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Ray Gillman

Wish - to remember the old 8-bit properly

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The last time I had a physical actual working 8-bit computer it was an upgraded 800XL with a scsi hard drive host plugged to the back and an old 80MB SCSI hard drive on it.  I used to use SpartaDos with subfolders and that nice MENU.COM menu to flip through all the subfolders and I ran and coded mostly with the hacked newer version of TurboBasicXL by frank ostrowski and I got so much done.  Games were those binary files off some menu'd boot disks and not all of them maybe 2/3's would work directly from Sparta but it was more fun that digging through all the floppies to find a game.  People used to use utility software and print labels to try to label all the files and games properly on those to minimize floppy flipping to find the one you wanted.
 

Remember this thing?  I remember at work I got one to use and used to take it home on weekends just so I could surf like a God instead of 300 baud or 1200 baud.  The 56K COURIER USRobotics modem.  Surfed all the popular BBS sites with a premium COURIER 1440 modem and it got put away for so long I realize the best creations now should be in a giant ATR file like a big drive filled with old abandonware joy somewhere and someone MUST have compiled one such ATR-type file like that to boot up an 8-bit emulator and have a functioning environment.  To not feel like it was starting from scratch to rebuild the old memories.  Not sure where the old stuff is.  I think my old floppies may yet be in a barn or trunk somewhere on the farm, but not sure, I may not have to time to dig or it may be gone.  Shame too cause I had so much good really good stuff on those disks. 

I had the BEST 8-bit version of Star Trek ever modified so that it could be played with just the joystick.  Same for a version of Midway campaign.  There was a better version but I had the Basic one I think from Avalon Hill that I made it also completely able to be played with a joystick which made it more fun than the really good version.  Wrote an entire Assembler Editor in TurboBasic where it could as a save option generate the source code in the series of basic ascii strings to be used as USR calls.  Best part as I recall was being able to create instructions which were not really assembler code but subroutines of 6502 instructions could all be created with a single command whatever you wanted since it was written in Basic and easy to customize to shortcut all sorts of things.

So sure if I live to be 100 I'll eventually recreate it just for nostalgia and as even an educational tool.  Was hoping maybe someone else had done this and had a better starting place for me to begin that the default of starting from scratch.  The other thing I am stuck on now is I would like a good way to get a joystick working on the 8bit emulator on PC.  Right now to test Joystick stuff I have to upload it to the old classic Xbox and from there I have the modded cable for keyboard and mouse.  Anyone got a good PC joystick they can point me at or tell me how to get an xbox 360 wired controller to work on it?  Driver says it's working but can't find a "driver hook" to link the Atari800Win PLus 4.1 to the old wired x360controller 

s-l1600.jpg

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The last time I had a physical actual working 8-bit computer it was an upgraded 800XL with a scsi hard drive host plugged to the back and an old 80MB SCSI hard drive on it. 

Welcome and we're glad you're back after such a long time.
From what you are says, I'm guessing you probably had both Atari's 8 bit computer and their 16 bit (AKA: Atari ST). No worries and i'm sure we can help you sort all of that out.

For one, when you say, "Hard drive" and "modem speeds greater that 2400 baud", you're probably thinking of the ST. The rest of the stuff seems 800xl.

Funny how memories work but they're all warm and fuzzy and that's probably why a lot of us our here.

Edited by Justin Payne
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27 minutes ago, Justin Payne said:

Welcome and we're glad you're back after such a long time.
From what you are says, I'm guessing you probably had both Atari's 8 bit computer and their 16 bit (AKA: Atari ST). No worries and i'm sure we can help you sort all of that out.

For one, when you say, "Hard drive" and "modem speeds greater that 2400 baud", you're probably thinking of the ST. The rest of the stuff seems 800xl.

Funny how memories work but they're all warm and fuzzy and that's probably why a lot of us our here.

say what?

um hard drives were on the 800... later on XL's and XE's    Supra, Corvus, ATR8000, others! later MIO and Black Box Connected hd's...

and the modems certainly were faster than 1200 or 2400, I ran all from less than 300 all the way up to the telebit trailblazers, hayes, HST's, and later Dual standards... the Atari did 9600 just fine... and depending on all things involved sometimes 19,200... though true throughput was slightly less...

 

Edited by _The Doctor__
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20 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

say what?

um hard drives were on the 800... later on XL's and XE's    Supra, Corvus and others! later MIO and Black Box Connected hd's...

and the modems certainly were faster than 1200 or 2400, I ran all from less than 300 all the way up to the telebit trailblazers, hayes, HST's, and later Dual standards... the Atari did 9600 just fine... and depending on all things involved sometimes 19,200... though true throughput was slightly less...

 

You had a 80 mb SCSI hard drive on the 8-bit computer? Damn! I didn't realise they made SCSI for the 8bits. I know the ST's had a similar technology. Now, as Ray said, he was cruising BBS's using a 14.4 modem and I just figured most of use has moved onto an ST or PC by then. I don't remember many Atari BBS's being around past the 2400 days and so I guess I just assumed he meant the ST. Maybe you had just held off longer than the rest of us so that these things were more available but I didn't get my first hard drive until my ST. They were just out of many peoples price range.

 

UPDATE: I did find some info on a SCSI drive for the Atari 8-bits but they appear to be modern ones. Did they offer this back in the 80's? I mean, an 80 mb hard drive was pretty big back in the 80's so it would be surprising that he would have something so large, not to mention an overabundance of storage since l that would be overkill for the software at the time.

Edited by Justin Payne
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Actually (3) 20 meg drives on the scsi side and a 10 on the port side, one via sio on the critical connection shared by an s-100. I think the supra was 10... but that could be miss remembered. This all changed over time as one on the atr 8000 accessed via sio just like the critical connection did... and well you already know the BB and MIO stuff..

 

I co-sysed and ran multiple Atari 8bit BBS steady from 83-97... and now on again off again to this day...

 

My old Conner 130 meg is currently running a private Atari BBS... and that is on a Black Box at this moment.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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OK, 10 or 20 mb sounds more reasonable. I know the Mac had the option of a 10 mg drive. So when he said "80mb hard drive" or "14.4 modem" he was more than likely thinking about the 16 bit line of computers. Now he did mention stuff that was inherent to the 800xl so it's more than likely his memories are a bit fuzzy.

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U.S. Robotics for the goddammned fucking win!!  Loved it then, love it now as a nostalgia piece. The red status bar is so 70's & 80's. Spent many a-nights doing BBS'ing starting out with my 300-baud Hayes MicroModem on the Apple II and then upgrading through the years to a U.S. Robotics 3453C external modem.

 

While most of my BBS'ing activity was on the Apple II I did a fair amount on the Atari 400/800 and C-64. Finishing up with the PC and going the cablemodem route eventually.

 

As far as a repository of .ATR images (which I think the OP is querying about) there are plenty to give you an explosive influx of just about everything you can imagine and remember.

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7 minutes ago, Keatah said:

U.S. Robotics for the goddammned fucking win!!  Loved it then, love it now as a nostalgia piece. The red status bar is so 70's & 80's. Spent many a-nights doing BBS'ing starting out with my 300-baud Hayes MicroModem on the Apple II and then upgrading through the years to a U.S. Robotics 3453C external modem.

 

While most of my BBS'ing activity was on the Apple II I did a fair amount on the Atari 400/800 and C-64. Finishing up with the PC and going the cablemodem route eventually.

 

As far as a repository of .ATR images (which I think the OP is querying about) there are plenty to give you an explosive influx of just about everything you can imagine and remember.

Screw you with the Hayes, you GD rich MF. ;-) Why my modem was so dumb....how dumb was it....it was so dumb that I had translate for it (rim shot).

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And rich we had to be. I mowed lawns morning, noon, and night, for months on end. It was like $200 or $300 in 1978/79. Still remember calling some of the big universities long-distance across the entire state! Sometimes having to connect at 110-baud during bad weather.

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8 hours ago, Preppie said:

I've not used Atari800Win PLus 4.1 but in altirra (http://www.virtualdub.org/altirra.html) you just change the inputting mappings to xbox360 controller and it's done.

Yep, that's what I use and although it doesn't feel like a true Atari joystick, it's very convenient since I can use these controllers for other games. Would love to get a device to plug my CX-40 into to use on my computer but the price is a bit more than I'm willing to pay right now.

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19 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

say what?

um hard drives were on the 800... later on XL's and XE's    Supra, Corvus, ATR8000, others! later MIO and Black Box Connected hd's...

and the modems certainly were faster than 1200 or 2400, I ran all from less than 300 all the way up to the telebit trailblazers, hayes, HST's, and later Dual standards... the Atari did 9600 just fine... and depending on all things involved sometimes 19,200... though true throughput was slightly less...

 

Yes I had both first the ATR8000 which was nice but later got the MIO on the XL or XE - the XE went away at some point but the XL is still here.  I seem to recall 16 MB partition limits?  So like one large drive could be listed with multiple 16 meg partitions.  I had an ST but quickly migrated to Amiga which was more like the 8-bit I was already comfortable with.

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I would really like to locate a way to run TurboBasic under SpartaDos without having only
?FRE(0) = 22313
I like it has a version that works like Sparta 3.2g 
The TurboBasic that goes with it says 3.2Q

The other wishlist item is how to get to the H1: virtual drive with MENU.COM Sparta menu.  Right now it only does D1: D2: D3: etc.

 

32432tled.png

Edited by Ray Gillman

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9 hours ago, Ray Gillman said:

I would really like to locate a way to run TurboBasic under SpartaDos without having only
?FRE(0) = 22313
I like it has a version that works like Sparta 3.2g 
The TurboBasic that goes with it says 3.2Q

The other wishlist item is how to get to the H1: virtual drive with MENU.COM Sparta menu.  Right now it only does D1: D2: D3: etc.

 

32432tled.png

I can't say for certain, but you MAY have to use Sparta DOS X to get more RAM.  I know when using SDX in BANKED mode, I can load TBXL 1.5 and have 33kB free, and this is even when running a hardware 80 column driver.  The setup works, necause when SDX is in BANKED mode, it does not put drivers in the RAM under the OS, as TBXL needs that to run.

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Yes that appears to work attaching the spartados X cartridge then load TurboBasic 1.5 and it shows ?fre(0) 35000 - perfect.

 

 

No wait that is not right.  That is a different basic.  I had turbobasic named BASIC but when I typed BASIC from SpartaDosX it launches like Atari basic or something that shows 35000 free

Turbobasic gives a memory conflict message error 179.  And it wont load TB32Q.COM either just black screens

 

Edited by Ray Gillman

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did you use

D1:X /C TB32Q.COM ?

 

steve is there a different version you are using vs Mr Gillman and what does you config look like?

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For SDX, you MUST have "USE SPARTA BANKED" in the config.sys file.  Also, you have to load TBXL via the X command.

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After playing around with Fastbasic, I recommend it for programming on the Atari in basic. Or us the cross compiler.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On 9/20/2019 at 9:15 PM, Ray Gillman said:

I had the BEST 8-bit version of Star Trek ever modified so that it could be played with just the joystick.  Same for a version of Midway campaign.  There was a better version but I had the Basic one I think from Avalon Hill that I made it also completely able to be played with a joystick which made it more fun than the really good version.  Wrote an entire Assembler Editor in TurboBasic where it could as a save option generate the source code in the series of basic ascii strings to be used as USR calls.  Best part as I recall was being able to create instructions which were not really assembler code but subroutines of 6502 instructions could all be created with a single command whatever you wanted since it was written in Basic and easy to customize to shortcut all sorts of things.

Do you still have Midway Campaign?  This was one of my favorite games on the Atari, but the only version I have is from the ATR image on Atarimania and it seems to have been hacked to make it completely impossible to win.  I suppose I could dig though to the BASIC code and try to figure out where it had been changed, but if you (or anyone) has a good working copy of the game, I'd sure appreciate it...

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Well,

here is a copy of Midway Campaign copied from tape to disk a) as a non-bootable file on a DOS 2 diskette (Midway_data.ATR) and b) as a bootdisk created with CasDis (Midway_boot.atr). As said before, I have used the tape version, not sure if it differs from the disk version, since I never played that game.

 

You may use the 90k/single density DOS 2 disk version Midway_data.atr and write any DOS 2.x you like (e.g. DOS 2.0, DOS 2.5, MyDOS, etc.) on it. But I have not tested if the program runs under DOS or if it overwrites DOS after executing it (or if DOS has to be configured for a certain memlo). The program seems to run fine with CasDis... but if you try to load or save here, you will get an Error 130, since there is no DOS on this CasDis disk.

 

Boot with Basic enabled or insert a Basic cart., since the program is written in Basic.

 

Midway.zip

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1 hour ago, CharlieChaplin said:

Well,

here is a copy of Midway Campaign copied from tape to disk a) as a non-bootable file on a DOS 2 diskette (Midway_data.ATR) and b) as a bootdisk created with CasDis (Midway_boot.atr). As said before, I have used the tape version, not sure if it differs from the disk version, since I never played that game.

 

You may use the 90k/single density DOS 2 disk version Midway_data.atr and write any DOS 2.x you like (e.g. DOS 2.0, DOS 2.5, MyDOS, etc.) on it. But I have not tested if the program runs under DOS or if it overwrites DOS after executing it (or if DOS has to be configured for a certain memlo). The program seems to run fine with CasDis... but if you try to load or save here, you will get an Error 130, since there is no DOS on this CasDis disk.

 

Boot with Basic enabled or insert a Basic cart., since the program is written in Basic.

 

Midway.zip 23.88 kB · 2 downloads

Thanks very much!!  At first glance, this looks just like the version I have, but I'm not sure which version I've been playing, although I think it's been the disc version.  Way back in the '80s, I played the tape version (I didn't have a disk drive then).  It looked the same, as far as I can remember, but seemed much easier to win.

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Well,

I did not change anything in this version. I simply copied the data from tape to a DOS 2 formatted diskette. And after that I made another tape to disk copy with CasDis (there I added a Gr. 2 title during loading, but still did not change anything in the game program).

 

If this version seems harder for you - maybe you had an altered version back then (which was made easier to win)...?!?

 

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Yeah that’s possible, although I thought i had the original. But it’s been so long now I’m not sure. Maybe i need to hack this version to make it easier...  :)

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