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Atari 80 column software/hardware

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I would like to announce at least partial success. I purchased an assortment of used diskettes on ebay and one of them was the 80 column omniview modified AtariWriter Plus. The omniview people only modified the XE version of AW plus. When I tried to run it on my 800XL with wiztronics 256 upgrade, I got the screen message "This is not an XE". I removed the wiztronics upgrade and installed a Rambo upgrade. The program would then load but the screen was unstable in the create a document mode. The screen seemed to be rapidly oscillating between two or more screens views. If I typed a letter, I could see the letter during the key press but then it would disappear. I then moved by omniview to a 130XE and now everything works as it should. I don't know if the problem is with that particular XL or if the problem is with the way Rambo does something. I am going to try the omniview in a 1200XL. If it doesn't work there I will just let it go and be satisfied that the XE version will only work correctly on an actual XE machine.

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I would like to announce at least partial success. I purchased an assortment of used diskettes on ebay and one of them was the 80 column omniview modified AtariWriter Plus. The omniview people only modified the XE version of AW plus. When I tried to run it on my 800XL with wiztronics 256 upgrade, I got the screen message "This is not an XE". I removed the wiztronics upgrade and installed a Rambo upgrade. The program would then load but the screen was unstable in the create a document mode. The screen seemed to be rapidly oscillating between two or more screens views. If I typed a letter, I could see the letter during the key press but then it would disappear. I then moved by omniview to a 130XE and now everything works as it should. I don't know if the problem is with that particular XL or if the problem is with the way Rambo does something. I am going to try the omniview in a 1200XL. If it doesn't work there I will just let it go and be satisfied that the XE version will only work correctly on an actual XE machine.

I have Omniview on my 32-in-1 Atarimax OS, on my 1200XL with a Rambo compatible 256K upgrade, and it works fine, at least with BASIC which is what I tested it with for 80 column view. So my educated guess is it's a problem with how they changed Atariwriter+ and not a problem with Omniview on a 1200XL with Rambo.

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I would like to announce at least partial success. I purchased an assortment of used diskettes on ebay and one of them was the 80 column omniview modified AtariWriter Plus. The omniview people only modified the XE version of AW plus. When I tried to run it on my 800XL with wiztronics 256 upgrade, I got the screen message "This is not an XE". I removed the wiztronics upgrade and installed a Rambo upgrade. The program would then load but the screen was unstable in the create a document mode. The screen seemed to be rapidly oscillating between two or more screens views. If I typed a letter, I could see the letter during the key press but then it would disappear. I then moved by omniview to a 130XE and now everything works as it should. I don't know if the problem is with that particular XL or if the problem is with the way Rambo does something. I am going to try the omniview in a 1200XL. If it doesn't work there I will just let it go and be satisfied that the XE version will only work correctly on an actual XE machine.

 

It is possible that Atariwriter plus is using separate ANTIC access to the extended memory of the 130XE. Not all memory upgrades for 800XL allow this fairly rarely used feature. RAMBO documentation states that the separate ANTIC access is not supported.

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It is possible that Atariwriter plus is using separate ANTIC access to the extended memory of the 130XE. Not all memory upgrades for 800XL allow this fairly rarely used feature. RAMBO documentation states that the separate ANTIC access is not supported.

Atariwriter plus, the normal 40 column version, works perfectly fine on my Rambo 1200XL. There are only 3-4 programs that use ANTIC access mode, two are demos, one is SpartaDOS wedge, and the fourth I forget.

Edited by Gunstar

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Atariwriter plus, the normal 40 column version, works perfectly fine on my Rambo 1200XL. There are only 3-4 programs that use ANTIC access mode, two are demos, one is SpartaDOS wedge, and the fourth I forget.

Then I stand corrected.

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I purchased an assortment of used diskettes on ebay and one of them was the 80 column omniview modified AtariWriter Plus. The omniview people only modified the XE version of AW plus.

Exciting find! Are you willing to share an ATR of the disk? Hopefully it's not copy protected... I'd like to try it on a couple machines. Including my 320K XE, one of the 4 switchable OS's is Omniview XE.

Edited by Nezgar
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Atariwriter plus, the normal 40 column version, works perfectly fine on my Rambo 1200XL. There are only 3-4 programs that use ANTIC access mode, two are demos, one is SpartaDOS wedge, and the fourth I forget.

It's possible the Atariwriter+ Omniview 80 column hack uses antic access, to allow the large (~8KB) screen buffer to exist in an extended memory bank without impacting the usable main RAM compared to the regular version. Would be neat to add one more to that very short list of programs...

 

The 'rapid flickering' described by baktra seems very symptomatic of bank switching screen memory without separate antic access capability.

Edited by Nezgar
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The disk is copy protected, I have tried to copy with regular DOS 2.5, and with a happy drive and no success. I don't have an Archiver or anything that is supposed to be able to copy the uncopiable disks. If I knew that the Archiver would definitely work, I might be tempted to purchase an upgrade.

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The disk is copy protected, I have tried to copy with regular DOS 2.5, and with a happy drive and no success. I don't have an Archiver or anything that is supposed to be able to copy the uncopiable disks. If I knew that the Archiver would definitely work, I might be tempted to purchase an upgrade.

 

There are people on these forums that have hardware capable of copying any copy protected disk. You'd have to be willing to send it to them. Farb is one such individual. I have some disks I'll be sending him, and he even has offered to pay for shipping to and from.

 

Anything that hasn't been archived is of interest to the whole community. For things that are more uncommon, like what you have, it's even more of an interest, especially since word processing in 80 columns is somewhat of a grail on these machines.

 

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I just installed my new 32-in-1, OS in a 1200XL and it is giving me some problems. When I first went to set it up I would power on while pressing SELECT and nothing would happen until I pressed reset then I would get the menu screen. I specifically purchases this item for the OMNIVIEW OS. After selecting OMNIVIEW I would get a screen that showed OMNIVIEW XE in the top left corner of the screen. When I pressed a key I would get a column of garbage characters. I could get to the 80 column screen but it did not respond to any commands such as DOS or anything else. Going back to the 40 column screen yielded the same results. At first I did not have any problems with the XL XE OS but now the system has frozen up and when I boot up I get nothing but a green screen. I finally inserted a cartridge and powered on and the cart booted. I was then able to reboot without the cart and switch from Omniview to XL/XE and the system seems to work again. The problem is that I really wanted Omniview because I have speedscript 80 and hopefully Atariwriter Plus 80. Does the 32-in-1 have any compatibility problems with RAMBO 256 because I have that installed and I have also done the Supervideo modification to this 1200XL. I wasn't able to get anything to work with omniview, I didn't think to try it with a basic cartridge installed. Maybe I'll try that tomorrow.

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I will give that idea some thought. I would worry somewhat about losing the only copy that I personally know still exists, but I might be willing to make an effort for the greater good. I would want the copier to make me several back-ups. Is there any way to break copy protection and create an ATR of a protected disk?

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Is there any way to break copy protection and create an ATR of a protected disk?

Yes! Not 'automatically' - but there as some very skilled programmers taking the product of the efforts of farb's preservation data and 'cracking' the protection in the least intrusive method possible.

 

Check out this thread if you haven't already, it's a fascinating and detailed brain dump of everything you ever wanted to know about how the protection of many titles works, and how it has been circumvented: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/252283-straight-cracks-from-farbs-atx-torrent/

 

The resulting unprotected ATR's are obviously much more portable and usable in emulators and real hardware.

Edited by Nezgar

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Yes, enlisting DjayBee's help may be the best way to go, if you're concerned about the safety of this lone copy. DjayBee's cracked disks are every bit as good as the originals, functionally; and more desirable than originals, in most cases, for their broader usability.

 

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There are people on these forums that have hardware capable of copying any copy protected disk. You'd have to be willing to send it to them. Farb is one such individual. I have some disks I'll be sending him, and he even has offered to pay for shipping to and from.

 

Anything that hasn't been archived is of interest to the whole community. For things that are more uncommon, like what you have, it's even more of an interest, especially since word processing in 80 columns is somewhat of a grail on these machines.

 

 

To be clear, Farb's project does not result in a "copy" of the protected disk. It converts it to an emulator compatible format, but it's not recreatable as a disk that can be used on real hardware. Which baffles me given the claims of the flux copiers to read and write any disk.

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To be clear, Farb's project does not result in a "copy" of the protected disk. It converts it to an emulator compatible format, but it's not recreatable as a disk that can be used on real hardware. Which baffles me given the claims of the flux copiers to read and write any disk.

 

I thought that was just the limitation of the ATX file format (although, at least much closer to the original than an ATR can get), not a limitation of the original Flux images (I forget the name of the file format ATM) that get created. So, I was under the impression the original Flux images are exact copies (but somebody correct me if I'm wrong), which are used to create ATX files that are quite close to the originals.

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I just installed my new 32-in-1, OS in a 1200XL and it is giving me some problems. When I first went to set it up I would power on while pressing SELECT and nothing would happen until I pressed reset then I would get the menu screen. I specifically purchases this item for the OMNIVIEW OS. After selecting OMNIVIEW I would get a screen that showed OMNIVIEW XE in the top left corner of the screen. When I pressed a key I would get a column of garbage characters. I could get to the 80 column screen but it did not respond to any commands such as DOS or anything else. Going back to the 40 column screen yielded the same results. At first I did not have any problems with the XL XE OS but now the system has frozen up and when I boot up I get nothing but a green screen. I finally inserted a cartridge and powered on and the cart booted. I was then able to reboot without the cart and switch from Omniview to XL/XE and the system seems to work again. The problem is that I really wanted Omniview because I have speedscript 80 and hopefully Atariwriter Plus 80. Does the 32-in-1 have any compatibility problems with RAMBO 256 because I have that installed and I have also done the Supervideo modification to this 1200XL. I wasn't able to get anything to work with omniview, I didn't think to try it with a basic cartridge installed. Maybe I'll try that tomorrow.

 

I have had no problems with the 32-in-1 OS by Atarimax along with Atarimax's Rambo compatible upgrade, they seem to work together very well. However, IIRC, Brenski was having an issue with the 32-in-1 and a real Rambo, or it could have been Dropcheck's re-imaged Rambo, or both. Ask him if he ever got it sorted. I think he discusses it in a thread over on Atari Sector.

 

Atarimax Rambo is also 512K ready by adding additional drams piggy-back style and a couple more connections, as well as sure compatibility with the 32-in-1 and all other Atarimax products. The downside is installation is more difficult than the original Rambo or Dropcheck's (Bits-of-the-Past) re-imaging. Atarimax Rambo is not listed on site, you have to ask for it. Everything you see upgraded in my 1200XL, below in my signature, all works together fine.

Edited by Gunstar

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I'm not an absolute stranger to a soldering iron but I tried the 512KB upgrade on Brenski's "512K Ready" RAMBO board and it was an outright failure. I realise RAMBO-type TTL upgrades are relatively inexpensive, but the prospect of installing one in the year 2018 (or upgrading an existing RAMBO to 512KB via piggy-backed ICs) causes me emit the same sound Sideshow Bob makes every time he steps on a garden rake and gets hit in the face with the handle. That goes for any TTL RAM upgrade, in fact, as well as some of the spaghetti 1MB SIMM upgrades. :)

Edited by flashjazzcat
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I'm not an absolute stranger to a soldering iron but I tried the 512KB upgrade on Brenski's "512K Ready" RAMBO board and it was an outright failure. I realise RAMBO-type TTL upgrades are relatively inexpensive, but the prospect of installing one in the year 2018 (or upgrading an existing RAMBO to 512KB via piggy-backed ICs) causes me emit the same sound Sideshow Bob makes every time he steps on a garden rake and gets hit in the face with the handle. That goes for any TTL RAM upgrade, in fact, as well as some of the spaghetti 1MB SIMM upgrades. :)

Well, currently I have mine back at 256K, if I need more, I'll just use the 512K external of System Check 2.2. I did have the 512K piggy-back working fine, along with everything else a few years ago. My only issue and why I removed it, was dram location on the 1200XL. Over time the piggy-back ram would have stability issues because they would receive pressure from the keyboard being used, just not enough head-room. But I will have no problem doing a 512K Rambo TTL ram upgrade on an 800XL.

 

So I don't recommend it for a 1200XL, unless a piggy-back parallel dram board is made to give overhead clearance. If I'm starting out on a fresh computer, I would choose a more modern memory upgrade, but I am perfectly happy with what I have now, for my currently working 1200XL. I have an extra 32-in-1 OS and Rambo I'm using in an 800XL, and another 1200XL will get the newer Lotharek upgrades like U1MB.

Edited by Gunstar

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