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Atari 8-bit Ethernet and Contiki - Want your help!

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internet gaming on a8 is not possible..

 

Why not?

 

i dont know, it was be veeery slowly..

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I am totally aware of the latency problem. And I didn't expect to play/code an action game where a joystick input every VBI (20ms) is needed.

But everything turn-based like the C64-Artillery-game mentioned above should be doable.

Some "action games" like Tetris can handle a latency of 100ms or more as well. The blocks only move with 4 or more frames in some implementations.

 

Is there someone working on an UDP stack or want to work on it?

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I am totally aware of the latency problem. And I didn't expect to play/code an action game where a joystick input every VBI (20ms) is needed.

But everything turn-based like the C64-Artillery-game mentioned above should be doable.

Some "action games" like Tetris can handle a latency of 100ms or more as well. The blocks only move with 4 or more frames in some implementations.

 

Is there someone working on an UDP stack or want to work on it?

 

We have a functional UDP stack in C right now as a standalone library. Contiki also runs fine on this card. In any case, the idea of retrofitting existing game binaries to network play is probably not feasible. If you have the source, of course you could modify it to do so, but it would probbaly be a significant development effort. We plan to release the UDP stack code along with the network card as open-source, as well as a separately loadable binary. You will probably not be able to use basic with the stack, but C,ASM,Forth, and action should be straightforward.

 

Personally, I plan to do some games for network play. As was mentioned, fast response joystick input for action games probably isn't do-able, but other than that there's nothing blocking. Internet gaming on the A8 certainly is possible, and I plan to prove it.

Edited by danwinslow

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You will probably not be able to use basic with the stack, but C,ASM,Forth, and action should be straightforward.

 

Personally, I plan to do some games for network play. As was mentioned, fast response joystick input for action games probably isn't do-able, but other than that there's nothing blocking. Internet gaming on the A8 certainly is possible, and I plan to prove it.

 

Looking forward both to seeing what folks come up with application wise and playing with the stack myself!

 

Big thumbs up to all involved.

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As a side note, if anyone wants the code as it is now, I'm happy to provide it. Its still very early alpha, and you'll have to know what you are doing with CC65 and linker configs, etc. PM me if you want it. You'll be on your own, I don't plan on offering support at this stage :)

 

I will be putting it up in sourceforge CVS in a month or so, so that orderly development can proceed if people want to work on it, but right now its just bare metal.

Edited by danwinslow

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Hello guys

 

I hope that the games that will be written will have the ability to load different drivers for internet, MultiLink/GamelinkII, Alan-K networking interface, etc. depending on the network you are using.

 

sincerely

 

Mathy

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Hello guys

 

I hope that the games that will be written will have the ability to load different drivers for internet, MultiLink/GamelinkII, Alan-K networking interface, etc. depending on the network you are using.

 

sincerely

 

Mathy

 

It might be pretty difficult to do that, because these things aren't remotely the same. Gamelink/Multilink for instance is very different from TCP/UDP, and Alan-K doesn't exist for anyone to use.

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Hello Shawn

 

But up till a point, everything is the same. Somewhere in the code, data is moved to the network interface driver. The data that is sent to the driver, is independent of the driver and the interface used. So you can send that data to whatever driver is loaded at the moment. You just have to use the same "entry points" where the data is moved from the software to the driver and vice versa. Differences between MultiLink, Alan-K and "Internet" are handled by the driver and should not concern the game (or whatever piece of software you are using) at all. Just like your word processor doesn't care if you printer is using ink or toner and if it's a Xerox or a Canon.

 

sincerely

 

Mathy

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You will probably not be able to use basic with the stack

 

It's doable on the C64 so I imagine it's doable on an Atari 800 as well.

 

I recently bought an 800xl, mostly so I could port IP65 to the Atari platform. But I don't have any cartridge yet - if I have to build my own, I will probably interface a W5100 dev board (which I already own, and have ip65 drivers for) rather than a cs8900a dev board (cs8900a is also supported in ip65, but I don't have a cs8900a dev board, just c64 cartridges with the cs8900a soldered on)

 

Although it occurs to me just now - if I hacked up a board that interfaced the "clock port" pinout to the Atari 800 cartridge port, I could re-use my RR-NET which has a cs8900a on it. Has anyone already done that?

Edited by jonnosan

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Ethernet seems overkill - why not a standalone device that is similar to the Alan-K? It could connect 4 modems together for a local lan via a stripped down layer 2 over null modem, and the Contiki-powered 6502 boxes could also have the Dragon II module for Internet communication... I dunno, waste of time?

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We have purchased and received the ethernet modules, and puppetmark is now finalizing the adapter design. We are looking at adding hardware address selection capability to ensure as much compatibility as possible, and that has required some redesign. Still on track for sales in the fall I think.

 

*edit*

need somebody artistic to make a cool cartridge label design for us :)

Edited by danwinslow

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Hello Dan

 

Try contacting Oliver Rapp. He's been the designer for the cover of ABBUC magazine for years now. His site is in German, but it shows you what the guy is capable of.

 

sincerely

 

Mathy

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considering amount of work i put into this project statement as "puppetmark is now finalizing the adapter design" looks kinda pale

especially if design is ready for months - all you guys had to do was/is to use it

 

A8E.jpg

 

schematics

 

if anyone else is intrested in getting gerber files - please contact me

all i want in return is 2 blank pcbs, one of them will be used for vhdl code development, the other goes into my portfolio

 

Sebastian

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considering amount of work i put into this project statement as "puppetmark is now finalizing the adapter design" looks kinda pale

especially if design is ready for months - all you guys had to do was/is to use it

 

Candle's design is really quite impressive, as all his designs are!! Everything we would ever need in an ethernet interface is there. The informatiion on this board will go up on the project website as soon as I can, and I hope someone can get this board produced. However, the reason we did not immediately decide to stop work on our design and go with Candle's was that we had already committed to the IP Dragon boards, so we kept moving forward with the design Cybernoid started. I actually had a board design all ready to be produced and even had it checked for manufacturing (right around the same time I got your design Candle) when we decided to add an address select circuit to it. Working through that without adding a ton of logic has been the delay. Our design can be home-build with just a few easy to source components and an IP Dragon board. Even etching the printed circuit board at home can be done for anyone familiar with the process. Having a design that could be home build was important to me and I think is pretty cool actually, and a benefit to the Atari community. We are planning a run of finished cartridges using our design, but I want people to have the option to make there own.

 

If someone wants to get a run of Candle's board made, I am all for it, and I can even recomend a couple of PCB manufacturers. The project is open source. Candle, I have had your design for a few months, and I do appologize for not getting it up on the site, you put a lot of work into it and that's not fair to you and I am sorry. I wasn't hidding or shelving it, like everyone else, I have a lot going on outside the word of Atari, but I will do my very best to have this and some other updated informatiion on the project, up on the site by Monday.

Edited by puppetmark

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I don't get why two of your team are making layouts fro the same product, but that's your problem :)

MY problem is that I and a mate wanted to build your "home-made"-approach with the Dragon-board. However, we couldn't source it.

AND I would prefer a one-PCB solution instead of a the 2PCB + Dragon-board.

 

What I want to say is: I buy one (or two) when somebody builds these :)

(It goes without saying, when the price is reasonable)

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