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A7800 - the Atari 7800 Emulator

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I totally appreciate that the ROM loading is far from slick, but TBH I don't have intentions to mess with the UI. I don't have the personal time to sink into it.

 

On where it's going... I'll improve the emulation where possible, especially with regards to custom controllers. I'll also backport over any key improvements from MAME, though I'm not expecting any big ones that will improve the 7800 experience.

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Thanks for replying. I understand that messing with the UI isn't really of much interest to you. Especially as, coding-wise, I'm sure it's pretty dull and when your time is limited you want to have fun in what you're creating. :)

 

I'm just happy to see another 7800 emulator out in the wild. :)

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A7800 is a fork of the MAME Atari 7800 driver, with several enhancements added:

 

-Support for emulation of Proline Joysticks, VCS Joysticks, Lightguns, Paddles, Driving Controllers, Keypads, Trak-Balls, Amiga Mice, and ST Mice.

-Maria DMA timing has been improved further, with the addition of accurate DMA hole penalties.

-Improved saturated/normalized 'factory set' default palette colors.

-A bug in the existing RIOT emulation has been fixed.

 

MAME compatibility and syntax has been maintained, to allow for the reuse of MAME configuration files and front-ends.

 

Easy Install:

01. Download A7800 and unzip to desired location [i.E. C:\mame]. Read more about the emulator and download OS X & Linux ports here.

 

02. Download Additional Files* and unzip to location chosen for emulator installation in step 01. [i.E. C:\mame]:

attachicon.gifAdditional_Files_a7800_v0188-01.zip

 

*Additional Files Notes:

-NTSC, PAL, BIOS and XM/HSC files already stored to their correct location and structure.

-Already created *.ini and *.cfg files which have been initiated for NTSC and PAL regions respectively with the following conditions:

A. Running 'a7800.exe' will list 7800 console region selection (NTSC or PAL) in a maximized window.

-Press Alt-Enter to toggle between Window and Full Screen mode.

-In Window mode, grab corner of window to modify size.

B. Default controls: Arrow Keys, Left Ctrl Z, Left Alt C (Remap via "Tab" menu). #Changed as of v0.188-02#

-First installed game controller under Windows automatically maps to Player 1 (Remap via "Tab" menu).

C. Difficulty Switches configuration located under "Dip Switches" via the 'Tab' key menu.

 

 

Getting A System Started:

 

 

01. Double click on "a7800.exe"

02. Arrow key Up or Down to pick either "Atari 7800 (NTSC)" or "Atari 7800 (PAL)" and press the 'Enter' key.

03. Having "[start empty]" highlighted press 'Enter' key.

 

EDIT: Alternatively, a one-click system start method has been provided.

 

 

 

How To Select A Controller:

 

 

01. Having a system already started, press 'Tab' key.

02. Arrow key down to highlight "Slot Devices" and press 'Enter' key.

03. Arrow key down and up to select controller port and Arrow key left or right to select controller option.

04. Arrow key down to "Reset" and press 'Enter' key after controller setup completed.

 

 

 

 

How To Select A Game:

 

 

01. Having a system already started, press 'Tab' key.

02. Arrow key down to highlight "File Manager" and press 'Enter' key.

03. Arrow key down to highlight "cartridge (cart)" and press 'Enter' key.

04. Arrow key down and up to select ROM [path] and press 'Enter' key to select.

 

 

 

 

 

I am just getting a bunch of errors Your video card does not fully support non power of two. If you click OK, I get another error saying textures It will just keep giving these errors forever until I force-quite from tash manager Windows 7 32 bit., with a g33/31 integrated Intel graphics chip.

 

Is there any way to fix this? Is there a different driver to select in the ini file or something?

 

Any help would be appreciated!

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I am just getting a bunch of errors Your video card does not fully support non power of two. If you click OK, I get another error saying textures It will just keep giving these errors forever until I force-quite from tash manager Windows 7 32 bit., with a g33/31 integrated Intel graphics chip.

 

Is there any way to fix this? Is there a different driver to select in the ini file or something?

 

In the Additional Files download there is a file named "mame.ini". Open the file in a simple/basic editor such as Notepad. Search for the following lines:

 

# OSD VIDEO OPTIONS
#
video                     auto

and change to:

 

 

# OSD VIDEO OPTIONS
#
video                     gdi

The modification to the "video" setting is needed due to the auto default setting utilizing D3D first if supported by the graphics card (chip). That particular graphics chip set dates back to ~11 years ago. While the G33/31 integrated Intel graphics chip set does support D3D, it unfortunately lacks the feature mentioned for -full- D3D support. Oddly enough, an even older chipset, the GMA950 from ~13 years ago, does fully support non power of two and works fine with the "auto" default.

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In the Additional Files download there is a file named "mame.ini". Open the file in a simple/basic editor such as Notepad. Search for the following lines:

# OSD VIDEO OPTIONS
#
video                     auto

and change to:

# OSD VIDEO OPTIONS
#
video                     gdi

The modification to the "video" setting is needed due to the auto default setting utilizing D3D first if supported by the graphics card (chip). That particular graphics chip set dates back to ~11 years ago. While the G33/31 integrated Intel graphics chip set does support D3D, it unfortunately lacks the feature mentioned for -full- D3D support. Oddly enough, an even older chipset, the GMA950 from ~13 years ago, does fully support non power of two and works fine with the "auto" default.

 

What name does this show up as in the MAME menu. Does it have a different name than the standard a7800.rom, which is "Atari 7800 (NTSC)"?

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What name does this show up as in the MAME menu. Does it have a different name than the standard a7800.rom, which is "Atari 7800 (NTSC)"?

 

It does not show up in the MAME menu. The aforementioned "mame.ini" file is not modified within the emulator. It typically resides in the same folder as the "a7800.exe" file, and can be opened and modified utilizing a simple application such as Notepad.

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***UPDATE***

A7800 v0.188-03

What's new?

  • Keypad Controller emulation fixed.
  • Updated default mappings for Console and Player 2.
  • Console temperature/Color palette selection added.
  • Fixed graphics glitch in Super Skateboardin' status area.
  • User interface improvements including streamlined menus.
  • Verified (real-time) load and save state support.
  • Full illustrative manual added to the download archive.
  • Optional display enhancement effects: HLSL with YIQ, CRT-geom(-deluxe), super-eagle, hq series, (super) xbr lineup.

Quick and easy portable install for Windows:
(For OS X and Linux ports see the A7800 Emulator Home Page)

1. Download A7800, unzip to a new/clean preferred location [i.E. C:\A7800].
2. Download BIOS file archive, unzip "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" for "bios" subfolder [i.E. C:\A7800\bios] creation, containing "a7800.zip".
3. ROM files placed into "roms" subfolder [i.E. C:\A7800\roms] for convenience, or prepare to navigate to the ROMs while A7800 is running.


Starting an Atari 7800 console system:

1. Double click A7800.exe.

2. Choose a console (Double click with mouse pointer or highlight with arrow keys and press 'Enter'), either NTSC or PAL, and the console temperature: Cold, Hot, or Warm. System temperature impacts the color palette.

3. Select a console configuration (Double click with mouse pointer or highlight with arrow keys and press 'Enter'): Standard Console, High Score Cartridge, XBoarD Expansion, XM Expansion Module.


Selecting a ROM:

1. After a system is started, press the ‘Tab’ key.

2. Highlight the option "Load ROM file" with arrow keys and press 'Enter', or double click with mouse pointer.

3. Perform the same respecting the available "cartridge (cart)" slot that appears.

4. Choose a ROM from the displayed "roms" subfolder on the screen; otherwise, navigate to the location of where the ROMs are stored. ROMs should have headers in proper *.a78 format.


Default Mappings:

1. Console: Pause = O; Select = E; Reset = T.

2. Player 1: Up, Down, Left, Right = Arrow Keys; Button 1 = Z; Button 2 = C.

3. Player 2: Up, Down, Left, Right = I, K, J, L; Button 1 = A; Button 2 = D.


Changing Controllers:

1. After a system is started, press the ‘Tab’ key.

2. Highlight the option "Controller Selection" with arrow keys and press 'Enter', or double click with mouse pointer.

3. Change a controller by highlighting it and then press either the left or right arrow key.

4. After a controller is changed, reset the emulator by selecting “Reset”.



***For more details and options see the included illustrative manual***

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Selecting a ROM:

1. After a system is started, press the ‘Tab’ key.

 

2. Highlight the option "Load ROM file" with arrow keys and press 'Enter', or double click with mouse pointer.

 

3. Perform the same respecting the available "cartridge (cart)" slot that appears.

 

4. Choose a ROM from the displayed "roms" subfolder on the screen; otherwise, navigate to the location of where the ROMs are stored. ROMs should have headers in proper *.a78 format.

no luck with #1 above on the new version - when I hit <tab> it highlights the "exit" button at the bottom

Edited by Arenafoot

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no luck with #1 above on the new version - when I hit <tab> it highlights the "exit" button at the bottom

 

What screen(s) are you seeing prior to attempting the "Selecting a ROM" section of the post? Was the "Starting an Atari 7800 console system", listed before it, performed entirely?

 

At the very least, even if no game ROM files/no "roms" folder is present, only the bios, the following series of screens are still seen:

 

1. A7800 has been downloaded and files unzipped to a clean folder. BIOS file(s) were also downloaded and placed in a "bios" sub-folder. The folder should appear similar to the following capture:

 

post-18-0-80437200-1534034282.png

 

 

2. After launching A7800.exe, a list of consoles are presented, in which one of the six listed needs to be selected:

 

post-18-0-81330700-1534034286.png

 

***If "Tab" is pressed at the list of console screens above, and that's when "it highlights the "exit" button at the bottom" is experienced, then the issue is a console has not been started.

 

"Selecting a ROM" takes place after a system is started, which has not happened yet at this point.***

 

3. Next, a console configuration has to be chosen:

 

post-18-0-03045500-1534034291.png

 

 

4. If an NTSC console was selected with a corresponding configuration listed above, the below screen is seen:

 

post-18-0-26582400-1534034295.png

(For a PAL console, the built-in Asteroids game would be running instead)

 

 

5. Pressing 'Tab' at this point - where we now pick up at the "Selecting A ROM" instructions - will bring up a list of options, the topmost being "Load ROM File". The bottom option is "Return to Machine":

 

post-18-0-15641000-1534034300.png

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What screen(s) are you seeing prior to attempting the "Selecting a ROM" section of the post? Was the "Starting an Atari 7800 console system", listed before it, performed entirely?

 

At the very least, even if no game ROM files/no "roms" folder is present, only the bios, the following series of screens are still seen:

 

1. A7800 has been downloaded and files unzipped to a clean folder. BIOS file(s) were also downloaded and placed in a "bios" sub-folder. The folder should appear similar to the following capture:

 

attachicon.gifCapture.PNG

 

 

2. After launching A7800.exe, a list of consoles are presented, in which one of the six listed needs to be selected:

 

attachicon.gifCapture2.PNG

 

***If "Tab" is being pressed at the list of console screens above, and that is where "it highlights the "exit" button at the bottom" is experienced, then the issue is a console has not being started.

 

"Selecting a ROM" takes place after a system is started, which has not happened yet at this point.***

 

3. Next, a console configuration has to be chosen:

 

attachicon.gifCapture3.PNG

I get this screen when I double-click the console (see bottom pic). Then hitting <tab> goes to the exit at the bottom. I can't get to step #3.

I've set up the proper folders and put the bios file in the bios folder and 7800 ROMs in the roms folder too. Maybe not compatible with Win7? I've had other emu's that don't work too.

post-2652-0-20712600-1534044503_thumb.jpg

post-2652-0-17151200-1534044675_thumb.jpg

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Is your 7800 BIOS zipped or unzipped? Though I am not sure if A7800 cares, I know some emus are picky about that.

 

Mitch

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I get this screen when I double-click the console (see bottom pic)...

 

The BIOS file(s) are missing, bad, or not properly stored.

 

By utilizing the merged BIOS file from archive.org [Linked to previously under "Quick and easy portable install for Windows:], all that is required for every 7800 system and configuration to work, is placing the "bios" folder which contains a merged "a7800.zip" BIOS ROM set, as a subfolder under where the A7800 emulator was installed.

 

Here are confirmed working steps for BIOS file setup...

 

 

1. Download the merged BIOS archive. The file "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" will be present:

post-18-0-09454900-1534071460.png

 

 

2. Open and Extract "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" file:

post-18-0-75581400-1534072724.png

(The above example is utilizing the free program IZArc. Any program that manages extracting files from zip archives will suffice just as well.)

 

 

3. Store the "bios" folder obtained from the "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" archive file as a subfolder to where A7800 is installed:

post-18-0-37235500-1534072222.png

That's it - now any of the 7800 systems and configurations will start. :)

 

The "a7800.zip" merged BIOS archive file inside the "bios" subfolder is left as is - Do not extract/unzip/decompress it.

 

For those maintaining separate BIOS file archives, they may have both a "a7800.zip" file and a "a7800p.zip" file, among others; however, that is unnecessary when "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" is leveraged.

 

Is your 7800 BIOS zipped or unzipped? Though I am not sure if A7800 cares, I know some emus are picky about that.

 

Mitch

 

A7800 emulator supports both zipped or unzipped BIOS file sets. Zipped is recommended (And illustrated above), as it is easier to manage and less steps to accomplish the same goal. If one chooses to unzip the "a7800.zip" BIOS file archive, the individual files should be stored inside a "a7800" subfolder within the "bios" folder.

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Are you planning on submitting your changes to the MAME release so it can updated also?

 

FAQs Question 2. The included manual also contains the same information.

 

The source code is freely available on the home page, so if MAMEDev has a change of heart, or if any others wish to attempt a submission, have at it. :)

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The BIOS file(s) are missing, bad, or not properly stored.

 

By utilizing the merged BIOS file from archive.org [Linked to previously under "Quick and easy portable install for Windows:], all that is required for every 7800 system and configuration to work, is placing the "bios" folder which contains a merged "a7800.zip" BIOS ROM set, as a subfolder under where the A7800 emulator was installed.

 

Here are confirmed working steps for BIOS file setup...

 

 

1. Download the merged BIOS archive. The file "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" will be present:

attachicon.gifCapture6.PNG

 

 

2. Open and Extract "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" file:

attachicon.gifCapture7.PNG

(The above example is utilizing the free program IZArc. Any program that manages extracting files from zip archives will suffice just as well.)

 

 

3. Store the "bios" folder obtained from the "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" archive file as a subfolder to where A7800 is installed:

attachicon.gifCapture8.PNG

That's it - now any of the 7800 systems and configurations will start. :)

 

The "a7800.zip" merged BIOS archive file inside the "bios" subfolder is left as is - Do not extract/unzip/decompress it.

 

For those maintaining separate BIOS file archives, they may have both a "a7800.zip" file and a "a7800p.zip" file, among others; however, that is unnecessary when "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" is leveraged.

 

 

A7800 emulator supports both zipped or unzipped BIOS file sets. Zipped is recommended (And illustrated above), as it is easier to manage and less steps to accomplish the same goal. If one chooses to unzip the "a7800.zip" BIOS file archive, the individual files should be stored inside a "a7800" subfolder within the "bios" folder.

I had that .zip file of bios already in that folder but never unzipped it. I unzipped it and copied all the files into the bios folder (see attached) ..... and still the same issue.

post-2652-0-88930300-1534112720_thumb.jpg

post-2652-0-13772900-1534112733_thumb.jpg

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I had that .zip file of bios already in that folder but never unzipped it. I unzipped it and copied all the files into the bios folder (see attached) ..... and still the same issue.

 

Both "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" was unzipped, as well as the file inside the "bios" folder "a7800.zip", in the screen capture you provided.

 

Do not unzip "a7800.zip" inside the "bios" folder.

 

The "bios" folder appears as follows after just unzipping "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip":

 

post-18-0-61432300-1534121012.png

Contained within "a7800.zip" are the files listed in your capture:

 

post-18-0-59524500-1534124135.png

 

Those files from inside "a7800.zip" should not be extracted and it should reside in the "bios" folder. ;)

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Both "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip" was unzipped, as well as the file inside the "bios" folder "a7800.zip", in the screen capture you provided.

 

Do not unzip "a7800.zip" inside the "bios" folder.

 

The "bios" folder appears as follows after just unzipping "Atari7800_mergedbios.zip":

 

attachicon.gifCapture.PNG

OK .... done.... any other suggestions?

post-2652-0-40300500-1534124000_thumb.jpg

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Was getting same as previous post But now all is good Nice job Thanks for your hard work

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OK .... done.... any other suggestions?

 

Be happy gaming...At the moment there is nothing critical to mention. Hopefully, you're coasting along nicely now with A7800. :)

 

 

Was getting same as previous post But now all is good Nice job Thanks for your hard work

 

Glad to read that - thank you.

 

There have been a number of contributors to get Atari 7800 emulation to where it is today under A7800. In recent years, it has been RevEng's contributions which are the most dominant and essential in bringing the hardware accuracy enjoyed under the emulator. His labor of love is very much appreciated.

 

Some outstanding information respecting the console has been well documented and details specified in the source code that is freely available for A7800.

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Be happy gaming...At the moment there is nothing critical to mention. Hopefully, you're coasting along nicely now with A7800. :)

Oh, I guess you thought it was working.... my bad - No it does not work with Win7.

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Not saying this will help..but make sure that after you download these .zip files in this thread, that you click on the properties of the files and make sure you click on the Unblock option. I'm pretty much having to do this with everything I download across all my computers. If I don't I frequently get weird results...

 

So yes, make sure you unblock the files before trying to unzip or place them in their respective folders.

 

Once I created the 'bios' folder and placed the a7800.zip file containing all the various bios files, it fired right up for me. Played one of my best games of Commando last night in fact...

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Unfortunately not on mine.....

The screen you are getting is because the program cannot find the bios .... might I suggest a complete redo of the files...delete the current folder...then create a folder (call it what you want) then extract all the files into that folder. then Find the A7800.exe file and open it..it should work.

I know that you have probably heard all this before as stated in previous posts...but I ran into the same problem and what I suggested is exactly how I remedied it.

 

Hope all goes well for you...please keep us posted as to your progress.

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