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About ruthven

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    Space Invader
  1. Thanks so much! Yes that worked like a charm! Very much looking forward to creating something with TML now, it will be my first time using it. Also interested in your upcoming XB GEM cartridge now that I've just learned of it!
  2. OK, forgive me--I'm coming to this a bit late but as I was reading though this thread it seemed to me that the incompatibility with TML running on the CF7 was finally solved... I downloaded TML from the pinned development thread on this forum very recently thinking it must be the updated version that is compatible with the CF7. However when I run it on my actual CF7 (mounted as DSK1), TML itself will load up but I am unable to save or load anything. I can't load bitmap graphics that are saved on my CF7; heck I can't even save the BASIC program I typed in--as soon as I try to save or load anything whether in immediate mode or from within the program, the computer crashes on a blank screen that I can't function-break or function-quit out of. So is TML not compatible with the CF7 or do I just have the wrong version (hopefully)?
  3. This is really exciting news! I for one am totally psyched about the possibility of playing chiptunes from all those different systems on the TI! I was actually in touch with Tursi just a month or so ago about this very thing. He was kind enough to get me up and running with his .VGM quick player (which he actually created at that time as I was still using his older/now obsolete EPSGMOD quick player which was much more limiting on the size of the music files it could play). The new quick player is great and seems to handle anything I throw at it size wise. I built up quite a collection of Sega tunes and they sound great coming out of real iron! I couldn't stop there though--I knew Tursi was working on a NES playback routine but I was impatient and started converting .NSF files to .VGM by copying the data out of FamiTracker and pasting into a SN76489 compatible tracker. The results are not perfect and vary from track to track but some music actually came out pretty decently using this method. Especially music from the Mega Man series--all that stuff sounds great, almost like the original and does not suffer too badly on the SN76489. I even converted some Gameboy stuff using this same method. Some of that stuff sounds amazing too, other times certain tracks have bizarre tuning issues I haven't worked out yet. But I only did all this cause I didn't actually think Tursi would get around to updating his routines anytime soon. Let alone include support for Gameboy, Atari and MSX! I can't wait for the converter as it totally antiquates my previous method, firstly by simulating envelopes etc. which my method has no provision for, but also automating the entire process (no more endless copy and pasting)! Also I like the idea of that testplayer outputting for different sound chips other than just the TI's. I have a good few vintage computer systems and chiptunes are an interest for me across the board.
  4. I have a film project in mind and I was wondering if there is any animation software available for Atari 8bits? Also, can anybody recommend any good art/drawing programs? In a pinch I could just get by with an art program in place of animation software (the animation will all be done in camera anyway). ALSO: I'm assuming it's possible to load pictures created with art software in BASIC... while I won't ask for the technical details involved in that right now, I'm just wondering if there is a specific art program I should look into for this purpose (one that saves pics in a format easily loaded in BASIC)? Thanks.
  5. That's what I meant by "disabling" the custom OS--more like re-enabling the original OS. So from the sounds of things I'm going to have to open up the Atari to find the switch/jumper..? Hmmm...think I'll save this for if I get really desperate to play some of these games. Good to know though, thanks.
  6. Thanks. That one from Holme's Archive was one of the few I hadn't tried yet. And now I can scratch that one off the list cause it didn't work. I'm convinced it must be this weird OS of mine. I don't know if there's a way to disable it completely--I can't find any mention of this in the documentation. Maybe the solution is to boot from an old OS or translator disk first, then warm reboot with the game disk. I did try "freeing up the $C000 page" by holding down select while pressing reset. I almost thought this was going to work as the game seemed to get further into loading--the display started flashing garbled characters randomly (as often happens loading games)--previously I hadn't gotten Guard to display anything but a black screen (or a loader screen on some .ATRs/XEXs) while loading. But then it ultimately hung on a black screen again. I feel like it definitely got further along by freeing up the memory--maybe this method will work with one of those other versions of Guard I previously tried. Oh well, maybe I'll get back to it but for now I'm moving on; plenty of other games out there.
  7. Thanks for the info. I didn't realize the Z80 was required to run CP/M in general. I guess the C128 has a Z80 coprocesser which is how I am able to access CP/M disks on that machine. Specifically, I was trying to recreate a piece of software that controls an old synthesizer. This software has never been ported from it's original Kaypro II format. I managed to find the raw files on the net and get them into C128 CP/M format. From here I can use C128 software to write a Kaypro II CP/M disk of these files. But what was really cool was that I found I could just run this software straight up on the C128. Only problem is I'm stuck in 40 columns with my current C128 setup... So I was thinking it would be cool if I could get it running on the 130XE (another feature of Omniview XE is built-in 80 col mode). I guess this would be possible if I had the ATR8000, which I would need anyway for the COM port to control the synth.
  8. Anybody have any experience using CP/M on an XL or XE computer? I'm assuming it's possible... I have a special OS built into my 130XE (Omniview XE) that has a terminal mode called "ATRMON" designed to be used with the ATR8000 serial interface. According to the documentation, this mode gets the system/drive ready for a CP/M system disk. I know that on the C128 you need a Commodore-specific CP/M boot disk before you can run any other CP/M software. So I'm wondering if there is some Atari-specific CP/M boot system that I'd need before I could run other CP/M programs? Or do you suppose that my 130XE is already booted in a CP/M environment/OS when I enter ATRMON--and hence ready to start accessing CP/M disks?
  9. Yeah that's the one. I was impressed playing it in the emulator. 3 layer multi-scrolling detailed graphics that move surprisingly fast--looks like a Genesis or SNES game with less color depth. Unfortunately the images over at mushca.com I believe are all DS DD--I can only work with 130K images at max for transferring as I have a standard 1050 drive. Doesn't matter though--I can just extract the individual games I need from those images--I've already done so with a few of the compilations from that site. In fact, mushca.com's image of Guard is one of the few I haven't tried yet--I'd temporarily given up after trying 6 or 7 other images of it from around the web. I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet with the extra 4K memory, which I'm starting to think is the most probable cause of my problems. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.
  10. My particular 130XE has some sort of custom OS built in (into ROM I guess) called Omniview XE. I had no idea what this was at the time, but now looking through the supplied documents I can see that it makes the computer behave very differently than "normal". For instance when booted without a disk, the computer doesn't go to BASIC but rather some Omniview XE terminal. I couldn't figure out how to do anything in here--eventually I figured out how to exit to BASIC--I can't even remember how to do that now, been so long since I booted it without a disk. Supposedly this system automatically improves compatibility with older 400/800 programs by having an "ultra compatible 400/800 style OS" which will copy itself into RAM "freeing up the $C000 page". Now most software I've attempted running just boots up no problem, so I guess I've just assumed that this OS was just doing it's thing automatically going to the most compatible mode. But now looking deeper through the documents I see that this is not accomplished automatically--you need to hold down the select key while pressing reset. Apparently this frees up 4k of RAM, so maybe this is what I need to do... Also this OS reverses the enabling/disabling of BASIC (i.e. BASIC is enabled only when holding down the option key). So by default, I never have BASIC enabled when booting any of these games. Maybe some of them require it and I'd have to hold down the option key at boot to enable it... but I doubt that's the case with more recent games. Actually, I notice that most of the more recent games (if not all) are European anyway--I don't even know what country in many cases, the titles I couldn't begin to pronounce. So it really doesn't surprise me if these are PAL only. But the weird thing is that I can play some of them just fine and others won't work at all. So it could be like you say where the PAL coding doesn't hinder compatibility for the most part, but then you get that handfull where it is an issue. Or then again, maybe it has completely to do with freeing up that 4K of RAM. Or maybe I should try an old OS disk or translator disk for some of those older games. I guess there's a few things for me to try... I just hope I can get some of those games working. Those newer European ones are definitely the most impressive looking! "Guard" is the most graphically impressive 8-bit home computer (or console) game I've ever seen.
  11. Ok, one more question.. breaking off topic from apps: I've been in the process of transferring tons of games to floppies.. most work on my 130XE, however several do not. I've tried writing disks from alternate images of these games--in some cases I've found alternate images that will work on the hardware, however most of the time it doesn't matter what image I work from. I'm guessing I'm running into a PAL issue here (I use NTSC)--I went through these same woes transferring C64 and Amiga games. In some cases these malfunctioning games are somewhat "playable" but the display is all garbled--unquestionably a PAL issue. But in most cases the games just locks up at a black screen (or resets the computer) a few seconds after the file is loaded. I'm guessing that's a PAL issue too--on the C64 I learned that PAL images can cause all sorts of strange behavior (not always resulting in a garbled screen). I've tried "previewing" images on an emulator (AtariWin800) in NTSC mode to see which games will be compatible before I waste time writing them to disk. In some cases I can catch an incompatible PAL image early and save myself the effort. But most of the time the games will work regardless in the emulator's NTSC mode, yet some of these still don't work on my 130XE. I've downloaded so many games at this point that lately when I run into this issue, I just forget about the game and move on. But there are a few games that I'm dying to play on my actual machine that I just can't ("Guard" comes to mind). So I guess my question is: does anybody know of any NTSC game image archives? Or better yet, is there some sort of PAL to NTSC conversion program I can run before a game--I did find some sort of NTSC to PAL converter over at http://pokeysoft.no/...tari/a8list.htm so that makes me wonder...
  12. Thanks everyone for your replies. I had been to a few of those sites--they're good sites, yet I figured I'd still pose the question just in case there were any obvious app sites I had missed... and I'm glad I asked because http://pokeysoft.no/...tari/a8list.htm is probably the best of all and I was unaware of this one--thanks! Wow, I'm glad you said "torrent"--this reminded me--I TOTALLY FORGOT that I downloaded a MASSIVE Atari 8-bit collection torrent that must have a ton of apps!! I downloaded it over a year ago knowing that I'd soon be getting a 130XE... still, it's good to know where to get apps on the web. Just looking for general kinds of stuff I guess--mostly various disk scanning utils--I work with so many *old* 5 1/4" disks that it's nice to have a program that can check a disk for bad sectors (when I'm having trouble getting something I transferred to work, or making sure a disk is "good" before I use it to store, say a BASIC program I've written). I'm assuming Disk Wizard II will work out for this--it's one of the few I've downloaded so far but haven't tried yet. Thanks for your suggestions--I figured it might be a good idea to get the major DOSes (of which I've heard much mention of MyDOS and SpartaDOS)--need to look more into what possible use I might have for these.
  13. Building my software collection for my 130XE... Right now I'm looking for various disk utilities and applications--can anybody recommend any good sites? I've found some great game archives on the web but not much in the way of apps. Thanks!
  14. Ok, got kind of busy these past couple weeks and I had to put this project aside for a while... Thanks to everyone for their info on creating menu disks--I've read through all the linked posts and decided to go with MyPicoDos menu disks created with dir2atr as this just seemed the easiest most straight-forward method. So far it's worked great for games in stand-alone load file format (.XEX, etc). But some games I can only find in .ATR format--most of these games seem to be on Dos structured disks as I can see the individual files in an .ATR viewer (I think they all include DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS). They also each have their own AUTORUN file, so I'm wondering how to make menu disks of these games? I tried making a compilation disk of these "Dos games" by just copying all the individual files for each game onto one disk image. I just included one copy of DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS as I figured these must be the same. But I was unsure of what to do with each game's AUTORUN file--obviously I can't have multiple files of the same name on the same disk--and I don't want it to boot to any particular game anyway but rather a menu. So I omitted the AUTORUNs and put all the files into a MyPicoDos menu disk as before. I could only get one game to work this way--the other two froze at a black or blue screen. I'm not surprised that at least one of the games didn't work--I noticed that the AUTORUN file for that game was like 80 bytes where the other AUTORUNs were 1 or 2 bytes... is it possible that some of the actual game code is in the AUTORUN file? So I'm wondering what's the best/easiest way to create menu disks for these "Dos games"? Should I continue to use MyPicoDos (maybe with different parameters) or is there a better suited program? While we're on this subject... Can anybody recommend a FAST sector copier? Some games I need to copy directly on my 130XE/1050 to the flip-side as I can't write directly on the flip-side in the PC's 5 1/4" drive. I've got a lot of games to copy to flip-sides in order to get the most out of each 5 1/4" disk. So to save time I'd like to use the fastest sector copier possible. I've been using Sector Copier 130XE, which isn't bad (it's much faster and more accurate than Dos's "Duplicate Disk") but it would be great if I can get something even faster...
  15. Nope. While I'm able to write 180K and 360K .ATRS to disk in the PC, these are not loadable on my 1050--tried a few times before I realized it was perfectly normal for this drive not to read these disks. However, WriteAtr does have an "experimental" option to write 130K enhanced density. This option supposedly only works on very few drive controllers. I guess I have one of those few drive controllers, because it works for me--this is the only mode I can get WriteAtr to create a disk that is readable in my 1050. That is why I believe my drive to be single density. Actually... if you have one of those rare drive controllers such as mine that allows for writing 130K disks, you can use WriteAtr to write a single density image (90K) onto a 130K disk! The program just zeros out the rest of the disk. So while it's still true that you can't write 90K disks on PC and this method still produces a 130K disk, the Atari/1050 will see this disk as 90K and treat it normally!! I've tested this several times as most everything I've downloaded is a 90K image, a few are 130K. Axis Assassin (that I mentioned above) is one such 90K SD disk I wrote to a 130K disk--it boots and plays just fine on my Atari/1050! Thank you--this is exactly what I needed to know. Actually, I was starting to wonder about the .xex format as many of the games I've downloaded have this extension. I guess this means that they're already in the format I need them in to make my own compilation disks. Ok, I just checked into it and, my mistake--these do in fact seem to be single density images... I could have sworn that each image was around 360K, but I check now and they're more like 90K-130K tops. So maybe I could just take the easy route after all and copy all the premade menu disks... but that wouldn't be as fun/interesting as making my own custom ones anyway! Great--I was hoping this was the case as it was with the C64. *Nice* I was hoping it might be as easy as this! Ahh, but then I wouldn't have the action of slapping that good old 5 1/4" disk into that drive!--and that would kill some of the authenticity of the experience for me. Call me strange but I actually enjoy any rare chance I get to use 5 1/4" disks--they just look, feel and seem cool to me. They definitely take me back to my happiest memories of computing... That said, I wouldn't mind also having a setup in which I could load software directly off a PC acting like a virtual hard drive. That's down the road though. Either way I want to establish a good physical library first.
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