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Everything posted by Nickolasgaspar

  1. Can't really disagree with anything you said. I would also agree with your main criterion. "It has to make the fewest concessions with nearly every game type. " I didn't own an Amstrad in my childhood and my opinion is based on how capable the machine looks in Home brew projects. It appears that the Z80 is powerful enough to scroll things around on its own. It is true that C64 games(as I already wrote) reached the limits of the machine during his commercial life...earlier than any other 8bit. Its also true that the Atari's custom chips/architecture were far more advanced and the Z80 is a superior cpu in many ways for the programmers to take full advantage of them(Atari's "embargo" on third party software did really help lol). This is why we never managed to see in full the limits of those machines. Complex hardware and the invasion of 16bit machines in 1985 made things even more difficult. Now even the Speccy has amazing " tech demos" of games producing more inviting end result(graphically) that the good old C64, in limited cased of course). Sure the fluidity in animation by a dedicated hardware can not be matched by those two British machines , but our brains also need color and graph to be trick in the "story". So I guess its all about how ready you are to accept reduced colors and graphics or reduced quality in animation. This is why I believe the Atari 8bit line holds a sweet spot. Many colors, great animation.(and I know that there is some bias in there).
  2. Here is how this picture is supposed to look ( PAL version/all lines). Now the homebrew community has shown that Jay Miner's machine has a superior architecture, rendering the specs you mentioned,in my opinion, almost irrelevant(its an IPC issue). Sure C64 sprites logic is superior since it was newer by some years, but even with that deficit the Atari machine manages to outperform it by using many of its tricks. Software sprites are easily animated by its faster architecture and CPU clock(Albert,RGB, project Abyssus, The extirpator, Calisto,Pang etc)the hardware scrolling and scaling capabilities have allowed games (Yoomp!, Space Harrier,Total Eclipse, Stunt car racer) to appear colorful , display a larger screen and provide higher frame rate. The machine's lower resolution does help of course but at least atari games don't all look the same (C64 Dirty grey look). The POKEY chip can simulate SID's tone and ever produce clearer sound while doing it...but I can understand that sound choice is based on our subjective preference. The fact is that SID can not reproduce POKEY's SFX and dynamic music sounds while the POKEY can't reproduce SID's bass. The C64 was designed to be sold in SM and toy stores so for its price tag the machine was surprisingly good, but we managed to see almost 100% of its capabilities during its commercial life. The Atari 8bit line still surprises us with what the home brew community is delivering. They are both good machines...but I find Miner's work to be superior and for my second choice (if not the first) it will always be the "scrolless" Amstrad 6128 with its limited but amazing color palette, ideal for arcade games and decent sound chip. I just love what I see on the CPC! Even the programmers of the contemporary software houses admitted that they felt writing code for a superior machine when they were working on the CPC. So my classification for the 8bit multimedia micros group is 1.Atari/CPC 2. C64
  3. Here is an Atari 1200XL running C64 Basic & Kernel! The benchmark results are really interesting!
  4. lol....I think you will need a PC for this one.
  5. Enjoy this rare alliance between these two sound chips rivals. ( you can find more Pokey-Sid Music Mix in this channel).
  6. I did the same thing on the PoP thread and now...revived the conversation and now its a bloodbath lol. Fortunately the users here understand that an opinion on this question is subjective and can be affected by practicality of both choices. It is also fair to say that it is reasonable to expect from most people in a forum on retro computers to have access to real hardware and emulation!
  7. Before Covid I would probably agree with you. I was really happy with emulation. But with all those lockdowns I found time and I hooked my old computers on CRTs. 2 Atari 8bits and one Amiga. None of them worked. I had more fun with the process of repairing, upgrading and refurbishing those machines than playing their games on emulation. So it is purely subjective what makes people happy. And then, there was the familiar odor of the plastic case and electronic parts getting hot, the feeling of the keyboard, the sounds of the system, the original crt artifacts....Waiting for your favorite game to load from a cassette after 25+ years. Searching and loading your programs and games you wrote in Basic , loading your music, paintings and primitive animations. Priceless DejaVu. Emulation can be pretty good for a console and from a gaming perspective, because of all those advantages you mentioned and this is why I use emulation daily, but it is really limited when it comes to replicate the experiences you had with your computer.
  8. A ran the following tests. I loaded "pop_DD_fastishmouse_notplayable.atr" demo twice. It loaded without any issues! In both attempts there is only one retry at the same sector ([Disk 1] Read Sector 385 ($181) #7 in track 21 ($15) [x2]) I tried to load "PoP_DD_20210619_bugfix" 6 times. Only one was successful and only after I skipped the loading of the demo! Here are the logs. I inserted spaces at every retry so you can easily spot them. I have details in every file on what were the issues. pop_DD_fastishmouse_notplayable_loading list A.txt pop_DD_fastishmouse_notplayable_loading list B.txt Prince of Persia20210619_bugfix _ A log.txt Prince of Persia20210619_bugfix _ B log.txt Prince of Persia20210619_bugfix _ C log.txt Prince of Persia20210619_bugfix _ D log.txt Prince of Persia20210619_bugfix _ E log.txt Prince of Persia20210619_bugfix _ F log.txt
  9. NO I didn't notice the post of that additional test release. I just downloaded it and I will try it asap. Those reports can be copied as text! What I can do is copy multiple attempts as text so we can compare them. (they will be really long but the [x#] will make the job easy)
  10. So here is a video of the loading process. As you will see at Sector 646 there is a shift in loading speed and level of sound drops dramatically. At Sectors 385, 91, 111, 114, 147, 363 and 364 you can see the attempted retries. Generally I can hear noise and parasites that the screen matches FJC's. Sometimes I get a black screen. Notice that the weird sounds in the background are my finches singing....not my 800xl lol!
  11. You are welcome and it's my pleasure. Only the 610 and 619_bugfix files appear to have this loading issue with my machine. All previous releases work fine.
  12. This is how things are after a couple of long days. I loaded more than ~1000 program/games during a long test of my freshly repaired and memory expanded 800xl ( by the one and only flashjazzcat ). This was part of the feedback I wanted to send to flashjazzcat and tfhh. I ended up with a list of only 30 games/programs that did not load or run. I downloaded and replaced those 30 files with different versions(I replaced some atrs with xexs) found at a couple of sites. That reduced the number of titles not running to just 2! (one game and the other a demogame). 1. PoP_DD_20210619_bugfix.atr / the 610 (the older versions load just fine). 2. Abyssus (an unfinished shoot'em up). I also replaced the serial adapter with a new one in one of my cables which resulted to: a. All files now load without the need of turning off the extra memory or reducing the loading speed in RespeQt/AspeQt(android) for ~20 "sensitive" file.(Maybe it was placebo and just retrying to load the file was enough!) b. Rambrandt-Antic paint finally loads without issues or the need to load the instructions first! C. I managed to load PoP 5 times (1 corrupted) out of numerous attempts.(zero with the previous serial board). So I think that the machine, the memory expansion plus the cable appear to work excellent. I don't know if an xex version of the game is possible just for testing. P.S. Jon I owe you a reply....now that I finished crash testing the Kruger board.
  13. So after many efforts and tests I think its a matter of cable"noise". Even if both home made SIO2PC cables perform excellent with all other files, the problems with this specific file start from this sector: [Disk 1] Read Sector 646 ($286) #16 in track 35 ($23) [Disk 1] Get status: $ff [Disk 1] Speed poll This is where the loading sound drops and failures to read specific sectors begin.(multiple attempt [x2,3,4] ) For some reason I have some random success by enabling non-standard speeds and setting the high speed mode POKEY divisor to 0.(1 success every 10-20 loading attempts...hardly a success) So the fact that the game can load and the errors occure in random convinced me that the memory module or my freddie machine has nothing to do with this. I will start by building a more robust cable with a better serial adaptor and see if that changes anything.
  14. I appreciate for your suggestions! It turned out I had the r4 release of RespeQt...which happens to have the best performance with this file! I slowed down the sio speed ( I only see differences in XEX loading speed). I tried RespeQt r5.2 and 5.3 (I think) but unfortunately the loading process doesn't even reach the first Screen with those two releases! I even made a second sio2pc cable with a new serial board. I only saw an improvement in the loading sound of the game. Now I can hear a really weak loading sound that the previous cable didn't pick up for a weird reason! But again no success. I talked to Jurgen (tfhh)and he suggested to send him any files that displays loading/run issues so he can run some tests on his setup. He sounds really interested in improving his products at every opportunity! The thing is that I have managed to find a way to run every problematic game/demo/prg by doing a different kind of trickery for each one, so I am starting to think that the Freddie chip must play a role here. Does any one else has a Freddie PAL machine with Jurgen's memory expansion?
  15. No worries. Maybe changing the storage medium might solve the issue. But I think that there aren't any read retries, at least they are not registered by RespeQt. The one thing I noticed (new to me) while loading I can see RespeQt reading sectors but without the loading sound(it stops after a while)
  16. yes that is the screen. So you suggest that it's probably an SIO not a memory issue?
  17. Well I only have this memory upgrade on an 800xl(xlf motherboard). My 65xe(also an xlf) has 64k so I can not do any testing on that machine . I load programs through SIO2PC cable (RespeQt) and Sio2Android(AspeQt). The "symptoms" are identical. I did run a memory managing prg that Jurgen sent me and I set the memory to 256k. I did a cold reset with that setting but nothing really changed, the loading process always stops after the first screen titles at a blue screen with a mouse on the lower right corner. I was checking compatibility issues in general and I found out that the Rambrant Antic prg doesn't run (only if I load the disk B/instructions first,do a coldreset with A disk in slot , I get to run the program). There is also a long list of games that I tested and a small number of games like Cyctriks, Bombay2, Darg II, Abyssus, Dark Abyss, Astro-Droid, Avex 1996 don't run with 64,256 or 512 memory setting. I don't really care about it but I find it strange. I guess those " Freddie" boards are a pain....lol If you have any ideas pls feel free to share.
  18. I have this one. I guess I will check with Jurgen (tfhh) if I need to set the memory in a smaller value and somehow invoke a cold reset.
  19. So the size of the memory is not the issue. Maybe it's the type. For some reason it freezes while loading. The two disks version manages to go a bit further but with no success.
  20. anyone else has issues loading this game on real hardware with 512k? Does it need more?
  21. You can do it on Altirra but only by using the CAS image. Let the demo sequence play once (press F1 to skip the whole waiting) and then press RESET. http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-extirpator-_1913.html
  22. I've finished that game ~10 times. The first time was by using a modified standard atari joystick with quick-shot cell fitted on the white plastic stick. I used to leave the music roll until the demo loop . Then by pressing reset I could enjoy the game while listening to the soundtrack(No sound FX). At first I was trying to shoot everything on the screen, but when I read the goal of the game on the tape cover, I understood that it was a "fly through/escape" game and I started avoiding most of the "enemies". Trying to stay alive makes it a much easier game to finish.
  23. The problem with C64 is that due to its small color palette all games look the same (the familiar Dirty Grey style). To be fair all classic 8bit micros have their unique recognizable style (Speccy,CPC,C64). That is not so true about the Atari 8bit line. One of the most common comment under a new Atari home brew game video is "I can not believe that its an 8bit Atari !". The advanced graphical capabilities of the Atari hardware still surprise us even ~30 years after its commercial "death". With "Crownland" for the first time (if I am not wrong) we saw transparencies, in "Druidarium" "Atari blast" and "Tiger Attack" we saw smooth pan scrolling, in Albert we show ~50 colors on screen and huge/fast colorful sprites and in Space Harrier...functional hardware scaling.
  24. Yes Lotharek site has many solutions on upgrades and storage device solutions!
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