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Programming the Atari XL/XE

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After a long struggle with hardware, codecs and recording & editing stofware I finally managed to have a system setup where recording videos is as easy as I always wanted to have it. So I decided to finally start the tutorial series on Programming the Atari XL/XE that I had always planned.

 

This tutorial series complements the general tutorial series on using WUDSN IDE itself with the knowledge to the Atari XL/XE computer itself. The purpose of the tutorial is to show interested people how easy it is to control text screen, character set, colors graphics screen and sound with just a few lines of code. Starting is very easy.

 

The tutorial series consists of short (5-10 minutes) videos. In each video I develop and explain the code live to show you the evolution of the source and the immediate result on the Atari. 5 videos of the about 12 planned videos are now available. You can ask questions and post seed feedback via this thread on AtariAge, youtube comments or e-mail. Once I'm though with the basic stuff, I'll create individual videos for the topics you ask for.

 

The following videos are now available on the youtube playlist:

 

 

 

 

 

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why i have workspace on C:\JAC and F:\MY-DIR?

i dont need JAC dir..........

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>why i have workspace on C:\JAC and F:\MY-DIR?

You can of couse use any folder you like for Eclipse and for your workspace. "C:\jac\wudsn" is the default folder if you use the zero installation distribution. All paths in the links and preferences are preconfigured to that folder. This i meant to keep get everything "ready-to-run" without additional steps. If you want to use different installation or workspace folders, please watch the WUDSN IDE tutorial and perform the steps described there.

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yes, i change config file manually.. (original zip file contains file with c:\jac.....)

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I've bitten the bullet and installed it. I've now implemented a pre-existing project (which wasn't in Eclipse format) into the GUI, set up a build routine and I've set up the run routine to kick off Altirra with my binary as a parameter.

 

It really is very good, a bit of overkill maybe, but it is very capable.

 

All I have to do is write some good code in it now! :)

 

It is fantastic that you are producing videos to go with it too - a very nice touch.

Edited by snicklin
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>It is fantastic that you are producing videos to go with it too - a very nice touch
And actually much simpler in the end than writing textual documentation (hardly anybody would read). Now that I can record & cut the indivdual parts, it's really fun to do this.

>I am used to program in Atmas II on a real Atari 8bit (130XE)

Perfect, as long as you program fits in there. The power of the IDE is (besides navigation and other things) the way you can handle really large projects without loosing oversight. In the 80ies I had ATMAS an reached about 1.000 lines. In the 90ies I had an text editor & cross compiler and reached about 5.000 lines. With my IDE, I reached 10.000 and meanwhile 17.000.

 

Two more parts are available now:

 

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Should I watch these if I'm a complete beginner in Assembly, or should I continue through my books until I'm more confident?

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You make this all look so easy! OK, simple examples, but still, you make them look even simpler!

 

To anyone watching, note the speed at which compilations are taking place, the turn-around from writing code to running it is lightning fast.

 

Peter, just one thing, you made a couple of (minor!) errors in part 5, mentioning 265 instead of 256 and 69 instead of 96. The amount of times I heard those mistakes in Germany.... and vice-versa, the amount of times I heard English speakers say their German numbers the wrong way around! For anyone who wonders why and does not know German, German speakers say "6 and 90" (in German of course) while English speakers say "Ninety six". I could come up with some crude joke (and normally would!), but I'll hold back....!

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Hi Peter,

 

thanks for the tutorials. Really well done! I enjoyed them very much. All looks so easy, when you explain it, and especially the WUDSN IDE is very helpful here. I think for people with a little bit of 6502 background these tutorials are absolutely perfect to make fast progress on the Atari platform.

 

Keep up the great work.

 

Norbert

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> should I continue through my books until I'm more confident?

No need to wait. The examples are always intentionally just a few lines of code, and from the explanation you'll probably even understand them if you have never seen assembler before. If the books are good, they'll teach you how to implement the required alorithms in a low-level language like assembler. If my tutorials are good, they'll show you how to get visible results actually running. Use them and play around. That's how I leart it also. I saw a line with "DATA 169,4,141,26,212" ... and I simply changed some numbers....

>
I heard English speakers say their German numbers the wrong way around
Well, in fact they are wrong. But since I was obviously raised that way, you have to be prepared for more of these - at least when talking fast in in decimal notation :-) Note: I also learned just recently that in the US counting in "hundreds" goes futher than in German (only
up to "1900). The Americans were wondering why I called it "Atari twothousandsixhundred" instead of "twentysixhundred".


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>I heard English speakers say their German numbers the wrong way around

Well, in fact they are wrong. But since I was obviously raised that way, you have to be prepared for more of these - at least when talking fast in in decimal notation :-) Note: I also learned just recently that in the US counting in "hundreds" goes futher than in German (only up to "1900). The Americans were wondering why I called it "Atari twothousandsixhundred" instead of "twentysixhundred".

 

 

No problem, as long as people know then they can cater for these differences.

 

Interestingly, the counting in 100's is different between the UK/AUS and US/CAN. In the UK and Australia, we only go up to 900. I remember a teacher going mad at me at school for saying that I ran the "fifteen-hundred metres". He was correct.

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two six hundred in pl_PL. Thousands are somehow missing. Tutorials are just great! And it is nice to hear the familiar voice :)

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The power of the IDE is (besides navigation and other things) the way you can handle really large projects without loosing oversight. In the 80ies I had ATMAS an reached about 1.000 lines. In the 90ies I had an text editor & cross compiler and reached about 5.000 lines. With my IDE, I reached 10.000 and meanwhile 17.000.

Amen to that. Just looking at 19,049 lines here. No problem. :)

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Next two parts are out now. One that was planned anyway and one that was requested. Make sure you have the latest IDE installed for the character set part.

Part 7 - Own Character Sets



Part 8 - Text Output using E:

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Programming the Atari XL/XE - Part 9 - Graphics Modes

 

Even though I talk about the 15 graphics modes all the time in the video, there are of course 16 as shown on the screen (5 with text, 11 with bitmap semantics). You can also see that from the fact that the video is 16 minutes and not only 15 ;-). In the next part I will code more and talk less, that's faster. But I had to lay the foundation first.

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Talk as much as you like, Peter. These are exceptionally useful videos and tools you have here. Thanks very much!

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After struggling how to explain setting colors without mentioning shadow registers and shadow registers without something visible, I decided to solve it this way and do it in a single part.

 

Edited by JAC!
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Thank you, JAC! It will be time well spent to learn from one of the best Atari experts around. Thanks for spending your time to make the videos to share with us.

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After a long break, I finally managed recording the next 3 parts all dealing with the Display List: Basics, Memory Mapping and Soft Scrolling.

 

 

 

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