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About Urchlay

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  1. If you already had the older ANTIC on hand, I'd say try it. Since you have to buy one, might as well buy the newer one. ...at what point do we start pronouncing ANTIC as "antique"?
  2. Deoxit can also be found at music stores, e.g. Guitar Center or Sam Ash, if you don't want to wait for it to ship. Price might be a little higher, but you don't pay shipping. The CRC stuff is available 24/7 if you have a Wal-Mart within driving distance. Look in the automotive department. I've gotten good results with it on Atari stuff (e.g. filthy cartridge ports).
  3. Ugh, first time posting since the forum software update. The "Quote" button is gone, so I can't reply to you point-by-point... The 6502 used in the Atari computers can only address 64K of memory, which includes RAM, ROM, and memory-mapped I/O (e.g. the Atari's POKEY, ANTIC, etc chips take up address space). The extra 16K is "hidden", it uses the same address space as the OS ROM. To access it, software has to temporarily disable the ROM. Most software written back in the day doesn't use the extra 16K because (a) it requires extra programming to switch the OS on & off, and (b) there were lots of 800s out there still, using the extra XL RAM would mean the software wouldn't run on an 800. The self-test only tests the first 48K if the built-in BASIC is disabled, or the first 40K if it's enabled. The two long bars each represent half of the 16K ROM. It's divided in half because the memory-mapped I/O is mapped to the middle of the ROM area... fun fact: the 64K XL/XE machines are really only 62K, because there's no way to disable the 2K I/O window. The other 2K of RAM is physically present but impossible to access. The keyboard test shows the keyboard layout of the 1200XL, which has extra function keys F1 to F4. That's what the mysterious 1 2 3 4 across the top are supposed to represent. R is Reset, and can't be tested by the keyboard test because when you press it, it resets the system. H is the Help key, which exists on the 800XL but is located in a different place. It's normal for the Break key not to show up in the keyboard test. Also Ctrl-1 is the "pause the screen" key, it's not surprising that it doesn't do anything in the keyboard test. Hope this helps.
  4. Hm, wonder when they switched to the crappy boxes. I have the box my 400came in, in... '81? And it's the same as the one here, no sleeve, box is printed. Too bad I don't still have the 400 that came in that box
  5. You sure the trace inside the membrane sandwich is at fault? It might just need cleaning at the connector. I'd definitely try that first (just use 92% isopropyl alcohol, or something like Deoxit). Or... If you're not going to upgrade the RAM, you'll probably end up using the 400 just for cartridge games. Most of those would be fine without control, shift, or break.
  6. Here's a pretty good technical description of the 8-humanoids bug: http://forum.atarimania.com/viewtopic.php?t=2356 I still haven't found the old forum post I referenced in my notes, looks like I messed up the URL way back when I copied it. This was a few years back when I was working on a commented dissassembly of the Defender ROM. The only mystery remaining is... how did the person who cracked the game and introduced the bug not *notice* the bug? It's pretty noticeable if you finish level 1 without losing any humanoids: they get displayed in a row which is obviously not centered and has room for 2 more. Maybe that's just hindsight speaking? I guess there's one more mystery: who the cracker was. Probably the answer to that is lost to the ages...
  7. It's a bug caused by a badly done crack. There's a writeup and a corrected .xex version by Fandal, on the atarimania forums somewhere (I had a link to this, but it's no longer valid). There's supposed to be 10 humanoids, but whoever patched the ROM to defeat the copy protection (stop it overwriting itself), patched a section of code that shouldn't have been patched. The really (to me) weird thing is, the patches are only needed for a .xex version of the game. But later on, someone turned the patched .xex code back into a raw ROM image and included it in the Holmes Archive, and later it found its way into TOSEC, so this version was (still is) found all over the 'net. The 8-humanoids version isn't any kind of official alternate version, I wish it could disappear forever, but that's not how the internet works... The correctly dumped unpatched ROM (with 10 humanoids) lives here: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-defender_1561.html If it helps, the broken "8 humanoids" ROM image has md5sum: e8d52b4aa33da38f99312f9aa8b48885 ...and the proper one is: 8709351e76ec7c407e63c47ac53f8d19
  8. Search this forum for "Antix", it does exactly that. All I know about Antix is that exists, I've never used one, it's on my list of stuff to get someday if I ever somehow get money to spend on Atari mods again.
  9. Lode Runner's Rescue. Though I never saw any levels for this game other than the ones I made myself: the pirate copy I had was disk 1 only, didn't have any levels (which would have been on disk 2).
  10. The wooden drive case might look better with silver trim, like an old stereo receiver. The black one... with apologies to the Rolling Stones: o/~ I see a black drive and I want to paint it beige o/~
  11. Wish you'd stuck around a little longer, didn't get a chance to talk toyou. You saw my name but I was asleep or something...
  12. FreeNode, chat.freenode.net, channel is ##atari (note the two #, freenodehas weird channel naming rules).
  13. SJCarden was seen on IRC tonight (like, just now). He's been out of commission for a while but is recovering.
  14. Ahh, that I didn't know. Keyboard mylar sheet is small & thin enough, you could probably storethem inside the Ataris, between the bottom RF shield and the bottom of the case. That way they won't get lost and won't take up extra space.
  15. The Best mylars are new old stock, right? They're the original part, andthe ones you got have to be close to the same age as the old ones. Better to have a working machine than a broken "all-original" one. If you're worried about collector value, save the old mylars and include them in the package when/if you ever sell them. This is done a lot with old electric guitars: the volume pot or the input jack breaks, and the repair guy will replace it and give you the old/broken one in a little baggie. That way you can restore it to "all original parts" and let whoever you sell it to worry about whether or not it works. It's kind of silly: what use is a broken computer or guitar, no matter how "classic" it is? 10+ years ago I replaced the dead keyboard in my 800 with one from Best, which turned out to be identical, manufactured at the same plant, 2 days after the one that died. I consider that 800 to be all original still. Though it doesn't matter so much as I'm not going to be selling it.
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