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About billkendrick

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    Chopper Commander
  • Birthday 05/04/1975

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    Olympia, WA
  • Interests
    BASIC, Action!, games, demoscene, history

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  1. I think my 1200XL does this nowadays. Sometimes when I power it off and back on, it shows a blank screen, or maybe some PMG nonsense from whatever was running when I powered it off. Usually I can just hit [Reset], then quickly hit [Ctrl]+[F4] (which on my 1200XL does a coldstart; an OS tweak that @bob1200xl put on it when he first hacked on it back in the 1990s), and all is well. Sometimes I just power it off for a few seconds, to let things in memory vaporize themselves. What's annoying is I also think my The Ultimate SD Cart is a little tweaky sometimes. If I happen to tap it while booted up, sometimes things freak out. I've not noticed this with any other carts (though frankly I rarely use any other cart these days. 😕 ) Good news is, I decided to figure out the Defender demo mode (I guess I never hit [Select] enough times to notice it had this feature! 😆) and let it run for about an hour or so. No lockups or other oddities. (Mostly just annoyed at what a cheater it is, the demo player's ship never gets killed! I'd rack up 200K points too, if I as impervious to bullets!)
  2. The main advantage TurboBASIC XL will give you is the MOVE command, to move large blocks of memory around (for moving the player/missile data vertically). It also has some bitwise operations, which may be handy, depending on what you need to do. (It could help with individual missiles, I imagine.) Good luck!
  3. Oh awesome! How had I not seen this before?! Adding a link
  4. Also, as noted on the page, Daniel told me that he found this document in a lot he purchased, and the seller told him it came from an estate sale in the SF Bay Area. My morbid curiosity makes me wonder who passed away (and when) that had this in their collection...
  5. Over on the AtariAge Facebook group, Daniel C. Avina (sorry if you're out here; I don't know your AA forum handle!) posted some photos of what looked like a photocopy of the Star Raiders manual, with the statement: "This small piece of history was in a recent lot I purchased. Looks like we could always use “more stars”." Welp, it turns out it's a pre-production copy of the Star Raiders manual, passed around for review by various departments! It includes a number of edit mark-ups, many of which made it into the final manual. I asked Daniel if I could share his photos on my "Star Raiders Tribute" website (first created in 1996!), and he agreed, and sent some cleaner photos. He's hoping he can get out his flatbed scanner and do a proper scan of them, as well. So, I've posted them, along with some commentary: http://www.sonic.net/~nbs/star-raiders/preprod-manual/ I'm a bit too tired to do an exhaustive review of every single page of this, versus the final version, but I took the time to look at and talk about the individual mark-ups, and any obvious changes I saw. (The cover of the manual calls it "STAR RAIDER", not "STAR RAIDERS"! I know that 'typo' variation exists on the cartridge label, and in fact was given one by a friend a few years back. It's apparently not rare, and the ROM inside is identical. But now I'm wondering whether the game's name changed somewhere along the way. I sent Doug Neubauer a note asking about this, via his website.) And, when/if Daniel can get me some cleaner scans, I'll post them on my site. If anyone happens to notice anything else worthy of mentioning, or if you know who's scribbles are who's, let me know and I can update the text on the page. Thanks & enjoy! (🌠pew pew!)
  6. The last thing I wanted to do, as an extremely rare editor of any content on Wikipedia, is end up in some argument with a know-it-all.
  7. Excellent. Sadly, one link at the bottom, "ATASCII Character Sets - comparison of ATASCII sets" (http://joyfulcoder.net/atari/atascii/) goes to domain name squatter looking site, now. Here's an Internet Archive Wayback Machine snapshot. It's glorious! https://web.archive.org/web/20161025170529/http://joyfulcoder.net/atari/atascii/
  8. Ironically, in the end, I'm not using any characters with diacritics in my game. I do plan to support the German eszett (ß), which I had to add to my game's font (in two different styles). I went from knowing zero about that character, to knowing... well, a tiny bit. For example, it was only in very recent years that an uppercase version was added (ß)! (See: https://typefacts.com/en/blog/the-german-capital-letter-eszett) Here's my current font, since I bet someone's gonna ask: (Also, I put "ß" in place of the "<" symbol because it sounds like on German keyboards that character is usually immediately to the right of [0]; on the Atari, the key to the right of [0] is [<], as we all know!)
  9. And before it gets deleted, too, here's a screenshot of all 128 ATASCII characters with the international character set enabled (aka "POKE 756,204"). Generated in Atari BASIC under "Atari800" emulator. Margin registers (POKE 82 & POKE 83) are super handy, I tell ya!
  10. The other day, while working on my game Invenies Verba, I was searching the web for info on the so-called "international character set" that Atari 8-bits include, starting with the 1200XL. As a 1200XL owner, I might have been more aware of it than other XL/XE owners, because you could just hit Control+F4 to toggle between standard ATASCII, with graphical control characters, and the international alternative, with some Latin characters with diacritics, like ü & ñ. I noticed the "ATASCII" article over at Wikipedia was lacking any mention of this feature of the XL & XE series, so took it upon myself to add some info. The page already included a big chart, describing each ATASCII character (and showing modern Unicode representations, when possible). This is, in fact, very much like the articles on Commodore's PETSCII, and plain ASCII. However, within like 24 hours, not only were my changes reverted, but a ton of pre-existing info & charts, were removed. Despite these other articles being a-okay, I guess ATASCII isn't notable enough, and the content was too much like a "technical manual." This is what I get for trying to help by editing a Wikipedia article -- a few hours of my life wasted. 😠 Well, for posterity, here's a cut-n-paste snapshot of the "ATASCII" article before the hatchet was taken to the poor thing. (Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, edit history, while the page still exists at all, can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=ATASCII&action=history) ___ The ATASCII character set, from ATARI Standard Code for Information Interchange, alternatively ATARI ASCII, is the variation on ASCII used in the Atari 8-bit family of home computers. The first of this family are the Atari 400 and 800, released in 1979, and later models were released throughout the 1980s. The last computer to use the ATASCII character set is the Atari XEGS which was released in 1987 and discontinued in 1992. The Atari ST family of computers use the different Atari ST character set. Like most other non-standard ASCIIs, ATASCII has its own special block graphics symbols (arrows, blocks, circles, line segments, playing card suits, etc.) corresponding to the control character locations of the standard ASCII table (characters 0–31), and a few other character locations. Contents 1Control characters 2Interoperation 3ATASCII animations 4Character set 4.1Graphic characters 4.2Control characters 4.3International Character Set 5See also 6References 7External links Control characters The main difference between standard ASCII and ATASCII is the use of control characters. In standard ASCII, a character in the range 0 to 31 is construed as a command, which might move the cursor, clear the screen, end a line, and so on. Some of these were designed for use on printers and teletypes rather than on screen (to advance the paper, overtype, and so on). In ATASCII most of the ASCII control character values produce a graphics glyph instead. ATASCII uses character values different from ASCII for cursor control. ATASCII has a character set of only 128 characters. If the high-order bit is set on a character (i.e., if the byte value of the character is between 128 and 255) the character is generally rendered in the reverse video (also called "inverse video") of its counterpart between 0 and 127, using a bitwise negation of the character's glyph. This is done by the ANTIC chip. The two exceptions to this rule are that an "escape" character (ATASCII and ASCII 27) with its high order bit set becomes an "EOL" or "End Of Line" character (ATASCII 155; ASCII 13), and a "clear screen" character (ATASCII 125) with its high order bit set becomes a "bell" or "buzzer" character (ATASCII 253; ASCII 7). The ATASCII control characters used by the screen editor for cursor control (arrow keys) and text editing (tab, insert, delete, backspace, etc.) have associated graphic symbols that can be displayed by preceding them by the "escape" character (ATASCII 27). For example, a right arrow can be displayed on a screen or printer by preceding it with the escape character followed by the "cursor right" character itself (ATASCII 31). The Atari screen editor implements the text cursor by simply inverting the character at the cursor position (by XOR with $80). It does not flash. Interoperation The differences between character representation can cause problems during modem communication between Ataris and other computers. Cursor movement commands (and even carriage returns and line feeds) from computers not using ATASCII will be nonsense on an Atari, and vice versa. Terminal programs need to translate between ATASCII and standard ASCII. Some Atari-based BBSs exploited this difference by asking the client to hit the "Return" key. If it got 13 (ASCII CR), then standard ASCII would be used. If it got 155 (ATASCII CR) it would switch to ATASCII, allowing full use of the ATASCII graphic set. Some Atari BBSs would also block features (or even block access completely) for non-Atari users.[citation needed] ATASCII animations The control codes in ATASCII are transmissible to other computers such as BBS's, and crude animations are possible. These animations, also known as "break movies", often take the form of short cartoons, and were a popular feature of Atari BBSs in its heyday. Because cursor control operations are represented with a single character (as opposed to multi-byte 'escape' sequences that were common in other schemes, like ANSI or VT100), it is quite easy to make these animations. They can be created by a short BASIC program that captures keyboard commands, echoes them to the screen and saves them to a file. The Atari also allowed commands to be typed and captured as part of its operating system. Of course this required care to get it right, but after a few attempts it normally became quite easy. The simple capture programs didn't have editing features, so ATASCII movies frequently had errors that were corrected by repositioning the cursor and printing over the mistake. Character set Graphic characters The following table shows the ATASCII character set. Each character is shown with a potential Unicode equivalent if available. Space and control characters are represented by the abbreviations for their names. ATASCII[1] _0 _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 _A _B _C _D _E _F 0_ ♥ 2665 ├ 251C 🮇 1FB87 ┘ 2518 ┤ 2524 ┐ 2510 ╱ 2571 ╲ 2572 ◢ 25E2 ▗ 2597 ◣ 25E3 ▝ 259D ▘ 2598 🮂 1FB82 ▂ 2582 ▖ 2596 1_ ♣ 2663 ┌ 250C ─ 2500 ┼ 253C • 2022 ▄ 2584 ▎ 258E ┬ 252C ┴ 2534 ▌ 258C └ 2514 ␛/ESC[a] 241B/001B ↑[a] 2191 ↓[a] 2193 ←[a] 2190 →[a] 2192 2_ SP 0020 ! 0021 " 0022 # 0023 $ 0024 % 0025 & 0026 ' 0027 ( 0028 ) 0029 * 002A + 002B , 002C - 002D . 002E / 002F 3_ 0 0030 1 0031 2 0032 3 0033 4 0034 5 0035 6 0036 7 0037 8 0038 9 0039 : 003A ; 003B < 003C = 003D > 003E ? 003F 4_ @ 0040 A 0041 B 0042 C 0043 D 0044 E 0045 F 0046 G 0047 H 0048 I 0049 J 004A K 004B L 004C M 004D N 004E O 004F 5_ P 0050 Q 0051 R 0052 S 0053 T 0054 U 0055 V 0056 W 0057 X 0058 Y 0059 Z 005A [ 005B \ 005C ] 005D ^ 005E _ 005F 6_ ♦ 2666 a 0061 b 0062 c 0063 d 0064 e 0065 f 0066 g 0067 h 0068 i 0069 j 006A k 006B l 006C m 006D n 006E o 006F 7_ p 0070 q 0071 r 0072 s 0073 t 0074 u 0075 v 0076 w 0077 x 0078 y 0079 z 007A ♠ 2660 | 007C 🢰[a] 1F8B0 ◀/BS[a] 25C0/0008 ▶/HT[a] 25B6/0009 8_ ♥ ├ ▊ 258A ┘ ┤ ┐ ╱ ╲ ◤ 25E4 ▛ 259B ◥ 25E5 ▙ 2599 ▟ 259F ▆ 2586 ▂ ▜ 259C 9_ ♣ ┌ ─ ┼ ◘ 25D8 ▀ 2580 ▎ ┬ ┴ ▐ 2590 └ NBSP/LF 00A0/000D ↑ ↓ ← → A_ █ 2588 ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . / B_ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ? C_ @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O D_ P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _ E_ ♦ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o F_ p q r s t u v w x y z ♠ - 🢰/BEL /0007 ◀/DEL /007F ▶ Letter  Number  Punctuation  Symbol  Other  Undefined ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Characters 1B-1F and 7D-7F had a dual use as graphics characters and control characters. Note the asymmetry in the selection of graphics characters: There are lower triangles but no upper triangles, a left half block but no right half block, and a lower half block but no upper half block. These missing characters could be displayed by using inverse video. The glyph representation in ROM used by ANTIC for display are assigned in different order from ASCII/ATASCII. For example, to display the characters "@ABC" on screen by writing directly to the screen memory, one would write the decimal values 32, 33, 34, and 35 rather than the ASCII/ATASCII values 64, 65, 66, and 67. The arrangement of glyphs seems to make little sense in ATASCII order, however the arrangement of many make sense when the QWERTY keyboard layout is taken into consideration -- for example, ┌, ┬, and ┐ are the control graphics characters found on the top left Q, W, and E keys. Control characters ATASCII control characters [2] Hex Decimal Function Keystroke 1B 27 Escape key ESC 1C 28 Cursor Up CTRL+- 1D 29 Cursor Down CTRL+= 1E 30 Cursor Left CTRL++ 1F 31 Cursor Right CTRL+* 7D 125 Clear Screen CTRL+< or ⇧ Shift+< 7E 126 Delete ← Backspace 7F 127 Tab Tab ↹ 9B 155 End of line RETURN 9C 156 Delete Line ⇧ Shift+← Backspace 9D 157 Insert Line ⇧ Shift+> 9E 158 Clear Tab stop CTRL+Tab ↹ 9F 159 Set Tab stop ⇧ Shift+Tab ↹ FD 253 Buzzer CTRL+2 FE 254 Delete Character CTRL+← Backspace FF 255 Insert Character CTRL+> International Character Set Atari 8-bits, via the ANTIC coprocessor, supported indirection of the character set graphics, allowing a program to redefine the graphical glyphs that appear for each ATASCII character. This can be used as a new font for text, and/or tile graphics in a video game or other application. Cycling between multiple redefined character sets can provide simple animation at very little CPU cost (in exchange for memory used to store the character set data). Altering a character set in RAM can also be used for animation. Starting with the Atari 1200XL, the first in the XL line of computers that followed the original 400 and 800 models, the Atari OS ROM included a so-called "international" character set, that replaced 29 of the graphical glyphs with Latin alphabetical characters containing diacrtics, such as e-acute (é). The OS built into 1200XL, the one and only Atari 8-bit model with function keys, allowed users to switch between the standard and alternate character sets by pressing CTRL+F4. Later XL and XE models required the user to update a register in RAM (e.g., via a POKE command in BASIC). ATASCII international characters Hex Decimal Symbol Keystroke 00 0 á CTRL+, 01 1 ù CTRL+A 02 2 Ñ CTRL+B 03 3 É CTRL+C 04 4 ç CTRL+D 05 5 ô CTRL+E 06 6 ò CTRL+F 07 7 ì CTRL+G 08 8 £ CTRL+H 09 9 ï CTRL+I 0A 10 ü CTRL+J 0B 11 ä CTRL+K 0C 12 Ö CTRL+L 0D 13 ú CTRL+M 0E 14 ó CTRL+N 0F 15 ö CTRL+O 10 16 Ü CTRL+P 11 17 â CTRL+Q 12 18 û CTRL+R 13 19 î CTRL+S 14 20 é CTRL+T 15 21 è CTRL+U 16 22 ñ CTRL+V 17 23 ê CTRL+W 18 24 å CTRL+X 19 25 à CTRL+Y 20 26 Å CTRL+Z 60 96 ¡ CTRL+. 7B 123 Ä CTRL+: See also Semigraphics References ^ "ATARI8IG.TXT" (PDF), L2/19-025: Proposal to add characters from legacy computers and teletext to the UCS, 2019-01-04 ^ atariarchives.org - Mapping The Atari Appendix 10 - ATASCII And Internal Character Code Values External links ATASCII concise graphical overview (4.2KB GIF image) Typography in 8 bits: System fonts show v t e Character encodings Categories: Character sets Atari 8-bit family ASCII Computer-related introductions in 1979
  11. Okay, pre-release 6 for anyone who wants to test it. This re-introduces the dictionary choice feature found in the original, though it doesn't currently save your choice, nor offer a way to change it other than rebooting the game. I've included, in some cases somewhat limited (in terms of max. word length) dictionaries for: German Polish Spanish Italian French American English (what it had before) British English (so it'll accept, e.g., "COLOUR") Words that would have diacritics are included in the game dictionaries, but are stored WITHOUT the diacritics, and no letters containing diacritics will be dealt. You'll only get something from some subset of ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. In other words, if you can spell "ADIOS" with the words dealt, it'll be accepted -- despite "adios" not being a word in Spanish; it understands you to be spelling "adiós". To fit all these, I've bumped the ATR disk image from single density to double. I was going to go for enhanced / medium density -- what a stock Atari 1050 (like I have) supports -- but apparently Franny, the tool I'm currently using in my build process to construct the ATR file, can only write to single & double disk images. I've been trying to sort out supporting the German eszett (letter ß), but due to lack of planning and general flailing around as I code this in my spare moments today, it's not working. That said, with the current limitation of max. 15 letters being POSSIBLE (due to how the dictionary is currently packed... the same way I did it in the original TurboBASIC XL version), it's not like it was going to find enough words containing "ß" to actually use it. Note: I personally only speak/read/write English, so my ability to test how this game works in other languages is extremely limited. Please don't be offended by my naivety. The code is on GitHub, and I'll happily accept improvements! Anyway, enjoy! iverba2-pre6.atr iverba-2.0-pre6.tar.gz
  12. My teenage son tried it out and suggested a practice mode, which I was able to crank out pretty easily. Press [P] from the title screen to start. The letter meters fill up, but the game doesn't end automatically (hit [Esc] to abort back to the title screen). Naturally, your score is not eligible to be recorded as a high score. (I also made my font's "3" easier to look at, and did overhauld the documentation -- found in the .tar.gz source code snapshot -- a little.) I've still got to tweak the timing of the letter meters; I can't get much further than level 8 or 10, and I think it ramps up too quickly. I need to make the math more clever. FEEDBACK WELCOME! The MAJOR overhaul the game will get, expanding it quite a bit beyond what the original TurboBASIC XL version from 2014 could do, will be improving the cleverness of how the dictionary is compressed and stored. Right now I'm limited to 15 letters (out of 26) in the alphabet, and a lot of space is wasted by words shorter than 8 letters long. Each word takes exactly 4 bytes (half a byte per letter). One of the "letters" is a space, for padding. These hokey limitations were in exchange for the game being reasonable playable (under compiled-TBXL, at least). iverba-2.0-pre5.tar.gz iverba2-pre5.atr
  13. Well, now it has a VBI (for smoother sound playback, and avoiding input lag while you play). You can also hit [D] from the title screen to toggle dark mode. And a small help screen has been added (press [Help] or [H] from the title screen), which gives very brief gameplay instructions, and is home to some of the version/etc. info that was cluttering the title screen. iverba2-pre4.atr iverba-2.0-pre4.tar.gz
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