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About oky2000

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  1. I remember there was a mono emulator on a coverdisk that used an interlace method, wouldn't mind trying that again on a real CRT TV over SCART RGB or an SC1224 I have. The Amiga hi-res has to use interlace of course like every machine with 15khz output but the ST 70hz non interlaced SM124 was pretty easy on the eyes :) The GEM desktop was designed for mono resolution, the icons are too stretched in medium and too large in lo-res but on a hi-res screen it looks better than Windows and just as good as the original Mac OS/Lisa OS. Add a software blitter to your boot disk and anything running in mono on the ST was a really nice snappy and reliable professional environment to work in for stuff like medium level DTP and Wordprocessing.
  2. Really depends on the exact time of release for the pack and each game in the bundle pack relative to the date the ST bundle was launched and how well it sold. So my comments are not going to be specific to this pack. In principle it's a great idea, it's down to the software houses not to give away their releases that still sell well long after release to new ST owners that pop up (like Dungeon Master or Defender of the Crown etc that don't age for new consumers). Activision pulled the promised Pitfall from the C64/ZX Softaid compilation and replaced it with crusty Beamrider at the last minute because they knew that was a mistake for Activision. Problem is the knock-on effect like you say, if one software houses gives away two really great games then that initially hurts sales of well respected good selling games from all the other publishers not just that one publisher so through no fault of their own other publishers lose out on sales from new ST owners. This has a second effect on the false impression that the ST market is slowing down because the new machines are sold but there is a delay until people get bored of the bundled Power/Summer pack games buying new games at retail. My memories are getting faint about the 80s but I am going to guess the biggest problem for the ST (and all other home computers) was the rampant piracy. My friend who got an STFM about 9 months after I got my 520STM had stacks of pirated games within weeks. After wasting money on rubbish like Deep Space and Barbarian by Psygnosis I too gave up on buying full price games due to the lack of quality getting worse due to the rampant piracy....no win scenario. The problem moved onto the Amiga and that machine rarely had an acceptably coded game (unless you had some Amstrad or Sinclair or Acorn computer before the Amiga....if you had a VCS or C64 or A8 the Amiga games were highly erratic in frame update to you most of the time!) End of the day nobody put a gun to the publishers heads, if they had games that weren't selling and had peaked in the charts ages ago/made most of the revenue they probably ever would they can offer them in bundles. Don't forget that the bundles were there to help when Atari first had to put the price up of the 520STFM back up to 399 after it came down to 299 to make life hard for Commodore's 499+Sales tax A500 hideous machine in Summer 1987. Atari knew there were aspects of ST games that could never rival Atari 8bit/C64 games (sound and smooth scrolling) and yet they needed to tempt existing 8bit users into the 16bit marketplace (something Commodore failed at for half a decade). Also Atari were not writing any 'killer apps' to bundle with the ST themselves, odd because Jack should have known a hell of a lot of 1983-84 C64 games sold on the back of the very cheap and very excellent [for the year] International Soccer cartridge. Kids in the EU were suckers for a computer with an excellent footy game. And the Amiga suddenly was not A1000 priced vs 520STFM prices after middle of 1987 any more and the STE was a long way off so you had to add value....and hide the first of two price hikes back up to £399 from £299 in the mid-late eighties (which for some reason Commodore didn't have to do...perhaps they had large stocks of DRAM or made them in MOS for the A500 who knows). Summer Pack was the best I think, the one with the original International Karate not IK+ on ST.. Never had any packs, got the 520STM as soon as it came out because it was cheaper than a Commodore 128D + Mouse + GEOS and well Neochrome was brilliant and I was interested in computer graphics.....did all the sprites for Gradius and Salamander by hand on Neochrome on my ST when I got home from playing the arcade games in 1986 Ultimately software houses in the UK were mostly too greedy and too devoid of talent combined with rampant piracy this is probably the biggest reason the computers failed. Nobody should have been buying the crappy NES when for a brief period you could get an ST with Commando and Ghosts n Goblins for a bit over 100 quid more than an NES deluxe pack and those two same games...which are nothing like the arcade versions unlike the excellent ST ports. Lotus on ST came a little too late in many ways (Amiga models got cheaper, software houses abandoned the ST or did very slap-dash developments technically) but if Lotus on ST is better than 90% of Amiga racing games technically
  3. I remember when the Amiga 500 came out Atari was ready with £100 price drop to £299 for the 520STFM so the A500 was ... a) extremely ugly b) RRP £499+VAT+£20 for RF modulator or £15 SCART RGB cable for TV at launch. (many dealers discounted the VAT off the price to be fair). The DRAM prices went up for Atari twice in the mid-late 80s, so twice the £299 price drop had to be raised back to £399 for a while. I think the second time was when the A500 was down to 399 inc VAT sales tax. One time was due to worldwide demand rapidly exceeding supply output so Amstrad dropped their ST/Amiga 500 rival all in one PC and used their stocks of RAM for the business aimed PC1512 8086 DOS/GEM PC, the other time was due to some sort of factory fire in Asia I think. Exact figures are not easy to find now, the only way to know as much as possible is to keep reading the news section of all magazines probably...like when Commodore announced in 1984 in the UK the C64 and VIC-20 had sold more units combined than the so called 'all conquering until late eighties' ZX Spectrum and ZX81 etc
  4. Was the Apple Lisa OS on ROM from the start? I think the price of DRAMs was hugely expensive when they were working on the ST, by the time of the 520STM in Spring 1986 (launched with 1040STF at the Atari Show) the price of RAM had dropped so much and showed no signs of levelling off that JT abandoned the 130ST idea (128k RAM, GEM in ROM 130ST), and they stuck with 512kb base spec and knew the 512k DRAM requiring machines would just get cheaper and cheaper so unbundled the lot and added the modulator for composite and RF output for 399 520STM....perhaps Jack thought the C64's biggest pull in 1982/83 was the 'huge' 64k RAM for the price? I bought a 520STM in spring 1986. As I understand it the 260ST is just a rebadged 520ST with TOS on disk...a bit like how a 256k Amiga 1000 was actually 256k+192K protected RAM for OS on disk to be loaded into (survives crashes and resets). There was also the 260STD (changed to STF later lol) and that had the disk drive on the left hand side so it wasn't a 256k 520STFM rebadged as those have disk drive on the right hand side like all STF/STE/Falcon models. No idea about what the RAM/ROM situation was on those. Something I can find zero info on today, but read about in the weekly magazines of the mid 1980s, was the Atari ST console variant which was meant to have games on cartridge, standard ST spec cartridge port and standard 520ST specs with 128k RAM and no keyboard and to be sold for £199. Atari did have a habit of putting out news items for things they hadn't actually started engineering or designing to gauge public reaction like their Amstrad PCW8256 rival they also said they would be putting out by 1986 (not even a prototype picture!!). Of course if you look at Ghosts n Goblins and Commando on the ST they are good enough for 16bit console games technically. I have a 260ST in the box somewhere. I did have an original TOS Boot disk but haven't seen that for over a decade (I have a lot of stuff!!) but used to see 1985 520ST models in Laskys all the time with that iconic boot disk request screen.
  5. I can't find it now but the Microdeal Sampler (I think) that I bought for my old 520STM back in the mid 1980s had a DAC inside it and it could play the samples via the DAC in the sampler plugged into the cartridge slot. I think that was the only cartridge I had for my ST, never got around to buying the excellent FAST ST Basic on cartridge.
  6. How odd, was just reading about the 'new' Atari 600XL this morning with my coffee in an issue of TV Gamer I randomly pulled from the bookshelf. After reading it (it's the issue with Battlezone VCS style on the cover) and getting nostalgic about those times I thought I should start using one of my most prized Atari 8bit items in my collection and do a sort of unboxing video of my lovely mint in mint box 800XL retail high street packaging....sorry I don't have an Atari 600XL. What TV/monitor models match the styling of the 600/800XL the best would you say?
  7. Pencils are from about half way down page 221 onward for a few pages showing different combinations of horizontally and vertically drawn coloured pencils and different ways each machine could draw them (with and without CPU assistance etc). (seeing as this is linked to from the thread just locked might as well tell people where they actually are in that massive thread topic)
  8. Modern C64 games are not where anyone should be looking, they are all pretty much shit sorry. Nothing wrong with the parallax on games like Nebulus bonus levels etc or even budget games like Scorpius of the mid-late 1980s. I wouldn't look much past graphics of games like R.I.S.K. on a C64 around 1987 at the latest for good pixel art talent. I think there is some V-scroll new game Zeta Wing or something, that looks well coded too for a modern game but I don't like the graphics that much, they are too 'demo scene' in palette choices. Also early games like Chop Lifter and Bruce Lee are port jobs with no improvements included despite some being possible (sprite should be hi-res single colour ninja in Bruce Lee ditto with Zorro) There is a demo of a game similar to Lotus II from ST/Amiga for the Commodore Plus/4...this is a better place to look for good homebrew 8bit Commodore game this century. The best of the C64 is in that past. The skill to write 1987 10/10 quality games is gone now if you ask me. People have different ideas, look how horrible the palette of level 1 of Druid is on A8 vs C64, you can't blame a machine for lack artistic talent or coding design no matter what machine. (except Spectrum, always looks shit with color clash)
  9. The problem for the VIC-II chip when making much more complex and varied graphics in later arcade conversion game engines is 'everything for VIC-II 4bit address memory access must fit in 4 specific 16kb memory areas of RAM'. Sure you can have hi-res overlays on sprites, multiplex the sprites etc but these all mean more animation frames stored in the selected 16kb/64kb RAM area which means less of the 16kb VIC-II area used for sprites can accommodate the memory hungry screen bitmap modes. What happens then is they can't use an 8kb RAM multi-color bitmap mode (which has to be in the same 16kb location for tiles and sprites defined) so you end up with the utterly rubbish looking multi-color character based mode which is 1kb BUT the restrictions are horrible...3 colours fixed entire screen, 4th colour can only be Acorn BBC Micro type 6 primary colours + black + white palette option. This is why I don't like arcade conversion fixated releases of late 1980s 8bit games. Renegade 3 is a perfect example of this as a bad idea. NES quality Sprites...5 colour chunky pixel very odd coloured backgrounds which take up 500% more of the screen visually than the sprites!
  10. Thanks for all the replies Was kinda holding off trawling PDFs online etc. My internet is flaky these days (lockdowns!!) and PDFs when loaded finally in browser still need to be downloaded if need be and then the pages extracted to PNG for my video editor. I had to do this in order to get some stuff for the 1992 High Street DOS/Windows rivals at the time which was the Amstrad PC 2286 (286-16mhz, 1mb RAM, 40mb HDD, 1.44mb 3.5" FDD, VGA, Adlib sound, monitor and speakers for 799inc VAT or less off the shelf in person). Fancied trying my hand at a video to see what were the five options but needed some benchmark prices. I seem to remember a 4mb Mega STE for £599inc VAT in Silica Shop? Silica Shop had branches in the high end London "West End" and central city areas near megastores and Harrods etc. I did actually visit one of their shops I think. Bit hazy now on memories. I used to live about 2-3 miles from Gasteiner....I do believe I got a SCART RGB cable from them and looked at their branded external hard disk drives in the shop window.
  11. I did actually have a page scan of that advert I got via google searching half a decade ago but that laptop drive is long dead now sadly. Tried to find it again but I can't find any Mega STE adverts. The reason I am interested in this is simply because I was doing some research in what families could purchase as a PC option in the High Street electronics/computer store and the sort of thing on sale that families could buy in such places was 800 bucks for a branded 286 16mhz Adlib sound original VGA (386,000 palette not 16 million) and a 40mb hard drive and 1mb RAM and some crappy dime store speakers and the usual 14" monitor to play PC games on in summer 1992.
  12. Like I said I wasn't sure, I read homebrew news releases now and then and it may have been for something else. There is a Doom style game engine in the Posh demo by Checkpoint which is quite impressive indeed. I really like the music on that section of the demo. Can't remember if I tried it on STFM or STE.
  13. I can't remember all the official Atarisoft ST releases but I think Star Raiders was possibly the only one that I had as an original, I remember had others but they may have been from my old school friend who would pop round now and again with some crack disks to try out. Star Raiders is a strong enough game, certainly better than the hideously expensive Deep Space rubbish by Psygnosis I got very early on. There are loads of arcade games from that early period that don't have even a homebrew ST release, like Popeye. The ST seems perfect for Popeye but STOS probably isn't up to the challenge despite the minimal graphic operations on screen and no scrolling required. I used to play arcade games and then when I got home do some pixel art in Neochrome and shovel them into STOS as simple demos...I even did some weird 5 to 1 frames per second dual layer parallax effect for Salamander in STOS...oh how naïve I was back then lol Circa 1986 people weren't really that big on nostalgia for those old 8 bit arcade games on a commercial scale I guess.
  14. What's so odd about that? Who would buy Centipede for the Atari ST by Atarisoft for 20 bucks in 1986? Only a handful of people worldwide were interested in Centipede by 1986 that's why, don't blame the god of all computer company founders for Centipede being past it's sell by date by end of 1984 even on a VIC-20 on tape for 5 bucks lol
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