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A.J. Franzman

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About A.J. Franzman

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    River Patroller
  • Birthday 01/01/1969

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    Syzygyst
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    Atari 2600 Portable
  1. A.J. Franzman

    A.J. Franzman

  2. Pedantic: Alligators are only found in the Americas. Everywhere else in the world where one finds creatures of approximately similar size, shape and habitat, they are crocodiles. Alligators (real ones) are easy to distinguish by their broad jaws with nearly parallel sides, said to be "U"-shaped, in contrast with crocodiles' narrower, "V"-shaped jaws. Hmm, this description sounds a bit like something else we see a lot around here... Regardless of whether they're alligators or crocodiles: since they are aquatic, why do they even need to be on the Ark? One of the animal types that Noah feeds looks like a duck or goose -- a waterfowl. Same question!
  3. Apologies for continuing this OT bit of conversation: Tank 8, anyone? Speaking of which, does anyone here even know the game? Ever played it? (MAME doesn't count!) Are any survivors or restored examples in existence and playable? I saw it and played it in the fabulous arcade in Avalon on Santa Catalina island (California) sometime circa 1980 give or take a year or two.
  4. Here's what I have. It's a work-in-progress, subject to change -- most notably, the folders under "By Brand" are likely to change, as I don't intend to have a folder for any brand with less than about 10 games. My directory system uses several abbreviations mostly made of 3 capital letters. For example, "PRO" = "prototype"; "CTL" = "control(ler/s)", etc. There are many more such abbreviations not seen here, which I use in the filenames. Names in [brackets] are folders which contain one or more sub-folders. Names without brackets are folders which contain only program binaries. Folders which contain sub-folders do not also contain "loose" binaries; any given Harmony menu screen will be filled with either sub-folders or binaries, never both. The "All Games Main Version" folder (probably equivalent to your "A to Z" folder) will contain only games, and only the best available NTSC version of each. Duplicates of these exact same files will also be found in the "By Brand", "By Number of Players", "By Controller Type", "By Genre", "Homebrews" and "Playable PROs & WIPs" folders where appropriate. The "Less-Complete PROs" folder (in the "Alternates" folder) will contain earlier versions of prototypes found in the "Playable PROs & WIPs" folder. The remaining folders should be self-explanatory. [All Games Main Version] [by Brand] 20th Century Fox Activision Apollo Atari Bit Corporation CBS Electronics CCE Coleco CommaVid Data Age Ebivision HES Home Vision Imagic Junkosoft Mattel Mystique-PlayAround Parker Brothers Quelle Sega Self-Published Spectravideo Starpath Suntek Telegames Telesys Tigervision U.S. Games Xonox Xype Zellers Zimag-Emag-Vidco [by Number of Players] 0 1 2 Only, Simultaneous 2 or more Alternating 2 or more Simultaneous 3 or more Simultaneous [by Controller Type] Joystick Paddle Driving Keyboard-VTP-Kids' Multi Litegun-Mindlink-Other [by Genre] Adult Adventure Arcade Board + Card Children's+Educational Horror Martial Arts Maze Media Tie-in Puzzle Racing-Chase-Motrsport Shoot 'Em Up Simulation Sports [Homebrews] [Playable PROs & WIPs] [Modern Hacks] [by Hacked Game] (Folder per Original Game Name) Accurized Ports PAL to NTSC Conversion CTL Type or Port Graphics + Play Play Only Graphics Only Palette Select Bankswitch Conversion (Including Supercharger) NTSC to PAL Conversion [Non-Games] [Demos, Bad PROs & WIPs] Demoscene Images Music & Audio Kernel & GFX Demos Unplayable PROs & WIPs [PAL Only] [Alternates] [Vintage Pirate Hacks] [by Hacked Game] (Folder per Original Game Name) PAL to NTSC Conversion CTL Type or Port Graphics + Play Play Only Graphics Only Logo Chnge-Remove Only NTSC to PAL Conversion Alternate ROM Versions Less-Complete PROs Multicarts PAL & SECAM Versions [Harmony Incompatible] Over 32 KB Other
  5. It's fairly common for CRT TVs to have some tilt or skew to the image, though this can be largely corrected by a competent TV repairperson. It's also very common for the image to widen where it gets brighter and get narrower where it's dark on a CRT; this is why the left edge of the Enduro screen has that step where the sky meets the grass. It may be possible for something like a capacitor kit to improve this flaw, but in most CRT TVs it can never be completely eliminated.
  6. Re- Questions #2 and #3: RF < Composite < S-video < Component < HDMI . . (this is a bit of an oversimplification but gives the general idea) Please be careful with your terminology. Component video and composite video are very different things. Component video is two steps in quality above composite video. All of the mods I've ever seen on AA or elsewhere online have been composite video, or S-video (a.k.a. Y/C or Luma/Chroma). At the circuit level, the VCS produces a Luma/Chroma signal, which is the equivalent of S-video (one step above composite video). Thus, this is the highest signal quality that the machine is capable of. That is not to say that a component video or HDMI mod for the VCS isn't possible, merely that it would not provide any picture improvement in the majority of situations. To get any ostensibly higher-quality level output signal type such as component video or HDMI, would require an up-conversion, which is exactly what any television with the appropriate input jack will internally do with an S-video signal anyway. So, unless your TV has crappy circuitry and you use a very high-quality circuit for your up-converting component video or HDMI mod, there will be no visible improvement in quality when doing one of these mods versus an S-video mod. There will, however, be a very significant difference in price -- I estimate that a component video or HDMI mod would cost at least $50 more than an S-video mod, and possibly much more than that, depending on what is used to perform the up-conversion. There are several of us on the forums who are capable of modding a VCS for component or HDMI output but as far as I know, nobody's ever done it, because at this time it would be practically pointless, with no real benefit to justify the increased expense above an S-video mod. Perhaps sometime in the future if NTSC RF, composite video, and S-video inputs all become obsolete and no longer available on a large proportion of televisions, it might become worthwhile for those with significant disposable income to get their consoles modded for component, HDMI, or whatever the next new thing turns out to be. But that time isn't here yet.
  7. From the manual and elsewhere in this forum, the Harmony cartridge generally ignores filename extensions, except the following ones that force a particular bankswitching type: .2K = Atari 2K .4K = Atari 4K (default) .F8 = Atari F8 .F8S = Atari F8 with Superchip .F6 = Atari F6 .F6S = Atari F6 with Superchip .F4 = Atari F4 .F4S = Atari F4 with Superchip .FA = CBS RAM + .FE = Activision FE .3F = Tigervision 3F .3E = 3E (3F with up to 4K RAM) .E0 = Parker Brothers E0 .E7 = M-Network E7 .CV = CommaVid .UA = UA Limited .AR = Arcadia Supercharger .DPC = DPC (Pitfall 2) .084 = 0840 Econobanking There's also one special filename: AUTORUN I don't know if it's case-sensitive (probably not). If a file with this name is in the root directory of the SD card, the Harmony menu will be skipped and whatever game has this name will be run. It will not be exactly the same experience as plugging in an original cartridge with that binary, though; the Harmony spinning logo will briefly appear as the game loads. To make the Harmony appear to behave EXACTLY as an original cartridge, the Harmony must be "flashed" with the game binary (replacing the multicart BIOS) using the programming software. I just hope nobody comes along and makes a VCS game that's actually named "AUTORUN"...
  8. I'm glad you were able to confirm that there is a firmware bug. I just found out that the console I was using may have some issues with certain controller inputs, and I thought that that may have been the reason I was experiencing odd Harmony behavior.
  9. I found what I think is a bug in the NTSC BIOS 1.05 menu, but I find it difficult to believe I'm the first to encounter or report it: When navigating the menu using the console switches (Game Select and Game Reset), pressing Select when the cursor is at the bottom of the screen changes to the next page and resets the cursor to the top of the screen -- but the cursor then instantly jumps to the second position in the list without pausing, no matter how quickly I press the switch. I cannot launch any game that appears at the very top of a page this way. The reason I'm trying to navigate without a controller is, I'm cleaning and repairing some controllers, and using different games and programs for testing. It's a little frustrating when the controller to be tested isn't working right, and the test program I want to load happens to be at the top of a page. Then I have to unplug the bad controller, put in a good one, load the program, then swap the controllers back again.
  10. One thing that strikes me as odd... three non-Atari-collectors allegedly dictated and typed the list in post #81 over a telephone connection, in a span of "2 or 3 hours". Yet there are almost no spelling or punctuation errors in the list. Even "Sneak'n Peek", one of the titles least likely to be typed correctly, is perfect. This is evocative of scenes in Bartleby, the Scrivener! (How's that for an esoteric reference?)
  11. Hmm, should winner list request emails have two commas in the subject line or just one?
  12. Apart from fading and printing variations, another factor that changes the appearance of colors is glue bleed-through (Actiplaque), which may be why the upper E.T. end label in post #180 looks darker. Some Asteroids carts have a copyright screen. IIRC, having the copyright screen is an indication that the ROM is 8k instead of 4k.That is helpful. Thanks. Is the only difference the copyright screen?I don't know about the ROM size -- I think both versions are the same. Anyway, the version without the copyright screen is the original. This change was once mentioned to programmer Brad Stewart, who was surprised by the question, as he had not written the copyright screen code.
  13. Does anybody actually have a Junior that they use with any frequency, that does not have any chips, cracks, scratches, dents or dings anywhere on the casing (including broken bits on the inside, if you ever open it)? IMO, the Jr.'s casing is too thin and fragile and they just don't hold up well. I have one here that's my current "play" unit, but it's a real beater with several small edge chips missing and three major repairs to the case (a crack a couple of inches long, a screw post inside, and the support structure for the Select and Reset switches).
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