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About bcombee

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  • Birthday 06/03/1974

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  1. It would only work if there was an external sound chip on the cartridge and the game was programmed to use that. We already have an external sound chip in projects like the AtariVox, but that connects to a joystick port instead of the cartridge slot.
  2. I'm interested, but will be out of town for the first meeting. I'm passing this on to a friend, though.
  3. This was my second time flying out to Portland for PRGE - I had gone in 2016 as well. In general, I had a really good time at the show, although I found it very front loaded, with my Saturday going from 9 in the morning until 10 at night, and my Sunday spanning from 11 to 5:30. Highlights for me were the panels: My first one was the Atari arcade veterans talk where I got to ask Ed Logg about how Dandy on the 8-bit influenced Gauntlet. He'd been thinking about how to do a D&D-ish arcade game and when he saw his kid playing it on the 8-bit, he knew what the system would be like. He also noted that the game was the first Atari had shipped without a plexiglass cover over the screen and how nervous marketing was about the possible damage; the omission of the covering was needed to allow the two side players to be able to see without so much glare. When they did their first arcade test, the machine brought in more in a weekend than the whole arcade had brought in the week before. I really enjoyed the talk by Howard Scott Warshaw, especially him opening up about how filming the "Game Over" documentary helped him realize how this stigma of being blamed for the 1983 crash had been subconsciously affecting him for years and how he feels free from that now. Pamela Smith's talk on working in graphic design for Atari in 1982-1984 was really neat, seeing the kinds of advertising materials they were producing and how much effort went into all that material. The Atari 800 panel with Joe Decuir, David Crane, and Kevin Savetz was really nice, especially hearing the stories of just how much the RF shielding kept the system from being competitive after 1981 and about how Atari's management really didn't know what they were selling yet. I also saw the Dan Kitchen/Garry Kitchen/David Crane panel on Sunday where I got to ask about the game "Ghoul School" that had been highlighted just the previous evening in the "Watch Out for Fireballs" live podcast. The show floor was crowded, especially first thing on Saturday. My haul wasn't too bad: a 8-bit Uno Cart in OSS Orange, a modern XL/XE power supply, a boxed PAL KLAX for the 2600, "Des Chiffres et des Lettres" for the 800, the Dorsett version of the educational system cart for the 800, and the softbound edition of Leonard Herman's gigantic "Phoenix IV" history tome. Al's AtariAge booth continued to look the most professional at the event, although Limited Run Games wasn't far behind. If I'd been local, I might have picked up one of the really neat wooden pieces I saw on the floor; there was one that recreated a Battlezone screen using carefully routed vectors filled with a glowy green material. Maybe I'll try my hand at a design like that using the local hackerspace's CNC machine. It will probably be a couple more years until I return; you can easily burn out on seeing the same vendors and talks over and over, but I think it was a very worthwhile weekend, and I got to enjoy some gloomy Portland weather too
  4. The indie game Cheap Golf used a 2600-ish aesthetic last year. https://pixeljam.itch.io/cheap-golf
  5. One of the problems is that the R/W line used by the processor isn't available on the cartridge port. So the hardware doing the bankswitching can't tell if it's a read or write. That's why they have different addresses decode as read-only or write-only. See https://old.pinouts.ru/Motherboard/AtariCartridge_pinout.shtml. Hmmm, reading your post again, its unclear to me where you want the RAM-based hotspot to be. Are you treating one of the ROM-address space memory locations as a bank register for this?
  6. Wow! I had no idea someone had done this circuit. Very cool!
  7. I'll be around that Sunday and can stay after the show to help with teardown!
  8. I'm going to Portland too! I'm not getting in until Friday afternoon, but I'm happy to help with pack-up at the end of Sunday. Ben Combee bcombee Austin, TX
  9. Looking at the TIA chip pin out (from http://atarihq.com/danb/tia.shtml), there are no RGB signals to use. The TIA directly outputs a color signal and three luma signals, so S-Video is the best video quality you can get out of it. Any RGB circuit would be decoding the baseband video signal in much the same way that a monitor would.
  10. I just made my order for the sale. This bunch of 2600 homebrews came in just over $200 after the 10% off: Assembloids Stay Frosty 2 Wall Jump Ninja Super Cobra Arcade Scramble Space Cactus Canyon I ordered Sheep It Up! for the bonus game after playing the ROM on my Retron 77 and really enjoying it.
  11. I suspect it's a hardware issue. The analog-to-digital converter works by putting the pot between the high voltage, and a fixed resistor connected to ground. This makes a voltage divider; the voltage level at that midpoint is directly based on the value of the pot. If you have a mismatch between the fixed resistor and the range of the pot, then there won't be sufficient voltage levels to get a lot of different ADC readings.
  12. I recently got a Retron 77 which came with the 2nd version of it's "Trooper" joystick. It looks like a CX10/CX40, but has two fire buttons (either corner, fired the same) and faceted corners for your palm to rest. It also has an embedded strain relief and a really long cable. So far, I've found it to be really great. I know people had issues with the longevity of their initial run of joysticks, but I've not had any issues with this one yet. https://www.amazon.com/Hyperkin-Trooper-Controller-not-machine-specific/dp/B07M5HYTZL
  13. I did find some 2600 carts that I needed from the excellent Ianoid, and I got a couple of old BASIC type-in game books from the Game Over Clearance section, but that was it for retro content for me. (I also seriously considered getting a Tandy 102 that was for sale, but decided I had enough projects) I picked up a screen-printed t-shirt that was a mashup of Star Wars and Galaga. This was my first time watching the "This Controller Sucks" panel, and I liked it, but I left during the book author panel as I just wasn't hearing anything that exciting. I liked the old computer content -- the Apple II and Mac gallery with the old games was great, as was the bitgod booth and the Irata Online people. But it really feels more like a local show than something trying to be one of the big ones. It did redouble my resolve to go to PRGE this year, though; that's the closest show to the feel of the old Classic Game Expo shows in Las Vegas of the ones I've visited.
  14. I'm going on Saturday for the panels. I'm getting disappointed with the show's inability to attract many speakers; maybe next year, if it happens, I'll apply to do a talk about Atari 2600 homebrew.
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