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ranger_lennier

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About ranger_lennier

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    Chopper Commander
  1. I was really glad to hear this. I also immediately thought about Ms. Gorf and the fabled better version of Robby Roto that didn't try to eat your quarters quite so much. There are three versions of Robby Roto source code on-line now, dated 11-20-1981, 12-7-1981, and 12-9-1981. I don't know when those changes were made, but that seems promising. What's the status of archiving Jamie Fenton's disks? I believe there was some trouble with these before. I'm not quite sure if it was actually a problem reading the disks, or if all the binary data was captured and it was merely a question of how to interpret it. In the latter case, I imagine the development system would help quite a lot.
  2. That's an interesting contrast to The Internet Archive, which seems to be much more of the "better to ask forgiveness than ask permission" persuasion. While I can to a certain extent understand the concern, realistically this is probably the best way to look at it. Can anyone think of an instance where someone has shared information about old, no longer commercially available software, and suffered anything worse than a cease and desist letter? I hope they at least have such papers privately digitized and backed up off-site.
  3. When it comes to cartridges released on both Studio II and Studio III, I believe that every one that's been dumped has been identical. Obviously that doesn't guarantee that any that haven't been dumped from multiple regions are the same.
  4. Thanks again to everyone working to get these programs archived. It's always neat to see how games evolved during the development process, and between the tapes and source code, we'll definitely see a lot of this from the Studio II family.
  5. Is the original recording for "Secret Number" available anywhere? Do we know what it's supposed to be? I found a couple of candidates in the Cosmac VIP manual. https://archive.org/details/bitsavers_rcacosmacCManual1978_6956559 Hi-Lo on page 56: "This program uses the CHIP-8 IN- TERPRETER at 0000-01 FF. You have 10 chances to guess the value of a random number between 00 and 99 selected by the program. The number at the right of the screen shows the number of the guess you are using. Enter a two digit number and the computer tells you if you are high or low. Press any key to erase this number and then, try again. If you have failed after ten guesses, press any key and the number will be shown. If you are good you will never need more than seven guesses. If you are not so good, alter the program to allow more guesses by changing location 0292 from 4E0A to 4E99." Deduce on page 62: "This program uses the CHIP-8 IN- TERPRETER at 0000-01FF. This game is an old favorite, described as BAGELS in David Ahl's "101 Computer Games"; "What to Do After You Hit Return", p. 10 and 11 (People's Computer Com- pany); and many other places. The computer is thinking of a secret three-digit number. You should determine this secret number in a minimum of turns, indicated in lower right corner. Enter your guess - using any number 0-9. Each digit will be examined in the same way. For example, the digit in the first location is checked to see if it is the same as in the secret number. If it is, it receives a score of 2; if not, but does occur elsewhere in number, it receives a score of 1; and if not at all, a score of 0. The computer then gives you the total score below your guess as a clue. A score of 6 indicates that you have determined the secret number."
  6. That's exciting news! I look forward to trying these out. Did you ever find an arcade version of Bowling? Do we know of any arcade games other than Swords, Chase, Mines, and Bowling? Which tapes wouldn't process correctly? Do you know the cause of the issues?
  7. "I tried to find these CSV files elsewhere (I thought that I would have them on my hard drive), but I had no success finding them." I'm not sure if they're on your hard drive, but they are on your website. http://www.ballyalley.com/faqs/arcadian_mailing_lists_faq.zip
  8. I read through the history. That's quite a few versions of the hardware! Studio II Point-of-Purchase Demo says "code lost". I assume that's the demo cart dumped about a year ago. Or did you mean some sort of source code document, not just the ROM dump? http://atariage.com/forums/topic/209519-rca-studio-ii-gold-mine-an-interview-with-the-studio-2-production-manager/page-42?do=findComment&comment=3677379 How does the Toshiba Visicom fit in? My assumption has been that Toshiba licensed the Studio II, then made their own modifications and some unique games.
  9. Great work! This is really bringing back a lost chapter from the dawn of arcade games. I see that there's a Tag-Bowling .arc file as well. Is that data good?
  10. If the tape is actually stereo, then the left and right tracks could definitely be useful. Have you tried any audio filters? One issue I see occasionally is that the waveform drops below the center line, even though the high frequency pattern is still there. See around 2m06.23s, for an example. A high pass filter can help with that. I used Audacity to apply a 2400Hz high-pass filter with 6db rolloff, then amplified it 6.631db. Maybe something like that will process better. The file's too big to attach here, but it's easy to replicate. You might have to play around with the settings a little to see what works best for these recordings.
  11. What process was used to create the file AUD_2464_09_B41_ID01_01_01.rom? Was it done manually by looking at the waveform? Using a program to decode it? A combination of both?
  12. It's good that there tend to be multiple recordings of the same file on a tape. That makes it much more likely that there's a good copy of each byte. Has anyone found any source code and/or hex or binary printouts in the documents at Hagley?
  13. Wow, I need to keep up with this thread better. (I blame a combination of work and the Nintendo Switch.) Anyway, great to see dumps for most of the Visicom carts! I have seen CAS-190 for sale at least once. I lost an auction for it a few years ago. They don't appear often, for sure, but I'm still looking. The collection of tapes is definitely interesting. Hard to say what's on them, but finding something like an arcade prototype would be amazing. They could be a mix of Studio II ROM files, files intended to load into an RCA computer like the Cosmac, and files intended to load into a more powerful computer or mainframe used for development. I actually have quite a bit of experience with cassette tape digitization from archiving Astrocade programs. Tapes, like any magnetic media, degrade with time, so it's important to get a a good digital copy. But since the digital data is encoded into an analog audio signal, some amount of signal degradation is surmountable. Here is some general advice on tape archiving. Definitely save in a uncompressed format like WAV or a lossless format like FLAC. Audio compression tends to remove sounds that humans can't easily hear, but those sounds may be essential to a computer. Also, I've found that the quality of equipment used in digitization is important. Use a gold-plated audio cable. They're not very expensive, and it can make a big difference. A dedicated sound card is also useful, as is a high-quality tape deck. Tapes breaking is a potential risk that I don't really know of a good way to counter. They can be repaired, but there will be data loss if it breaks at an inopportune location. I don't know that they would want to loan out a tape, but I'd be glad to try recording them if they wanted. Once you have the recordings, you need to figure out how the data is formatted. It might use a standard format that already has processing programs available. For example, we figured out that the Astrocade's original interface used the Kansas City Standard, and there were already tools for it written with some Casio systems in mind. Some audio processing filters might also be helpful. I've had good results applying a high-pass filter to Astrocade recordings, but that's just something you have to play around with. I'm looking forward to hearing more about these, as well as the documents. Are there any plans to make high-quality scans of the paper documents? Even if they're kept in a good archive, there's always a risk of losing unique documents from fire, theft, etc. And of course only the most dedicated will actually travel to Delaware to see them.
  14. billnewsome and I also played 10 Pins. I think I might prefer it to the cartridge game. It definitely looks more interesting, and there's a bit of timing involved in when you hook the ball. I won 122 to 113.
  15. billnewsome and I played a few Bowling games tonight. It's different than most versions I've played, since there's no timing elements involved. We couldn't find a consistent way to throw a strike, though. I'm not sure if that's because there's some randomization, or we just weren't lining it up exactly the same way. Our best game, I won 115 to 112. We did figure out how Flash Bowling works. You play and score points just like in regular bowling, but can also get bonus points for strikes and spares based on where the moving light stops. The light stops as soon as your ball hits the first pin during the first throw. You score more bonus points the closer the light is to the center. At the very center, you can get 700 for a strike and 350 for a spare. At the edge, you can get as little as 50 points for a spare. If you don't get a strike or spare, the position doesn't matter, as you don't get any bonus points. Bill had more success than I did this time, including one 700 point bonus. He won 1829 to 307. We didn't run into any severe bugs. There was some graphical glitching where the ball's top and bottom halves wouldn't line up quite right during animations. I also didn't like that the position of the aiming tick mark wasn't saved during a two player game. So I'd start out aiming wherever Bill had aimed last.
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