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I recently dug out my Atari 7800 7800 Monitor Cartridge that I bought from Video 61 in August 2000. It's been quite a few years since I've messed around with it. I was showing a friend of mine how it worked. We looked at the three demo programs that are on it (Bumper Tanks, Hex Demo and Color Display), plus we typed in a couple of the very short demonstration programs and tried those too. I suppose that after nearly 20 years the battery in the cartridge that saves the RAM is dead, but I'd still like to play around with this rare cartridge and maybe make a video of it in use since I can't even find video of anyone using it (not even pictures or screenshots of the three demo programs on it). I know that the manual for the 7800 Monitor Cart isn't freely available. This is a shame, as this certainly would get more people interested in the program. I wonder if Video 61 would allow, at least, the manual to be released as a pdf? Did anyone ever write any short subroutines that I could type into this machine language monitor using those trusty keyboard controllers? Are there any generic 7800 programs that I could use with the Monitor carts? Adam
I made a video overview of the "7800/2600 Machine Language Monitor Cartridge" (Version 2) for the Atari 7800 game console. Version 1, of the Monitor was published by Harry Dodgson in 1993. Version 2 was published by Video 61 in 2000. I posted about this in the 7800 programming subforum-- but this video is of a general nature and I think many Atari 7800 fans will enjoy learning more about this rare cartridge. This video shows how to use this Atari 7800 6502 machine language monitor program to communicate with the 6502. Like the monitor itself, this video is aimed at someone who knows a little about 6502 of programming. However, even someone without such knowledge should be able to gain some insight into the inner workings of this humble and early homebrew Atari 7800 utility program that was released on cartridge when the Atari console homebrew scene was in its earliest infancy. You can view it on YouTube, here: You an view and/or download it from Archive.org, here: https://archive.org/details/Atari78002600MonitorCartridgeHomebrewOverview The three demonstration programs included on the cartridge (Bumper Tanks, Hex Demo and Color Display) are run and the hexadecimal program listings are shown in the monitor. Also, a few of the example programs are typed into the monitor and run. Finally, a few of the monitor's built-in subroutines are used to show how to generally program the 2600 and 7800 using this cartridge. I'm sorry about the fuzziness of the close-up video of the TV screen in the later part of the video; it was the best that I could do with my camera. I may remake and expand the later part of the video that is fuzzy by using an Atari 7800 with a direct video capture connection. This would dramatically clear up the video. For now, this is the best that I can do under the circumstances. There is an interview with Harry Dodgson on the Good Deal Games website. In the interview, Harry explains how the development of the Monitor cart came about in 1993 and the release of the second version in 2000: http://www.gooddealgames.com/interviews/int_Harry Dodgson.html The following information is from the over 200-pages of documentation for the Monitor cartridge. "7800/2600 Monitor Cartridge" Overview The 7800 Monitor cartridge contains a 32K byte EPROM, an 8K byte RAM chip, a lithium battery for the RAM, and a few miscellaneous parts to make them all work together. The EPROM is logically divided into two sections; one half for 2600 VCS mode and the other half for 7800 Pro System mode. The battery provides power to the RAM chip allowing the programs and data on it to be retained when the power to the 7800 is turned off. The battery is not user-replaceable. The EPROM on the cartridge is socketed however and can be exchanged with updated software without having to replace the entire cartridge. The 16K of EPROM allocated for 7800 mode contains: - Version 2.0 of the 7800 Monitor (includes 8 new commands). - Three graphic demonstration programs. - Five example programs to help learn the monitor commands. There is some unused space on the 7800 half of the EPROM which is reserved for future upgrades of the monitor. The 7800 Monitor allows you to enter programs for either 7800 mode or 2600 mode. You can also run and debug programs for 7800 mode easily. To run programs for 2600 mode, you must change to the 2600 mode of the cartridge. The 16K of EPROM allocated for 2600 mode contains: - Three classic Atari video games - Combat, Space War, and Slot Racers. - Three video display demonstration programs. - A menu program. The menu program allows you to choose between all the programs on the ROM or a program loaded into RAM. The Atari games have been modified slightly for inclusion on the ROM. Enjoy the video! Adam