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What do you use your A8 for?

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Just out of curiousity...what do you all actually use your A8 systems for? I always see plenty of discussions about hardware mods, programming, and games, but about almost nothing else other than perhaps BBSing. Does anyone here still use their systems for any type of productivity work or in correlation to other hobbies? I'm just curious as to what uses some of you find for your systems beyond what's mentioned above.

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It rusts on my shelf...just in case "733t haxx0r5" or the Government take control of everything else, rendering modern equipment useless.

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Games. Lots and lots of games. :D The A8 as beloved as it is, has extremely little if at all a place in modern productivity type work.

 

Other than games, I've been messing about with 6502 assembly as a tool to keep the mind sharp and be a totally alien computer experience from everyday work life.

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Just out of curiousity...what do you all actually use your A8 systems for? I always see plenty of discussions about hardware mods, programming, and games, but about almost nothing else other than perhaps BBSing. Does anyone here still use their systems for any type of productivity work or in correlation to other hobbies? I'm just curious as to what uses some of you find for your systems beyond what's mentioned above.

Same here, Games! Megacarts, I seldom use the drive anymore. I do have a 130xe with IDE interface and a CF adapter in it. Bought it 3 years ago and havent had time to play with it yet. I was hoping to jury rig an XBOX portable screen onto it and wuth the a/c adapter and flash cards have a sort of portable atari 8bit.

(I know I can emulate it on my laptop but it's not the same)

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Hmmmmm...

 

Part of my weather station was running on my 600XL till it died a couple of years ago. Will get it fixed soon I hope. Should just put an 800xl on it.

 

A little X10 control is in the works.

 

Working on a train control interface for the table my Dad and I were building.

 

Should have caller ID logger/control on it soon, too.

 

Still manage a little of my business inventory control on it. Haven't finished the bar code reader/label printer, yet.

 

Otherwise, testing software and gaming mostly.

 

Rick D.

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I use my A8 or A8 emulators for pretty much everything. Word processing, databasing, financing, of course programming, and GAMES, GAMES, GAMES. I only use a PC nowadays for music, the intersurf, and cross-developing for the A8...

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Part of my weather station was running on my 600XL till it died a couple of years ago. Will get it fixed soon I hope. Should just put an 800xl on it.

 

I'd be interested in learning about your weather station -- software, hardware, etc. Maybe you could start another topic describing the system? I'd love to have another use for my A8.

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Part of my weather station was running on my 600XL till it died a couple of years ago. Will get it fixed soon I hope. Should just put an 800xl on it.

 

I'd be interested in learning about your weather station -- software, hardware, etc. Maybe you could start another topic describing the system? I'd love to have another use for my A8.

I am interested too.

Perhaps you use AtariLab's hardware?

Edited by Philsan

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I have a 1200xl at home with a 1050, sio2pc and sio2sd (yes, I know that's redundant) that is used for games (primarily Zork and Joust) and for teaching typing to my kids. At my office, I use a modded 1200xl primarily as a cool-looking keyboard for my pc and an occasional game. I've tried using the Atari to manage a simple database of non-essential client information, but it's just not practical. I also tried word processing on the Atari for some of my letters and documents, but quickly gave that up as well. If ClausB's video cartridge is ever available and would give me 80 columns for wordprocessing, I might give that another go.

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Games, demos, music.

 

 

Oh, and I've got a [email protected] client running on my 130XE too.

 

According to the display, it should finish the next Work Unit by around the middle of 2037.

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I use mine for games and TV alignment. I use the thing to draw shaded bar graphs to set color gun levels, dot and grid patterns for convergence on older TV's.

 

It's just too easy to hook it up, type up a few lines of BASIC then run the tests, do the tweaks and be done with it. This activity was how I made my first real money with computers. At that time, I had the Atari and would carry it and the cassette drive around to do televisions. Most of them in use in the 80's would age and degrade after a few years.

 

Take an hour and reset all the levels, converge and they looked as good or better than new. Word got around and I made a coupla grand quick one summer! Did them for cash. Basically, give me the hour. If I hose it up, I'll pay for the TV shop. If it looks "new" when I'm done, then pay what it's worth. Most people paid $20 - $50, which was good money back then. The TV guy averaged about $100, and I didn't know that until...

 

I ended up interning at the local TV shop for a while after that. He got my name when he noticed a drop in this kind of business. He asked around and heard about some geeky kid with one of those new computer things doing TV "alignments".

 

The guy called me in and I did a couple he had in the shop. He gave me a huge lecture about how TV's were nothing to tinker with. At that time I had already replaced a few CRT's, doing the full realignment necessary for older models that used that technology! When asked about the high voltage, I just replied, "you don't touch it and all is good!" Heh!

 

Anyway, 5K of pro gear -vs- the 8bitter was no contest. Simple visual inspection and some basic understanding of what all the adjustments did to the picture was good enough, for all but some very severe cases. The pro stuff could reach a few percent of optimal, and I forget what my average was, but the interesting thing was often the "best" picture was obtained by under or over driving many TV's! We had a long talk about that, and...

 

Being set "right" did not always result in the best overall picture! So, that was worth something to both of us in the end.

 

The one area where the pro gear was better was in the color reproduction adjustments. Without a scope, and I forget the name of that kind of scope, color took quite some time to resolve. Had I known how to get more colors on the screen then, that task would have been more doable. With all the stuff we know now, I think that's probably possible with visual inspection also.

 

So, I would do the core elements, then watch an hour or so of known TV programs to put colors in the ball park and call it good. He could get that done far quicker, and with more consistent results. Again though, the average joe wouldn't really know, given the basics are solid.

 

The guy ended up teaching me a ton, and I did a lot of repairs in the shop in my spare time.

 

I will also, on occasion, just turn the thing on and write a bit of code to solve a problem based on inputs. These days Excel is just as easy, but it's not as much fun!

 

Need to s-video mod my 8bitter one of these days...

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Games, and I'm also typing in the longest program I could find (Heavy Metal) to test out the 1010.

Edited by Ross PK

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Multicarts? Where can you get those?

Got my 8M cart here. The image of my cart is here. Ask steve to send you a cart with my image on it ;) If you like it (and you will), order another and an sio2pc cable to make your own!

 

Edit: Attached images are back on the images forum.

Edited by WizWor

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Honestly, only thing I ever used my 800XL for was the game Megablast and visiting Atari BBS's. As of the last few years, it's being used as packing material to protect a box of styrofoam peanuts.

Edited by Artlover

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Part of my weather station was running on my 600XL till it died a couple of years ago. Will get it fixed soon I hope. Should just put an 800xl on it.

 

I'd be interested in learning about your weather station -- software, hardware, etc. Maybe you could start another topic describing the system? I'd love to have another use for my A8.

I am interested too.

Perhaps you use AtariLab's hardware?

 

Nope, not really played with that.

 

Rick D.

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Part of my weather station was running on my 600XL till it died a couple of years ago. Will get it fixed soon I hope. Should just put an 800xl on it.

 

I'd be interested in learning about your weather station -- software, hardware, etc. Maybe you could start another topic describing the system? I'd love to have another use for my A8.

 

It was a trivially simple system with wind direction (5 wires) and speed(2 wires) to joystick ports. The computer just displayed what the original neon bulb display did, but added history to each. Never finished the part that would show what the averages were a year earlier. Never add temp, rain guage, pressure, lightning sensor, or eathquake detector. I was/am in the process of building new sensors(wind dir with 8 points).

 

Maybe something atarilab would have helped with.

 

Rick D.

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I use mine to keep Graphic Demos running. I kind of use it as my night light, sleep machine. I leave it on running demos overnight. Silly but true. Something about a dark room and the glow of the Atari graphics relaxes me. I also do the same on my ST, Amiga and tandy Coco as I have 5 vintage systems all hooked to switch boxes so I can switch displays and also between different systems hooked to the USB and Serial ports on my XP system.

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