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Everything posted by Geister

  1. My first 400 got the all brown keyboard. The 400 I bought last year has the multi-colored keycaps which was what I had hoped to get from InHome. I remember the keycaps coming on a separate piece of cardboard with a gummy layer that held the keycaps in place. It made typing in magazine listings bearable as the membrane keyboard left my fingertips nearly bleeding. I later got an 800 when Sears got rid of its demonstrator (when the 1200XLs came out). That demo unit got a lot of abuse but the keyboard held up great.
  2. I'm pretty sure Antic had a listing printer that did that and included the ability to print it in such a way that you could cut and fold the print-out into a disk sleeve.
  3. That's an amazing set of upgrades. Although with those LEDs around the base it should either play "Low Rider" or the theme from the X-files on start-up.
  4. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
  5. It was aimed at kids with their grubby sticky fingers and spilled drinks.
  6. The SAM (Software Automated Mouth) software was available for the Atari 8-bit computers. If there was any other software (or hardware like the TI had) I don't remember it. I'm afraid your talking PCs are going to sound like twin sons of different mothers.
  7. Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of. Any help for our topic starter?
  8. I think I know the game you mean but I can't think of the name of it. Did the maze have green walls instead of blue and was there a candy theme to the game. Sorry my old brain is blowing it on the name.
  9. 5200s have all the same chips, but the chance of finding socketed chips is much lower on the 5200.
  10. I was watching Jan Beta's SepTandy video and later LGR's. I've started posting the comment that I'm looking forward to their Octari videos. Most of these channels have done at least one Atari video but seem to then never get them out again. If they are worried that TRS80's aren't getting enough love then maybe we can get them to think about a regular month for focusing on the Atari. Most of these channels give the Commodores a lot of views, which is understandable since finding a broken C64 to fix is no big stretch. Finding a broken Atari (unless you find one sitting in a pool of water) is much more difficult.
  11. I worked at sears when they sold Atari and TI. Nearly everything I typed into the TI produced an error message. The Atari 800 in Memopad mode was much more approachable, and less likely to have a cartridge stolen out of it. When the XLs hit the display stands we got more cheeky kids writing clever little programs that displayed foul language on the screen eternally. I used to leave a little program that cleared the screen until somebody pressed a key and then it printed "How about a nice game of global thermonuclear war? If they pressed another key it started a countdown with a random background color change. When I got my 400, and later, the programmer kit, I didn't quite type a magazine listing into memo pad, but I did type one in and hit the break key at the end of every line. I didn't realize that break and return did something different since they both moved the cursor to the beginning of the next line. Boy did I feel stupid when I finally RTFM'd
  12. That's pretty cool, but an idea well ahead of it's time. I remember thinking at the time, "who's going to use a $1000. computer to operate a few lights." Today's Arduinos and RaspberryPies are a much easier cost to justify.
  13. How long does it typically take to brighten the case using just the sunlight method? I have a 1200XL that has yellowing on the case, but the key cap lettering is yellowed too. I've seen a couple videos on youtube where the key caps got ruined from the hydrogen peroxide streaking the key caps. I'd like to brighten the system, but not use anything that would mottle the brown key caps or case sections. I've put the entire computer out in bright sunlight and rotated the unit every couple hours (I also have to move it around because of trees on the property throwing shadows as the sun moves through the day) for the last day or two and I feel like the yellow is fading, just not very fast!
  14. Thanks, feeling pretty good right now. The doctors will put an end to that later this week as they have plans...
  15. So far I've tested three of the computers. I tested both 1200XLs first and found both of them working except for much of the keyboard. I then tested the 130XE and found that everything works but the power switch was very sticky. Perhaps not so oddly, I found the same problem with my current 130XE, so maybe the switches were low quality parts from Tramiel's cost cutting. I haven't ever noticed this problem on any of the XL series computers. The last computer yet to test is the 400 with the B-Key keyboard. I expect it will work fine as my original 400 (w/ a B-Key keyboard) worked fine after years in storage at my sister's place (hot storage space too). I've yet to try the accessories like the 1050 and the 410. There's also a bunch of joysticks to go through including a Wico bat handle. Shame there wasn't a TAC II in there. I went through the books and in addition to the Mapping the Atari, there's an original Atari Basic manual and Reference guide, and an Assembler Editor Manual (no cartridge). There's also an original De Re Atari book, and an Analog Compendium. Nice stuff! Lastly, I have yet to try the Theremin, but I did find a one liner that should get some sound out of it if it still works at all. Any suggestions on fixing the 1200XL keyboards? Instructions for the resistor fix would be nice or a recommendation to just get the new mylars if that's a longer lasting fix.
  16. I remember it from these guys... Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!
  17. I started with the 400. Upgraded to 48k and a B-Key keyboard. Upgraded to an 800. Later picked up an 800XL and "Rambo'd" it. Finally ended up with a 130XE and did the 320K upgrade. This was my favorite machine because I just liked how it all looked together with the MIO and adapter board hanging off the back with an R-Time8 cart. With a 20 meg hard drive in a nice gray case sitting on top of the MIO it all looked integrated and felt like a match for any DOS box of the time. Yes, the 800XL and 800 had better keyboards and the 400 was my "first". But the 130XE was where it all came together. Power without the price? Hell yeah!
  18. The ad I was referring to was the seller's ad. He told me that he built it using information from one of the magazine article and that he thought the software was in the disk collection he gave me. I'm guessing that the software fed into the two analog lines and directly controlled the pokey chip. The box for the device doesn't have antennas, but has two pairs of silver buttons that the owner said were capacitive discharge devices. There is only one joystick plug so it can't be very complex.
  19. Wow! What a beautiful and talented lady. That was from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly wasn't it? I didn't know there was a Theremin for the Atari until I saw the ad. Thanks everyone for the well wishes. And Doctor, I hope to find a lot of the past in those disks. Maybe you'll get another shot at your BBS with this new network interface under development?
  20. After 6 episodes of chemotherapy, the worst I felt was last week catching a UTI. If I wasn't almost dead, I was wishing I was! But the day before that started I drove to Easton, PA to see a man about an Atari 1200XL. I first saw the ad a couple weeks before on Craigslist and tried hard to ignore it. I was a single 1200XL, a 1050 disk drive, a 410 program recorder, a half-dozen joysticks, and a theremin(?). Of course, there was case of tapes, a few cartridges, and shoe-boxes full of disks. I thought the $250 asking price was high and that may have been why the ad stayed on Craigslist for weeks. Then I noticed a line of text at the bottom of the ad that said "some club disks". That caught my attention as I was the librarian for the local computer club at one time and though maybe those are disks I put together for ABES ACES back in the day. Suddenly I was interested, so I called the person and he was an ABES ACES member an thought that some of the disks were club disks. Perhaps not wisely, I told the seller I would be over to buy the system and would pay his asking price; it's amazing what a little personal "skin in the game" will prompt a grown man to do. The owner went on to tell me that the 1200XL had in fact been a prize in the club's 50-50 drawings and I remembered that event because I'd dropped $10 in the pot in hopes of winning that computer. Now I wanted that computer. When I got to the man's house and was ushered into the living room I noticed a stack of Atari computers to one side of the pile of stuff I was buying. I joked that he must be getting ready to post some more adds. He said "no, these are for you. I was rummaging around upstairs and found these too. You can have them." I was in shock, and my legs were wobbly (it may have been the onset of the UTI) but I started shoveling things into the van as quickly as I could. The three additional computers were a second 1200XL, a 130XE, and a 400 with a B-Key keyboard (maybe a ram upgrade). I immediately got sick the next day so I didn't do anything but haul the pile down to the basement that night. As I waited to get back to normal all I could do was mentally tally everything and came to the realization that I now had two of every computer except my single 600XL. There are two 400's with B-Key keyboards, two 800XL's, two 1200XL's, two 130XE's, two 410 program recorders, a pile of disk drives, and a Theremin(?). I don't even know what works and what doesn't. I also got a stack of ANTIC and Analog magazines, plus a few SoftSide mags and a couple books, the most notable are Mapping the Atari, and The ANALOG Compendium. Once I'm fully back on my feet, I'll start testing all the computers, and fix anything that broken. I'll probably start selling the duplicates along. I haven't had much luck with old disks so I'm thinking maybe passing them along to someone that has experience archiving disks and see if anything can be recovered for the community. The same goes for the tapes as I haven't managed to get my 410 working yet and I don't expect the new 410 will be in much better shape. I know that the books and magazines have long been saved and curated so no worries there, but it's nice to have something to hold in the hand again as I tire of reading on screen after a while. If I learned anything this week, it's that UTI's really suck, and that Atari's are still amazing. And...sometimes paying the asking price for something pays dividends.
  21. My first computer was an Atari 400 that I upgraded to 48K of memory and installed an InHome B-Key keyboard. My first "useful" program was a utility to transfer tape programs to disk after I got an 810 drive. It worked OK for single stage loading programs but was useless on multistage files. I was already working in a "career" as Ford line mechanic at a local dealership, but when I joined the local Atari club I met a guy who knew a guy and that turned into a 25 year career at a local Industrial Gases company. I wrote plant and laboratory control software in Pascal, Intel PLM, and PLC ladder logic. I wrote Quality Control software in Visual Basic 6.0 and several business applications in Visual Studio Basic and C#. I ended up doing End-Of-Life support for many of the applications I wrote until the whole department was outsourced to IBM India in 2010. Since then, I've worked for an insurance company doing data transfer apps between legacy systems and modern hardware, worked at a sports car restoration shop, and am now doing document control work for a local medical company. I hardly do any programming these days so I started getting back into Atari because modern computers are too difficult to work with anymore. I was lucky to get my old 400 last year and delighted that everything still works (except the 410, working on that). I've since started accumulating more Atari systems and may need an intervention at some point.
  22. If you had the motherboard out and were flexing it, you may have moved chips in their sockets. Try removing and re-socketing the chips with a bit of DeOxit or tuner cleaner. It may start booting again. Check all parts that were de-socketed during the installation for pins that folded under or missed the socket. I had this problem bringing a 600XL back to life. I had pins on the new pokey that missed the socket entirely. If you had to de-solder anything to install the UAV, check all traces to the de-soldered part for continuity.
  23. I think you need to have a little humor to get through times like this. I don't see this game as offensive as it thumbs it's nose at the situation a bit. I'm currently building a Retropie system for my daughter and son-in-law since they are both stuck at home and like the rest of us are going nuts. I don't really have time to put together an custom system so instead I'm downloading a 128GB build with a really nice 8-bit looking theme and a ton of games installed. The name of this build: "The Pandemic Edition". It's not like you are writing a "Custer's Revenge" game. That would be in bad taste.
  24. It's likely the upload wasInsert existing attachment corrupted or Altirra created an ATR that isn't readable. I can load the programs from the ATR on my PC, I'll try to create a fresh ATR and upload it when I get a chance. OK, I tried again with someone else's attempt at creating an ATR. The disk is a DOS 2.5 version with the files saved directly from memory in Altirra. DOS TEST DISK.atr
  25. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally. But who knows after what they've been pumping through my bloodstream recently a little Mr. Clean might be a breeze.
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