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About atarifan49

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    Lompoc, CA
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    Atari Jaguar, 7800, 8bit Computers

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  1. That is interesting you guys found my senior project report. I had been wanting to build that for years and when it came time to finish my degree I saw working on external VLM as part of my senior project was a good opportunity. The one I ended up building and got working unfortunately uses an obsolete Philips chip. I was able to procure some from China but not very many of them. I had found another chip that I initially wanted to use because it was in production - but it did require the addition of a 3.3V regulator to the cartridge and logic level conversion from the 3.3V logic levels to TTL/CMOS. I was still learning about how to do PCB layout and get analog and digital circuits separate from each other and connecting their grounds. My first design was a horrible mess with all of the noise - digital dogs and analog cats don't get along with each other! I reverted to the Philips chip because it works with the 5V power and logic levels. A fellow student help me with getting a ground plane added to the board to help with the noise immunity. My biggest dilemma would be getting cartridge PCB's made. It is not cheap to have done. I was using Advanced PCB while I was a student which allowed me to take advantage of their very low pricing and fairly quick turn around. Glenn
  2. Your right, some are pre-Jag methods. I was just sharing some of the ways we managed to communicate before the world wide web really took off and provided great places like Atari Age. Another great way we learned about things was thru Best Electronics catalog - the Sears Roebuck catalog for the Atari community! At the time the original question asked about, we definitely had the email list server. Glenn
  3. I checked that Telegames list and I was at #422 with my old Falcon AFB email address!
  4. Exactly! Before websites like Atari Age we had newsgroups (alt.atari-jaguar.discussion). Email and Newsgroups were two of the first killer apps for the ARPANET, the DoD experiment that turned into the Internet. Atari Gaming HQ's and Jaguar Interactive II were early websites that allowed us to discuss Atari online. We also had email discussions by sending emails to a list server that would re-broadcast your email to everyone subscribed to the list server. And we had online services like Compuserve and Genie. Genie had some great Atari related forums (aka roundtables) and file download archives, along with Compuserve. It was on Genie that I first heard about the Jaguar and Panther systems in development by Atari. We also relied on BBS's (Bulletin Board System) and dial-up modems to access systems hosted by people on their personal computers to stay in contact. It may seem archaic in today's terms, but we managed to spread the word quite well among each other! Glenn
  5. Here is a link to Atari Museum website that contains an old facility map (for the Sunnyvale area). One of the last warehouses (end of Tramiel era) is at the corner of Mathilda Ave and Carribean Ave in Sunnyvale, located close to a great surplus place to visit called Weird Stuff. If you haven't already picked up, you should get the book Atari, Inc. - Business is Fun (available on Amazon) which should help give insight to the various locations that existed before the two Borregas locations you mentioned above. There are pictures of the early locations and addresses assocated with them. If you go to http://ataribook.com/book/ you can click on excerpt and check out the book on Google preview - there are some sample images to check out. The book is very much worth the purchase! While there, you should try and check out the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Have a great trip and give us a report what you got to see and find! Glenn
  6. Okay, I have to ask. What is with the board with the 4 cart slots mounted in a Jaguar shell? Glenn
  7. I understand the points made here about the quality of the video in the JagAds CD's. JagAds started out as my way of exploring the FMV conversion tools for converting Quicktime Cinepak films into a format for playing on the Jaguar. My first discovery of a game for the Jaguar when I got my hands on a dev system was Caves of Fear which was a technology demonstration that Atari did to showcase their way of doing FMV games popularized on the SegaCD. There are some videos on the JagAds CD that are of very good quality - Marketing 101 and the opening Jaguar scratch logo. Those videos I was able to source directly from CD's made by Atari that contained those videos which didn't require any reprocessing to make them into chunky Jagfilm files for use on the JagAds CD. Other videos I didn't have the best quality of source for. Some were from Quicktime or other formatted videos that I found on the internet. In most cases they were compressed using some other compression method than Radius Cinepak, if I recall correctly. In order for them to play on the Jaguar they had to be compressed using Radius Cinepak which reduce their quality even more by going thru another compressing cycle. Some were only available in smaller form like the Ultimate Atarian done videos or the Battlesphere teaser videos. When played on a large screen TV they do look a lot worse. But when I was working on it at the time I was using only a SC1224 RGB monitor, which they tend to look better on because of the smaller screen. I did my best with what I had available to me. And if I had to pull them in from VHS I had to rely on a older Macintsoh 250MHz 603e system to capture the video and audio separate and piece them together. That Mac just didn't have the horsepower to really do the job - but being an enlisted member in the Air Force with a family to support at the time, I had a very limited income to afford quality tools and limited resources for obtaining the video sources. I hope at least JagAds has provided Jag fans with enjoyment of appreciating the variety of commercials that existed for the system - even with the poorly acted Cave informercial. Glenn
  8. That board in the 1050 is a Duplicator Board. It was a clone/knockoff of the Happy Enhancement for the 1050. The RAM chip on the board is a 64k bit or 8k byte. Jim Patchell was the engineer behind making of the board. He got involved with some guys in New York state who marketed it - they were not very business savy. Here's some history on it. Glenn
  9. I found the Gran Trak 10 manual on archive.org. Click on the PDF link on the left side of the page to view or download it. Pages 2-7 thru 2-11 provide detailed description of how the screech, crash and engine RPM sounds are generated. It's mostly analog circuits using op-amps but there are digital inputs that help enable / disable the sounds depending on whether the machine is in game mode or attract mode. Glenn
  10. Hindsight: get Sony involved with the Jag, make a killer system and beat the crap out of Nintendo and Sega!
  11. Looking at the schematics on Atari Museum (Side A) the transformer output has a center tap. There's nothing on the schematic to say otherwise, so it could only be assumed that it is a straight split of the voltages (8.3V 0V 8.3V). Glenn
  12. I recently ran into an interesting learning situation during a large disassembly project. I had the following hex byte sequence that appeared three times in the code being disassembled: 23 20 00 00 00 6C This translates to the following when disassembled: MOVE.L #$6C,D0 Well, when I reassembled using SMAC the assembler would recognized that this can be optimized to a 2 byte code and produce: 70 6C Unfortunately, there was no switch to force SMAC to not optimize such code. But it was easy work around to place a DC.W followed by a DC.L to just force the operand/operands I needed at those locations. I guess some of the Atari dev tools, whether for PC, Linux or the TT030 had some optimization issues with them. So far, SMAC and SLN have been wonderful to use on my PC. I don't have to mess with VMWARE emulation just to run some dev tools. Now if we could only have a way to improve the debugger tools (WDB or RDBJAG) and use the Skunk board for some serious in-system trace/debug work! Glenn
  13. I have a beige video pinball but no stunt cycle. Stunt Cycle would be cool to have. I remember playing the arcade game a lot when I was a kid - definitely took skill with the throttle. Glenn
  14. It would be nice if there were any details about the custom I.C. used in the Video Music. You can read the patent to get an idea and give you more insight to how it works. I did get to briefly talk with the inventer of the Video Music and he said that you can't make the chip these days anyway. I think he said he was made using a NMOS process that is no longer used in the industry. The chip was made using n-channel MOS metal gate process - which was the most common process for high speed logic at the time. It required +5V, +12V and -5V. I recently asked Al Alcorn this question - What sparked the idea for video music? Al Alcorn answered: Glenn
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