Blog Entries posted by Allan
Some of my Classic Horror books.
Some of my models rare.
The past couple of days have been pretty productive. I picked up an AtariWriter Plus eight and a half by eleven manual on eBay that came in an officially labeled envelope. I'm not sure what the story is with this but I saw it on eBay and picked it up for a few dollars. The envelope says it came with the program disk as well but it was not included with the auction. Not sure if this was something that was mailed out to user groups or something. That is now scanned and up on Atarimania.
I also went back to my collection and scanned and posted the boxes for the AtariLab Light and AtariLab Temp modules. Plus I also added the cart dumps of both that were posted in the previously mentioned Cart Dump thread on Atariage. Thank you guys again for dumping these. I also posted pictures of all the gadgets that were included with each module.
In addition to the AtariLab modules, I also posted a couple of more cart dumps and screen shots as well as ATRs and screen shots of Atari Planetarium. I had previously scanned and posted the manual so now the entry is mostly complete.
I have a number of cassette programs I want to dump but I have to wait to get a stereo cassette player. I had two of them for years and never used them. I got rid of them last year but know I realize I need one. It shouldn't be to hard to find one though. I also made some recordings of the audio cassette included with the Atari Word Processor a while ago. I just have to decide were to post them since Atarimania doesn't have an option to include audio files. I would like to eventually record the language learning programs as well.
I'm still waiting for a something called the Atari 400/800 Computer Technical Notes manual from eBay. It looks kind of interesting and looks to be an easy scan.
I thought I would start a blog about my archiving work for the Atari 8-bit computer system. Not only to highlight all the great Atari 8-bit material on Atarimania.com and other places but also to see if I could get others more interested in archiving Atari 8-bit media.
I've been archiving Atari media for years. I helped to archive a bunch of books and magazines on www.atarimagazines.com and www.atariarchives.org a number of years ago. At that time, due to a slower Internet, most of the stuff was turned into HTML. Today the Net is faster for people so archiving material in PDFs is preferred. The PDFs look great on todays tablets, which work great as a high tech manual next to your Atari computer as you use one of the thousands of programs that were/are available.
I do most of my scanning with my Imac and my Epson Perfection 1200 Photo scanner which includes a document feeder which can scan about a 100 pages at a time. I use Vuescan9.0 scanner software which has a lot of useful features. One problem with scanning with a document feeder is you have to do the odd pages first and then the even pages. This presents two problems. One is how to sort them. The other is how to reverse the order of the even pages which needs to be done first. I use a program called 'Combine DPFs' to do both.
Of course to use the document feeder the pages have to be seperated. If the document is in a loose-leaf binder or has a spiral binding you can just seperate the pages and put them back together after. If not, you have to destroy the binding. It's tough to do that for a number of reasons. Many of the books and documents I have had to buy. Some haven't been cheap. Then I have to destroy them in order to put them through the document feeder. If I don't do that though, it takes a long time to scan stuff. As bunch has I'd like to not destroy the bindings of these docs, I'd rather do that so everybody can use these Atari documents. If the pages are too smooth, my document feeder will not scan the pages correctly so then I have to use the flat bed part of the scanner. At least then, the document isn't cut apart.
I like contributing to the classic computer/videogame community. I'm not a great programmer although I like to program. I'm not a great artist though I like to draw. So I figured I would contribute by archiving stuff to the Net so that everyone can have access to this stuff. I like history and love Atari so this sort of thing appeals to me. I also like doing this because I can archive a book or manual in a couple of hours and post it. I don't get a lot of free time. Plus it's hard for me to start something for a short bit and then pick it up a few days later. Doing something start to finish in a night is a lot easier to do.
What I'm working on....
A lot of stuff but tonight I just posted the entire package of Atari Microsoft Basic II. I recently picked up the whole package. There are three manuals, a cart, a disk, and the box. The disk was bent and would not autoboot but I was able to copy the files to another disk and then to an ATR. The cart was already copied by another Atariage user. I had already scanned the larger of the three manuals so I just had to scan the two small manuals. Since they were only about ten pages each and in color, I scanned them without cutting them up. Plus scans of the box, cart and the disks were done. Then everything was posted.
Some of the other stuff I have scanned and posted this week are the APX manual of Atari Program-Text Editor, the manual for BASIC XE, manuals for Atari 825 80-column Printer Operators manual and the first Atari 810 DIsk Drive Operators manual.
Also this week the Atariage member Fadix scanned and posted to Atariage a few rare docs including the last Atari-published Demopacs which is about programming the Atari Touch Tablet. Now all twelve Demopacs are on Atarimania.com. Also a couple of other short docs including extra info on Atariwriter and Atari Macro-Assembler. Another Atariage member, Low.blow, scanned the first version of OSS BASIC XL manual which includes a nice tutorial by Bill Wilkinson. These were posted in the past couple of nights.
In the future I hope to not only get into what I am scanning but more into the process itself. And also I should put this out there that if anybody has any request for archiving anything in particular, and if anybody has anything they want to sell, loan, donate, or if they want to help in scanning, I'd love to hear from people about it.
1440 PRINT "2. 'A' TO CHECK ALL FILES;"
1450 PRINT "3. 'D' TO SEE DIRECTORY LIST AGAIN"
1460 PRINT "NOTE: ERRORS SHOW UP ON DIR LISTING "
1470 PRINT "AFTER THEY OCCUR IN SEARCH."
1480 INPUT N$
1490 IF N$="A" THEN FILE=128:GOTO 1690
1500 IF N$"D" THEN GRAPHICS 0:GOTO 1070
1510 ON ERROR 1540
1530 GOTO 1560
1540 PRINT "ERROR. RE-ENTER."
1550 RESUME 1420
1560 REM --- PROCESS. CHECK.
1570 IFFILE>FNUM OR FILE<0 OR FILE<>INT(FILE) THEN PRINT "ERROR.":GOTO 1420
1580 REM SINGLE ENTRY HANDLER
1590 PRINT "TRACING=='SELECT' TO ABORT."
1600 SS=INFO(FILE,2) ! STARTING SECT
1610 SC=INFO(FILE,1) ! SECTOR COUNT
1630 REM GO TRACE IT ...ARROR=RETURN
1640 GOSUB 1850
1650 IF ARROR=1 THEN PRINT "***BAD FILE***"
1660 IF ARROR=1 THEN DEAD(FILE)=1 ELSE DEAD(FILE)=-1
1670 GOSUB 2110 ! MARK FILE NAME
1680 GOTO 1350
1690 REM ALL ENTRIES HANDLER
1700 FOR FILE=1 TO FNUM
1720 PRINT "TRACING FILE #";FILE
1730 IF LP=1 THEN PRINT #3,"TRACING FILE #";FILE
1740 PRINT "PRESS 'SELECT' TO ABORT."
1750 SS=INFO(FILE,2) ! STARTING SECT
1760 SC=INFO(FILE,1) ! SECTOR COUNT
1780 GOSUB 1850
1790 IF ARROR=1 THEN PRINT "***BAD FILE***" **"
1800 IF ARROR=1 THEN DEAD(FILE)=1 ELSE DEAD(FILE)=-1
1810 GOSUB 2110
1820 NEXT FILE
1830 PRINT "COMPLETED."
1840 GOTO 1350
1850 REM TRACING SUBROUTINE
1880 PRINT "---SEC CNT=";SC;" READING SEC ";RSECTOR
1890 POKE &D01F,0 ' CLEAR BUTTONS
1900 GOSUB 70 'READ
1910 REM CHECK BUTTONS
1920 IF PEEK(&D01F)<>7 THEN RETURN
1930 IF DSTATS=1 THEN 1960
1940 PRINT "***ERROR. DSTATS=;DSTATS;" ON SECTOR ";RSECTOR
1950 GOTO 1900 !RETRY
1960 IF SC=0 THEN RETURN
1970 SC=SC-1 ! DECR S COUNT
1980 REM GET FORWARD POINTER + FNUM
1990 FWD=(PEEK(BUFF+125) AND 3)*256
2010 FN=INT((PEEK(BUFF+125) AND &FC)/4) ! WENCE, SWIFTED 2 BITS RIGHT
2020 FN=FN+1 ! (DISK STARTS AT 0)
2030 PRINT "---DATA: FILE NUM=";FN;" FWD SEC =";FWD
2040 IF FN<>FILE THEN PRINT "FILE NUMBER ERROR.":ARROR=1
2050 IF FWD>720 OR FWD<0 THEN PRINT "FORWARD PTR OUT OF RANGE,ABORT.:ARROR=1:RETURN
2060 IF FWD=0 THEN 2090
2080 GOTO 1870
2090 PRINT "COMPLETED."
2110 REM MARK A FILE AS BAD IN NAME.
2120 REM SET HIGH BIT SO IT SHOWS
2130 REM UP IN INVERSE VIDEO..
2140 IF ARROR=0 THEN RETURN
2170 FOR Z=1 TO LEN(Z$)
2180 NIME$(FILE)=NIME$(FILE)+CHR$((ASC(MID$(Z$,Z,1)) OR &80)) !SET HIGH BIT
2190 NEXT Z
600 PRINT "***DISK RETRY, DIRECTORY SECTOR ";RSECTOR
610 PRINT "***STATUS=";DSTATS
520 GOTO 570
640 PRINT INCR;
650 NEXT RSECTOR
670 PRINT "WAIT -- BUILDING TABLES."
680 REM OK, NOW EXAMINE DIRECTORY.
690 REM PRODUCE LISTING FIRST OFF.
700 REM NOTE 360=VTOC, NOT DIR.
710 DIM INFO(64,6) !FILE INFO
720 DIM NIME(64) !NAME INFO
730 DIM DEAD(64) !FILE BOMBED?
740 FOR Z%=1 TO 64:DEAD(Z%)=0:NEXT Z%
760 Z=B+128 !START OF DIR ENTRY
770 REM BUILD FLAG & INFO TABLE------
790 FOR LOC=Z TO Z+(64*16) STEP 16
800 REM LOC=ENTRIES' STARTING ADDR
820 IF(FLAG% AND &80)=&80 THEN INFO(FNUM,3)=1
830 IF(FLAG% AND &40)=&40 THEN INFO(FNUM,4)=1
840 IF(FLAG% AND &20)=&20 THEN INFO(FNUM,5)=1
850 IF(FLAG% AND 1)=1 THEN INFO(FNUM,6)=1
860 REM SECTOR INFO----------------------
890 REM NOW GET NAME DATA..-------------
910 FOR Z%=5 TO 15
930 NEXT Z%
940 REM CHECK FOR END OF ENTRIES
950 IF PEEK(LOC+5)=0 THEN 1020
980 IF FNUM/5=INT(FNUM/5) THEN PRINT FNUM;
990 NEXT LOC
1000 PRINT "DIR TOTALLY FULL."
1010 GOTO 1030
1020 PRINT "DIR PARTLY FULL."
1050 PRINT "NUMBER OF ENTRIES=";FNUM
1060 REM OUTPUT DIRECTORY
1070 REM ENTRY POINT (FROM BELOW)
1080 IF FNUM=0 THEN 1320 !EMPTY DISK
1100 PRINT "D=DELETED/U=USED/L=LOCKED/O=OPEN"
1110 PRINT "SC=SECTOR COUNT(LEN)"
1120 PRINT "SS=STARTING SECTOR(LEN)"
1130 PRINT " + = GOOD FILE / - = BAD FILE / ? = UNKNOWN"
1150 FOR F=1 TO FNUM
1160 PRINT USING "##";F;
1170 IF DEAD(F)=-1 THEN PRINT "+";
1180 IF DEAD(F)=1 THEN PRINT "-";
1190 IF DEAD(F)=0 THEN PRINT "?";
1200 PRINT "!";NIME$(F);"!";
1210 IF INFO(F,3)=1 THEN PRINT "D"; ELSE PRINT " ";
1220 IF INFO(F,4)=1 THEN PRINT "U"; ELSE PRINT " ";
1230 IF INFO(F,5)=1 THEN PRINT "L"; ELSE PRINT " ";
1240 IF INFO(F,6)=1 THEN PRINT "O"; ELSE PRINT " ";
1250 PRINT "!SC:";
1260 PRINT USING "###";INFO(F,1);
1270 PRINT "!SS:";
1280 PRINT USING "###";INFO(F,2)
1290 IF F/20=INT(F/20) THEN INPUT RET$
1300 NEXT F
1310 GOTO 1390
1320 PRINT "EMPTY DISK -- NO ENTRIES"
1350 REM ENTRY POINT (BELOW)
1360 PRINT "PRESS RETURN."
1370 INPUT RET$:CLS:GOTO 1420
1380 GOTO 1400
1390 PRINT "PRESS RETURN."
1400 INPUT RET$
1410 REM NEXT IS ENTRY POINT
1420 PRINT "SELECT :"
1430 PRINT "1. A FILE NUMBER TO CHECK;"
Here's my lastest version. It's about 95% complete.
To do List:
2. Add more strategies.
3. Determine if there is a large bonus at level 20 or 30
*********** MANUAL BEGINS ***********
BY ATARI, INC.
To insert your ATARI 5200 game cartridge, hold the cartridge so the name on the label faces you and reads right-side-up. Then carefully insert the cartridge into the slot in the center of the console. Be sure the cartridge is firmly seated, but do not force it in. The POWER ON/OFF switch is located on the lower right side of the ATARI 5200. Press this switch to turn the power on AFTER inserting your game cartridge. See your Owner's Manual for further details.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Attention Valiant Spaceship Pilots.
2. Game Play
3. Using the 5200 Controllers
5. Game Stages and Levels
6. Helpful Hints
7. Score Ledger
1. ATTENTION VALIANT SPACESHIP PILOTS! ***Large snazzy font***
It is the year 2085,
The Robotrons have destroyed the human race.
You escape in a stolen space shuttle.
A remote outpost 20 million light years away.
Does paradise exist?
Can civilization be started again?
These questions will be answered at the end of your journey.
But first, you must
Blast... or be blasted!
2. GAME PLAY
In a Valiant Spaceship the player defies space and time while vying robots, Androids, Star Cruisers and other fearsome foes. The player must BLAST enemies or stay out of their way to protect his or her shields (and his or her turn.) A shield may be hit three times before it disintegrates. GAME ACTION IS DIVIDED INTO STAGES. Each stage may have one or several goals. Some of the more-important goals are to...
+ BLAST enemies and planetoids.
+ Pick up spacemen (in time tunnel or space)
+ Dock with Energizers E's (restores shields)
+ Fly through the Magic Arches (on the Robot Grid)
You start the game with three ships. Every time you score 50,000 points, you win a bonus ship and musical fanfare exalts your bravery. You can accummulate an unlimited number of reserve ships. When you lose your last ship, the game ends. When your game is over, the level and stage are reset to level one and stage one.
After losing one of your ships, you re-start from where your previous ship was destroyed. Figure @ shows a typical BLASTER spacefield and Figure @ shows a two-player game in progress.
The player takes control of a spaceship and must fight against wave after wave of enemy fighters, while trying to rescue the stranded astronauts that represent the last surviving remnants of the human race. Enemies attack the player both with weapons, and by making 'suicide runs' at the player's ship.
Use your weapons of your Valiant Spaceship to score as many points as possible. (See Section 4 for information on SCORING.) Use strategy and quick thinking to destroy or avoid the on-coming enemies, while trying to rescue as many spacemen as possible. Your ultimate goal is to fly your spaceship as far as you can, searching the vastness of space for the rumoured Paradise.
Figure 1 - Typical BLASTER battlefield.
Figure 2 - Two-Player Game.
Your Valiant Spaceship.
Your ship consists of four powerful ion lazers with unlimited lazer blasts.
Your ship also contains three powerful levels of shields. Once all three levels are destroyed, your ship explodes. Fortuntely you start with three ships and are rewarded a new one every 50,000 points. You see a total of 4 ships next to your score, but you can accumalate an unlimited amount of ships.
Blaster consists of four stages which repeat consecutively.
Your first mission:
Throughout the Robot Grid are numerous lazer-firing Robots. Although they remain still their lazers are deadly and they try to block you from flying through the Magic Arches. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
The Magic Arches cannot be destroyed. Flying through them gains you points which increases with each consecutive arch that is flown through (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.) Watch out though! If your ship hits any part of the Magic Arch, you will lose a shield level.
Avoid the walls. They cannot be destroyed and will destroy your shields if hit. The Robots sometimes hide behind them to protect themselves while firing at you.
Destroyers are fast-moving deadly spaceships that fire powerful lasers at you. If they can't hit you with their lasers, they try to ram you. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
Your second mission:
In this level you're goal is to rescue the last remaining Space Men by running directly into them while flying through the tunnel. The more consecutive Space Men you rescue, the larger the points scored. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
Your third mission:
The Death Rider's laser-bomb is very deadly but fortunetly for you they can be destroyed. Destroy the Death Rider before they fill the screen with their powerful laser-bombs and overwhelm you. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
The Master Minds are slow but persistant. Like their counter-part, the Cyborg Ducks, Master Minds count on you to ignore them as you battle with more powerful and fast-moving enemies. Their weapons are strong and will damage and destroy your shields if you ignore them for too long. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.) In upper levels, Master Minds move faster.
Like their counter-part, the Master Mind, Cyborg Ducks are slow but very crafty. If you ignore them for too long for more powerful enemies, they will sneak up on you and quickly destroy your shields. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.) In upper levels, Cyborg Ducks move faster.
The Robots are back from the Robot Grid level but these robots fly. They may move slow compared to other enemies in the level but their lasers are accurate and deadly. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
Destroyers return from the Robot Grid level to wreck havoc on you while you battle the numerious enemies in this level. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
Your forth mission:
In Planetoids your flying through a planetoid field, trying to either dodge or destroy all planetoids in your path. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
While dealing with the many planetoids flying at you at a fast rate, Saucers are trying to destroy you with their lasers or by raming into you. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
The Space Men are back from Time Tunnel level. You're goal is the same. Rescue as many Space Men as possible but this time you must content with the Saucers and Planetoids. (see Section 4 for more information on Scoring.)
The 'E's replenish your energy. They also give you 5000 points and advance you into light-speed to the beginning of the next sub-level, Robot Grid. The E is hard to run into but if you're successful, try to blast as many enemies flying bast you at high-speed for a huge bonus score.
Players can select their starting stage at the start of the game; choosing from Robot Grid, Time Tunnel, Outer Space, or Planetoids
During the game, Spacemen must be rescued by 'running' into them.
An energy meter in the top center of the screen tells the current player how much energy sheilds he or she has left. The player can take exactly three hits before he or she dies. Upon death, one of the player's ships is lost.
3. USING THE 5200 CONTROLLERS
Use your 5200 controller (Figure @) with this ATARI game cartridge. For one-player games, plug the controller into controller jack 1 on your console. For a two-player game, plug a second controller into jack 2. In two-player games, the player using jack 1 controls game selection and starts the game.
Figure 4 - 5200 Controller
For your convenience, two keypad overlays are included with this game (Figure @). Slip the tabs into the slots above and below the keypad on your controller.
Press the left # key (or, on your overlay, the square marked 1-2 PLAYERS) to choose a one or two-player game. The screen will display player one and player two's scores if two-players option is selected or just player one's score if just one player is selected. Stop at your choice. (See Figure @.)
LEVEL AND STAGE SELECTION
Press the right * key (or, on your overlay, the square marked LEVEL SELECT) to cycle through the starting level or stage. Stop at the level or stage you want to start on. (See Figure @.)
Figure @ - Player and Level Select Display (Menu)
Press START to begin your mission. Pressing START again will restart your game on the same stage and level.
Press RESET to return to a display of your current game selection (Figure @). You can then restart that game or select a new variation.
To suspend a turn in progress, press the PAUSE key. The action immediately freezes in its present position on the screen. To continue play, press PAUSE again. If PAUSE is kept on for more than a minute, the screen will turn black. To return to your game hit pause once to return to the game screen, then again to continue your game.
Move your joystick in the same direction you want to move your valiant spaceship.
To fire your laser weapons, press the bottom red buttons on the front right and left sides of the 5200 Controller (see Figure @). You can fire your weapons as long as you depress the fire button. Your supply of lasers is unlimited.
Your score for hitting enemies can depend on the distance the enemy is from you and hitting more than one of a group of enemies.
a. Robot Grid
Robots 100, 200, 300, or 500 points
The closer the Robot is to you, the higher the points scored.
Magic Arches 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, or 5000 points
With each consecutive Magic Arch that is passed through, the points scored increases by 1000 with 5000 being the maximum.
Destroyers 100 or 500
The closer the Destroyer is to you, the higher the points scored.
b. Time Tunnel
Spacemen 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800 or 2000
With each consecutive spaceman that is rescued, the points scored increases by 200 with 2000 being the maximum. If a spaceman is missed, the points scored is reset to 1000.
E 5000 points
Your shields are returned to full when flying into the E
c. Outer Space
Space Robots 500, 1000, 1500, 3000
The closer the Space Robot is to you, the higher the points scored.
Master Mind 400, 1000, 1500, 3000 depending on distance
The closer the Master Mind is to you, the higher the points scored.
Death Rider***Tie-fighter like ships***, Master Mind***Satellite looking ships***, Cyborg Ducks, and Destroyers***Plane***
These enemies fly in groups. Each enemy destroyed gets you 100 points. If you destroy all the enemies in the group, you get a bonus score depending on how many enemies there are. Two = 1000, Three = 1500, and Four = 3000.
Spacemen 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800 or 2000
With each consecutive spaceman that is rescued, the points scored increases by 200 with 2000 being the maximum. If a spaceman is missed, the points scored is reset to 1000.
5. GAME STAGES AND LEVELS
BLASTER lets you start at any one of the four stages of the first eight levels. (See Section 3 for information on how to select the difficulty level of your choice.)
Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your mission:
a. STAY ON THE OUTSIDE. During 'Planetoids', try staying to the farthest point of any direction and pick off the meteors from the outside. Then when you hear the second warning sound for the Energizer, move into the center of the screen. Unless your down to almost no energy, don't worry about getting hit while getting the Energizer since once you get it, you will get fully recharged.
b. In upper levels of Outer Space, try to destroy the Death Riders first since their lasers move faster than the other ship's lasers.
***picture of Death Rider (Tie-fighter)***
c. There is a special surprise on level 5 of 'Planetoids' but the strategies for this level remain the same as the other levels of 'Planetoids'.
7. SCORE LEDGER