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potatohead

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potatohead last won the day on April 26 2013

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About potatohead

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    Portland, Oregon
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    If it has bits, I'm up for it!

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  1. This was a cool talk. Thanks for mentioning it. Man, the 6502 really took the wind out of Moto's sails, didn't it?
  2. potatohead

    potatohead

  3. This is a hack, but you can try a TV or PVM that will accept S-video. Connect the signal line, (inner wire), to both S-video chroma and Luma inputs. Dial back the color saturation and it may work well for you.
  4. I want more room. Son is not leaving the house, got girl, kid, ugh. A lot of my retro stuff is boxed. I cycle through, but just want to set it all and play, code more. Recently, I got my Tandy model 100 going. It's cool and portable. Have 64 column driver for it, assembler. I want a RAM expansion for it. Maybe get INFOCOM games running. But for now, I have been writing some 8085 assembly. It is a weird chip. Has a few 16 bit undocumented instructions though. Just enough to make things easier. The bitmap LCD is crazy! I am learning how to write to it, maybe make a sprite engine to attempt a simple, not BASIC game. In that room, I want ethernet and serial to TCP devices for a couple machines. Set up scope, solder station, build some retro stuff. Soon... Oh, I got a GS. My Atari and Apple machines see the most use at present. Want keyboard and mouse to run the GS. One want I did get recently is a great SONY PVM. CRT porn! I love that thing. Renders pretty much anything great, even plain old composite. Should have done that much sooner. If you love CRTs, get one now is the time.
  5. You definitely want the CFFA. It delivers a great, faster experience and reliability compared to floppies. I keep a few, and write a floppy for testing, or an original experience. The VGA adapter can be an option. I would get one while the getting is good, but a PVM CRT is a great, and I would argue, superior alternative. If the Apple is your only system, go VGA adapter. If not, the PVM will look amazing, and will work for whatever you got. Those things have insane great circuits, able to display 80 column text off composite. They also have VGA type fine shadow masks. That is the major difference, IMHO. Monochrome is monochrome up through and a bit past the DHGR the //e is capable of. Many have a switch just for that purpose. Get the Mockingboard. I need one myself. Don't know about the speech option. I don't want one, though maybe... I write some, smaller code on the machine. For anything bigger, emulation and a PC like setup is way easier. On mine, I have a USB extension cable run out so I can plug a thumb drive in. Write disk image, plug in, boot. It is super easy.
  6. Thom, Please continue. I am very interested and see that gap clearly. If you ask me, it will take time for others to see it. Networked retro systems are just one notch harder on the accessibility scale, and that tends to weed out a lot of people. At least first time around. I personally need a bit of time before getting in to this. Got a full house, and no room to play. This will pass. Cannot wait. One thought I had was to make terminals for microcontrollers, or at least one. Doing that might expand the potential audience. The resources and video capability needed is within reach of some of the chips. I want to do that, in addition to participating on my Apple. Maybe involving the Rapberry PI would garner some attention too. The cross platform mature of this thing has a lot of potential. I mention these other ideas with the intent of getting some critical mass barrier crossed, in terms of community. Maybe bad ideas. Take them as just thoughts aimed at some growth. Keep at it. I will bet more people get into it as things get easier to do.
  7. If I'm on a color TV, NTSC, I prefer amber, or maybe green. Those displays have artifacts and fringes that can make it hard to see the pixels. Black and white graphics maximize those. And, unless all that is intended, the resulting display is a mess. If I'm on a monochrome monitor, or high bandwidth TV type display, like a PVM, I like just black and white. The monochrome, is sans color. Pixel art and all that tends to come across much better, as does presentation of text on a page, like some better word processors do. Today, I have an amber monochrome display. I really like it, but would prefer it be black and white. But, I like it better than green. I also have a PVM, some Sony model or other, and have to say I should have got one much sooner. Those things are amazing! Plain old composite is way better than one would expect. If it's a better signal, s-video, or component / RGB, the thing is pixel perfect.
  8. I love this program. You turned me onto it years ago. Thanks!
  9. I have the CFFA 3000, and boot from USB all the time. Is it possible to just boot with a disk image via USB drive and use that to deal with the CF card? Honestly, I've never even used a CF card! I saw the ability to use USB drives, added a little extension cable, and just work that way. It's too easy to drop disk images on the USB, potentially make them or edit them with ciderpress, and just move the USB drive between PC and Apple.
  10. You know, I learned a ton the same way. An Apple was, and I would argue, still is a great introduction to what computing is. The CFFA makes it for me. I can actually write, create graphics, and get both into modern environments super easy.
  11. Sure, it's a great monitor. The ones I talked about here are just better. Mine requires NO button. Can just render the text, artifact colors, etc... totally reasonably, and off the composite.
  12. For a monitor, you should keep an eye out for one of the pro grade monitors. http://www.tested.com/tech/gaming/456719-best-crt-retro-games/ I'll have to take some photos of what Apple video looks like one of these days. Unlike most, if not all, other computers of this era, the Apple 8 bit computers used artifact color. On consumer grade gear, this ends up looking very distinctive, but it can be difficult to read text and or enjoy color graphics on the same screen. Many people got two screens, one monochrome, one color or a TV to get it all done in a useful way. These PVM devices can do both! On a side note, the article I linked shows the good and bad of such a great display. Most things will be pixel perfect, even on a composite signal output. I like the look, because I like to see the pixels, but for some the lack of smudge sort of degrades the experience. But, the Apple 2 color also has a texture to it, because of the artifacting, that really adds to the overall experience. This texture is best seen on a display with high bandwidth. These monitors have great circuits that can pick out the image from the messy composite signal. They also have computer grade CRT masks. The color dots are much smaller, which prevents fringing and blurry text. 80 column text is easy to read, and the monitor can be adjusted for bright color without too much fringing on text, best of both worlds when playing RPG games, for example. Many models feature RGB inputs, which can work with a GS directly. Mine is flat out awesome. The GS on composite is dubious on most displays. These PVM displays actually make composite on a GS usable. But, the RGB is pixel perfect, not much different, if not better than the original monitor. In short, any 80 column capable computer from this time period will rock hard on one of these displays, and you get the niceness of a CRT, probably the best CRTs available, for a song these days. I've used mine with a few different systems, Apple, Atari CoCo 3, and it's nice. If you watch, these can be scored for a couple hundred bucks. Worth it.
  13. For me //e Platinum is my favorite. It's the very best old school experience. And, it has the classic Apple form factor. I use mine regularly to play games, and for writing. Doing that feels awesome. The feel, limited software just takes me back and the words flow. I have a GS but it sees less use. I would get one in a pinch though. It can deliver the better experiences just fine.
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