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What next?  

98 members have voted

  1. 1. I would be most interesed in

    • Hardware: Finalization of the PS2-Mouse to Light Gun Project (CLM17: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/265635-abbuc-hardware-contest-2017/ )
    • Hardware: Finalization of the USB Gamepad/Mouse Interface (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/323171-snack-snes-atari-controler-kit/?do=findComment&comment=4888781 )
    • Hardware: Audio expansion ( https://atariage.com/forums/topic/269207-midi-interface/?do=findComment&comment=3879975 )
    • Hardware: 80 column solution ( https://atariage.com/forums/topic/315606-the-pbi-device-we-need/?do=findComment&comment=4722850 )
    • Hardware: CPU Accelerator
    • Hardware: Low cost, cartridge like solution for the SIO port for publishing software
    • Software: New games
    • Software: Productivity applications
    • Software: Porting of my software to other targets (e.g. Atari 7800)
    • Forget the Atari and target a bigger audience


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Didn't know UFO prototype too (I am a fan of Space 1999, the other Gerry and Sylvia Anderson TV programme - a good game for Oric exists).

 

It would have been a nice game!

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On 10/1/2021 at 1:30 AM, Wrathchild said:

😅 already have @Heaven/TQA and @popmilo on my case regards Elite

Yes he does. Almost every day :)

 

Really, what's with the Sentinel ? That one should've been done long time ago ;)

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On 9/30/2021 at 3:04 PM, Irgendwer said:

Having a low-cost physical media for distribution of software.

Disks are running out of supply, offer various loading speeds.

Carts are quite expensive and also more costly to ship.

 

I have a solution in mind, to get rid of the drawbacks of these media types...

 

Could this be done with some cheap, easier to find microcontroller like small arduinos or esp32  ?

 

Being able to buy dozens of them, flash at home over usb, then just put them in standard envelope and ship around the world would be a blast imho.

 

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4 hours ago, popmilo said:

what's with the Sentinel

Scrolling the image when the view is titled up/down. The port uses the 3 line per font arrangement to simulate the c64 screen layout and so, due to the adjustments needed, the scrolling needs to be tweaked too. Another approach could be to move to a bitmap/raster mode. 

Other than that it probably isn't too far off.

Edited by Wrathchild
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On 9/30/2021 at 3:02 PM, drac030 said:

I have been an Atarian for more than 33 years now and what baffles me is this quite recent museal attitude which seems to be prevailing now.

Not sure if it is prevailing, considering the ~34% of respondents requesting new SW (albeit for kiddie purposes). There are noteworthy exceptions, of course, such as Prince of Persia, Combat Harrier, Atari Blast, Pang, PacMan Arcade, and several other master-pieces that DO require some for of extra HW beyond the baseline config.

 

I think the "museum" posture is more geared towards those rightfully seeking to preserve (as much as possible) the residual value of the equipment, by focusing on pristine / mint units, avoiding butchering them inside/out, etc. That of course limits the adoption of some vital HW updates,  and even if getting around that (which is possible), some finely-honed skills are still required to keep things clean, which can put off a large chunk of the audience... and keep things on the museum-stand.

 

 

On 9/30/2021 at 3:02 PM, drac030 said:

Quite contrary, I do not think that Atari 8-bit computing platform is SO COMPLETELY dead that the only thing which remains is a showcase and a display cabinet.

 

Of course it is not, I am 100% in agreement with you. 

 

And the #s don't lie: if you pay close attention to this thread's survey, you would notice that the inter-dependent categories [80-col + Productivity + Accelerator] drive up to 31% of respondents choices. That basically means two things:

 

1. A good portion of users out-there are interested on their A8s beyond kiddie gaming.

2. A good opportunity for any HW/SW developer that can hit the right chords on those three categories, simultaneously.

 

Things like "a low cost, cart-like, SIO-based SW delivery solution" should not be even considered, IMHO. In today's world, there is barely NO justification for not sparing some cash to buy a decent cart like AVG, or even Fujinet (just to mention an example), which are not just affordable, but offer multi-tool, all-in-one money-saving benefits.

 

If anyone here does not have enough cash not even for the above, then those are probably on the wrong hobby, or they are just terribly mismanaging it.

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I think I will continue to donate to older folks on fixed incomes who love the Atari, they aren't in the wrong hobby... any and all low cost solutions can bring them joy and some happiness...

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16 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

they aren't in the wrong hobby...

Consider that if If could not spend 59 EUR on a cart for almost any-and-all basic needs, I (myself) would not be on this hobby, as I would be probably facing challenges making monthly rent or housing, etc.

 

A better deal (in that case) would be getting a scrap, old laptop (either dumped or sold at terminal value) and run Altirra in there, for free, and with access to entire SW library, in both PAL and NTSC standards.

 

My 0.02c

 

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well, I guess you'd have to be old and on a fixed income... some may have cognitive decline, so to understand that- to an old timer nothing beats the real McCoy as that's where the brain may be locked. Others simply enjoy using their old equipment. Some folks do have even more restrictions where a laptop might be the only option... lack of space in the dwelling or space provided. If I can provide either to them I will. A low cost solution helps us to do so.  Sometimes walking in another persons' shoes can change perceptions. The perspective can be mind altering.

 

Younger kids just getting their feet wet don't always have the dinaro to go all out either... these items let them get a foot in and run with the retro gear, they are the future. As their station in life increases, I am sure they will look back on the device that got them started fondly.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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3 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

Sometimes walking in another persons' shoes can change perceptions. The perspective can be mind altering.

100% in agreement (especially if having confronted terminal relative / family loses).

 

In the event of unexpected loss of cognitive skills, awareness, etc... we really don't know how genetics play out, at the end of the day.

 

It could certainly happen to anyone.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Faicuai said:

Things like "a low cost, cart-like, SIO-based SW delivery solution" should not be even considered, IMHO. In today's world, there is barely NO justification for not sparing some cash to buy a decent cart like AVG, or even Fujinet (just to mention an example), which are not just affordable, but offer multi-tool, all-in-one money-saving benefits.

I guess you misinterpret the purpose of the solution.

User, esp. collectors like physical releases of software. Do you suggest to just ship a SD-cart with a file on it to be used with f.e. the AVG or Ultimate? Is this "appealing"?

Yes, you could offer digital downloads and manuals as PDF only, but for me such releases feel cheap. (In the same way music feels less and less "valuable" when coming from a record (with the big cover art experience) going to CD, MP3 and streaming.)

 

BTW: It there a physical obstruction of the A800 cart hatch and the AVG-cart?

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1 hour ago, Irgendwer said:

Do you suggest to just ship a SD-cart with a file on it to be used with f.e. the AVG or Ultimate? Is this "appealing"?

Yes, you could offer digital downloads and manuals as PDF only, but for me such releases feel cheap.

No, there'a a much better way:

 

1. Have Fujinet point to release server's and voila! No shipping costs, no mailing delays, etc.

2. Want to play it again? Goto 1.

 

When it comes to speed, instant satisfaction and ubiquity, nothing beats that. That's what we should be promoting and supporting for this particular purpose, as it creates value across the entire chain (developers and users).

 

Now, as for must-have-releases, well, if a collector wants something collection-grade, it will take something like Last Squadron or Blob to be taken seriously, to be appealing... and that also involves special cart.

 

See?

(NOTE: The!Cart, Ultiamte/SD carts all fit on 800 with cart-door closed... AVG is taller, but the 800 can (and will) perfectly operate with the cart-door open, with absolutely no physical modifications to its case or door-mechanism, of any kind.)

 

 

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I think a multi approach would work, given many people won't have invested in Fujinet and also a good amount of people still would like a physical cartridge. 

 

So:

 

  • The file released and made available on a developer's website, and links to forums like AA. 
  • Where the developer is in a position/feels it is viable a physical cart could be produced. 
  • The file made available on a Url for the Fujinet.

 

It is taken is a given most of us will have a way to take the digital release file and place it on an Sdcard, etc for the likes of SiDE3 and other cart mediums. 

 

The release of Flob was made on the developer's website, announced on AA and a cart version made available. Far as I can tell it's worked out extremely well and the developer is releasing updates via the website which also can update the carts on a fairly regular basis. 

 

I am not convinced myself of the shipping of Sdcards with the new release on it because of the above. 

Edited by Beeblebrox
Typo

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8 hours ago, Beeblebrox said:

The release of Flob was made on the developer's website, announced on AA and a cart version made available. Far as I can tell it's worked out extremely well and the developer is releasing updates via the website which also can update the carts on a fairly regular basis. 

Carts like Flob sell for around 40-50$... How much did author get from that ?
Imho if he didn't build carts himself, maybe 10-15$ max.

 

I think what @Irgendwer suggested is something like hw-sio device that would cost max 10$ and could be sold for 20-25$ with box+manual etc.

Maybe more people would buy that version as it's not that much different from cart (physical object, plug-n-play, fast enough load).

 

I would always take simple usb-micro-cpu-board vs cart where you need to make pcb, source chips, solder, program eproms etc..

Leaving it "open" would even allow update by user.

 

More sold, more to developer, happy developer, happy developers wife, more new games :)

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, popmilo said:

I think what @Irgendwer suggested is something like hw-sio device that would cost max 10$

Depending on supplied memory, I'm more targeting 5$ as average limit - with support for some save space (high score, progress etc.).

 

17 minutes ago, popmilo said:

happy developers wife

QFT! 😁

 

So as a first summary, I interpret the outcome of the poll to release a new game on a low-cost SIO cart solution... 😃

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39 minutes ago, popmilo said:

Carts like Flob sell for around 40-50$... How much did author get from that ?
Imho if he didn't build carts himself, maybe 10-15$ max.

 

I think what @Irgendwer suggested is something like hw-sio device that would cost max 10$ and could be sold for 20-25$ with box+manual etc.

Maybe more people would buy that version as it's not that much different from cart (physical object, plug-n-play, fast enough load).

 

I would always take simple usb-micro-cpu-board vs cart where you need to make pcb, source chips, solder, program eproms etc..

Leaving it "open" would even allow update by user.

 

More sold, more to developer, happy developer, happy developers wife, more new games :)

 

 

 

 

 

@popmilo 

Sure, I take your point - I was suggesting the cart option, (only where developers deemed it feasible,etc), alongside the other two digital/online methods. Furthermore I was only really thinking about SDcard, rather than a custom hw-sio device. My bad.

 

Of course a boxed physical release but on a hw-SIO (or still even SDcard), instead of a cart would still be appealling I guess, and cheaper as you say. I assumed we were just talking about shipping off a hw-sio or SDcard on it's own - no box art, etc etc. (With the latter, (SDcard), then you may as well download it to your own Sdcard). 

 

One consideration with a hw-sio, (if I've understood the concept correctly), would be that I'd not really want to be constantly plugging and unplugging such a device from the SIO port every time I wanted to play the game. SIO ports aren't the easiest to plug into. (Especially if 3D printed - when I had my SDrive max it's 3D printed SIO plug was a nightmare to plug in and remove. Tollerances aren't exact I guess.) 

 

Also unless you have an SIO splitter or passthrough SIO socket, (ie on the Fujinet or say Sys check 2, etc), you would have to unplug peripherals like your 1050 drives, etc each time.

 

I've only bought the one cart (Flob), because I can't really stretch to buying carts all the time. I just wanted a copy of Flob on cart to own the physical game, box art and benefit from saved progress, etc. 

 

I'd have liked to buy the Last Squadron but missed the boat and if there is ever a PoP cart release (assuming not which I totally understand), I would definitely get one.

 

I have my SiDE3 which I absolutely love which currently does everything and soon will be even better with FJC's new FAT FS enhancement.  I can't really justify Fujinet at present.

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23 hours ago, Faicuai said:

I think the "museum" posture is more geared towards those rightfully seeking to preserve (as much as possible) the residual value of the equipment, by focusing on pristine / mint units, avoiding butchering them inside/out, etc. That of course limits the adoption of some vital HW updates

There is no problem with that. The problem begins, when someone, on one hand, spends time boosting e.g. "original chipset", "original bit-by-bit OS", "no upgrades", "this upgrade makes Atari not Atari" etc. - and on the other hand the same individual(s) only use(s) a modern PC, which means no Atari chipset (but PC chipset), no Atari OS (but Windows) and no "Sally" (but Intel or alike). Dude, I could say to him, you are grumbling at people who upgraded to 65C816, whereas you have yourself "upgraded" to Intel!

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My view has been that if it leverages the Atari Architecture with dual floating bus (or even the XL/XE BUS which isn't but could be modified to be), the personality card can change, the add ons can change, nearly anything can be added, just so long as the core remains and all of the original chipset is put to use and not forgotten. It will be an Atari, a Jay machine through and through. Of course much of this ends up looking like what became the Amiga. But that was backed by Atari and the original crew made that as well... sooo. Let's have fun. It was meant to be, just as some of the original adverts made clear, that is and was the spirit of the Atari computer.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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5 hours ago, Irgendwer said:

Depending on supplied memory, I'm more targeting 5$ as average limit - with support for some save space (high score, progress etc.).

What kind of enclosure you would use for such device? 

 

PS. I met #FujiNet creators during VCF MW this year, and they told me that there are estimated 1800 #FujiNets sold worldwide right now.

Edited by ZuluGula
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7 hours ago, Irgendwer said:

Depending on supplied memory, I'm more targeting 5$ as average limit - with support for some save space (high score, progress etc.).

So as a first summary, I interpret the outcome of the poll to release a new game on a low-cost SIO cart solution... 😃

5$ sounds noble :)

 

Would you mind sharing info about hw you would use ?

 

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2 hours ago, ZuluGula said:

What kind of enclosure you would use for such device? 

A sticker.

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23 minutes ago, popmilo said:

Would you mind sharing info about hw you would use ?

This is only a draft, but the solution is based on an 2x6 pin edge connector.
So the carts have 0.7 inch width (and could be long "as you like").

The carrier PCB holds an AVR µC (e.g. ATTINY 24/44A < 1€) and if you need more than e.g. 4k of storage space 😉 is assisted by 24Cxxx EEPROM(s) (e.g. 32k <  0.30 €).

Since the layout can be created in a way, that a single sided PCB is possible, the carrier PCB should be quite cheap for at least somewhat meaningful numbers.

(More elaborated modules could use all 12 double sided signals of course.)

 

I imagine two SIO to edge connector adapters: a very simple and cheap "end-of-chain" one and a pass through one, sitting directly behind the machine making the connector accessible from the top.

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22 minutes ago, ZuluGula said:

So basically SDrive wrapt in paper?

Exactly! (While the front surface is flat and the 1 or two small SMD parts on the back are not that much of an issue.)

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Well, I don't know about you guys, but I voted for LightGun to PS2 mouse interface.  Not even sure what this is, but I like to see started projects get finalized, and looking forwards to some Bug Hunt, maybe even on an HDMI monitor?

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