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kisrael

Docs Tutorials and Tools for Atari 2600 Programming

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Introductory Videos / Presentations

 

General Tutorials/Documentation (Assembly)

 

Advanced Tutorials/Documentation (Assembly)

 

Tutorials/Documentation (batari Basic)

  • batari Basic Commands
    The largest repository of batari Basic programming, maintained by Random Terrain
  • batari Basic kickstart
    your first atari 2600 program in 45 minutes or double your money back!
  • do re bB
    The basics of Atari sound and music (applicable to assembly as well)

 

Tools (Editors/Compilers)

  • dasm
    DASM is the standard assembler for generating binaries. You will also need these files: vcs.hmacro.h 
  • batari Basic
    A simpler language for writing Atari homebrews
  • Atari Dev Studio for Visual Studio Code
    A plugin that includes dasm, batari Basic, and even Stella for one click code-to-playing
  • VisualbB (Windows only)
    An aging IDE for batari Basic with many auxiliary tools embedded
  • SuperCharger / Flashback BASIC (Windows only)
    An intriguing but rather esoteric system for making Atari content

 

Tools (Graphics)

 

Tools (Sound/Music)

  • webTune2600
    A browser gui for Thomas Jentzsch's tune2600 for finding "closest match" pitches
  • atari-riff-machine
    browser-based looping track sound emulator. Generates batari Basic code.
  • atari-sound-forger
    real time atari sound FX keyboard with recording. Generates batari Basic code.
  • Sequencer Kit and Slocum Tracker
    Advanced music generation
  • TIATracker (Windows Only)
    A new sound routine and sequencer application
  • MidiTari (Windows only)
    Midi to TIA converter tool
  • Tone Toy 2800
    emulator-based tool for hearing all the Atari sounds
  • Studio2600
    another emulator-based tool for hearing all the Atari sounds

 

Tools (Misc)

  • DiStella
    A disassembler for the Atari 2600 and 7800
  • 2600gfx (Windows only)
    A tool for extracting and replacing Atari ROM graphics as text 
  • Hack-O-Matic III (Windows only)
    A tool for editing the graphics embedded in Atari ROMs.
  • Label Maker 2600
    Online Tool for making authentic-looking cartridge art

 

Emulators

 

Other Resources of Interest

  • AtariArchives.org
    "books, information, and software for Atari and other classic computers available on the Web"
  • 6502.org
    "a resource for people interested in building hardware or writing software for the 6502 microprocessor and its relatives"

 

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So, I'm trying to make the "canonical" (yet, not un-opinionated) list of tools and tutorials for Atari programmers.

 

https://atariage.com/2600/programming/index.html has been languishing for a long time.

 

I'm not trying to be 100% complete; if a tool is pretty much a subset of functionality of another tool, I don't want to bother with it. And I prefer tools that are multiplatform (sometimes browser-based)

But I know I've missed a lot, including some important things. So what tutorials and tools have you really used that I missed? 

(I am pitching this to Albert to be pinned)

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(And am I a little biased towards my own tools? Probably! But I really have put in effort to make the most powerful yet friendly to use and multi-platform tools I possibly can)

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7 hours ago, kisrael said:

Yeah, that's a pretty decent set of references! In general I was thinking about avoiding "pages of links" here, but that is some well curated stuff, I will add it

It's not a page of links to other sites, JFYI; it's the front page of a wiki with a lot of original content. 

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6 hours ago, stepho said:

gopher2600

Not to yuck your yum but does it do anything different or better from other emulators? 

(I'm amazed at how, like with stellerator, building a full 2600 emulator can be like an academic project! (stellerator had superior embedding capabilities as far as I could tell, so it earns a spot next to Javatari which is rather similar)

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1 hour ago, Karl G said:

It's not a page of links to other sites, JFYI; it's the front page of a wiki with a lot of original content. 

Yeah- the navigation is flat though, right? Like most of what it offers is directly listed/linked under "Technical Stuff"? Or is it even deeper than that?

But like I said, worthy!

"pages of links" is a rather gray term - many pages have like "articles hosted here" and "links to other useful things" 

 

Oh that reminds me Minidig - http://www.qotile.net/minidig/index.html 

Like with the tools in general, the curation is a balance between trying to keep the list limited and not overwhelming with options to a learner, but also not shunning people's passion projects (which is why I'm on the fence about gopher2600) Though I guess I shouldn't be so full of myself to think that "appearing on a list on AtariAge forums" as the make or break for putting all the effort into a project!

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(and I'm a little bit of hypocrite... like my own "2600 101" is certainly inferior to the other 2 tutorials, but I tell myself it has a somewhat different angle that makes it potentially useful.. but maybe it's just ego/nostalgia talking )

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1 hour ago, kisrael said:

Not to yuck your yum but does it do anything different or better from other emulators? 

(I'm amazed at how, like with stellerator, building a full 2600 emulator can be like an academic project! (stellerator had superior embedding capabilities as far as I could tell, so it earns a spot next to Javatari which is rather similar)

Gopher2600 is awesome, and very very accurate. It offers some debugging capability that Stella doesn't, particularly with regard to timing.

It emulatates the ARM processor differetly, so it has (much more) correct timing if you are doing things in ARM (e.g., CDFJ bankswitching). It has been totally responsible for me finding some very obscure bugs that Stella just breezed on through but hardware wouldn't run. I think, currently, Gopher2600 is a very reliable and accurate analogue to real hardware.  Stella is great; it's just not quite there yet with the ARM stuff.  Stella is much quicker - Gopher is written in Go, and Stella in C++ - and they both have their place on mymachine.

 

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51 minutes ago, kisrael said:

Yeah- the navigation is flat though, right? Like most of what it offers is directly listed/linked under "Technical Stuff"? Or is it even deeper than that?

Well, not really. Though I haven't had much time to do any work on it recently, it's a Wiki and so anyone/everyone can contribute.

Because it's a Wiki, cross-linking is the whole point, and pretty much all of the pages link to relevant items in other pages.  It's all just a massively crosslinked hypertexty body of knowledge. So no, not flat at all.

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2 minutes ago, Andrew Davie said:

Well, not really. Though I haven't had much time to do any work on it recently, it's a Wiki and so anyone/everyone can contribute.

Because it's a Wiki, cross-linking is the whole point, and pretty much all of the pages link to relevant items in other pages.  It's all just a massively crosslinked hypertexty body of knowledge. So no, not flat at all.

Right, but I mean - is most of the content there linked from the list at top? (even if there are relevant crosslinks) Or is it an iceberg model? 
(And I'd say "because it's a Wiki collaborative editing is the point" :-D )
Again, it's a great site. (Tho you have to see past the "Dr Boo's Woodgrain Wizadry" personality to realize it's a multiperson, collaborative, "canonical" effort.) But definitely has a place on my vision for this topic's list.


I'll link to Gopher, then, thanks for outlining the case. I think I tend to assume the later projects are kind of riding the coat-tails of the "big names" like Stella, but apparently I had that a bit flipped.

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Also, is Z26 still distinctly worthy? 15-20 years ago it had certain advantages, maybe? Though now... heck, does it even even do the new chip stuff? Maybe I should get rid of it, I had it up there for nostalgia...

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Posted (edited)

On your website, the link to download Bataribasic says oops page not found.

Edited by Schala

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