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Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. Attached is a zip file for Windows. The files are: cf2dsk.exe - DOS program to move images off the CF card to the PC. dsk2cf.exe - DOS program to move TI disk images onto the CF card. CF7A_plus_b.pdf - PDF instructions on using the CF7 CF_To_Disk_Transfer_Utility.exe - graphical front end to the cf2dsk/dsk2cf programs. Utilities 90K (XBA).TIDisk - a 90K TIDisk image of some useful programs, such as UNARC. Here is an example of moving the TIDisk image onto the CF card: Connect your CF card to your PC using any standard CF card reader. Then open a DOS window and navigate to where the files are located: D:\> dsk2cf "Utilities 90K (XBA).TIDisk" 2 The program will move the TIDisk image to Volume Position 2 on the disk. A 32Mb card can hold about 19 volumes. Then take the CF card out of the PC and insert into the CF7. Power up the TI and enter TI Basic. Now type: CALL MOUNT (1,2) We loaded Disk 1 with Volume Image 2. Then exit TI Basic and select Extended BASIC - the image will now autoload. The card that comes with the CF7 has a utility disk as Volume Image 1. I keep this as Volume Image 1 on all my CF cards since it allows you to manage the card, and if I get into a mess, I can always drop back to TI Basic, mount image 1, and reboot to Extended BASIC. Hope that helps. CF7.zip
  2. There are a number of ways to do it: If you have an older PC, then the TI99-PC tool will write TI format disks right in your PC, which are readable on a real TI. This includes 3.5 and 5.25 disks. But I can tell you for me it has never worked, the PC simply wont write to the TI format diskette. I think you need older hardware for this to work. If you get an SVD (Semi-Virtual Disk), you can download the disk images to the SVD and then hook it up to your TI as Disk 2, your real floppy is Disk 1, and you can then copy the files from virtual disk to real disk. The SVD recognizes TIDIsk and PC99 format disk images. Also, various methods exist to copy TI disk images over the RS-232 ports from your PC to your TI. Then can then be saved to disk on the TI. But if you want to just play games on a real TI, the simplest solution is the CF7. It plugs into the side expansion port and replaces the entire PEB. The unit includes the 32K expansion plus a CF card reader that can be written to on the PC. Transfer whole disks to the CF card and then read them like real disks on the TI.
  3. The daughter-card provides the 6-pin IEC interface and a power connector that draws from the cassette port. With the daughter card you can connect the uIEC to the VIC or 64 using a standard serial cable. If you want to connect it to a C16 or Plus/4 you would need a cassette interface adapter. If you don't have the daughter-card you will need to wire the uIEC manually. Some people have mounted the unit inside their VIC or 64 computer. I put mine inside an old 1530 case and used the cassette interface cable to draw power.
  4. Aye! The project as it currently stands makes no sense. Take away the Mitsumi keyboard and the uber-cool chocolate brown/brushed aluminium finish, and your left with arguably the worst basis for an Atari upgrade project. Without some serious modding, the stock 1200 has only 64K so it cannot run many of the latest games, no PBI, an OS that is more non-standard and any other and the worst video display of anything Atari produced. Plus a cartridge port that SpartaDOS, R-Time8 and anything by Parker Bros wont fit into! I appreciate Curt's efforts here, but the 130XE in a 1450XLD case makes a lot more sense.
  5. Yes, actual real carts on a real 800. Tested yesterday morning.
  6. I tested my collection of XE video games on a PAL Atari 800 with 48K: Ace of Aces - no Airball - no Archon - yes Ballblazer - yes Barnyard Blaster - yes Battlezone - yes Blue Max - yes Dark Chambers - no Desert Falcon - yes Fight Night - yes Flight Sim II - no Food Fight - no GATO - no Into the Eagles Nest - no (display corrupt) Rescue on Fractalus - yes Star Raiders II - yes Tower Toppler - yes (1987 development version)
  7. Early on it was kids in the school play-yard swapping tape casettes for their ZX Spectrums, VIC-20s and Dragon 32s. Low-tech solution using the twin-deck ghetto-blasters of the early 80s, place original tape in slot A, blank tape in slot B and tada - instant clone every time. There was no money changing hands. Distribution was on a swap-by-swap basis. With all the immature inter-platform rivalry of the age it was inevitable this led to yet more friction, with kids claiming they were cheated because their cloned-game was good and the one given in trade was crap/non functional/a magazine type in/etc etc. I had a VIC-20 and a few copied games obtained with this method, but I always wanted an Atari 400/800 system. Eventually I got an 800XL in Dec 84 and that made me the first kid in the school to have an Atari. Everyone else was buying Spectrums or Commodore 64s. But I still wanted a real 800, and by luck one came up in the local newspaper a few months later. It was a pivotal moment, because whereas I was excited to finally own a real 800, the package came with a dozen tapes of games. These games were not the usual simple tape copies, but dumps of cartridges. I had the entire Atari cartridge collection on tape. I never even knew that was possible back then! And there was more - one tape had "The Last Starfighter" on it - wow - that didn't even exist! By chance I had bought the old 800 of a member of a hacking/piracy ring. He had upgraded to an 800XL and needed cash for another disk drive, so sold his 800 to me. I wanted the 800 for the cool looks (I still own that machine) but the software that came with was the real prize. I guess the interesting part of this tale is that I used that collection of pirated games to tempt other kids to the Atari platform. In the brutal competition between the Spectrum and Commodore 64 camps, each one offering a collection of copied games provided you provided a title-for-title match, the Atari camp (just me) went from a collection of basically none to the biggest inventory of any camp. What's more I decided to just give the collection to anyone who provided a blank tape or ten. In the following year the Atari 800XL became the most popular platform at the school. Jack Tramiel would claim it was his aggressive cost cutting in 1985 "Power Without the Price" that did that, but I think it was my "free software collection" that was the real reason behind Atari becoming a major sales force!
  8. Some 130XE machines had bad GTIA chips. They worked, but the colours were way off. A properly functioning stock 130XE should match or exceed a stock 800XL on video quality Also note there should be an adjustment POT accessible from under the machine. Try adjusting this while the display is running and see how the colours change.
  9. Does anyone have any brilliant insights on how to diagnose a faulty 512K memory expansion? I have a DRAM piggy-back expansion. The base 256K seems to work fine, the additional 256K is reported "E" by SRAM021. I rigged up a 9V battery to a buzzer and probed the 128 legs of the DRAMs, and got a buzz from everyone, so does that mean they are all soldered? Or is it shorting through the chip? To test I would touch one lead Pin X of the first chip, and then the second lead to the same pin of chips 2, 3 and so on until I got to chip 8. Anyone got any clever methods? Or am I down to removing each of the extra 8 chips and eye-balling it? Thanks
  10. Check my gallery for a PAL 800XL connected to a Samsung TW215. It supports PAL and NTSC composite and S-Video inputs.
  11. Not really. The TI's memory map is different from the C64/Atari model. The cartridge port uses an 8K block of memory that no memory expansion can populate. AFAIK it simply isnt possible to populate that address space with anything connected via the expansion port on the side. Therefore even you could copy the program data from the cartridge to disk, you cant load it back into memory because that memory does not exist. There are a few devices that place memory in this location, the most popular of which is the Gram Kracker device. The last one sold for over $500 on Ebay. Amongst other things, that allows you to copy cartridge programs to disk and then load them back again. However, I don't think the Gram Kracker could handle the bank-switching mechanism used by any cartridge game larger than 8K - including Robotron. The Gram Kracker attaches to the cartridge port, not the expansion port. As Tursi said, you would need to copy the program code and then rework it to run from the 32K memory expansion, relocating the code and reworking the bank switching mechanism. It's been done before with games like Centipede and Dig Dug - but its way beyond my knowledge of the TI!
  12. I think the program you have is an Archive file, so you will need to UNARC it. The Barry Boone un-archiver is the most common one and it seems to work really well. Since you dont have a real XB cartridge, your best best is to un-arc the ARC file with something like the Win994a emulator, working with the TIDisk image. Once you have it working on the emulator, you can move it to the real TI on the CF card. HTH
  13. Steve got back to me directly and said anything from 1K to 5K would be good. I used a 4.7K from my box and completed the upgrade about 30 mins ago, my 1200XL now has the Clearpic 2002, 256K RAM and the 32-in-1 OS upgrade, pretty sweet! That's enough soldering for one weekend, next time I might try to take it to 512K.
  14. I recently got one of the 32-in-1 OS upgrades for my 1200XL. I missing the resistor to solder onto the PIA. I have plenty, but I cant see the colours from the picture, does anyone know the resistance value to use? Thanks
  15. Cassette BASIC only recognizes 64K, so that number is the same once you reach 64K. The 5150 Motherboard supported either 4 banks of 16K or 4 banks of 64K depending on the model. The earliest models only had 16K factory installed and left three banks unpopulated. To determine actual memory, turn on the unit and watch the memory test complete. It should count the memory 16K at a time until it reaches maximum memory, and then briefly show the final amount before dropping to cassette BASIC or booting the floppy. Here's something else to check - from http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~preid/pcxtsw.htm IBM PC Switch block 1, near center of board: * Switch 1 * off = Boot from floppy * ON = Don't boot from floppy (goes to Cassette BASIC in ROM) * Switch 2 * off = 8087 Math Chip installed * ON = 8087 NOT installed * Switch 3,4 * ON,ON = One bank of memory * off,ON = Two banks * ON,off = Three banks * off,off = Four banks * Switch 5,6 * off,off = MDA (or Hercules) Video * off,ON = 40 column CGA * ON,off = 80 column CGA * ON,ON = No video or special (EGA, VGA) * Switch 7,8 * ON,ON = 1 floppy drive * off,ON = 2 flops * ON,off = 3 flops * off,off = 4 flops Switch block 2, near power supply: Switches 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = Total memory installed * Memory installed - sw1 2 3 4 5 * 16K = ON ON ON ON ON * 32K = ON ON ON ON ON * 48K = ON ON ON ON ON * 64K = ON ON ON ON ON * 96K = off ON ON ON ON * 128K = ON off ON ON ON * 160K = off off ON ON ON * 192K = ON ON off ON ON * 224K = off ON off ON ON * 256K = ON off off ON ON * 288K = off off off ON ON * 320K = ON ON ON off ON * 352K = off ON ON off ON * 384K = ON off ON off ON * 416K = off off ON off ON * 448K = ON ON off off ON * 480K = off ON off off ON * 512K = ON off off off ON * 544K = off off off off ON * 576K = ON ON ON ON off * 608K = off ON ON ON off * 640K = ON off ON ON off * Switches 6, 7, 8 * Always off HTH
  16. You need a DOS boot floppy. Place the boot floppy in drive A and turn on, the PC should recognize the floppy and load up DOS, leaving you at the "A:" prompt after a little while. Do you know how much RAM you have on that beast? It should report memory at power up. Hopefully you have at least 512K. Assuming you do, you should be ok with anything up to DOS 4, maybe even DOS 5. Looking at Ebay something like auction 120532436138 should work here, but make sure its a 360K disk, not a 1.2Mb. HTH.
  17. From memory: BBC Master 128 Commodore 128 Myarc Geneve (TI-99/4A replacement motherboard for the PEB which implemented many features from the 99/8) Tandy Coco 3
  18. No, the Electron was a stripped down BBC Model B. The Electron was largely compatible with the BBC, although some features were not implemented, such as the Prestel display mode. It was also much slower, due to the use of ULAs in place of many discrete components, and I believe it used four 64K memory devices to provide the 32K of 8-bit RAM, using a double-fetch mechanism. When RAM was expensive this was pretty clever, but slow. The Atom was a quite different beast, with a different dialect of BASIC. The standard machine was 2K of RAM and monochrome in the UK, due to the fact that Acorn used a U.S. spec display chip which only provided colour in NTSC, not PAL. Expanded machines offered 12K of RAM and a colour option was also available. Acorn later offered a BASIC replacement for the Atom to provide BBC BASIC, but it only gave BASIC compatibility, machine language software would not run.
  19. Jaime is back and selling CF7s again: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200428044512
  20. oracle_jedi

    Samsung TW215 LCD monitor

    A few pictures of the Samsung TW215 LCD monitor which has composite and S-Video inputs. The Atari 800XL is a PAL unit with the S-Video mod to provide separate chroma/luma.
  21. oracle_jedi

    1530 uIEC

    Some pictures of Jim Brain's uIEC device mounted inside a 1530 datasette case. The power is provided from the cassette interface and a serial cable is added to the unit. This is a very simple mod requiring nothing more than a drill and a soldering iron.
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