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Carol Shaw's Checkers source code

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Here's the Atari VCS Checkers source code Rev. A, lent to me by Carol Shaw with permission to share.

 

https://archive.org/details/VCScheckersA/mode/2up

 

Carol wrote in an email: "Ralph and I moved recently (still in Silicon Valley) and today we were unpacking some boxes and found some source code listings on 11" x 15" fan-fold line-printer paper. ... I sent the Rev B listing of VCS Checkers to The Strong previously, but I found the Rev A listing."

 

These are nice clear photos that should be readable enough to be entered by hand if a member of the community inclined to do so. Someone has volunteered. If/when they do it, I'll post the text source code here also.

 

At Carol's request, the original printouts will join the Rev. B version in the collection of The Strong Museum of Play.

 

 

 

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So, Rev.A is a pre-release version?  It'd be VERY interesting if someone could convert these to text so we could compare differences.

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1 hour ago, Propane13 said:

So, Rev.A is a pre-release version?  It'd be VERY interesting if someone could convert these to text so we could compare differences.

I have the same question. 

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2 hours ago, Propane13 said:

So, Rev.A is a pre-release version?  It'd be VERY interesting if someone could convert these to text so we could compare differences.

 

Yes.

 

—K

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Thank-you for sharing this, and a big thanks for Carol for ensuring that the original is permanently preserved in an institutional collection.

 

Is there any information on the hardware/development environment used to create this game? I assume that it was developed on a mainframe and then downloaded to actual hardware for testing, but anything more specific would be welcome. 

 

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Love seeing original code. We don't often get to see the programmer's original comments and variable naming.

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All right, so I've decided to start transcribing and got page 1 and 2 done.

 

I figured this would be smart to do as an open-source project, so if anyone wants to help (especially with validation against the printed source), that would be appreciated.  Here's the link: https://github.com/johnkharvey/2600_checkers_source

 

I'll try to hack on it in my spare time a little each day.

 

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I've got through page 7 done.  At this point, it's all variable names, so not much useful stuff there, but hey, I thought I'd let people know if they want to look for errors.

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Update: Variables at the top are done, and the symbol table at the bottom is complete.    I got the first page of "real" source code entered, but I think my next focus will be the 7 pages of "debugger" code at the end, just to get all of the bookends complete before hitting the main program.

 

I'm likely going to call it a day on this for now since my eyes are tired; however, if people want to collaborate, I would welcome it, so feel free to help out.  Even if it's just a page comparison to the PDF to find mistakes I may have made, it would be appreciated.

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To do it justice, I'd be editing the original PDF file so all pages were rotated and cropped accurately. I'd take out the left-side addresses/opcodes (blank 'em out) and just leave the actual source code. Then I'd OCR the result using https://www.zamzar.com/ and the resultant text should be reasonably clean and require much less editing to make an assemble-able file.

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I guess I should have checked this thread sooner; nobody had started yet.  I retyped the full text, sans all the hex bytes and the symbol table: https://github.com/white-flame/vcs-checkers

 

Run the script to generate it properly formatted, with or without the original address foo.  I attached the outputs here as well.

listing.txt checkers.asm

Edited by White Flame
fixed github link
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Posted (edited)

Wow, that's awesome!

 

I got through the debugger re-translating this morning, and split my project into individual pages in case people wanted to cross-check them against the original source.   I only got through page 1 of the main source code, but the equates / debugger / symbol table should all be pretty close to complete and formatting-wise pretty accurate to the original doc.  Note that there are still likely typos, as I was doing a lot of it by hand; not compiling anything (yet).

 

I can let the project go dormant for now if there's already a completed product.  But, if anything there I've put together that is of value, feel free to take it:

https://github.com/johnkharvey/2600_checkers_source

 

Definitely a good weekend exercise. :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Propane13
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Quality ink in those old impact line printers.....glad it didn't fade. :)

 

 

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