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Everything posted by Keatah

  1. Keatah


    BTW I'm pleased with the current color scheme. The alternating colors for the "possible move" markers work good.
  2. Telescope's gotta be one hella monitor!
  3. Why not use Emulator Stella to preview and sample the games. Or even build a virtual collection!
  4. I'm not sure when the quality of documentation started going down. The best I can say is when someone decided to do "online" documentation. Links in the program to something online. That sort of thing sucks and I tend to avoid those programs, unless I can capture the entire contents and save it locally. Docs were still good in the 80486 era, my rig came with 5-8kg of printed matter. And DOS things had good in-program local help. So did stuff in the Win95/98 timeframe. You either got .CHM or .PDF, or substantial printed material. Perhaps things started downhill when developers discovered they could do things on the internet. The whole idea of online web documentation sucks. It's fine if you can download it for local use., but some developers use weird formats that even exclude that. Like having to use 5-clicks to read one faq or something. Too many drop-downs, too many hidden sections. All for the perceived want of minimalism and me-too web page design. Just give me a text file!
  5. Keatah


    So you're saying Stella's gonna get a new graphics mode?
  6. The importance of Reference and Tutorial manuals for the early micros cannot be understated. In fact, having the original documentation should be a top-priority requirement to any user or collector. Manuals helped define the personality of the platform. They set the scope and contained all sorts of goodies. They allowed you, the user, to set your own learning pace. And the early Apple/Atari manuals were inspiring. And whenever I had a question I could almost always find the answer in my stash of manuals. They were written in such a way that it seemed the author was right beside you; and even available to answer questions. It was a time when manuals taught you not only how to use something but also explained in semi-technical layperson terms how something worked. This gave you a better understanding of how to do something rather than just going through a key-sequence or procedure. It helped you imagine a problem and intuitively come up with the steps to solve it. You even learned about the subject. Say for an astronomy program.. You learned the key sequence to operate the eclipse prediction module, its limits, and how to use it. You also got a "theory of operation" of how eclipses worked and maybe even insight into the program too. At the time I didn't fully appreciate the depth and scope of the manuals included. Manuals back then were substantive and had both low level technical material as well as layperson theory of operation sections and step-by-step tutorials. But many ideas presented to me back then apply to today's computer systems. And I use those ideas in day-to-day operations now. It was a time when manuals was printed with pride and were key components to a "complete" system. Hardware. Software. Documentation. This is the type of documentation that is sorely lacking with today's products. The software publishers may argue that one doesn't need to know the inner workings. I completely disagree. Once you understand how something works, and understand its full capabilities and purpose, THEN you have the knowledge to use something the way it was intended. And you know how fix something or when to seek a higher power for help. Finally, the artwork was inspiring and relaxing. Again look at the Apple/Atari manuals from the II+ or 400/800 timeframe. The art on the Applesoft Tutorial book shows a blur, a montage, of about 10 different things going on. Something relaxing to look at and get lost in - a dreamworld. Was great to just sit there and stare and wonder and imagine; especially after a tedious day of grade school where you didn't learning anything useful anyways!
  7. And they got shot if they made mistakes! Pissing off the king and stuff. I was thinking of the graphical representations comprehensive menu controls.
  8. Retrocomputers often required more effort than the gains they gave. In other words they weren't time savers yet and could be burdensome. This applied to most applications aside from games. But I did find them moderately useful for predicting moon phases, rise/set times, planet positions, and film exposure parameters, and maybe fuel for flights of imagination and discovery. Anything else would have to wait till the PC got into the 286/386 range for things like eclipse prediction or more in-depth ephemerides. And it was also common to learn more about a selected subject just by reading the manual that came with the software. Some of it was comprehensive like the Atari Planetarium manual at 125 pages. The manual is important because there's lots of single-key commands and symbol interpretation.
  9. To ebay's dismay and my hooray I'm whittling my watch list down. It is my intent to not let it go above 10 items.

    1. carlsson


      While I can't find a reference, doesn't it say somewhere in Buddhism that you must never own more than 5 or perhaps 10 items, otherwise those will own you?

    2. Keatah


      Something like that.


  10. The HOME PG-UP PG-DN END keys seem to enable phosphor just by cycling to/through 'phosphor blend' with them. Seems to override the setting in the main Options> Video & Audio> TV Effects menu.
  11. And what's the word on Sea Battle and Snafu? Back in the day those were some of the games that defined Intellivision for us. The others would be whatever was in the printed catalogs up to about 1982-1983. After that I had lost interest in anything "Intellivision". It was getting harder and harder to find stuff in the store. And titles were beginning to be announced that never came out - at least in my area. To be fair it was happening industry wide. I always did admire that there was less trash for Intv compared against the VCS. I'm talking 3rd-party stuff. And today's billion-dollar AAA+++ mega-titles are like so meh. None of it impresses me except the amount of wastage and expenditure on the part of the developer. And I'll (successfully mind you) argue that games are too-realistic looking. All the fun abstractness is gone. I guess what I'm getting at is that I'd rather there be only 50 or 100 games that are top quality and don't require a degree in controlology to operate or 150 hours to complete.
  12. I don't dig this "gotta be first" thing either. It means something only when compared to seconds, thirds, and so on. It means something only when there are haves and have-nots. Neighbors and the Jones to compare against. Back in the day we did the "first on the block thing". Who got what game first. It was short-lived euphoria. It leads to excessive showing off and does little except increase jealousy. Being first isn't all it's cracked up to be. It saddens me that the game industry is all about it. Not much left to do except get some laughs at the people camping out in sub-zero weather waiting for a product or game release. I don't think I've ever pre-ordered a product, ever. And most certainly not have waited outside on release day. For anything. Armored Battle Tanks. Self explanatory & combines both names. But I believe just "Battle Tanks" will win because of simplicity.
  13. RIP Charlie Daniels from Charlie Daniels Band..

    1. retrorussell
    2. Random Terrain

      Random Terrain

      Did he die in America or somewhere else? I'm guessing it was in America.


    3. retrorussell


      He may have gone down to Georgia.

  14. Wait what? Coleco is now controlling the Phoenix?
  15. Are there any non-loud intros to the Amico? I'm not interested in watching youtube at ADHD speeds and cranked to AMP 11. And I don't want any ridiculous bashing he-said vids either. Just show me some professional clips Bob Ross style.
  16. Salvage 1

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Keatah


      One of the episodes I remember was when they put one of the side boosters on the North Pole to re-stabilize the Earth's axis or something? Remember that one?

    3. jaybird3rd


      ^ If it's the same episode I'm thinking of, they were actually steering an iceberg.  There was a drought, and they were "salvaging" the iceberg for drinkable water.

    4. Keatah


      Yes that would be it.


  17. It's been 7-years since I made the thread. And in that time we've seen remarkable progress on both fronts, FPGA & SE. The realism and accuracy just keep getting better & better. I still remain strongly preferential to SE. But also recognize kevtris' work and what's happening on the MiSTer front. The reason why I remain in the SE camp is it makes the childhood dream of having all my fav systems in one box come true in a form even better than I imagined. As a kid I was somewhat limited to imagining a bunch of consoles that were dis-assembled and their circuits put into a rather large TRS-80 Model II sized box; replete with all the pitfalls and unforeseen modes of failure such a setup would bring. And of course, throw in the ease of moving from system to system, the instant availability to try new software, the reliability, and ongoing work. At the other end of the technical spectrum I imagined alien-like circuitry. Stuff that was advanced far and away from simple 16-pin or 40-pin DIPs of the day. Special memory devices that could hold truckloads of disks and tapes. Like "Superman" library crystals. Chips made of elements that didn't fit the periodic table. Chips that could execute instructions in the future and then "catch-up" to them. Was quite amusing and fun to write short 5-page stories about it all - when word-processing was still a novelty to me. That is my 1st criteria for telling the difference between SE/FPGA and original hardware. On the flipside how many of us in, say, an arbitrary town or 50 mile radius would have our VCS'es or Atari 400/800's hooked to the same television that was tuned and color-adjusted the exact same way? So in that respect the differences in screen color, geometry, shadow masks, and video hookup, were accepted and expected differences. Just as the pixilated look of LCD with no filters or effects is yet another variance. Just another look. There is no right or wrong. Comes down to personal preference.
  18. It's quite amusing to run Altirra at 3500-something FPS. The rendering flies onto the screen. Foom foom foom foom. I thought I was the only one doing that?!? And yes for real browsing and deep-dives I use either Xaos or Visions of Chaos. OR even fractint if I'm nostalgic for the 286-486 era. They're free and I'm a cheap bastard.
    1. retrorussell


      They still have nothing on hippos.  Those suckers flip their tail and scatter their poop over a wide region.

    2. Keatah


      Yah I know. At the zoo they had this one hippo set up and everything and it was spinning its tail like a propeller. Shit flying everywhere. Then it stopped and started over and over again for like 10 minutes straight.


      Sounded like those COX .049 model engines!

  19. Well..at least the vcs is doing something. It's coming! It ain't sitt'n around.
  20. It's cheaper because you can eliminate contacts. At $0.02 per contact, for example, a million units sold may save the company $8,000 - $10,000 a year. Simpler molding too, no battery box. No cover. Different certification and testing. It all adds up, to maybe $50,000 or more per year. Maybe half a million over the product lifecycle? AND it's no waste to the company if it keeps you buying more. Rather the opposite!
  21. Last I checked was when I bought a box of 10 (a real intel sku) whitebox Seattles. $15 per board. 175 shipped. My sentimental "collectible" PIII is a slocket rig. My first PII/III build was a PII-266 on an AL440LX board. A first iteration of the LX/BX chipset from a time when PCI graphics cards were faster than AGP 1X. Indeed. It's when the bugs are worked out. It's when the tech is at its pinnacle and most feature rich. And this applies to many other things. But beware of last-minute budget entries or cost-cutting attempts. Like the GF4 4800 vs 4600. Or the crap GF4-MX stuff. But in this case the 4800 eeks a few fps more due to agp 8x. But it was never implemented on deluxe VIVO cards that also sported S-Video, DVI, and VGA, such as the all-in-one like the Gainward GeForce4 TI4600 PowerPack! Ultra/750 XP TV/VIVO Golden Sample 128MB yes that was the real name as printed in catalogs and price listings. My original card blew up, but I was quick to purchase another one and a spare. That back in 2009'ish. Saw one move in 2014 at over $400-$450. Haven't seen them since. Another example of best and last of the breed in video cards was a TNT2. Going by a more reasonable name of ASUS AGP-V3800 Deluxe. So..Anyways.. To me a real legacy board must offer 2x ISA slots, 1x parallel, 2x serial, 2x Floppy, and 2x IDE connectors at the minimum.
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