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So a long while ago I had a bright idea on a "captain's chair" 'controller' for playing Star Raiders on the 8-bit / 5200. My thought is a joystick on one arm of the chair (e.g. on the right, for right-handed folks), with a thumb trigger on top, or index finger trigger on the front, so it can be controlled entirely with one hand. On the other side, there'd be a keypad controller (like used by the 2600 version of the game), offering the various toggle controls: front view (F) aft view (A) long range view (L) galactic map (G) attack computer (C) targeting computer (T) target selector (M) shields (S) hyperwarp (H) pause (P) That's 10 keys, so totally doable with a 12-button keyboard controller, connected to the second controller port. Finally, on that same side (e.g., left, for right-handed users) would be an analog throttle, like you see in a boat. Fully forward (towards the TV) would be "twin-ion engine" at full-speed (9), and fully back (toward the player) would be full-stop (0). This would be connected to the paddle input of controller port 1, alongside the main digital joystick input (if I'm reading things right, it looks like the POT stuff is used by keyboard controllers). Obviously, a hacked version of Star Raiders would be required for this to work (read paddle for engine control, read keyboard controller for other keyboard control). It'd be a pretty cool set-up, though, don't you think? Sadly, I don't have the skill to do either the hardware, or the ROM hacking. 😛
#Atari8bit #FujiNet One functional aspect of N: is its ability to have protocols that not only deal with terminal sessions, such as TELNET, and SSH, but also to provide abstractions to collections of data, such as filesystems, I have written such adapters for FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, and TNFS, so far, and they allow you to access files stored on these file systems, directly, being able to read and write to them, merely by using the appropriate devicespec. This has interesting implications. Think for example, a protocol adapter for IMAP, which is an IETF protocol for accessing e-mail. It is a long running standard adopted by many e-mail providers, even GMAIL. The protocol allows you to retrieve the listings of any folder, and to drill down into the contents of any message. There are also protocol extensions to handle searching and filtering of e-mail messages. It does not provide any mechanism for sending e-mail, so that has to be left to protocols like SMTP. You could, for example, provide the following devicespec to access an email box: N:IMAP://IMAP.GMAIL.COM/INBOX to refer to your INBOX folder on a GMAIL account. Imagine opening the above path in BASIC in the following manner: OPEN #1,6,0,”N:IMAP://IMAP.GMAIL.COM/INBOX” Subsequent reads (INPUT #1,A$) would return: * M1 EML 012 * M2 EML 004 * M3 EML 120 * M4 EML 242 999+ FREE SECTORS And what if you opened M1.EML? You’d get the contents of e-mail ID #1: OPEN #1,4,0,”N:IMAP://IMAP.GMAIL.COM/INBOX/1” Subsequent reads, would return: From: Bob Johnson <[email protected]> To: Thomas Cherryhomes <[email protected]> Hey there… ...until the end of the message. You could also for example, grab an attachment, by adding an attachment number to the end of the devicespec: N:IMAP://IMAP.GMAIL.COM/INBOX/1/1 If you passed in 128 to aux2 of the directory OPEN, then the adapter would return a nice long-form INBOX: OPEN #1,6,128,”N:IMAP://IMAP.GMAIL.COM/INBOX” 1 Bob Johnson Hello 2 Joe Guy It works. ...and so on. So with this, you can see, for example, how it would be not only trivial to write an e-mail client (even in BASIC!), but how other programs could literally be used to read e-mail and/or attachments, imagine being able to read e-mail in AtariWriter, for example.