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Dr Memory

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Everything posted by Dr Memory

  1. LBACE - Long Beach Atari Computer Enthusiasts Long Beach, CA - I was a member (and the president) for the last few years before the ST came out and for a few years past that. Pretty sure it died off when Atari stopped being carried in stores. We weren't affiliated with a store or anything, just people who loved our Atari computers.
  2. Let me echo this suggestion - try that. Post 11 in this thread. I made that image for just this sort of situation, where one wants to get started with nothing but a stock machine + SIDE 3 + a 2 GB card. I think it will work as is with a 64k machine. If not, I'm having a senior moment. That should let you get up and running with SpartaDOS and a basic APT setup. The other easy thing you could try is to format your card FAT on your PC (or Mac) and fill it with files from one of the popular archives, such as Homesoft. You can locate the Homesoft Collection using google or whatever search engine you prefer. You want only XEX, CAR, and ROM files to start with. Then put the card into SIDE 3 and boot, and you should be able to run those files from the nice SIDE 3 menu. I believe either FAT or FAT32 will work for this, but not exFAT or NTFS. So that's EZ mode. As you have correctly detected, there is a lot to learn for more advanced usage. On the bright side, all the info is out there, and the vast majority of it is freely and legally downloadable.
  3. Ok, I was curious about the source for Turbo Basic XL, so I went looking for the correct issue of Happy Computer. I found a copy on pigwa. Yay! Indeed, the code is there in type-in form. Unfortunately, it isn't source code - more of an ASCII version of a binary dump. So that didn't really work out too well for me. However, a little more searching revealed this: Someone already did the heavy lifting and obtained and released the source, on this very web site. Awesome! So there's your starting point - if you want to use Turbo Basic XL with your ATR8000, it should be very possible to modify the source (or possibly just some constants?) to generate a version that would work with the correct version of MyDos. That sounds easier to me than developing new serial and disk drivers! Still some work, but doable methinks. Hope this helped, and many thanks to those that helped find and release the source. Next time I have free time I'll check it out.
  4. I did a little investigation, to satisfy my own curiosity. Here is what I learned: MyDos 3.18 is indeed the ATR8000 RS232 version. Or at least, one of the three flavors of 3.18 is. BM301318 lets you generate any of those three flavors: STANDARD MYDOS ATR8000 RS232 VERSION KERNEL AND STANDARD MYDOS The ATR8000/RS232 VERSION requires only the correct version of DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS to boot. There is no AUTORUN.SYS type file produced, and the bootable 3.18 version of this flavor contains only DOS and DUP. If you play with it, you can see that it includes the needed code to format 8" drives and such. I've pretty much convinced myself that all the ATR8000 stuff, including the RS232 stuff, is baked in to that version of DUP.SYS. On the BM disk you can see the three versions of DUP, called NEWDUP.A, NEWDUP.B, and NEWDUP.C. If you disassemble them, and search for "232" in each, you will find it is present in NEWDUP.B and is not present in the others. More evidence for the RS232 support being baked into that version. I wasn't curious enough to fully disassemble it, but at least I've confirmed where the ATR8000 and RS232 code lives. The "O" option in the MyDos menu allows you to configure the ATR8000 RS232 port. It doesn't actually DO that in Altirra, of course, but you can see what it's trying to do at least. So if you really wanted to pull that code and try and use it with some other DOS, that's a starting point - disassemble NEWDUP.B, isolate the needed code, and make an AUTORUN out of it (or set it up to be loadable some other way, of course). Note that you'd also have to deal with the needed config stuff if you did that - real RS232 has more moving parts than SIO and I imagine you'd want to be able to configure flow control and such. My BBS actually ran under Basic XL and later Basic XE, using that version of MyDos. I never used Turbo Basic XL but have to think this is probably a conflict with that and MyDos. The usual failure mode for that sort of thing is memory conflicts between the DOS and the program. This version of MyDos worked fine with the Basic XL and Basic XE carts, BTW. So if you just want a better Basic and aren't able to fix the Turbo Basic XL conflict, you might be able to use one of those? No idea if it would work with the cracked file versions though, I had real carts and don't have an ATR8000 to test on at present. The wikipedia page for Turbo Basic XL says that source was released - it was published as a type-in program in Happy Computer magazine (auf Deutsch). Apparently there exist versions that people have modified to be compatible with various DOSes. If it were me, I'd start down that path and see if I could either find a version already made to work with MyDos 3.18 or the source code and go from there. Hope this helped.
  5. I finally got a 1200XL to replace the one I've always regretted selling. It's in great condition, and came with the video and memory already upgraded. No complaints. It's kind of a relief - I can finally stop studying all the Atari auctions every day! Yay! Pricey but what I wanted.
  6. I do not know the answer to your question. The reason I posted is because I'm curious as to why you'd want to use DOS 2.5 with your ATR8000 serial port. Rather than one of the versions of MyDos that directly support it. You don't have to say, but if we knew that maybe we could suggest something? I used MyDos 3.18 with mine in the old days, and it let me use 1.2MB 5.25" drives, a USR modem, and an Epson printer, all through the ATR8000. I also set up my own 80 column driver and some other things for use when I felt like messing with CP/M. I suspect Atari DOS 2.5 is missing a few pieces to allow all that to work, but perhaps you only really need the serial part? I think I vaguely recall getting SmartDOS and one of the other wierd DOSes sort of working way back when, but they each had a little set of limitations. Details of that are lost to time.
  7. It may be that another version that says "ATR8000 RS232 Version" would work, don't know, sorry. If it doesn't, I recommend tracking down the one I suggested as I know that for sure worked on an ATR8000 with 1.2MB drives. Mathy's MyDos page has it: https://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/mydos.htm https://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/mydos318.arc Some other versions on that page that might be helpful as well, like the builders. For example, this one claims to be able to build the 3.18 ATR8000 version: https://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/bm301318.arc I never used that - don't think I had it back in the old days, but it's a different era now.
  8. Are you using the specific version of MyDos I described in an earlier post? That was the only one I was ever able to get working properly on my ATR8000, back when I had it. That would be "MYDOS 3.18, ATR8000 RS232 Version".
  9. Looks like I was using MYDOS 3.18, ATR8000 RS232 Version. So it was a special version. Worked fine. The ATR8000 allowed me to use the four 8-inch emulators, an Epson printer (old school dot matrix) and a US Robotics modem. The modem was freaking expensive for the time but supposedly had a lifetime guarantee, where they would keep upgrading me to new versions. Naturally, they totally abandoned that and vanished when the BBS scene died. Anyway, just wanted to provide the details on the MYDOS version needed.
  10. You can indeed use 1.2 MB 5.25" floppies on an ATR8000. We used to call them 8" emulators for reasons lost to time. I used to use 4 of them on my 8 bit BBS. Alas, the only detail I remember about getting them to work was that I had to use mydos. I think it may have been a special version of mydos - like one that came with the ATR8000 - but I'm sure you can just Google for it and download it nowadays.
  11. Well... I wouldn't do it that way, I'd probably set it up on a Fujinet so it could be accessed on the Internet. The problem is that I had so much weird hardware and customization that it wouldn't be easy to adapt. Agree with your overall conclusion though - I suspect it would be cool for a few minutes and then fade into obscurity. Oh well. Alternatively, I could emulate it entirely, using Altirra or Atari800Win, but then it would lose a lot of the coolness, such as it is. Oh I looked through what I could find of my archives and did not find DMAIDE. Sorry, no joy.
  12. Compulsive Collector BBS, for over a decade. Something like 1982, well into the 90s? The last snapshot I have from the 800/ATR8000 version is from 1985 but I switched to an ST and kept going for many years after that. I don't find the ST as interesting from a nostalgia point of view and thus haven't even tried to find the later ST versions. It was pretty highly customized. Towards the end I was running 4 8" emulators (well that's what we called them back then) and had my user file, message board indexes and download file system indexes all running in bank switched memory using my own little assembly routines. Manually implemented write-back cache and such. So it was large and fast for the time. Every now and then I think about trying to bring it back up but it would be a fair amount of work, as I no longer have the ATR8000 and accompanying hardware and bank switched memory is handled a lot differently these days. Plus, all the files you could possibly want are available elsewhere, as are f2p games far better than the doors I ran. So probably not.
  13. For the reset switch, I just used the one on the Arduino. There is a spot on the protoboard I used where I could have extended it, but I just stick my finger in between the board and the shield and hit the switch and it works fine. If the chip was not found to be bad, the green light should be steady. That's how you know the test is done - it blinks during the test but ends up solid red or solid green. Make sure you've got the right chip selected - the test for the 4164 executes way faster than the test for the 41256 because it is only checking the first 64 kbits of memory. You could probably make a version that auto-detected the chip size but the original creator didn't do that and neither did I. I have a little list of possible enhancements for this thing that I haven't gotten around to - add some extra tests, make sure it supports 4464 and 44256 and fix it if not, that sort of thing, but I have too many projects and too little time.
  14. Well I don't know that you'd need to mirror all of it. I guess someone might have, but more likely the file sections got snagged and saved. I have vague memories of this sort of thing happening but the details have gone, sorry.
  15. I ran a pretty big BBS in SoCal but I doubt if it migrated that far. Still, I'll try and find my archives and see if it made it here. Unfortunate that you didn't try distributing on CI$ - I'm sure there are archives of that around. They got a lot of my money too. People tried to mirror the big pay sites as they went down, or so I've heard.
  16. Detective work! How did you distribute your D&D dice rolling program? You mentioned BBSes, but which ones? Compuserve? Any other online services? Did you ever post it to Usenet? We may not be able to find it, but if we knew more about how it was initially distributed it might provide vital clues. If it was only ever on floppy disks handed to friends, it's probably gone, but if it was uploaded somewhere some detective work might be possible.
  17. Working as intended. To state it another way (saying the same thing as the other responders though), the drive numbers and letters are generally interchangeable, so you can refer to D1: or A: and get the same effect. In my little tutorial I recommend reserving A: and B: (D1: and D2:) for physical floppy drives and such. This has worked out well for me, as it also allows me to plug in and access virtual floppies using sdrive or respeqt, set as A: and B:, without disrupting my SIDE 3 drive map. Anyway, what you describe is normal and not hurting anything, it just looks a little different than you were expecting. If you select 3 it will indeed select D3: which is equivalent to C:.
  18. One please. This looks like an irresistible science experiment.
  19. I installed the video mod shown in the picture earlier in this thread, and it works great! I had to use a 47uf cap because I didn't have a 22uf as shown in a write-up I found nor a 220 like the one shown in the pic. Basically, I guessed that the exact value didn't matter, and sure enough, it works just fine. Minor puzzle - I did not have to install a diode to make it automatically sense Composite vs. S-Video. I tried it without, and it worked. Now I'm wondering if that was needed on the 800XLs? Oh well, no problem either way, I am happy. It works and looks really good.
  20. I've been working on this for a while now. It's a video test utility, meant to stress out CRTs a bit (but it works on all monitors of course). I think it's ready for people to beat on it. Feedback and bug reports welcome, but please be kind. vstress.xex vstress.txt
  21. Well the project isn't quite done still. I finally got all the chips replaced and the 64K upgrade working to my satisfaction, then remembered to my horror that I still had problems with the keyboard to deal with. Non-functioning HELP, BRK, left shift, and control keys, to be precise. Most of those are on trace 9 but one wasn't, so I was a little puzzled. Last time I took an XL keyboard apart, the springs sproinged. I suppose that isn't a real word but it gets the correct idea across. So this time I watched all the videos I could find, first. It turns out that the trick to not having that happen is really pretty easy - you need to have the keyboard sitting on your work area keys down when you remove the mylar. That's it. Same thing for the function keys, which I did first. All the little springs peacefully sit in their little spring holes if you do it that way. You still have to be a little careful but really, it was a lot easier than expected. I was able to track down the problem pretty easily with a multimeter in continuity test mode. It turned out that the traces on one end of the mylar had broken on the fold. Not visibly, but they no longer made connection. The odd assortment of dead keys was because there was a physical component to the problem - only keys on trace 8 or 9 that were also past the fold where the breaks happened were impacted. So that's why left shift didn't work and right shift did. Huh. Learn something new every day. Easily fixed with a Circuit Scribe conductive ink pen from Amazon. Now the keyboard works. Yay! All that's left to deal with is video. The quality is good already, but I want to enable chroma/luminance and have it auto-switch like my other XLs do. So I guess looking into how to apply that fix to a 600XL is next on the agenda. Getting close!
  22. Ya I had the socket and already had everything ripped apart, so figured I might as well. Even though I have no specific plans for such a thing at this time.
  23. Thanks! I've got the Hakko. Basically, I had to use both the pipe cleaner and the thicker cleaning tool that you use after you remove the tip. I didn't realize how much power the thing had lost until I got all that sorted out. When I first tried to stick the tool in there it wouldn't even go in it was so clogged and degraded. I've been emptying the solder repository every session or two and thought that was all that was needed. That'll teach me to assume! Well, briefly at least. Even with the little problems with the 600XL project, I don't regret the desoldering gun purchase - it was life-changing! I never would have even attempted a project like this in the past. Oh, I just finished upgrading the 600XL to 64K. I used one of the methods linked, the one with 3 wires. It really doesn't look too nice - apparently I still need to learn how to cleanly solder wires to bent-up pins and pins on chips in sockets - but it works. Little adventure - at first it didn't work, so naturally I was cursing myself and checking and rechecking my work, as it doesn't look all that tidy. I finally thought to try different chips. Sure enough, 2 of the 6 chips I bought from eBay are bad! On the bright side, now I can use Sys-Check to figure such things out. So yay, it works, and it's socketed! Just like a real boy er 600Xl.
  24. Update on my little 600XL project! It was taking a while for the DRAM to get here, so I decided to re-chip the board. Yes, the whole board. All 23 chips. This is by far the most ambitious such project I've ever taken on. In the end, it worked out, but there were... issues. Here we have the same system (as shown on post 10 above) with all the chips desoldered. Ugh. Full disclosure - I did this as well as I knew how, and still broke two chips and a capacitor. It turns out that my desoldering gun has multiple levels of cleaning that it may need, and I didn't understand that it needed the full teardown and filter replacement until I had pulled up a couple of traces. Oops. Anyway, here it is, after the de-soldering (de-chipping?): I certainly learned a lot by doing this. Next time I have to remove a socket I think it'll go a lot more smoothly. However, I hope to never have to de-chip a whole board like this again! I snapped a capacitor, the one to the left of GTIA, while I was trying to pry GTIA out. It wasn't quite as strong as expected. I wasn't able to find an exact replacement - I don't know where to get those weird axial aquamarine caps Atari used on these - so I replaced it with a more common disc cap. I checked the voltage of the original and this should be fine. The bigger problem is, I killed the 74LS14 and the 74LS138. Oops? Both of these had to do with the desoldering gun not having the effect I was expecting, and me not understanding that until too late. Lesson learned - if it seems like you're getting less suction, you are, and never ever force things when pulling out a chip! I didn't have either in stock and had to order and wait, as all of the Radio Shacks in my area are gone, as well as the Frys. Oddly, they still both got here before the DRAM. /shrug So here is the end result of the socket installation: You can see the replacement cap on the top of the left picture. Those yellow jumper wires on the bottom of the board are the other thing I had to fix - apparently I delaminated a couple of the holes on the 4050 while trying to desolder the chip. Again, I tried to force things when desoldering didn't feel right. It was a little challenging to fix, as not all of the problems were visible, even with a loupe - I had to trace things out with a multimeter to figure out why I was missing colors and luminance values and such. Things like the SuperSALT cart are great for normal problems but not so helpful if you have a lower-level problem like a chip with impaired connectivity. Anyway, I didn't give it more memory or better video yet, I just thought someone might be interested in seeing my socketing adventure. I think if I ever get another non-socketed 600XL I'm just gonna turn around and re-sell it. What a pain! Final toll - 23 sockets (various sizes), 1 capacitor, 2 logic chips, a few small lengths of wire, and a truly impressive headache.
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