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Posts posted by Pengwin

  1. Looks like I have an issue with the usb to serial adapter I was using. It used to be fine (about 10 years ago).

    Final option is another laptop I have kicking around, this one has a serial port. No OS on it at the moment, so I'll probably go the Linux route with that one.


  2. 4 minutes ago, TGB1718 said:

    I still have a very old laptop which originally had Windows 95 on it, now loaded with MSDOS to use with SIO2PC.


    Still works fine (even though the battery is dead) when plugged into mains supply.

    I'm going to try a Win10 laptop first (it has SSD and really fast startup), if that doesn't work, then I'll probably go the linux route


    (Should have also said, it has a touch screen, so will be cool to be able to just touch the disk I want to load.)

  3. After an extended hiatus from the A8 community (about 10 years), I have finally pulled my 800XL, 1050 and some disks from the loft.


    And they still work!!


    Even the disks are (nearly) all ok.


    Unfortunately, I used to use my iMac with SIO2PC, but that has been replaced by my MacBook, which for some reason doesn't want to work with the interface (using RespeQT as SIO2MAC is not 64 bit). SO I am in the process of doing a clean install of Windows on my wife's old laptop to use solely for this purpose.


    I missed my 800XL.

    • Like 9

  4. My first computer was a ZX Spectrum (or rather the households first computer). I don't recall writing anything meaningful on it, apart from listings from magazines.

    The first really useful program I wrote was a simple payroll system, on my 800XL, so that my father knew what to pay me each week.

    My first commercial application was a DTP app for a local cartoonist, written for Windows 3.1 in 1990 (?).

    Still programming for a living, but miss the days of when you had to really think about how to fit what you wanted into memory and how to get the best performance out of things.


    Some of my peers (mostly at least 10 years younger than me) wonder why I spend so much time trying to optimise code and avoiding libraries to keep app sizes down and performance up. I guess it's a hang up of when we had to do everything ourselves.

    • Like 1

  5. Archon is a game that truly shines n the Atari. The animation and character movement are so fast and smooth. Its one of those games that even my NES friends could not deny was a step ahead of what they had on their system.



    I've tried other versions, including the Spectrum and C64, neither are as well polished as the A8 version.

    Even the modern incarnations (Archon Ultra and Archon Conquest (?) on iOS) seem to lose something, which brings me back to the A8 version every time.

  6. I still use the A8, and other 8-bits, because I am in awe of some of the development done back in the 80's.

    It seems to me that programmers today are lazy in comparison.

    Today, if the hardware can't handle the software, then the recommended hardware is updated. Back then, if the hardware didn't support the software, the the software was refactored and optimised to work on the hardware. Some games (Lords of Midnight, Rescue on Fratcalus, Alternate Reality) absolutely blew me away, because I knew that the machines were being pushed harder than before. I remember when Doom 3 came out for PC, and the recommended hardware to run it optimally didn't actually exist at the time!!!


    (Full disclosure, I am a professional programmer, and I am just as lazy as everyone else)

    • Like 2

  7. I remember running into a C64 being by a newsagents to keep track of his accounts and addresses for deliveries. I see no reason an A8 couldn't have done it.. and probably quicker too.

    I also created a program (I refuse to call them 'apps') back in the late 80's to keep track of the hours I worked so I could present a print out to my boss.


    For small businesses, I actually see no reason why the A8 couldn't be used today.

  8. Just like to add my thanks for all that Mark has done for the Mac users in the Atari community. I too still use Atari800MacX, almost on a daily basis. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, I haven't had a chance to use SIO2OSX for quite some time.


    Regarding Kagi, I did read on a dev forum yesterday that they have now gone out of business. Damn shame they failed to honour the cheque.

  9. Does anyone know where I can acquire a copy of the disk image, or even take dump, of Scapeghost by Level 9?

    From my research on the internet, it was released on A8, but I cannot find a copy anywhere

    • Like 1

  10. Dunno if I can list ten, but here goes:

    1. Finally getting an 800XL after wanting one for a couple of years
    2. Seeing the amazing (and I am still amazed by it) robot on the demo disc
    3. Playing Archon for the first time - still one of my favourite games of all time and the Atari version is (IMO) the best
    4. Hearing the music of Alternate Reality:The City when I first got it
    5. Beating Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy after months of playing it
    6. Playing Ghost Chaser, still one of my favourite platform games (along with Mr Wimpy on the Oric Atmos)
    7. Flying across the US in F.S. II, charting the journey on the maps and thinking that I was actually able to make this journey.
    8. Writing my first app for a computer, it was a payroll app for my father
    9. Discovering that programming, thanks to the Atari, was to be my life's passion
    10. Discovering that the Atari community is still alive and strong in the 21st century

    • Like 3
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