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About ballyalley

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  1. Upon reading your recommendation, I gave "Hopper" a try this afternoon. "Hopper" is the main game for the November 1982 issue of SoftSide. I can see why. It's fun. Here's the cover of the magazine: I stitched together pages 28 and 29 to show more of the B&W illustration that was made for the game. You can read the complete issue of SoftWide here: https://archive.org/details/softside-magazine-50/mode/2up I played "Hopper" on my real NTSC 600XL with 64K RAM. I loaded the game from my SIO2SD. I checked the BASIC program, and this appears to be the version for the GTIA (a quick look showed that the CTIA changes from the magazine were not made). It looks much better when the color artifacting is seen on a real CRT TV compared to seeing the game run under emulation. Here's a screenshot of the game playing on read hardware (it looks much "blockier" without the fuzziness introduced my composite video; also, the game is in B&W without "artifacting" turned on under Altirra): I played the game about eight times. I managed to reach level three with a high score of 10,920 Here's the high score page: Does anyone want to battle it out for the high score? Trust me, my score is a pushover. Are there any other memories of the games on this most recently uploaded SoftSide disk? Adam
  2. I used SmartDOS 6.1D with my SIO2USB and APE to dump more SoftSide programs. These programs are from the Albuquerque Atari Computer Enthusiasts disk library. This is AACE Disk #091A and B - "SoftSide Games." A picture of the disk, side A: A picture of the disk, side B: Here's what we've got according to the menus (there are some misspellings here, I think): Side A: 1) Baseball Game - Aug 80 2) Stratoblaster Outpost - Aug 80 3) Checker Challenge - Move to other Side 4) Code Master - Mastermind Game 5) Double Canon - Two Players 6) Engineer - Build Bridge Game 6) Flags of World - Mar 81 8) Masters Golf Game - 1 to 4 Players - Aug 80 9) Meteor Storm 10) Number Battle - Mar 81 11) Octadraw with Joystick - Oct 80 12) Speedello - An Othello Game - Dec 80 13) Computer Sleuth - Word Game - Sep 80 14) Space Dodge Game - Dec 80 15) States - Guess State's Capitols - Dec 80 Side B: 1) Convoy - Text Adventure Game 2) Dairy Farm Simulation 3) Number Race 4) Trivia - A Text Game 5) Shooting Star - Shoot-em-Up Game 6) Boing - A Bouncing Game - Nov 80 7) Hopper - A Frogger Type Game 8) Quest - A Text Adventure Game Screenshots from Altirra: Menu - Side A Menu - Side B Screenshots from a few of the games: Baseball: Checkers: Hopper: Speedello: Master Golf: Here is the disk image for side A: AACE Disk 091A - SoftSide Games.ATR Here is the disk image for side B: AACE Disk 091B - SoftSide Games.ATR Hopper looks pretty good; does anyone have any memories of playing these games? Adam
  3. I'm not overly familiar with SoftSide magazine's games. I have played a few over the years, but it seems that many of the type-in programs are adventure games. I don't think I've ever tried playing one of theirs, other than loading a couple of them up over these last few days while checking that my disk dumps are okay. The games appear to use two-word parsers, which is just fine by me, as my first experience with a text adventure game was in about 1984 on the Commodore 64 playing a PD game called "Adventure" (unrelated to the famous game from the 1970s). Revisiting the "simpler" time of the two-word parser might be a fun experience. I put "simpler" in quotes because, often, these simple games were overly tough, had unfair puzzles, strange logic and flaws that are hard to get past now. Still, it could be enjoyable to light a torch and walk into some castle or dungeon with the full understanding that I just might get frustrated with the weird encounters that I'll across in these lines of BASIC code. Adam
  4. I figured that it couldn't hurt to place the first disk that I copied to an ATR file here. I used APE with my SIO2USB and a 64K 600XL running SmartDOS 6.1D. If some of the other disks are needed, then I'll have time to copy some more of them next week after the Memorial Day holiday. This is the disk for the August 1991 issue of Atari Interface magazine. The magazine can be read here: https://archive.org/details/atari_interface_aug91 Here is a scan of this two-sided disk: Here are the two ATR images: Atari_Interface_Disk_1991_08_Aug_Side_1.ATR Atari_Interface_Disk_1991_08_Aug_Side_2.ATR Here are the files on each side of the disk: Atari_Interface_Disk_1991_08_Aug_Side_1.ATR BRIKBAT DCM 293 GLYPH ARC 252 WARPZONEARC 099 AIMDISK TXT 021 SOURCES TXT 038 005 FREE SECTORS Atari_Interface_Disk_1991_08_Aug_Side_2.ATR EXTENDEDARC 327 INFOMINDARC 316 MYDOS80 ARC 054 011 FREE SECTORS Here are the contents of AIMDISK.TXT from side one of the disk. This is formatted for 40-colums just like it is in the disk. The 80-column mode for MyDOS looks neat. So does the extended BASIC. Has anyone tried any of these programs before now? Enjoy! Each AIM 8-bit Disk of the Month is a single-sided, single-density "flippy" packed with software. To extract files in the ARC format, you need the UNARC.COM utility and to decompress files with a DCM extension, you need DISKCOM3.UTL (available from most BBSes, user groups or on the April/May '91 AIM 8-bit Disk). Here's a short description of the files on the August '91 disk. For more complete documentation, see the text files contained within most of the ARChives. -- Side 1 -- BRIKBAT.DCM -- A 2-player combat game where you control a Breakout-type paddle to volley the ball and knock out bricks. But, there's a twist -- you also get nifty items like a laser gun, etc to fire upon your oponent. Adds a whole new dimension to the old Breakout style game. Excellent playability and good graphics. Diskcomm'ed boot disk. Shareware. GLYPH.ARC -- A font editor and utilities package. This ARC includes Glyph (the font editor), Rosetta (a conversion utility), documentation and a number of fonts. Shareware. SOURCES.TXT -- Names and addresses of companies and US magazines still supporting the Atari 8-bit. If you know of others, let us know and we'll update this list periodically. WARPZONE.ARC -- PD "demo" release of a game written for the Atari some 7 years ago. In WARPZONE, you blast the aliens while collecting all the crystals from the various sectors in each level. Complete game available for a Shareware contribution to the author. -- Side 2 -- EXTENDED.ARC -- Extended Atari BASIC adds DOS commands, line renumbering, automatic line numbering, joystick cursor control, clock, function keys, and many other commands and functions to Atari BASIC. Runs on XL/XE's with at least 64K RAM and built-in BASIC. Works well with DOS 2.5 and MyDOS, but doesn't work with SpartaDOS. Docs and three sample programs included. INFOMIND.ARC -- INFO MINDER is a new full-screen database program for all Atari 8-bit machines. Written in Atari BASIC, user customizing options, easy data entry and more. Very easy to use and flexible enough for almost any purpose. UNARCs to 662 sectors, so be sure to use an empty disk (no DOS) to UNARC. MYDOS80.ARC -- An 80-column menu for MYDOS 4.5. Works with any 80-column driver, but the README file in this ARC is for the XEP80. This replaces the DUP.SYS of MYDOS 4.5. Readers can purchase this disk from their local AIM participating user group or by sending $6 ($5 + $1 S/H) to Unicorn Publications, 3487 Braeburn Circle, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Please specify the August '91 disk when ordering.
  5. I think I'm the one who sent of those disks to Allan to be archived. I got the following Atari Interface disks a few days ago: 1991 - Aug - Uploaded to this thread on May 28, 2021 1991 - Sept. 1991 - Oct. 1991 - Nov. 1991 - Dec. 1992 - June 1992 - Sept. 1992 - Oct. 1992 - Dec I don't think these have been archived yet... or have they? Adam
  6. Sure; I've always had a "soft spot" (ugh!) for SoftSide magazine. I think it's because in the early-to-mid 1990s, when I began collecting Atari 8-bit hardware, I picked up an issue of SoftSide with some Atari programs in it. I continued to look for other issues of this magazine, but it was elusive and not easy to find like Antic or Analog (at least for me). I've dumped four more SoftSide disks, but I've not posted them here yet. These aren't original disks. These four disks are compilations of SoftSide programs from AACE (Albuquerque Atari Computer Enthusiasts). Today, I've been dumping these using my Indus GT drive with APE under Windows 7. These have all dumped perfectly. Seven of the eight sides of the disks have programs. The eighth side is formatted, but it's only has a menu; no programs are one it. Adam
  7. Yup, I agree with Michael; the boxes are listed in reverse order. If you own those boxes I would LOVE a hi-res scan of that Bally Arcade box from 1978. Adam
  8. Seebrees Computing, Tim Hays, originally wrote his BASIC software on the Bally Arcade/Astrocade in 1978/1979. "Trench" was released for the Bally Arcade first as "Down the Trench." Most of the programs that Seebrees Computing released for the Bally Arcade are here: https://ballyalley.com/program_downloads/300_baud_programs/Sebrees_Computing/Sebrees_Computing.html Back in February 2017, we played "Down the Trench" for teh Astrocade High Score Club: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/262779-hsc02-round-2-star-battle-down-the-trench/ I would like to see Tim Hays interviewed, as I think he wrote the first 3D program on the Atari in 1980. I read this in a 1980 issue of Byte, I think. I tried to track him down with no luck. Okay, back to the topic of SoftSide. Adam
  9. I dumped a couple of more disks with SoftSide programs last night. I discovered that using SmartDOS 6.1D is great for archiving programs, but it's not ideal for running all programs (MyDOS has this issue too). I decided to use Atari DOS 2.0s today to see if I could avoid some problems I was having with the SoftSide menu system, called COVER, on the disks. I've determined that the menu requires Atari DOS 2.0s. Well, maybe it doesn't require it, but it works with it. Using Atari DOS gets rid of the corrupt player/missile graphics on the meny. Also, the menu program presumes that the disk is in Drive 1. Once I used Atari DOS and loaded the SoftSide COVER menu from D1:, then the original disks (from what I've tested so far), run as expected. Adam
  10. I used ProSystem for Windows with my SIO2USB again to dump SoftSide #36. This one is double-sided and Side 2 is, again, weird. Since it's FigForth, maybe it's not a regular DOS format? Both sides had read errors. Here's what we've got: Screenshots from Altirra: Here is disk side 1: Here is the disk image and log: SoftSide_Issue_036_Atari_Disk_Side_01-ProSystem_Dump.ATR SoftSide_Issue_036_Atari_Disk_Side_01-ProSystem_Dump.LOG Here is the disk image, ATR and log: SoftSide_Issue_036_Atari_Disk_Side_02-ProSystem_Dump.ATR SoftSide_Issue_036_Atari_Disk_Side_02-ProSystem_Dump.LOG Rather than wait for feedback on these not 100% perfect dumps, I figured that I'd dump this last SoftSide disk that I have, as who know when I'll hook up my dumping hardware again. I did play Munchkin Attack; it's simple but not too bad. Adam
  11. I used ProSystem for Windows with my SIO2USB again to dump SoftSide #34. This one is double-sided and Side 2 is weird. Maybe it's not a regular DOS format? Both sides had read errors. Here's what we've got: Screenshot from Altirra: I tried load load Player and I get a SYNTAX error. Here is disk side 1: Here is the disk image and log: SoftSide_Issue_034_Atari_Disk_Side_01-ProSystem_Dump.ATR SoftSide_Issue_034_Atari_Disk_Side_01-ProSystem_Dump.LOG Here is side 2 and the log: SoftSide_Issue_034_Atari_Disk_Side_02-ProSystem_Dump.ATR SoftSide_Issue_034_Atari_Disk_Side_02-ProSystem_Dump.LOG I'd appreciate if anyone can look at this and let me know if these disks are usable. For all I know, they may be dumped somewhere already, but I have not spotted them. I have also have SoftSide Issue #36. I'll try to dump that disk too, but first I'd like to know if anyone has any luck with these two sides of Issue 34. Oh, and if anyone can get these disks to work, then it would be neat to see a video of the music playing. Adam
  12. I got some Atari disks a couple of days ago from a large collection. Most are just pirate software, but a few were originals. I pulled an original disk out at random. It's SoftSide, Issue #37. I dumped the file to an ATR using Prosystem with my USB2PC and a standard 1050 under Windows 7. SoftSide_Issue_037_Atari_Disk_Side_01.ATR This disk doesn't contain DOS. I tried the BASIC "Car Race" game and it works okay. The menu, called "COVER," works and runs, but it might have corrupt graphics, but I'm not sure. The LOG file from ProSystem said: [Drive 1] 1 Side(s), 40 Tracks, 18 SPT, 128 BPS [Drive 1] Operation Complete No errors were reported. I did notice that the contents of the disk don't match the same issue of SoftSide magazine I found on Archive.org. A friend stopped by today and I gave him all of the disks and disk boxes, except for the few originals and some disks from software libraries. Allan, if you're reading this, then send me an email and maybe you can tell me who to send these disks off to to get dumped. Adam
  13. I searched the forums here and used various search engines but I couldn't find an answer to this question: Are there any VCS games that are unplayable on a B&W TV unless the B&W/Color switch is set to the B&W setting? I used to play my Atari 2600 using a 13" B&W TV in the early 1980s and I don't recall ever needing to use this switch. I know it works, as it was always fun to try some of the color games in B&W on a color TV set-- but that obviously wasn't its intended purpose. I plan to bring inside a small 5" portable B&W TV from the 1970s/1980s this weekend just to experiment with various games using this switch. Does anyone have any recommended Atari 2600 games that look weird on a B&W TV or that are just not playable unless the switch is used? Adam
  14. I think of them as one and the same-- though Michael is right about the name. Michael, have you ever tried your device? It would be great to get a picture of your Ballycheck's PCB. In my April 26, 2021 video called "Bally Arcade Astrocade Collection Part 14 Fabris Box 1, Part 9," I cover the BalCheck. There is a letter, dated December 15, 1982, from Richard Belton of RGB electronics. He discusses BalCheck ROM revisions. Also, in another letter, dated May 15, 1983, he lists the cost that he charges to repair a Bally Arcade console. He says that he has fixed over 200 Bally Arcade systems using his BalCheck unit and has had only one return, which was for an RF modulator that broke. That video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QOGQR37OdU It's neat to see that BalCheck on Ebay, even if it's listed at $500. I don't think I've ever seen another one come up before over the last twenty years. Adam
  15. Those were both part of the Bob Fabris Collection. There is more information about BalCheck, here: https://ballyalley.com/documentation/BallyCheck/BallyCheck.html https://ballyalley.com/pics/hardware_pics/BallyCheck/BallyCheck.html I think that Allen uses BalCheck to help diagnose broken Astrocade motherboards to this day. Adam
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