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CP/M User
July 11th, 2003, 01:44 AM
Hi All,

A long ago (maybe 8-10 years now), I saw an Atari XE computer
for sale in a second-hand (might you might call a pawn shop) &
the shop was actually selling the cartridge games for it seperately.

Around the sametime I got an Atari 7800 & in my Amstrad
magazine (which I was still buying at that time) stated that the
Atari 7800 was just an Atari XE, minus the keyboard.

This might be a longshot here, however I was just wonderning if the
cartridge games made for the Atari XE were compatable with the
Atari 7800? (I didn't want to get any Atari XE games in case I
had inteed wasted my money on it).

As far as I know only the Atari 2600 games are compatable.

Cheers.

AtariManiac
July 30th, 2003, 02:56 AM
The answer is no, for several reasons. First is the cartridge incompatibility. The only carts that will physically fit into the 7800 slot besides the 7800 carts are the 2600 carts.

Second is the system incompatibility. All XE systems were, in actuality, a full fledged computer. They all have 64K of RAM, except for the 130XE, which has 128K of RAM. The 7800 only has 4K.

Also, there is a possibility that I could be wrong here, but I just glanced through the OS ROM source code for the 7800, and from what I see, it looks to be totally incompatible with anything aside from 2600 games.

The difference in memory between the XE/XL computers and the 7800 doesn't mean that a 7800 couldn't run the exact same game for the XL/XE systems if it were coded to the 7800's OS, because carts are all, basically, ROM flash memory. It just needs the RAM for video/display, and any values that might need to be stored (like how many/much lives/ammo/fuel/points you have.

There are 4 different XE machines. The 65XE, 130XE, XE Game Machine (just a slightly disguised 65XE with the Missile Command game built in, a detacheable keyboard, and no parallel port), and another model, that you could only find in Eastern Europe, called the 800XE. It is identical in every way to the 65XE.

Hope this helped. 8)

CP/M User
August 3rd, 2003, 04:22 AM
"AtariManiac" wrote in message:

> The answer is no, for several reasons. First is the
> cartridge incompatibility. The only carts that will
> physically fit into the 7800 slot besides the 7800
> carts are the 2600 carts.

Okay thanks, that's handy to know.

> Second is the system incompatibility. All XE
> systems were, in actuality, a full fledged
> computer. They all have 64K of RAM, except for
> the 130XE, which has 128K of RAM. The 7800 only
> has 4K.

Just goes to show how some Amstrad machine (which has
nothing to do with Atari) be so wrong about judging the
Atari 7800 as a console version of the Atari XE. Well it
might be? Apart from the RAM, do you know how the
other hardware differ's between the Atari XE & 7800?

The 7800 would be using the 4k of memory for the
things it needs to store, say various details of the game
as well as the score & going back to the cartridge for
further instructions, theorically I cannot be absolutely
sure about it though.

But if the layout of the cartridge were different, then
I agree that would make them incompatable.

> Also, there is a possibility that I could be wrong
> here, but I just glanced through the OS ROM source
> code for the 7800, and from what I see, it looks to
> be totally incompatible with anything aside from
> 2600 games.

I've also got some of the older Atari cartridges from
the earlier Atari VCS which work on my Atari 7800,
those cartridges themselves have what appears to be
a little door protecting the printed Circuit board.

> The difference in memory between the XE/XL
> computers and the 7800 doesn't mean that a
> 7800 couldn't run the exact same game for the
> XL/XE systems if it were coded to the 7800's
> OS, because carts are all, basically, ROM flash
> memory. It just needs the RAM for video/display,
> and any values that might need to be stored (like
> how many/much lives/ammo/fuel/points you have.

Yeah, basically what I concluded above! :-)

> There are 4 different XE machines. The 65XE,
> 130XE, XE Game Machine (just a slightly disguised
> 65XE with the Missile Command game built in, a
> detacheable keyboard, and no parallel port), and
> another model, that you could only find in Eastern
> Europe, called the 800XE. It is identical in every
> way to the 65XE.

The 130XE if I correctly read was the last of the
Atari XEs, which was soon to be replaced with the
Atari STs. Sounds like somthing of a pity. I've been
somewhat shocked towards the way Atari have
treated their systems. I first got myself an Atari
2600 which was good & had plenty of software, but
the thing which striked me was that even though
the games store still sold the games I didn't see any
new titles come out. Then I realised that Atari
weren't making any new games. Activision was also
another software company which made a few Atari
2600 games, but they too were only distributing the
games which they had made, no new titles were
been published. This must of been around 1993 I
got this system, I was fortunate enough to get this
games catalogue which had all these Atari 2600
games in & the most recent titles seem to be Klax
(which was from around 1990) & Xenophobe
(around the same time). Having an Amstrad I
knew these games were also on the Amstrad &
roughtly knew how old they were. I've still got
my ol' Atari 2600, although I don't do a lot with
it now.

In 1994 I got myself an Atari 7800, thinking that
there still making new games for this machine & so
I could play my Atari 2600 games on it too!
However, I soon discovered that Atari did the same
deal with the 7800 as they did with the 2600! I
got myself a few games for the 7800, but in this
case it was worse! I found it to be a system which
didn't have a lot of games for it (only Atari made
the games for the 7800 in this case) & that in fact
they weren't going to release any new games for
this system! Between 1994 when I got my 7800 &
1995, I got the games I would find enjoyable & as
well as taking advantage of this system. But in late
1995 when I was looking for a portable games
system, I was just sick & tired of Atari, so got
myself a Nintendo Gameboy instead. At that time
there was the Sega Game Gear (which was too
much money for me) & cheaper as well as colour
Atari Lynx (or Lynx II I believe they had). I got
the Nintendo Gameboy (which had been out for
quite a few years & which had new software
available for it). I was a little disappointed by the
fact it only had a monochrome display at the time,
but the fact that new software came out, more than
made up for that. If memory serves me correctly
the Gameboy well & truely outlasted the Sega Game
Gear & Atari Lynx systems (here in Australia). Sure
the Atari Lynx had some nice looking games, but in
my opinion it was the same ol' story as with the 2600
& 7800.

> Hope this helped. 8)

Yes, thankyou.

Cheers.

AtariManiac
August 3rd, 2003, 05:32 AM
[quote="CP/M User"]"AtariManiac" wrote in message:

> The answer is no, for several reasons. First is the
> cartridge incompatibility. The only carts that will
> physically fit into the 7800 slot besides the 7800
> carts are the 2600 carts.

Okay thanks, that's handy to know.

> Second is the system incompatibility. All XE
> systems were, in actuality, a full fledged
> computer. They all have 64K of RAM, except for
> the 130XE, which has 128K of RAM. The 7800 only
> has 4K.

Just goes to show how some Amstrad machine (which has
nothing to do with Atari) be so wrong about judging the
Atari 7800 as a console version of the Atari XE. Well it
might be? Apart from the RAM, do you know how the
other hardware differ's between the Atari XE & 7800?

Well, I know that the 7800 has the exact same sound chip that the 2600 VCS did, the TIA. That caused a problem for game programmers. They were limited to 2600 quality audio. Even so, they came up with a neat little answer. They took the POKEY sound chip (the exact same chip in the XL/XE line of computers) and put it on the circuit board in the cartridge, right along with the game, in one neat little package.

The weird thing is that the sound chips are also responsible for handling user input (keyboard and controllers) in all the systems.

As for video, it had it's own little chip, code named "Maria". Resolution up to 320X200. Almost identical to the GTIA in the Atari computers (original 400/800 Atari's had a CTIA). The GTIA can do 320X192. Both could handle 256 Colors on screen at once.

The GTIA sported very powerful (for the time) sprite control, called Player/Missile graphics. The GTIA was controlled by ANTIC, the dedicated video controler. Older systems used the main CPU to control the GTIA. By adding the ANTIC to the XL/XE, it frees up valuable processor run time.

The 7800 would be using the 4k of memory for the
things it needs to store, say various details of the game
as well as the score & going back to the cartridge for
further instructions, theorically I cannot be absolutely
sure about it though.

But if the layout of the cartridge were different, then
I agree that would make them incompatable.


> Also, there is a possibility that I could be wrong
> here, but I just glanced through the OS ROM source
> code for the 7800, and from what I see, it looks to
> be totally incompatible with anything aside from
> 2600 games.

I've also got some of the older Atari cartridges from
the earlier Atari VCS which work on my Atari 7800,
those cartridges themselves have what appears to be
a little door protecting the printed Circuit board.

Wasn't the VCS just renamed the 2600? I think it was.

> The difference in memory between the XE/XL
> computers and the 7800 doesn't mean that a
> 7800 couldn't run the exact same game for the
> XL/XE systems if it were coded to the 7800's
> OS, because carts are all, basically, ROM flash
> memory. It just needs the RAM for video/display,
> and any values that might need to be stored (like
> how many/much lives/ammo/fuel/points you have.

Yeah, basically what I concluded above! :-)

A bit familiar with assembly, are you? :-)

> There are 4 different XE machines. The 65XE,
> 130XE, XE Game Machine (just a slightly disguised
> 65XE with the Missile Command game built in, a
> detacheable keyboard, and no parallel port), and
> another model, that you could only find in Eastern
> Europe, called the 800XE. It is identical in every
> way to the 65XE.

The 130XE if I correctly read was the last of the
Atari XEs, which was soon to be replaced with the
Atari STs. Sounds like somthing of a pity. I've been
somewhat shocked towards the way Atari have
treated their systems.

You do realize that the company changed hands several times during that period, right? Every time a new system rolled out was almost directly related to every time the company was bought/sold.

[snipped everything else]

Did you know that Nintendo, here in the US, anyways, was initially afraid of competing with the video game giant that was Atari? They actually approached Atari with the design of the Famicom (which was already popular in Japan) and tried to market the system to the US under Atari's name. They figured if they had Atari's name on the box that they wouldn't get squashed by them. According to Michele Ebertin, former manager of Atari's Consumer Electronics Division, the marketing dept. didn't like the design of the NES controller and thought it'd be a humongous flop, and promptly said no.

Thusly, Nintendo went out on a limb and launched the system in a country where they were all but unheard of. The rest is history.

Please forgive the screwed up format of my reply, I'm still figuring out how the quote option works. Not used to anything besides usenet...

CP/M User
August 3rd, 2003, 06:07 AM
"AtariManiac" wrote in message:

>>> The answer is no, for several reasons. First is the
>>> cartridge incompatibility. The only carts that will
>>> physically fit into the 7800 slot besides the 7800
>>> carts are the 2600 carts.

>> Okay thanks, that's handy to know.

>>> Second is the system incompatibility. All XE
>>> systems were, in actuality, a full fledged
>>> computer. They all have 64K of RAM, except for
>>> the 130XE, which has 128K of RAM. The 7800 only
>>> has 4K.

>> Just goes to show how some Amstrad [magazine] (which has
>> nothing to do with Atari) be so wrong about judging the
>> Atari 7800 as a console version of the Atari XE. Well it
>> might be? Apart from the RAM, do you know how the
>> other hardware differ's between the Atari XE & 7800?

Sorry, I was referning toward the Amstrad magazine, they were responcible for talking about consoles (in their consoles issue)
when the Amstrad GX-4000 console came out (the same time as
the CPC Pluses!).

> Well, I know that the 7800 has the exact same
> sound chip that the 2600 VCS did, the TIA. That
> caused a problem for game programmers. They
> were limited to 2600 quality audio. Even so,
> they came up with a neat little answer. They
> took the POKEY sound chip (the exact same chip
> in the XL/XE line of computers) and put it on the
> circuit board in the cartridge, right along with the
> game, in one neat little package.

Heh!

> The weird thing is that the sound chips are also
> responsible for handling user input (keyboard
> and controllers) in all the systems.

Oh dear!

> As for video, it had it's own little chip, code
> named "Maria". Resolution up to 320X200. Almost
> identical to the GTIA in the Atari computers
> (original 400/800 Atari's had a CTIA). The GTIA
> can do 320X192. Both could handle 256 Colors
> on screen at once.

> The GTIA sported very powerful (for the time)
> sprite control, called Player/Missile graphics.
> The GTIA was controlled by ANTIC, the
> dedicated video controler. Older systems used
> the main CPU to control the GTIA. By adding
> the ANTIC to the XL/XE, it frees up valuable
> processor run time.

>> The 7800 would be using the 4k of memory for the
>> things it needs to store, say various details of the game
>> as well as the score & going back to the cartridge for
>> further instructions, theorically I cannot be absolutely
>> sure about it though.

>> But if the layout of the cartridge were different, then
>> I agree that would make them incompatable.


>>> Also, there is a possibility that I could be wrong
>>> here, but I just glanced through the OS ROM source
>>> code for the 7800, and from what I see, it looks to
>>> be totally incompatible with anything aside from
>>> 2600 games.

>> I've also got some of the older Atari cartridges from
>> the earlier Atari VCS which work on my Atari 7800,
>> those cartridges themselves have what appears to be
>> a little door protecting the printed Circuit board.

> Wasn't the VCS just renamed the 2600? I think it was.

The VCS I'm referning to, was the earlier version which
came out in the late '70s (I think), my little 2600 is a
just a much slimmer version of that VCS (so yeah same
system, new box).

>>> The difference in memory between the XE/XL
>>> computers and the 7800 doesn't mean that a
>>> 7800 couldn't run the exact same game for the
>>> XL/XE systems if it were coded to the 7800's
>>> OS, because carts are all, basically, ROM flash
>>> memory. It just needs the RAM for video/display,
>>> and any values that might need to be stored (like
>>> how many/much lives/ammo/fuel/points you have.

>> Yeah, basically what I concluded above! :-)

> A bit familiar with assembly, are you? :-)

I don't exactly go around writing assembly programs,
but yeah I do dabble into it for some of my
programming! :-)

>>> There are 4 different XE machines. The 65XE,
>>> 130XE, XE Game Machine (just a slightly disguised
>>> 65XE with the Missile Command game built in, a
>>> detacheable keyboard, and no parallel port), and
>>> another model, that you could only find in Eastern
>>> Europe, called the 800XE. It is identical in every
>>> way to the 65XE.

>> The 130XE if I correctly read was the last of the
>> Atari XEs, which was soon to be replaced with the
>> Atari STs. Sounds like somthing of a pity. I've been
>> somewhat shocked towards the way Atari have
>> treated their systems.

> You do realize that the company changed hands several
> times during that period, right? Every time a new
> system rolled out was almost directly related to every
> time the company was bought/sold.

No I didn't realise that. I wasn't very good doing that
particularly when what they should have done was to
support their machines (sorry, but I don't know anything
about companies & how they work, maybe it was all
too difficult to get the support in the first place, but at
least I was trying to support them!).

Well, it's not as if I have anything against the systems
they made, I quite like the Atari systems, but nothing
done to support them. Was there any other 3rd party
software companies which made 7800 software. The
only game I remember seeing was a flight game for
the 7800 written by Activision, but that's about all.

I remember sometime around 1991-92 when Activision
announced that they would not be continuning any more
Amstrad games after a certain game, so I guess the
fate of the 7800 was also effected by this (since they
wanted to go a produce 16bit games).

[snipped everything else]

> Did you know that Nintendo, here in the US,
> anyway, was initially afraid of competing with the
> video game giant that was Atari? They actually
> approached Atari with the design of the Famicom
> (which was already popular in Japan) and tried to
> market the system to the US under Atari's name.

Fraid not. I'm don't really have a lot of knowledge
about these companies (apart from what I've gone
through). I cannot remember if I recall correctly
or not, but I thought I heard there was some
incident between Nintendo & Atari back when the
NES came out towards the Mario games & Donkey
Kong games being releasd on the NES.

> They figured if they had Atari's name on the box
> that they wouldn't get squashed by them. According
> to Michele Ebertin, former manager of Atari's
> Consumer Electronics Division, the marketing dept.
> didn't like the design of the NES controller and
> thought it'd be a humongous flop, and promptly
> said no.

There a funny bunch that Atari mob! ;-)

> Thusly, Nintendo went out on a limb and launched
> the system in a country where they were all but
> unheard of. The rest is history.

Oh dear! :-) All I remember flopping out on was a controller
which was in the shape of a hand (which you put your hand
in or something). Nintendo thought it might of been cool, but
they do get some funny ideas! :-)

> Please forgive the screwed up format of my reply, I'm
> still figuring out how the quote option works.
> Not used to anything besides usenet...

Heh! I'm generally only one here to sticks to newsgroup
guidelines & post it that way (also uses less memory).

To this post back to HTML I think you'll have to enable the
HTML in this post & Enable the BBCode in this post!
(Which mean's unclicking the boxes under this message!).

Cheers.