Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by oracle_jedi

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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).
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Christmas Day, 1984. A 13 yr old surveys the gifts around the tree and tries to act cool. He spies one small cassette shaped package... a computer game? - cool! - he opens it... just what he asked for... Submarine Commander from Thorn EMI. Except one small problem. It's not for the VIC-20, it's for the Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL with 32K. His Dad acts confused. "Sorry Son.. I didn't know... Leave it on the side and I will try to exchange it when the shops re-open next week." Oh well. Nice try Dad. The 13 yr old moves onto a larger box.... A chemistry set? A chess board? ... it was an Atari 800XL. There was no Atari 1010 cassette drive, but honestly I didn't care. I was happy typing in sample programs from the tiny Atari BASIC manual for a whole week while I waited for a tape drive to be shipped from Silica Shop in Sidcup, Kent. Great thread Carmel, Cheers. Graham
  7. XRAM021 always reports bank $83 as bad with the Rambo upgrade. This is normal behaviour. It also reports bank $87 missing. I don't know why the ramdisk doesn't work, I have not tried that version. Sorry I cant help with the ramdisk, but your Rambo upgrades are probably just fine. Graham
  8. That works because pin 18 has a weak internal pull-up that keeps the -BE (BASIC Enable) signal high, or inactive. But it could pick up electrical noise and cause mysterious crashes. A better solution is to reconnect pin 18 and disconnect the signal at the other end, pin 11 of U23, the PIA. That way, R85 can pull the signal up strongly. You don't need to remove the BASIC ROM - it should never get selected. If you want, you can remove both old BASIC ROMs from your cartridge and put the XL BASIC ROM into either one of the sockets. Then you'll have the newer BASIC in your cart. Claus, Thanks for the insights. I am planning to install a Wizztronics 256K upgrade this weekend, so I'll switch to your recommendation with the PIA instead of the MMU. And I think I will take your suggestion of installing the Rev C BASIC in one of my Atari BASIC cartridges, since I think they are both Rev A. I'm just happy to be able to boot game disks on the 800XL without having to hold down OPTION every time! Cheers. Graham
  9. Right now i'm feeling pretty proud of myself :-) I know this will be no big deal to most of the forum, but what I find interesting is I did post this question some years back (maybe 10 years - might have been a different Atari forum - I dont recall) and never got a usable answer: What I wanted to do was to disable the internal BASIC on the 800XL permanently, or at a minimum reverse the OPTION key so that BASIC was off by default. Thanks to Bob Woolley's 1200XL PBI mod, I was able to figure out that if I remove the BASIC chip altogether (U4) and then lift pin 18 of the MMU (U3) the 800XL boots up to self-test and I no longer need to hold down OPTION to load software. I have tested this with a bunch of 48K and 64K games and so far everything works. Cartridge BASIC works for anything that does need BASIC. I am waiting to figure out what I have broken! Anyway, thought I'd pass that on in case any other 800XL owners wanted the same feature. And if anyone who knows what they're doing can tell me if I've broken something doing this i would appreciate the insights. Cheers. Graham
  10. Actually, I do not believe that is exactly correct. There are like 7 model variations of the 1084s monitor, and if it's pal compatable then it will have the letter "P" somewhere in the model (IE: 1084SP). Right, not all Commodore 1084S monitors can do NTSC and PAL. Mine is a U.S. model and does not, neither does it have S-Video input. Connect a PAL signal to the Composite input and you get PAL in black and white. It does however handle my 1200XL which produces an NTSC signal with an PAL ANTIC chip. One of the best monitors for multi-standard was the Sony KX-14 CP1. Good luck finding one! Samsung currently makes some flat panel PC monitors with Composite and S-Video inputs - mine handles PAL and NTSC but wont handle the 1200 - the screen flickers and rolls and the colours are all wrong. Hope that helps. Graham
  11. Okay, risking the dumb-question-of-the-thread award.... What exactly does an MIO do? I remember ICD releasing these things back in the late 80s, and the built in parallel and serial interfaces were cool, but as far as I could tell, the extra memory was only for ram-disks. Is that right? If i plug one of these into an 800XL can it run expanded memory applications and games? or is it still a 64K computer with a huge ram-disk hanging on the back? Does the MIO negate the need for a Rambo memory expansion? BTW the 80-column adapter with VGA output does look extremely cool! Thanks Graham
  12. Both USA made: 83S DA 020878 073 83S DA 78443 138 Graham
  13. Have you read this topic? I would guess you have 192kB of expanded memory... F. Thanks Fandal! So it would seem that the XRAM021 tool reporting 15 banks of memory with a Rambo XL is normal, and so it is reporting an error with bank $83 - thank you to remowilliams for that info. I downloaded and have the Commando 192K version running now. Thanks to everyone who responded. Graham
  14. I need some expert help diagnosing a problem with a Rambo XL memory card in a 1200XL. The Atari boots fine and runs most everything without any problem, including the Ramdisk, T34 and most 128K games I have tried. Commando (256K) does not work, the game starts but then the display corrupts with garbage. I ran the XRAM021 program from Satantronic, and it lists 15 banks of memory for a total of 240K - a bank at $87 (10000111) is not listed. Additionally, the bank at $83, when tested, reports an error, and the machine usually locks up at that point. I checked the solder connections and they all look ok, could this be a bad ram chip? Any ideas where to start? The base 64K seems ok, the self-test completes without error. A few additional specs: 1200XL with 256K Rambo, 800XL ROM chip and a PAL ANTIC. Any help appreciated, thanks! Graham
  15. Well to give you an update, I decided to buy the Samsung 215TW 21 inch widescreen unit. My local PC hardware store offers a 30 day full money back guarentee on this model so I figured I could try it out and just take it back if it didn't work, here's how it performs: Atari 800 (PAL) - stable image with good colour. Atari 1200XL (NTSC) - stable image with reasonable colour Atari 1200XL (w/PAL ANTIC, i.e. NTSC @ 50Hz) - snowy image, excessive video noise, wrong colours but almost viewable. ** VIC-20 (PAL) - stable image with good colour VIC-20 (NTSC) - flickery image with ok colours - flicker is very annoying and makes the display unusable for this unit. TI-99/4A (NTSC) - very stable image and outstanding colours. ** this compares to the 730MW where the image was monochrome, rolled continously and had ghost images all over the screen. For reference I am using a Sony Wega KV-AR25M61 multi-standard TV that produces an outstanding image from all of the above. I think I am going to keep this unit, it performs much better than the Samsung 730MW I tried about nine months ago and has the added bonus of a much higher resolution when I am using it with my PC. Also the sound is ok - better than the Viewsonic flat panel I have - and certainly good enough for the occassional round of Jelly Monsters, Ballblazer or Parsec. Thanks to all for the feedback, I appreciate your help. Cheers Graham
  16. I am looking to buy a new LCD monitor for my PC and have noticed that quite a few have composite inputs these days. I already have a Hitachi multi-standard TV/monitor, but if I could reduce the screen count on my desk it would be a bonus. Here are the systems I would like to run to the new monitor in addition to the PC: Atari 800 (PAL) Atari 1200XL (NTSC with 50Hz ANTIC chip - NTSC @50hz) Atari 1200XL (NTSC) VIC-20 (PAL) VIC-20 (NTSC) TI-99/4A (NTSC) I tried a Samsung 730MW a few months back - the PAL VIC-20 picture was unstable and the 1200XL with the UK ANTIC chip refused to display an image at all. I am now considering trying a newer Samsung 940MW or the Samsung 215TW. There are also LCD displays from HP and Dell that have composite inputs. Has anyone tried on these units and can report how they run? Thanks
  • Create New...