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55five66six

Any reason to get/install a VBXE?

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2 minutes ago, wildstar87 said:

I think it might have been like Fdisk

What FDISK? FJCs FDISK works on VBXE in 80-column mode.

 

3 minutes ago, wildstar87 said:

Date/Time bar

True, it is about just the only program which does not display itself in VBXE 80-column mode.

 

4 minutes ago, wildstar87 said:

the menu system

What is "the menu system"? SpartaDOS X MENU _does_ work in 80 column VBXE mode.

5 minutes ago, wildstar87 said:

some other stuff

Program names of that other stuff, please? Even approximately.

 

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2 minutes ago, drac030 said:

What FDISK? FJCs FDISK works on VBXE in 80-column mode.

 

True, it is about just the only program which does not display itself in VBXE 80-column mode.

 

What is "the menu system"? SpartaDOS X MENU _does_ work in 80 column VBXE mode.

Program names of that other stuff, please? Even approximately.

 

As I said, I don't know exactly at this point, it might have been Format not Fdisk.  When and/if I get it working again, I'll let you know what I find.

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12 minutes ago, wildstar87 said:

As I said, I don't know exactly at this point, it might have been Format not Fdisk

Yup, might have been. Like 10+ years ago. So how long ago you tried and which version of SpartaDOS we are talking about?

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1 hour ago, 55five66six said:

 

I actually asked partly because of the above. I had dug a little into the threads and saw what was talked about when it came to problems with NTSC palette and didn't know if that was still a thing and if it was with everyone or if the VBXE was only for people with PAL systems. 

 

Looking at a lot of the cool demos on youtube, I am interested, yet.. I didn't know how much support there was for it and what kinds of applications were developed for it. 🙂 

 

Assuming you have an U1MB in the machine you install the VBXE in,  there is, or should soon be, an option to select an NTSC palette for use with the VBXE. @flashjazzcat got it working a few months ago, but I can't say for certain if it has finally made it into the live versions of the U1MB firmware. Since it has been several months ago, I would think that it has, but I can't confirm. Hopefully, someone else can.

 

There is an extensive thread here, detailing the quest for an NTSC palette for the VBXE:

 

NTSC Core for VBXE

 

Edited by bfollowell
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3 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

 

Assuming you have an U1MB in the machine you install the VBXE in,  there is, or should soon be, an option to select an NTSC palette for use with the VBXE. @flashjazzcat got it working a few months ago, but I can't say for certain if it has finally made it into the live versions of the U1MB firmware. Since it has been several months ago, I would think that it has, but I can't confirm. Hopefully, someone else can.

 

There is an extensive thread here, detailing the quest for an NTSC palette for the VBXE:

 

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/266456-ntsc-core-for-vbxe/

 

Perfect! Thank you all! 

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26 minutes ago, drac030 said:

Yup, might have been. Like 10+ years ago. So how long ago you tried and which version of SpartaDOS we are talking about?

I'm talking like 3-4 months ago, with 4.49

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1 minute ago, wildstar87 said:

Point of interest, look at the start date on that thread.

 

Oh, trust me, I know. I was in on a lot of those discussions, at least the later ones. I wanted to pickup a VBXE for use in my 1088XEL, but didn't want to get it until I knew I could easily get an NTSC core working. I'm pretty sure there were earlier threads related to this topic as well, that go back even further. This is just the most recent one, and the one that finally led to someone actually doing something about it.

 

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15 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

 

Oh, trust me, I know. I was in on a lot of those discussions, at least the later ones. I wanted to pickup a VBXE for use in my 1088XEL, but didn't want to get it until I knew I could easily get an NTSC core working. I'm pretty sure there were earlier threads related to this topic as well, that go back even further. This is just the most recent one, and the one that finally led to someone actually doing something about it.

 

Yeah, I was in that thread as well.  The solution is good if you have U1MB, but for the machine I have it in, I don't have U1MB on that system, and don't really want to put it in that machine either.  When I was looking for a video solution to hook up to a modern monitor at the time, there were only 2 solutions (essentially still are), add the 80 column capability, and it seemed a no brainer.  Reality has been much less rosy for me.  Anyway, I think I've beat this horse dead enough today.  If Simius were to add enhanced video equivalent to VBXE (hell even work it so he can use the current driver), I think he would have a solution that would be the slam dunk, not that he can keep it in stock now, due to the chip shortages.

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10 hours ago, wildstar87 said:

NTSC Artifacting does not work on VBXE (or Sophia), so some games like Flight Sim that use this to display color, will not render colors, and be essentially B&W.

On the NTSC world, artifacting is a color mode that was (and still can be) used to generate colors programatically. Titles like Droll Flight Sim, Pool 1.5 (finest Gr.8 physics I have seen on A8), and many more, rely on Artifacting. 

 

On Sophia-II, the built-in analog stage of the A8 is kept INTACT, which means you can output composite RF, composite RCA, s-Video and DVI-D, ALL at the same time, 24x7, like a walk in the park...

 

Here are some samples purposefully rendered with NTSC Artifact in:

37740D73-D0DE-4060-A7B1-02621BB0BAD8.thumb.jpeg.9a036fc80621412123feadeebe655d9e.jpeg 

 

 

1163CB45-8AF2-4815-BBB7-BA04E5F4799D.thumb.jpeg.44d8542ade7f4545629db0de126e02df.jpeg

 

4634A6E8-6E80-4872-9A44-32597B044371.thumb.jpeg.1dd54e71154ba6eb80ae212523acd2f5.jpeg

 

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8 hours ago, bfollowell said:

Assuming you have an U1MB in the machine you install the VBXE in,  there is, or should soon be, an option to select an NTSC palette for use with the VBXE. @flashjazzcat got it working a few months ago, but I can't say for certain if it has finally made it into the live versions of the U1MB firmware.

It did, on 5 June 2021.

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and I could not promise developing any cores for VBXE, since I never was responsible for these

Cores are intelectual property of Electron, and all i could and did was to contact him and ask if he could recompile VBXE cores witth NTSC palette instead

If you would consider running FC.COM you could switch back and forth between various cores, including the one that produces a true VGA output - this requires reading some documentation, but it's perfectly doable

I'm just a one person busy with my life and familly and even if I could I won't be able to fullfill everyones wishes.

I wish i would have the time to put some time into my webpage which costs me every mont regardless of it's current state (basically just a wordpress template) but i don't

 

there are many projects on the table i cannot do right now, either due to lack of time, components, or just the way of life is going on right now

 

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I get it, and I'm not unreasonable, everyone has stuff going on in their lives, for most people this is just a hobby, not a business.

 

That being said, all misunderstandings could have been resolved with a little communication (such as you did right now).  Last I heard (in the linked thread) was that you said if a palette was decided on, that you could put out a core that would do this.  After the palette was decided on, questions about when we might see a changed core on the same thread were never answered, PMs were ignored/never read.  I was unaware that you didn't have the capability to do this, as you didn't mention Electron having to do the actual decision/work.

 

I also know you are not responsible for the sales side of things, so I don't blame any of that on you, but I think it is disingenuous of Lotharek to sell this device, without even mentioning any of these known issues that are brought up over and over again.  If nothing else but to save himself and you from the frustration of having to deal with unhappy customers.  Just a note saying that if you are used to NTSC colors, that this will not be the same as it is based on PAL, and that a monitor/device that can understand 15Khz RGB like ST or Amiga.

 

The official documentation such as it is, on Lotharek's site is all that I know of, the only mention of VGA cores that I saw, was that they had been deprecated, and no longer available.  I would be happy to read any documentation, and experiment on this myself, if such information was readily available, such as where the VGA core file is, and what modifications need to be done.  If there is a thread that has this information, please let me know which one, and I will try to find this information myself.  I know you made mention of the VGA core before, but that's all it was, was a offhand comment that it was out there.  I don't expect hand holding, just pointing at a webpage, or thread, or pdf would have probably been sufficient.  This still doesn't help with the palette issue until when/if Electron decided to change it, but it would go a ways for me to get more satisfaction out of what has so far been an exercise in frustration. 

 

 

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I believe all the files you need including documentation explaining how to use them and programming manuals are linked on Lotharek's website.  Go to the VBXE page and click the files tab.  Everything you need is there.

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19 minutes ago, Stephen said:

I believe all the files you need including documentation explaining how to use them and programming manuals are linked on Lotharek's website.  Go to the VBXE page and click the files tab.  Everything you need is there.

So far he has not even been able to explain this:

19 hours ago, wildstar87 said:

I'm not even necessarily complaining about the fact that these things don't work, it is just the expectation when people say, "yeah Spartados supports it.." That stuff should just work if it's part of the OS, and when it doesn't, that's just one more thing to detract from the product.

Basically, "nothing works, see, how bad it is", but when asked about details, then "oh, I do not know exactly". Gosh.

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I think the VBXE (or VBXL 🙂 ) is a great product, with maybe some problems- I didn't notice (PAL user)- and just used it to play stock games. Bought it at the first release in 2010 (or '09 or '11?) and was very exited about the picture qualtity on my RGB monitor. Never saw that before! Some weeks ago I fired up my 800Xl with the VBXE with an Scart/RGB upscaler to HDMI to flatscreen. Very nice.

Why do I thinks it's a nice product? Because with this our little Atari's can produce colors, Images, soft-sprites we only could dream of...It takes it from the 80's to the 90's. From a gamers perspective - any reason to install? Well, sadly there are not much new games made for it. And of course installing needs some soldering skills....

 

Well, it's a great upgrade for the Atari, and with this the Atari still works as a 8 bit Atari. A few day's ago I read (again) some pages in the manual on how to program it thinking what could be done with it. But like most people I have many plans to do things, but the real 'hobby time' is a bit low...

Just for fun, I did a WIP for it in 2009, what was playable with and without VBXE:

VBXE Version- with BMP color sprites (real CRT):


non VBXE version, just PM (From emulator)


 

Edited by Thelen
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24 minutes ago, Thelen said:

Well, it's a great upgrade for the Atari, and with this the Atari still works as a 8 bit Atari. A few day's ago I read (again) some pages in the manual on how to program it thinking what could be done with it. But like most people I have many plans to do things, but the real 'hobby time' is a bit low...

Just for fun, I did a WIP for it in 2009, what was playable with and without VBXE:

Could you share your code for the sprites?  I have not used the blitter yet and could really use a good (simple) example.

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16 hours ago, Faicuai said:

On Sophia-II, the built-in analog stage of the A8 is kept INTACT, which means you can output composite RF, composite RCA, s-Video and DVI-D, ALL at the same time, 24x7, like a walk in the park...

Have you ever used an actual VBXE? The VBXE does not disable the original composite and S-Video output, you don't lose anything.

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I think the VBXE is an awesome upgrade, if a little unsupported. That certainly isn't @candle or @lotharek's fault though. The only issue I ever had was no NTSC palette. @flashjazzcat has now fixed this for machines that also have the U1MB. I have the VBXE installed in my 1088XEL, so I'll be happy.

 

I appreciate everyone's efforts in creating and selling the VBXE and getting the old NTSC issue fixed, at least for me. Thank you all!

 

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2 hours ago, Stephen said:

I believe all the files you need including documentation explaining how to use them and programming manuals are linked on Lotharek's website.  Go to the VBXE page and click the files tab.  Everything you need is there.

Please show me the documentation that says how to use the VGA core, and where it's located. I just looked again,  Does anyone actually read what I said?  I guess not.  Thank you Drac030 for twisting what I was saying, I was very clear on what was happening, I just thought it might be a difference in communication, but I guess you were being defensive and sarcastic the entire time, good to know.  Also, you didn't really address the actual stuff I was talking about, so how are you any different.  "It just works, why are you having a problem" seems to be your attitude.  If I was asking you to fix the problems without giving you repro steps, your responses would be understandable, but I didn't ask you to fix them, and I already explained why, but you see what you want to see I guess.  This is a great example of why VBXE is NOT a good solution for me.  Candle again mentioned the VGA core, but still no information on where to obtain it, and what documentation there is.  I was actually holding out a little hope with his reply, but based on the rash of shit I'm getting for bringing up valid issues, I'm not even motivated any longer.  I'm assuming it's buried in one of the many threads of VBXE somewhere on this forum, or another forum.  Nonetheless, not readily or easily accessible.

 

Let's go through what's on Lotharek's website shall we?

Installation manual, I have used this for installation, it's fine

Release CORES - Description on the utilities, FC.Com, and DCFG.com, inside the current folder, a readme that tells you what cores are available, and their notations.  No mention of the fabled VGA core, or board mods to use it, and of course the different variation of cores available.  None of this can change the palette to NTSC, and I never needed to change to the GTIA or Rambo versions.

Release DOCS - Programmer's manual, the only mention of VGA Cores with the note "VGA cores are currently deprecated, and not actively developed. Limitations they had were too severe to justify their existence.", a list of the available cores, no VGA or NTSC core listed. Does talk about RGB palette modification, but nothing about how to permanently change it (because it can't be without a recompiled core). A lot of of what I assume is useful information for programmers.

Release EXAMPLES - Code examples for VBXE, not useful for the aforementioned issues

CORES 1.26 - This is just a duplicate of the Release CORES, not sure why this is linked under a different heading.

Note, absolutely nothing under the FAQ tab, where some of this could be noted.

I'm not an idiot (but clearly some of you think I am), I've looked at all of this stuff.  You all seem to be conveniently leaving out the issues that I was actually addressing, and my experience with it.  I'm happy that it all works just fine for you all, or that you don't care about NTSC palette, but there are some of us that do care about that.  U1MB being a solution, yes great, you have to buy another >$100 device just to get the palette to be changed "permanently" upon bootup (but thank you FJC for doing this!).  I have tried this in my 1088XEL (which I built myself), and that solution works fine, but that isn't the machine that I have VBXE in, and I don't want to buy it just for this reason, and quite frankly it's not something that you should have to do.  I've been working in (as in a job) and around the computer industry for 30 years, dealing with hardware and software, I've been working professionally (as in a job) in an EE Tech for 15 years.  Not that I should have to justify my knowledge base, it kind of pisses me off at myself that I even feel like I have to mention it.

I was replying to the 55five66six about whether or not it's worth it, I'm sure he read what everyone said, and will make his own decision.  As for the rest, I'm done, you can go beat someone else up, I said what I wanted to say.  I'm beginning to feel like FJC on the Rapidus issue.  55five66six I wish you luck on your decision, this was actually a great example of what you can expect with VBXE.

 

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1 hour ago, wildstar87 said:

Please show me the documentation that says how to use the VGA core, and where it's located. I just looked again,

I guess I can't do anything else to help you except come over and spoon feed you directly.  I showed you the documentation which is what the rest of us have used for a decade to do what you want so I won't bother trying to help any more.

 

P.S.

Thanks for stating what you have that doesn't work with SDX like you were asked.  I guess you also are not capable of reading.

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6 hours ago, Dinadan67 said:

Have you ever used an actual VBXE? The VBXE does not disable the original composite and S-Video output,

Just because I (explicitly) referred to SOPHIA does not mean I (implicitly) made a statement about VBXE.

 

Please, revisit the posts, and this time carefully (so you can keep your emotions out of the picture).

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1 hour ago, Faicuai said:

Just because I (explicitly) referred to SOPHIA does not mean I (implicitly) made a statement about VBXE.

 

Please, revisit the posts, and this time carefully (so you can keep your emotions out of the picture).

I re-read Dinadan67's post and I cannot see any emotion in his reply whatsoever. It was quite simply stated that using VBXE, the A8's factory composite and svideo outputs remain intact after fitment of VBXE - Absolutely no different to Sophia 2.

 

I therefore cannot see any reason for your condescending reply?

Edited by Mazzspeed
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14 hours ago, Stephen said:

Could you share your code for the sprites?  I have not used the blitter yet and could really use a good (simple) example.

Off course I want to share the code with you, but I don't think it will clarivy a lot since the VBXE code isn't separated from the rest of the code. I'm hoping to do (soon) some new tests with the VBXE because I have to refresh my memory 🙂 If you're still interested in the source, please sent me a PM.

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