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Everything posted by UNIXcoffee928

  1. The Alien Monolith, in the foreground, conveys indisputable proof that Atari had Alien Technology. It was all code... Twisted Sister was going on about this object, back in the 80s. It is clear from their Alien dress that they were merely ambassadors, trying to get a message across to the initiated. All else is Naysay.
  2. Word around town is kiwilove, Mclaneinc, & AtariGeezer are the people to ask. lol, sorry guys, I couldn't let that one slip by, too obvious, ha!
  3. An in-depth paper that describes the development process that was created to be able to produce the games: "Ballblazer" and "Rescue on Fractalus!". "The concept often called ‘‘fail fast’’ seemed particularly relevant to games development. Much of the decision making in game design comes down to making a yes-or-no decision about a potential approach. Such choices vary from ‘‘is this idea interesting enough?’’ to ‘‘can it be done at all?’’ We found it immensely effective to try solving the hardest parts first in deciding any of these questions, allowing us to discard doomed approaches quickly and devote our energies to potentially successful ones." -Peter Langston vidgam.pdf Source: http://www.langston.com/Papers/vidgam.pdf
  4. Would be really neat. All of this talk about user Mr. Fish writing a new Chess Game made me think, "Well, what hasn't been done before?" & "What would look really cool?". I had always liked Chessmaster 2000, and I had always liked Ballblazer, being that they were both really fun to play, and that they both really showed off the graphics capabilities of the Atari computer... So, in an effort to start people thinking about such a "Chessblazer", I though that it would be best to start a new topic, where people could discuss the technical aspects of what would be needed, to write such a program. I'm looking forward to hearing other people's opinions about what would be necessary to create a good game of Chessblazer.
  5. I have successfully used both Atari 8-Bit emulators & Amiga emulators on the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. They are quite affordable on ebay, nowadays. They are also very useful as mp3 players & as external removable storage devices. They are very nice to use, particularly due to the fact that they are pocket Linux computers that can accept two fast 32GB San Disk Extreme Pro SDHC cards, for a 64GB capacity, and because you can plug regular USB keyboards into them, and also connect to other devices via Bluetooth. Highly recommended! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N800
  6. Gosh, Petey, you've done so much for the Atari Community, as it is, so why limit yourself to the 6502? There are TI 99/4A Communities that are looking for people just like you. I think that most people here would would tell you to just sit back, have a few sips of wine, and relax for a while... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjVlRSnoBf0&list=PL992zu0S3PnQMeoXopUkwN4k2acPlQ6Jl
  7. Here's some information about the Catweasel device. Maybe a similar device can be created? Individual Computers Catweasel
  8. There used to be a product line named "Catweasel ". They were PCI cards that provided plug in connectivity to both Atari & Amiga disk drives & other peripherals, directly to a PC. I would say that a Catweasel board would likely do the trick. I remember that Catweasels were kind of expensive, and they had limited availability, but they looked pretty awesome, spec-wise. The few times that I looked for them, a few years ago, they had become collectible, and were more pricey, & more scarce. Maybe some hardware people here could create a new, similar device, for less money, via FPGA technology.
  9. Thank you for taking the time to ask. This font took me a long time to create, and it was completely made, one character at a time, by eye, & by hand, one pixel at a time, as a labor of love for Retrocomputing. Yes, you may use it. A mention of my user-name in the Help-->About box, for the font, would be a nice thing to do. My favorite color schemes, with this font, are a black background with either a green, a yellow, or a cyan foreground. These colors also look very good together, to separate different types of information on one single screen. Enjoy!
  10. walk = 0 ; lame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOtHM7E3ZvI
  11. Yeah, he should get his own damned Pepsi... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf8TBAGxZrg
  12. Over in the Programming section we were musing over the classic (drum-roll, please) ERROR 143 Serial Bus Data-Frame Checksum Error (audience laughs), with the implication being that, because such an error existed on the Atari, we, as kids, were tricked down the rabbit-hole into a life sentence of Engineering, lol. Now, I'm kinda interested in hearing other Atari users tales of horror from back when they first encountered our friend, ERROR 143, so here's your cue to tell your story! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8vHhgh6oM0
  13. Bwaahahaha! The Serial Bus Data Frame Checksum ERROR! Yes! From age 12 to 18 that error became part of my common parlance; in fact, even today, it rolls off the tongue easily at over 180 bpm, despite not saying it for decades. lol. I used to use it in common conversation, as a kid, whenever I detected a communication error. ha. I have to start using that again, for sure... I mean, really, you can answer & terminate any stupid conversation with that one! ERROR 143, RAH! In hindsight, this timesaver could have really helped during those 8 hour circular telephone conversations that you can get involved with when dating, lol. ...& to think of the lists of band names that I toiled away at, back in the day, when ERROR 143 was there, all along, hahaha! Thanks for reminding me of this... I can say, with total certainty, that this was my favorite error message of all time, on any platform, and that my life would have been much different without it.
  14. I used to work in Information security... Even in the 1990s it was clear that allowing telnet to run is an open invitation to having an unsecured internal network. Do any of these modern hardware devices have something that acts as a black-box ssh proxy? Meaning that the local retro system (on both sides of the connection) connects to the serial to ip converter locally via telnet, but the net-traversing data is provided with a secure ssh connection between the two converters for the user & the BBS. If not, something like this could be rigged up with a locked down & fully secured Raspberry Pi or Linux or BSD box, in line after the serial to ip converter, to provide ssh, as long as modern BBSs adopted it as a standard practice. Even this, though, is not really ideal, because the mere acceptance of an open telnet port is a big problem. But, really, at that point, it's easier to just do away with the black-box ip converter, altogether, and connect the Atari to the Pi directly, as a serial tty, then have the pi connect to the Internet securely via ssh. BBS operators would then need to make provisions for this, on their end. Granted, that, in practical terms, it's not such a big deal going from the Atari to the serial to ip converter to your hub, and then out to the net... but that is still Security through Obscurity, and is not an ideal element of a local Security Policy, particularly because you don't know how the user's home network is set up... if they have an improperly secured gateway or more than one router in the mix of their local network, there is a distinct security hazard, where the converter and/or the Atari becomes an attack vector. The bigger problem that I see is that people are using telnet on their modern PCs, via emulation, APE, etc. In those cases there is no excuse for not providing ssh capability, by default, and it is opening a lot of retro-users up to a huge security hazard. Many people who are just "trying out connecting to a Retro-BBS" are not going to be considering the security aspects, and will be unknowingly putting all of the systems on their own network at risk. While old-fashioned, port scanning does go on, and it's just good Policy to eliminate obvious security vulnerabilities. I assert, further, that there is no assurance, whatsoever, that the firmware in any of these converters is secure, or that bugs may exist that could potentially be exploited, creating a local network vulnerability. You may say that all of this is incredibly unlikely, but ponder this... What if the Retro-user is fiddling around with this, on lunch break, in the machine room, or at a datacenter? Sure, that's not all that likely, but it is a distinct possibility... now suppose that there are 10s, 100s, 1000s of modern machines & virtual machines on locally addressable internal networks... You should get the picture. It's always best practice to eliminate the potential for these kind of vulnerabilities before something terrible happens. You might say, "Why do I care?"... Well, usually, no one does... UNTIL their system or network is compromised, data is lost, or you suddenly find out that your modern systems are part of a Botnet, etc. All because of a configuration issue that was ignored or neglected. I'm interested in hearing opinions on this.
  15. I just stumbled upon this DIY Insult Kit, and it's pretty amusing. Looks like it would be a great basis for a BASIC program, if anyone is looking for a short project. It would be nice if it had a Pirate-speak vocabulary add-on option, but as is, you can still string together an "Artless Earth-Vexing Barnacle" lol!
  16. Ahem... how about that time that New Zealand helped nuke the hell out of Christmas Island, eh, Mr. Grinch Kiwilove?
  17. Thank you for doing this, helping the old woman, Paul. You are a good man. We must lead, by example, to provide a balance. Thirty years ago I became an Eagle Scout, and I have never lost sight of the foundations of Scouting. The Scout Slogan, Motto, Oath, & Law have been guiding principals, throughout my life. I was happy to read that you had helped her, and horrified at her initial reaction. I feel that the present deterioration of society, worldwide, is, at least in part, due to the demonization of Scouting, and the resultant lack of enrollment in the organization. In this holiday season, I would like to ask both parents & grandparents to educate yourselves about Scouting, and consider getting involved as Scout Leaders, to help to give kids a better chance of growing up to be respectful citizens who care about others, and the world around them. To me, this is the best present that all of us could ever hope to receive, communities built upon mutual respect & consistency of character.
  18. IDK about you, but I know that if I had one of these $60 enclosures, I could have four Atari compatible 5.25 drives working in it by the end of the night. Maybe you should consider drinking more coffee.
  19. User kheller makes a good point, just go with a floppy enclosure that the guts of XF551s can be installed into. This way you can use bent aluminum, and don't have to mess about with plastics. You could make a prototype in an evening by just hacksawing the middle section out of an obsolete PC case & chasis, only retaining the 5.25" drive bays and the base of the computer case. A 5 CD tower case would be the easiest to mod... just fill it with four XF551s, and use a drivebay cover plate in the top drivebay to install all of your modded controls. You would just need to make sure that your ribbon cables were long enough, but the whole thing could be put together to look like a professional product in less than a weekend. So there's your prototype picture, to show how it can be used. You just need to sell a plastic drivebay cover with your mods installed and trays to mount XF551 guts, & let the user transfer their own drive mechs into an enclosure of the user's choice. No headaches, and it's easy enough.
  20. Here's a solution that would work: Sell a replacement upper portion of the case that already has your mod fixed in place. It could be squared off like a Percom, and not look like the original, but the main thing is that the original case is not destroyed, so the user can store the original away safely, while enjoying the use of your modded case. As long as the screw holes are lined up, the new upper case with the mod would be a quick install, and people would like it. I'm sure that a dual-drive or quad-drive config case made in this way would really sell well, also.
  21. A 65816 would probably be needed to have acceptable results with quad POKEY audio. You're probably right about many of the other POKEY functions needing a dedicated CPU... otherwise, some kind of buffering circuit would be necessary, and that would cause lag. The Quad POKEY design was used in the "Star Wars" arcade machine, via two 6809s. Specs for the Star Wars Arcade Cabinet: Main CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1.512 Mhz) Sound CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1.512 Mhz) Sound Chips : (4x) POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz), Texas Instruments TMS5220 (@ 640 Khz)
  22. What I would like to have would be a Quad POKEY board that sent all of the port lines to a 1" to 2" high breakout-box with front & rear ports; a device which could be placed below the 800 computer unobtrusively. This would allow for the ease of use of the front joystick ports, like on the 400/800, and have separate audio lines & SIO in the rear of the device, to allow ports for each sound channel to be fed into an external mixing board, while hiding the mess of wires behind the computer. Unfortunately, this would result in a ridiculous amount of work to achieve, due to the high number of signals that would each need it's own wire. While it could be done, it would end up being prohibitively expensive to produce. It would be a cool one-off design, or a bill of materials for a kit though. Has anyone even made a Quad POKEY for any of the Atari 8-bits? I know that they were used in the arcade machines, so it is possible. It would probably need a CPU accelerator to get the most out of the quad configuration.
  23. Well, at least, now you have the name for the error trapping subroutine, ha. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sb46VD5CmA
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