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About bcombee

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  • Birthday 06/03/1974

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  1. I had a HX-20, my mom bought it from a surplus store around 1988, and I remember taking it with me on a class trip and printing out fake biorhythms for everyone. I've sure it's still around at my parent's house, but I think it wasn't working last time I checked. It could be a NiCd problem, although I also suspected that I'd zapped the EPROM that's accessible behind an access panel. Now that I know how to fix such things, I'll have to get it out on my next trip home and see what shape its in.
  2. If I were making a TIA replacement with FPGA, I'd want it to still feel like the TIA... here's some ideas: automatic playfield mode - you could preload left/right playfield bitmaps and colors for each scanline, perhaps using per-pixel color and a higher resolution. The FPGTIA would automatically replay the playfield on playfield on later screen refreshes, freeing up the 6502 to focus on the players and balls. I could see this using a page flipping mechanism too so you could load one playfield while not disturbing the display of the current one. player positioning via X register write - instead of having to time in a scanline when to write to HMOVE, you could just directly modify the position register expand to full 256 colors that GITA supports by adding 1 more bit of luminance
  3. It's definitely homemade. The chips you see are two MC14538b Dual Precision Retriggable/Retargetable monostable multivibrators and a CD40106 hex Schmitt trigger. The hex Schmitt trigger chip is used to turn noisy signals into clean digital signals, so likely is used to reduce the jitter in the four direction signals. The other two chips are a bit of mystery as you'd normally use one of those to turn a trigger signal (a button press) into a short asserted signal, with it then resetting until the button was pressed again. Maybe they're paired to do some sort of rapid fire mechanism?
  4. There a little info at KLOV, but it seems like a combination of low production run and not much collector interest. I don't think I've ever seen one in the wild. https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8742
  5. On the "no permissions" ... balenaEtcher seems to have problems with recent builds of Windows 10 and having the right permissions to re-write the SD card. I was able to get around this by right clicking on the etcher icon and running it as administrator.
  6. While brainstorming other features for the FujiNet hardware, I stumbled upon https://github.com/MockbaTheBorg/RunCPM/, a MIT-licensed CP/M 2.2 emulator that already runs on the ESP32. Given that the FujiNet already does drive emulation, buffers printer output, and acts like a serial port, CP/M mode is the last bit of functionality needed to do everything that the ATR8000 did. I don't know enough yet about the memory usage of the FujiNet core -- RunCPM needs 64K for the CP/M system memory, plus additional RAM for running the Z80 emulation. The ESP32 port was done using the Arduino support, so it would need to be ported to PlatformIO as well as changed to use SD card code that FujiNet already has internally. Does this seem viable? Interesting?
  7. Reading about the SAM system in FujiNet made me wonder about that audio input and using it as a way to play MP3 files, either from the network or stored on the local microSD card, and having the audio fed in for mixing with the 8-bit's audio output. It looks like the DAC output from the ESP32 going to the SIO_AUDIOIN line is only 8-bit, so the quality wouldn't be great. I don't think you'd want the audio data to actually be passed through the SIO bus, as the bitrate to get anything reasonable is too high.
  8. The page from BYTE you show also has an interesting bit immediately above the Computer Magic ad, there's an ad for a surplus computer running a 6507, the same CPU as the Atari VCS. I'd not heard of any other devices using the 6507 before.
  9. Electrically, I could see the RC controller standing in for the two paddles you could have hooked up instead of the joystick. They're on different pins, so there's no conflict -- each paddle fire button maps to one of the joystick directions, IIRC. Also, the TI originally had two joysticks on a single DB-9 port, so maybe the user took one of those joystick pairs, chopped off the sticks, and used that cable to wire up the two controllers.
  10. On the Atari 8-bit computers, I think some of the Roklan games, like Journey to the Planets, are a nice expansion of the idea, but with more graphics and variety.
  11. Frustrated... I'd intended on ordering the Legend Gamer Pro from my reservation, but spaced on the deadline and now it's gone. I guess this just means I'll be able to wait and see how it's reviewed now then order a later batch.
  12. When I was testing different TVs, I found some chipsets didn't handle the PCM audio format those sticks output. It's likely a TV issue that would be solved by plugging into a different set.
  13. Before I make an order from JLCPCB, does anyone in the USA have an extra PlusCart board they'd be willing to sell?
  14. I had the Graphix AT SIO-to-Centronics interface. Details at http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/3rdparty/Printing/Xetec/
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