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Shout out to Peter Dell and his Videos

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I just had to post here- in case there is anyone who hasn't yet watched Peter Dell's amazing Videos on programming the A8 in machine language:

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmzSn5Wy9uF8nTsZBtdk1yHzFI5JXoUJT

 

 

I have futzed around the A8 for years, read some books about assembly but I never really understood how you do it (eg - knowledge of the Atari chips, memory map and how you use them to actually do some simple things in assembly). Peter shows you.

 

His series is amazingly concise yet logical and he builds nicely thru the series and covers all the basic parts of the Atari. For me it's been the first time that I've truly caught on as to what is going on in there, and how the chips are working in concert to make this machine run.

 

I've done a fair bit of Modern Ruby/Python/Node programming for networking apps- and of course it's nothing even remotely like that.

 

 

It's so worth spending the time - just to learn how amazing the Atari hardware, os and chip are and how brilliant the designers were when they sat down years ago and decided on how to build this machine. Those guys were true visionaries in terms of building a flexible system to be used in ways they hadn't even thought of.

 

And of course his http://www.wudsn.com/index.php/ide/installationWUDSN is a one-stop installation to start using assembly on a modern PC and run it on the included Altirra emulator with one click. Amazing.

 

 

So, thank you Peter if you are around here anymore.

 

 

 

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Excellent videos, I am hoping for more. Also, Peter is still somewhat active here.

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Last couple of weeks I've been studying the architectures of different 8 bit machines including zx spectrum, msx, gameboy, amstrad etc. and after that I really admire a genious of Atari designers... They designed this computer in the late seventies! And the Atari architecture is far superior than most of the later 8 bit machines from 82, 84, 86 and so on. Take this example- screen management- most of the computers have non linear video memory or/and the screen memory place is unchangeable or subdue to certain memory boundaries like on c64 where screen memory can be placed on 8kb block iirc. Display List is a genious invention that lets you decide where the video ram is placed but also how many cycles antic will steal from cpu. On Amstrad CPC the cycles are stolen during the execution of cpu instructions itself and on ZX Spectrum the ula steals cycles similar to Atari but also there are places in the RAM that are vunerable to stealing cycles with every instruction. In my opinion the three best designed computers of 8 bit era are 1. Atari and on second place ex equo Zx Spectrum and Amstrad, the first one because of the simplicity and second one because of having all the hardware registers outside of RAM which gives possibility to use whole 64 kb area.

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Peter shows you.

 

So, thank you Peter if you are around here anymore.

 

 

Peter is one of those people on here that I admire most. I admire a lot of people for what they do, but the people that I call the "enablers" are the best for me I define these people as "those that do something which enables others to also do things for the Atari". Whether it is the kind of person (you know who you are - many people by the way) that answer lots of technical questions, the people that do videos like this, maybe you've written a language even or even created an emulator or other PC software. You're all incredible.

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Wow just watched the first episode and this is definitly for me ;)

 

BITD I learned BASIC at home, PASCAL at school and C while being a trainee. I did have a look at assembly and understood most of the commands but never really got into it heavily. Today there are such powerful tools....and this looks like a great step by step introduction.

 

I only wish these tools were available for OSX, yeah I know about wine but still....

Actually thinking about getting a used PC laptop for stuff like this...

Edited by Level42

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I'm 100% with Snicklin, Peter or JAC! is a superb example of great guy and great teacher, I watched some of his programming stuff and the only thing that held me back was ME and my lack of programming skills, his teaching was on point and I wish I'd stuck with programming back then but me and maths were never good friends so I stopped, Peter's video's gave me that spark again and that takes some doing..

 

Very approachable, helpful to the max and just a great 'bloke' as we Brits say..

 

A role model for the Atari community....Peter, 10UK for all of us should cover this press :)

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Hello guys (m/f)

 

Peter is a frequent visitor of the Fujiama. Next year the meeting will last a whole week. Come on by and meet Peter (and other famous Atari 8 bit guys..... like me :grin: ), you'll like him (and me :grin: )

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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I'm 100% with Snicklin, Peter or JAC! is a superb example of great guy and great teacher, I watched some of his programming stuff and the only thing that held me back was ME and my lack of programming skills, his teaching was on point and I wish I'd stuck with programming back then but me and maths were never good friends so I stopped, Peter's video's gave me that spark again and that takes some doing..

 

Very approachable, helpful to the max and just a great 'bloke' as we Brits say..

 

A role model for the Atari community....Peter, 10UK for all of us should cover this press :)

 

I'm horrible at math, but rarely does programming really require it. Mostly it's just having an understanding of logic and the I/O map for a given system. And of course learning the opcodes.

 

Edit: i should probably qualify this. Rarely does it require any high level math. Basically it'll usually be simple compares such as does A = B, is A > B, ect. Or it'll require the use of indexing (X or Y) a memory location for a move or a copy. We aren't talking about algebra, trig, or calculus for the great majority of programming. Which is good because i suck at all three ;) .

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but the bestest stuffs are always boiled down to some serious maths a matics making tings hap un very fast in tiny amounts of memberies! :o very streamlined and optimized

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but the bestest stuffs are always boiled down to some serious maths a matics making tings hap un very fast in tiny amounts of memberies! :o very streamlined and optimized

 

Sorry I have to stick to my original statement, because when writing in assembly, speed and optimization more often boil down to performing tricks with manipulation of bits, and/or knowing about undocumented features than any high level math. Examples

 

But that's just my interpretation and experience, and I'm certainly no expert seasoned coder (not by a long shot). :grin:

 

Anyway the whole point I was trying to make was that anybody who's the least bit interested in writing and/or learning 6502 assembly code, shouldn't let a lack of knowledge about mathematics hold them back.

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Knowing your powers of two and understanding hexadecimal is about as much math as you need. I got a GCSE grade 'B' in mathematics, tried to take maths at 'A' level, and bailed out of it after two months and went for English Literature instead. I think programming is at least fifty per cent an artistic discipline anyway. :)

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We all agree that maths and variables come in to it depending on the level and complexity of what you write, in my case its assembler I'm talking about but itrw many will program in C etc so its more fluent and easier write in. For me I got stuck at setting bits and using LOGIC to control outcomes, for me at the time it was in mix with a serious job, just being married and all the silly stuff life throws at a young person BUT my education wasn't high so any learning after finishing school was down to free time and if I could be bothered..

 

No ones fault bar mine..I didn't apply myself.....But that is where Peter's video's and the thread tallies again, Peter's stuff did one thing that I needed, it showed me WHY you do stuff, its didn't just do it as a matter of course and not explain it, that's the little kick I needed and it got me interested again. Lifes not been kind and I still struggle there but I'll keep plugging away, I understand the basics and have coded simple stuff in the past but NOT games or complex stuff but Rome wasn't built in a day, all I want to do is get better at the coding and thanks to JAC!'s stuff I'm back on the path..

 

Thanks Peter and all the little tricks and stuff I pick up from others on here..Ta muchly...

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Yes, all good points. To me, coming from years of higher level languages it's the tiny amount of work done at each statement in assembly, the little-endian-ness of reading bytes (my brain still won't flip them automatically yet), and the knowledge of the 'system' - i.e. the concert of chips and os running around doing things while you run your program.

 

But I'm much closer than I ever was after the Peter Vids.

 

For a long time I wanted to just write an assembly program that printed my name on the screen. Peter showed exactly how you do that in a way that made sense for the Atari.

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