfaces, clock cards and so on. 8-bit ISA cards are getting harder to come by, but still infinitely easier than 1090 standard cards.
  4. There is both an official Jet Set Willy from 1984 which is ok, and a new conversion of Jet Set Willy done in 2007 by very talented developers in Poland. I think the same guys who did the awesome conversion of Jet Pac ( Jet Boy ) - but I might be wrong. The 2007 version is better IMHO, the graphics and gameplay are identical to how i remember the Sinclair version - but it retains the Rob Hubbard music of the official release. I don't think Manic Miner has been converted.... yet :-)
  5. It is. What is even more amazing is that there is no Atari 8-bit version. There are versions for the C-64 and Spectrum, the Apple II, the BBC Micro (and Electron) - and even a couple of home-brew ports to the Commodore Plus/4. Someone did port a lot of the game to the 8-bit and produced a running demo - but it does not go past the title screens. I still hope one day to fly a Cobra Mk III on my 1200XL.
  6. Munchman is an ok game - like many of the maze-and-ghost games of the early 80s, it was an attempt to cash in on the Pac-Man craze without violating Atari's copyright. Whereas some smaller 3rd party operations might have flown under the radar with ports for European only machines, Atari did sue Commodore for Jelly Monsters and would have likely done the same to TI for anything that looked too similar to Pac-Man. So Munchman replaces eating dots with a complete-the-chain concept, there are monsters chasing you and there are power-ups. The game takes place against a white background, the graphics are small and the sound is mediocre. I would give it a 5/5. Compared to Pac-Man on the Atari, Munchman is an inferior game. The Atari game looks more like and sounds more like Pac-Man. But unlike Atarisoft's Pac-Man for the TI, the Atari version has the wrong colours - things look orange instead of yellow. The ghosts colours are wrong too and the eyes are just empty black squares. Pac-Man's mouth doesn't move correctly. The whole display looks squashed - especially on PAL computers. The Atari could have supported an authentic arcade conversion - look at Super Pac-Man to see what could have been achieved. TI Invaders on the other hand is a good implementation IMHO. Like many Invaders clones, it does not try to authentically replicate Taito's arcade version, but does retain all the key ingredients including bases that gradually get blown away, saucer ships for bonus points, invaders that speed up as their ranks diminish and each wave starts lower. The entire invaders graphics are replaced in later waves to keep the gamer's interest, and some of the ships at the higher levers are damn hard to hit. I would say TI Invaders is better than either Space Invaders or the home-brew port "Invaders 5200" on the Atari 800. Deluxe Invaders however is better as it is more authentic. Avenger on the Commodore VIC-20 is the best for me as it plays just like I recall arcade Invaders playing. Neither Munchman nor TI Invaders represent the best of TI games - but neither do they represent the worst. If anyone is interested, the following site shows some good examples of TI games in machine language, TI Extended BASIC and TI Console BASIC: http://tigameshelf.net/asm.htm
  7. The TI did have very good graphics for it's time. The TMS-9918A (or 9929A on the European models) was capable of 256x192 graphics, 16 colours and bitmap scrolling. It also has hardware sprites. The TMS processor is the same one used in the Colecovision, Adam and MSX machines amongst others. The Atari machines could outclass the TI graphically due to their better colour palette and mult-directional hardware scrolling abilities. The Atari's display list and ANTIC processor provided alot more power than the TI could manage. No matter how much memory you added to a TI, I don't see it ever producing an Elektraglide, or a Ballblazer or a Yoomp. Several TI games are slow. TI Basic is notoriously slow due to BASIC being written in an interpreted language called GPL. However even machine language games tend to be slower. The TI's CPU is a 16-bit processor running at 3Mhz. But the rest of the machine is 8-bit. The CPU talks to the rest of the machine through a multiplexer. On an Atari or Commodore, both the CPU and the video processor can directly access the same memory. Not so on the TI. On the TI the CPU must access the 16K of video memory through an 16bit/8bit interface. That said, the TI does have a much better port of Pac-Man than the Atari. Several other games are also better on the TI including Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac Man, MASH, Star Trek. This is simply due to the TI versions being more carefully put together. I find it ironic that the Atari 800 with all it's power has one of the worst Pac-Man ports of any home computer. Even the VIC-20 had a better version (Jelly Monsters). Hardware aside, there is no substitute for a well written port of a great game.
  8. I believe both The Pawn and Guild of Thieves were Enhanced Density disks.
  9. I just looked again and it appears the stats are worldwide: "Table 1.1 US and Worldwide Computers-in-Use Growth". Note this info is 3-4 years old, but was new to me. I doubt this is World Wide. The European market saw dominance from Sinclair at the low end, and the Commodore PET in the mid sector from the late 70s to at least 1983. Acorn was also a major player in the UK market until at least 1986.
  10. Other Games (non-runnable): Zone X Metagalactic Llamas - Battle at the Edge of Time (non-playable:) Elektraglide - on an NTSC system you dont have enough time to complete the sections - I have not found any version re-calibrated for NTSC. Ballblazer - yeah I know - it plays just fine. But the music!! - on NTSC it comes off as a frantic jig - but on PAL - its a wonderfully moody and sleazy piece that sets a totally different tone and atmosphere to the game.
  11. Anyone know what happened to: http://atarionline.pl ?? When will it be back?
  12. Does anyone have those instructions or a link to where they might be? I would be interested in picking up an XF551 if I knew how to mod it to support a 3.5inch drive. Thanks
  13. I did send in an application to join that group. Its a moderated Yahoo group and so only approved applications can post. The application sat for 2 weeks before being automatically rejected by Yahoo. I've also tried many TI web sites, but it seems many of them are now little more than collections of broken links. Thanks Graham
  14. Well I checked my un-modded 1200XL and it does run FS II on cartridge just fine. So from my collection of about 60 cartridges I cant any that wont run on the 1200XL. Sorry for the confusion. Graham
  15. You're going to have 3 problems: 1. Not all carts will work - for example Flight Sim II detects the 1200XL as a 400/800 and refuses to run. 2. Not all carts will fit - notably the Parker Bros carts wont fit into the recesssed 1200XL cartridge port. 3. The video sucks. The 1200XL has the worst picture of any Atari machine. All of the above are easy to fix if you are ok with a little modding. As mentioned earlier the Bob Woolley PBI mod shows how to swap the OS and MMU chips for the 800XL ones and creates essentially an 800XL in a 1200XL case. The video problems can be fixed by applying the Clearpic 2002 mod plus the S-Video chroma fix, and even the cartridge port issue can be fixed by removing some of the plastic surround from the cartridge port guide. For all that effort you get the coolest looking machine Atari made with the best keyboard you will ever touch. With the Clearpic and S-Video chroma mods the video is the best possible from an NTSC machine. If only you could convert these things to output a true PAL picture..... Hope that helps. Graham.
  16. Steve, thanks for the follow up. I will keep hoping Santa will be good to me and give us both the opportunity to obtain the expansion device. Graham
  17. I'd like to buy a CF7 also - if you get a hold of Jamie - or anyone else who makes the CF7 unit, please let me know! Cheers. Graham
  18. Yes I remember the currency of pirated games. I was in school in 1983 and remember very well the often vicious disputes that arose when such trades went bad. The Commodore 64 camp and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum camp were both full those cases. I was the first kid in my year to own an Atari. And to try to convince others they wanted one too, I decided to just let anyone copy whatever they could. The Atari camp therefore had an open exchange policy. The result was about 12 additional Atari owners by the end of the year. A number that compared well with the C64 and Spectrum camps and we quickly dwarfed the Dragon 32 and BBC Micro camps. Alot of people like to point to the piracy of the Atari platform and claim it was a reason the format never achieved better success. Maybe and maybe not. In my experience it helped the platform achieve some success. Oh and to answer the original question: Gridrunner for the VIC-20. Sorry Jeff. Although I did go on to buy Matrix, Hellgate, Andes Attack, Traxx, Metagalactic Llamas and several other titles from Llamasoft.
  19. I've seen a few articles on making an ST into a Linux terminal by connecting the ST to the PC's serial port and running a terminal service under Linux that presents a login to the serial port. The Linux part is fairly straightforward and well documented. But what would i need to do this on the Atari 8-bit side? Do I need an 850 interface box, a cable and a copy of Ice-T? Is there a better solution? What if I want to use an XEP80 interface for proper 80-column mode? Has anyone done this? How did you do it? Thanks Graham
  20. Some years back I decided to do the CLRPIC modification to try to fix the terrible video output from my 1200XL. I followed these instructions: http://www.atarihq.com/atcomp/1200vid.html I include the link here as there appear to be several variations on the "sequel to CLRPIC" upgrade, such as this one: http://wolfpup.net/atarimods/1200xl-vm.html Anyway, the result was a sharper image, but the colours were washed out and it also introduces the strange effect that the colours seemed to be offset from the image - everything ended up with a grey shadow to the left. I recently decided to see if the newer upgrades were any better, so found the Clearpic 2002 modification: http://www.retrobits.net/atari/clearpic.shtml Before I could do that I needed to figure out what I needed to put back. That was pretty simple - R187 needed a 1M Ohm resistor and R188 needed a 750 Ohm resistor. The Clearpic 2002 steps for CR19, C60 and C119 could be skipped as they were already done. The result is quite remarkable. The image is still sharp, but now the colours are far more vivid (as vivid as they can be on NTSC) and the colour synching problem has completely gone. Anyway I thought I would share in case anyone else with a 1200XL with an older Clearpic mod is wondering if the newer version is worth the effort - it most definitely is. Thank you again Bob Woolley (and also Dan Vernon for a great HTML version).
  21. My contribution: Advance 86A - smoked glass cover over the keyboard drawer - expandable to a full IBM PC compatibility! Amiga 1000 - keyboard slides under the unit - case signed by all the designers Atari 400 - wonderfully odd shape - cartridge bay hidden under a door - front mounted joy-stick ports Atari 800 - just a beautiful shape Atari 1200XL - low sleek and high-tech - recessed cartridge port - best keyboard of any computer ever. period. Camputers Lynx - simple and elegant. pity it didn't sell. Commodore MAX - low and sleek, angled flat panel keyboard. Commodore Plus/4 - after the breadbox VIC-20 and C-64, the Plus/4 was actually 'designed'. Mattel Aquarius - simple design making use of shapes and colours. - whatever happens in the future it will fit into that space! Sinclair ZX80 - i guess i just like blue keyboards Sord M5 - simple and elegant design - lift the cartridge port cover to reveal bright-yellow cartridge bay Texas Instruments TI-99/4A - black and silver high-tech finish - coloured dots on the keyboard and keyboard strip overlays - the whole case seemed to be missing a part until you plugged in the Command Module - front mounted on/off switch - still love the 'Solid State Software' badge
  22. Has anyone got this to work on real hardware? I have tested both the supplied ATR and also the XEX file on DOS II+, Warpdos and SpartaDOS. I have tried it on my 1200XL with 256K Rambo, and also an 800XL with a Wizztronics 256K upgrade. In every case i get a pink/orange screen with green/yellow horizontal bars. If I press START I get a flickering screen of "@" and then it crashes. I'd love to see this thing running! Any help appreciated. Thanks Graham
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