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Everything posted by oky2000

  1. What amazes me is how far off every version is from the stock 1984 Amstrad CPC official port, it's bloody amazing, better than even the C64 version and full arcade screen height too! (CPC has user definable borders as standard unlike almost every other system except the VIC-20 which couldn't do a better version)
  2. Thanks for the replies, I remember playing about half of those, along with stuff like Beach Head 1 and 2, Buck Rogers and Stealth (my Atari friend liked to show me the conversions of games I had on my C64). I have some original carts but three of them are still sealed and worth a damned fortune so I don't really want to break the seal, cheaper to get an SD interface and play them from there
  3. Recently, after a lot of renovation in my house, I set up an Amstrad (which was the machine my best friend owned) and it was a lot of fun trawling through hundreds of games I used to play at his house to make 14 hours worth of youtube casual gaming real hardware videos. The next machine to get a permanent set up is the Atari 800XL once I get another room finished and purchase some sort of SD based device. I used to play Atari games all weekend on my other friend's Atari 800 and 800XL computer, I remember a lot of really cool games but I was wondering what you think are absolute classics. I am looking for really fun games like Alley Cat, Rally Speedway and Fire Chief etc etc as well as all conquering masterpieces like A8 Rescue on Fractalus up to about 1986/87. You recommendations are greatly appreciated
  4. Gauntlet 1, International Karate and Road Runner are 3 ST exclusive 16 bit games I really liked back then.
  5. It's interesting looking at the options of home computer for the early eighties in the UK (Atari 800/800XL, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC, Acorn BBC etc). The only two that really share anything is the Spectrum and C64, which both have separate color memory not just screen memory (1kb Screen RAM and 1kb Color RAM is the most simple mode the C64 offers and this does allow 16 colours per scanline with zero CPU time taken but with restrictions on where they are and how colours can be changed). A good example of what is only possible with Color RAM type system in hi-res bitmap (320x200) 8kb screen is Law of the West but in 2kb mode the only difference is the background colour of each character is fixed and only the foreground can be set for each 8x8 character block without using rasters. The alternative is the enormous 16kb true bitmap screen of the 8bit Amstrad CPC machines, you can draw any combinations of 16 colours anywhere on a 160x200 screen but just like the custom chip devoid ST the 4mhz Z80 alone has to manipulate the screen 50fps (which is impossible). However in 320x200 medium resolution of the same Amstrad this 16kb screen becomes useless managing 4 colours only....which makes the budget Spectrum/Timex computers more useful at that sort of resolution which can always display a combination of 2 colours per 8x8 block in it's one and only 6.25kb 32 column screen mode.
  6. Jason Donovan sold a lot of records......so did Michael Bolton.....talent and fame rarely have anything to do with it. He is not bad, he is OK...no better than that.
  7. Personally I would say if that was the only music you heard on the ST that just used the AY/YM facilities you would put it in the same class as the Mattel Aquarius/Jupiter Ace. It's like a circuit bent Pong console. There are some brilliant tunes on the ST, Rolling Thunder is catchy, Xennon II is haunting via a nice hi-fi and Goldrunner is iconic but Batman...meh I personally think it's terrible technically. So odd because the scrolling on level 1 is lovely, the pixel art identical (16+16 colour game screen via a single pallet split on both Amiga and ST) and the 3D sections are very similar, too close to be worth mentioning.
  8. Indeed, the graphics of the stonework on the ST version look much nicer than the EGA looking crap on Amiga Prince of Persia, so I refused to play it on the Amiga.
  9. By same I really mean they sound very similar on the tiny little crappy speakers in 14" portable TVs etc.....it is a bit more scratchy but it makes little difference when playing the game. A bit like how the Direct X libraries of Xbox 360 vs PS3 alternative display driver, there is a difference in gamma and low end/high end luma definition on rendered polygons (360 seems to be better technically) but on your average CRT TV it's hard to tell :) Lotus II is a fine game on both the ST and Amiga, ditto Batman the Movie (if you turn off that no talent cunt music by Johnathan Dunn and stick to just SFX on the ST) but in the case of F1 I had to go and check on STeem to make sure the youtube videos were not being recorded from STE emulation mode. The title page music is admittedly more scratchy but it's a crap bit of music anyway and the SFX are fine as they are when played on my Commodore 1084SD monitor on both. T
  10. I am no longer 100% sure exactly when I bought my used Amiga 1000 but Domark on the Amiga is generally not a 'quality' publisher ;) On the ST their games were a lot less of a shortfall for the hardware though I would agree. In the case of F1 they went all out and upped the sound quality beyond what the YM offers and you would expect, a nice surprise. Lotus II doesn't do that but I suspect the hit on scaling bitmap performance might have been larger than for the enhanced Vroom engine of F1.
  11. The conversion quality not the actual game ;)
  12. So I was playing F1 by Domark, not the sequel F1 Championship Edition which is Amiga/Megadrive exclusive, on my Amiga 1000 I have recently unpacked (the Amiga of my youth!) and out of curiosity I thought I would check out F1 on the ST. Bang, it is IDENTICAL on both, speed and sound. I was expecting weedy engine noise and square wave tire screeches etc but nope it appears to run the same speed as the Amiga whilst still playing up to two samples at the same time via CPU software sample playback. This has got to be the only time Domark did an ST and Amiga game worth a damn. A great game that is great on both......it's just like the PS3/360 era of same game but completely different hardware.
  13. I don't have this on cart, I think I have some sort of Atarisoft branded bundle with Star Raiders on tape (which probably doesn't load). Played it a lot on my VCS but never really got the chance to play it on the A8 back then sadly. It was a system seller for sure.
  14. 'Toy computers' lol shows how much you know, the hardware AND O.S. of PC was similar to a Sinclair/Timex 1981 junk 8bit in technical sophistication. The technical abilities of the Mono Mac and PC XT were also far inferior to any other 16bit home computer (ST, Amiga, Sharp X68000 etc) You try naming important business files and directories in 8 characters for a start so they mean anything to you 3 months later in a busy sole trader operation. Few people need something like SQL Forms based packages in most small to medium businesses. The cheap shit business software bundled with/made for the Amstrad 1040STF priced CGA PC compatible would have put most businesses out of business anyway, and nobody is buying Lotus Symphony on a Mac to run their office/large store. Commodore got it very wrong with their original Amiga 500 double page 'now all other computers are just toys' with a clockwork spring powered PET 2000/4000 look-a-like with ST function keys drawing in the corner. Should have been a doodle of a shitty Mac or a PC 3 box shape with an MS/IBM logo on the side. The only 16bit lumps of shit were the ones designed by enormous teams of clueless pricks and unlimited budgets at Apple, IBM and Microsoft mega corps. The only reason the Amiga 1000 came out a year after the pathetic mono Mac with crap copy of a good OS somebody else designed a decade earlier, is simply because the development for one was funded by excessively lucky cocksuckers loaded with cash and the other built by investment money begged from some private dentists. We are back to 1986 era....when the Amiga 1000 was the best computer and the best games platform technically possible, today it is impossible for ANY PC or Mac to do real-time ray tracing game engines at anything like the price of a PS5 (because AMD will not release the PS5 APU which manages this for peanuts for OEM PC builders to make PCs from). A PC/Mac graphics card capable of any sort of real time raytracing costs twice the price of a PS5 alone lol and you need an i7/i9 class PC to get over the bloatware WANK Mac/Windows OS running your game engine like utter shit. The only reason you wouldn't buy an Amiga 1000 in 1986 was you couldn't afford it, even though it was 50-66% cheaper than Mac/PC option, in which case you got a 520ST or 520STM more precisely (and a SCART RGB cable and a mono monitor bundle) which was 75% less. On something like an Amiga 1000 you could have made revolutionary software for the business environment. A full multimedia database of properties is a little bit more sophisticated than the text only PC based wank in use most of the 20th century where property picture were kept in card file folders and info sheets for properties displayed in the office window had extra copies of developed photos cut to side and stuck on the letter headed text only printed out sheets with glue like a bunch of fucking 5 year olds at playschool LOL. The only 16bit toy computers were Mac or PC compatible. It took IBM a decade and some insider knowledge/access to Kickstart OS kernal etc source code to come close to 1985 Amiga Kickstart 1.1 and Microsoft never did manage it (everything after XP Service Pack 1 is a backward step for OS efficiency/elegance). If you needed to do anything scientific or seriously powerful etc with a PC your first step was to find a UNIX distribution...........this alone cost more than the price of a low end PC XT in 1980s because you need a 6000 dollar 286 PC AT! The closest thing to UNIX on any 16bit computer is Kickstart....developed quickly in the UK by porting Tripos powerful 32bit OS to the Amiga 1000 motherboard in 2 months. How long did it get Micrococksuckers to get a mouse pointer working under interrupt for DOS GUI lol even the mouse is not an Apple invention, it is a direct copy of the 1960s invention with no innovation.
  15. That's an interesting point, for some reason I don't remember the 2mb Falcon being just 100 quid more than A1200 or same price as 1mb Archimedes A3010 (ARM 2.5 CPU version). I don't think you can do much non gaming stuff long term without a hard drive, probably not beyond casual pixel art dabbling/rubbish STOS game coding on any of those 3 systems I just mention. Even using a an Amiga 1000/520ST without a hard drive is a completely different experience and for a gamers only type option.
  16. Used to do the exact same thing with the contact domes on my VCS joysticks in the late 80s, I may have had an ST, Amiga and Megadrive by 1990 but I still looked after my VCS as it was a gift from the gods in my childhood!
  17. The CRT tube and the driving electronics, and therefore the picture quality, was stock rehoused Philips chassis most of the time from what I remember seeing. I was a CRT TV engineer, fixed many eighties TV's in my time, know about most brands from an engineers point of view. The kings of eighties CRT displays were Trinitron and Quintrix (Panasonic's alternative) but Philips had a much more warm n fuzzy late seventies type image like everybody else in that era. I can appreciate the importance of style choices hence my term 'Fashionistas'. With CRT TVs it is mostly down to the alignment of electron gun/shadow mask accuracy and how dark a grey colour the CRT tube is when turned off, there are practically no improvements you can make to improve those by changing the motherboard I personally like the Normende (?) eighties TVs that looked like something out of The Jetsons but today I know the actual picture quality was not really any better than our Fergusson TX TV from early eighties (which had bass/treble/balance and stereo speakers and a pseudo 'surround sound' mode for audio along with SCART RGB for my ST and Amiga so it really was just a style thing, technically we didn't miss out on that much) I would have to ask a friend as I have not worked on B&O audio gear myself so that may be pretty good and actually top of the line quality. They do look interesting but I have no idea what off the shelf parts/base machine they use as the basis for the audio products. Audio equipment has a huge potential improvement via minor, slightly more costly, component changes or even just circuit layout/component placement. Tape hiss, underlying hum from turntable etc are all quite possible to improve, a better needle cartridge than what is supplied as standard for the base turntable from another manufacturer makes quite a difference too, assuming B&O don't make 100% bespoke turntable chassis. You can't make an early 1990s Goldstar TV image look as good as Mitsubishi Diamondtron if you start with an identical CRT tube inside the Goldstar, they both cost the same however. I think Philips and B&O are companies from the same country though hence the TV parts they use. The point is as long as you accept the technical limitations and are happy to pay that much more for something that looks a particular way instead then that's cool. If it's down to design I would go with the twin fold out speaker Normende TV that looks like something out of The Jetsons or 2001 but as an engineer and home movie buff of the 80s I know the money would have been better spent on a 28" Sony for the living room AND a 14" Sony portable TV for me upstairs (if we had that sort of money in the mid 80s!).
  18. I think on the original Domark release for ST you get more samples if you have 1mb RAM when loading the game, the music is stock AY sounds though.
  19. Small businesses like video rental stores wouldn't be getting any support worth mentioning, they would also get zero support worth mentioning for using Windows either (and Windows was a disaster, only idiots used that rubbish for any business). People just bought anything that ran on PC assuming it must be the best for business situations. It's like Fashionistas who bought Bang & Olufsen TVs instead of saving a thousand bucks and getting an identical TV with a Phillips badge etc
  20. I did high level programming for DOS as a final year project. I wrote the same video rental store management system in FAST BASIC (or STOS) and it was identical and did everything a top of the range PC system would do in 1986. Small businesses really needed to be more open minded. If I had actually thought of my estate agent management suite running via Amiga + multimedia database capabilities (interlaced ham images for properties and hi-res lace mono copy for mono printouts) along with all the usual guff you get with bespoke software in the 80s for cheap ass PC setups in the UK nobody would have bought it anyway despite it being 1 or 2 DECADES ahead of what you could actually get on a PC off the shelf. Hell if you had 9mb of RAM you could actually have animations for transition of going from one room to another and back out again and a 360 degree rotation of a spot of the front of a house and the centre of the garden. Problem is people generally go with the masses, after all that Apple has done over the decades......they are only still around today because 3/4 of its competing non Wintel competition self imploded by the late 1990s (Acorn, Atari, Commodore). In the case of OS/2 v2.0 to v4.0 IBM just priced themselves out of the market on x86 OS wars. Point is you could do a lot more with both an Amiga or ST than any 600 bucks bottom of the barrel 512k XT class PC clone running DOS or Windows in the late 80s but business users make 'safe' bets. Only when it is too late do they realise this so called 'business class support' was a pile of useless pre-recycled paper with lots of get-out clauses hidden in any contract or user licence :).
  21. Could have done with being told about this awesome GR 9/11 mix mode you can load images from BASIC for my thread for a youtube video pfft
  22. I am talking about a Mom + Pop store and an off the shelf system with no extra support at all. Same shit as when an Estate Agent bought an Amstrad PC and some off the shelf office CHEAP apps to run his business...and yet you could do it better with an ST for them but no office would ever buy a £299.99 STFM instead of a 549.99 PC 1512 with mono monitor (+ extra for software on both). People just assumed ALL PC DOS software was better back then (more fool them).
  23. I went to an Atari show in 1988 and somebody had a 16mhz accelerator upgrade for the 520ST/STM, I would say possibly 1987 then for 16mhz 68000. I remember this because it was not too long after I got Gauntlet 1 for my ST (Autumn 1987 release in UK?) and I was trying to convince myself spend 50% what I paid for my STM to make horizontal scrolling smoother in Gauntlet was worth it! :)
  24. Same on both ST and Amiga really, they left it too late and customers thought the solutions they had were 'acceptable'. To update a new aspect of your business is really expensive too and scalable fonts is something you have to spend a lot of time on to make it perfect if you want DTP market.
  25. Interesting point, this was always the problem with business. Tell the guy in the large cornershop video rental store you can supply him with a £600 Atari branded system as good as a £1500 non Atari business (mostly PC DOS) system and they would still want to know more about the PC based system! Up to the point of Commodore 128, about when production of PET was stopped, Commodore had a pretty good rep for business equipment even in large corporate/educational/government departments (spot the business not using PETs in 1984-85 video clips!). They ruined that by the time of the A500 era and their name was worthless outside the domestic/leisure market too.
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