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Everything posted by Bryan

  1. You're assuming these were the only fabricated results they ever got. They probably knew how the scoring went so they could throw away impossible scores. From what was left, there were a few 5.51's that looked like they might be legit, so they published them and Crane went back to the code to try and calculate a perfect score.
  2. I believe something isn't right, though. No one has been able to prove 5.51 possible, and seeing your name in print is a compelling reason to fake a photo. It's also possible that there was a clerical error at Activision which has never been 'fessed up to. Has anyone ever produced a 5.51 certificate? The one Todd produced was shown (TG forum) to be a modified version of one of his others with a certificate number that is out of sequence with other known certificates. EDIT: Here's what I think probably happened. In any large contest there are cheaters. It makes total sense that Activision would get faked photos and someone had to sort them out. David Crane has stated that they did some internal tests to try to determine the best possible time. They determined it was 5.54, one tick off of the 5.57 given by code analysis. Why did they do this? Probably in response to some sketchy photos. They got 3 showing 5.51 which was a possible increment (I'm sure they probably got some with illogical times too), and after Crane's analysis they probably took Dragster off the charts completely. Today, David stands by the Todd's time but it's probably more to avoid being in the middle of a sh!t storm over a 35 year old game.
  3. Or that Activision was easily fooled. Remember that they then removed the other scores and listed only Todd's and we don't know why. If I were going to cheat, I'd just use a home computer (the A8 has the same resolutions and colors available) and draw whatever game screen I wanted. Dragster isn't very colorful, after all.
  4. I think it would be a lot more fun to make something that had several 8-bit clients.
  5. There was a lot of incestuous scorekeeping in the early days of TG with the top players verifying each others results and my bet is that everyone who is going down has the ability to take many others down. It'll be interesting to see what shakes out in the end.
  6. It's been proven that different people have different sensitivity to pitch. Some people can hear very small deviations and some are completely tone deaf. There's an online test you can take to find out how sensitive you are: http://jakemandell.com/adaptivepitch/ I can hear down to about 1.5Hz @ 500Hz. This is one of the reason there's so many opinions regarding Pokey music. However, there are easy ways to get around Pokey's limitations. Alternating between two adjacent pitches quickly causes the note to sound like a middle note. Since the pitch value is loaded into the counter each cycle, this works cleanly. The speed at which this must be done depends on the pitch, but 60/50 times per second works in many cases and 120/100 is cleaner for higher pitches.
  7. Got it sorted. Some of these old sockets are strangely constructed and the lifted TIA pin 6 was still touching even though it was out to the side.
  8. I'd feel this way if it was just some stats on a website, but we're talking about a Guinness World Record. The gaming community has always pretended to have an interest in the validity of the results, so why is it a problem if people actually start looking for signs of cheating?
  9. My understanding is that he's not getting color no matter what. When the 2600 outputs color he just sees the color carrier in the picture (dot pattern). This means the TV never received the colorburst and is in B&W mode. He sent me a pic of his color signal out of TIA and the burst is squashed compared to the rest of the color. This usually means that the blanking pin (6) has not been lifted, but the pictures he sent me show pin 6 lifted. Still a mystery.
  10. Just want to let everyone know we're working on this. The colorburst isn't making it to the monitor so we'll find out if it's the UAV or something else.
  11. One big problem is that Q*Bert allows up to 3 possible colors on the top of each cube. Then, you need 2 more colors to draw the fronts of each cube. That's why it does the dithering. The only way to allow 5 colors + background is to reduce the resolution and use GTIA 10, or get really creative with a full-screen kernel. One of my back-burner projects was to try to make the pyramid completely out of PMG manipulations leaving the normal graphics for software sprites.
  12. Atari 800 update: Here's how I just installed the UAV in my 800. Leave the 4050 in the circuit. I prefer to attach the wires to it instead of the PCB because it can easily be replaced and will provide a support for the UAV. 1. Remove the 4050 and attach power wires to pins 1 and 8. 2. Attach solid bus wire/component leads to pins 5,7,9,11,14. 3. Bend them so that the following pads & leads line up when the UAV is roatated 180 degrees from the 4050: 0 = p5 1 = p9 2 = p14 3 = p11 S = p7 4. Slide the UAV over the pins and solder them. 5. Attach the 5V and G wires to the pads (remembering that they'll be crossing each other with the chip turned). 6. Attach wires for Chroma, Luma, Composite, and Color In to UAV and then install it in the 4050 socket. 7. Lift right side of R189(75 ohms), L104, L105. These three components are next to each other. 8. Solder the wires to the board: CV = empty pad of L104 Luma = empty pad of R189 Chroma = empty pad of L105 Color In = Right side of R196 EDIT: After this, I moved the ground wire going to the UAV. The new wire picks it up off the board and then goes to the G pad. I believe this yielded a small improvement in the picture, so I left it that way. See the last pic.
  13. I wonder if this was a stunt by GDC from the beginning to grab headlines and gain notoriety. Maybe Nolan's response should have been, "Whew, I thought I was going to have to make more room on my awards shelf!"
  14. Two (1.5, really) other things: When someone you admire does something wrong, it's easy to rationalize it. If Nolan attacked a woman or forced her to perform acts as part of her job, then we have to see that behavior as it is. When someone you dislike does something wrong, it's easy to ignore all facts and call for blood to achieve a desired end. Sexualized work environments were common in the free love era and Atari wasn't any kind of special case. There are still reports today of similar things happening in the technology sector, albeit with more secrecy. I wonder if any of us had been hired at Atari at that time and seen the partying going on if we'd really be indignant about it. Hopefully even the employees at the time would have intervened if a woman was being assaulted.
  15. How did I get sucked into reading about Todd Rogers all day?

    1. Bryan


      Something to do with "the human element."

    2. GoldLeader


      I kinda fell into that whole thing too...I prolly read about 4 pages total as I felt like skipping ahead.

    3. Bryan


      There's some good nuggets of investigation in that giant TG thread. One of the best is the proof his 5.51 certificate is fake. I now think that Activision was naively publishing scores with little supporting evidence which led to three people submitting 5.51, and Todd's stories of proving the score to them are false. If you had access to an Atari A8, you could easily draw a convincing Dragster screen and take a pic of it.

    4. Show next comments  15 more
  16. I've seen the effort to turn everyone against each other for a long time. People who are happy and content pay less attention to politicians than people who are angry and freaked out (and will have a stress heart attack at 30) so it's an effective strategy. Now we've got a generation of people who think their 1st world problems are the worst mankind has ever faced. People who sexually assault need to be beaten but turning the sexes against each other is really dangerous to our future as a civilization. If every guy who once pressured a girl for something is disqualified, then we have practically no one left. (and we might as well start executing rock stars en masse.)
  17. Hey guys. I just got my furnace installed last night and I'm trying to get caught up on a million things. I'm going to make a small board to make keeping the 4050 in the 5200 easier. Apparently some of them won't work without it. I've got a lot of A8's here but only one 5200 to test on at the moment.
  18. Sorry, not yet. I'm getting the next batch of UAVs out this week and dealing with the loss of my furnace. Our CO sensor started going off when the heat kicked on.
  19. I've been watching videos of upcoming game releases on various platforms and I've noticed that sometimes developers get in a rut and we see far too many of the same types of games and not a lot of innovation. I guess what bothers me most is hearing of some new game coming out and then finding out it fits the following template: 1. Amazing full-color RastaConverter title screen. Probably a bigger executable than the game itself. 2. Amazing title screen music. 3. Pressing Start dumps you into some ho-hum puzzle game or some other simple concept that doesn't live up to the extravagant intro. I realize we have tools to make impressive images and music now, but they make a simple game look worse by setting the standard too high. What I really want to see on the A8 is innovation. Either bring something to the A8 library that's been missing or come up with an experience no one's seen before. I look at what's going on in the (admittedly larger) C64 community and it's pretty incredible what people are attempting there. People are writing impressive game engines for the Spectrum too even though they know they'll always look kinda mangy in the end. Of course, they can do stuff we can't do and we can do stuff they can't do so let's find more of those things. Then we can slap 70 color title screens on them. And oh yeah, why do I find SID music to be so irritating after a while? Somehow I find myself suffering from sawtooth overload after just a few minutes.
  20. The 7800 version has always looked smoother. I believe Ballblazer's grid is done entirely in the DL. If it isn't, it certainly could be. Just by shifting each line left and right and possibly inverting the palette on certain lines you can get all the graphics needed. I also think it's possible to improve the rotofoils if you're willing to do more manipulation of the PMGs. It would be cool if it could be sped up, but I imagine it's already one of the more optimized pieces of software out there.
  21. In my experience, the main problem isn't with the magnetism of the oxide layer. It's the longevity of the binder (oxide glue) and top layer. Oxide is useless once the other components aren't holding it in place. Elephant was a brand of Leading Edge and was just a marketing gimmick since they bought the diskettes from other sources. They were cool looking disks, though.
  22. Typically, the cloudy look isn't from mold. It's the glossy lubricating coating breaking down.
  23. Yep, it doesn't matter if disks are used or not. What matters is how they're made and how they've aged. In my experience, buy some Sony, Maxell or 3M DD disks and you'll have a good chance. These disks are my absolute favorite because they're not made like the others and I've never had a bad one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Datalife-Plus-Verbatim-10-Minidisks-Teflon-New-Sealed/401472066055 If the disks you have are failing, you may need to clean all those drives before you use them again. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/235272-best-525-floppy-disk-brand/?p=3509668
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