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almightytodd

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About almightytodd

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    Dragonstomper
  • Birthday 01/31/1960

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    Male
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    Orlando, Florida
  • Interests
    Professional programmer (C++, C#, SQL, BASH script)
    Guitar player
    Blues harmonica
    Juggling
    Tennis

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  1. The ADAM was a brilliant idea that was not brilliantly executed. If it had been delivered on time, with robust, reliable hardware, and at the original target retail price, it would have changed the world. Centering the system around a letter-quality printer solved the core problem all other home computers had; yes, little Timmy could use the computer to learn things, but he'd have nothing to turn in to the teacher. An affordable and reliable Adam system could have taken millions of American kids from middle school to college. Kids could have focused on learning better writing structure and content, instead of the drudgery of writing papers using cursive. I'm sure K-12 teachers would have loved grading typed papers instead of cursive. I'm excited to see the project move forward.
  2. Apologies in advance if this idea is not even remotely possible... In the arcade version, each "wave" of invaders is more difficult to defeat, because they start one row closer each time. This works, because SI displays in portrait orientation, so there is a lot of "room" for the invaders to advance. In the original VCS port, the columns of invaders are reduced from eleven to six, but the one-row-closer idea remains, meaning that the invaders remove the shields after the first, what? four or five waves? After that, the advance of each new wave stops (It has to). I think a better challenge; and one more in the "spirit" of the arcade, would be to start with six columns of invaders, and then add an additional column with each wave, until eleven columns are reached. Again, this is probably not possible due to technical limitations (...I wouldn't guess that I'm the only one who has thought of this, so it probably would have been done by now). That being said, Thomas has once again shown his mastery of 6507 programming on the VCS platform. The row-by-row movement of the invaders is a perfect compromise between moving the entire "invading force" as a single unit (something that most Invaders ports do - including the original Atari VCS port and the 7800 home brew), or moving the individual "invaders" one-by-one (which, as I understand it, is why the invaders speed up as their numbers dwindle in the Arcade original). I'm really looking forward to watching this game evolve. This view of the development process for these games is one of the most intriguing aspects of Atari Age. I thank all of the developers here for sharing this with us.
  3. I find this argument baffling. Which is the better vehicle? A Chevy Spark? Or a Ford F-150? The 5200 was a stripped-down Atari 400, which was itself a stripped-down Atari 800. The Spectrum was a ZED-X 81 with sound, more memory, color capability and a slightly better keyboard. But it retained the primary design objective of being a computer that normal humans could actually afford to buy. Did the Spectrum's sound and graphics approach those found on the 5200? No. Did the 5200 provide a platform for tens of thousands of aspiring young programmers to begin life-long careers as software engineers? No. Personally, I've never owned either machine. But I did and do have a 2600 and a 7800. And I did and do have a TS 1000 (the American version of the ZX-81), and it did inspire the software engineering career I've enjoyed for the past 30 years. I choose to spend my time here in the Atari Age forum to take a break from all of the things happening in our world that people are arguing about right now. I hope the argument here is good-natured and tongue-in-cheek - I'm going to try and take it that way. But seriously guys - it's all just good natured ribbing; until it's not.
  4. I went to bed early last night... ...sorry I missed it. Nice to see the tradition continue though. Happy New Year everyone!
  5. I "rediscovered" these last night while reading through the Forum here. I started watching when they first started and subscribed to the channel; but somehow I drifted away. It looks like I have a lot of episodes to watch to get caught up. I watched the first five episodes last night and realized these were all games that our family purchased after having a VCS as the 'family present" for Christmas 1977. Good memories.
  6. I don't know if we're still looking for logo suggestions, but here's mine:
  7. May the year 2020 quickly be forgotten; and may Curt always be remembered.
  8. Such a tragic loss. His legacy will live on in his writings and his engineering projects. I will think of him each time I use my Legacy Engineering joystick and my Flashback 2; and when I read "Atari - Business is Fun" that he co-wrote with Marty. Condolences to his family.
  9. Hi George! I recently discovered the trs80gp emulator and wanted to come here to AtariAge and share with everyone that after years of searching for a usable TRS-80 emulator, I've finally found one! So of course, I did a search first to see if anyone else had mentioned it, and imagine my surprise to find the author active in these forums! WOW!!! The TRS-80 Model I holds a special place in my heart, because although there was no way as a 17 year old that I could talk my family into buying one (...at over $2,000 of today's dollars), I went down to my local Radio Shack, bought a beginning TRS-80 BASIC book (I think it was Level 1... ...not sure), and then spent a few Saturdays at Radio Shack trying to type in programs on their demo machine. The first computer I actually OWNED was a Timex/Sinclair 1000, which also made use of the Z80 CPU. I enjoyed that for several years, and I now continue to explore BASIC programming using the EightyOne emulator, which features display scan lines and other video effects that really bring nostalgia in to the emulation experience. If only I could find a decent TRS-80 emulator with similar features... ...and now I have! Here's a screenshot of my desktop while running your fine emulator with appropriate wallpaper... I'm a software engineer at Walt Disney World now, and those early experiences with machines like the TRS-80 and the Sinclair had a definite influence on the direction of my career. The second computer that I owned was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2, by the way, but it just didn't seem to have the same kind of charm as these earlier models. Thanks again for your efforts in creating, well, it's just the BEST TRS-80 emulator I've ever seen! My discovery of this has been a real bright-spot during COVID-19 lock-down and spending my days working from home. Thank you! Thank you!
  10. If poor decisions lead to your death; because you don't believe in Darwinism...  that IS Darwinism...

    1. _The Doctor__

      _The Doctor__

      lol, and if you put grain and nuts in a box, rodents spontaneously whisk into existence... as he so famously stated... yeah, hafta say... Darwin created a movement of folks who follow him and his theories and they may take themselves out in an act of support to prove he and they weren't mistaken... which is good for those of us who know better ! Less Darwin award recipients in the future after the spike... flattening the curve just spreads out the award recipients...

  11. Planet Patrol This game adds to the challenge with the sun going down so you only see your enemies when you fire. I also like that it solves the "portrait orientation" problem that many arcade ports suffer by rotating the orientation 90 degrees and limiting the side-to-side (...or up-and-down) area of the screen. This seems more "fair" than a game like "Breakout", where the arcade game is squashed down to landscape orientation, and the ball flies at crazy angles that are just about impossible to handle once the ball is traveling at the higher speeds.
  12. This is good: I think we need a separate category for vector-graphics games... So many great B & W raster arcade games... ...it's too hard to choose just one.
  13. It's all good... chill...

  14. Thank science and the collective responsible behavior of the American Public that this Pandemic hasn't been as catastrophic as it could have been...

    1. Keatah

      Keatah

      I'll thank science. But the American Public? They're still pretty stupid with stuff like this. Impatient and worried about other stuff.

    2. _The Doctor__

      _The Doctor__

      That virus is pretty smart... it doesn't exist if you march down the street hand in hand with no mask or having it dangling under your chin, just so long as you yell scream and shout while throwing, breaking and burning stuff it will skip over you! Just don't try doing anything else... or it will seek you out and destroy you!     Hopefully we've enough herd immunity we don't have to bear this getting out of hand again.

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