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ClausB

Want an Enhanced Video Cartridge?

Would you buy one?  

72 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you buy one?

    • Yes, and I would write software for it!
      22
    • Yes, if software were available.
      32
    • No.
      18


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Would you pay $50 to $75 (non-profit) for a cartridge that connects with the video DIN cable and adds high resolution graphics modes to the Atari? Up to 640 horizontal pixels with 4 gray levels, or 160 pixels with 256 colors, could be added on top of the existing ANTIC graphics modes. Firmware to support graphics and 80-column text would be included. For more information, see the thread that is developing the idea.

Edited by ClausB

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Only if you find a UK importer (perhaps one of the other AA members into the A8) as I'm not exactly fond of the idea of sending money o/s without any guarantee i'll get my goods (sorry, the likes of ebay and co, have put me off the whole idea) and when some Lolly (money) comes in

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Would you pay $50 to $75 (non-profit) for a cartridge that connects with the video DIN cable and adds high resolution graphics modes to the Atari? Up to 640 horizontal pixels with 4 gray levels, or 160 pixels with 256 colors, could be added on top of the existing ANTIC graphics modes. Firmware to support graphics and 80-column text would be included. For more information, see the thread that is developing the idea.

 

I would. 80 column text from a cartridge would be great.

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Hello Claus

 

I would. But extra options (more colors and a higher resolution) are welcome. (If I say this enough times, maybe it will turn into reality. :D )

 

Greetings

 

Mathy

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Count me in. Sounds cool. Since you would have to design a new board for it, could you make it a pass-through cart?

 

Allan

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Well,

I would be interested - not really for the 80 columns (I never use this on the A8) but for a) high resolution with 640 pixels and 4 greys and b) medium resolution with 256 colors... -Andreas Koch.

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Count me in. I might even attempt to write s/w for it but my assembly sucks right now.

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Big yes from me as well!

 

I'd certainly contribute what I could from a programming perspective, though my knowledge of A8 internals pales in comparison to some here.

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Yes, but I hope that Atari Basic and Turbobasic, and other programing languages would be 80 columns. Maybe a modified BASIC/LANGUAGE to allow a larger logical line of 160.

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Yes and yes.

 

My major concern would be a more direct approach to addressing the GRAM, rather than a slower serial approach.

 

Interest would be more along the lines of games/graphics - IMO doing stuff like spreadsheets and WP on retro computers is a waste of time.

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Sure, I would buy one, though I don't know if i could program anything worthwhile. I'm a pretty decent pixel artist, though, and might be able to whip up some screens to take advantage of the new modes. That is, if i can figure out the software. ;)

Edited by AtariNerd

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Yes, but I hope that Atari Basic and Turbobasic, and other programing languages would be 80 columns. Maybe a modified BASIC/LANGUAGE to allow a larger logical line of 160.

 

Interest would be more along the lines of games/graphics.

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I have not voted yet. One concern about writing software is that no one will be able to put that software on a cartridge since the video cartridge ties up the port. Some have suggested an alternate device for the ECI/PBI port on the XL/XE systems, leaving the cartridge port free. I am not going to suggest an internal upgrade because everyone are not skilled electricians. It might be possible to make some cool vectored base arcade game ports with this hardware like Asteroids, Omega Race, Star Wars, Tempest. I have experimented with much faster line drawing algorithms, than what is provided in the Atari OS.

 

One issue about Atari ROM based Basic is that you will not be able to use it while the cartridge is plugged in since the cartridge will displace the Basic ROM memory. Should be able to use Turbobasic XL with 8K less memory. The ideal about extending the logic line to 160 characters may require a modifications to the OS since that is where all the editor routines are.

Edited by peteym5

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Hello guys

 

"Smart" cartridges can be switched on and off at will. RT8 only uses two addresses, without taking up the whole cartridge port. All kinds of stuff could be included to make the Enhanced Video Cartridge as compatible as possible. And ofcourse, you could always use a cartridge extender.

 

Greetings

 

Mathy

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Hello guys

 

"Smart" cartridges can be switched on and off at will. RT8 only uses two addresses, without taking up the whole cartridge port. All kinds of stuff could be included to make the Enhanced Video Cartridge as compatible as possible. And ofcourse, you could always use a cartridge extender.

 

Greetings

 

Mathy

 

I have not voted yet either because I have similar concerns. You say a smart cartridge can be switched on and off, does that mean the video hardware iteself, or an internal ROM used by the cartridge. A ROM would be useful for an 80 col handler and maybe routiens for generating text or graphics, but none of that has to be in ROM. Of course, part of the reason for having a video cartridge in the first place is to be able to use it, so it would have to be switched on at least some of the time.... and what will conflict when it is? I would suggest either a simple cartridge that takes up minimal address space and allows other cartridges to be used along with it, or a PBI device with it's own ROM and routines and everything located in the usual locations.

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One issue about Atari ROM based Basic is that you will not be able to use it while the cartridge is plugged in since the cartridge will displace the Basic ROM memory.
Not so. I plan to use a technique similar to what I did with ACE-80XL. The cart ROM would switch off when not in use, allowing normal access to the underlying RAM or BASIC ROM. When in use, the cart ROM would switch on only during OS calls and then switch off before returning to BASIC or other calling app. It will work seamlessly.

 

If we do cart pass-thru, it will work the same way, allowing normal access to the other cart when this ROM is off.

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Hello guys

 

"off" doesn't have to mean "the cartridge is switched off. It can also mean "the computer doesn't see it anymore". You switch it "on", tell the cartridge what you want it to know and then switch it back "off". While "off" the cartridge will not talk to or be "visible" to the computer, but the cartridge can still tell you monitor/tv what to do.

 

Greetings

 

Mathy

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depends... as demo & game coder... am I able to access the VRAM? what about the sprite capabilities? is this device the Video board Xe by electron?

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