Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

25 Excellent

About wizardschamber

  • Rank
    Space Invader
  • Birthday 10/23/1973

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Collingswood, NJ
  1. I personally want a 1200XL, because I've never owned one. My dad did for about a week in 1983, and then he returned it when he ran into compatibility issues with it (and then bought an 800XL that he used for many years). As for gift ideas, I'll throw in just about ANY complete-in-box game for the 8-bit, because has anyone seen what's happened on eBay lately?! I'll never stop kicking myself for letting go of the ones I had 20 years ago. I feel like it's gotten significantly worse in the past 12 months.
  2. Oh I have to jump into this one. 1. Space Invaders 2. Asteroids 3. Missile Command 4. Phoenix 5. Demon Attack
  3. That will certainly be part of the plan SS! Agreed wholeheartedly. That reminds me, I need a better soldering iron...
  4. Thank you! Next one is on the ST. I haven't talked about it much at all, because I'm still researching it and planning it. At some point down the line, I'll swing back around and do a second edition of Breakout, since the 800 is still my favorite platform of all time (though it's really hard to pick just one). But I have a lot of writing to do first!
  5. Thanks! It did get cleared up; eventually, Amazon pulled the offending "copy" of it, though I never learned who it was or what happened. I did learn that I am far from the only person this has happened to, which is depressing. I'll never know for sure how many copies of the other one were sold instead of my real book. I doubt it was that many. Anyway, I went and wrote another book, this time on the 2600 (I was already mostly done), and now I'm working on a third book. So it's not like any of this stopped me either. I can't help myself...
  6. Thank you scitari, Faicuai, and bryanw for your kind words. I'm so glad to hear all of this! Jamie
  7. Thanks CharlieChaplin, Fred_M, and everyone else for the additional notes -- I just saw this thanks to a kind alert from Paul. I remember thinking when I wrote the book, "don't go too far into the 800XE, since you never lived in Europe or had a European model and could end up sounding like an idiot." And I wrote one or two sentences and still managed to sound like an idiot, because the 800XE is based on the 65XE, not the 130XE. Doh! Seriously, though, thank you everyone for reading and/or talking about the book. I'm not here every day, but I'll try and check in whenever I can. You can also come drag me off of ExtremeTech, which is where I spend the majority of my time, along with playing with my wonderful almost-two-year-old daughter. And figuring out how to maintain a 110-year-old house I had no business thinking I knew how to "just fix up here and there." That's a story for another day...
  8. Thanks Bill! Same here Great meeting you too. And thanks tep392 and orpheuswaking!
  9. Thanks for posting gozar! It's a mirror of the original ExtremeTech article, but embedded now is a video of when I went on The Convo show to talk about the book. You can see me in all my supernerdness.
  10. I was confused by this--I wanted to view it and maybe include it as a last-minute thing in my book, since it looked like it made it past the funding stage and was ready to go, but I couldn't figure out what the status was. I hope they're doing well and that it comes out soon.
  11. Thank you so much Bill! And thank you for the review. It means a lot to me!
  12. Thanks again everyone! Yup, I'd have purchased it but that is a non proportionate whack.. Mclaneinc: I totally get what you're saying. Let me say in defense: The print copies only cost a couple of dollars to manufacture and distribute. The main cost of the book is the two years it took me to write it, plus the layout, copy editing, line editing, and cover design (thousands for these in total). You'll see this in pricing across the board. For example: https://www.amazon.com/Racing-Beam-Computer-Platform-Studies/dp/026201257X https://www.amazon.com/Future-Was-Here-Commodore-Platform/dp/0262017202/ https://www.amazon.com/CoCo-Colorful-History-Underdog-Computer/dp/1466592478/ You don't have to believe me either; look up publishing costs and ebook costs and you'll find lots of data on this. If you or anyone do read my book, I hope you like it, as I've put everything I've got into it. Tim Kline: Thanks for all the comments! To answer a few inline: First, why the hate on the Atari PC's? I'm looking to adopt one someday, a PC3 or PC4, ideally. Pick up an SIO2PC with serial from AtariMax and use the Atari PC with APE to an Atari 8-bit home computer as its slave? It's a dream I'd love to see come true! Oh, that was just me being snarky, because it was so far off mission for Atari to be doing that when they did. I'm sure they're fine PCs, and that sounds like a killer project. Second, you're right about Atari's bungling of the 1200XL release. However, with the modern-day availability of the means not only to correct the flaws, but also providing the physical housing for bringing countless modifications to the Atari 8-bit home computer platform, 1200XLs still retain a tremendous amount of potential for the Atari hobbyist today. I do mention that several times throughout the book; some people even consider the 1200XL to be the *best* machine once you mod it and set it up right because of how beautifully made it is. That's because of the tireless community work since (many on the forums here!), which has fixed its various issues. At the time it was released, though, it failed and many argue it significantly damaged the lineup because of the incompatibilities. I also appreciated you pointing out how difficult it was to get technical information about the Atari home computers, because that was commonly brought up during my earlier days with the community, back in BBSing days. Recently, I've been hearing statements to the contrary, that Atari has always been open with its technical details on just how to access and utilize the inner mechanics of the Atari home computers. When De Re Atari was officially published, that was Atari's first step toward operational transparency; at least that's how I remember it. And that was much later in the home computer timeline, I believe. Yep, that is exactly correct. That was almost wasted years, more or less, before third-party developers could get going. That meant that instead of Apple having a two-year advantage, it had a four-year advantage, and so many early players in software went with the Apple II as a result. The wasted opportunity kills me to this day. Speaking of BBSes, was there any reason in particular that you didn't go into the non-game options that were available for the Atari 8-bit home computers, such as word processors, educational software, telecommunications, and maybe even touch on BBS software? Oh, check out the second half chapter 2 for Atari's non-game software and chapter 3 for third-party software like Paperclip, VisiCalc, The Print Shop, BBS software, etc. I ran a BBS in the mid-80s and go into it near the end of chapter 3. I used FoReM XL. I did focus much more of the book on the games, granted. In the mainstream, Atari is remembered for games, and I've yet to stumble across another person IRL (since my first relationship with the Atari home computer) who either knew someone who owned and used one, or were an Atari owner themselves. Yes! This was the central tension of the Atari computer lineup, and what fractured and ultimately incapacitated management to market and develop the product line correctly; even Atari itself vacillated between these two positions at times (I'm talking generally). The Atari brand for games was so strong the company was ultimately unable to overcome it with its "serious" computers, while simultaneously it probably shouldn't have *tried* to overcome the games image and just embraced it, since that's where it was strongest. Today, Windows PCs are all over the workplace *and* have a huge enthusiast gaming community, and no one's had a problem with it for decades. For me, there was far more to the Atari 8-bit home computer than ported and original games, and I would have enjoyed seeing your coverage of the other ways (including the ones mentioned above) that Atari home computers defined a generation, including their work with schools as well as offering their own Atari camps for young programmers— something which no other computer manufacturer has done since, insofar as I'm aware. I mention the camps and the schools on pages 58-59. I believe you're right about no PC manufacturer doing that since, though I'll bet now you can turn up all kinds of educational events from anyone doing cutting-edge work and research (Google, Nvidia, IBM, etc.); the opportunities out there today in machine learning, AI, quantum computing, etc. are unbelievable. Thank you again everyone! Jamie
  13. Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your support of the book. I mention AtariAge and this forum numerous times in it. Mclaneinc: I never saw your invite; I just happened to stumble on this thread. Thank you though! I'm here! Fred_M: ARG. That entire caption is wrong, in fact, and I'm not sure what happened or how I missed it after going through the book 5,231 times. Here's a cut and paste from the Word doc that contains my captions: Chapter 4 p. 85 -- Atari 1200XL.jpg -- The Atari 1200XL. Credit: Daniel Schwen. That particular photo is creative commons, but the credit should still go to the right person. Everyone warned me there were going to be issues no matter how much my editor and I went through the book, and that there will be mistakes no matter what happens. I did not want these people to be right. I will get it corrected in the next printing. Anyway, thank you all -- seriously, for years of your awesome support for this platform. It's wonderful. I can't imagine my life without the computer or the people who love it, which is why I wrote this book. Jamie
  14. Stumbled onto this thread--I ran The Wizard's Chamber BBS in Brooklyn, NY from 1984 through 1987. I ran it on an Atari 800 running FoReM XL, three Indus GT disk drives, and a Hayes Smartmodem 1200 (originally a 300, actually, and then I traded up). Very few callers lit up the extra red HS LED for "high speed." 718-648-1083. And no, the modem will no longer auto-answer, and I have no idea who has that number now.
  • Create New...