Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Overview Episode 5:

 

I really enjoyed listening to this episode.  I was at first sad to hear that Chris was no longer your co-host, but Paul made up well for him not being a part of the episode. 

 

The episode made me feel very strongly that I need to start typing in Basic Programs into my Bally.  In the episode you mention that Bob Fabris was a bit hesitant about you putting user submitted basic programs out on the internet, because he was worried people would type them in and get frustrated when they didn't work.  And that this frustration would lead them to be upset with the Bally Arcade platform.  Then Paul mentions that this frustration has been the reality with every platform that has had user submitted programs.  I thought it funny that Bob would be upset about this when I'm sure only a handful of very committed Bally enthusiasts would ever attempt this, but I'm sure more than a few people still type in programs from time to time.  I'm always envious of those individuals that were able to grow up with early computer Tech and start with Basic and Assembly language as their first computer language.  I started with C++ because that was the popular language of the late 90s.  

 

During the episode you mention bally user groups that existed at the time, and that they had turnouts of around 40-50 people.  I wish their was a user group in my town that I could meet with weekly. I'm sure none exist anymore, except for ones that exist virtually on the internet. It would have been awesome to attend those early Arcadian meetings.

 

It was fun to here about the development of the Blue ram by John Perkins.  I hope to be able to purchase some type of ram extension module someday.  I watched your youtube video about the Blue ram, and I was amazed by the quality of the device.  Its to bad more games and applications weren't programmed to take advantage of the extra ram like the Starpath Supercharger games for the 2600. 

 

I look forward to listening the next episode!  Thanks again! They really are a treasure for the community to listen to!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2020 at 9:34 AM, adamchevy said:

Overview [Astroast] Episode 5:

 

Thanks, @adamchevyfor your feedback on Astrocast #5.

 

Chris is recording with me again as a co-host of the Astrocast.  This will probably be an on-again/off-again "let's hang out and play the astrocade" affair for right now.  Astrocast #13, a short episode, has been recorded and edited.  I hope to have it up by tomorrow or the next day.  Getting it online isn't a problem, but I like to add links for each episode's show notes.

 

I have lined up a recording time with Paul on this Thursday.  We will be covering the next issue of the Arcadian newsletter (Oct. 1979) as well as some letters to the Arcadian from that same time period.  Depending on the length of our recording, we may have the segment as part of Astrocast #14, or it may be a stand-alone episode.  I also have my first user interview lined up for Friday.

 

I can understand the desire to type in a BASIC program, as it can sort of put you into the mindset of the late-1970s/early-1980s.  However, as much as I do have some nostalgia for typing in programs on the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit home computers and Astrocade, I would much rather use the programs that have already been written.  I suggest typing in a few short programs from the "AstroBASIC" manual and then doodling around the language making some simple routines and then moving on from that point.

 

I do miss computer user group meetings.  I'm actually a bit surprised that they don't really exist anymore.  Sure, I know that it is more convenient and easier to find information online now than it ever was back in the 1980s when user groups were probably at their height.  Yet, the near-demise of user groups is unfortunate.  For those who have never attended such a meeting, it's hard to describe the additional benefits that one can get in person.  Maybe it's the accidental learning that could happen at them that was such a positive influence on members at the time.  What I mean by that is that sometimes you could run across information that you would never expect to be able to use.  This can still happen probably just as frequently, or even more frequently, using the Internet, but there was a certain one-on-one personal level of care from other members of user groups that allowed people to learn on a more individual-based level then is probably possible through the Internet using any means except person-to-person interaction.

 

In some ways, the fears which Bob Fabris had about putting BASIC listings on the Internet are well-founded.  He is correct that people have a hard time typing in even the simplest of BASIC programs.  If I could go back to 1984 and avoid typing in some of those long BASIC programs and just buy the disk version of Compute! and Compute!'s Gazette magazines, then I would save myself not just a lot of time but a lot of bug tracking and headaches.  I was only twelve years old back then and the two-finger typing was quite a chore for me.  That said, typing in someone else's computer program is a descent way to learn a computer language.  In its simplest form, typing in a BASIC program allows someone to understand the general format and syntax that a program can take.  Once a user begins to understand how BASIC works, then typing in a program can give insight into tricks that can be used in one's own programs.

 

Being able to access extended RAM on the astrocade is quite useful, especially if you own the UltiMulti cartridge, which has some programs on it that require extra RAM.  Try to pick up the Lil' White Ram.  It doesn't have the I/O that the Blue Ram offers but it's main benefit is that it's available is hard to beat!

 

Thanks again for your feedback and keep it coming.

 

Adam

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I uploaded the Bally Alley Astrocast #13 today.  In this episode, Chris and I review the Bally Arcade/Astrocade game "Cosmic Raiders," a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up. "Cosmic Raiders" is a game released in 1983 on an 8K cartridge by Astrocade Inc. It is part of the Action/Skills Series and is part #2019. It was written by Bob Ogdon, Scot L. Norris, Julie Malan, and Lisa Natting.

 

Cosmic_Raiders_Screenshot.png.8953dcbc9f1b52b124aa298ec7f92372.png

 

"In deep space lies the alien sector Larkin. You are there on a mission to obtain energy sources that have been seized by the evil Larkins. Radar and a superior guidance system help you avoid attacking fighters and Kamikaze ships. The energy stars are near the Larkin command ship: you must retrieve them before you can leave the enemy sector."

 

You can listen to the podcast here:

 

http://ballyalleyastrocast.libsyn.com/podcast/bally-alley-astrocast-episode-13-cosmic-raiders-by-astrocade-inc

 

There are tons of show notes which are in black (as if you've already viewed the links), so they're hard to see-- but they do work. Hopefully I eventually figure out what is wrong here. The links all look and act normal in preview mode when I view the show notes at Libsyn.

 

Enjoy!

 

Adam

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I uploaded Astrocast #14 today. Paul and I cover the October 1979 issue of the Arcadian newsletter (vol. 1, #11) along with sixteen letters, postcards, notes and even one telegram that were sent to Bob Fabris, editor of the Arcadian newsletter, in the late 1970s/early 1980s. The two programs in this issue are "Microtrek" by Bill Andrus and "Resequencing" by Ron Schweitzer.

 

1423194459_Microtrek(BillAndrus)(AstrocadeScreenshot)_03.jpg.60f39d9ea1c91ad33dd3e30d8ce80072.jpg36498402_Microtrek(BillAndrus)(AstrocadeScreenshot)_04.jpg.b8178e17141cd4a5905fcfd46fd26495.jpg

 

Thanks to Paul for co-hosting this episode with me.

 

You can listen to the Astrocast #14 here:

 

http://ballyalleyastrocast.libsyn.com/podcast/bally-alley-astrocast-episode-13-arcadian-oct-1979-and-1979-newsletter-correspondence

 

Be sure to read the show notes for the additional content and a link to the MagFest video.  Yeah, and the links still don't show up as blue, but they do work.

 

Coming soon in future Astrocast episodes:

 

Astrocast #15 - My first user interview.  I talk to David Kindred. David was a user of the Astrocade in the early 1980s and the system helped to shape his career in programming.  This episode is recorded and edited already.  I'll upload it in about two weeks.

 

Astrocast #16 is a going to cover part of the AstroBASIC manual.  Most of that episode is recorded too, but none of it is edited yet.

 

Astrocast #17 - By the time episode #17 rolls around, I hope to review "Brickyard/Clowns" and WaveMakers' "Outpost 19" with Chris.

 

Astrocast #18 - Cover November 1979 issue of Arcadian and more letters from that time period.

If you would like to be interviewed for a user interview, then contact me and we'll set up a time to talk via Skype or phone.

 

Enjoy Astrocast #14 and...

 

...thanks for listening!

 

(If you have any feedback then post it here, or send me an email.)

 

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I uploaded Astrocast #15 today, in which I conduct a user interview with David Kindred.

 

David got his Astrocade console in 1981 when he was eleven years old. He learned to program in Bally BASIC, which caused a spark that eventually ignited into a flame that drove David to college where he studied computer science and information technology. He worked for 25 years as a computer programmer, beginning with Fortune 500 companies, before he moved into IT management, where he works to this day.

 

In this podcast, David explains how using the Bally/Astrocade helped to shape his early views on programming and how the system and its BASIC programming language allowed him to be precise in his thinking. Lastly, lets not forget the fun tale of the subtle drawing of a tree with toilet paper hanging from its limbs that he created with a friend using the Astrocade's built-in program, Scribbling. Why would he draw this small wonder of art? This humble drawing glorified the cute misconduct of two thirteen year old boys who had spent the previous evening TP-ing a neighbor's tree.

 

If you have ever wondered what it felt like to be the owner and user of a minority game system like the Astrocade, then David can help fill in some of the blanks that are so hard to come by when talking to people who grew up with the more mainstream game systems like the Atari 2600 or much more popular computers like the Apple II.

 

Thanks to David for allowing me to interview him; it was fun!

 

You can listen to the Astrocast #15 here:

 

http://ballyalleyastrocast.libsyn.com/podcast/bally-alley-astrocast-episode-15-user-interview-with-david-kindred

 

There are only a few show notes for this episode.  If you've never seen the Astrocade catalogs called The Soucebook, then follow that link.  You'll be surprised how much software and hardware were compiled in these manuals.

 

Coming soon in future Astrocast episodes:

 

Astrocast #16 is a going to cover part of the AstroBASIC manual.  Most of that episode is recorded too, but none of it is edited yet.

 

Astrocast #17 - By the time episode #17 rolls around, I hope to review Brickyard/Clowns" and WaveMakers' "Outpost 19" with Chris.  If he's not available yet, then I may review a few AstroBASIC tape releases on my own.

 

Astrocast #18 - Cover November 1979 issue of Arcadian and more letters from that time period.

 

If you would like to be interviewed for a user interview, then contact me and we'll set up a time to talk via Skype or phone.

 

Have fun listening to Astrocast #15!

 

(If you have any feedback then post it here, or send me an email.)

 

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have finished and uploaded Bally Alley Astrocast: Episode 16 - Interview with Andy Guevara of Bit Fiddlers.  You can listen to the podcast here:

 

https://ballyalleyastrocast.libsyn.com/podcast/bally-alley-astrocast-episode-16-interview-with-andy-guevara-of-bit-fiddlers

 

In episode #16 of the Bally Alley Astrocast, Kevin Bunch interviews Andy Guevara. The interview took place Saturday, May 16, 2020. Andy wrote three programs that were released on cartridge for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. The first cartridge was Machine Language Manager (MLM), released by The Bit Fiddlers in 1982. L&M Software approached Andy due to his machine language skills and a collaboration got underway that produced Ms. Candyman and Sea Devil, which were both released on cartridge in 1983. Andy also wrote some additional software: Chicken and the Goldfish Demo were released on tape, while a few others were released as type-in programs. Mr. Guevara's used an Apple II Plus with a Z80 card which ran the CP/M operating system to write most of his software for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade.

 

Thanks to Kevin and Andy for allowing the Astrocast to use the interview.  Thanks to Chris for editing the podcast.  Thanks for the astrocade community for listening to it.

 

Adam

 

(Oh, and yeah, as always, the html links do work, but they're not blue in my webpage on my computer, so may be hard to see.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...